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
Dressed in reflective yellow construction gear while working under the cover of darkness early Monday, a small group of artists installed a tribute to NSA-leaker Edward Snowden in a Brooklyn park.
But it was gone by midday.
The Snowden bust stood atop a column at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, a site built to honor more than 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the American Revolutionary War. — mashable.com
In testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Joseph P. Clancy, the director of the Secret Service, on Tuesday urged lawmakers to give him money to build a detailed replica of the White House to aid in training officers and agents to protect the real thing. Beltsville, about 20 miles from the real White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is the location of a 500-acre Secret Service training site in the verdant terrain of southern Maryland. — NY Times
File this one under duplitecture (noun: an intentional, functioning copy of a pre-existing, and often familiar, piece of architecture).After garnering criticism following a series of – erm – security lapses (here's a timeline), the Secret Service has requested $8 million to construct a...
Nashville’s bid to build its first high-capacity transit line is dead, the Tennessean is reporting today. It’s a victory for the Koch brothers-funded local chapter of Americans for Prosperity and a defeat for the city’s near-term hopes of transitioning to less congested, more sustainable streets.
The project, known as the Amp, called for a 7-mile busway linking growing East Nashville to downtown and parts of the city’s west end. — streetsblog.org
While the cult of the star architect has soared over the decades and property developers have displaced bankers as the new super-rich, the figure of the local town planner has become comic shorthand for a certain kind of faceless, under-whelming dullard. [...]
“Planning has become unpopular, disconnected from the public and increasingly beholden to the developer rather than the people it is meant to serve.” — theguardian.com
At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
Barack Obama still has two long years left to cement his legacy as something between “yes we can” and “at least I tried”. Regardless of how history remembers him, Obama will always represent a shift from the old guard, an idealistic starting point for what (and who) future presidents could be. For now, though, his official museum, his keeper of secrets: couldn’t that still be a tangible change we can believe in? At least an architectural one? — theguardian.com
The 10-to-1 vote by the National Capital Planning Commission represented a significant milestone for the tribute to the World War II general and 34th president, which has been stalled since 2011. The vote allows the Eisenhower Memorial Commission to take its new design to the Commission of Fine Arts, the other federal agency that must give a green light before construction can begin. — washingtonpost.com
Regardless, there are two paths forward. One is to scrap the project and start over with an open public competition, which would cost around $17 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The other is to push forward with the existing plan to finalize the memorial design and begin breaking ground.
We favor the latter. [...] And the current design is nowhere near a “monstrosity,” as some have called it; it is a novel take on memorialization [...]. — washingtonpost.com
Homeowners who "pretend" to care about architecture are "nimbies in disguise" who in reality want to block any development in their local area, Boris Johnson has said.
In a scathing assessment, the Mayor of London said homeowners are dishonestly claiming they care about new homes being affordable or well-designed, in fact they simply oppose new developments entirely.
Mr Johnson has promised to increase house-building in the capital, and wants to see 45,000 new homes by 2018. — telegraph.co.uk
Obama has proposed a $302 billion, four-year transportation spending plan that is paid in part by closing corporate tax loopholes [...] The White House maintains that 65% of U.S. roads are rated in less than good condition, 25% of bridges require significant repair or can't handle today's traffic, and 45% of Americans lack access to transit. — Al Jazeera
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...
Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers. — theguardian.com
Situating The Mound of Vendôme, the current exhibition on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, requires looking back into Paris' history after the French Revolution. For a tumultuous two months in 1871, the city was under the control of the Commune de Paris, a socialist revolutionary...
HOK has just unveiled its design for the Obama Presidential Library. Although several institutions in Chicago have submitted their own bids for the new museum and library, the global architecture and engineering office states that it submitted this design in coordination with the Museum Campus Foundation, which is an organization comprised of a number of community groups located in Bronzeville. — chicago.curbed.com
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