London Design Festival

International
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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London Design Festival
September 17–September 25

This year’s theme for the London Design Festival is “Design from all Angles.” Home base for the event will be the main exhibition hall at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but design projects will also be scattered at 150 sites throughout the city. A three-story red oak latticework spiral called Timber Wave (above) will frame the V&A entrance; the installation is by Amanda Levete, who was recently commissioned to design the museum’s courtyard and expansion. Elsewhere: at St. Paul’s Cathedral, John Pawson creates an optical allusion that distorts distance and depth through lenses and mirrors; this year’s Size and Matterinstallation at the Royal Festival Hall, an annual event highlighting design and technology, is a collaboration between David Chipperfield and Arup, who are sandwiching reflective metal-coated fabric mesh between glass to explore translucent and reflective properties.

More images after the jump.

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Prouve RAW’s New York Preview

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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For Prouvé RAW, a collaboration between Vitra and G-Star, Jean Prouvé's 1951 Direction Office Armchair No. 352 is reimagined

Jean Prouvé plus G-Star? The coupling at first seems an unlikely one, and not just because it is partially posthumous. But the fashion forward Dutch company, best known for its high-end jeans, counts the self-taught French architect and designer (1901-1984) among its inspirations. Two years ago G-Star called Vitra, who has owned the manufacturing rights to Prouvé’s furniture since 2001, and asked if the designer could come out to play. The result is Prouvé RAW, the latest edition in G-Star’s Crossover Series, design experiments that pair G-Star with designers outside the field of fashion. Prouvé classics like the 1951 Direction Office Armchair No. 352 (above) are reimagined as formal replicas in contemporary materials.

The collection was first unveiled on June 15 at Art Basel but makes its New York debut today, marking the start of a two-week preview (and pre-purchase) period before the line officially goes on sale in October. The launch was timed to coincide with the tail end of New York’s Fashion Week, with the idea that denizens of the runways might also be lured by a different kind of G-Star model, now posing in Vitra’s Meatpacking showroom.

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Helsinki Design Week

International
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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(Courtesy Helsinki Design Week)

(Courtesy Helsinki Design Week)

Helsinki Design Week
September 9–September 18

To warm up for its turn as the 2012 World Design Capital, the city of Helsinki will host a week-long design festival in September. A variety of sites throughout the city will be pressed into service, from public plazas to the Old Customs Warehouse. Architects and designers plan explore the relationship between the urban dweller and urban design. The exhibit I Am the City by the art and design collective, Ornamo 100, features Helsinki Throne (above) by interior designer Jouni Leino, and design think tank OK Do’s Museum of the Near Future transforms an unused office building into a library, bookstore, and public art studio. Design Week’s organizers trumpet Finland’s acclaimed education system, making architectural and design education practices a running theme throughout the week.

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Spotlight> Copenhagen Design Week 2011

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
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Thicket Installation at Copenhagen Design Week.

This past week in Copenhagen has been filled with a series of design exhibitions, fairs, conferences, and guided tours throughout the Danish capital city as part of Copenhagen Design Week, hosted by the Danish Design Center. Scandinavian architects, interior designers, urban planners, and filmmakers submitted work under the theme of “Think Human” and ranged from urban installations to furniture and industrial design. One exhibition highlight organized by the Center for Information Technology and Architecture is the project, Thicket Installation (above), that examines how technology and architecture impact connections between public and private life. Read More

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Design Week> BOOMSPDESIGN in Sao Paolo

International
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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The work of the forum's honored designer, the illustrator Glauco Diogenes.

As we noted while visiting the Center for Architecture back in July, the Brazilian design scene continues to heat up. This week in Sao Paolo the BOOMSPDESIGN International Forum of Architecture, Design and Art is back for its fourth year. In addition to a series of symposia with international and native talent, this design week will also include on-the-street collaborative art and design projects.

Curator Roberto Cocenza has pulled together a diverse mix of talent from Tokyo to Miami. This year Studio Dror, Matali Crasset, Paul Clemence, Cat, Harry Allen, Chad Oppenheim, Mount Fuji, Jade Dressler, and Rene Gonzales will criss-cross the globe to join Brazilians Brunete Fraccaroli, FGMF, Glauco Diogenes, Guilherme Torres, Sergio Matos, and Zoe Melo. An exhibition of Karim Rashid’s work will also be shown, as will a multi-generational exhibition of Japanese architecture titled “reset .11.03.11 new paradigms.” BOOMSPDESIGN runs through September 2.

Pictorial>Henning Larsen in Reykjavik

International
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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(all images courtesy Henning Larsen)

On Saturday, Icelanders celebrated the opening of the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. Designed by Henning Larsen, the building features a colorful, prismatic  facade, developed in consultation with the artist Olafur Eliasson. The architects and the artist drew inspiration from basalt stone formations found along the Icelandic coast. The building has both a rugged power, and yet the colorful facade, which changes throughout the day according to light conditions, is inviting. Read More

Open-Source Architecture: Download Your Own WikiHouse

Wikihouse prototypes. (Courtesy Wikihouse)

Wikihouse prototypes. (Courtesy Wikihouse)

Want to make your own home in 24 hours? Meet WikiHouse, a way to design and assemble a model structure within a single day. Wikihouse is designed to be easy to use with an online design community posting and editing open-source plans with Google Sketchup. Template plans can be downloaded and cut out with a CNC mill and then easily assembled with minimal skill.

From WikiHouse:

The first WikiHouse will be constructed in South Korea at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. We are now looking for architects, furniture designers, product designers, craftsmen, and makers from around the world who are interested in contributing to the WikiHouse process. If that’s you then please drop us an line on hello@wikihouse.cc!

Could downloaded design and “fabrication on the fly” be the future of architecture? How will open-source design impact the profession? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Check out the construction process after the jump.

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AN Video> Reimagining with Artist Ricardo Cid

Dean's List, International
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
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With a background in engineering, artist Ricardo Cid uses visualization to understand and reimagine everything from periodic elements to playing the sax. Here he flies through a presentation for the AN staff, leaving us more than a little fascinated, if not, at moments, a little perplexed.

Video> Lithuanian Mayor Goes on Bike Lane Offensive

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
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Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania crushing a car in the bike lane. (Video still)

Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania crushing a car in the bike lane. (Video still)

A few days ago on July 30, Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, became fed up with cars illegally parked in the city’s bike lanes. To prove his point, he ordered in a tank and proceeded to crush a Mercedes-Benz stopped not only in a bike lane but partially in a crosswalk. The mayor then takes all scofflaw motorists to task, declaring, “That’s what will happen if you park your car illegally!” Perhaps, best of all, the Zuokas swept the broken glass from the bike lane and hopped on an electric bike and rode off into the horizon. Can you imagine such a thing happening in America? (Via Urban Velo.)

Watch the amazing video after the jump.

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Piano Forte: Inaugural Renzo Piano Award Honors Young Italian Architects

International
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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Renzo Piano with Paolo Iotti and Marco Pavarani. (Courtesy Iotti+Pavarani)

Renzo Piano with Paolo Iotti and Marco Pavarani. (Courtesy Iotti+Pavarani)

Frank Gehry is looking to sell his archive, Richard Meier opens his Queens storage room for models to visitors by appointment, and now Renzo Piano is giving back, too. On June 10, his eponymous foundation launched a new awards competition to encourage young Italian architects, a rare breed these days.

To that end, the competition was open to designers under 40 with an office in Italy presenting a constructed work. The jury, composed mostly of architectural magazine editors, whittled 69 entries down to three winners who demonstrated “innovative and poetic space research.” The purse for the prize was 10,000 euros each.

The top honor, handed out in June, went to Iotti+Pavarani architects based in northern Italy. Piano was particularly impressed with their recently completed Domus Technica building, a training and innovation center for a manufacturing company in Brescello, Italy. Honorable mentions were bestowed upon ARCó and carlorattiassociati.

View work by the winning firms after the jump.

A Memorial Disappears: Croatia’s Petrova Gora Dismantled

Petrova Gora memorial in Croatia (Courtesy Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss)

Petrova Gora memorial in Croatia (Armin Linke)

Petrova Gora, the sculptural memorial to the partisan victims of World War II in Croatia, is being dismantled as we speak.

As reported on the AN Blog last year, the memorial was already abandoned and in disrepair, but new photographs taken on July 24th show that Petrova Gora has largely been stripped of its metallic skin. It is not clear yet who ordered or approved such dismantling of the memorial. Nor is it known to what extent or to what purpose this is being done.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Raising the Bar and the Roof: Heineken’s Pop Up Club Contest

International
Monday, July 25, 2011
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Heineken is making big plans to take on the party circuit at the Milan Furniture Fair.

Looking to brighten up the party at the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair and beyond, Heineken plans to sponsor a pop up club contest. The idea was hatched at the fair two years ago when global design and concept manager Mark van Iterson visited the Salone. The company was on the lookout for an ephemeral marketing idea that would make a nice splash–a beer equivalent of a concept car or couture, a top tier notion with a nice trickle down effect. But when the Icelandic volcanic ash kept him earthbound longer than he expected, he decided leave the exhibits and hit the party circuit instead. It was at one of the fair’s many venues he had his Isaac Newton moment. “I found it a bit dull, and we were waiting 40 minutes to get a drink, and we thought “we can do this so much better–that’s our business.”

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