In what’s likely the final piece of the ongoing American mosaic that is the National Mall , the Smithsonian has chosen six teams of architects to compete for the design of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture . The final winner will be announced in April. All teams have a minority principal and four firms are members of the National Organization of Minority Architects. The teams, with a few exceptions, follow a common formula: world famous top-shelf designers with nationally well-known minority-owned firms.
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No, we don’t often associate Valentine’s Day with the color green. And no, the tradition of sending loved ones exotic chocolates, tropical flowers, and entire forests of trees as greeting cards that are shipped across the globe isn’t particularly sustainable either, especially for a holiday rumored to be a too-close cousin of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day—commonly thought to have been dreamed up in a Hallmark Cards board room.
But this list of earth-friendly Valentine’s Day suggestions (inspired by AIA President Marvin Malecha, FAIA) is particularly appropriate for architects and for these times. Take a look. They provide plenty of opportunities for design craft.
And they’re cheap.
Without further ado. . .
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The cover story in Atlantic Monthly’s March issue is asking and answering some interesting questions. Namely, where, not who, are the big winners and losers of today’s economic meltdown?
The article, by Richard Florida, another of The Rise of the Creative Class , forecasts which regions, cities, and development patterns are likely to be strengthened and weekend by this recession. Much of it recontextualizes his ideas about how creative professionals (scientists, educators, writers, artists, entertainers, and of course architects) have become the driving force in today’s economy and are reshaping its demographics. Such professionals are concentrated in large cities and the expanding mega-regions fed by big cities nationwide, and feed off the interaction with other creative class members that can only come with dynamic urban and quasi-urban environments. For Florida, the urban mixing pot ideas and chance encounters that result from a teacher chatting with a linguist on a city bus are the fuel that runs our economy.
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