Petitions and Design Ideas Sprout to Save Folk Art Museum Building.

East
Friday, April 19, 2013
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(Courtesy FolkMoMA)

(Courtesy FolkMoMA)

As the chorus of criticism swells against MoMA’s plan to demolish the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, a pair of petitions have been posted urging the Modern to reconsider its demolition plans. Also, a crowd-sourced tumblr, #FolkMoMA, is soliciting ideas for reuse of Williams and Tsien’s building. With all the action online, will anyone be taking to the streets for some old fashioned picketing? Will anyone chain themselves to the bronze facade? Has all this worry actually left the bubble of the architecture community?

View some of the FolkMoMA proposals after the jump.

Obit> Paolo Soleri, 1919-2013

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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Arcosanti, left, and Paolo Soleri, right. (Doctress Neutopia / Flickr; Courtesy Cosanti Foundation)

Arcosanti, left, and Paolo Soleri, right. (Doctress Neutopia / Flickr; Courtesy Cosanti Foundation)

The visionary architect and artist Paolo Soleri has died. He was best known as the mastermind behind Arcosanti, the ongoing experimental community outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Arcosanti, which has been under construction for more than 40 years, embodies Soleri’s idea of an architecture merged with the environment. More than 7,000 architecture students have worked on Arcosanti, and more than 50,000 people visit the site every year.

Though Soleri has been viewed as an almost mystical outlier in architecture, many of the design principles of Arcosanti mirror contemporary thinking in architecture and planning, including walkability, high density, diversity of uses, urban agriculture, and use of embodied energy. In addition to Arcosanti, Soleri designed buildings in Italy, New Mexico, and several sites across Arizona. According to the Cosanti Foundation, Soleri will be buried at Arcosanti following a private service. A public service will be held later this year.

More of Soleri’s work after the jump.

Michael Speaks Headed North to Syracuse University as New Architecture Dean

Dean's List, National
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
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Micheal Speaks (courtesy UK College of Design)

Micheal Speaks (courtesy UK College of Design)

Michael Speaks, Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, has just been appointed Dean of Architecture at Syracuse University. Mark Robbins left that post to direct the International Center of Photography in New York. Speaks, who has been at UK since 2008, cited a number of initiatives as his legacy in Kentucky, including many that engaged directly with urban and rural issues in the Commonwealth. “I arrived here at an inauspicious time, a very economically challenging one, ” he told AN. “One of our goals was to make sure that as many studios engaged with real world problems as possible.”
Read More

Toyo Ito Named 2013 Pritzker Laureate

International, Newsletter
Sunday, March 17, 2013
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Toyo Ito. (Courtesy Hyatt Foundation)

Toyo Ito. (Courtesy Hyatt Foundation)

The jurors of the Pritzker Architecture Prize have named Toyo Ito the 2013 laureate. Tokyo-based Ito has long been regarded as one of architecture’s most inventive minds, and he has produced a large and diverse body of work that pushes the limits of technology, materials, structure, and form. His buildings often express a joyful or poetic sensibility, and yet he seems to approach architecture anew with each project. This knack for reinvention and lack of a signature style accounts, perhaps, for the somewhat lower name recognition he has than some of his peers, all while he routinely creates spectacular and unexpected works of architecture.

Read More

Shiffman, Haggerty, Young Technologists Win Jacobs Medals

East
Friday, March 15, 2013
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Vin Cipolla of MAS, Cassie Flynn, Judith Rodin of the Rockefeller Foundation, Brandon Whitney, Rosanne Haggerty, Ron Shiffman, Erin Barnes, and Carl Skelton (photo: Syd London)

Last night, at the Frank Gehry-designed AIC building in far west Chelsea, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Arts Society honored an esteemed group of urban activists, designers, and community developers with Jane Jacobs Medals, a prestigious prize named for the ground breaking urban writer and activist. Ron Shiffman, founder of the Pratt Center for Community and Environmental Development, was awarded the medal for lifetime leadership. Roseanne Haggerty of Common Ground and Community Solutions, received the award to new ideas and activism. A new award for technology and innovation was given to Carl Skelton, the founder of Betaville, and Cassie Flynn, Erin Barnes, and Brandon Whitney, the creators of ioby (In Our Backyards), a crowdsourced sustainability platform (the trio also donned Jacobs-like glasses after accepting their award).

The event was originally scheduled for last November, but had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy, which damaged the IAC building as well as many of the galleries, businesses, and residences in the surrounding neighborhood. Social and environmental resilience were strong themes of the night, and Ron Shiffman closed the ceremony with a rallying cry for greater civic activism–a fitting message for an evening dedicated to Jacobs.

Groundbreaking> Snøhetta’s Star Turn on Broadway

East
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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Rendering of a redesigned Times Square. (Courtesy MIR)

Rendering of a redesigned Times Square. (Courtesy MIR)

Today, New York City broke ground on the new paving/plaza/seating design for Times Square, created by Snøhetta. Dark pavers inset with reflective stainless steel discs will provide a muted backdrop for the area’s frenzy of light and crowds. Monumental benches, with concealed electrical infrastructure for events, will provide a variety of seating, lounging, and viewing options. Moreover, the project signals the Bloomberg administration‘s desire to make its pedestrian plazas permanent.

3D Printing’s Newest Champion: Newt Gingrich?!

National
Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Newt Gingrich with a Makerbot 3D printer. (Montage by AN)

Newt Gingrich with a Makerbot 3D printer. (Montage by AN)

While President Obama may have called out the economic potential of 3D printing in his State of the Union, one prominent Republican is trumpeting the new technology. In an article posted on the conservative website Human Events, former Speak of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich claims, “the greatest difference in our generation may not be between liberals and conservatives, but between the pioneers of the future and prisoners of the past.” Among the technologies he praises, 3D printing is nothing less than “revolutionary.”

Gingrich has long been a fan of futurist thinking and advanced technology. He campaigned for a colony on the Moon, another place where 3D printing would come in handy:

3D printing may revolutionize logistics and save an amazing amount of money in the Defense Department. It may also revolutionize our capacity to go into space by allowing manufacturing on asteroids and the Moon with minimum weight requirements. 3D printing may also return manufacturing to the United States by eliminating the advantages of low cost mass produced production runs.

 

Van on Van: Guggenheim Curator to Lead Van Alen Institute

East, Newsletter, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
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David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)

David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)

David van der Leer, an associate curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, has been appointed executive director of New York’s Van Alen Institute. He will take over in May. The Institute, which has existed for more than 100 years in various forms, is dedicated to improving the public realm through exhibitions, competitions, and programming initiatives in New York and beyond. Reached by email, van der Leer declined to elaborate on his plans for the Institute.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architecture Billings Index Sees Strongest Gains Since November 2007

National
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

The Architecture Billings Index showed renewed strength in January, with a jump to 54.2 from 51.2 in December (any score above 50 indicates positive growth). All four regions were in positive territory with the Midwest leading at 54.4, the long struggling West showing strength at 53.4, the South came in at 51.7, and the Northeast at 50.3. The Index posted the strongest gains since November 2007.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Gorlin, Arsham, and Pharrell on Art and Architecture

National
Monday, February 18, 2013
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Pharrell Williams recently sat down to interview architect Alexander Gorlin and artist/designer Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture. They discussed their influences and creative processes. The conversation took place in Gorlin’s apartment in his eponymous building in Miami. As Pharrell noted, “We’re sitting in your idea right now… That’s deep.”

Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond Stepping Down.  Robert Hammond. (Courtesy Friends of the High Line) Robert Hammond and Joshua David met at a community board meeting in 1999. The future of the then rusting and decrepit High Line was on the docket, and it was very much in doubt. The two joined forces to create Friends of the High Line, a non-profit that led the charge for the preservation and transformation of the disused line rail into a linear park. Today, Hammond announced he will step down as the organization’s executive director, saying, in a statement, “My passion has always been in starting new things, and I am looking forward to pursuing whatever my next project may be. In my heart I am an entrepreneur.”

 

Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center Gets Reprieve, Vote Points To Renovation

East
Monday, February 11, 2013
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(Tom Stoelker / AN)

(Tom Stoelker / AN)

Concrete architecture from the 1970s hasn’t been faring well of late, but while Bertrand Goldberg’s expressionist Prentice Hospital seems destined for the wrecking ball, Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York has been spared. In a 15-6 vote, the members of the Orange County Legislature backed a resolution to renovate the building, defeating efforts by County Executive Edward Diana who has pushed for demolition of Rudolph’s dynamic and puzzling structure. The arguments hinged on cost more than on architectural merit, but even so, architecture fans will be relieved that this unique building will be spared.

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