The Getty Trust announced last week that it will give its J. Paul Getty Medal to Frank Gehry. This is the third time the Getty will hand out the award—established “to recognize living individuals from all over the world for their leadership in the fields in which the Getty works”—and the first time it will go to an architect.
Portuguese architect, curator, and writer Pedro Gadanho will join the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design as a curator of contemporary architecture effective January 11. In addition to organizing exhibitions, Gadanho will supervise the annual Young Architect’s Program, which has recently expanded from New York to Rome and Chile. Read more details in AN‘s breaking news story.
In other museum news, James Cuno, the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, has taken on yet another Getty role: acting director of the Getty Museum. In addition to supervising all of the Getty’s various holdings, Cuno, the former director of the Art Institute of Chicago, will now be back in familiar territory, overseeing the museum following the resignation of acting director David Bomford.
Other West Coast shifts: Behnisch Architekten closes their Venice, CA office, while Oakland, California-based VDK Architects, which specializes in the Science & Technology market sector, has merged with the architecture and engineering practice Harley Ellis Devereaux.
Dwell magazine regrouped this fall following the departure of editor-in-chief Sam Grawe and also established a New York editorial outpost; executive editor Amanda Dameron was promoted to editor-in-chief and Alejandro Chavetta was bumped up from art director to creative director. Kelsey Keith departed Curbed NY to join Dwell as a New York-based senior editor.
60 Seconds Helicopter. The Sikorsky Prize is legendary, for it has not yet been awarded–it’s still awaiting its first winner, whose human-powered helicopter will reach an altitude of 3 meters (10 feet) during a flight lasting at least 60 seconds, while remaining in a 10 meter square (32.8 foot square). But Inhabitat reports that if things go as planned, a team of students from the University of Maryland may be taking home the prize with their human-powered flying machine, the Gamera.
BIG’s beautified universe. Metropolis deconstructs the renderings of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s latest project: a mosque complex in Tirana, Albania. While the thoughtful octagonal design (an overlap of the Mecca orientation and Tirana’s urban grid) may have put BIG in front of the competition, one can’t help wonder if the seductive juxtaposition of photo-realism and and benign atmospheric glow in BIG’s renderings may be the secret to the firm’s running marathon of competition wins.
More Getty Trust. Christopher Knight at The Los Angeles Times raises a good point regarding the J. Paul Getty Trust’s appointment of James Cuno, currently director of the Art Institute of Chicago, as Trust president and chief executive: It might be a brilliant idea to appoint him to the directorship for the Getty Museum, finally merging the two positions.
Suburbia Objectified? Allison Arieff of The New York Times comments on the recently launched Open House, a collaborative project in which the Dutch design collective Droog and Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects imagined “future suburbia.” She laments that the project missed the point– by treating a real place (Levittown) as a “perfect blank canvas” and dodging “the real issues.”