Protesters Clash with Police over Public Space in Istanbul

International
Friday, May 31, 2013
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Chaos in Istanbul's Taksim Square following protests. (Courtesy Hurriyet Daily News)

Chaos in Istanbul’s Taksim Square following protests. (Courtesy Hurriyet Daily News)

In increasingly violent episodes, protesters clashed with police this week in a park located in one of Istanbul’s busiest commercial hubs. A crowd began to occupy the Taksim Gezi Park on Monday in an attempt to protect the public space and its trees from bulldozers that had begun to clear the site for construction of a shopping mall. On Thursday morning, police used tear gas on the crowd and set afire their tents. But crowds only increased during the next 24 hours, and an early morning teargas raid on Friday resulted in over 100 injuries, some serious, according to the Istanbul Medical Chamber.

Continue reading after the jump.

Marlon Blackwell Weaves Plywood At The Crystal Bridges Museum

Fabrikator
Friday, February 1, 2013
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator
(Timothy Hursley)

(Timothy Hursley)

Marlon Blackwell uses ribbed ceiling to evoke craft while mitigating contemporary challenges at Arkansas museum.

The setting for the gift shop at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art seems idyllic—a vast glass wall opens onto a entry courtyard that gives way to a placid pond reflecting the Ozarks landscape. But to create a design for the 3,100 square-foot space in Bentonville, Arkansas, architect Marlon Blackwell had to overcome multiple hurdles. The first: a thicket of concrete columns supporting the green roof of the Moshe Safdie-designed building. Next: the west-facing glass wall, which made heat gain an issue. And finally: the very small budget (the total project cost was $644,000).

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Shareway 2030: How Höweler + Yoon Wowed Audi

International, Newsletter
Thursday, November 1, 2012
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(Courtesy HYA)

(Courtesy HYA)

Somewhere in the world right now, drivers and passengers are cursing their city’s traffic. The automotive snarls common in today’s metropolis are accepted as a symptom of modernity, but the traffic jam—as well as the battle between wheeled and foot traffic on city streets—is probably as old as the city itself. In fact, our forbearers dealt with it in many of the same ways that we’re attempting to now. To alleviate congestion in Rome, Julius Caesar implemented a version of road space rationing, forbidding carts and chariots to enter the city center before late afternoon. For bustling 15th century Milan, Leonardo da Vinci sketched an idea for road sharing system that separated pedestrian from wheeled traffic.

But the stakes of moving through the city were dramatically changed in the early 20th century with the debut of the car, a shift that provoked well-founded anxiety. “With all their speed forward, they may be a step backward in civilization,” Booth Tarkington wrote of automobiles in The Magnificent Ambersons, his 1918 novel that follows the beginnings of car culture. The multi-layered cost of cars and the infrastructure they require have come under intense scrutiny almost 100 years later, but one automotive company is hoping to be a leader in the conversation about what’s next. 2012 marks the second cycle in Audi’s Urban Future Award, a biannual competition that invites young architecture firms to contemplate what “mobility” could mean for cities in the year 2030.

Continue reading after the jump.

2012 Curry Stone Prize Winners Announced

International
Friday, October 26, 2012
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The Liters of Light project inexpensively illuminates dark houses in the Philippines.

The Liters of Light project inexpensively illuminates dark houses in the Philippines.

The annual Curry Stone Prize, which honors design for social change, has shaken up its awards program this year. Previously laurels went to a Grand Prize winner, leaving several teams as runners-up. But in recognition of Curry Stone’s fifth cycle, this year five winners will equally share the prize, including a cash award of $25,000 each. Announced this week, the 2012 winners are:  Center for Urban Pedagogy, aka CUP (Brooklyn, New York); Liter Of Light (Manila, Philippines); MASS Design (Boston, MA); Riwaq (Ramallah, Palestine); and Jeanne van Heeswijk (Rotterdam, Netherlands).

Once again the Curry Stone Foundation has teamed up with Harvard’s Graduate School of Design to create a larger educational event around the awards ceremony, which takes place at the GSD on November 15. The day following the winning teams will deliver presentations on their work and participate in panel discussions that are free and open to the public. Read More

Höweler + Yoon Win 2012 Audi Urban Future Award

East, International
Friday, October 19, 2012
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Eric Höweler accepts the 2012 Audi Urban Future Initiative Award. (Courtesy Audi Urban Future)

Eric Höweler accepts the 2012 Audi Urban Future Initiative Award. (Courtesy Audi Urban Future)

Last night in Istanbul, Audi bestowed its 2012 Urban Future Initiative award to the Boston-based firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture for Shareway, their 2030 vision for the Boston-Washington corridor. In a ceremony designed to generate Oscars-level suspense, Eric Höweler accepted the award (which carries a €100,000 prize) from Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Read More

On View> The Structural Sculpture of Alan Wiener at Feature Inc.

East
Friday, June 29, 2012
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Palace of the Clam’s Dream, 2009, by Alan Wiener (Courtesy Feature Inc.)

Palace of the Clam’s Dream, 2009, by Alan Wiener (Courtesy Feature Inc.)

Alan Wiener
Feature Inc.
131 Allen Street, New York
Through June 30

To architects and Chicago residents, Alan Wiener‘s resin sculpture Palace of the Clam’s Dream might evoke the distinctive scalloped plan of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers complex. While Wiener does admit admiring recent Chicago architecture—namely Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower—the sources of inspiration for his pieces tend to be more ancient, from  Cistercian abbeys to the rock-carved domes of Cappadocia, Turkey, and, in the case of Palace, Japanese netsuke figures. “I like to imagine getting inside these spaces,” said Wiener, aiming to make forms whose nature is ambiguous. Read More

Two Trees Sweet on Domino

East
Monday, June 11, 2012
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(COURTESY TOM STOELKER/AN)

Domino Sugar Factory site may be bought by Brooklyn developer Two Trees. (Photo: Tom Stoelker/AN)

Over the weekend, the New York Daily News broke the story that the Brooklyn-based developer Two Trees would be buying the Domino Sugar Factory site on the Williamsburg waterfront.  Responsible for developing the DUMBO neighborhood into a mix of galleries, retail, residential, and offices, Two Trees seems to have set its sights farther north. The company’s Wythe Hotel, a renovated textile factory located at Wythe Avenue and North 11th Street in Williamsburg, has been doing brisk business since opening in May. The Domino site, which contains landmarked buildings, sits several blocks south.  Read More

Walking Tours that Conjure New York’s Tragic Past

East Coast
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
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General Slocum Steamship Diaster, 1904. (Courtesy Sites of Memory)

General Slocum Steamship Diaster, 1904. (Courtesy Sites of Memory)

Before 9/11, the General Slocum steamship disaster was the greatest loss of life in a single day in New York. Never heard of it? You may have walked by a diminutive memorial fountain in Tompkins Square Park, but otherwise little remains to tell the tale of the 1904 East River wreck that killed over 1000 German immigrants from the Lower East Side. A major event of its time, the Slocum tragedy was commemorated in books and even a movie, but as generations pass, the memory has faded.

Sites of Memory, a newly launched project by art director and writer Angela Riechers, aims to reanimate the memories of events like the General Slocum, or the Civil War draft riots, or more contemporary tragedies like the shooting of Amadou Diallo, by taking you—physically or virtually—to the very spot and letting a literary-star narrators including Kurt Andersen, Luc Sante, and Lewis Lapham, tell you the often sad but always intriguing story of the unlucky people involved.

Continue reading after the jump.

Six Firms Compete for Audi’s High-Stakes Urban Future Award

International
Thursday, May 24, 2012
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Architects participating in Audi's Urban Future Initiative are considering what "mobility" might look like in cities in the future. Above, an underpass in Mumbai.

Architects participating in Audi's Urban Future Initiative are considering what "mobility" might look like in cities ca. 2030. Above, life below an overpass in Mumbai. (Courtesy CRIT)

Last week at Audi’s HQ in Ingolstadt, Germany, architect Junya Ishigami of Tokyo succinctly summed up the problem the car company aims to tackle: there is “a gap between people’s speed and the city’s speed,” Ishigami said. In other words, people’s habits evolve quickly to suit a 21st-century lifestyle, but the infrastructure of the cities they live in is constantly playing catch up. And Audi, whose primary product is by nature infrastructure-bound, wants get ahead of the curve.

Ishigami was one of six architects presenting research as part of the first phase of Audi’s 2012 Urban Future Award, a bi-annual program first started in 2010. The 2012 firms were selected for their track records of researching the urban environment and their relationships to one of six metropolitan areas: CRIT (Mumbai); Höweler + Yoon Architecture (the Boston-Washington corridor); NODE Architecture & Urbanism (Pearl River Delta); Superpool (Istanbul) and Urban Think Tank (São Paulo); and Junya Ishigami + Associates (Tokyo). The brief: to “create visions for individual mobility in the future.” Audi defined the future as ca. 2030, when it’s predicted that 70 percent of the world population will live in cities with eight million or more inhabitants.

Continue reading after the jump.

Space and Time Expanding at Yale Art Gallery

East
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
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Yale University Art Gallery (left to right: Louis Kahn building, Old Yale Art Gallery building, Street Hall). (Christopher Gardner)

Yale University Art Gallery (left to right: Louis Kahn building, Old Yale Art Gallery building, Street Hall). (Christopher Gardner)

Few university art museums have holdings that span from 3000-year old Chinese bronze vessels to bronze coins of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and from the blue-tiled gates of ancient Babylon to Blam, a red, white, and blue oil painting by Roy LichtensteinThe collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, both deep and wide-ranging, offer up an impressive art-fueled time machine, and thanks to the Gallery’s current expansion project by Ennead, visitors will be able to travel more easily than ever across history and cultures.

Continue reading after the jump.

Visitors Become Performers at OMA’s Marina Abramovic Institute

East
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
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OMA's design for a 650-seat theater at the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performing Arts in Hudson, New York. (Courtesy OMA)

OMA's design for a 650-seat theater at the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performing Arts in Hudson, New York. (Courtesy OMA)

What makes the performing arts so thrilling is also what makes them so elusive—they are, by nature, ephemeral. Any documentation of a performance is only a pale reflection of what it’s like to be there in the moment. So when performance artist Marina Abramovic began to contemplate what her own legacy would be, she thought beyond biographies, retrospectives, or monuments and instead began to develop a method of generating the kind of experiences she valued, one that would allow her kind of performances to continue long after the artist was no longer present.

Starting in late 2014, “long duration” (six hours plus) performance pieces as well as facilities intended to initiate the public into performance art will be housed in the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI) in Hudson, New York. The institute will occupy an old 20,000 square-foot theater that was purchased by Abramovic in 2007 and whose interior is being redesigned by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of OMA.

Continue reading after the jump.

Little House on the Pier? Residential plan considered for Pier 40..  Pier 40A new study looks at a variety of revenue-generating makeovers for Manhattan’s Pier 40, part of the Hudson River Park and home to multiple sports fields.  Commissioned by several organizations who are active users of the pier–the Pier, Park and Playground Association (P3), Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club–the study concludes that a hotel/residential combo would leave the most open space while going a long way to defray what currently is a debt-filled future for the underfunded Park. But such a plan would face several hurdles, including petitioning the state legislature to change restrictions on in-park housing now part of the Hudson River Park Act. Read the all details in The Villager.

 

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