Janelle Zara
Architecture & Design News

OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News

Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Design Miami/ Announces 2014 Lineup and New Programs

Last year’s fair.

Design Miami/ has announced participants for this year’s Miami edition of the collectible furniture fair, which will run from December 3 through December 7 as part of Miami Art Week. This year marks the fair’s 10th anniversary, and also its first with new executive director Rodman Primack, who took over from Marianne Goebl this past February. Whereas the fair had 15 participants when it debuted a decade ago, this year’s editions welcomes 35 galleries to Miami. That includes 11 of the founding galleries, as well as newcomers Edward Cella Art+Architecture of LA and Gallery Diet of Miami — whose addition represents a marked interest in contemporary design from across the United States. (more…)

Chamber, a New High-Design Emporium, Opens Shop in NYC Next Month

It might just be the end-all of New York City’s design retailers: Chamber, a new boutique devoted to rare, vintage, and specially commissioned works of art and design is opening on September 24 on the ground floor of Neil Denari’s HL23 building along the High Line. Founded by Juan Garcia Mosqueda, Chamber’s concept is as uncommon as many of the shop’s wares. Mosqueda is selecting a new curator every two years to redevelop the store’s retail strategy and pick out its offerings, thereby regularly overhauling the shop’s entire program with updated commissions and pieces for sale.

Neil Denari’s 2008 residential HL23 tower, where Chamber will be located on the ground floor. (more…)

Graphic Designer Deborah Sussman Passes Away at 83

Pioneering Los Angeles-based graphic designer Deborah Sussman passed away on August 19 at the age of 83, reports the Los Angeles Times. The infamous designer, whose notable projects include the graphic identity for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, died of breast cancer, according to the newspaper. “[Sussman] used her signature combination of bright hues such as magenta and chrome yellow, sometimes mixed with pastels, to create graphics and signage that can be found in buildings and cityscapes worldwide,” explains the Times, which also notes that she leaves behind her husband and business partner, Paul Prejza. With a combination of bright hues and witty historical references, her work embodied the graphic design iteration of the postmodernism that held sway in the Southern California design world in the 1980s and 1990s.

Her first major project and the commission that shot her to renown in the graphic design world, Sussman’s identity and signage for the Olympics were highly controversial. She was largely unknown when her rainbow-hued visuals were first unveiled, to largely negative feedback. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, one critic called her work “a disappointment. It could very well be representing a trendy Melrose Avenue emporium or a traditional Little Tokyo restaurant.” Ultimately, her final designs would prove wildly popular, encapsulating the city’s free-spirited attitude in the early 1980s. Frank Gehry, who spoke to the newspaper on account of her death earlier this week, explained: “That’s what the Olympics were about — to put Los Angeles at the center of attention,” Gehry said. “Deborah put that into a visual.” (more…)

How a Former Priory Went From Divine to Divinely Relaxing

Designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku have given a former priory in northwestern France, in the Loire Valley, an altogether otherworldly makeover. The the industrial design team refurbished the landmark-designated interior of the Saint-Lazare priory at the Fontevraud Abbey, turning the former monastery into a high-end hotel and restaurant complex as part of a larger redevelopment scheme aimed at modernizing Fontevraud and surrounding monasteries that all date to the Middle Ages. By employing a palette of wood, metal and fabric to complement the original stone building, the designers were able to preserve the calm and quiet of the original priory while updating the space to fit the needs of a modern traveler. The renovation process took more than two years and involved rebuilding buttresses and a tower on two sides of the building, rearranging the spaces to accommodate bedrooms and removing flagstone floors to install underfloor heating, all without damaging the original fabric of the priory.

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Akihiro Mizuuchi Designs Edible Chocolate LEGO

Remember playing with your food as a kid? Akihiro Mizuuchi is encouraging adults to do much the same. The Japanese designer has created functional LEGO pieces fabricated out of milk chocolate, reports Dezeen. The resulting product is such a precise replica that it even features the Danish toy company’s logo on top of each brick, just like actual pieces of LEGO.

Food for fun, not thought. (more…)

Dwell on Design Plans to Debut New York Edition in October

Dwell Media, publisher of the namesake magazine devote to being “at home in the modern world” (read: modernist-style residences) is launching its annual design fair in New York City. Typically held in Los Angeles in June, the magazine’s flagship event will debut in New York on October 9 at 82MERCER, running through October 11. As with the L.A. iteration, the East Coast edition will gather prominent figures from across the design industry to debate pressing issues with Dwell Editor-in-Chief Amanda Dameron. (more…)

Herman Miller Buys Design Within Reach for $154 Million

The Eames Chair, manufactured by Herman Miller.

Herman Miller, the famed manufacturer of mid-century furniture, is buying modern furnishings retail chain Design Within Reach for $154 million, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Announcing its “lifestyle brand ambitions,” Herman Miller posted a statement to its website on July 17 that clarifies the deal’s intended results: the creation of a consumer business unit headed by DWR’s current leadership, meant to increase Herman Miller’s presence (and revenue) in the “higher margin consumer sector.” In purchasing the chain of retail outlets, Herman Miller plans to expand its share in the home furniture market through DWR’s popular in-store and online retail outlets. But the retailer also comes with a troubled past: DWR faced a series of lawsuits in recent years related to trademark infringement on European designs.

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San Francisco Named America’s Leading Design City

It’s not uncommon to hear talk of “New York architects” or “L.A. architects,” or even “Chicago architects” (the city recently announced a new architecture biennial to claim its status as a design capital). Though the local design cultures of Minneapolis, Seattle, and even San Francisco don’t get quite as much popular attention as the coastal megalopolises, a new study conducted by the labor data and market research firm EMSI (that data was then interpreted by scholar Richard Florida) shows that these smaller cities are also design industry hotspots. San Francisco, in particular, has the highest concentration of employed design professionals in the United States, reports Citylab. Surprised?

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Brought to Light: Knud Lonberg-Holm, the “Invisible Architect” of Information Design

Knud Lonberg-Holm’s propsed design for the Radio Broadcasting Station, Detroit, circa 1925.

“The really great architect will be the architect who produces the invisible house where you don’t see roofs or walls,” designer Knud Lonberg-Holm told a young Buckminster Fuller when they first met in 1929. Though the advice deeply impressed the future geodesic dome innovator, who cultivated a lifelong friendship with Lonberg-Holm and even hoped in the 1960s to pen a book about the Danish-American designer’s ideas and oeuvre, the fame and notoriety accorded to Fuller have eluded his mentor’s legacy. Never one for self-promotion, Lonberg-Holm eschewed the aesthetic and personality flourishes that made contemporaries like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright ubiquitous names the world over. Modern architecture, believed Lonberg-Holm, should be defined by its mode and scale of production, not a conspicuous style (International or otherwise). Yet for all his forward-looking ideas about “invisible” buildings, and research into designing systems for organizing and disseminating information about architectural production, Lonberg-Holm eventually became invisible himself — his work occasionally uncredited, his name and innovations largely absent from narratives of design history. (more…)

Richard Meier Remembers the Late Massimo Vignelli: “He Made Me Look Twice”

Massimo Vignelli, January 10, 1931 – May 27, 2014

The world of design, across nearly every discipline, experienced a great loss on Tuesday when Italian-born, New York-based icon Massimo Vignelli passed away at the age of 83. On May 9, son Luca had announced that his father was terminally ill, and invited fans to send letters of support and well wishing. Vignelli received thousands, according to fellow modernist and longtime friend Richard Meier.

Meier, who moved his office to 10th Avenue at Vignelli’s suggestion and refused to publish a book unless his upstairs neighbor would design it, spoke to ARTINFO over the phone about one of his best friends. His full, uninterrupted reflections are below.

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