Today’s News - Wednesday, April 29, 2020
● Parman pens an appreciation of architectural historian and journalist Sally Byrne Woodbridge, 89, whose passing last November went largely unnoticed: "As a longtime correspondent of Progressive Architecture, she kept the Bay Region's architects visible nationally," and "explained the region to itself - hers was a cosmopolitan, even existentialist sensibility."
● Goering delves into how investing in flood prevention now "could save lives and avert economic disaster," and how the World Resources Institute's Aqueduct Floods global online water risk assessment and mapping tool can "evaluate the risks from flooding, and look at how possible interventions might work."
● Demetriou brings us eyefuls of Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa's "contemporary, yet respectful renovation" of Kyoto's landmark Kyocera Museum of Art that adds "a fresh, modern and minimalist edge to the original 1933 building," and "a lighter, more open feel."
● The "imaginative Harry Weese pulled out all the stops" for a 1961 bank building in Columbus, Indiana, but now its future is uncertain - if it "doesn't survive, the 'Athens of the Prairie' will lose part of its architectural heritage" (+ how other notable buildings in the city are faring - good and bad news).
● TCLF's Birnbaum highlights the sad - or potentially sad - fate of a number of significant landscapes and landscape features designed by women - "particularly notable" in 2020, the centennial of women achieving the right to vote in the U.S.
● Curbed editor-in-chief Kelsey Keith pens her final Editor's Note: "Farewell - for now: I woke up pinching myself every day for more than five years because I got to work with my dream team" (but she'll be back as executive producer for Season 2 of Nice Try! this fall!).
Jane's Walk Festival season in the age of lock-down:
● MAS is offering Jane's Walk NYC 2020 (from Home!) - "a reimagining of the festival that we hope brings the same joy and inspiration you've come to expect from this annual celebration" (through May 3).
● Micallef outlines how Toronto's Jane's Walks - and others - "changed course" when "physical distancing has made the core experience of walking together a non-starter. It's like we're learning how to walk all over again, physically distant, but still engaged with our city."
● See what Jane's Walk 2020 is doing (or not) in your country and city via JanesWalk.org.
COVID-19 news continues (ending on a do-good note)
● Davidson explains how we can "rethink public space after the pandemic. Flexibility has become one of the most important tools - there's plenty a city can accomplish, given enough ingenuity and tape" ("the low-tech weapon in COVID-19-induced urbanism," along with traffic cones, spray paint).
● Muggah & Ermacora offer their take on "redesigning" COVID-19 cities that are "key to leading national and global recovery. We identified nine trends that are likely to play out - expect to see new urban design standards" (some few silver linings: more pedestrian space and a boom in urban farming).
● Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, and Ken Greenberg talk about "how to change the brick-and-mortar world for better human health" in a post-pandemic world.
● Silverstein considers "how Covid-19 could remake mixed-use senior living development" that "will be hit the hardest by the new normal. The social drivers that made it popular will likely remain. The execution will have to change."
● Parman "on listening to a pandemic - to stop it, everything had to stop. As it did, people noticed. It flips on its head our idea that nature bows to us. The pandemic says no. We need to listen and act."
● Anthropology professor Mattern takes a deep (deep!) dive into the ways that we use machines to listen to the city: "How we listen to the city is as important as what we are listening for" as Covid-19 "reshapes the soundscape. These new sounds and silences are so affecting because cities have long been defined by their din."
● Designers and artisans have donated to The Invisible Collection's online charity auction - with all proceeds going to charities supporting emergency services in Paris, London, and New York (bids close May 4).
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John Parman: In appreciation of Sally Byrne Woodbridge, 89: The death in late November 2019 of architectural historian and journalist...went unnoticed even in the San Francisco Chronicle. As a longtime correspondent of Progressive Architecture, [she] kept the Bay Region’s architects visible nationally...As the main curator-compiler of a series of guides to its architecture, she explained the region to itself...Coming of age in Paris and Princeton, hers was a cosmopolitan, even existentialist sensibility ..As she observed and wrote, the region was in constant ferment, viewed from within. -- Bernard Maybeck; John Galen Howard- The Architect's Newspaper
Laurie Goering: Flood prevention could bring 'huge' payoff as global risks rise: ...investing now in protection could bring huge savings, researchers say: India could save about $250 per $1 spent on protection...[World Resources Institute's] Aqueduct Floods, a global online water risk assessment and mapping tool....allows governments, companies, aid agencies and others to evaluate the combined risks from coastal and river flooding around the world, and look at how possible interventions might work..."Richer countries...also need to be taking action"...new tool provided insights into how investments in flood defences could save lives and avert economic disaster.- Thomson Reuters Foundation
Danielle Demetriou: Kyoto’s landmark Kyocera Museum of Art unveils its contemporary renovation: One of Japan’s key cultural landmarks...is preparing to reopen to the public following a contemporary, yet respectful renovation by architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa: The update has added a fresh, modern and minimalist edge to the original 1933 building, designed by Kenjiro Maeda...original materials still shine... Yet contemporary touches create a lighter, more open feel...- Wallpaper*
Innovative bank building faces uncertain future: An iconic Columbus, Indiana, building designed as an Irwin Union Bank branch office...has closed its doors...The  one-of-its kind building by Harry Weese...the most prolific commercial and public building designer in Columbus during the 1950s and 1960s, drew up a provocative vision for the banking center...The imaginative Weese pulled out all the stops...If the Eastbrook building doesn’t survive, the “Athens of the Prairie” - as Columbus is known - will lose part of its architectural heritage. -- Eero Saarinen; Fisher and Spillman; Paul Kennon; Carlos Jimenez; Deborah Berke- The Republic (Columbus, Indiana)
Charles A. Birnbaum: A Red-Letter Year for Women, but Not for Their Art: There will always be threats to significant designed landscapes and landscape features (the latter include monuments, memorials, and site-specific installations), but in 2020, which marks the centennial of women achieving the right to vote in the United States, the threats to works by women are particularly notable. -- Ellen Shipman; Clermont Lee; Elyn Zimmerman; David Childs/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)- The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)
Kelsey Keith: Farewell - for now: Curbed editor-in-chief shares her final Editor’s Notes: Hello - and welcome to a dispatch I didn’t expect to be writing when I returned from maternity leave in March...Here’s the thing: I woke up pinching myself every day for more than five years because I got to work with my dream team...Indulge me in reminiscing about some personal favorites from the Curbed archive these past five years...I’ll be back as executive producer for Season 2 of Nice Try!, which will air in fall 2020.- Curbed
Jane’s Walk NYC 2020 (from Home!): Celebrating Jane Jacobs and New York City: ...a reimagining of the festival that we hope brings the same joy and inspiration you’ve come to expect from this annual celebration... through Sunday, May 3...- Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS)
Shawn Micallef: Walking together is a source of stress under COVID-19. So Jane’s Walks - and others - changed course: Physical distancing has made the core experience of a Jane’s Walk - walking together - a non-starter...May 1 they’ll have between 20 and 30 online and virtual walks ready for the revamped festival in three different formats...MapinHood is a free “personalized pedestrian navigation” app set to launch within two weeks...Heritage Toronto [tours] done from home or while walking...It’s like we’re learning how to walk all over again, physically distant, but still engaged with our city. -- Architecture Conservancy of Ontario- OurWindsor.ca (Canada)
Jane's Walk 2020 - by country & city- JanesWalk.org
Justin Davidson: How Do We Rethink Public Space After the Pandemic? Start With Rolls of Tape: This is a chance to test new ideas for the urban fabric without expensive build-outs: ...state and local governments may not have the money to throw at long-term plans and vast fixed infrastructure costs. Managing streets and public spaces, though, requires little more than tape, traffic cones, spray paint, and a sense of urgency...As a post-lockdown city edges into view, we’ll have to develop new ways to use the places we share...Prodded by fear and guided by tape, we will develop new social dances...Flexibility...has become one of the most important tools of governance...there’s plenty a city can accomplish, given enough ingenuity and tape.- New York Magazine
Robert Muggah & Thomas Ermacora: Redesigning The COVID-19 City: The outbreak has revealed how urban centers are the front and last lines of defense against...outbreaks. They are also the key to leading national and global recovery...Decisions made in the coming months...will have generational consequences...how are cities expected to cope? We identified nine trends that are likely to play out...expect to see new urban design standards...The most successful [cities] will design-in principles of resilience, sustainability and regenerative economics alongside a radical intolerance for inequality.- NPR / National Public Radio
Cities That Heal: How The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Change Urban Design: Can we design cities that heal? We talk with an architect and urban planner about how to change the brick-and-mortar world for better human health. -- Michael Murphy/MASS Design Group; Ken Greenberg/Greenberg Consultants- WBUR Boston Public Radio/NPR
Jack Silverstein: How Covid-19 Could Remake Mixed-Use Senior Living Development: ...mixed-use communities became a popular living arrangement for seniors - thus making it an attractive development opportunity. But the pandemic threatens to change the equations that made that product work, while presenting opportunities for those who see how mixed-use might change...I think mixed-use will be hit the hardest by the new normal...and face the greatest transformation...in the near term, the risks outweigh the rewards...The social drivers that made mixed-use senior housing popular - the desire for human connection and multi-faceted construction - will likely remain. The execution will have to change.- Senior Housing News
John Parman: On Listening To A Pandemic: ...the rolling nature of this catastrophe...and to stop it, everything had to stop. As it did, people noticed - despite their misery - how quickly the air cleared up...The pandemic gives us insight into what life could be like...that we might find a new operating system beyond...better suited to our planet... a crisis involving all of humanity demands a coordinated, cross-humanity response...a direct, planetary reflection of our health as a species. It flips on its head our idea that nature bows to us. The pandemic says no. We need to listen and act.- Arcade (Seattle)
Shannon Mattern: Urban Auscultation; or, Perceiving the Action of the Heart: How we listen to the city is as important as what we are listening for: Covid-19...reshapes the soundscape wherever it goes...As physicians monitor the rattle of afflicted lungs, the rest of us listen for acoustic cues that our city is convalescing...These new sounds and silences are so affecting because cities have long been defined by their din...In a world defined by climate crisis, surveillance capitalism, and the periodic collapse of global health, we need to think as much about a city’s resonance as we do its resilience and livability.- Places Journal
Designers and Artisans Donate Iconic Works for The Invisible Collection’s Charity Auction: All Proceeds to Charities Supporting Emergency Services in Paris, London and New York: 25 iconic works from interior designers and artisans across the globe...donated with great kindness, spontaneity and enthusiasm...proceeds to the Fondation de France in France, the National Emergencies Trust in the United Kingdom and Feeding America in the United States. Final bids will be announced on Monday May 4 at 1pm NYC / 6pm London / 7pm Paris- The Invisible Collection
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