Artek Joins the Vitra Family

International, Product, Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, September 6, 2013
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Artek's Lukki Family

Artek’s Lukki Family

On September 6, 2013, Vitra announced it acquired Artek. The Finnish furniture company was established in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto, his wife Aino,  Maire Gullichsen, and historian Nils-Gustav Hahl to produce furniture that promoted modern living. Over the company’s last 80 years, it has expanded its business to include rights to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s furniture collection and collaborations with renowned designers and artists such as Shigeru Ban, Eero Aarnio, and Enzo Mari.

Artek will continue operations as a separate entity but it is anticipated the purchase will expand the furniture company’s reach further beyond Finland, where contract and residential domestic sales account for 60 percent of its business. “The international dimension, which was a clear goal already in Artek’s founding manifesto of 1935, needed to be revitalized,” said Artek’s CEO Mirkku Kullberg in a statement. “That arena is where we want to be and alliances or ownership arrangements are one way of building the future.” Read More

Urban Planner Named New President of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
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Aerial view of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Courtesy Brooklyn Navy Yard)

Aerial view of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Courtesy Brooklyn Navy Yard)

David Ehrenberg has been appointed president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre, former ship-building base turned city-owned industrial park. Ehrenberg is currently an executive vice president at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Over the last decade the Navy Yard has emerged as an essential zone for preserving and growing New York’s manufacturing sector, especially small businesses. The Yard currently includes 4.5 million square feet of leasable space, with an occupancy rate of 99 percent.

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles Names First-Ever Chief Sustainability Officer

Shft+Alt+Del, West
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
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Matt Petersen (Global Green)

Matt Petersen. (Global Green)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti last week named Global Green CEO Matt Petersen as the city’s first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer. Peterson, according to the mayor’s office, will be tasked with “making the city’s departments greener and neighborhoods healthier, and fulfilling Garcetti’s campaign promise of creating 20,000 new green jobs.” Peterson should also have his hands full, not only getting each city department to cooperate, but on thorny issues like regulation of the city’s ports and transit corridors.

Global Green, if you’re wondering, is a non-profit dedicated to “advocating for smart solutions to global warming including green building for affordable housing, schools, cities and communities that save money, improve health and create green jobs.” Since its founding almost 20 years ago it has organized design competitions, testified in congress,  hosted awards, and raised money on behalf of green causes.

After a Decade, Paul Gunther To Bid Adieu To the Classicists

National, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
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Paul Gunther. (Courtesy ICAA)

Paul Gunther. (Courtesy ICAA)

After a decade at the helm, Paul Gunther is stepping down as the president of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). Under Gunther’s leadership the ICAA expanded to include 15 national chapters, and grew into a 14 person organization. In addition to holding lectures and symposia throughout the year, the Institute publishes the journal The Classicist, and it awards a summer fellowship for landscape painting. Last year the Institute held a provocative symposium reexamining postmodernism’s relationship to classicism, which drew a wide audience including senior members of the architectural community who rose to prominence in the pomo heyday of the 1980s as well as young designers drawn to the playful iconography of the period.

Continue reading after the jump.

Parsons Taps Brian McGrath To Lead Architecture School

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Monday, July 29, 2013
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Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Brian McGrath. (Courtesy Parsons the New School)

Parsons The New School for Design has named Brian McGrath as the new dean of the School of Constructed Environments, the university’s integrated school of architecture, interior design, lighting design, and product design, taking the place of interim dean David Lewis. Educated at Syracuse and Princeton, McGrath is the founder of the urban design consultancy, Urban-Interface, where he explores the role of architecture, design, ecology, and media in cities, and has been an associate professor of urban design at Parsons‘ School of Design Strategies.

“The School of Constructed Environments has a key role to play with respect to contributing research and practical applications of design to address the key issues of our time: rapid urbanization, globalization, social justice and climate change,” said McGrath in a statement. “We have taken an active role in recent post-Sandy discussions, and plan on expanding these efforts so that we can make a important contribution to future dialogues and debates on these topics.”

University of Miami Architecture School Dean Steps Down

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
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Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. (Courtesy DPZ)

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. (Courtesy DPZ)

Prominent planner and architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk has stepped down as dean of University of Miami’s (UM) architecture school after an 18-year-long tenure. Plater-Zyberk will continue to teach at UM, whose faculty she joined in 1979. During Plater-Zyberk’s term, UM’s architecture school became closely associated with traditional and Classical design and New Urbanism. The celebrated dean and her husband, planner and architect Andres Duany, are co-founders of Arquitectonica and planners of the pedestrian-friendly Seaside, a Florida panhandle town and setting of the movie Truman Show. Associate Dean Denis Hector will serve as acting dean.

Continue reading after the jump.

Wim De Wit Stepping Down At the Getty

Shft+Alt+Del, West
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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Wim de Wit is stepping down at the Getty (Yoshihiro Makino)

Wim de Wit is stepping down at the Getty. (Yoshihiro Makino)

Major news in the world of architectural scholarship. Wim de Wit, Head of the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art at the Getty Research Institute (GRI), is stepping down. He’s moving to Stanford, where he will be Adjunct Curator of architecture and design at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts. De Wit’s wife, Nancy Troy, has been a professor of art at Stanford since 2010.

Continue reading after the jump.

Baumann Named Cooper-Hewitt Director.  Baumann Named Cooper-Hewitt Director Come June 16th the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the only museum in the United States devoted solely to historic and contemporary design, will welcome a new director, Caroline Baumann. Baumann, who has served as acting director of the museum since September 2012, in her new role will primarily oversee the renovation of the museum and the reinstallation of its galleries, scheduled to open in fall of 2014. “The new Cooper-Hewitt visitor experience—physical and digital—will be a global first, a transformative force for all in 2014 and beyond, impacting the way people think about and understand design,” announced Baumann in a press release. (Photo: Erin Baiano)

 

Architect Gia Wolff Wins First Harvard Wheelwright Prize

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Wheelwright Prize winner, Gia Wolff. (Courtesy Gia Wolff)

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design officially announced the winner of the first Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship aimed at cultivating new forms of architectural research through cultural exchange. The jury awarded the fellowship to Gia Wolff, a Harvard graduate and Brooklyn-based architect, for her original proposal Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats. The young architect and professor, who currently leads her own practice, uniquely explored the cultural significance and design of the traditional parade float, which frequently transforms cities and brings people together during carnival festivals all throughout the world. The competition generated 231 submissions from 45 countries

Continue reading after the jump.

Van on Van: Guggenheim Curator to Lead Van Alen Institute

East, Newsletter, Shft+Alt+Del
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
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David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)

David van der Leer. (David Heald / Courtesy BMW Guggenheim Lab)

David van der Leer, an associate curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, has been appointed executive director of New York’s Van Alen Institute. He will take over in May. The Institute, which has existed for more than 100 years in various forms, is dedicated to improving the public realm through exhibitions, competitions, and programming initiatives in New York and beyond. Reached by email, van der Leer declined to elaborate on his plans for the Institute.

Continue reading after the jump.

Australian To Lead University of Pennsylvania’s Landscape Department

East, Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, January 4, 2013
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Richard Weller.

Richard Weller.

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design has announced that Australian Richard Weller has been appointed Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Penn Dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor believes that Weller is just the person to build on the department’s well known legacy of research and teaching since it was founded over 50 years ago by the legendary Ian McHarg. The department has been directed by Field Operation’s James Corner since 2000 who asserts that Weller is a “leading edge figure in our field.” Weller has been teaching at the University of Western Australia and was director of both the Australian Urban Design Research Centre and the design firm Room 4.1.3. His current research concerns ways of “conceptualizing, representing and designing cities a mega-regional scale.” In March of this year Weller will release his latest book, Made in Australia, that focuses on the long term future of cities.

SHFT+ ALT+ DEL: November 16, 2012, Extreme Accolades Edition

Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, November 16, 2012
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‘Tis the season for bestowing “Best Ofs”, and this edition of SHFT+ALT+DEL includes some of the recent laurels laid upon architects and designers by business and consumer press…

Zaha Hadid is named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year for 2012. (Glamour seems to have latched onto Condé Nast sibling The New Yorker calling Hadid “The Lady Gaga of Architecture…”)

Across the pond, David Adjaye is at the tippy-top of the 2013 Power List, ranked number one in the annual publication’s list of the most influential black people of the UK.

This year’s Pritzker Prize winner, Wang Shugets tapped as 2012 Innovator of the Year in Architecture by The Wall Street Journal.

South of the border, GQ Mexico named Esteban Suarez of BNKR Arquitectura, pronounced Bunker, Architect of the Year.

Congratulations to them all! Meanwhile, back in the salt mines…

More after the jump.

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