Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.
July 26, 2021
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After more than a century of being known as the “Indians,” Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will soon be called the “Guardians.” The ballclub announced the name change last week after months of internal discussions to drop logos and names considered racist—a move triggered by last year’s racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd. The new name draws inspiration from the large landmark stone edifices—known as “traffic guardians”—that flank both ends of the city’s Hope Memorial Bridge. “There’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” team owner Paul Dolan says of the large Art Deco sculptures. The name change will become effective at the end of the 2021 season.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee recently voted not to add Venice and its lagoon to its list of at-risk sites. According to the committee, not enough progress was made with respect to the organization’s recommendations dating back to 2014, when Venice was first at risk of being listed. Venice’s main problems include inadequately managed tourism, the city’s diminishing population, and deteriorating effects of human intervention coupled with climate change on the lagoon ecosystem, among others. In order for Venice to be reconsidered at the next World Heritage Committee hearing in 2023, Italy must submit an updated report on the state of conservation in Venice and its lagoon by late December 2022.
After decades of neglect saw the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood razed and abandoned, the city has approved a $4 billion redevelopment of the site into Bronzeville Lakefront, a mixed-use complex designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The 50-acre site will encompass 5,000 residential units, 15 million square feet of office and retail space, and a new laboratory and office facility called the ARC Innovation Center overseen by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center. Construction on the two-phase project is expected to kick off later this year, with the second phase launching in 2025. The city is also eyeing the nearby Marshalling Yard for a similarly scaled redevelopment.
More cities and states in the United States are hiring “chief resilience officers” as addressing the impacts of challenges of climate change becomes a more urgent matter. Many cities initially hired formal resilience positions through the 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which the Rockefeller Foundation launched in 2013 to seed these positions and cover their salaries. Now, cities are seeking billions in federal funding to support these efforts, which allow local leaders to “not only plan and design policies or programs that actually address these longer-term, [almost] existential threats, but actually drive implementation on them in a coordinated matter,” Stefan Schaffer, who served nearly five years as chief resilience officer for the city of Chicago, tells Smart Cities Dive.
Adjaye Associates has unveiled initial visuals for the Africa Institute, a state-of-the-art research facility for the study and documentation of the African diaspora in the Arab world located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Adjaye’s scheme features four pinkish wings united by a series of shaded open-air interior courtyards designed to work with the needs of the surrounding desert environment. “I envision the new campus as a springboard for the concretization of the incredible history of Africa, the African diaspora, and the Arab world,” Adjaye said in a statement. The new building is scheduled for completion in 2023.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics continues to be mired in controversy. The Olympic Organizing Committee recently fired Kentaro Kobayashi, creative director of this year’s Opening Ceremony, after a video surfaced of him making a joke about the Holocaust during a comedy routine in the 1990s. “We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony,” Olympic Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto said in a statement, “and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country.” Many other Tokyo Games officials were recently terminated—the composer Keigo Oyamada, Paralympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki, and Organizing Committee president Yoshiro Mori were all forced to resign after making insensitive remarks.
Trump supporters recently launched their own cryptocurrency called “MAGACOIN.”
A woman exposes her cat as a thief and invites neighbors to retrieve stolen items.
The question on all our minds: Why are billionaires obsessed with going to space?
Broadcast media seems to be obsessed with covering their space launches, too.