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The New York Times: The Latest Architecture and News

When Architectural History Meets Personal History

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Writer Eva Hagberg and I have known each other for a long time. Way back, in a year I can’t remember, I assigned her one of her first magazine assignments. Literally, dozens of other assignments followed. So it was with some anticipation, and a bit of surprise, that I received her new book When Eero Met His Match: Aline Louchheim Saarinen and the Making of an Architect (Princeton University Press), an intriguing hybrid text, one-part Aline and Eero biography, one part memoir of Hagberg’s experiences as a design writer and publicist. (I am briefly mentioned in the book.) The book’s main argument is that Aline Saarinen largely invented the role of the architectural publicist. Recently I traveled out to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to talk to a very pregnant Eva about the impetus for her new book, its dual structure, and the journalistic ethics of Aline Saarinen.

New York Studio Bernheimer Architecture Forms The First Only Private-Sector Union in The US

The first and only formal architecture union in the American private sector was just formed by Bernheimer Architecture's employees after two years of the union campaign. The Union aims to reframe the discipline and profession and create an established sector of better labor rights standards and work conditions. The BA Union will be associated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to reshape the industry at a large scale and work on Industrywide problems like long hours and low pay.

Can Architects Finally have a Seat at the Table? Labor Rights and Work Conditions in Architecture

The early stages of practicing architecture are often met with what many explain as "the slippery slope of being an architect", where expectations do not at all meet reality of the profession and gets worse as the experience progresses. With constant burnouts as a result of working overtime and on weekends on the account of “gaining experience”, extraordinary expectations, low wages, and physical and mental strains, the prestige of being an architect has evidently vanished with modern-day work conditions. So how can architects fight for their labor rights after years of exploitation and what is currently being done to ensure them?

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Julia Morgan: The Trailblazing Female Architect Overlooked No More by The New York Times

Since its founding in 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries listing the lives and legacies of some of the world’s most influential people. However, by their own admission, the listings have historically been dominated by white men. In order to address this, The Times launched its “Overlooked” series in 2018, telling the stories of women such as Sylvia Plath and Emma Gatewood.

In advance of International Women’s Day, The Times has published an obituary by Alexandra Lange detailing the life and legacy of Julia Morgan, the first woman to earn an architect’s license in California, and “a prolific designer of hundreds of buildings, namely the Hearst Castle at San Simeon."

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Intruders in the Boys' Club: Women Redefining Success in Architecture

Whether it be the overly-dainty posture of scale model figures or the assumptions of being the in-house decorator, the portrayal of women in architecture is often one of subservience. Despite Despina Stratigakos' hands-on efforts behind Architect Barbie or the global impacts of the legacy of starchitect Zaha Hadid, there continues to be a lack of visibility of women in the profession.

In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Allison Arieff poses the echoed question that the architectural community keeps asking itself, "Where are all the female architects?" No longer an issue of uneven gender ratios in architectural schooling, the persistence of dwindling numbers of women principals at the top of firms simply does not resonate. She postulates, that perhaps more significant than the statistics, the real problem lies in the definition of success.

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Reclaiming Polish Brutalism: Discover the Emblems of Communism

To strip a city of its architecture is to erase its history altogether. Despite a widespread public distaste for Brutalism, the brutalist era in architecture often went hand in hand with political movements promising an egalitarian vision in post-Stalinist Poland. What may now be considered austere and overbearing was originally intended to be anything but; the buildings today carry both an appreciation for their legacy and the burden of unwanted memories.

In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Akash Kapur documents his visit to Poland, bringing readers into his experiences and observations of this complex response to Polish architecture. From sharing its history to short anecdotes from interviews, the piece postulates whether these relics can become alive again.

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Six Artistic Visons for Replacing Confederate Monuments

In response to the question of how the United States should treat the monuments to Civil War Confederate figures which are dotted throughout the country, The New York Times commissioned six artists to re-imagine what could replace the controversial statues.

The issue of Confederate statues, which many regard as a glorification of those who fought to preserve slavery, has been brought into sharp public focus as of late due to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 which resulted in the killing of counter-protester Heather Heyer.

"Zucktown, USA": Will Facebook Design Your Future City?

“Do people love tech companies so much that they would live inside them?” This is the question posed by The New York Times in an article reflecting on Facebook’s plans for Willow Village, a 59-acre urban district located at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters in San Francisco, California.

The New York Times Takes Us to the New 7 Wonders of the World with 360 Videos

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via The New York Times

As part of their "Daily 360," The New York Times has released a series of immersive videos exploring the New Seven Wonders of the World, offering viewers the experience of visiting the architectural marvels themselves without having to fly 5000 miles. Back in 2007, the seven monuments were announced after a seven-year poll that included votes by 100 million people who recognized the structural and innovative significance of these masterpieces across the planet.

The Daily 360 is a collection of videos by The New York Times; rather than a 2d moving image, they give a real understanding of space, transporting you to the place. Over the last year, their videos have included the Guggenheim, Art Deco masterpieces and memorial architecture from different cultures. Experience the New Seven Wonders of the World for yourself below:

Fresh Doubts Loom Over Japan's Vast Subterranean Water Control Systems

Rising sea levels, and the potential of extreme conditions globally, are threatening coastal cities around the world. While the Netherlands are often considered to be leading the engineering battle against the tides, Japan—with a renewed sense of urgency—are investing heavily in high-end systems and infrastructure to protect their largest metropoli.

LACMA and Lincoln Center Reveal Divergent Plans

Two large-scale US cultural projects have, this week, announced major updates relating to the renovation of existing buildings – and both involve, to a greater and lesser extent, American business magnate, media mogul, and philanthropist David Geffen.

One—the Lincoln Center's Geffen Hall in New York City—has scrapped plans for a $500 million renovation to be led by Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects, while another—Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), for which a renovation is being led by Peter Zumthor—has seen a pledge by Geffen of $150 million toward its $600 million price-tag.

Model-Making in Miniature: Ali Alamedy's Nostalgic and Painstakingly Precise Tiny Worlds

Although trained as a Control and Computer Engineer, Ali Alamedy has since turned his hand to manufacturing scaled, miniature dioramas. After being forced to leave his home in Iraq, he and his family are now based in Turkey – and it is here that he has honed a skill in constructing these tiny, intricate worlds from a broad range of ordinary materials. All scaled at 1:12, these complex and often hyper-realistic models are inspired by the environments around him, complemented by his experiences and, of course, his imagination. In this study of Alamedy's work, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?

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44 Maps Reveal New Yorkers’ Thoughts About Rats, Parks, Bike Safety And Other Urban Issues

How satisfied are you with your city’s garbage service? Its parks? The way it handles pest control? What about homelessness? In the USA’s largest metropolis, which covers a total of 468.484 square miles (1,213.37 km2) and is home to over 8.5 million people, New Yorkers’ perception of their city and the services it provides reveals the “uneven distribution of New York’s opportunities,” according to a survey conducted by The New York Times.

The project also shows relative accord and satisfaction with fire and emergency medical services and agreement that use of tax dollars, public housing and traffic can be improved.

Immerse Yourself in Architectural Spaces Worldwide With the NYT's Daily 360

With 360 camera technology, the ability to transport people into a space through film has become all the more immersive. Viewers are able to turn the viewport in every direction to see the whole scene, or even to put on a headset for a more natural way of viewing a scene. Of course, this has important implications for viewing architecture, which many believe has become too image based, and therefore two-dimensional. 360 videos leave no corners conveniently hidden, as a traditional video or image would, perhaps providing a fuller picture of a place - could this perhaps open up a more human-scale understanding of space?

The New York Times have treated their Facebook followers to some great architectural insights through their Daily 360, getting more than their money’s worth out of their 360 camera equipment. Some of these must-see videos include a dance rehearsal taking place in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, as well as an aerial view of La Paz, Bolivia. Read on to take a peek into the richness of earth’s urban spaces:

Changing Climate, Changing Cities: The New York Times Launches Series on the Urban Effects of Climate Change

Contrary to some beliefs, climate change is not simply some unidentifiable threat perpetually on the horizon, but a phenomenon that has already had real impact on real world places. To illustrate the effects of our changing environment, the New York Times has launched a new multi-media series called “Changing Climate, Changing Cities,” written by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, that aims to expose how climate change is “challenging the world’s urban centers.

The first installment takes a look Mexico City, where environmental issues that have already wreaked havoc for centuries, such as water shortage and ground subsidence, are beginning to see their effects multiplied by the city’s changing climate. The piece explains the root of these problems, and their effect of an already fragile infrastructure and social fabric.

Penn Station Palimpsest: PAU Proposes a Different Future for New York's Busiest Railway Station

Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a long-awaited and much-needed proposal for a makeover of Penn Station. Designed by SOM, the proposal for the new Penn Station–Farley Complex, to be completed in 2020, offers a pragmatic solution to the years of scrapped schemes and political stalling. However, The New York Times believes that Governor Cuomo’s proposal could be pushed further. The newspaper thus commissioned Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU to come up with an alternative proposal to challenge Governor Cuomo’s plans.

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In "Man on Spire" The New York Times Magazine Brings VR to One World Trade Center's Pinnacle

This week's issue of The New York Times Magazine, the special New York issue with a theme of “New York Above 800 Feet,” takes a rather irreverent approach to the magazine’s design. Instead of being viewed in the traditional horizontal orientation, the periodical has been rotated 90 degrees and is meant to be viewed by turning the pages up. The long dimension, which is only 10.875 inches horizontally, becomes 17.875 inches vertically, and according to the magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, “‘[It] remains absurdly short for our subject, but it is in keeping with the striving spirit that has given New York City its distinctive skyline: This is as tall as it is possible for our magazine to be."

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The New York Times Laments Poor Airport Design for Passengers

new article by Chris Holbrook for The New York Times, "Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger," points out a black sheep among architectural typology: the airport. Though built for one of the most delicate and stressful human situations, airports are notoriously hostile to the travelers that occupy them.