ARCHITECTURE ISN’T THE VILLAIN OF “HIGH-RISE” — WE ARE...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Zach Mortice  METROPOLIS MAGAZINE In High-Rise, the titular luxury residential tower is crowned by an elaborate roof garden, complete with a thatch-roofed cottage. ©StudioCanal For a different take on High-Rise, see our review of the film. In Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, the first film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, you get the entire litany of architecture-run-amok as it appears in virtually any cultural product. There’s the architect as mad visionary, capable of bringing astounding visions of the future into the present but unable to dictate their evolution once human imperfection intervenes. There’s the mania of stacking too many people too high into the sky. And there’s the reckless and ignorant call to knock it all down and build again, tabula rasa, when it all falls apart. All this is packaged in a set of aesthetics typical of...

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WE NEED MORE BOREDOM IN OUR LIVES...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Rhode Island School of Design’s president believes that if you’re not bored enough, you may be missing something. Rosanne Somerson  METROPOLIS MAGAZINE Courtesy Guido van Nispen via Flickr When I used to teach graduate students in furniture design, I would assign them an abstract problem that required them to sit in the studio and draw through free association over a long period of time without getting up from their seats. After about 45 minutes, most students would start to squirm and get uncomfortable. If they hadn’t been in my class they would likely have stood up, checked their e-mail, gone online, or found other distractions. But I encouraged them to push through the discomfort because, after many years of running the same exercise, I had learned that right after the “squiggly” stage, something incredible...

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REVIEW: NACTO’S TRANSIT STREET DESIGN GUIDE...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Dirt Contributor Transit Street Design Guide / Island Press The new Transit Street Design Guide, the third in a series by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), is a must-have reference manual for city planners, transportation planners, engineers, urban designers, and landscape architects involved in the design of streets. These books, which include Urban Bikeway Design Guide and Urban Street Design Guide, formulate a new approach to the design of our public rights-of-way, not only as transportation corridors but as important spaces for city life. Street and highway design has been dominated by civil engineering technical manuals, namely American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)’s Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets — otherwise known as the “Green Book” — along with the Manual of Uniform Traffic...

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HOW THE WATER CRISIS IN THE WEST RENEWED THE DEBATE ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DAMS...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica   VIA TRUTHDIG     Glen Canyon Dam is located in Page, Arizona. (Jacqueline Poggi / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) This piece originally ran on ProPublica. Wedged between Arizona and Utah, less than 20 miles up river from the Grand Canyon, a soaring concrete wall nearly the height of two football fields blocks the flow of the Colorado River. There, at Glen Canyon Dam, the river is turned back on itself, drowning more than 200 miles of plasma-red gorges and replacing the Colorado’s free-spirited rapids with an immense lake of flat, still water called Lake Powell, the nation’s second largest reserve. When Glen Canyon Dam was built — in the middle of the last century — giant dams were championed as a silver bullet promising to elevate the American...

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PHYSICISTS THINK THEY MIGHT HAVE JUST DETECTED A FIFTH FORCE OF NATURE...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Hard Science   In Brief Scientists have long known the four forces: Gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces between atoms. But could there be a fifth force still waiting to be discovered? New evidence suggests there is. Physics can be pretty intense at times, but one of the most straightforward aspects is that everything in the Universe is controlled by just four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetic, and strong and weak nuclear forces. But now physicists in Hungary think they might have found evidence of a mysterious fifth force of nature. And, if verified, it would mean we’d need to rethink our understanding of how the Universe actually works. Before we get into that, let’s go back to those four forces for a second, because they’re pretty important. They’re a fundamental part...

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THE DESPERATE PLIGHT OF PETROSTATES...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch  VIA TRUTHDIG Deepwater Horizon Response / CC BY-ND 2.0 This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here. Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation, petro-states rely on their oil and natural gas revenues. Russia, for example, obtains about 50% of government income that way; Nigeria, 60%; and Saudi Arabia, a whopping 90%. When oil was selling at $100 per barrel or above, as was the case until 2014, these countries could finance lavish government projects...

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FARMING’S DIRTY NEEDS HAVE A DEADLY EFFECT...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network     Fertilizers are a major contributor to air pollution in the United States, Europe, Russia and China. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Farming is a dirty business—so dirty now that, according to new research, air pollution from agriculture in the form of fine particles of lung-choking dust outweighs all other human sources of that kind of pollution. These particles are calculated to cause around 3.3 million deaths a year worldwide—and most of this lung-penetrating murk is from fertilisers. Back in 1950, the world produced 20 million tons of artificial fertilisers, but farmers now spread on their fields every year around 190 million tons. Ammonia from the nitrogen-based compounds gathers in the air, and combines with the...

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POWERFUL VIDEO: VACCINES ARE HOLOCAUST FOR BLACK BABIES...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   by Gary Barnes   TRUTH KINGS Vaccine   A powerful speech in Compton details decades worth of experimentation being performed on the black community. Now vaccines are a part of a large global holocaust against the black and Muslim community. This is powerful...

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HOW TO GET SOLAR PANELS ONTO MORE AFFORDABLE APARTMENT BUILDINGS...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock A guest view By Laurie Mazur  GRIST This is a guest post from Laurie Mazur, editor for the Kresge Foundation/Island Press Urban Resilience Project. Solar power seems like the ultimate no-brainer. Free energy from the sun! And the cost of installing solar panels — like other renewables — has plummeted in recent years. Still, solar power has not yet penetrated one of the markets that needs it the most: affordable multifamily housing. That could change, thanks to the advent of solar photovoltaic systems with backup battery storage (solar + storage). A new report, “Closing the California Clean Energy Divide,” shows how solar + storage can overcome technical and financial problems that discourage owners of affordable apartments from embracing solar. Coauthored by the California Housing Partnership, Center for Sustainable Energy, and Clean Energy...

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MEET PROTERRA, THE NEXT GENERATION OF BUS...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Proterra   “Everything that has an urban drive cycle will ultimately be an electric vehicle.” That’s what Ryan Popple, the president and CEO of Proterra, the leading U.S. electric bus company, explained to me in a recent interview. The future of transit isn’t cleaner diesel, hybrids, natural gas, or hydrogen fuel-cell buses, argues Popple. The rapidly dropping price for electric batteries combined with new fast-charging technology appears to render the competition obsolete. Right now, the biggest question isn’t which technology will win in the bus market — it’s how quickly all-electrics will take over, and whether Proterra can keep ahead of the Chinese competition, like electric vehicle giant BYD. Popple is focused on electrifying the transit market, which he expects “will be 100 percent electric” in a...

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SCIENTISTS JUST DISCOVERED EXACTLY WHAT AIR POLLUTION DOES TO YOUR ARTERIES...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Amel Emric A Bosnian man covers his mouth as he walks on the street during heavy smog in the northern Bosnian town of Tuzla, 140 kms. north of Sarajevo.   Air pollution has been linked to heart disease for years, prompting concern as well as some skepticism, as the physiological steps showing a cause-and-effect have gone less understood. But now, a multi-year study has for the first time documented that air pollution thickens blood and hardens arteries, a condition that causes cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes. “What’s new here is the linkage between air pollution and actual evidence of progression of atherosclerosis, the underlying disease process that leads to most [heart] attacks and strokes,” Joel Kaufman, lead author and University of Washington professor,...

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NEW VIRUS IS CALLED THE TPP OR TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP...

May 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Friends   We have a serious crisis in our midst.     It is disguised under the auspices of free trade.   This new virus is called the TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp The energy that makes the virus grow is called TPA or Trade Promotion Authority which is also known as  fast track.   TPP is illegal under the secrecy terms and conditions being presented in direct violation of US law.   See Gravel v United States.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravel_v._United_States https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/408/606/case.html Any and all members of the US Senate, Congress or Executive branch engaged in secret trade agreements is in violation of the law and may be charged with both malfeasance and treason.  There is a dereliction of responsibility unintended or otherwise.   Most in America for reasons beyond belief have no...

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PREPARING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Jared Green  THE DIRT                                                                                         Gold Coast, Australia, beach erosion / csiro.au As the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) formulates a new approach to our changing world, its Board of Trustees sought to learn what other major design associations are doing to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. At ASLA’s mid-year meeting, representatives from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Planning Association (APA), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) explained how they are helping their collective membership, which totals hundreds of thousands, face the new challenges. Serene Marshall, executive director of ULI’s center for sustainability, said their goal is to reduce carbon emissions from buildings — which consume about 40 percent of global energy and produce around the same amount of emissions — by 50...

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GLOBAL BANKS TEAM WITH LAW FIRMS TO HELP THE WEALTHY HIDE ASSETS...

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Leaked records show that hundreds of banks and their subsidiaries and branches registered nearly 15,600 shell companies By Ryan Chittum, Cécile Schilis-Gallego and Rigoberto Carvajal CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY In this story Major global banks work hand-in-glove with other players to help the superrich, politicians and criminals keep their assets under wraps More than 500 banks, their subsidiaries and branches registered nearly 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca Mossack Fonseca debated whether to continue to do business with Rami Makhlouf, the billionaire bagman of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad Two global companies were under mounting pressure, and threats were flying. For years, the Swiss banking giant UBS and a Panama law firm named Mossack Fonseca embraced each other in a mutually profitable relationship. UBS had customers who wanted offshore shell companies to keep their...

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THEY DON’T WANT TRUMP OR HILLARY: HALF OF VOTERS WOULD CONSIDER A THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE...

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 47% of registered American voters would vote third party, poll finds, as Trump begins overtaking Clinton nationally Ben Norton Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (Credit: Reuters/Randall Hill/Mike Segar/Photo montage by Salon) Nearly half, 47 percent, of registered American voters would consider a third-party candidate if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the major party nominees, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll. Support for third parties is steadily growing. Similar polls conducted during past presidential elections found that in 2012, 40 percent of voters would support a third-party candidate, and in 2008, 38 percent of voters would. The 2016 presidential campaign has inspired intense backlash against the establishment. Bernie Sanders has attacked it from the left, for kowtowing to corporate power and repressing grassroots activist movements. Donald Trump has attacked it from the right, pledging...

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OCCUPY WALL STREET IS BACK — AND IT MIGHT ACTUALLY SUCCEED THIS TIME...

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A new group, Take on Wall Street, has emerged to leverage populist fury into real Financial Reform Sean Illing  SALON.COM (Credit: AP/Diane Bondareff) What the hell happened to Occupy Wall Street? After the Great Recession of 2008, the climate was ripe for populism. Americans were pissed off. The same people who wrecked the economy were, once again, rewarded for their recklessness. The logic of “too big to fail” made sense, but the reality was that these institutions were too big for justice. Necessary or not, the bailouts were an affront to the people whose livelihoods were plundered by the banks. In August of 2011, Occupy Wall Street was born. Initially a small protest in Zuccotti Park, just outside the Financial District in Manhattan, Occupy became a rallying point of sorts. It changed the...

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FIVE MOMENTS OF CLIMATE PROGRESS SINCE ‘AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH’...

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART Here’s something to smile about. Check out five climate successes in the past decade. The Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, is dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis.   This story is produced in partnership with The Climate Reality Project as part of the campaign to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of An Inconvenient Truth. Ten years ago, An Inconvenient Truth brought the issue of climate change out into the open and into mainstream culture like never before. People began asking tough questions about our climate and wanted to know what they could do to make our planet a safer, healthier place for us all. And 10 years later, we can see the results. Advertisement Last...

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HOUSE PASSES ZIKA BILL THAT WON’T FIGHT THE VIRUS BUT MAY PUT MORE PESTICIDES IN YOUR WATER...

May 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Natasha Geiling CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock   Despite the fact that Congress has yet to pass a fully-funded Zika emergency bill, the House of Representatives passed the Zika Vector Control Act Tuesday evening, a bill ostensibly aimed at helping to fight the potential spread of the Zika virus throughout the United States. But House Democrats and environmental organizations are crying foul, arguing that the bill uses the threat of Zika as a cover for rolling back crucial EPA regulations that protect bodies of water from pesticides. “The reality is that the majority has been pushing this legislation for years under whatever name is convenient at the time,” Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) said during the floor debate Tuesday. “This bill has nothing to do with combating Zika.” Opponents of the bill noted that...

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BAYER’S $62 BILLION PROPOSED TAKEOVER OF MONSANTO WOULD CREATE THE WORLD’S LARGEST AGRIBUSINESS...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Renae Merle  THE WASHINGTON POST genetically modified corn plants inside greenhouses housed on the roof of Monsanto agribusiness headquarters in St Louis, Missouri, 21 May 2009. Bayer said on Monday that it had offered to buy Monsanto for $62 billion in cash. (Photograph by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.) The German pharmaceutical giant Bayer announced on Monday that it had offered $62 billion to acquire Monsanto, potentially pushing the iconic maker of aspirin and Alka-Seltzer further into the world of genetically modified seeds and agricultural chemicals. The unsolicited offer, if accepted by St. Louis-based Monsanto, would create the world’s largest agrochemicals company. The 115-year-old Monsanto would be absorbed into the overseas giant, Bayer, bringing with it the herbicide Roundup and a controversial history as one of the first companies to create a genetically engineered...

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Theory Used to Force Vaccination of Children is Not Always True...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Rev. Jim Hetzer | Guest Writer Parents remain concerned about the side effects of the various immunizations, including sometimes fatal reactions and questions as to whether these immunizations are a cause in the exponential growth of autism spectrum disorders. There is increasing pressure to force vaccinations on children, and increasing marketing of vaccines for adults, including pneumonia and shingles. Children cannot attend daycare or school without proof of vaccinations. The theory behind these requirements is that if everyone is vaccinated, the probability of any individual contacting the disease is reduced. 41 students at Harvard University were infected with mumps, and all 41 students had been immunized for mumps. It is likely that all or nearly all of the students at Harvard had been given one or more MMR inoculations that should have...

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST CRUISE SHIP AND ITS SUPERSIZED POLLUTION PROBLEM...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE GUARDIAN As Harmony of the Seas sets sail from Southampton docks on Sunday she will leave behind a trail of pollution – a toxic problem that is growing as the cruise industry and its ships get ever bigger At full power the Harmony of the Seas’ two 16-cylinder engines would each burn 1,377 US gallons an hour of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters John Vidal   When the gargantuan Harmony of the Seas slips out of Southampton docks on Sunday afternoon on its first commercial voyage, the 16-deck-high floating city will switch off its auxiliary engines, fire up its three giant diesels and head to the open sea. But while the 6,780 passengers and 2,100 crew on the largest cruise ship in the world...

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DYSTOPIA IN THE SKY

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] y The first film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s classic novel “High-Rise” is a decadent romp set against a background of Brutalism. Shumi Bose  METROPOLIS MAGAZINE The Brutalist high-rises in Ben Wheatley’s new film were inspired in part by Ernö Goldfinger’s Trellick and Balfron towers in London. Courtesy Magnolia Pictures For architects, if I may generalize an entire professional community, there are few novelists as cultishly beloved as J.G. Ballard. Borges or Calvino have their fair share of admirers, but to borrow an adjective more frequently applied to buildings, Ballard is the most iconic of literary figures—especially for readers of a concrete-expansion-joint persuasion. Witnessing war as a child, training in medicine, and thereafter writing from a rather bloodless middle-class patch of suburbia, Ballard spun tales of urban life that continue to be uncomfortably visceral. High-Rise was published...

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What’s the True Cost of Fracking? This Eye-Opening Infographic May Surprise You...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment There are significant pros and cons, making fracking a highly controversial issue. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet KERN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 26, 2013: Pumpjacks extract oil from an oilfield in Kern County, CA. About 15 billion barrels of oil could be extracted using hydraulic fracturing in California. Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium. Radon. Lead. These are just a few of the toxins used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial drilling process to retrieve oil and natural gas from shale deposits under the surface of the Earth. Concerns about the process have been mounting, as studies have linked it to a host of environmental and public health problems, from increased infant mortality and low birth weight babies to the release of cancer-causing radioactive gas, contamination of drinking...

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WHY A HARVARD M.B.A. IS OUT TO BRING DOWN THE CLINTONS...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIGs Charles Ortel is examining the Clinton Foundation, an organization he calls the “largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted”; tracing donations to the Clintons as well as their speaking fees can give us an idea of who the two are most likely to protect during another Clinton presidency; meanwhile, pop singer Taylor Swift has become a Nazi idol. These discoveries and more below. A Harvard MBA Guy Is Out to Bring Down the Clintons Charles Ortel has his sights set on the charity operations of Hillary and Bill Clinton, known as the Clinton Foundation and its myriad tentacles. How Corporate America Bought Hillary Clinton for $21M “Follow the money.” That telling phrase, which has come to summarize the Watergate scandal, has been a part of the lexicon since 1976. Just What Were Donald...

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PORTLAND BANS CLIMATE-DENYING TEXTBOOKS FROM ITS SCHOOLS...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Katie Valentine CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: shutterstock   Climate education in Oregon just took a big step forward. Last week, the Portland Public Schools board voted to eliminate the use of any textbooks or other materials that are “found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.” “A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bill Bigelow, a former Portland public school teacher, told the Portland Tribune. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.” In his testimony to the board, Bigelow quoted from the book Physical Science, published by Pearson. “‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global...

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DOWN WITH GUILT! THERE ARE MUCH BETTER WAYS TO GET PEOPLE TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Heather Smith GRIST How do you get people to do something about climate change? For years, the answer has been to prod people into thinking about their role in causing it, to guilt trip them into action. Because any human who happens to live in North America has taken advantage of central heating, combustion engines, and the occasional monster truck rally. A recent study in the scientific journal Climatic Change has a surprising take on this long-standing practice. It finds that asking people to think about their individual guilt in causing climate change is about as effective as asking them to think about brushing their teeth. In other words, this research suggests that the common way organizations try to mobilize people around climate change is misguided. Better to frame it as...

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THE NEW AGENDA FOR TAKING ON WALL STREET...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Isaiah J. Poole  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE More than 20 progressive organizations representing millions of voters are putting their weight behind a five-point agenda for the next stage of Wall Street reform. What these groups will formally announce Tuesday, in an event featuring Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, sets a high but practical standard for what a candidate would have to embrace to be considered a progressive on reining in the financial sector. The Take On Wall Street campaign says it intends to ensure that the voices of working people and consumers are heard above the power and influence of Wall Street. The Washington Post reports that Take On Wall Street will combine the efforts of “some of the Democratic parties biggest traditional backers, from the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO...

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DR. ANDREW WAKEFIELD DEALS WITH ALLEGATIONS – VIDEO...

May 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dr. Andrew Wakefield Deals With...

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DESIGN ADVOCACY AND MATERIAL SUSTAINABILITY...

May 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dora Vanette   METROPOLIS MAGAZINE The Downtown Houston Childcare Center, designed by Kirksey Architecure with the goal of providing flexible learning spaces and utilizing natural materials and textures Photo by: Slyworks Photography Throughout 2015, Metropolis’s publisher and editor in chief, Susan S. Szenasy, led the Metropolis Think Tank series of conversations on the seismic cultural shifts reshaping our society and the importance of injecting a new humanism into design and architecture in order to better deal with emerging challenges. As part of these ongoing discussions, Szenasy engages key industry leaders and gives a voice to different knowledge groups that participate in these processes—from architecture firms and clients to researchers and consultants. On August 26, she talked with the principals of Houston-based Kirksey Architecture about architects as design advocates, master builders, and how material sustainability and building codes...

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