Hooked on Fonts: Chicago Typographers Party Like They Just Don’t Kern

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Friday, April 4, 2014
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The typographic bunch. (Courtesy Typeforce 5)

The typographic bunch. (Courtesy Typeforce 5)

Apparently, Chicagoans are bonkers for typography. Jeff Sanchez, Graphic Design Manager for the International Interior Design Association, invited us to Typeforce 5, “the annual showcase of typographic all-stars.” Hosted by the Co-Prosperity Sphere down in Bridgeport, this was the most well attended opening we’ve been to in ages. Eavesdrop bumped into old AN pals, like local designer Michael Savona and Gravity Tank power players Robert Zolna and Moritsugu Kariya. Robert, Eavesdrop wouldn’t mind a new day job, so, if you hire us, rest-assured we’d never use Comic Sans or Chiller in communications with clients. Call us!

Attack of the Drones: Architects Turn to Flying Robots for Design Help

Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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[Researchers have also turned drones into builders, here laying bricks for a parametric tower.]

Look up in the sky: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s a drone. Yes, the U.S. military isn’t having all the fun… Architects are now getting into the drone game as well. In order to get a better look at their sites—particularly views from higher elevations—word has it that firms like AC Martin and Moore Ruble Yudell have developed their own drones, hovering high in the clouds and rotating in all directions. Air traffic rules for these sorts of things are still rudimentary, so flyers need to take things like etiquette and safety into their own hands. But for now it’s the Wild West. And it’s a virtual thrill that more may be taking off soon.

Shortlist Specials: West Coast Projects Name Names

Development, Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, March 28, 2014
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The Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles. (Atomic Hot Links / Flickr)

The Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles. (Atomic Hot Links / Flickr)

As the economy continues to roll we’re again awash in shortlists and competition wins. The Santa Monica City Services Building has a shortlist that includes SOM and Frederick Fisher. Teams shortlisted for the Herald Examiner Building include Christof Jantzen and Brenda Levin. LA’s Wildwood School shortlist includes Gensler, Koning Eizenberg, and one unknown team. The UC San Diego Biological Building has gone to CO Architects (recent winners of the AIACC Firm of the Year award). EHDD has won the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, and Harley Ellis Devereaux has won the Long Beach Belmont Plaza Pool.

Boulevard of Broken Bourbon Bottles: Louisville Ponders Its Waterfront Again

A re-imagined Louisville waterfront in the shadow of the elevated Interstate 64. (Courtesy MKSK)

A re-imagined Louisville waterfront in the shadow of the elevated Interstate 64. (Courtesy MKSK)

It’s beginning to sound a bit like a broken record, but for the umpteenth time, the conclusion has been drawn that the riverfront interstate, I-64, in Louisville, Kentucky, is a problem. That along with a lot of other advice—some insightful, some, like, “duh!”—was included in a new $300,000 master plan for the city developed by the firms MKSK, Development Strategies, City Visions, and Urban 1. The more insightful bits include ways of reconnecting Portland and west side neighborhoods with the urban core. The obvious, but still necessary, include the 42 million (that figure is a bit of hyperbole) surface parking spaces. Have you ever flown into Louisville? The downtown looks like a mall parking lot. Mayor Greg Fischer, don’t let this advice fall on deaf ears… again.

Where is that Sculpture? Oyler Wu’s “Cube” Adrift Somewhere in China

Art, Design, Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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(Courtesy Oyler Wu)

(Courtesy Oyler Wu)

One of our favorite duos, Oyler Wu, recently completed its biggest installation to date: The Cube, a twisting, glowing steel and wire concoction for the 2013 Beijing Biennale. The dramatic project is now touring China, but when pressed for the latest news the firm admitted that it is not sure where it is. So if you spot a giant cube somewhere in the country, please give them a ring, will you?

The Chicago Spire is One Big Ol’ Water-Logged Bucket Of Foreclosure

Development, Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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The Chicago Spire today only exists as a hole in the ground. (Marcin Wichary / Flickr)

The Chicago Spire today only exists as a hole in the ground. (Marcin Wichary / Flickr)

Social media was abuzz recently over the reports by eavesdrop, the WSJ, and other major papers about the biggest recession scab over Chicago: the failed Spire designed by Santiago Calatrava. That Irish pie in the sky developer apparently found someone to bail the project out of its foreclosure. Everyone was all, “It’s back on!” Dear readers, until they start pumping the water out of the big hole in the ground, Eavesdrop is betting against this one.

Bye-Bye Art Barn: Rice University to Demolish Martel Center Building

Art, Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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(Courtesy Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice)

(Courtesy Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice)

Texas art website Glasstire.com has confirmed the rumor that Rice University intends to demolish the Martel Center building—more informally known as the Art Barn. The corrugated metal structure was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil in 1969 to house the Rice Museum, a predecessor of The Menil Collection.

The utilitarian structure inspired the “tin house” movement that gained some momentum in Houston’s West End neighborhood in the 1970s.

Continue reading after the jump.

Filed Under: 

Is that Musk in the Air? Electric Car, Space Guru Has Plans For Texas

Eavesdroplet, Southwest
Monday, March 10, 2014
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Diagram of the Tesla Model S showing its battery pack. (Courtesy Tesla Motors)

Diagram of the Tesla Model S showing its battery pack. (Courtesy Tesla Motors)

Speaking of rumors, Texas Monthly spread the word that Silicon Valley billionaire visionary Elon Musk may be locating facilities for two of his future-looking companies in the Lone Star State. Musk’s SpaceX has been buying up land in Cameron County in South Texas with the implicit purpose of building a space facility on the site to launch an expedition to Mars. In more terrestrial affairs, the South Africa native is also considering building a battery factory in the state for his electric car company, Tesla Motors.

About Face: Nina Libeskind Favors American Folk Art Museum Preservation

East, Eavesdroplet, Preservation
Thursday, March 6, 2014
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Nina and Daniel Libeskind (Photo by TK) and the American Folk Art Museum (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

Nina and Daniel Libeskind (Photo by Mark Forte / Courtesy University of New Mexico) and the American Folk Art Museum (Photo by Dan Nguyen / Flickr; Montage by AN)

Just a week before MoMA made its somewhat ambiguous announcement that the folded bronze facade of the American Folk Art Museum building would be removed and stored—rather than tossed in a dumpster—Nina Libeskind excitedly announced over a lunch in Milan, “I’m going to get some architects together and save the facade!” Nina is known for her powers of persuasion, and Eavesdrop doesn’t know if she actually put her plan into action. If so, it might be the quickest reversal in New York preservation history. While Eavesdrop is glad that at least the facade is being saved, we doubt it will quell the ire directed at MoMA and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Filed Under: 

Our Crisis: Engineer Considers Options for Houston’s Transportation Future

Eavesdroplet, Southwest, Transportation
Thursday, February 20, 2014
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Houston. (Paul Sableman / Flickr)

Houston. (Paul Sableman / Flickr)

It’s no secret that Houston is going through a growth spurt. The city currently has four central business districts that, if separated, would each be among the country’s top 15 employment centers. In the next 30 years, 3.5 million people are projected to move to the 8-county region, with two million of those concentrated in Harris County.

Continue reading after the jump.

Selldorf Rumored To Be Winner at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Expansion

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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MCASD's La Jolla Campus.  (UC Davis Arts Club)

MCASD’s La Jolla Campus. (UC Davis Arts Club)

It’s not confirmed, but we hear from a source that the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)  has named New York–based Selldorf Architects to design its upcoming expansion. The approximately $25 million project would add about 30,000 square feet of exhibition space to the museum’s La Jolla location.

Continue reading after the jump.

Alphabet Soup: Architecture Firm Acronyms Gone Wild

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Monday, February 17, 2014
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(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

(Beanbag Amerika / Flickr)

What do architects, attorneys, and accountants have in common? Naming firms after themselves. Architecture firms are some of the worst offenders and Eavesdrop is constantly consulting Wiki to figure the names behind those initials. After decades of ego, leadership changes, and acquisitions, one would think that global design would be dominated by a firm called SOMHOKBKLMNOP.

So it should not come at any surprise that St. Louis–based HOK recently acquired the New York and Shanghai offices of hospitality firm BBG-BBGM. Eavesdrop refuses to do any research on the provenance of that cluster of initials, but, luckily, it appears the combined firm will just be HOK. BBG should add an impressive, high-end roster of clients—think St. Regis and Peninsula hotels—to HOK’s portfolio of marquee projects.

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