All posts in Eavesdroplet

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Eavesdrop> Interpretable Transparencies: Diller Scofidio + Renfro ups its archispeak game
When New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz isn’t posting vintage (and I mean vintage, like Medieval) erotica on Instagram, he is busy making fun of architects and the bad museums that they design. One of his main punching bags is Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which is slated to design both the Culture Shed and MoMA’s new controversial expansion. He recently mocked them for their slippery language and vague proposals, capping it off with an anecdote about “interpretable transparencies.” Saltz claimed that he was in a three-hour meeting with them, and he had to stop them to ask if “interpretable transparencies” meant windows. He said, “They looked at me blankly and said, ‘Yes.’”
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Eavesdrop> Sources give new details of University of Texas Architecture Dean's departure
Shots fired! Fritz Steiner, the University of Texas at Austin‘s architecture dean, says that he is leaving his post because of the state’s new campus carry laws. “I would have never applied for another job if not for campus carry. I felt that I was going to be responsible for managing a law I didn’t believe in,” Steiner told The Texas Tribune. National media have sensationalized the story, and Steiner has even appeared on NPR to tell his story, which includes a new deanship at UPenn active July 1. Sources tell AN that the real reason Steiner left Texas is because of feuds with the president of the University, which included a lack of support for a new architecture school building. Steiner claims that the president “hung him out to dry.” However, sources say that the real reason UT won't be getting a new architecture school building any time soon is Steiner’s inability to raise the funds to do so. He claimed that he was angry and hurt by the president. They described it as an ungracious performance that came off as undignified. While Steiner left the school citing the gun law, sources say that he was silent for the six months of debate over the law, when he really could have had an impact on its implementation. "Yes, there are other reasons relating to the state support for public research universities in Texas, but there is no 'feud' with the president. He’s someone I admire and respect greatly," Steiner told AN via email.
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Eavesdrop> I See a Red Door: At SCI-Arc, black is the new black
The mark of directorial change is happening at SCI-Arc. It’s not just a new website with modelesque faculty photos, but keen observers have tracked a gradual darkening on campus. Touches of black are spreading through the library and offices. Gone are the schools trademark wooden seminar tables, replaced by sleek, black showroom furniture. Kylo Ren would feel at home.
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How about expanding LaGuardia Airport onto Rikers Island?
[beforeafter]rebuild-laguardia-07 rebuild-laguardia-08[/beforeafter]   (Renderings courtesy RethinkNYC, Cezar Nicolescu, and Sigmund Lerner) The New York Times published an editorial on February 24 called "Imagining a Rikers Island With No Jail" that proposes various uses for the East River island if its prison were closed. “As for the island, it should be given back to the sea gulls," the editorial concludes, "or used for affordable housing, or an extension of LaGuardia Airport.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaQpLe89kA4 If fact, AN published an Op-Ed piece with James Venturi on July 15, 2015, that presents a convincing argument for repurposing Rikers Island as an extension to LaGuardia. We thought it was time to revisit Venturi’s plan and bring it back for public discussion. Read Venturi's full proposal here.
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Eavesdrop> ‘Chella Yo Self: Jimenez Lai excited about Coachella this summer
L.A. designer Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular recently discovered that he would be designing one of the large installations at Southern California music festival Coachella this summer. Announcing the exciting news on Facebook, he said “I want to kiss the earth Kevin Costner–style. I’m now able to say I’ve been on the same poster as Ice Cube, LCD Soundsystem, and Guns N Roses.”
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Eavesdrop> Spearing Impaired
In recent years, there has been much backlash against mascots that misappropriate their meaning from American history. From The Fighting Illini of University of Illinois to the NFL’s Washington Redskins, many teams have been pressured to adopt personas that are not deeply, deeply racist. However, the Florida State Seminoles have apparently doubled down on their offensive mascot by codifying it in the architecture of their stadium. The design for the addition to Doak Campbell Stadium features a tensile membrane canopy that will protect the new club level deck and the additional 6,000 premium seats. Central to the design are several horizontal outriggers that are shaped like spearheads, a nod to the controversial mascot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68_r1mTpWtU From the computer-generated tour of the stadium above, it's clear that the stadium's rampant racism is not limited to its architecture. Although Florida State is 62 percent white, almost all of the fans in the video are white. FSU, what gives?
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Eavesdrop> Go Art, Go: Who will design Santa Monica Museum of Art's Downtown Los Angeles move?
After a bitter fight at Bergamot Art Station, the Santa Monica Museum of Art is decamping to Downtown Los Angeles. Reports of an eastward move come with hints of a necessary name change as well a shortlist for its new space in the Arts District. Players are tightlipped, but AN’s sources say Gensler, Zellner Naecker Architects, and wHY (a longtime museum collaborator) have been invited to submit design proposals.
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Woody and The Donald
Here is a story to file under the Republican presidential primary, celebrity, radical American politics, and affordable housing policies in New York City. The Conversation writer Will Kaufman reports that the "This Land is Your Land" folk singer Woody Guthrie lived in Federal Housing Authority–financed housing in Coney Island's Beach Haven. Those residences were constructed by non other than Fred Trump, Donald’s father. Guthrie despised his landlord, the elder Trump, and wrote several ditties (a reprise of his "I Ain’t Got No Home") about him:

Beach Haven ain’t my home! 
I just cain’t pay this rent! 
My money’s down the drain! 
And my soul is badly bent! 
Beach Haven looks like heaven 
Where no black ones come to roam! 
No, no, no! Old Man Trump! 
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home! Trump’s involvement with and creation of (racially exclusive) affordable Beach Haven housing for the hundreds of thousands of returning servicemen to New York after World War II is a sordid tale. Kaufman unearthed the story after going through the Guthrie archive in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He reports that “when the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) finally stepped in to issue federal loans and subsidies for urban apartment blocks, one of the first developers in line, with his eye on the main chance, was Fred Trump. He made a fortune not only through the construction of public housing projects but also through collecting the rents on them." Its a fascinating story of housing policy in New York that becomes more pointed “in the wake of Donald Trump, who says, 'My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.'” (via Gawker)

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BIG Game: Does Bjarke Ingels really like M&Ms or is he designing the Redskins’ new stadium?
A suspicious Instagram post and confirmation by Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) head of communications that the firm is designing an NFL stadium have everyone wondering if Ingels will be designing for the Washington Redskins. Although specifics on which NFL team and what the design will entail have yet to be confirmed, the architect recently tweeted burgundy, gold, and white M&Ms with Redskins logos. Sources say that designs for the stadium will be released within the next month. The Danish firm has never designed a sports facility, but it is also on a shortlist for another type of football team—the FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium in Spain. Ingels told WWD in November that his team plans to magnify the stadium experience. “It could represent a paradigm change in stadium design whereas at some point it was only about being better, or just bigger. Now there is a whole set of aspects,” Ingels said. “There’s interest, since the televised experience is getting so good. TVs are getting so good and big, and there are all these things you can do with them. The thing we’ve emphasized is the entire experience and the intimacy of the whole experience to make the live feeling and the communal feeling as massive as possible.”
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Eavesdrop> Spidey Style: The elusive designs of Tobey Maguire's residential architecture
No sooner than AN got news of an acronym-designed residence for actor-producer-architecture fan Tobey Maguire than we remembered his changeable real estate history. Previously, he nabbed Peter Zumthor to design his house and just last spring he flipped a vintage number by Santa Monica architect John Byers. His latest is a 1,200-square-foot art studio by Koning Eizenberg. Perhaps that’s where he’ll set up his Office of Mercurial Architecture.
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Eavesdrop> Luxury Leather Daddy Lawsuit: Peter Marino in court after allegations of sexism, racism
Luxury New York architect Peter Marino is allegedly being sued for making racist and sexist comments. Deirdre O’Brien, Marino’s former office manager, worked at his eponymous firm for 14 years. On October 26, Marino allegedly “’unleashed a tirade’ against her in front of male executives… He ordered her out, calling her a ‘c–t’ as her back was turned” reported the Post's Page 6. The suit also alleges that this is not an isolated incident, but rather the tipping point for O’Brien, who claims that Marino has a history of making racist comments against his black and Asian employees, as well as calling his female employees offensive names. O’Brien claims that she was fired after issuing a complaint to the HR department, which is what led to her unfair dismissal suit. Marino, known as “fashion’s favorite architect,” has designed hundreds of stores for high-end fashion brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Bulgari, and Louis Vuitton, and got his break designing Andy Warhol’s townhouse in 1978. Recently, he designed a 12-story residential building on New York’s Highline with developer Michael Shvo. He is also rather infamously known for his biker-inspired, full-leather get-ups—replete with codpieces. Unfortunately for Marino, not everyone has leather-thick skin when it comes to being called the c-word.