Point of View - Point of View June 2010

 

Reclaiming the City for Its People

A rendering from PALO Arquitectura Urbana’s proposal for La Boca, a working-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires The Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with an ambitious new exhibition at the Center for Architecture, in New York. A year in the making, Our Cities, Ourselves presents positive, sustainable urban visions for ten cities around…

Letter from Baltimore: Summer Studio

In her monthly “Letter from Baltimore,” Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson writes about architecture, culture, and urbanism in a city more often associated with violent crime than with good design. Click here to read her previous posts. For more by Dickinson, visit her blog, Urban Palimpsest. Yolande Daniels’s Tea Cozy. All photos: Will Kirk New York has P.S. 1’s courtyard installation; Baltimore…

2010 Metropolis Conference Videos Now Online

This year’s Metropolis Conference at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in New York, featured a cast of “design entrepreneurs” who are reinventing their practices through creative approaches to the new economy. Even if you couldn’t make it to the daylong conference, you’re still in luck: video of the complete event is now available. Watch the one-minute teaser above for a…

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…

SHoP Innovates for Botswana

The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has selected SHoP Architects to design a new Innovation Hub for the country, in the capital city of Gabarone. In response to a design competition announced last year by the BDC, 17 leading international firms—Foster + Partners, Perkins+Will, and Gensler among them—sent in entries. The SHoP proposal won for its “innovativeness, environmental sustainability, functionality and…

Embracing the Digital Juggernaut

A computer-generated rotation of the atrium at 41 Cooper Square The moment people start talking about “paradigm shifts” in any profession, you can be sure there’s some big, disturbing change on its way. One thing was clear at last night’s “Shifting Paradigms: Design in Transition” event at the Center for Architecture, in New York: the digital age is about to…

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…

A Recipe for Disaster Relief

Considering that we’ve seen some of the century’s worst catastrophes in the past few years, it is only natural that design for disaster has been on all our minds. I’ve seen reconstruction plans and pre-fab shelter designs galore, but a recent event in New York takes the cake for bizarre inventiveness.  Last Thursday the Urban Assembly School for Design and…

Galactic Gardening

While green roofs have increasingly made headlines as solutions for environmentally sound design in an urban environment, more often than not they are found only as expensive additions to new constructions. Translating the concept for mass production at a cost-effective rate—and for easy implementation on pre-existing buildings—has posed a bit of a dilemma. As a result, although it is already…

Our 2010 NeoCon Visual Diary

From this year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart: Nearly 200 photos of the best in workplace furniture, lighting, textiles, technology, and more. Photographs by Jocelin Carranza and Jacqueline Murphy 3form 3form: Ditto 3form: Ditto Abet Laminati Abet Laminati Aborite High Pressure Laminates Aborite High Pressure Laminates Aceray LLC: CANTO-7 Swivel Lounge Chair Aceray LLC: Side Chairs Allsteel:…

The Cooper-Hewitt Picks the Best in American Design

The 2010 National Design Awards were announced yesterday by Bill Moggridge, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The awards, which are the highest recognition of design excellence in the country, will be presented in New York on October 14, with First Lady Michelle Obama serving as the Honorary Patron. Here’s a complete list of the 2010 National Design…

My Banal Neighborhood

Click the play button to watch our executive editor, Martin C. Pedersen, explain how a 1961 New York City zoning ordinance led to a profusion of “crappy little parks” in his Yorkville neighborhood. (Click here to watch the two previous installments of “My Banal Neighborhood.”) June 17, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized

Eco-Tourism, China Style

One of China’s historic tourist destinations is set to get a new, “super green” makeover. The architecture firm Woods Bagot has won an international design competition to transform the XiXi Wetlands region outside the city of Hangzhou in southwest China. Hangzhou has been a tourist hub for centuries. Its famous West Lake was a favored haunt of the Chinese Emperors,…

An Experimental Approach to Lighting

In the June issue of the magazine, David Sokol writes briefly about the lighting manufacturer iGuzzini’s new U.S. showroom. Below is an expanded version of Sokol’s text, with more details on the company’s history and products. Even if you’re not yet familiar with the iGuzzini name, you know its work. The Italian lighting brand manufactures Piero Castiglioni and Gae Aulenti’s…

The “Intense Listeners” Speak

In our June issue, Ken Shulman writes about the up-and-coming design duo Antenna Design, and discusses its recent collaboration with Knoll. Antenna Workspaces is not only Sigi Moeslinger and Masamichi Udagawa’s first furniture-design project, it is also probably their “biggest job yet.” If you were suitably intrigued by the photographs that accompanied that feature, here’s a video (from the folks…

No More Textbooks?

The race for the ultimate classroom computer has been on for a while. One Laptop Per Child was the celebrity frontrunner, of course, but its creators ran into some trouble and had to scrap their dual-screen OLPC XO-2 design. Meanwhile, Intel has had its eye on classrooms in emerging markets since 2007 with its low-cost Classmate PC series. And now…

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…

Scoring Those Green Goals

The ongoing 2010 World Cup has been in the design news for all the wrong reasons. Everybody’s spent a lot of time griping about the design of the new ball, but more serious problems have emerged now. The whole event, it turns out, is an ecological disaster. According to a recent study undertaken by the Norwegian government (bless those Scandinavians!)…

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…

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