Today’s News - Wednesday, August 12, 2020
● Betsky delves into "how a photograph from the protests in Detroit can serve as a guidebook for the profession": The Renaissance Center "is now an emblem of how increasingly useless buildings as objects have become. We need to design the commons, not the castle - if architects understand that they must work with and for the people who were pictured, then they will have a good sense of the task at hand."
● Part 1 of Susannah Black's great Q&A with architect, urbanist, author, and educator John Massengale re: "urbanism after the pandemic": "We don't need to go back to normal - we can use this time to make places that are better than normal" (he takes on Robert Moses, Modernism, and more).
● Overstreet dispels the doom-and-gloom sayers re: city folk decamping to the 'burbs: The data "predicts a different and more vibrant future for our cities. City dwellers aren't looking for homes in the suburbs, but other similar cities - a place not so different from where they were already living."
● Law professor Jonathan Zasloff explains why Trump scrapping the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule isn't a bad thing: "I have spent my career advocating for fair housing. It's good to see Obama's rule go - it didn't include the policy tools necessary to achieve fair housing."
● Biron talks to an impressive array of urban planners and designers re: how the policing debate is bringing about an "urban design rethink. City planning can tear communities apart or bring them together. Design and planning should be receiving more attention in conversations about community rebuilding" ("We took down all of our 'no' signs").
● NYC-based architect Michael Caton explains why "architecture needs a culture shift" - and the two components design firms grappling "with the pervasiveness of institutional racism" must take into account: "The path to combat organizational biases runs through organizational cultures of candor and trust - held accountable by data."
● Rachel Shabi explores how Britain's "city parks and green spaces have 'become living rooms' during the pandemic [people cleaning up litter!] - the worry is that they will become ever-more commercialized, rendering them less inclusive or accessible precisely at the time we value them most."
● Kamin cheers Dirk Denison's "vibrant remake" of Mies's "workhorse tower Kacek Hall into a dorm at Chicago's IIT, reminding us that often "the workhorses are worth saving, too" ("even the so-called Mies police are unlikely to object to the result").
● Hickman reports that Gensler is taking on EE&K's 2001 Hollywood & Highland complex in L.A., renamed Ovation Hollywood, as "part of a major $100 million design overhaul" to give it "a new, less retail-centric purpose" to appeal to both locals and tourists.
● Buday offers an interesting(?) take on "why learning to tell tall tales might help the profession - disinformation works and works well - opportunities await" architects who get it (he's "not sanctioning moral abandonment or ethics code violations" - but a bit of "fiction for the betterment of humankind" is o.k.).
● Hopkirk x 2: She reports that AHMM's Simon Allford won the RIBA presidential election - "but turnout was just 13%."
● She talks to British architects who "lament 'lowest turnout in 30 years'" and the "calls for review as 'pitiful' 13.2% bother to vote for RIBA president." + RIBA's Alan Jones responds.
● ASLA announces Torey Carter-Conneen, who has spent "a lifetime of committed advocacy for a more just society," as its new Chief Executive Officer (great pick!).
● Exhibit Columbus announces its 2020-2021 curatorial theme, "New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of The Middle City?" - and the 5 (very cool!) recipients of the Miller Prize who hail from Minneapolis, Miami and Madrid, Chicago, Brooklyn, and London.
● Wachs reports on the 30 recipients of new National Organization of Minority Architects fellowships that support BIPOC architecture students who will now take on "paid internships at firms across the country, virtually" ("take note: Most are looking for full-time work when they graduate").
● The German Design Council bestows the ICONIC AWARDS 2020 on Kengo Kuma and Associates as Architects of the Year, and Alberto Caiola Studio as Interior Designers of the Year + link to "a comprehensive summary of all winners."
● Eyefuls of Dominique Perrault Architecture's winning entry in the Hangang District Urban Design International Master Competition, along with eyefuls of 2nd place winners and other invited entrants.
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Aaron Betsky: An Image of Our Post-Covid Future: how a photograph from the protests in Detroit can serve as a guidebook for the profession: What struck me...was the confluence of symbolism...The Renaissance Center is now...a relic of a bygone era of urban renewal...an emblem of how increasingly useless buildings as objects have become...it makes me wonder why anybody is still building new office buildings...the pandemic and the civil unrest has pointed to an even larger issue...We need to think beyond such objects...We will design the commons, not the castle...if architects understand that they must work with and for the people who were pictured...then they will have a good sense of the task at hand. -- Laura Walker/SmithGroup- Architect Magazine
Susannah Black: Not Back to Normal - Part 1: An interview with [architect, urbanist, author, and educator] John Massengale on urbanism after the pandemic: "I think what we have now is an opportunity. We don’t need to go back to normal, or just stick it out - we can use this time to make places that are better than normal...the first step toward a more livable city is to make it a city for people and not cars...I think that this pandemic can allow us to question a lot of Modernism with a capital “M.” Not just sprawl, not just highways, but a lot of aspects of urban form."- Breaking Ground
Kaley Overstreet: Why It's Not Quite Time to Give Up City Living: Although it’s true that some suburban transplants have unshackled their lives from the urban areas that they once called home...the real story lies with the data that predicts a different, and more vibrant future for our cities...There are undoubtedly people who have flocked to the more rural areas and who won’t return...but a close look at the numbers shows that the movement isn’t as great as we may think...City dwellers aren’t looking for homes in the suburbs, but other similar cities...a new lease on life in a place not so different from where they were already living.- ArchDaily
Jonathan Zasloff: I Have Spent My Career Advocating for Fair Housing. It's Good to See Obama's Rule Go: The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, as adopted by the Obama administration and scrapped by the Trump administration, didn't include the policy tools necessary to achieve fair housing: Withdrawing the rule represents a crucial first step in breaking down racial segregation - for reasons completely opposite to Trump's intentions...In fairness to AFFH rule, it certainly helps to establish a unified Assessment Tool for state and local governments...But the rule does nothing to advance fair housing... Celebrating the AFFH rule presents the real danger that it will become a ceiling rather than a floor for future fair housing policy.- PLANetizen
Carey L. Biron: 'Unite us': Policing debate spurs U.S. urban design rethink: City planning can tear communities apart or bring them together, practitioners say: As the United States grapples with issues of race, inequality and policing...Justin Garrett Moore/NYC Public Design Commission and others say the conversation needs to include a focus on the role of urban planners and designers...Design and planning should be receiving more attention in conversations about community rebuilding..."We took down all of our 'no' signs." -- Julian Agyeman/Tufts University; Kurt Christiansen/American Planning Association/APA; Bryan Lee Jr./Design Justice; Jay Pitter/Canadian Urban Institute; Mark Treskon/Urban Institute- Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Michael Caton: Architecture Needs a Culture Shift: As society grapples with the pervasiveness of institutional racism, design firms looking to take action must factor in two components: Being on the right side of history is seldom comfortable nor overwhelmingly popular...The path to the formation of specific solutions to combat organizational biases runs through organizational cultures of candor and trust - held accountable by data. Amid the sweeping awakening to the insidiousness of racial caste in America, organizational inaction is complicity in sustaining systems of inequity.- Architect Magazine
Rachel Shabi: Sanctuary in the city: how urban parks saved our summer: Created by the Victorians as Britain industrialised, city parks and green spaces have ‘become living rooms’ during the pandemic: The surge in use created greater interest in previously overlooked green spaces...Historians think we are currently using parks in the manner originally intended...Some particulars of the coronavirus crisis have helped forge our reclamation of urban green spaces...the worry is that parks will become ever-more commercialised, rendering these landscapes less inclusive or accessible precisely at the time we value them most.- Guardian (UK)
Blair Kamin: Mies van der Rohe’s workhorse tower gets a vibrant remake as a dorm at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology: ...Kacek Hall...that Mies designed in the mid-1950s as faculty, staff and married student housing and that...Dirk Denison has creatively converted into an undergraduate dorm...squat, lacking the perfect proportions and elegant refinements of Mies’ iconic, steel-and-glass high-rises...But it speaks with an honest, sometimes stirring, voice...Even the...so-called Mies police, are unlikely to object to the result...it all feels fresh, not nostalgic...[It] isn’t Crown Hall...but not every building has to be a masterpiece to merit preservation. The workhorses, this fine renovation reminds us, are worth saving too. -- Justin DeGroff- Chicago Tribune
Matt Hickman: Los Angeles’s Hollywood & Highland complex to get new name, shift focus away from retail: ...the over-400,000-square-foot entertainment and shopping complex...will be getting a new name and a new, less retail-centric purpose as part of a major $100 million design overhaul...will be rechristened as Ovation Hollywood...has struggled and long been a frequent target of criticism, much of it design-focused...Instead of a tourist-snaring shopping mall presented in a mishmash of architectural styles, [it] is meant to be a toned-down and diversified town square of sorts catering to both locals and tourists. -- EE&K (2001); Gensler- The Architect's Newspaper
Richard Buday: Modern Architects Stink at Lying. Luckily, That’s Fixable: Why learning to tell tall tales might help the profession: ...modern architects’ most conspicuous trait is their aesthetic honesty...Sincerity leaves little room for imagination...disinformation works and works well. For architects who realize and embrace this phenomenon...The opportunity for architects to reshape reality and, therefore, society cannot be overstated...Successful influencers appeal to people’s emotional center, not their reasoning mechanism...I am not sanctioning moral abandonment or ethics code violations. My credo is always be truthful...Except in design. There, we are free to sully ourselves in fiction for the betterment of humankind.- Common Edge
Elizabeth Hopkirk: Simon Allford wins RIBA presidential election: AHMM co-founder beat four other contenders - but turnout was just 13%: ...the first time students have been allowed to vote...Turnout was just 13.2%. Allford was elected at the fourth stage with 58.9% of the votes. The RIBA said 17.2% of chartered members voted and just 6.66% of newly enfranchised student, associate and affiliate members voted.- BD/Building Design (UK)
Elizabeth Hopkirk: Architects lament ‘lowest turnout in 30 years’: Calls for review as ‘pitiful’ 13.2% bother to vote for RIBA president: Jack Pringle: “If the turnout was low, it just underlines the work we have in front of us to make RIBA relevant to all architects again.” + RIBA’sAlan Jones' response- BD/Building Design (UK)
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Announces Torey Carter-Conneen as New Chief Executive Officer: He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Prior to his leadership at AILA, Torey was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Center For American Progress (CAP), COO and later Acting President and CEO at the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Institute...- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Exhibit Columbus reveals 2020-2021 curatorial theme and Miller Prize recipients: ...the just-announced curatorial theme..."New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of The Middle City?"...5 recipients of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize, all of which, at the invitation of Zeiger and Gil, will conceive site-responsive outdoor installations... -- Mimi Zeiger; Iker Gil/MAS Studio; Dream the Combine (Minneapolis); ecosistema urbano (Miami and Madrid); Future Firm (Chicago; Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn); Sam Jacob Studio (London)- The Architect's Newspaper
Audrey Wachs: New National Organization of Minority Architects fellowship supports BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color] architecture students: ...accepted 30 to a new fellowship that places future architects in paid internships at firms across the country, virtually. The NOMA Foundation Fellowship allows recipients to do design research at participating firms under the guidance and mentorship of senior architects...funded by the American Institute of Architects Large Firm Roundtable (AIA LFRT)...take note: Most of the following fellowship recipients are looking for full-time work when they graduate. -- Kimberly Dowdell/HOK- The Architect's Newspaper
ICONIC AWARDS 2020: Kengo Kuma and Associates Named 'Architects of the Year' by the German Design Council: ...Alberto Caiola Studio (“Interior Designers of the Year”). The “Architects’ Client of the Year” honor went to Adidas AG + A link to a comprehensive summary of all winners.- ArchDaily
Results: Hangang District Urban Design International Master Competition: “The Transformation and Revival of Industrial Heritages” -- Dominique Perrault Architecture; WANG Jianguo Team; ZHUANG Weimin Team; Coop Himmelb(l)au Team; UNStudio Team; Academician CHENG Taining- Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine (China) / Hebei Provincial Department of Housing & Urban-Rural Development, Dept. of Natural Resources of Hebei Province / Handan Municipal People’s Government
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