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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”