Qiugang and Ponca City

Watching the Academy Awards ceremony last Sunday, I waited eagerly for a section I don’t usually pay much attention to – the award for Best Documentary: Short Subject. As Jake Gyllenhall and Amy Adams opened the envelope, I was rooting for The Warriors of Qiugang, the rousing story of Chinese villagers who are protesting a pesticide factory that is poisoning…

Touching Light

Spanish lighting designer Arturo Alvarez experiments with materiality in new objects.

Spanish lighting designer Arturo Alvarez experiments with materiality in new objects.

Building New Skins

The curtain-wall is perhaps the defining innovation of twentieth century architecture. Since the heyday of high modernism, a search for new building forms has usually meant grappling with a glass and steel grid. But as the demands on architecture have changed, in terms of energy performance and sustainable materials, we’ve had to completely rethink the role of a building’s skin….

Blowing the Others Out of the Water

There is a new naval battle being fought off the coast of Britain, but not of the kind that Admiral Nelson would recognize. The ocean is turning out to be the next frontier for renewable energy, and Britain leads the world in off-shore wind energy generation – it has already installed 330 wind turbines on its seas. Now several engineering…

The Salon Lives On

From left: Andy Warhol, David Whitney, Philip Johnson, Dr. John Dalton, and Robert A. M. Stern in the Glass House in 1964. Photo: David McCabe Writing 24 years ago in Architectural Digest, Vincent Scully called Philip Johnson’s Glass House “the most sustained cultural salon that the US had ever seen.” Within the glass walls of that modernist marvel, people like…

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…

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

James Irvine

talks about bossy clients, waiting for the royalties, and the “virtues” of Sarah Palin.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Opens

With yesterday’s long-delayed opening of Pier 1, the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park is now approximately seven percent complete! OK, so there’s still a long way to go until New York’s third great urban landscape is whole–but, if this first section is any indication, it will be worth the wait. Pier 1 includes waterfront promenades, large lawns, a playground, and the…

Winter Competitions Roundup

With snow blanketing the Northeast, and Presidents Day just around the corner, many of us can expect to have a little extra time on our hands this weekend. Maybe too much extra time—after all, you can only spend so many hours wrapped in your Snuggie sipping hot cocoa before cabin fever sets in. Which is why we wanted to take…

Tea Party

In the magazine this month, Paul Makovsky writes about the Utah teapot–the world’s first complex 3-D model, which, in the years since its design in 1975, has often been used as an inside joke among digital animators. The teapot has made its way into Pixar’s Toy Story, an episode of The Simpsons (above), and a video by the Norwegian synth-pop…

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…

Parking Outside the Box

The parking garage is the Rodney Dangerfield of building types, the troubled snag in the urban fabric, the Gordian Knot of design. But for all the ugly-red-haired-stepchild car parks of the world and the many generic, bunker-like auto warehouses, there are also stunning examples of man-and-machine triumph that incorporate both function and aesthetics. And they are about to be celebrated…