Definitely biggest news this week was opening of a Chicago biennial. Or Foster + Partners celebrating 50 years of practise. Or Amazon looking for a new HQ. Or… Thom Yorke having getting stuck in an elevator. Depends what your cup of tea is.
- Chicago biennial this year is trying to “Make New History”. Artistic directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee in a video for Archdaily explained the importance of looking at the history in new ways and trying to find what architecture can do better. So it is unsurprising to find the likes of 51N4e, 6A, Barozzi Veiga, MOS and hundred more offices leading architectural discourse today at the biennial.
- Foster + Partners just celebrated 50 years of practise. If you are curious Sir himself is 82 years old, so do the math. Instagram is loaded with selfies with Foster. Fun fact, another huge global architecture company SOM was founded 81 years ago and is almost as old as Foster himself.
- Cities around USA are competing for Amazon’s attention to attract it’s HQ. A Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Inga Saffron even wrote an article where she was pitching for Philadelphia. It is getting serious race among cities. It will be interesting to see what strategy and which city Amazon chooses in the times when headquarters of biggest IT companies play huge roles for the life in the cities. Amazon is talking about 50 000 well paid employees – this a huge economical influx for any city anywhere.
- There are some news from European cities too. Eternal rivalry between London and Paris manifested itself in a text where Paris deputy mayor questioned London’s approach to public space. Quite a funny read, because these two cities could not be more different. As Koolhaas once said – “Paris can be only more Parisian” and “London is perpetually becoming even less London”. Comparison is really pointless.
- Airbnb is saving shrinking towns and communities. Sound like a plate full of spaghetti? But here it is – Fast Company reports that Airbnb built a Cedar House designed by Go Hasegawa in Yoshino, Japan. It is now run by the residents and is helping to create extra jobs in tourism sector in a small village with shrinking population.
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- Radiohead just made a video for their new song – Lift. And yes, you will never guess, video is taking place in a lift or an elevator (depends which you prefer). This video is all about the biggest achievement in architecture which made skyscrapers possible (elevators are praised in Koolhaas’ Delirious New York). However since this technological breakthrough was introduced nothing really moved further and in 2017 we have to witness always-sad Thom Yorke holding trash bags and riding down for 4 minutes. Makes you think.