Been There, Done That!


Architecture & Design Film Festival Kicks Off 6th Season!

By sevan

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Last week, the Architecture & Design Film Festival kicked off its sixth season at TriBeCa Cinemas with the World Premiere of Gray Matters from award-winning director Marco Orsini. It was a star-studded event for the A&D community, with the creators and cast of the documentary in attendance, as well as a special appearance by the new Irish Consul-General of New York, Barbara Jones—who proudly announced that she hails from the same town as Eileen Gray.

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Part of the Eileen Gray Project, Gray Matters tells the story of Eileen Gray, one of the greatest unsung design heroes of the 20th century—an industrious woman who was at the epicenter of the modern movement, yet her contributions to it were largely unacknowledged until the decades after her death in 1976. The film gives an intimate look at the breadth of Gray’s creations, from her early lacquer work to the Villa E-1027, following her transformation from artist to furniture maker, and finally, architect.

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Color Invasion 2014 – You’re late! For a Very Important Date!

By yvonne

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“It’s always tea-time.” –The Hatter

Step into the fantasy world of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at this year’s Color Invasion, an annual theme party benefiting International Interior Design Association New York Chapter (IIDA NY) student activities and Design Awards Programs.

They will also be supporting The Pajama Program and providing a dropbox for new, unwrapped pajamas and books to individuals from infant to age 18. The program serves to help children and teenagers who have been abused, neglected, or living in poverty, and give them an opportunity to enjoy something as simple as clean pajamas. So, please be sure to bring a gift to help support this is wonderful cause!

Don’t be late for this very important date! Fall down the rabbit hole and come join the tea party – costumes are encouraged!

Color Invasion 2014 – The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Waterfront Tunnel
hosted at a new location this year!
269 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Thursday, October 16th 2014 – 7PM-11PM

Purchase tickets HERE.

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IFDA NY Takes a Bow

By danielle

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The NY Chapter of the International Furniture and Design Association (IFDA) kicked off the month by honoring its 2014 Take a Seat chair designers — inviting them to take a bow.

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While the event was held at the Axor Design Studio in the Meatpacking, attendees had the opportunity to Skype with five other IFDA chapters including Boca Raton, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, San Francisco and Washington D.C who were opening up their own Take aSeat exhibitions that evening. The collaborative spirit didn’t end there as many from the NY crowd signed up to participate in IFDA’s first Habitat for Humanity NYC build.

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They also presented a check for $10,000 to the non-profit organization.

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SCENES FROM CERSAIE 2014

By kristin

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Last week we traveled to the epicenter of tile innovation for the 32nd edition of Cersaie. Held every year in Bologna, Italy in the Emilia Romagna region (where 3/4 of Italy’s ceramic tile production originates), the fair is the tile industry’s equivalent of the Milan Furniture Fair, where companies launch exciting new products for all manner of indoor and outdoor surfacing.

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Toyo Ito delivered the keynote speech as part of the show’s Building, Dwelling, Thinking program. He was the sixth consecutive Pritzker prize winner to speak at Cersaie, attracting a crowd of over 1,000 architecture fans.

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With Italian culture deep-rooted in design and architecture, it came as no surprise to see prominent figures such as Alessandro and Francesco Mendini, Robert Dawson and Jean Marie Massaud launching new tile collections with Italian manufacturers.

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The Mendini brothers in front of their FILO collection for DesignTaleStudio

In terms of trends, playful graphics were everywhere – from comic book illustrations to pop art and cultural references.

"Identity" by Ornamenta

“Identity” by Ornamenta

Hexagons made a huge comeback but with a modern twist – from textural overlays and three dimensional surfaces to micro and macro sizes.

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“Details” by Tagina

The art of storytelling was also in full swing with brands reinterpreting historical patterns or taking inspirational cues from ancient myths.

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“Fossil” designed by Kasia Zareba, winner of Refin’s Create Your Own Tile competition

 

 

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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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.

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.

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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

May The Force Be With You This Summer At The Rubin Museum Of Art

By Marine

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Rubin Museum – Bodies in Balance

Is the daily grind grinding you down? Worried sick? It might be time to change your mindset. This summer, the Rubin Museum of Art—the only museum in the US dedicated to the Himalayan region—presents Bodies in Balance. Focusing on the art of Tibetan medicine, the exhibition, which runs till September 8th, will provide you with a better understanding of the forces that run in your body and teach you techniques to achieve peace and wellness.

Tibetan medicine—known as Sowa Rigpa or the art of healing—has been taught and practiced throughout Central Asia for more than 2,500 years. It combines the best elements of Indian ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine, and other medical traditions. In this holistic and complementary healing system, the human body is considered to be based on the “five cosmic energies”—space, air, fire, water, and earth. The biological intermediaries of these five are the “three humors” (nyepas in Tibetan)—wind, bile, and phlegm—which govern the physical and mental aspects of the being. Each of the three is considered to be a sort of energy or force, which circulates through the different channels, organs, and tissues of the body. In Tibetan imagery, they are associated with the colors pale blue, yellow and white. Imbalances in the nyepas create illnesses that are treated with medicines or through modifications in behavior or diet.

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Above: Tibetan tree – In the medicine tree, blue is the color for wind, yellow for bile and green for phlegm.

At Bodies in Balance, get ready to walk through a couple of millennia of Tibetan medicine. The exhibition demonstrates the advancement of Tibetan medical knowledge through 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present day, including medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments. A multimedia installation shows how Tibetan medicine is used today. There is also an interesting personal component to the show. Before entering the galleries, you are invited to fill out a brief questionnaire that determines which of the three forces is dominant in your constitution. Each of the three results corresponds to a color-coded pathway that will lead you through the exhibition to reveal the works relevant to your energy.

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Above: The Mandala of Shakyamuni Buddha, a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

In addition to the exhibition, the Rubin has designed a summer program that will leave you more balanced this summer. The related series of talks, classes, and workshops will transport you to an alternative universe in which you’ll learn all about the art of healing. These include: mandalas that feature the Medicine Buddha, the source of healing knowledge;  paintings of trees used in Tibetan medical schools; diagrams of diseases; pulse readings that detect the status of a person’s body, mind, soul, and spirit; and protective amulets based on astrological readings.

Talks, classes and workshops run from July 9th to August 20th, 2014, and will conclude with a conversation with life coach and The New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein, who will explain how meditation can help achieve happiness and well-being. Get your tickets here and peace out.

 

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