City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982
Through May 5
Change: Baghdad, 2000–Present
Through June 23
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Two complimentary exhibits at the Center for Architecture capture an aspirational past and equally ambitious present in the Middle East. City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 shows a flourishing cosmopolitan city that—whatever the regime—commissioned an impressive array of international design talent for much of the last century resulting in an architecture combing modernist ideas with interpretations of the local climate and culture. Through models and drawings, including Walter Gropius and Hisham A. Munir’s campus building (top) at the University of Baghdad, rather than photographs in order to emphasize the optimistic intentions of the period, City of Miracles sheds light on a significant but rarely seen corner of global modernism. CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000–Present surveys 123 contemporary works from 20 countries in the wider Middle East, including Asymptote and Dewan Architects’ Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi (above), gathered through an open call for submissions. The impact of rapid growth and instant globalization is evident through supertalls, man-made islands as well as UNESCO monument sites under siege.
Sarah Morris: Points on a Line
The Wexner Center
1871 North High Street
Through April 15
Points On A Line, a 2010 film by artist Sarah Morris, takes two iconic buildings as its central characters, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut (above). Commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns both properties, the film is a meditation on the relationship between the buildings—Johnson, an acolyte of Mies and inspired by Farnsworth drawings, happened to complete his New Canaan house first—and the structures as they exist today. But it is the relationship of the architects themselves that becomes Morris’ narrative thread, serving as a springboard to explore their other architectural overlap: Johnson’s glamorized corporate interiors for the Four Seasons, the power-broker restaurant in the base of the Mies-designed Seagram building in Manhattan. Points on A Line underscores how our perception of a space is affected not just by its design but also its mythology.
News Paper Spires
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Pl.
Through July 2012
Focusing on the years between 1870 and 1930, News Paper Spires at the Skyscraper Museum considers the buildings where the most important events of the day were committed to the public record with ever-increasing speed. Just after the Civil War, The New York Times, The New-York Tribune, and The New York Post all were headquartered on the so-called “Newspaper Row” to the east of City Hall Park (above), each headquartered in early skyscrapers, where writers and editors worked above, while below typesetters and steam-engine powered printing presses churned out morning, afternoon and evening editions. In this exhibition, the history of these vertical urban factories—including their migration from downtown to midtown—is considered through films, architectural renderings, photographs, typesetting equipment, and the archival newspapers themselves.
In office expansion news, Aedas announces it plans to double the size of its London office (currently 80 staffers) in the next two years to keep pace with work in Russia and North Africa.
Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org!
**2/27 Breaking news: The New Yorker‘s Paul Goldberger will be joining the panel discussion. Critical mass!
Monday, February 27
Architecture Criticism Today
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Who is best served by criticism? Who is the proper audience? Can it simultaneously serve the profession and the wider public, or are they mutually exclusive? How has role of general-interest media critics evolved? As a project comes to life, at what point(s) should critics weigh in?
The first of a four-part series on Architecture and the Media will address some of these questions, when architecture critics discuss the role of criticism in the field of architecture today and how it informs the general public’s understanding of design.
AN‘s executive editor Julie Iovine will moderate a panel discussion among architecture critics at consumer, business and trade publications: Justin Davidson (New York Magazine), Cathleen McGuigan (Architectural Record), and James Russell (Bloomberg), with audience Q&A to follow.
1.5 CEUs; $10 for members and students; $20 non-members. TICKETS
Organized by the Oculus Committee, the AIANY Marketing & PR Committee, and The Architect’s Newspaper.
Stanley Tigerman: Ceci n’est pas une rêverie
Madlener House, Graham Foundation
4 West Burton Place
Through May 19
Curated by Yale School of Architecture Professor Emmanuel Petit, Ceci n’est pas une rêverie (“This is not a dream”), is a retrospective that examines the architectural and conceptual work of Stanley Tigerman (top, 1966). Occupying three floors of the Graham Foundation’s Madlener House, the exhibition is arranged in relation to nine dominant themes recurring throughout Tigerman’s 50 career: Utopia, Allegory, Humor, Death, Division, (Dis)Order, Identity, Yaleiana, and Draft.
A variety of media, including models, photographs, and archival documents, offer a sampling of the architect’s output, and the exhibition includes one of Tigerman’s best-known pieces, The Titanic, 1978 (above), a collage that explicitly critiques the state of architecture in the late 1970s with S. R. Crown Hall sinking into Lake Michigan.
While most design students are starting the scramble for plum summer internships, Tina Uznanski can rest easy, knowing a desk with her name on it will be waiting at Gensler’s London office. Uzanski, an interior design student at the Pratt Institute, has received Gensler’s annual Brinkmann Scholarship, winning a paid summer internship at the Gensler office of her choice and a cash prize to be put toward her final year of study at Pratt. The award was established in 1999 as a memorial to interior designer and former Gensler partner Donald G. Brinkmann.
Uznanski won the competition with her clever concept for a renovation of her neighborhood library in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, that creates a flexible room through “shifting stacks.” images after the jump
Luka Fineisen: Phase Transitions
531 West 36th St.
Through March 31
“Phase transition” refers to the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one state of matter to another. German artist Luka Fineisen explores these shifts by framing the moment of transformation from one condition to another; she sculpts dynamic systems, the final work of art being the system’s realization of potential. In this way, even sculptures that appear static, such as Bubbles (above, 2010), draw attention to the temporality of material—this is not plastic, but a material in search of its form. This will be Fineisen’s first solo exhibition in the United States.