Happy weekend, architects. More than a few of you are making your way home from San Francisco, where the U.S. Green Building Council wrapped its 10th-annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. How did you like your time with Morning Joe? News from the conference includes the $3 million grant that Google gave to USGBC. John King, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, profiles innovative sustainable architect William McDonough. And the Brookings Institution released a report on how to reasonably implement a carbon tax. But with President Barack Obama signaling in no uncertain terms that his administration will not try to price carbon emissions, it makes sense that Google is giving to sustainable architecture. In the near future, at least, architects such as McDonough will do more than the sort of comprehensive solutions posed by Brookings to save the planet.
SKYFALL. Whether or not you've seen the new James Bond film, Skyfall, you've just got to read this stunning story about one of the major set-pieces of the film. There's no spoilers, just an incredible story about an island that was once had the world's highest population density before it emptied, virtually overnight. The building pictured, and also seen in the movie, is the world's first reinforced-concrete residential building block, after years of devastation suffered at the hands of nature.
SKYRISE. During a talk last night, Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger fielded a question from the audience about the national Height Act legislation that restricts building heights in Washington, D.C. Goldberger. Should the limits be raised? "Probably not a good idea," Goldberger said, to a smattering of applause. If you ask D.C. residents—who bear extremely high costs of living as a consequence of the Height Act, as Matthew Yglesias notes at Slate—Goldberger is putting the city's aesthetic ahead of the residents that it is supposed to serve.
CUTE OVERLOAD. The Awl weighs in on the two greatest design debates of the week: Brad Pitt designs furniture and dog architecture. The debates being, should you hate yourself a little bit for clicking on Brad Pitt Furniture and Dog Architecture stories, or a lot?
...AND REMAINDERS. More words on socialist architecture... Massimo Scolari's architectural-ish drawings, reviewed... San Francisco: what about your buildings?... A moving art exhibit on photography and the land.