Fred Scharmen in a new Op-Ed entitled "Sticks and Stones; Ai Weiwei and the Uses of Architecture", offers his opinion about whether or not media should "protest the treatment of Ai Weiwei by ceasing promotion of all new architectural work in China? Should architects refuse to take on new work in China? Should we continue to support the work of architects and artists in China, but only with a disclaimer?"
Ann Lui in a new feature writes "LEED turns a blind eye to worker safety" and argues that if LEED is all about building better communities, in the future it should also account for the "Sustainability of Workers' Rights".
Fred Scharmen in a new Op-Ed entitled "Sticks and Stones; Ai Weiwei and the Uses of Architecture", offers his opinion about whether or not media should "protest the treatment of Ai Weiwei by ceasing promotion of all new architectural work in China? Should architects refuse to take on new work in China? Should we continue to support the work of architects and artists in China, but only with a disclaimer?" toasteroven replies that "talking about the social impact of architecture is a luxury many of us cannot afford...I'm not saying that this debate isn't important - it is extremely important - but those who have the most to tell also have the most to lose...There is a lot of fear in our profession - and it keeps most of us quiet." hey now writes that "I admire the author's sense of social awareness and advocacy of a worthy cause but, as a designer working and living in China, I find this Op-Ed to be extremely self-righteous and generally ignorant of the actual conditions here." While, sameolddoctor believes that not building in China isn't the key. It is the PR angle that is important. As someone with first hand experience he suggests that "What WOULD matter, though, is if journals and websites stopped publishing chinese projects and glorifying them, in the same way Anish Kapoor et al are trying to convince international art dealers and galleries to not sell in China."
Meanwhile Mecanoo architecten has been selected by the district government of Shenzhen to design a new cultural complex in this Southern Chinese city. To which Orhan Ayyüce responds with and image entitled AI WEIWEI's WICKED PROBLEM in Shenzen.
The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School has served the historic New Orleans African-American neighborhood of Tremé since it opened in 1955. Celebrated worldwide for its innovative, regionally-expressive modern design – the structure sustained moderate damage during the storms and levee breach of 2005. Although it is scheduled for demolition in Summer 2011, DOCOMOMO Louisiana is advocating for its restoration via adaptive reuse.
And for a bit of humor in our post about one of the 2011 RIBA Award winners Middelfart Savings Bank by 3XN hanque comments "beautiful building. unfortunate name."
Architectural Record notes a "trend is emerging that may have once seemed unthinkable. Firms are hiring again." As Paul Petrunia points out "We've been noticing a ongoing increase in job listings in Archinect's job board."
For instance check out this Senior Urban Planner position at OMA. Or the Professor of Urban Design opening at SCAD Savannah.
Samuel at University of Tennessee, provides some more progress updates on the New Norris house. They have been planting vegetable beds, installing a grey-water system and installing a garden cistern.
While Matthew at University of Illinois has arrived in København for the summer where he will be working on a super secret project and eventually taking a studio with DIS. He promises pictures and updates later.
Member work updates
David Cuthbert sends out a call for submissions for Axis the Journal of the Caribbean School of Architecture's 11th edition. The topic for which will be Diversity.
a few weeks ago barry lehrman was looking for information on Green roof monitoring equipment/sensors? eyewash said "Check out: http://www.fondriest.com/", After doing some research barry came back and posted that "the ASLA green roof in DC uses HOBO temperature sensors and Sigma 950 Flow Meters. the HOBO sensors can be found here"
barley is looking for a "very economical way to do a long window in a wood stud exterior wall" To which citizen offers up "How about Gehry's early houses?...Also: hooray for exposing framing!"
gondol3 starts a joke(y) thread entitled The 12 Labors of Hercules Architect. The list of which includes labors such as "Realize (at least) 1 of Yona Friedman's ideas" but jbushkey actually offers up a more realistic and pressing option "Convert the suburban landscape from a sprawling mess into something worth caring about."
pieroarguello recently saw an interview wherein Paul Goldberger, stated that Frank Gehry has had the greatest effect, greatest impact of any architect, certainly in the last 20-25 years. pieroarguello disagrees and asks for your opinion. dblock agrees writing, "it's a pretty valid argument. Despite criticism of Gehry's work from a design standpoint, the Bilbao museum was a very significant project. It brought Architects back into the public eye and paved the way for Zaha, OMA and those other names." Even though HandsumCa$hMoneyYo disagrees "with the idea that Gehry is the most "inspirational" of the past 25 years" he concedes "that he has had a major "effect" or "impact." His pioneering use of advance digital technologies (e.g., using airplane software to achieve his complexly curving buildings) by itself has had a huge impact on contemporary architecture, yo!"
Finally, ctc3b recently had a sketchbook stolen from an exhibit at the school that he teaches in. postal is disgusted "wow, wtf !? Those are my immediate thoughts. That's just kinda disgusting imho." While uhhhhh writes, "That really SUCKS. Unfortunately, at both of the schools where I have studied, I have seen it happen multiple times." and tuna tries to offer a bright side "you must have some serious talent if some thief looked at your work and said "i gotta have that!!"
Don't miss Christopher Hawthorne's piece about the current push amongst contemporary American museums: including SFMOMA, the Whitney, the Barnes Foundation and MoMA to plan various additions and exits, which while a boom for contemporary architects is a bust for architectural history. Hawthornes writes "Every museum wants precisely the sort of building, the kind of interior space, it doesn't have. And the number of museums now abandoning or forsaking significant pieces of architecture is surely unprecedented...This is the odd cultural moment we're living in: Never have museums been so eager to hire talented architects and give them large-scale commissions with generous budgets. And never have museums been so dismissive of architecture's civic or historic value."