In a commentary against waste-producing lifestyles, Indian artist creates a sculpture made from 70,000 bottle caps

(Courtesy Arunkumar HG)

(Courtesy Arunkumar HG)

Indian artist Arunkumar HG has created a somewhat tongue-in-cheek calling out of our throwaway, waste-producing lifestyles with a shoreline sculpture made from nearly 70,000 bottle screw caps. The artist amassed the collection from his neighborhood over the course of a year, carefully stacked the caps, and connected them in vertical configurations using steel filaments.

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Honoring the forgotten: Melbourne-based artist Robbie Rowlands makes Detroit’s abandoned houses come to life

(Courtesy Robbie Rowlands)

‘In Between’ (Courtesy Robbie Rowlands)

The deteriorating floorboards and walls of abandoned homes appear to defiantly reassert their existence in artist Robbie Rowlands’ exhibition, Intervention. While on residency in Detroit, Michigan, the Melbourne-based artist drew attention to abandoned houses by ripping out certain sections and creating track-like extensions of their fixtures—so that the otherwise nondescript wall seems to implore, “pay attention to me.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Navy Pier’s new “Wave Wall” by nArchitects lays a modern Spanish Steps at the foot of a Ferris wheel

Navy Pier's new "Wave Wall" (nARCHITECTS)

Navy Pier’s new “Wave Wall” (nARCHITECTS)

Navy Pier is three years into a $278 million overhaul, and the new face of Illinois’ most visited tourist attraction is beginning to emerge—most recently a grand staircase titled “Wave Wall” washed over the foot of the pier’s famous ferris wheel.

COntinue reading after the jump.

A pair of Chicago architects planted this electric pink porch in downtown Vancouver

"Porch Parade" (Design with Company)

“Porch Parade” (Design with Company)

A stand-alone porch with a psychedelic paint job opened earlier this month on Vancouver‘s Robson Street, beckoning passersby to inhabit the lighthearted public space for the fifth round of the city’s Robson Redux design-build competition.

Continue reading after the jump.

Last year a labyrinth, now a giant ball pit: National Building Museum hosts indoor beach in its Great Hall

Design, East, On View
Monday, July 13, 2015
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(Courtesy Noah Kalina)

(Courtesy Noah Kalina)

The magnificent, four-story Great Hall of the National Building Museum is now a site for executing cannonballs, rolling on the floor laughing, and other acts of gleeful revelry. A giant ball pit filled with recyclable translucent plastic orbs cuts between the colossal Corinthian columns, bounded by an enclosure made from scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh all painted stark white.

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New York City converted this dingy subway tunnel into a colorful underground museum of street art

(Courtesy NYC DOT)

(Courtesy NYC DOT)

For a long time, the 900-foot pedestrian tunnel that leads to the 1 train in Washington Heights was one of New York City‘s creepiest spaces. Now, it’s been transformed into one of the city’s best places to see art—or at least take some impressive Instagram photos.

Continue reading after the jump.

Creative Time’s Anne Pasternak appointed director of the Brooklyn Museum

Art, East, News, Urbanism
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
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1_Plaza_at_night_650x431

The Brooklyn Museum at night

Former president and artistic director of Creative Time, Anne Pasternak, has been appointed the director of the Brooklyn Museum, replacing outgoing director Arnold L. Lehman, who has served the museum since 1997. Pasternak, who built Creative Time into one of the world’s leading art organizations, will continue Lehman’s publicly-engaged mission going forward, bringing her own take on public art and programming and the “other ways that artists want to contribute to public ideas,” as she put it in a 2013 interview with Paper Magazine.

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This netted, aerial sculpture above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway looks like lace but is stronger than steel

(Courtesy Melissa Henry)

(Courtesy Melissa Henry)

A multicolored aerial sculpture lords over the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston in spiderweb fashion, casting rippling shadows over the pedestrian-friendly highway topper.

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Detroit city council asks, graffiti: art or vandalism?

Detroit graffiti art by Four Eyes, via 4731 Gallery and Studios.

Detroit graffiti art by Four Eyes, via 4731 Gallery and Studios.

Graffiti: art or vandalism? For some there’s an absolute answer to that question, but for most there’s room for debate. In New York City, police chief Bill Bratton calls graffiti “the first sign of urban decay,” while work from Banksy (and sometimes lesser-known street artists) fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at New York auctions.

Detroit became the latest city to grapple with this question in an official capacity, with city council members previewing ordinances designed to cut back on blight that have brought a somewhat philosophical question into sharp legal focus: How do you distinguish between blight and art in a city renowned (or reviled) for both?

Continue reading after the jump.

Des Moines Dialogue by Substance Architecture

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Substance Architecture's pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines' Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Substance Architecture’s pavilion and pump stations are part of Des Moines’ Principal Riverwalk development. (Paul Crosby)

Zinc and glass unite riverfront pavilion and pump house.

In 2009, just as construction on its Principal Riverwalk pavilion was about to begin—and following years of funding-related stops and starts—Des Moines-based Substance Architecture received some unexpected news. The firm was commissioned to design a second building, a pump house, on an abutting plaza. At that point, recalled Substance’s Paul Mankins, it had been about three years since the firm started work on the pavilion. “There was some discussion in the office about whether the pump house should be an independent piece, or whether it should be formally related to the pavilion,” he said. “Our decision was that the pavilion would be stronger if it had this piece as a foil.” Using a limited material palette of zinc and glass accented by Jun Kaneko‘s artwork, Substance succeeded in creating a dialogue between the two small riverfront buildings, despite their differing programs and dates of origin.

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Iowa City picks Cecil Balmond for downtown art project

Art, City Terrain, Midwest, News, Urbanism
Thursday, February 12, 2015
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(Iowa City)

(Genus Landscape Architects / Iowa City)

Iowa City this week picked engineer-turned-artist Cecil Balmond to anchor an overhaul of the city’s downtown pedestrian plaza. His sculpture will be the focal point of Iowa City’s Black Hawk Mini Park Art Project, the first phase of an $11 million streetscape redevelopment project that officials hope to start next year. Read More

Chicago Placemaking Festival Aims to teach Old Places New Tricks

Art, City Terrain, Midwest, Urbanism
Friday, August 15, 2014
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(Metropolitan Planning Council)

(Metropolitan Planning Council)

In a few short years, the term placemaking has migrated from wonky urban planning circles to neighborhoods across the country—that communities come together around public space is no groundbreaking observation, but when successful the idea can be revolutionary on a local scale.

So hopes Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council, who this weekend will sponsor “Old Place New Tricks,” a bid to “activate” neighborhoods from Englewood to Ravenswood with public space interventions that range from a “healthy eating happy hour” to “Selfie Sunday.”

More info after the jump.

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