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THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK with WALTER NOWINSKI
tab le of contents A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently ranked from one to 10.
WenedaFerur 7 20 -Th 6OignDaly 7
3B THE JUNK DRAWER
Impress your friends by knowing just
what to talk about this week and what
4B LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE
Our photographer travels the path many
students will - out of from Michigan and
into a big city. He just takes a more poi-
7B BUILDINGS AND BUSTLES
Turns out the words vogue, chic and tragic
apply to more than clothing.
EditorinChief. Karl Stampf
ManagingEditor: Jeffrey Bloomer
PhotorEdito nn Pter5 rotteol
C verr:vngla cosrer
NOT YOUR DADDY'S NEW DEAL
Tough economic times call for dramatic solu-
tions.Just don't tell Gov.Granholm that. Her
fifth Stateof the State included none of the
to bold solutionsone might haveexpectedto
8hear. Instead she offered up optimism and
rehashed proposals. Maybe more happy-talk
will bring Pfizer back to Michigan.
MORE GUNS, LESS BUTTER
The White House released a 2,500 page,
$2.9 trillion budget on Monday. The docu-
ment calls for massive increases in defence
to spending at the expense of social programs
6 and health care. Who needs butter? Ameri-
cans are overweight anyway.
An extraterrestrial crush has resulted in
kidnapping and attempted murder charges
against one former astronaut. Lisa Nowak
who she believed was coming between her
and a fellow astronaut. Apparentlyzero gravity
can makeyou do some crazy things.
THE BOOZE MADE ME DO IT
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
checked into alcohol counseling this week
after admitting to an affair with his cam-
paign manager's wife, It seems like check-
10 ing into alcohol counseling can get you off
the hook forojust about anything.
It's still cold.
The good, the brick and, theugly
It's Over Your Head j Architecture Column
s Hollywood's award season reaches full swing,
people tune in across the country to watch the
world's most glitzy and glamorous people get
their due. But if there's one thingmore important than
which actor takes home that golden statue, it's what
they're wearing as they take it.
On the red carpet, the fashion police patrol with
vigor and without remorse. Wearing last season's
dress is the worst crime a celebrity can commitbesides
appearing on VHt's Surreal Life. A-list actors, forever
in the spotlight, are bound by unwritten Hollywood
law to be en vogue around the clock, and fashion
designers lay themselves at the mercy of the fickle and
tasteless. Doesn't sound a lot like architecture? It is.
It might not seem like an easy parallel to draw, but
architectural dialogue is a lot like fashion. Unlike his-
toric building styles rooted in cultural philosophies,
today's architecture is about style. The increasingly
popular term "post-critical architecture" suggests
quite simply that recent architecture has no mean-
ing. Architects that follow this burgeoningcredo have
one goal: create an awesome spatial experience. Yet
new experiences soon become old, and radical events
quickly become banal. As buildings try to encapsulate
what is cool, they merely create a tactile chronology
of changing style, like the closet of an aging actress.
While Madonna can reinvent herself each year, archi-
tecture can't stay cool forever. Fashion trends come
and go, but buildings aren't quite as transient.
But one of the perks of chic architecture, at least for
me, is that we can speak of buildings like we do fash-
ion. I'm no Joan Rivers, but I would like to honor the
age-old fashion tradition of exploiting the ritzy, rec-
ognizing the glamorous and mocking the gruesome.
After looking at all campus has to offer, I have come
up with a University of Michigan-themed list of what's
hot and what's not in architecture fashion.
Glass. Seeing through buildings has always been cool, just ask
Superman. Glass has been updated and upgraded to accom-
plish more tasks than ever before. Double-skin glass facades
look great and also act as a thermal barrier. It's all the rage in
Europe, and the Biomedical Science Research Building proves
that it can be done in Michigan, too.
Art Galleries. The buzz about Daniel Libeskind's geometrically
crazed Denver Art Museum Extension has reignited interest in
art museum architecture across the country. Museum interest
comes and goes like the tides. Usually, an explosive building
will reawaken architects to the art museum world. Wright
did it in 1959 with his New York Guggenheim, and Gehry did
it in 1997 with his Bilbao Guggenheim. Right in step with the
buzz, the University's own art museum expansion began con-
struction this year. Its design promises to provide both the art
gallery and central campus with a multitude of layered, cool
spaces filled with stark white and diffused daylight.
Sustainability. People are becoming more and more aware
that our actions truly impact the environment. The terms sus-
tainability and green are fast becoming the building buzzwords
of the decade. Al Gore's film on global warming miraculously
transformed his image from a stale, presidential tragedy to a
crusading rock star. Organic foods have exponentially gained
popularity, as have green buildings. As of last summer, the U.S.
Green Building Council's sustainability-based rating system
was used on over 2,000 buildings in this country. On campus,
both the new Business School and the Mott Children's Hospi-
tal are aiming for certification from the council. Students have
rallied for North Quad to do the same. Hopefully this is one
fashion that is not fleeting.
Mass. Specifically, concrete. Concrete was idolized during the
1920s because it was considered a fluid and pliable structure
- never mind its grotesqueness. Brick is the new concrete on
this campus. Just look at the designs for North Quad, Weil Hall
and even the Big House. Regal but not flamboyant, brick is back
to provide the solid monuments we crave without the mono-
lithic quality of concrete.
Art. As always, the discussion about dynamic art museums
has devolved into issue of respect. Does a funky space create
artistic competition and detract attention from the canvases
that hang on the wall or does an artful building pay symbolic
reverence to the artifacts that it contains? In the end, it doesn't
matter. It's the building that's enduring. The art is just a foot-
note. Even if the University does have a lovely vase exhibit.
Being sustainable. Sustainability may be popular thing to talk
about these days, but environmentalists still carry the stigma
of tree-hugging hippies. People want environmentally-friendly
buildings, but that doesn't make the grunt work fun or the
engineers tackling the problems any more sexy. Even Al Gore
is still a nerd. Plus, nobody looks good under energy-efficient
fluorescent lighting It's cool to demand environmental archi-
tecture, but it is geeky to calculate the energy capacity of a
photovoltaic array. This trend may change soon, but first we
need to get the Michigan Solar Car team onto the cover of Low
rule 13: It's College.
Make poor choices
while you still can.
rule 14: If you've
graduated or you're
married, you probably
shouldn't have a Face-
book account. rule
15: If you don't make
eye contact with the
people handing things
out on the Diag, you.
don't have to feel bad
about not taking it.
- E-mail rule submissions to
From page 6B
Our bread and butter. Most stu-
dents, even those not in Ross,
know mandatory group work at
the undergraduate level is coun-
ter-productive. But the B-School
is literally tearing down one of
its buildings to better facilitate it
- the current structure on East
University Avenue will be leveled
to make room for a building with
U-shaped class rooms so that stu-
dents can more easily interact.
Mandatory group work teaches
you how to manage, and thus
it's at the heart of a Curriculum
designed to build professional
managers. What this really
means, though, is that it teaches
kids how to assign tasks to people
who aren't capable of doing them,
how to schedule wasteful meet-
ings to re-format and explain
other people's work and how to
make PowerPoint presentations.
I've read enough Dilbert to know
that the B-School model of man-
agement is accurate.
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