BKLYN DESIGNS Returns to DUMBO. For those who love all things Brooklyn branded, the exhibition, BKLYN DESIGNS, will be back in DUMBO from May 10-12—just in time for New York Design Week—with its selection of contemporary furnishings and home accessories all designed and/or manufactured in the borough where the handlebar mustaches, artisanal butchering, and DIY crafts are ubiquitous. This tradeshow, presented by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, is an opportunity for Brooklyn-based designers to showcase their wares to buyers, editors, and the public. The application to participate is available here.
To Rebuild or Relocate? Cuomo Offers Options. Over the last few months, there’s been much talk about rebuilding smarter after Hurricane Sandy to prepare for the next super storm. But one alternative has gone under the radar until today’s State of the State Address when New York Governor Cuomo proposed the Recreate NY-Home Buyout Program that would provide funds to buy out homeowners who wish to sell their properties and relocate elsewhere. Capital New York reported that a resident estimated that 60 percent of his Fox Beach community in Staten Island wants a buyout, and through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, that just might be possible. But for a buyout to happen, it requires a several-step process that would need the “Bloomberg administration to petition the state for grant money.” If Cuomo follows through on his proposal, residents of Fox Beach and other waterfront communities who want to relocate might get their wish. (Photo: David Sundberg/ESTO)
Birnbaum Picks Landscape Architecture’s Most Notable Achievements of the Year. The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Charles Birnbaum is known as a passionate advocate, and occasional agitator, for the profession of landscape architecture. Blogging for the Huffington Post, Birnbaum has compiled a list of notable developments in landscape, including well known projects like LA’s Grand Park by Rios Clementi Hale to lesser known works like Sugar Beach in Montreal by Claude Cormier & Associates. It’s an engaging list, and it also includes a mention of a recent AN editorial, “Landscape Architecture’s Ascendance.” AN is glad to be a part of the dialogue of this important design profession.
Architect Forced To Be Drug Mule. Architecture and drug smuggling don’t usually occupy the same space in a news story, but today architect Eugenio Velazquez, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was sentenced to a 6-month term for trying to bring 12.8 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. in a special lane for pre-screened, trusted motorists. Velazquez received a lighter sentence after explaining to the judge that drug traffickers had threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t comply with their demands to smuggle the cocaine. Velazquez has designed several important buildings in Tijuana including a police headquarters and the Tijuana Cultural Center (known as El Cubo). He’s currently working on Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and plans to move forward with the project.
Landmarks Okays NYC AIDS Memorial Design. It’s been a while since AN checked in with the New York City AIDS Memorial designed by Brookyn-based Studio a+i and slated for St. Vincent Hospital Park in Manhattan. Architects and memorial organizers have been making their way through a series of approvals, checking one more off their list this week as the city’s Landmarks Commission unanimously gave a thumbs up to the design. [Curbed.]
Could LA’s Transit Measure Still Pass? By all accounts Measure J, the LA County ballot proposal to extend 2008′s Measure R funds and speed up transit projects around Los Angeles, appears doomed to failure. But it seems that the vote counting isn’t done, and it’s getting closer. According to LA Metro’s blog, The Source, the measure now has 65.66 percent of the vote (up about a half percentage point from earlier tallies), about one percent shy of the 66.67 it needs for approval. There are about 100,000 votes yet to be counted, and by Metro’s own admission it’s unlikely, but possible, that it will pass. Stay tuned for the final update by December 4.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Ousted from Office. Today, contentious Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was removed from office following a court ruling in a years-old conflict of interest case. The mayor has made enemies of many urbanists over the years, including Creative Class author Richard Florida, who called him “the worst mayor in the modern history of cities.” More recently, Ford drew the ire of Toronto’s bike community after making good on a promise to remove bike lanes from city streets. The mayor has vowed to appeal the decision and has the option to run for office again in an upcoming election.
Atlantic Yards Jobs Nonprofit Closes Doors. Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), a nonprofit dedicated to connecting unskilled local workers to jobs on the Atlantic Yards site, is calling it quits. According to Atlantic Yards Report, the organization has locked its doors and will dissolve all operations by the end of next week. Before winding things up, BUILD helped to organize the hiring for the recently-completed Barclays Center.
Architecture and the Media #4: Evolving Media Platforms. The last in the popular year-long Architecture and the Media series is this Thursday evening, November 8! The topic: Evolving Media Platforms. Join editors Jenna McKnight (Architizer), Stephanie Murg (Unbeige), Susan Szenasy (Metropolis) and writer Alexandra Lange (Design Observer) for a discussion with Molly Heintz (Architect’s Newspaper) about online journalism and social media, 6-8pm at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place. Click here for TICKETS.
DesigNYC Call for Non-Profits and Pro Bono Designers: Healthy Communities. Calling non-profits and pro bono designers! DesigNYC announces its 4th cycle of projects with the theme “Healthy Communities.” DesigNYC is looking for project ideas that “encourage physical activity in urban spaces, advocate a better access to healthy food, clean air and/or water, or carve out room for peace and quiet” as well as design strategies that might include everything from creating educational campaigns and initiatives to ways of reducing pollution or poor health habits to building playgrounds, community gardens or green markets. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, November 1, 11:59PM. Find more submission information here.
Control This! 2012 in NYC. The 3rd Annual Control! Wednesday, November 7, 2012 (11:00 am – 7:30 pm) at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, NYC). Hosted by the IESNYC the event exhibits state-of-the-art lighting control systems and energy management systems, features three (3) AIA-accredited seminars (totaling 3.5 AIA LU Credits) that explore the ways lighting controls integrate into and perhaps have the potential to transform the built environment; and presents the first ever Lighting PlugFest. Register now for the Expo Hall and Seminars here.
What the Puck?! Brooklyn & Barclays Add Another Team. There was ice under the court all along! Or so visitors learned on the opening day of the SHoP/AECOM-designed Barclays Center. Reviews of the arena, with its distinctive weathered steel facade, have generally been positive. Now Ratner and company, and the borough they are trying to win over, can claim another major success. The New York Islanders hockey team will relocate to the Barclays Center in 2015. They currently play at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale in Nassau County.