Welcome to prison, and a celebration of liberty. Ai Weiwei, the big man of Beijing, has spent years discovering pockets of freedom in the most straitened circumstances, resisting every effort by the Chinese government to shut him down.
This week he opens a major new exhibition in a place that makes that resistance literal: on Alcatraz [...]. The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. But this prison is decommissioned, and Ai is using it to extraordinary effect. — theguardian.com
Friday, August 22:Zaha Hadid sues architecture critic Martin Filler over book review: Hadid is responding to allegedly defamatory comments made by Filler regarding her 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar.The Demolition of 5 Pointz Has Begun: The "Graffiti Mecca" was slated for demolition last...
Moscow City Hall has formally prohibited the moving or reassembly of a Soviet architectural landmark that has been under threat of demolition blamed by conservationists on real estate developers. [...]
The radio tower's materials, architectural composition, structural elements and location all fall under the conservation order by City Hall's heritage department, published by Consultant.ru judicial database.
This puts an end to earlier proposals to move or dismantle and rebuild the tower. — themoscowtimes.com
In late May of 2012, my friends and I travelled up to Montreal from upstate New York for the first time, only vaguely aware of the escalating student demonstrations there. When we arrived, we found ourselves in a sea of red. The students we stayed with all had little red felt squares pinned to...
Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. — FILMS FOR ACTION
When Alfredo Jaar’s glittering “A Logo for America” video first played on a Times Square billboard in 1987, it riled up New Yorkers. [...] shows the words “This is not America” inside the outline of the United States. “A Logo for America” will receive a second life this week; beginning on August 1, the video will pop up on Times Square signs and screens between 11:57 pm and 12:00 am. But this 2.0 version loses some of the video’s original intent to reach a broad—and hopefully attentive—audience. — artfcity.com
The story of Boyle Heights reminds us that urban highway teardowns don't always end in victory. [...]
"What we don't know, however, is the story of the losers, the urban men and women who fought the freeway, unsuccessfully, on the conventional terms of political struggle, who weren't able to pack up and move on, and who channeled expressive cultural traditions to register their grievances against the presence of unwanted infrastructure." — citylab.com
Istanbul is the city of transformation and contradiction. As an urbanist, I am trying to keep record and make sense of this transformation and am especially interested in its winners and losers. At the moment we live in a giant construction site, where skyscrapers, mega projects and urban renewal projects are taking place all around. There is a gold rush to real-estate development. — theguardian.com
Baku is gaining international recognition as a centre of cutting-edge architectural design thanks in part to a major award given recently to London-based architect Zaha Hadid for her Heydar Aliyev Centre. The Azerbaijani capital’s new look has plenty of local fans, but also some detractors. [...]
The latest wave of protests occurred in February and March, prompted by a government announcement that 40,000 downtown residents would be evicted to make way for a “green zone” [...]. — theguardian.com
Late last week, Chilean police arrived at Santiago’s Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral and removed a white bin of gray ash — allegedly all that remained of $500 million worth of student debt notes.
In the video, which went viral last week in Chile, Papas Fritas confessed he had recently stolen the documents from the for-profit Universidad del Mar. Then he set them ablaze in a defiant, brazen act of art. — washingtonpost.com
Saadiyat Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, has seen $27 billion in investments pour in as the island hopes to become a new beacon of culture in the region
developers behind the island have received international attention for the poor conditions in which migrant laborers work and live. Reports have found that in some cases, the control employers hold over the island's workers, such as withholding their passports to prevent them from returning to their home countries, amounts to forced labor. — Al Jazeera America
Saadiyat Island includes a half-billion-dollar branch of the Louvre Museum designed by Jean Nouvel, a national museum designed by Norman Foster and a variety of luxury resorts, golf clubs, marinas and private villas.Where does an architect's responsibility begin and where does it end?
One of the great feats of 20th-century engineering, a landmark of modernist architecture is facing demolition. Late last month, the Russian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting agreed to the dismantling of the Shabolovka radio tower in Moscow.
This is the Eiffel Tower of Russia, a 50-story conical structure of steel latticework, shaped roughly like a collapsing telescope, designed by the engineer Vladimir Shukhov. — nytimes.com
Researcher Anastasia Swearingen claims that "LEED certification is little more than a fancy plaque displayed by these ‘green’ buildings", and compares energy use intensity (EUI) of LEED certified buildings to non-certified buildings. Quoting data from the Green Building Report for the District of Columbia, she concludes that "For LEED-certified buildings, their EUI was 205, compared to 199 for non-certified buildings..." — treehugger.com
In the wake of the controversial demolition of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, Northwestern University has moved forward with the process for selecting an architecture firm to design the building's replacement. Firms that protested the demolition, however, have been excluded from consideration for designing the building's replacement—and may be blacklisted from other projects at Northwestern. — architectmagazine.com
For the latest in their inventive visual mockery of Cooper Union president and unalloyed economic realist Jamshed Bharucha, the student activists of Free Cooper Union satirically reconfigured a Banksy work that popped up near the school’s campus over the weekend. — hyperallergic.com
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