Ida’s deaths highlight need for basement apartment reform, OPPO teams up with Kengo Kuma for Milan Design Week, and more

Hello and welcome to what for many of you is the peak of the workweek after a long vacation weekend. This did not prevent the announcement of new projects, major government proclamations or the revelation of new artistic projects.

Here’s what you need to know today:

After Hurricane Ida Kills 9 In New York City, New Call For Legalization Of Basement Apartments

Less than a week ago, the scattered remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through New York and surrounding states, leaving devastation behind as record-breaking rainfall turned the streets into rivers and, tragically, made nine dead in New York City proper. Eight of those nine people were living in basement apartments at the time of the storm, sheltering in place as the city had suggested (though confusedly, emergency alerts first told residents heading down on a tornado warning, then up a little later on a flash flood warning). Basement apartments in New York City are popular choices for seniors and immigrants as they are generally less expensive than comparable above-ground units, but many are illegally converted and not suitable for occupancy, having not the required number of windows, ceiling heights of at least seven-and-a-half feet, and at least two accessible exist.

Such basement apartments (the majority of them in Queens) are not going to go away despite the dangers posed by flooding, but could legalizing and modernizing units help prevent similar tragedies to the to come up ? A city-run pilot program has only started working on a handful of units since its inception (due to a meager budget), but supporters hope the latest deaths will raise awareness of the urgency of the problem. .

H / t at Bordered

OPPO and Kengo Kuma team up for kinetic pavilion at Milan Design Week 2021

Milan Design Week 2021 continues until September 10, and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has teamed up with Chinese smartphone giant OPPO to make an acoustic sculpture for the event that will remain in place until September 19. Bamboo (竹) Ring: || Weaving a symphony of lightness and form combines carbon fiber and bamboo into a slender spiral shape capable of vibrating to project music thanks to what OPPO calls “structural sound technology”. Using speakers, physical movements and haptic motors, the structure will reproduce orchestral scores composed by Japanese violinist Midori Komachi and Musicity.

Nick Cave animates Manhattan’s subway shuttle with tile mosaics

Artist Nick Cave launches the first of three new mosaic murals in Manhattan’s 42nd Street Connector this Friday, September 10, as part of a $ 1.8 million art project to liven up entryways and the renovated hallways leading to the 42nd Street shuttle train. Everyone depicts moving kinetic figures, all wearing Cave’s sound suits, swirling the fabric sculptures as they move, all rendered in colored tiles and removing the sonic element from the performance. Everyone will be followed by Each at the entrance of the shuttle and Equal to all on the platform wall next year.

H / t au New York Times

Theaster Gates shows the progress of the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood

Artist, town planner and educator Theaster Gates continues the piecemeal revitalization of Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing through the Rebuild Foundation, and he recently donated the Chicago Tribune a tour of the St. Laurence Catholic Primary School building, currently being converted into St. Laurence Arts & Industry. When complete, the building will reopen as a new artist incubator with coworking space, studios and free Wi-Fi.

H / t au Chicago Tribune

Norman Foster defends his firm’s airport projects after environmental criticism

Sir Norman Foster has drawn widespread criticism from environmental activists over the past year after his eponymous firm, Foster + Partners withdrew from Architects Declare over their refusal to stop designing airports. Now in an interview with Bloomberg, Foster echoed his previous comments, stating that eating beef was dozens of times more destructive to the environment than air travel, and that only 2% of all CO2 emissions were generated by airplanes. While acknowledging that the industry could further reduce its emissions, he argued that improving global transport infrastructure was just as important.

H / t at Bloomberg

El Salvador is now the first country to legally accept Bitcoin

Starting today, you can pay your taxes (and all other federal bills) in El Salvador with Bitcoin after the country became the first to recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender. The new law means that it will be easier for remittances to return to El Salvador (especially since these transactions constitute 24 perfects of the economy) and aims to help citizens without bank accounts to access equity. decentralized. To strengthen their position, the government recovered 400 Bitcoins before the law came into effect, approximately $ 21 million at the time of purchase.

But, as critics have pointed out, Bitcoin’s volatility is far from ideal for a national currency. The value of the cryptocurrency has swung in all directions over the past year, hitting highs of $ 60,000 per coin and rising from over $ 50,000 to $ 43,000 each. because of the announcement of El Salvador. Traders rushed to liquefy $ 3.5 billion, temporarily freezing some trade as holders sought to cash.

H / t at The edge

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