Movers and shakers
The Los Angeles Times has lost its architecture critic: Christopher Hawthorne left his role at the paper after being appointed the City of Los Angeles’s first-ever chief design officer. Working under the administration of mayor Eric Garcetti, Hawthorne will support planning, engineering and transportation departments, and help foster high quality urban design in the city through community engagement with both designers and the public. After five years of teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Mark Lee will take over as chair of the department of architecture this July. Lee, the co-founder of Los Angeles firm Johnston Marklee, succeeds K. Michael Hays (Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory and associate dean of academic affairs), who has served as interim chair since 2016. Dutch architect Ben van Berkel has launched a start-up to apply his human-centric approach to smartcity initiatives. United Network Sense, aka Unsense, will explore technological innovations that help humanize the built environment, focusing on integrating sensorial adaptive design into architecture in order to improve the physical, mental and social health of urban dwellers. For more on Unsense, see page 44. An artistic director has been announced for the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, coming up in 2019. Yesomi Umolu is the exhibitions curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on global contemporary art and spatial practices; she is also currently on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. An impressive team, including Adjaye Associates, Cullinan Studio, Levitt Bernstein and Penoyre & Prasad, has been assembled to revitalize Lancaster West Estate, the London area surrounding Grenfell Tower. The group will work with the local community to update the 1960s housing estate, renovating the buildings neighbouring the tower that was destroyed in a fire in June of 2017. Meanwhile, the tower’s site is set to be transformed with a memorial that will be developed through collaboration with residents and the families of the 71 people who died in the tragedy.