Today’s News - Thursday, January 28, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow and Monday will be no-newsletter days - we'll be back Tuesday, February 2. In the meantime: Stay well. Stay safe - and wear a mask! (And check out the full moon tonight and tomorrow night!)

●  ANN feature: Samuel G. White: The Architecture of Public Buildings: The aspirations of a program that encourages good design should not be expressed in terms of style. The key difference between good and bad architecture is quality, not whether the cladding is rusticated limestone or perforated titanium.

●  Justin Davidson: "Even before COVID, superstar cities were shrinking: In London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York, the population is steady or falling. But that doesn't mean they're in trouble. Cities aren't doomed, much less already dead."

●  "The A&E System," a study from Columbia University's Buell Center, delves into "Who will design and manage the green infrastructure needed to combat climate change," and "what does this system reveal about the built environment's relationship to today's interconnected crises of mutual care, racial oppression, and climate? And what part do architects truly play?"

●  Brussat says "Da!" to "a marvelous half-hour video of the classical work of Mikhail Filippov - Russia's artful classicist" (his sketches are beautiful, too!).

●  Lloyd Alter cheers architect Richard Pedrantri teaming up with Plant Prefab to design the first 3 Passive House LivingHomes - "what I love about this program is that Plant Prefab is making it possible for other architects to be part of its collection - going for full Passive House certification."

●  Baldwin brings us eyefuls of LUCE et Studio's imaginative renovation of the non-profit Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park.

●  Studio Gang, landscape architects SCAPE, and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects make up the team reimagining the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (formerly Arkansas Arts Center) in Little Rock's MacArthur Park - "the design once again reveals the original 1937 limestone façade."

●  Construction is (finally) about to begin on the Armenian American in Glendale, California, designed by Alajajian Marcoosi Architects, that will rise on "a 1.7-acre green space in downtown Glendale that's being dramatically revamped by SWA Group - the museum's cube-shaped, distinctive facade is meant to evoke rock formations found in the Armenian Highlands."

●  One we couldn't resist: In Covid-hit New Orleans, instead of parades, homes have been turned into floats for Mardi Gras - on view now thru Ash Wednesday, February 17 (bunches of fab photos!).


●  Call for entries: International VinFast Global Showroom Design Competition for a design that will be used to showcase VinFast smart car models in international markets; prizes total $60,000 (the most impressive submissions will be projected in NYC's Times Square in April!).

●  Call for entries: HOME: Our Place: an international design event for students to design their ideal home; conceived by Building Beauty Faculty Member Duo Dickinson.

Weekend diversions + Page-turners:

●  An impressive line-up of architects, designers, and filmmakers from 14 cities around the world for The World Around day-long virtual summit on Saturday, curated by Beatrice Galilee - live-streamed on Dezeen and on the Guggenheim's YouTube channel.

●  The Municipal Art Society of New York is going virtual with its great walking tours, kicking off tomorrow - through Sunday.

●  16 "must-see films to inspire architects and architecture lovers" - synopses & "why you should watch" included (some new to us and some of our faves).

●  "Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci" at the West Vancouver Art Museum: "At a time when our relationship to the earth is of paramount importance, her projects reveal consistent and significant stewardship of the natural environment."

●  Kathleen Langjahr: "Form outshines function at MoMA's 'Broken Nature'" offering "an array of innovative ideas that ultimately prompt more concerns for the future of design - it feels too sanitized for an exhibition about the literal apocalypse."

●  Deborah Gans parses Koolhaas's "Countryside: The Future" at the Guggenheim (thru Feb. 15), and "Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures" at MoMA (now closed): "One body of work is determined to remain detached; the other is driven by political commitment" ("our present is the future that Lange's images foretold").

●  James Tarmy cheers "Radical Architecture of the Future" by Beatrice Galilee - she argues that a template for the future of architecture and design exists in buildings that have already been constructed - what the world could, and indeed should, look like."

●  Tom Davies of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design offers his reading list of "12 texts intended as flags or markers for the cracks that are present in our understanding of the communities and heritage of post-war housing" (they're also "entertaining reading").


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