Midcentury American Art and Design
Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
Through January 15, 2012
Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design presents the evolution of the design industry spanning 25 years, from the late 1940s to 1969. The show explores the contributions of artists and designers using craft media—defined here as clay, fiber, wood, metal, glass, and alternative materials—within a culture focused on mass-production in the years following World War II. Through their work, designers and craftsmen reacted to the plethora of machine- and mass-produced consumer appliances, furniture and textiles; at the same time a there was a growing consumer interest in the individualistic aesthetic of handmade works. Craft, which spanned the fields of product design to architecture, became a medium for social commentary, philosophy and wit, as seen in the My Mu terracotta vase by Isamu Noguchi (above), an idiosyncratic, three-legged ceramic containing a central cavity that provocatively references the Zen concept of mu, meaning “nothingness.” In addition to Noguchi, the exhibition features the work of Harry Bertoia, George Nakashima, Ray and Charles Eames, and Alexander Calder, among others.
DesigNYC continues on its mission to match civic-minded designers with nonprofit organizations in New York City. For its third cycle of projects in 2012, desigNYC will focus on the theme of Recharging Communities. Nonprofit organizations and pro bono design teams are invited to submit applications by THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 at 5 pm EST via desigNYC’s website.
This round aims to identify and support projects intended to strengthen communities, promote social interaction, and improve neighborhood environments through better housing and public space as well as social media and knowledge-based networks. DesigNYC is seeking a range of design disciplines and projects types that may address these goals.
The 2012 selection jury will be announced in the coming weeks, and design firms, nonprofit organizations, and partnered teams will be announced by the end of the year, in order to begin work in January 2012. Each project-designer team is assigned a desigNYC mentor who helps facilitate collaboration and link the team back to the desigNYC support network.
For applications, more information, to see previous projects, and to learn how to get involved, visit desigNYC’s website.
With Archtober fading away with the fall leaves and buckets of Halloween candy, here’s one last look at the last three Archtober Buildings of the Day from Halloween weekend!
Building of the Day #29: NYC Information Center
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY
Neither snow, nor rain… your intrepid Archtober team made it through the snowy October nor’easter to visit the Official NYC Information Center at the Times Square Alliance, designed by WXY architecture + urban design and Local Projects and run by NYC & Company. Alas, our architect tour guide didn’t.
“Banality,” the theme of Storefront‘s Critical Halloween costume fundraiser, was manifested in an array of clever–and occasionally perplexing–forms on Saturday evening at the 3-Legged Dog in Manhattan. Blizzard-like conditions did not deter a group of over 250 design-o-philes and at least one (in)famous party crasher from getting decked out in spandex, foam, plush, rubber, tulle, and acres of cardboard. The weather did prevent Liz Diller from arriving to judge the costume contest, but her fearless partner Charles Renfro stepped into the breach, and channeling Damien Hirst in a rhinstone-studded skull mask (“Greed”), took his place alongside judges Wangechi Mutu (embodying Pantone’s “Bluebird”) and Justin Davidson (dressed as an architecture critic).
Over the weekend, we headed out to Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out the light show of Jane’s Carousel. We had been told that silhouettes of horses were to be projected onto a ceiling scrim until 1AM. We even held ambitions of traipsing across the Brooklyn Bridge to get a better view. But after watching a spectacular sunset reflect off of Jean Nouvel’s acrylic cube, the show was over. We were told that the lights for the magic lantern were much too hot for the recently restored horses. No matter, it’s hard to surpass the carousel’s bulbs reflected in the acrylic, with a glittering Manhattan serving as backdrop.
Shortly after the Landmarks Preservation Commission declared a section of the Grand Concourse an historic district on Tuesday, New York Times columnist Constance Rosenblum received a call with the news. Walking down Montague Street near her home in Brooklyn Heights, the usually unflappable writer burst into tears. When it comes to the Concourse, Rosenblum wrote the book. Her 2010 chronicle of the corridor, Boulevard of Dreams (NYU Press, $20), played a significant role in calling attention to the plight and promise of the neighborhood. “It was notable day,” she said in a phone interview in reference to the announcement. “It wasn’t easy for the Bronx, and the stigmas will remain for a long time.”
The New Museum has been transformed into a real-life game of chutes and ladders, or perhaps a Fun Palace a la Cedric Price, for its new exhibition Carsten Höller: Experience that opened this week and is running through January 15, 2012. The centerpiece of the show is a spiraling stainless steel slide traversing the fourth through second floors and providing what certainly must be the most rapid vertical circulation in the entire city short of a plummeting elevator . We stopped by to check out the slide and, after signing our lives away on a waiver, took a couple rides ourselves.
The closest thing we have to Carnival in the US, Halloween offers a chance for type A-types (yeah, we’re looking at you, architects) to blow off some steam. Tomorrow night, Storefront for Art and Architecture’s hosts its Critical Halloween costume soiree at the 3-Legged Dog at 80 Greenwich St. The theme? Banality!
Lest you thought this might be an eggheads-’round-the-punchbowl affair, be aware that this party just made New York Observer‘s list of New York’s 10 Hottest Halloween Events to Die For alongside fetes hosted by the likes of model Miranda Kerr and V Magazine. Read More
You could literally smell the champagne aroma at Tuesday night’s gala reopening of New York City Center. Row upon row of glasses were poured just before the doors opened to reveal Ennead’s $56 million renovation of the beloved hall. Backstage, wide-eyed dancers and musicians rushed with palpable pre-performance angst. Duncan Hazard, Ennead’s partner in charge of the restoration, gave us a whirlwind tour before the curtain went up.
Modernism in Miniature: Points of View
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile
Through January 8
Modernism in Miniature examines the relationship between architectural model-making and photography, spanning the years 1920 to 1960. It posits model photography as its own genre, exploring the evolution and visual methods used to capture these miniature architectural representations. Focusing on the encounter between media and architecture, the exhibition investigates the link between design and mass media with themes such as “Object and Image” and the “Art of Simulation.” Models by architects including Mies van der Rohe, Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, and Carlo Mollino (his model for a San Remo apartment, above) illustrate the changing architectural expression and visual representation of mid-century modernism.