Point of View - Point of View November 2009

 

Visualizing Your Carbon Footprint

The average person in an industrialized country emits one metric ton of carbon dioxide each month. Man, that’s a lot. At least, it sounds like a lot–but, as with many big, scary environmental statistics, it’s difficult to visualize precisely what that number means. Not any longer. CO2 Cubes, an installation by the artist Alfio Bonanno and the architect Christophe Cornubert,…

Letter from Baltimore: Design for Aging

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. Perkins Eastman’s Small House is one of several recent examples of better-designed (and greener) retirement housing….

Fixing a Broken City

Photos: Cristina Naccarato/Broken City Lab Just across the river from Detroit sits a city forgotten. Battered by the fall of the auto industry and struggling to keep its economy running, Windsor, Ontario, has seen some tough times in recent years, and things aren’t likely to improve any time soon. It has the highest unemployment rate in Canada, a plummeting population,…

‘Tis the Season for Last-Minute Competition Entries and CE Courses

Designers who expect to have some extra time on their hands this holiday season should be sure to check out our regularly updated online competitions listings. Several major contests have deadlines coming up in the New Year, including: . ICFF Studio Selected designers win a spot to display their prototypes at next May’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, where they’ll get…

For the Record: Apple Exec’s Backyard Tiles Did Not Make the Photographer Barf

Our recent story on Thom Faulders’s backyard installation Deformscape has been all over the blogs lately. People seem particularly amused (and rightfully so) by a quote from the owner, a senior vice president at Apple, regarding his ambition for the flat surface’s vortex effect: “I wanted someone to barf when they look at it.” Well, over the weekend, the project’s…

My Banal Neighborhood

Click the play button to watch Metropolis’s executive editor, Martin C. Pedersen, introduce our new video series on Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood. November 20, 2009 Categories: Uncategorized

It’s Raymond Loewy’s World. We’re Just Living In It.

In a slide show posted on the Life Web site–yes, Life; it lives on despite ceasing regular publication in 2007–BoingBoing co-founder Mark Frauenfelder writes about Raymond Loewy’s inimitable body of work, which includes iconic designs for Coke, Lucky Strike, Greyhound, and Studebaker. “His signature, streamlined sensibility combined a feeling of luxury with practicality, novelty with familiarity, and boldness with elegance,”…

A Review of Twitter’s New San Francisco Headquarters in 140 Characters

Open plan. SF views. Surprisingly dark. Eames and Jacobsen chairs. Antlers. Three ways to make coffee. DJ booth. More photos after the jump. . Photos: Dustin Diaz, from Twitter’s Flickr photostream Related: In the magazine, we’ve looked at the headquarters of Google, InterActiveCorp, Bloomberg, and the New York Times. November 18, 2009 Categories: Uncategorized

The Metropolis Minute: Packaging Help Remedies

. . Each month, In Production features a new product by an up-and-coming designer, alongside his or her detailed comments on the choices (and compromises) that led to the final design. After the jump, Metropolis’s managing editor, Belinda Lanks, discusses this month’s column, on Help Remedies. To get Metropolis’s in-depth, process-oriented product coverage in your mailbox each  month, click here…

Crawl in Jane Jacobs’s Footsteps

Urban design–conscious New Yorkers looking for an excuse to drink–and, really, who isn’t?–should be sure not to miss tomorrow night’s delightful-sounding Jane Jacobs Pub Crawl, hosted by the Congress for New Urbanism. The CNU’s president, John Norquist, and staffers from the organization’s New York and New Jersey chapters will lead preservation-minded carousers on a three-and-a-half hour jaunt from the Standard…

In Denver, Artists Embrace Libeskind’s Controversial Museum Addition

Three years ago, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) expanded into a titanium-clad addition by Daniel Libeskind, which, typical of the architect, features a dramatic series of jagged outcroppings and angular interiors. The new building has quickly become a symbol of the Mile High City, but a number of critics have balked at its asymmetrical galleries, arguing that they are poor…

Infrastructure Activism

. To introduce his panel at last Thursday’s Infrastructures for Change Workshop, in Chicago, Giles Jacknain reminded us that the ancient Greeks had two words for city. The first was asty–or the inanimate bricks and mortar. The other: polis, or the city as a human entity. The conversation we were about to have, he suggested, was about moving from “asty…

Logo-rrhea

‘Tis the season for new graphic identities, apparently. Already this month, three institutions–the Art Directors Club, Chrysler, and the New York Public Library– have unveiled updated logos. Here’s a quick look at the changes. . → . Art Directors Club Trollbäck + Company’s new design spells out the 89-year-old organization’s name inside a bold pink rectangle–a  major departure from Paula…

Perky Design

Relate. Yves Behar seems determined to push below-the-belt product innovation these days. Last August he launched a new line of eco-friendly underwear; now he’s teamed up with the adult-toy company Jimmyjane to create an ergonomic vibrator called the Form 2. The compact design features two flexible vibrating “ears” that move independently, for an effect dubbed “sensation in stereo.” Scandalized? For…

Viva Vulgarity!

Photo: Rafael Ng Walking up Chapel Street, in downtown New Haven, an uncannily familiar form becomes visible inside the large windows of Paul Rudolph Hall. There is a massive yellow curve, illuminated like a neon billboard, and it isn’t until you pass directly beneath the entrance to the building that you realize you are looking at a full-scale McDonald’s golden…

Fall Books Roundup

This is part one of our fall roundup of new and notable books on architecture, culture, and design. Stay tuned for the second installment later this month. . Shigeru Ban: Paper in Architecture Edited and designed by Ian Luna and Lauren A. Gould Cover design by Kenya Hara Rizzoli, 232 pp., $65 Having outlined the architect’s key design principles in…

Doomed Modernist Landmark Apparently Not So Doomed Anymore

Photo: Dillon DeWaters Thanks to the good folks over at the Architect’s Newspaper blog, we just learned that Albert C. Ledner’s 1964 O’Toole building–which, after a lengthy preservation battle, appeared certain to meet the wrecking ball–may not be torn down after all. Last May, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC) voted to approve St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center’s…

Finders Keepers

See more photos at www.flickr.com/photos/realgoodexperiment/. New York City is one of the few places where it is socially acceptable, and even encouraged, to rummage through curb-side trash. There is no shame in this. All New Yorkers know someone who has found a treasure on the curb: a rare first-edition book, say, or a good-as-new couch. The question is inevitably the…

Accessibility Watch: The Kindness of Strangers

. I use forearm crutches and I find it a bit tricky to open doors coming in from the street. Over the years, I have been gratified by the number of pedestrians who swoop in front of me and open the door; once I’m inside they scoot off on their journey, always at a very rapid pace. Who says New…

Q&A: Herman Miller’s Gabe Wing on Carbon-Neutral Furnishings

The Aeron Chair has about 200 parts–all of which have to be analyzed to determine its carbon footprint. Photo: courtesy Herman Miller There’s a reason why big companies are almost duty bound to take the lead in sustainable design. To get a handle on the complexity of the task—whether it’s designing a zero-energy building system, or truly closing the loop…

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