Duravit Design Week + #Starck25

By Lucy

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2014 marks Duravit and Philippe Starck’s 25th year of collaboration, and they’re celebrating this silver anniversary at Duravit’s annual Design Week! This Monday (October 6) from 6-8:30 PM, Metropolis Associate Editor Avinash Rajagopal and Duravit USA President Tim Schroeder will speak on a panel at DNYC discussing The Next Frontier of Technology in the Bathroom and how Duravit + Starck has played a unique role in shaping this evolution. The winner Duravit’s Designer Dream Bath competition will also be announced at the event! We can’t wait enjoy a fun night of design next week…hope to see you there!
DUR design week invite LR

MADE Is Turning 8

By gillian zwengler

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On September 16, the Architectural Digest Home Design Show threw an early birthday party for MADE at the Gilded Lily, an underground bar and nightclub in Chelsea. A fitting venue for a design-conscious crowd, the entirety of the space is surrounded by gold, cushioned seats and in the center, a massive chandelier hung from the ceiling, which created a mysterious, lighting effect throughout.

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re[Framing] Provincetown

By Lucy

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The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is celebrating its centennial this year, and they’re transforming the community into an interactive art exhibit to mark the occasion. re[Framing] Provincetown: Animating History through Sharing fuses the past and the present, placing Provincetown artworks at their subject points and juxtaposing them with empty frames. The contrast between seeing the art and artist’s original viewpoint showcases the town’s beauty as well as its importance in the North American artistic world. Dispersed throughout the city in 25 locations, the project, conceived and curated by TsAO & McKOWN, also encourages viewer interaction. The empty frame practically begs to be filled with personal and social interactions, an ideal arrangement for appreciating 100-year-old art in today’s modern world.

re[Framing] Provincetown will be up through October 19. If you’re around New England, be sure to stop through and share your new Provincetown memories and experiences via #reframingptown!

photos courtesy of TsAO & McKOWN

photos courtesy of TsAO & McKOWN

On Now: Detroit Design City

By alexandra

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Once known for its booming auto industry, Detroit is now home to a growing design community that supports the local economy and is helping to revitalize the area. The fourth annual celebration, which runs through September 28th, is the brainchild of The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), which connects Detroit’s creative talent to global markets, advocates for policies and programs that support the local design and manufacturing of consumer products, and promotes Detroit’s design and creative talent. The work of hundreds of designers and creative practitioners from the region will be on display for visitors.

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Spin Ceramics US Opening

By yvonne

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Last week, Spin Ceramics, a porcelain and stoneware company from Shanghai, successfully celebrated the opening of their flagship store in the SoHo district of New York City. Located on Crosby Street, the grand opening also marks their debut into the US.

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12 Faces vase set designed by Tong Wei.

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Burning Man

By gillian zwengler

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After six years of waiting, eight months of planning, one cross-country plane ride and a 36-hour journey from San Francisco, I finally arrived at Burning Man – a 70,000-person strong city that exists for just seven days in Nevada’s Black Rock desert before everything is packed up and burned to the ground.

From an architecture and design perspective, Burning Man is entirely unique. Artists spend months developing elaborate, large-scale installations and there is more art at Burning Man than you could ever hope to experience within a weeklong timeframe. Such vibrancy and beauty could only emerge from something as lifeless as the desert – the stark contrast between the dry, dusty playa bed and the ethereal, oftentimes otherworldly, installations let you appreciate the artworks in a completely new way.

photo-4                                    Embrace, designed by The Pier Group

One of the major attractions at this year’s Burn was Embrace, a four-story wooden sculpture. Inside, a long, winding set of stairs led straight to the top, where you could look out through the sculpture’s eyes and onto vastness of the playa. Connecting the two forms was a massive, electronic beating heart that filled the structure with the cathartic sounds of our own internal rhythms. My favorite part of Embrace occurred only in the brief moments after the sun rose each morning and the space between the sculptures lips was illuminated, almost as if the two figures were greeting the new day with a fiery kiss. Embrace burned to the ground early Friday morning in front of thousands of revelers, myself included, and its smoky destruction was every bit as epic as its existence.

photo-5                                            Robert Allen’s fabrics made a special appearance

For me, other Burning Man highlights included a pirate ship themed art car with a fully functioning merry-go-round, a bowling alley in the middle of the desert that streamed The Big Lebowski, and, of course, The Man, the festivals’ very own Northstar, which served as the focal point of the event throughout the duration of the week.

Although the music and art are incredible, Burning Man is much more profound than any song or sculpture can ever express. Each year, people come to the desert to create magic together and the energy that’s generated by this beautiful, bizarre community of people from all over the world is electric. It’s refreshing. It’s a radically open environment based on giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return. While I was there, the honest, heartfelt conversations, shared sunrises and deep, soulful hugs with strangers filled my heart with more light, love and positivity than I ever dreamed imaginable. It’s no wonder so many people call Burning Man home.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 5.21.37 PM                                                               The Man on Burn Night. Photo courtesy of Ralfi Kondili.

If you’ve ever considered attending Burning Man – go. Go to the desert with an open heart and an open mind. The playa will provide the rest.

In dust we trust.

London Calling Design

By jacqui

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Among the multitude of events taking place around London Design Festival (September 13-21), the Global Design Forum (September 15-19), Decorex International (September 21-24), and 100% Design form the big events. The latter (September 17-20) celebrates its 20th edition this year (twentieth!), which makes those of us who remember the fledgling years suddenly feel old. The speaker line-up for 100% Design this year features Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby, whose ticketed event is part of a talk series related to another anniversary—the Design Museum’s 25th birthday. It also serves up conversations between design and publishing luminaries, like Jaime Hayon and Icon’s Christopher Turner, and Philippe Starck and Wallpaper’s Tony Chambers. Another highlight: architect Mark Dytham—from Tokyo’s KDa and founder of PechaKucha—will host a special PechaKucha event that plays on the theme of ‘20,’ in which key speakers from previous PechaKuchas have 20 seconds to present 20 images. Should be a blast.

Below: A Design Kaleidoscope by Thomas.Matthews combining the Magis Heatstool by Thomas Heatherwick with the Wingback chair by James UK—one of the kaleidoscopes in an exhibition celebrating 100% Design’s 20th birthday.

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MCNY PRESENTS THE STORY BEHIND NYC’S DRAMATIC TILED ARCHES

By kristin

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If you’ve ever dined under the pearlescent vault of the Grand Central Oyster Bar or marveled at the abandoned subway station at the end of the 6 train line, then you’ve seen the work of the Guastavinos - the father-and-son team whose arched tile ceilings helped transform America’s interior spaces at the turn of the 20th century.

Their innovative method of constructing elegant, self-supporting thin tile vaults is the focus of a fascinating exhibition, Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile, at the Museum of the City of New York running until September 7, 2014.

Palaces for the People exhibit at MCNY

With archival photos, a large-format photograph of the now defunct City Hall subway station and a half-scale replica of a Guastavino vault, the exhibit takes you back in time, when New York underwent a profound physical and cultural transformation in the late 1800s. Money was being poured into the beautification of municipal buildings and the creation of grand architectural landmarks such as Ellis Island, Carnegie Hall, the Municipal Building and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. These structures, and hundreds of others throughout the country, all contain one of the most beautiful engineering feats of the 20th century: interlocking tile vaults designed and built by a single New York firm, the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company.

Palaces for the People at MCNY

Founded by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino Sr., and subsequently led by his son, Rafael Jr., the Guastavino Company helped build some of the most impressive interior spaces in America. Based on early Mediterranean building methods, their patented system for constructing domes and vaults involved multiple layers of thin ceramic tiles bonded with quick-drying mortar. The resulting structures were not only exceptionally strong, but also lightweight, easy to build, and inherently beautiful, thanks to intricate patterns of exposed tile that formed finished, decorative surfaces. During its 73-year history, the Guastavino Company contributed to some of America’s greatest public spaces - veritable palaces for the people.

Guastavino tile

 

Celebrate Mid-Century Architecture at SarasotaMod Week[end]

By Dahlia

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The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) presents SarasotaMOD Week[end], a four-day festival, held in the beautiful Gulf Coast city of Sarasota, FL, commemorating the region’s iconic mid-20th century architecture. This weekend event, October 9th – 12th, 2014, is jam-packed with guided trolley, boat, and walking tours, social gatherings, and presentations by distinguished architects, critics and designers. For more information, visit www.sarasotamod.com.

Healy Guest House, Sarasota, FL, 1950.  Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph architects.

Healy Guest House, Sarasota, FL, 1950. Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph architects.

SarasotaMOD Week[end]’s speakers will include such leading modernist architects as Carl Abbott, author of Informed by the Land; John Howey, author of The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966;Joe King, co-author of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses; Lawrence Scarpa, pioneer of sustainable design; and Tim Seibert, designer of many iconic Sarasota School of Architecture structures. Presenters will also include acclaimed landscape architect Raymond Jungles and author, critic and filmmaker Alastair Gordon.

Sarasota High School, Sarasota Fl, 1958.  Paul Rudolph, architect.

Sarasota High School, Sarasota Fl, 1958. Paul Rudolph, architect.

Festival participants will have a chance to experience Sarasota’s architectural jewels in the context of Florida’s subtropical setting. SAF’s board chair, Janet Minker discusses the importance of the relationship between the Saratosa architectural movement and its location. She states, “There’s a reason a globally significant architectural movement grew up in what used to be sleepy seaside town by the Gulf of Mexico. Not every city with beautiful sandy beaches and palm tree-lined streets inspired an architectural movement that actually takes the city’s name. Sarasota did. We’re going to examine why.”

Festival Highlights

October 9
Opening Reception: The Building Itself Teaches. Lorrie Muldowney, manager of Sarasota County Historical Resources will offer insights in this final showing of an exhibit of Philip Hiss’ legacy of architectural excellence as head of Sarasota County’s public school system.

 

October 10
Experiential Transformations. The life of a building is the life of the people who use it. Noted architect and keynote speaker Lawrence Scarpa will investigate the experiential context of creating, enjoying and preserving great structures, and why experience is the most important building block of all.

Laying the Foundation: The Making of a Modern Sarasota, 1880-1940. From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, John Hamilton Gillespie, Bertha Palmer, John Ringling and Owen Burns laid the foundation for the modernist architectural visionaries to come. Architectural columnist Harold Bubil and historian and author Jeff LaHurd will shed light on their achievements.

Stories on Stage: Interview with John Howey. In 1997, architect John Howey’s The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966 hit the bookstores. His groundbreaking book put the region’s modernist legacy back on the map and inspired the modernists of the future. What’s the story behind the story? Thanks to an unscripted interview with historian Christine Madrid French, we’ll find out.

Bubil’s Top Ten Buildings in Sarasota. Architectural critic and Herald-Tribune columnist Harold Bubil will reveal his best-loved buildings, including work by Jack West, Victor Lundy, Paul Rudolph and I.M. Pei, on this trolley tour.  

 

October 11
True Veterans of the Sarasota School. Sarasota School veterans Tim Seibert, Carl Abbott and John Howey will explore the architectural alchemy that made this regional expression of mid-century modernism possible. Architect and architectural critic Joyce Owens will moderate this magical panel discussion.

Prosperous Bohemians. What do Long Island and Sarasota have in common? A legacy of mid-century modern beach houses—some demolished, and some still standing. Alastair Gordon’s presentation will reveal sustainable, domestic spaces by Charles Gwathmey, Richard Meier, George Nelson, Philip Johnson and others.

Philip Hiss: The Impresario of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Morris Hylton III will explore the architectural impact of adventurer, photographer, author, diplomat and entrepreneur, Philip Hanson Hiss III.

Mid-Century Modern: Inside, Outside and Beyond. Architects Samuel Holladay and Michael Epstein and interior designer Pamela Holladay will investigate the mid-century modern paradigm, and how contemporary architects and interior designers can approach that design inheritance with understanding and respect in their renovation projects. Case studies will reveal creative design solutions to mid-century makeovers in the real world.

Paul Rudolph’s Sanderling Beach Club Buffet Supper. Rudolph’s national reputation is defined, and sometimes pigeonholed, by his monumental concrete structures. Here, dinner guests will enjoy his playful side, in an interconnected, vaulted gathering space of cypress, glass and concrete. Architects Joe King and Carl Abbott will supply the dinner conversation.

 

October 12
SarasotaMOD 2015 Preview. Secrets and surprises are on the menu at this Sunday brunch at the mid-century inspired Shore Diner on beautiful St. Armands Key. Guests will preview SAF’s plans for SarasotaMOD 2015 and meet the team behind SAF’s ambitious recreation of Paul Rudolph’s iconic Walker Guest House on the campus of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Be sure to visit www.sarasotamod.com for more information!

(All photos: Greg Wilson)

Design Driven City: Engaging designers to shape better cities

By Marine

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Remember when you and your family were playing the Sims, building houses, cities, and communities? Designers and architects, you could be doing the same things in real life, or pretty much so. Helsinki, Mexico City, Manchester: all have hired city creative directors to help foster civic innovation and find solution to inherent urban problems.

One of the most ambitious and comprehensive projects, Design Driven City, was launched this year in the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Lahti. A legacy of the Helsinki World Design Capital event in 2012, this two-year project aims to help shape better and more people-centric cities. Design Driven City believes in the power of design to create user-friendly cities with better services for citizens and to spark conversations among communities around new ideas.

A multidisciplinary effort, Design Driven City leverages the experience of three designers: Sara Ikävalko, Mikko Kutvonen and Pablo Riquelme. Their mission as “city designers”? Build an understanding of design within the city, consult and educate city employees on the process of design.

Above (from left to right): City Creative Directors’ Pablo Riquelme, Sara Ikävalko, and Mikko Kutvonen

Over the next two years Design Driven City will work with 10 to 15 projects. The first projects will be: Tidy Construction Site, an initiative of Stara (the City of Helsinki’s construction service provider) that aims to improve the look and navigation of construction sites; a Home That Fits, which looks at solutions for youth homelessness; and Helsinki Festival (15-31 August 2014), a festival park area that will transform the capital’s Citizens’ Square into a gathering space with changing structures and functions.

There is no doubt that Helsinki is emerging as a city to watch as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation chose the Finnish capital to launch its first open, international architectural competition. The jury of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition is on the lookout for a visionary design for the proposed museum in the Eteläsatama, the South Harbor area of Helsinki with great national and cultural significance. Projects must be submitted before September 10th.

Now, design lovers, don’t you think Helsinki could be a great vacation escape this summer?

Above: The port of Helsinki, the heart of the city

Above: The port of Helsinki, the heart of the city

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