Chicago announces inaugural architecture biennial to begin in 2015

Decay of the Dome exhibit at the 2010 Venice Biennale. (Lu Wenyu)

Decay of the Dome exhibit at the 2010 Venice Biennale. (Lu Wenyu)

Chicago, in a bid to boost its tourism industry and cultural cachet,  will host an international design exhibition next year modeled after the Venice Biennale, which every two years draws contributions from architects and artists from around the world. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Chicago Architecture Biennial Tuesday.

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Brooklyn’s Kentile Floors Sign to Be Disassembled And Relocated

Design, East, News, Preservation
Friday, June 13, 2014
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The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

A compromise has been reached in the heated battle over the fate of Brooklyn’s iconic Kentile Floors sign. The New York Times reported that the sign’s owner will dismantle the structure and donate its red letters to the Gowanus Alliance, a local group which plans to reinstall the sign nearby. For that to happen, though, the eight-story, 50-year-old sign must first be removed from its current rooftop home without breaking. “There are some hurdles to clear,” reported the Times. “The permits require that the 20-foot-high letters be reduced to four-by-four-foot sections and sent down a debris chute off the roof.” City Councilman Brad Lander, who recently launched a petition to save the sign, told the paper he hopes the letters can be removed with a pulley and not “crammed down a chute.”

 

 

Kentile Floors Sign in Gowanus Brooklyn is (Likely) Doomed

Art, Design, Development, East, Preservation
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr /

The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr / ekonon)

The industrial past of Gowanus, Brooklyn is rapidly disappearing as the neighborhood transitions into a more mixed-use future. As the low-slung factories and warehouses continue to disappear, the iconic, eight-story, Kentile Floors sign could go with it.

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Ball-Nogues Rethinks the Corner with a Silvery Halo in West Hollywood

Art, Design, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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Corner Glory (Ball-Nogues)

Corner Glory at The Dylan.  (Ball-Nogues)

A prominent corner in West Hollywood now wears an architectural halo. Tasked with designing a permanent installation for The Dylan, a new apartment building at Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Ball-Nogues Studio decided to create “something that would serve as a kind of gateway to West Hollywood,” according to Benjamin Ball. “Because we were going to work on this corner, we didn’t have very much real estate. We decided to think about the corner as though it was emanating a kind of supernatural force, something suggestive of some kind of metaphysical presence emanating from this banal corner of the building. Sort of like a glory that surrounds a relic’s figure in religious iconography, without the religious icon.”

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Cambridge Architectural Weaves a Flexible Steel Curtain

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Installed in the lobby of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center, the moveable mesh curtain serves as a room divider and security screen. (Courtesy Cambridge Architectural)

Installed in the lobby of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center, the moveable mesh curtain serves as a room divider and security screen. (Courtesy Cambridge Architectural)

Strength and softness meet in a metal mesh room divider.

Interior dividers can be functional to a fault. If a partition is all you need, then even drywall would do the trick. A custom-built metal curtain in the University of Baltimore’s new law building, however, brings an architectural sensibility to the problem of dividing one space into two. The curtain bisects the lobby with stainless steel, woven into mesh for a unique and uncharacteristically soft texture. Read More

Cooper-Hewitt Names Brooke Hodge Deputy Director

Art, Design, East, Shft+Alt+Del
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Brooke Hodge (courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)

Brooke Hodge (courtesy Cooper-Hewitt)

As the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum gears up for its reopening later this year, the museum announced today it has hired Brooke Hodge, a widely respected curator and museum administrator, as its new deputy director.

Hodge is currently the director of exhibitions and publications at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She was previously the architecture and design curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, where she organized shows on Frank Gehry, the automobile designer J Mays, and Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture. She was let go from MOCA amid financial and organizational disruptions at that museum, which lead to several changes in leadership and the near closure of the museum. Hodge is currently working on an exhibition of Thomas Heatherwick, which will open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas in September.

“Brooke will be diving into preparations for our opening later this fall, while partnering with me and museum teams on the exciting, future plans for the nation’s design museum,” Caroline Baumann, director of the Cooper-Hewitt, said in a statement.

Blue Plate Special: Bjarke Ingles Reinterprets Walter Gropius With “Big Cities” Dinnerware

(Courtesy BIG + KILO / Rosenthal)

(Courtesy BIG + KILO / Rosenthal)

In 1969, Walter Gropius designed a collection of china for Rosenthal. Named after his atelier in Cambridge, The Architects Collaborative, TAC’s elegant and curious forms are pristine in white porcelain. Embellishing Gropius’ design would naturally be heresy to some purists. To others, it would reflect his belief in the collaborative process. In their update of the tableware, called TAC Big Cities, architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG and Danish industrial design studio Kilo teamed up to create an urban motif for the collection.

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Obit> Massimo Vignelli, 1931–2014

Design, International, Obit
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
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Massimo

VIGNELLI IN GARY HUSTWIT’S DOCUMENTARY, “HELVETICA. (COURTESY GARY HUSTWIT)

Massimo Vignelli—the world-renowned graphic designer and creative mind behind one of New York City‘s iconic past subway maps—has passed away at the age of 83. Earlier this month, it was reported that Vignelli was leaving the hospital to spend his final days at home with his family. At that  time, Vignelli’s son, Luca, asked all those who were inspired by his father to send him a letter. Those letters quickly came pouring in from designers around the world. AN has compiled a few of these letters below and many more can be found on Twitter under #dearMassimo. Vignelli was truly a giant in the field and he will be missed.

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The Energetic City: Design Trust Calls on Designers to Create Connected Public Space

The Energetic City. (Courtesy Deutsch NY)

The Energetic City. (Courtesy Deutsch NY)

On Monday, dozens of designers, planners, and community organizers packed the amphitheater at the newly opened LEESER-designed BRIC House in Brooklyn‘s rapidly-growing BAM district. The attendees were there to hear the details of the latest Request For Proposals (RFP) from the Design Trust for Public Space, The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm.

The Design Trust has launched pivotal projects before, like their Five Borough Farm that is helping to redefine urban agriculture in New York City. This time, the group is seeking new ideas for public space and, according to a statement, “develop new forms of connectivity among the diverse people, systems, and built, natural, and digital environments of New York City.”

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Architecture 101> Harvard Students Tackle Policy and Design for Post-Sandy Resiliency

JohnsonTramba_TrevorAlison2

A breakdown of Tramba and Johnson’s restructuring of the National Flood Insurance Program using Jersery City as a pilot site. (Courtesy Harvard GSD)

As the Rebuild By Design jury mulls over a winner of its resiliency-based design competition to re-imagine the East Coast in light of Hurricane Sandy, students in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design have been creating their own ways to protect against the Next Big Storm. While their studio, titled “Design and Politics,” was purely academic, it was modeled on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official competition. The Dutchman in charge of Rebuild, Henk Ovink, oversaw the interdisciplinary teams of students, and representatives from half of Rebuild’s final ten teams served as jurors at the studio review.

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Campaign Seeks Your Letters For Gravely-Ill Massimo Vignelli

Design, International
Monday, May 12, 2014
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Massimo Vignelli in Helvetica documentary. (Via Creative Review)

Massimo Vignelli in Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica documentary. (Courtesy Gary Hustwit)

Famed designer Massimo Vignelli—known to many as the designer of this iconic New York City subway map—is gravely ill and has reportedly left the hospital to spend time at home with his family. In this  grave moment, Vignelli’s son, Luca, is asking all those who know his father—or is inspired by him—to send a letter.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Christopher Mount to Open Architecture and Design Gallery in Los Angeles

Mies van der Rohe, New National Gallery, Berlin, 1968, photograph by Balthazar Korab. (Courtesy Estate of Balthazar Korab)

Mies van der Rohe, New National Gallery, Berlin, 1968, photograph by Balthazar Korab. (Courtesy Estate of Balthazar Korab)

Having observed the absence of architecture and design materials from the American art collection scene, curator and scholar Christopher W. Mount decided to fill the gap himself. His eponymous Los Angeles gallery, housed in the Pacific Design Center, opens to the public on Friday, May 23 with A Modern Master: Photographs by Balthazar Korab. A second gallery, open by appointment, will be located on the Upper West Side in New York. “I really thought that this was the time,” said Mount. “I thought, ‘Here is a subject matter that major museums collect, and there hasn’t been somebody who opened a gallery.’” Read More

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