Point of View - Point of View April 2010

 

Dream Weavers

Photo: Basil Childers The Shanghai World Expo kicks off tomorrow night, and design enthusiasts are taking notice, waxing poetic about Thomas Heatherwick's hedgehog-esque British pavilion, deconstructing Bjarke Ingels Group's Little Mermaid cocoon for the Danes, and slinging plagiarism accusations at…

Your Ultimate ICFF 2010 Events Guide

The 22nd annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair is now less that three weeks away--time to start firming up your evening plans! Tux? Check. AmEx Black? Check. Comprehensive day-by-day list of design events happening around the city, with convenient Google Maps…

Sweet Spot

“This is not a sales pitch.” That’s Rafael Viñoly introducing his presentation last night, at New York’s Center for Architecture, of his firm’s master plan for the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One could be forgiven…

The Materialists

Upon first encountering the new chair and bench prototypes from the Dutch design duo Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen, of Atelier Remy & Veenhuizen, you’d be forgiven for not immediately registering the furniture’s material. From a distance, the objects appear…

The Feasibility Gap

On Friday I spent all day at the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference. This year’s terrific event was entitled “Innovation and the American Metropolis.” The RPA, as it always does, cast a wide net, bringing in experts from the fields…

The Metropolis Minute

. In the April issue, we look at Studios Architecture's design of 200 Fifth Avenue, in New York. After the jump, Metropolis's executive editor, Martin C. Pedersen, talks about how this story exemplifies the magazine's multidisciplinary approach to design journalism.…

Pissoir Artists

The Vancouver-based firm Matthew Soules Architect (MSA) recently received a rather unusual design brief: to help the nearby city of Victoria, British Columbia, resolve its, uh, “public urination problems” (the city’s words). Unfazed, MSA took a research-driven approach to this…

Nicolai Ouroussoff vs. Roberta Smith

The New Museum galleries: “refreshingly unpretentious” or “horribly proportioned and oppressive”? Attentive readers of the paper of record this week may have noticed an intriguing clash between two of its major critical voices. In an article about plans to expand…

Book Review: The Grid Book

The Grid Book wants to show us that the history of building, composing, computing, mapping, lending, painting, printing, trading, and writing—the history of modern existence, in other words—is really a history of the grid. This is ambitious. By a bit…

Letter from Baltimore: Container Corps

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…

2x4 for All

For me, the best thing about Rem Koolhaas’s much-hyped design of Prada’s New York “epicenter,” in the early oughties, was not the 180-foot zebrawood half-pipe so much as the wallpaper—a rotating selection of  slyly subversive graphic themes (with titles like…

Not Your Typical Paper Lantern

We've been following the Swedish lighting manufacturer Wästberg since it released its first collection in 2008--and, in 2009, we wrote about the Stockholm design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune's experiments crafting furniture from a new material called DuraPulp--so, naturally, we were…

Spring Competitions Roundup

. Whether you have spring fever or seasonal allergies, or both, try to pull yourself together for a moment and check out this list of noteworthy design competitions now accepting entries. (For a more complete, and frequently updated, roster of…

Video: A Decade in Design

. As promised, here's a video clip from last week's event celebrating the ten-year anniversary of four of Metropolis's key staff members. We boiled it down to three minutes' worth of footage, including comments from George Lois and Steven Heller…

Book Review: The Battle for Gotham

At first glance, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything exemplary in the layout of Willets Point, Queens, with its jumble of auto repair shops, junkyards, and the cars, broken down and not, that litter the spaces between buildings. The city…