Rather elegant," intoned the white-haired figure at the podium. He was speaking of Adolf Hitler's Reich Chancellery, designed in 1938 by Albert Speer. Up next on the screen was the Nuremberg Party Rally Grounds where brown-shirted Nazis paraded en masse. "I think it is really great architecture," said the lecturer. "You take off the swastikas, and you can admire it without feeling guilty." — Wall Street Journal
As you might expect, "Audience members shifted awkwardly in their seats, and a few walked out to protest the remarks by Léon Krier, opening a conference on Berlin at the Yale School of Architecture in February." Anyone manage to actually be there for this, or have any follow-up?
The mosque, which is a Unesco world heritage site, has been in rebel hands since earlier this year but the area around it is still contested. — BBC News
Both the state news agency and footage uploaded on YouTube show the 'disappearance' of Aleppo's Umayyad Mosque. The mosque is a Unesco world heritage site but has been at the heart of bitter fighting for several months as rebels try to oust President Bashar al-Assad. In photos published by AP...
The ancient Afghan city of Ghazni has been designated an Asian city of Islamic Culture by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. But outsiders will find it difficult to see the city's famous Islamic and pre-Islamic architectural wonders because of the Taliban insurgency. — BBC News
Ex-RIBA president Owen Luder described Thatcher, who died earlier today, as the ‘right person’ to lead the country during the early 80s recession – while Alfred Munkenbeck of Munkenbeck + Partners said her impact on the profession had been ‘mostly detrimental’. — architectsjournal.co.uk
Open letter to Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan, from the international community of arts & culture... Dear Mayor Pisapia, It is with regret and disappointment that we learn that Stefano Boeri was dismissed from his position as Councillor for Design, Fashion and Culture for the city of...
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement in opposition to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act, introduced Wednesday by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah). Among other things, the legislation would mandate an alternative to architect Frank Gehry's design for the Eisenhower Memorial and would eliminate further federal funding for the project. — aia.org
While architects and small firms would undoubtedly benefit from the income tax cuts and deduction, the sales tax on services is problematic for the architectural profession. If the tax plan is approved, architects may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage to out of state firms. — aia.org
Daniel Libeskind, who has built a reputation working on historically and culturally sensitive projects such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the reconstruction of New York’s World Trade Center site, said beautiful architecture was no excuse for working with “morally questionable” clients.
“Even if they produce gleaming towers, if they are morally questionable, I’m not interested,” he said in the interview with The Architects’ Journal. — independent.co.uk
Tens of thousands of people resumed mass demonstrations in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, on Saturday, intensifying their demands for more severe punishment for war criminals from the country’s 1971 liberation war, while also demanding justice for the slaying of Rajib Haider, an architect and blogger, who had been a leading organizer of the protests. — NYT
President Obama said, “These fine public servants both bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles. Our nation will be well-served by these individuals, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.” — whitehouse.gov
President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: Vinton G. Cerf – Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation Marta Araoz de la Torre – Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee Michael Graves &ndash...
“We need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek,” Clinton said...
“Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.” — politico.com
The idea for my final project, an architectural defense against drone warfare, came from the realization that law had no response to drone warfare. My own understanding of the ongoing [War on Terror pseudonym] as a civil rights issue is irrelevant, we only learn civil rights as a historical happening, not a current struggle. But architecture has a proud anti-legal tradition. Architecture is a way to protect people when law chooses not to. — chapatimystery.com
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
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