The city needs places of solace, calm, order and beauty – even prettiness. But prettiness and concealment are anaesthetic. The urban mind needs its regular confrontations with tangle, too, a bracing shock that places the world in perspective and informs us, without either warmth or rancour, that our lives are enmeshed in a vital mechanism. The city is a machine for teaching people to be city-dwellers: one made up of crushing cogs and steel. — aeon.co
Moscow wants to make Russia the "center of the sporting world," but the price tag will be steep. Four years before the 2018 World Cup, costs are exploding in the next host country, with the two most important stadiums each costing more than a billion euros. — spiegel.de
In New York City history and lore, the Second Avenue subway is the Loch Ness Monster crossed with the Abominable Snowman. Politicians, transit planners, and everyone in between have witnessed this East Side subway line face countless stops and starts [...] And yet, the Second Avenue line has become a beacon for New York's future and a symbol of the numerous challenges facing a global city that must, in light of massive costs and slow build-outs, expand its transit network to stay competitive. — citylab.com
The practice of using corporate largess to finance restoration projects for public antiquities was once fairly rare here. But with the nation struggling with a stagnant economy and crushing public debt — Rome is flirting off and on with bankruptcy — politicians are now looking to private companies and international sources to help preserve Italy’s cultural heritage. — nytimes.com
The challenge requires sophisticated understanding of the resources — human, physical, digital, spatial, and civic — that libraries offer to their users. In the conversation below, Shannon Mattern, a scholar who works on libraries, archives, and media infrastructures, and Nate Hill, Deputy Director of the Chattanooga Public Library, talk about what these resources are, how they are evolving, and what design can contribute to how they are deployed. — urbanomnibus.net
As money has piled up in recent decades, Chinese are turning to culture and the country is in a museum-building boom. Last year one museum was built every day on average, though the rush has since “slowed” to about one every three days, says Cathy Giangrande, co-author with Miriam Clifford and Antony White of the “Chinese Museums Association Guide,” an updated version of their 2009 book “China: Museums.” — NY Times
It’s a simple yet elegant solution to the bane of concert, theater and sports event attendees everywhere. A light above each restroom stall glows green when the stall door is open and turns red when the door is locked, instantly showing which stalls are available. Allen Klevens, co-founder and CEO of Tooshlights, an L.A.-based startup, says that the technology could potentially cut wait times by up to 50 percent. — forbes.com
The trademark effort was reportedly spurred by copycat competitors seeking to emulate the Steve Jobs-inspired minimalism (and massive business success) of Apple’s retail store. Alleged store copycat Microsoft, by the way, has its own trademark on its not-at-all-inspired-by-Apple retail stores... — qz.com
Microsoft's trademark layoutOf course, it isn’t just dueling technology giants trademarking their retail layouts. The term of art for this kind of intellectual property protection is “trade dress,” and it has long been a staple of the retail world.
Steven Holl has been announced as one of six 2014 laureates of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. Bestowed by the Japan Art Association, the annual award is one of the highest international prizes for architecture, painting, sculpture, music, and theatre/film. It was...
The Urban Green Council, which calls these glass towers “high cholesterol buildings,” published a report earlier this month, which asserts that high energy use associated with the use of clear glass degrades air quality and exacerbates global warming... the Council is urging for the reduction of transparent glass, replaced with heavily insulated solid walls or highly advanced glass facades that would be more expensive. — 6sqft.com
It would be better to reconsider this wholesale demolition. Especially as the proposed replacement, designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, leaves much to be desired. [...] Or maybe it’s the quintessential Angeleno building? After all, replacing an aging faithful spouse with a younger, more stylish trophy wife is an established Hollywood custom. — Zócalo Public Square
“Our Chinese clients have their sights set on London, and they know what they want,” says Keith Griffiths, the Welsh-born chairman of Aedas, who presides over the 1,400-strong practice from its Hong Kong headquarters. “They are used to high rise, high density, truly mixed-use developments – having everything on one site, so you can live, work and play without ever leaving the building. We think that's the way London needs to densify.” — theguardian.com
Martino Stierli, a Swiss art history professor, has been appointed chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, Glenn D. Lowry, the museum’s director announced Tuesday.
Mr. Stierli, who will start next March, succeeds Barry Bergdoll, who stepped down last year to teach art history at Columbia University and remains a part-time curator at MoMA. — artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com
Several thousand Palestinians, defying the urging of Hamas to remain in their homes, fled areas in northern Gaza early Sunday after Israel warned them through fliers and phone calls of major attacks to come. — New York Times
Thousands of Palestinians, heeding the warning pamphlets dropped by Israeli jets, are fleeing from Northern Gaza. Many are crowding inside United Nations-run schools. As the death toll rises – entirely on the Palestinian side – a potential cease-fire agreement developed by Egypt will be...
Artist Julien F. Thomas and architecture office Hughes Condon Marler have designed a coffee bar in Vancouver that disconnects you from all wireless networks once you’re inside.
The Faraday Café in Vancouver got its name from the Faraday Cage, a material shield around the bar’s interior that was built by the designers to block all electromagnetic signals. By creating a place without any digital connections the owners [...] hope to restore non-digital, social interaction between people. — popupcity.net
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