Today’s News - Wednesday, May 27, 2020
● Wainwright parses the "Kafkaesque nightmare" residents of council estates in the U.K. face when local councils vote for demolition - and cheers a new free-to-download book by two "radical academics" who "have performed a vital public service - this is no dry theoretical survey, but a practical guide" to help "condemned estates beat the bulldozers."
● Hickman reports on MASS Design Group co-leading a "tribal engagement process" for the Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City with the aim "to breathe cultural and recreational life into a long-blighted and closed-off industrial area."
● McCown parses The Architectural Team and Halvorson Design's approach to Boston's changing coastline for the 7-acre Clippership Wharf development - "this is no ordinary condo/rental venture. It was designed and built to adapt to the effects of climate change" and "can withstand a 40-inch rise" in water level.
● Chatwin charts "the Shenzhen effect - China's original 'model' city" (warts and all) "remains hugely influential in China's urban planning, even four decades after the city was established."
● Scientists at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, have discovered a rubber polymer that could lead to "revolutionary 'green' types of bricks and construction materials" made from recycled PVC, waste plant fibers, or sand" that "may one day replace non-recyclable construction materials."
● Be Original Americas1st Worldwide Virtual Student Fellowship, June 15 - July 17, offers currently enrolled university students around the world live webinars with 25+ international designers, makers, and creators.
● ICYMI: ANN feature: Katie Faulkner: The wickedly funny Michael Sorkin, known to many as Comrade, was a social justice warrior. He maintained perpetual outrage in the course of writing 20 books and hundreds of articles, honing his invectives for gentrification, Disneyfication, waste, and conspicuous consumption.
COVID-19 news continues:
● Cramer explains why "architects will be able to look back on their response to COVID-19 with pride. Historically, the profession hasn't seemed attuned to crisis management" - now "architecture is proving more resilient, and relevant, than ever - rising to the occasion with intelligence and altruism."
● On a bleaker note, Block reports on the results of RIBA's second survey of British architects that show the pandemic is causing a "'significant decline' in U.K. architects' mental health," along with "loneliness, money worries and the stress of working from home. To help, Assael Architecture, in collaboration with Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum, has "put together a Covid-19 toolkit to offer support to those who are struggling."
● Sasaki's Grove delves into how "suburban sprawl increases the risk of future pandemics. The next pandemic may very well result from our addiction to - and exportation of - sprawl - embracing denser, cleaner, and more efficient cities that drive ecological conservation may very well be our greatest export to humanity."
● Davidson minces no words in his warning that "reopening NYC too soon" is "a new chapter in the tale of two cities: the young and the healthy will take their chances; the old and the vulnerable will effectively remain under house arrest - we are making our shameful peace with a partial reopening that leaves millions indefinitely shut indoors."
● Landscape architect Robert Gibbs, who has designed hundreds of retail corridors, explains why, after lockdown, there will be "new opportunities for downtown shopping districts" that "will capture traffic from fading malls" and "be the new home for the boom in the years to come."
● Meanwhile, landscape architect Richard leBrasseur explains why "parks matter more than ever during a time of sickness. Olmsted took the right approach - his knowledge of contagious diseases informed his visions - closing parks and public green spaces should be a temporary, last-resort measure for disease control."
● Harrouk and Baldwin "investigate the current trends, predict the future, and offer insights" re: "architecture, post COVID-19: the profession, the firms, and the individuals."
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Wainwright: 'A Kafkaesque nightmare': the survival guide helping condemned estates beat the bulldozers: It has been called 'one of the finest council estates in the country'. So why is Cressingham Gardens facing demolition? ...residents have been living on the edge, the future of their homes and community ties uncertain... Their campaign has been extraordinarily successful - yet [Lambeth Council] still plans to [demolish]...The residents' story is one of several [in] "Community-Led Regeneration: A Toolkit for Residents and Planners" by Pablo Sendra and Daniel Fitzpatrick...this is no dry theoretical survey, but a practical guide for the thousands of people currently facing uncertainty about the future of their homes...[authors] have performed a vital public service... -- Ted Hollamby- Guardian (UK)
Matt Hickman: MASS Design Group to co-lead tribal engagement process for Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City, Oregon: ...process will focus on gleaning - and then prioritizing - input and advice on design and programming aspects from a total of five confederated tribes...The ambitious project...aims to breathe cultural and recreational life into a long-blighted and closed-off industrial area spanning 22 acres along the horseshoe-shaped [falls]...In 2015, an initial design and public engagement process kicked off with a design team led by Snøhetta...with Portland-based landscape architecture firm Mayer/Reed and Toronto-based DIALOG...MASS’s multi-tribal outreach...will complement previous work completed by the design teams... -- Joseph Kunkel- The Architect's Newspaper
James McCown: In Boston, a Development’s Approach to a Changing Coastline Is to Embrace It: Among the resilient features of Clippership Wharf is a “living shoreline” of marsh and native fauna: ...encompasses 7 acres of residential, recreational, and hospitality spaces...this is no ordinary condo/rental venture. [It] was designed and built in accordance with the guidelines of Climate Ready Boston, a city initiative to adapt to the effects of climate change along its sprawling waterfronts..."can withstand a 40-inch rise"...the entire waterfront is open to the public...expected to be fully completed eight months after the COVID-19 construction ban is lifted... -- Robert Adams/Halvorson Design; Michael Liu/The Architectural Team (TAT)- Metropolis Magazine
Jonathan Chatwin: The Shenzhen effect: Why China's original 'model' city matters more than ever: ...government is investing trillions of yuan to establish new areas and development zones, many of which act as satellites to existing cities...These projects all look back to one city for inspiration: the godfather of urban transformation...Now home to over 13 million people...Architecture and design became crucial ways of representing this model vision of modern China...now faced with a problem unimaginable to its original planners: A lack of space...the waterfront...was extended into the bay almost 20 years ago. A new city center business district...is now being built on that land...its design aims to correct the mistakes of the past......Shenzhen's example, both positive and negative, remains hugely influential...even four decades after the city was established. -- Zaha Hadid Architects; Juan Du; Henning Larsen Architects- CNN Style
Building bricks from plastic waste: Revolutionary 'green' types of bricks and construction materials could be made from recycled PVC, waste plant fibers or sand with the help of a remarkable new kind of rubber polymer discovered by Australian scientists: ..."could produce materials that may one day replace non-recyclable construction materials, bricks and even concrete replacement...Cement is a finite resource and heavily polluting in its production..."also important because there are currently few methods to recycle PVC or carbon fiber"...- Phys.org
Call for registration: Be Original Americas1st Worldwide Virtual Student Fellowship: 25+ Designers, Makers, & Creators Present Live Webinars, June 15 - July 17, 2020: open to currently enrolled university students around the world; developed in place of Be Original Americas Annual Design Fellowship, in which 2 students won the opportunity to visit studios and companies...- Be Original Americas
Ned Cramer: Architecture in Unusual Times: Architects will be able to look back on their response to COVID-19 with pride. When discord was the rule, the profession came together: How does one respond to calamity at such a scale...The propagation of dissonant narratives and the ongoing assault on expertise have caught us in a vicious circle of mistrust and mismanagement... it’s tempting...to retreat further into denial, tribalism...I certainly don’t see architects retreating...Historically, the profession hasn’t seemed attuned to crisis management...however, [they] have been transcending their reputation...architecture is proving more resilient, and relevant, than ever...rising to the occasion with intelligence and altruism.- Architect Magazine
India Block: Coronavirus pandemic causing "significant decline" in UK architects' mental health: Loneliness, money worries and the stress of trying to juggle working from home with caring commitments has had a negative impact...RIBA has warned: ...number of architects and architecture student...has almost doubled since the start of April...39% of architects surveyed...said that their mental health had been negatively impacted...up from 23%...from early April...57% have seen cashflow reduced. Work has stalled for 90%...48% have had projects cancelled...To help...Assael Architecture have collaborated with Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum to put together a Covid-19 toolkit to offer support to those who are struggling.- Dezeen
Michael Grove/Sasaki: Suburban Sprawl Increases the Risk of Future Pandemics: In our pre-pandemic ignorance, most urbanists pointed to climate change as the most dangerous impact of our cherished suburban lifestyle...but COVID-19 has exposed another threat...The next pandemic may very well result from our addiction to - and exportation of - sprawl. The increasing traction of the anti-density movement...is alarming...Headlines proclaiming how sprawl may save us and that living in cities puts citizens at higher risk for contracting the [virus] are deceptive...Recent studies have debunked these myths...cities are the answer if we plan them carefully...embracing denser, cleaner, and more efficient cities that drive ecological conservation...may very well be our greatest export to humanity.- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Justin Davidson: Reopening the City Too Soon Is, Effectively, Age Discrimination: The city is gambling that we have learned enough in these past months to keep the risks under control...We’re opening a new chapter in the tale of two cities: the young and the healthy will...take their chances; the old and the vulnerable will effectively remain under house arrest. To reopen now is to accept a new form of segregation...This is a civil-rights issue, and the reason we face it is that we have bumbled the better option: testing everyone...Instead of isolating the infected, we will isolate the old and infirm [and] people with an assortment of risk factors...we are making our shameful peace with a partial reopening that leaves millions indefinitely shut indoors.- New York Magazine
Robert Gibbs: After Lockdown, New Opportunities for Downtown Shopping Districts: ...in part due to newly unemployed...opening new businesses in downtowns...will capture traffic from fading malls...Main Streets are already innovating...making them a more attractive alternative for retail shopping in the era of COVID-19...As we look to the future...A new generation of entrepreneurs will be eager to start a new chapter in their life, and the suburban shopping centers are not going to attract them. Well-designed town centers...will be the new home for the boom in the years to come. -- Gibbs Planning Group- The Dirt/American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Richard leBrasseur: Parks matter more than ever during a time of sickness: The Covid-19 pandemic has altered humans' relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting...many jurisdictions have closed state and county parks...and other outdoor destinations. There's good reason...especially in places where people have spurned social distancing rules...Frederick Law Olmsted...took the right approach...his knowledge of contagious diseases informed his visions for his great North American urban parks...closing parks and public green spaces should be a temporary, last-resort measure for disease control...government agencies should work to make these vital services as widely available as possible, especially during stressful periods like pandemic shutdowns...There are many ways to make parks accessible with appropriate levels of control.- CNN Style
Architecture post COVID-19: the Profession, the Firms, and the Individuals: ...editors Christele Harrouk and Eric Baldwin generated this collaborative piece that seeks to investigate the current trends, predict the future, and offer insights: The Profession: Interdisciplinary approaches; Future projects; Adaptive reuse approaches; New parameters; The Adaptable City: Public spaces; Density; Transportation/Mobility; The Firms: Business continuity; Office structure; Work models; The Individuals: Students and recent grads; Young professionals- ArchDaily
ANN feature: Katie Faulkner, FAIA: Remembering Michael Sorkin, Critic and Activist: The wickedly funny Sorkin, known to many as Comrade, was a social justice warrior. He maintained perpetual outrage in the course of writing 20 books and hundreds of articles, honing his invectives for gentrification, Disneyfication, waste, and conspicuous consumption.- ArchNewsNow.com
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