In May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) catapulted Ada Colau into power as the city’s first female mayor. Ten months earlier, the group didn’t even exist.
With no money and little experience, just how did they wrest the city from the entrenched political caste that had been running it for the past 40 years? Not surprisingly, Barcelona en Comú has since been inundated with requests for an answer... — the Guardian
"In response, the group produced a step-by-step explanation – How to Win Back the City en Comú"Barcelona en Comú is a citizen platform launched in 2014 that is the minority government in power right now in Barcelona. Many of its members participated in the 15M movement and come from political...
“Trump ... believes in using expensive materials that convey prestige and wealth, and people buy into that,” said Jerold Kayden, professor of urban planning and design at Harvard University. He said in some ways the legacy of Trump buildings is a matter of taste. “To some they are the height of ambition and the height of prestige and to others they are gaudy, but he has certainly pioneered with some others architecture as brand.” — marketplace.org
"Other New Yorkers view Trump’s investment in luxury buildings in undervalued locations in the '90s as a contribution to New York’s renewal. To them, his construction represented investment at a time when New York was struggling with blight."Related stories in the Archinect news:The Problem...
Gov. Jerry Brown [...] laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save.
Brown issued an executive order enshrining a conservation ethic in state regulations — banning permanently some wasteful water practices and ordering regulators to develop new water-efficiency standards designed to drive down long-term urban use. — latimes.com
Previous Archinect stories covering the drought crisis in California and the Southwest U.S.:Have these heavy rains alleviated the California drought?Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissionsHow is water used in California?"Grassroots Cactivism," 1st place winner in...
Infrastructure was once at the heart of American public policy. Works such as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, and the Interstate Highway System transformed the economy. Today, we spend significantly less, as a share of G.D.P., on infrastructure than we did fifty years ago [...] polls show that infrastructure spending is popular with a majority of voters across the income spectrum. Historically, it enjoyed bipartisan support from politicians, too. If it’s so popular, why doesn’t it happen? — newyorker.com
The Polish government plans to demolish about 500 Soviet monuments throughout the country, head of the Institute of National Remembrance Lukasz Kaminsky said in an interview with online portal Onet.pl, the RBC news website reported Thursday.
Kaminsky — whose institute is responsible for investigating crimes against the Polish nation — said that plans for the demolition of the monuments, would be sent to local authorities in the coming weeks. — the Moscow Times
According to the report, the monuments will be relocated to museums where they can serve as a "witness of hard times."Many Soviet war memorial have been vandalized and demolished in Poland, whose population views the Soviet role in the Second World War "with ambiguity or outright...
The idea, besides removing as many vestiges of Communist rule as possible, is to create a concrete expression of the nationalism [Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban's] governing party espouses. [...]
“These projects, when lumped together, probably constitute the biggest such concentrated architectural project in Budapest in 100 years,” [...]
“He is trying to take the existing city and put it back to the shape it had before 1944...The park is a victim of this whole political machinery.” — nytimes.com
Learn more about a couple of the controversial projects mentioned:First glimpse: SANAA wins over Snøhetta for Budapest's new National Gallery + Ludwig MuseumThe fascinating DIY architecture of these Hungarian summer houses brings back childhood memoriesThree winners, including Sou Fujimoto, are...
...eye-catching edifices began as China’s way of announcing its arrival as a powerful player on the world stage. Now, however, the Chinese government has changed course: It has officially declared this to be “weird” architecture that must be stopped. Chinese leaders have turned their backs on these structures, a shift that underscores China’s new conception of itself and its ambitions for the future [...] — the New Republic
"But the government’s mandate explicitly addresses both the function and form of new buildings, and the planning imperative seems designed to go beyond improving the quality of life. The end of “weird” architecture ties in to the government’s recent efforts to champion frugality...
Adorned with gold and marble, [the Trump Tower] looks like Saddam Hussein went on a shopping spree with Liberace.
To make way for its construction, Mr Trump demolished the handsome Art Deco Bonwit Teller department store. He promised to donate its bas-relief carvings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art but it turned out they were too expensive to remove so they were smashed to pieces on site instead. — Financial Times
Loud, pushy, indifferent to anything but self-touted glamour: Donald Trump's politics and his buildings share a great deal in common. In this piece, The Financial Times' reigning design critic Edwin Heathcote briefly touches on the repugnant qualities that the Donald's politics and his buildings...
As architects, we are living at a time of shifting paradigms. [...] It’s why I’m so interested in how architects and urban planners engage with other fields – economics, security, the environment and so on. Our challenge must be to go beyond architecture and speak the languages of these other disciplines, before translating our discussions into formal design proposals. [...] Our ultimate focus is still on form, but what informs this has expanded dramatically. — theguardian.com
Just a few key takeaways from Alejandro Aravena's piece for The Guardian:"As curator of Reporting From The Front, I want to reverse the idea that the Biennale only deals with issues that are of interest to other architects. We have begun by identifying problems that every citizen can not only...
With the issues of serving openly in the military and same-sex marriage now largely resolved, the fight for all-gender restrooms has emerged as the latest civil rights issue in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) community — particularly the “T” part.
Schools and universities (...), museums (...), restaurants (...) and even the White House (...) are recasting the traditional men’s/women’s room, resulting in a dizzying range of (often creative) signage and vocabulary. — the New York Times
The President of la Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Alejandro Aravena, met today at Ca’ Giustinian with the representatives of 48 Countries.
The 15th Exhibition will take place from May 28th to November 27th 2016...in the Giardini and the Arsenale and in various other venues in Venice.
The title chosen by Alejandro Aravena for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition is: REPORTING FROM THE FRONT — La Biennale di Venezia
"There are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life," Alejandro Aravena states in the announcement. "More and more people in the planet are in search for...
The Obama administration will change the name of North America's tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the White House said Sunday, a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of President Barack Obama's historic visit to Alaska.
By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning "the high one," Obama waded into a sensitive and decades-old conflict between residents of Alaska and Ohio. — AP
"Alaskans have informally called the mountain Denali for years, but the federal government recognizes its name invoking the 25th president, William McKinley, who was born in Ohio and assassinated early in his second term."
“There’s still a myth surrounding Le Corbusier, that he’s the greatest architect of the 20th century, a generous man, a poet,” [journalist Xavier] de Jarcy said. That vision, he added, is “a great collective lie.” [...]
“He is someone who thought that reform, social change, could only be made by an authority.” [...]
“That’s why Le Corbusier is interesting, because of his own passions and the way he crosses the passions of the century.” — nytimes.com
For more on the tug-of-war over Le Corbusier's politics and architectural ideology:Pompidou responds to "fascist" Le Corbusier claimsLe Corbusier "militant fascist" claims overshadow 50th death anniversaryIs Le Corbusier the real grandfather of hip-hop?
In response to a freedom of information request I filed with the FBI in June of 2014, the agency has finally released 44 heavily redacted pages. Why would the FBI have a file on Bucky Fuller? Well, for one thing, he was a counterculture icon with unconventional ideas about resource allocation, environmental conservation, and globalization. And as we know, the FBI has historically been rather uncomfortable with counterculture icons. — paleofuture.gizmodo.com
It’s a Thursday morning in Beijing, and the world’s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei, is sitting with one of the world’s most controversial technologists, Jacob Appelbaum, in the second-floor lobby of the East Hotel. [...]
On a whim, Ai suggests that they call Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living for the last two years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. [...]
Ai and Assange talk for several minutes about the mundanities of the dissident life. — fusion.net
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