mason

Viñoly’s New Domino Moves Forward

Last April we wrote about Rafael Viñoly’s final big push to win approval for his firm’s proposed $1.5 billion redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Today, Viñoly and co. cleared what should be the last hurdle of a drawn-out and often contentious regulatory review process when the City Council of New York approved the project’s proposed zoning…

Studio 804’s Real Estate Woes

Depressing news from Kansas City: USA Today reported on Friday that Dan Rockhill’s celebrated Studio 804 design-build program has been unable to find buyers for its last two houses. As we reported in a feature story last February, Studio 804’s previous houses had attracted waiting lists of potential buyers. Unfortunately, the program moved into more expensive cutting-edge sustainable design–its 2009…

SFMOMA Goes to Snøhetta

And the winners are… Snøhetta founders Craig Dykers (left) and Kjetil Thorsen. You heard it here first: The architecture firm to lead the highly anticipated, $250 million expansion of SFMOMA will be the Oslo- and New York–based Snøhetta, which beat out fellow finalists Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Foster + Partners. Our anonymous Bay Area insider predicted last…

Design Without Designers?

“Trumbull” (left) and “Gilman,” two of the canned magazine templates now sold by Ready Media How should publication designers greet the news yesterday that Roger Black–the magazine design (and redesign) guru who’s had his hands on Rolling Stone, Newsweek, New York, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, and about a zillion other titles over the years–has launched a new venture called Ready-Media to…

More on the 2010 Smart Environments Awards

Last week we posted a roundup of noteworthy design competitions accepting entries in the next few months. We wanted to take a moment now to call extra attention to one contest that is particularly important to us at the magazine: the fifth-annual IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environments Awards, which recognize interiors that are more than just pretty pictures. Eligible projects do have…

Small, Soft, and Friendly

Yet more news from Yves Béhar: the prolific designer has teamed up with GE to develop the WattStation, a plug-in electric vehicle charger with a cute, colorful form. It’s powerful too: according to GE, the WattStation’s “level 2 capability” will decrease typical charging time from 12–18 hours to as little as 4–8 hours. Check out a video of Behar describing…

Seriously Playful

Introducing this year’s MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program installation to a group of journalists yesterday, MoMA’s chief curator of architecture and design, Barry Bergdoll, likened it to a playground—but then quickly qualified that assessment. “Turns out it’s an extremely serious playground,” Bergdoll said, adding later that the installation is “about our contemporary condition and not just about fun.” You could have…

Secrets of Central Finland

We first wrote about the Helsinki-based design firm Company back in 2008, shortly after its founders, Johan Olin and Aamu Song, debuted their Top Secrets of Finland collection. The idea there was to commission traditional Finnish manufacturers to produce small runs of everyday products unique to the region. Now Company has expanded the line for the exhibition Secrets of Central…

Munich, Copenhagen, Zürich, Tokyo . . . Yawn

Every summer since 2007, the editors of the self-consciously upscale magazine of “global affairs” Monocle have assembled a list of the world’s most livable cities—in their words, “urban settlements where human life can thrive because they are easy to navigate, diverse, pulsing and full of opportunities.” I generally find these kinds of best-of lists irresistible, and Monocle has always used…

William J. Mitchell Dies at 65

Metropolis was saddened to learn today of the death of William J. Mitchell, the former dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and, most recently, the director of the MIT Media Lab’s Smart Cities research group. According to an obituary by the MIT News Office, Mitchell died on June 11 after a long battle with cancer. He was an influential urban…

Green on the Inside

Today was the first day of Figment NYC, a weekend-long festival on Governors Island with a focus on interactive, participatory art. Along with dozens of ephemeral artworks, the event is hosting a few semi-permanent installations, including a mini-golf course, a sculpture garden, and the winner of this year’s City of Dreams Pavilion Competition. The latter is a low-tech structure made…

Calatrava Waxes Poetic About Dance and Design

In the June issue of Metropolis (which we’ll be posting online next week) Belinda Lanks writes about Santiago Calatrava’s recent design of five stage sets for the New York City Ballet’s spring season. In this short film, Calatrava and several of the NYCB’s choreographers talk about this uncommon collaboration between architecture and dance. June 8, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized

Katie Salen Designs Games with Bar Codes, Inflatable Pieces, Hobbits, and Faxes

We’ve written about Katie Salen’s game-design initiatives a couple of times in recent years–in “The Principals of Play” (2006) and “Learning, a New Game” (2009)–so, naturally, we were interested to see Salen answer a few questions about her practice in a video interview posted last week on the Big Think. Check out the full video above. In the interview, Salen…

The City of Big Appetites

This year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair is less than two weeks away. If you’re traveling to Chicago for the event, be sure to pick up a copy of our annual Taste of the Town guide at the Merchandise Mart. Although, really, why wait until you arrive to make dining plans? You can read all our restaurant recommendations–conveniently classified by lunch,…

ICFF, We Hardly Knew Ye

Even after last week’s ICFF live-blogging extravaganza, we ended up with dozens of unpublished snapshots of noteworthy new products and projects from the 22nd annual furniture fair. Here, then, in no particular order, is a final roundup of neat stuff from the 2010 ICFF. Above: Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s Corvo chair, for Bernhardt Design, which we wrote about in the April issue…

Live@ICFF: Interiors From Spain

The biggest foreign presence at this year’s ICFF came from Spain, with 20 companies exhibiting a range of colorful and well-crafted furniture, lighting, carpets, and wall-coverings. Here are a few of the highlights: Actually, one of my favorite Spanish products wasn’t on display at the fair: Nanimarquina’s new Digit rug, by the London-based graphic designer Cristian Zuzunaga, resembles an extremely…

Live@ICFF: Last Night’s Parties

At the Alessi Takes the Cake party, on Greene Street, the French designer Matali Crasset poses with the mixing bowl from her new Essentiel de Pâtisserie collection, designed with the renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Crasset demonstrates proper whisk technique. And the award for best ICFF party treats goes to . . . Moving on: A few block south, Kartell…

Live@ICFF: The 2010 Editors Awards

. Not to be confused with our more idiosyncratic editors’ picks, the official ICFF Editors Awards are selected by a group of international design-magazine honchos (including Metropolis’s own editor in chief, Susan Szenasy) and considered among the industry’s highest accolades. Here are this year’s winners: Body of Work Blu Dot New Designer Objeti, LLC Studio Dunn Craftsmanship Cocochi Design Furniture…

Live@ICFF: Neo-Utility

The Brooklyn-based distributor didn’t have too much new to show since we caught up with them at the Gift Fair last February, but there were still a couple of items that caught our eye. For instance: We’ve long been fans of Anything’s plastic desktop accessories (like the scissors and tape dispenser pictured above); now the design studio is planning to…

Live@ICFF: Last Night’s Parties

Sunday night saw a cluster of parties in the Meatpacking District, including the opening of Dune’s Enamored exhibition, with new designs by Harry Allen, Karim Rashid, Claesson Koivisto Rune, and others. Richard Shemtov is Dune’s president and one of its designers–he created the new Deluxe lounge and sofa. The design was inspired, in part, by Japanese anime, but Shemtov said…