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Another Day, Another Delay...
Expo 2020 Dubai and Tallinn Architecture Biennale pushed back a year
Weathering the storm
National Building Museum continues to slash staff with deep layoffs
Of course, while coronavirus is partially to blame for the museum’s financial dilemma, as previously noted, the building has actually been shuttered for six months thanks to a much-needed, three-month renovation of the Great Hall’s ceramic flooring. (The National Building Museum has been closed since March 12, one day before its scheduled reopening, to halt the spread of COVID-19.) Eight percent of staff was cut in February as the museum struggled to raise money during the closure, just as the institution was celebrating its 40th birthday. The layoffs last week constituted two-thirds of the museum’s staff; according to DCist, 23 of those were on the administrative side and 19 were hourly visitor’s staff, and only 18 full-time employees now remain. Although its popular Summer Block Party event series has been pushed to 2021 and all of their remaining events have been canceled through the fall, the museum is still reportedly plugging along on a number of projects. That includes the exhibitions Justice is Beauty: The Work of MASS Design Group and the border wall-focused The Wall/El Muro: What Is a Border Wall?, the opening of their new visitor’s pavilion, staging their anniversary celebration, and figuring out new social distancing guidelines for their eventual reopening. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic is unduly stressing arts and design museums across the globe as revenue plummets. Still, some cultural institutions are slowly testing the waters as to what measures they’ll need to take to reopen, including implementing temperature checks, encouraging social distancing, and halving occupancy maximums—steps the National Building Museum will likely have to look into as well.
We’re rapidly heading toward a situation where there is no one left to critisize, interpret, or curate the architecture that surrounds us 99% of the time, since many of us are still in lockdown. All that will be left is what the client says. https://t.co/t3Wb3HywHd— Zach Mortice (@zachmortice) May 21, 2020
BLINDED BY SCIENCE
Vrbo eschewed predictability for the ‘science of work’ at its Austin headquarters
That's Not Good
April’s Architecture Billings Index drops even further
“One of the most important lessons from his life and work is he was a great architect,” added Brown. “He's often pigeonholed as an African American architect. His work is some of the best architecture ever built in Buffalo.” Outside of his beloved hometown, Coles also designed buildings in New York City, Washington, D.C., Providence, Rhode Island, and Rochester, New York. Coles also served as an educator and mentor, holding teaching positions at the University of Kansas and Carnegie Mellon University. Coles himself received his undergraduate architecture degree from the University of Minnesota before attending the Massachusetts of Technology, where he received a master’s of architecture in 1955. Following his graduation, Coles studied in Europe and apprenticed in Boston before returning to Buffalo in 1961 and opening his eponymous practice two years later. It is the oldest African American-own architectural firm in both New York and in the Northeast. Coles was the recipient of numerous local and national accolades including, most recently, the 2019 Edward C. Kemper Award from the AIA for his significant contributions to the practice of architecture. Many of these awards, as the Buffalo News points out, were in recognition of his work with minority architecture students and fledgling practitioners. “Our cities have become more diverse and the populations are multi-racial, but we need architects who also are diverse and multiracial to build the cities of the future for those populations,” Coles told Buffalo-Toronto National Public Radio affiliate WBFO in a 2019 profile, which noted that a majority of the architects who worked with Coles at his firm over the years were minorities and women. Coles also published a memoir, Architecture and Advocacy, in 2016. According to the WFBO profile, he was hard at work writing a second book as of last year. “Bob Coles was a Buffalo original and a brilliant, trailblazing figure in architecture,” Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said in a statement. “He fought for African American representation in all aspects of architecture and mentored architects of all races. His creative vision came to life throughout Western New York and in other parts of the nation.” Coles is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and two children.
The profession mourns the loss of a trailblazer. Robert Coles was the first African American chancellor of the AIA's College of Fellows, and a founding member the National Organization of Minority Architects https://t.co/eTCHv7S6AO— AIA Virginia (@AIA_VA) May 19, 2020