MoMA’s planned demolition of the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-designed American Folk Art Museum has been a veritable clash of the Titans (big art vs. big architecture) since its announcement, but it’s possible that architecture might emerge victorious. Following the fervent outcry of the architecture community (likely the only project you’ll see where Thom Mayne, Robert A.M. Stern, and Annabelle Selldorf are on the same team), MoMA has announced the possibility of rescinding its decision.
OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News
DS+R to the Rescue? MoMA Considers Granting the American Folk Art Museum Reprieve if Architects Find Alternative to Demolition
While it may sound like a checkout-aisle romance novel, “The Price of Desire” is the title of a forthcoming film by Northern Irish director Mary McGuckian on the life of architect Eileen Gray’s, as well as your one-way ticket to fame. (Maybe.)
Crowd-pleasing, attention-grabbing, dirty words wrought from neon have become an unfortunate cliché of mammoth fairs — even Instagram can attest to that. For that reason one would be quick to dismiss designer and artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s “Blow Me,” the wall-mounted arrangement of electric fans and neon insult on view at both the entrance and the Cristina Grajales Gallery booth at Collective Design Fair. But that’s exactly the point. Of fairgoers, Errazuriz has one thing to say: they can “go fuck themselves,” he tells ARTINFO.
“A Car and Some Shorts”: Swedish Designer Greta Magnusson Grossman’s California Cool is Now On View in Tribeca
When Swedish architect and designer Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) moved from Stockholm to Los Angeles in the 1940s, her acclimation to her new city was allegedly as simple as “buying a car and some shorts,” according to one San Francisco Examiner critic. It was also evident in the work she produced over the course of her prolific career, which the Museum of Modern Art included in its 1951 “Good Design” showcase. Her range of furniture, products, and California houses incorporated the aesthetics of both Swedish and West Coast modernism, despite their apparent climate differences.
The lamps above summarize the ingenuity of her designs, typically characterized by their bright colors and extreme functionality. Because each part — the cobra hood, the metal gooseneck, and the nose cone where the bulb screws in — pivots, flexes, or swivels, the light the table lamp emits is infinitely adjustable. The added bonus is the charmingly human quality of its form: the cradled posture, the hunched shoulders, the bowed head. These lamps and more, including a rare 1952 folding room divider of primary-colored balls with corresponding sketches (both evocative of a high school chemistry class molecular model) are on view R 20th Century’s “Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts” through June 22.
— Janelle Zara
Architect Zhou Qi, a professor at China’s Southeast University School of Architecture, designed the Beijing headquarters of Chinese national newspaper the People’s Daily with the hopes of evoking the traditional philosophy of “round sky, square earth.” Conceptually, the building is an elongated sphere that extends skyward from a rectangular base. From a certain angle, however, the addition of construction scaffolding to the very top of the supertall has had a very unfortunate result. (Let’s just come out and say it: Now it looks like an enormous penis.)
This year’s Ideas City festival, the New Museum’s second biannual, four-day exploration of innovative urban problem-solving, culminates on Saturday with its StreetFest, an all-out, all-day extravaganza that takes place on the Bowery and its environs. Driven by the theme “Untapped Capital,” designers, architects, urbanists, and think tanks are hosting a deluge of talks, demonstrations, and installations to show the potential of the hidden resources that exist within our cities. From mobile skating rinks to the New Museum as a movie screen, we’ve hand-picked a few choice events to guide you through the day.
National Monument Foundation Tries to “Hijack” the Eisenhower Memorial From Frank Gehry With a New Video
By now, I think we get it. As the emotional battle over Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial lurches on, it’s become clear that Gehry’s opposition may outnumber that of his supports. As a novel development, the latest rehashing of the argument comes in video form.
The National Monuments Foundation, an Atlanta-based non-profit whose president testified against Gehry’s designs in the fruitless Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act hearings in March, launched a four-and-half minute video on YouTube outlining the organization’s opposition. After the video opens with a brief primer on Eisenhower’s accomplishments, it rolls out a few facts: “Its materials are not permanent or durable as required by federal law,” “It’s too controversial,” and “It’s twice as expensive as originally proposed.” It’s so expensive ($143 million and counting) that Atlanta could actually build its Millenium Gate (a monument prominently featured on the foundation’s website) six times over with that money, according to Atlanta-based architecture expert Rodney Mims Cook, Jr.
The Rijksmuseum’s Mission to Modernize Continues With 3-D Printed Antiques and a Rubber Albrecht Dürer
“Centre piece” via homebuildlife
Dutch design duo deJongeKalff teamed up with the characteristically irreverent, Amsterdam-based Studio Droog to make one unusually reverent gesture: They combed the newly digitized archives of the Rijksmuseum’s collection, a veritable 125,000-piece virtual museum called Rijksstudio, for items that would ultimately inspire the objects they launched during Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Connecting the past with the future, they infused the works of the Old Masters with a little contemporary sensibility. That fusion was best demonstrated in “Centre piece,” a reinvention of German silversmith Wenzel Jamnitzer’s ornate 1549 table ornament. The modern version is white and covered in magnets 3-D printed after various other collection treasures (in miniature, of course): a 1778 fish basket, a 1787 cabinet in the style of Louis XVI; a tiny chair; a little coffee pot; and other precious sundries. Another crowd-pleased is the tattoo of Jan Davidszn’s 17th-century “Still Life With Flowers and Glass Vase, or the rubber reinterpretation of a piece of Albrecht Dürer embroidery dating back to 1507 – 1521. (Who knew he was so good with a needle?)
Avid smartphone users (a.k.a. everyone) may have noticed a startling change lately: The look of the all-mighty Facebook app has changed. Where there were once 3-D buttons, there are now perfectly flat rectangles; no longer is the thumbs-up of the “Like” icon shaded for texture or wearing a button on the cuff of its shirt. Now it’s been reduced to a two-dimensional outline.
While Facebook rolls out site changes as frequently as its users post status updates, this flattening brings to mind the rise of art and design movements of the past. As Facebook users more frequently check their newsfeeds on their mobile devices, engineers have had to reduce elaborate skeuomorphs (that is, silly and highly detailed references of real world objects in their digital counterparts, like that hideous stitching on the beige leather iCal) to fit the constraints of their tiny canvases. There’s just not that much room — or time — for flashy graphics. “When today’s graphics are too busy — layered with gradients and elaborate typography — people are forced to try to navigate a clutter of information in a very small space,” writes Nick Bilton on his New York Times Bits blog. “On a smartphone screen, for example, a flat icon of a musical note can tell a story much quicker than an intricate picture of a shiny sparkling CD.”