Thursday night was my first at Postopolis! LA, and while I saw lots of cool presentations from cool people, I couldn’t help but start with the most unexpected, unusual, and exciting. Mike the Poet is a tour guide by day and a spoken word poet/rapper/genius by night. (Here‘s a nice profile from the LAT.) And while it’s true that discussions about gentrifying vampires and planning for World of Warcraft is cool, can you really top a dude rapping about urban density? Or SOM!
Since the Obamas moved to Washington, we’ve been waiting for the administration to make good on its promises for new government policy on architecture and planning. There may be hope yet: While the president spends his days in Europe with politicians, Michelle has been making the rounds of innovative social centers. Building Design caught the first lady with Ivan Harbour and Richard Rogers at their Maggie’s Centre in Hammersmith, London. Let’s hope she was as impressed with the architecture of the centre—promoted by its co-founder Charles Jencks—as with its innovative programming for women with cancer.
Postopolis! LA is onto the second day of its second year now, and from the looks of the streaming video, things are off to a great start. But the fun doesn’t really start until tomorrow. Why? Because that’s when we arrive!
I’ve been invited to join the media panel Sunday, along with my beautiful Cali colleague Alissa Walker. Not exactly sure what we’ll be talking about–*gulp*–but it’s something along the lines of print-web integration/the future of media/doomsday/etc. After all, I was invited on Twitter. Read More
Architect and friend of AN Jeremiah Joseph writes in with this report of the March 27 WORKac lecture, “Shovel Ready,” at Parsons.
Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, of the 2008 PS1 Warm-Up pavilion fame, tag team presented their work to a standing room only crowd. With a range of projects, from buildings to urban proposals, the duo showed the office’s penchant for both intelligence and wit. Like many young offices most of WORKac’s work is still in the realm of unbuilt projects, but with five competitions already completed in 2009 this office has no intention of waiting around casually for the work to knock on their door. Read More
The Venice biennale was founded in 1895 in one of La Serenissima’s few green spaces, the Giardini di Castello. It has occupied a random series of buildings in the park, which include national pavilions (the Belgians built the first in 1907 and the U.S. joined the party in 1930) and an undistinguished hall called the Italian pavilion since the late 1930s. Today the organization that operates the biennales (art, architecture, film etc.) announced plans to change the name of the Italian pavilion in the giardini to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale and upgrade its aging infrastructure. While these changes will be welcome by the public, the spaces are all being designed by artists, not architects. Read More
And here we thought they’d dropped the name Freedom Tower awhile ago, around the time Freedom Fries went out of fashion. But according to the reports seemingly everywhere today (it was front page news in both the News and the Post), now it’s official–the Port Authority has dropped the name. The man who came up with it, however, has quite a few things to say to that. According to the Observer, Pataki was none too pleased about the decision: Read More
As decades-old federal crane and derrick regulations continue to go under review, Engineering News-Record reports that New York Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri fears the city’s rules may be overruled when the less stringent federal regulations are finally enacted. LiMandri testified on March 18 at a four-day Occupational Safety and Health Administration hearing in Washington, D.C. “Reliance on this industry to regulate itself would be a fundamental mistake,” he said. Read More
“Everybody’s doing it.”
That’s how Erica Stoller of Esto described the august architectural photo agency’s foray into web video. Now don’t fret. At the heart of these videos remains Esto’s unparalleled still camerawork, but given these changing times, experimentation is in order. And, as Stoller’s colleague Joel Sanders explained, the philosophy remains the same. Read More
At SCI-Arc last Wednesday Eric Owen Moss, introduced by good friend Thom Mayne (who broke Moss’s brain down into its essential parts, as seen above), lectured on his firm’s most recent projects; an impressive combination of new technology, structural research, and wild rule-bending that has unfortunately produced precious few actual buildings, but many competition near-misses around the world. The good news is that this trend is turning around, Read More