Check your rearview mirrors, Audi. The Japan-based luxury car company Lexus recently announced the launch of a new design award that calls for proposals on the theme of “Motion”: ”Our daily lives are continuously filled with motion. The motion of things, the motion of people. Moving people’s hearts. Shifting consciousness…” You get the idea. And it’s one that may ring a bell—the theme of this year’s Audi Urban Design Award was “Mobility.”
In an intriguing twist, architect Junya Ishigami of Tokyo, one of the 2012 Audi award finalists who dropped out of that competition before the October judging, has now reappeared as a “mentor” to the Lexus award. There’s the requisite big-name panel of judges (Antonelli, Ito, and more), and a five million yen (about $60,000) prize for each of ten winners. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Audi.
Diagramming Schematic Intangibility
Robert Henry Contemporary
56 Bogart Street
Through January 6
Robert Strati’s work uses everyday materials to expose overlooked and unseen parts of our everyday lives. Employing ink-jet prints, wire sculptures, balloons, and packaging tape, Strati blends art with architectural theory, music, and science. His prints imitate scientific formulas, on top of astrological maps, on top of musical staffs, creating an interaction between formal shapes—points, lines, and planes—and metaphysical visualizations. Three-dimensional space is explored through wire sculptures and balloons that reveal invisible forces, like air and wind. The use of simple materials to reveal complex “dimensions of reality” was inspired by the works of Kasimir Malevich, Agnes Marin, Eva Hesse, Guglielmo Marconi, Leslie J. “Airplane” Payne, Gego, and Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks.
Do radically small apartments automatically beget a transient population and all that entails? That’s the fear of residents in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, the pilot site for a new building that will be 75 percent micro-units, or apartments that total about 300 square feet each. Community Board 6 finds it hard to imagine that anyone other than students or elves would be game, but City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden is charmed by the diminutive plans, stating at a recent presentation, “I think you’ll all agree that the apartment behind me is some place that one and two [person] households would be delighted to live in.”
David Zwirner Gallery
519 West 19th Street
New York City
Through December 22
Diana Thater’s video installation, Chernobyl, captures the effects manmade disasters have on the natural environment. Situating her work on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion in the Ukraine, which left a no-man’s land with the sudden evacuation of over 100,000 people, Thater highlights the possibilities nature has to rebuild itself when the ruins of industrial infrastructure are left to decay. She focuses on Prypiat, a city that was built to house nuclear plant workers, and the city’s wildlife, specifically the Przewlski’s Horse species that were released post-disaster and left free from human contact. Her work, both beautiful and startling, forces us to consider how we perceive images and their potential to dictate how we see our world.
Don your thinking cap and put pen to paper in one of these architecture and design competitions drawn from AN’s online competitions listing. We’ve selected five of the most interesting competitions for you here, but be sure to browse the full listing here. If you’d like your competition to be included in the listing, please submit it here.
Transparent Shelter Competition: Deadline: 01.20.2013
The Nordic Centre of Glass is challenging designers to create a glass bus stop design to prove the material is both visually appealing and practical. Entrants will base their designs on an actual bus stop in Holbaek, Denmark that offers little shelter from the elements.
Street Seats Design Challenge: Deadline: 02.01.2013
Design Museum Boston’s competition is calling for international designers to create a bench or “street seat” to inspire socially and environmentally responsible design for South Boston’s Fort Point Channel in the growing Innovation District. The entries will be displayed publicly in an outdoor design exhibit held from April through October 2013.
Historic Park In BJØRVIKA, OSLO: Deadline: 01.04.2013
An open ideas competition organized by a free association of young planners called ByFabrikken. Submissions are accepted in various mediums and entrants can choose to plan the entire park area in Oslo or a designated section. The ten best proposals will be presented in an exhibition and the top three winners will earn a small cash prize as well as tickets to a music festival at the park site.
Boulder Civic Area Ideas Competition: Deadline: 01.11.2013
The City of Boulder is asking student and professional designers to redesign Boulder Civic Area to meet the community’s social and environmental needs. The winning proposal will be published in Urban Land magazine and receive up to $15,000 in cash and prizes.
Nikola’s Belvedere: Deadline: 01.15.2013
As part of the Archstoyanie Festival, Nikola-Lenivets Project has announced the Nikola’s Belvedere competition in search of a design for an observation deck/belvedere for Versailles Park. The winning design will link the park’s art objects, a rotunda and arch, offer a panoramic view, and will be awarded 100,000 rubles and funding for construction.
Amid the hubbub surrounding the Space Shuttle Endeavor landing inside its temporary digs at the California Science Center (our favorite part at the opening: James Ingram crooning I believe I can Fly, with LA Mayor Villaraigosa dancing in a trance behind him), the museum has done its best to keep the plans for the orbiter’s future home under wraps. But we’ve managed to uncover some tantalizing details of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center: For one, the new building by ZGF will measure around 200 feet tall, enough to accommodate the spacecraft and its booster rockets standing upright. It may also feature a slide to the base of the Space Shuttle. Now that’s what we’re talking about.
The Paul Rudolph townhouse at 23 Beekman Place hit the market in early December, listed at $27.5 million. The property consists of four separate apartments, including the four-level penthouse that Rudolph himself lived in, along with his pet rabbits. But buyer beware: the penthouse, which was renovated in 2006 by Della Valle and Bernheimer, retains many signature Rudolph elements, like the death-defying stairways with no rails. Potential buyers should also consider getting “some new sprinklers and a back-up security system installed,” as Chas Tenembaum, one fictional former tenant of The Royal Tenenbaums fame, noted after failing to escape the house in adequate time after a fire drill. “Four minutes and forty-eight seconds. We’re all dead. Burned to a crisp.”
Architect, teacher, and critic Alan Colquhoun has died aged 91. Alan Colquhoun, 1921-2012, emeritus professor of architecture at Princeton University passed way yesterday in his Primrose Hill home in London. Colquhoun was a rigorous critic, writer, and intellectual and influenced several generations of students at Princeton and through his writings which include: The Oxford History of Modern Architecture, the seminal Essays in Architectural Criticism, and Modernity and the Classical Tradition. The Dutch journal; OASE recently published an edition devoted to his writings and teachings. AN will publish a full obituary in our next print edition.
LA architect Mark Mack has decided to take on several careers instead of the traditional single-job model. In addition to practicing architecture, he is now a screenwriter, chef, and DJ. He’s working on a screenplay about the early lives of Neutra and Schindler; he’s opening up a takeout restaurant focusing on small bites; and he’s spinning old and new songs on vinyl records. Surprised? Why? For all of us in LA it’s just a matter of time…
“If Zaha is in Paris, ask her to text me and make an appointment.” So read the text message from Karl Lagerfeld to Naomi Campbell. La Campbell was having a sit-down with Zaha Hadid, who happens to be designing the supermodel’s new house outside Moscow. But this wasn’t a meeting to review floor plans—it was an on-the-record chat (including incoming texts) for the German edition of Interview magazine. The conversation ranged from the subject of Hadid’s new book (on the Russian Suprematist movement, one of her foundational influences) to 3-D printers.
Funnily enough, Campbell covers a lot more ground than architecture writer Aaron Betsky manages in his recent and rather fluffy profile of Hadid for Glamour magazine, which named the architect as one of its Women of the Year. Here, Betsky cites Mame rather than Malevich as an early influence: “My house was like Auntie Mame’s, with my mother redecorating every season,” said Hadid.