Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has faced censorship and imprisonment by China's government. Rita Braver reports on a U.S. exhibit of the dissident's creations. — youtube.com
We seem to have lost the political capacity to grapple with the big picture, the long range, the global scale. To a degree we've even lost the vocabulary. In design circles it's as if the perceived failures of mid 20th-century planning — exemplified by top-down urban renewal and personified by the power-brokering Robert Moses — have induced a kind of conceptual paralysis, an inability to formulate the public sector, or public works, in terms not beholden to a discredited history. — Places Journal
On Places, editor Nancy Levinson argues for an intensified political agenda for designers. As Barack Obama takes the oath of office for his second term, the longstanding tension between the pressing need for public action and the tenacious culture of privatization remains the critical dilemma of...
"I'm going to be intolerant of bad architecture," he says, describing how the former head of planning was a highways engineer who "let anything and everything through – including office blocks stacked on top of multistorey car parks.
"My idea of good architecture is about creating place. It's not about providing glitzy iconic buildings, competing one against the other, but how we use the best of what we've got." — guardian.co.uk
The main purpose of this community would be to isolate its residents from the propaganda that Beck believes Americans are exposed to in their current society, as well as provide them with freedom and a place to live that doesn’t discriminate based on income.
“Before you send your kids to college, you spend a week with us. We’re gonna tell them exactly, we will show them the truth, we will tell them what they’re going to try to do, and we will deprogram them every summer, if you care.” — rt.com
The oversize public monuments and buildings in the capital of North Korea confirm the subservience of the citizen to the state and display the ghastly aesthetic imperatives of totalitarian art. — online.wsj.com
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted eleven design firms for the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Worldwide New Construction A/E Design Services solicitation. — state.gov
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted eleven design firms for the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Worldwide New Construction A/E Design Services solicitation. The shortlisted firms are: BNIM Architects Ennead Architects Mack...
“I would hate to stop the process and lose the momentum, especially since a lot of time, money, and effort has been expended on this memorial,” he wrote. “However, given the continued opposition with the Eisenhower family, I question whether we can ever resolve the differences ... and whether it would be in our best interest to continue to move forward.” — washingtonpost.com
These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place, or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković…), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. — feeldesain.com
Originally a low income neighborhood of informal, mud brick housing, Sher-Pur was subject to government land grabs around 2004 and is now Kabul's wealthiest neighborhood. Built up using mashup of imported architectural designs from Dubai, the neighborhood is full of massive poppy palaces and narco palaces... as the international community pulls out ahead of the 2014 NATO withdrawal deadline, many of these elaborate mansions are sitting empty. Sher-Pur is becoming a ghost town of opulence. — sustainablecitiescollective.com
Conditions of scarcity demand new ways of thinking, an expansion of the role of the architect and designer outwards in order to function more broadly and imaginatively as spatial agents. In contrast to the regimes of austerity ... the territory of processes and networks opened up by scarcity is far more conducive to creative intervention. It is here that scarcity — which can seem at first a bleak prospect — can become the inspiration and context for constructive and transformative action. — Places Journal
What is the difference between scarcity and austerity? On Places, Jeremy Till contrasts the political ideology of austerity — imposed reductions of public services and social benefits — with the physical condition of scarcity — the measureable dwindling of finite resources...
The root cause of diminishing public resources and the privatization of urban public space today is precisely the privatization of our political system — a crisis that cannot be addressed simply by creating more public spaces or by making these public spaces more inclusive and accessible. This deeper crisis requires the attention and intervention of a much more active and engaged public, a public willing and capable of speaking up and mobilizing politically to change the system. — Places Journal
The recent wave of citizen protests — from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park to the streets of Athens — has brought renewed attention to the role of public space in democratic society. In an essay on Places (excerpted from the new book Beyond Zuccotti Park, by New Village...
Over the last three decades, the design of U.S. embassies has been a balancing act between the need to protect diplomats and staff and the desire to project a positive image of the United States: welcoming buildings that showcase transparency and openness versus imposing and intimidating fortresses. But attacks on U.S. facilities, especially in the post-9/11 era, have tended to tilt the conversation toward the latter... — npr.org
What constitutes a modern professional workplace is changing rapidly, and Gensler, the San Francisco design and architecture firm, is betting those changes will factor more heavily not only into clients’ interior design decisions, but every single real estate decision they make.
That bet led Gensler to hire a well-known name locally in both design and real estate circles: Robert A. Peck. — washingtonpost.com
The project received approval from the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) last year, but this week, with the plan returning for final sign-off on some late-hour landscaping tweaks, the board majority, for what appeared to be political reasons stemming from the gay-marriage flap, opted to abstain from voting on Monday. — independent.com
Revolutionary guards who are denied entry to an apartment have been known to scale a building’s walls with grappling hooks to dismantle receivers. It may seem like something out of a spy novel, but this cat-and-mouse game tells the deeper story of a complex exchange between the Islamic Republic and citizens of Tehran. In the absence of legitimate public space for discourse or demonstration, the satellite receiver opens a space for political dissent and cultural protest. — Places Journal
In contemporary Tehran, where the city's parks and plazas have been delegitimized by censorship and surveillance, the true public realm is inside the home. On Places, architect Rudabeh Pakravan examines the spatial politics of satellite television in Iran, with a close look at "the satellite man"...
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