By Ann Binlot, June 12, 2015
Summer is on its way after a busy spring in the design world; Santiago Calatrava unveiled new public works in New York, which also completed another successful NYCxDesign. Shigeru Ban took on another relief project, deploying emergency shelter to earthquake ravaged Nepal, and a state-of-the-art design studio flourishes in Amsterdam.
1. NYCxDesign Highlights - Whoever said a design week couldn't be successful in New York was wrong. For 12 days in May, New York turned into design central, anchored by two fairs -- Collective Design and ICFF. With smaller, satellite fairs like Sight Unseen Offsite and WantedDesign, and a number of events, visitors could peruse through the latest in contemporary design. Highlights included the Memphis Movement, the '80s movement led by Ettore Sottsass, booth at over at Post Design Gallery, Tudelü's customizable, remote-controlled wall system at ICFF and Thing Industries's shelving systems over at Sight Unseen Offsite.
2. Calatrava Celebrates Public Art Exhibition in New York
Forget going to a museum or gallery to appreciate art. A new public art exhibition that's up through November celebrates the work of artist, architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava. Seven new red, black and silver painted aluminum sculptures are on display along the central median on Park Avenue between 52nd and 55th Streets in New York City. According to a press release, the artists says that "their relation to the natural world suggests a link between man and nature, implying the sculptures are found objects in a human forest." Calatrava has been in the press recently due to the controversies surrounding the World Trade Center Station in New York.
3. Shigeru Ban to Build Emergency Shelter in Nepal
Who says the only thing that starchitects build is luxury housing and mammoth structures? He built shelters in Rwanda in 1994 after the genocide, and Kobe, Japan after the earthquake and he continued to deploy emergency shelter in Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti, Japan and New Zealand. Now Pritzker Prize-winner Shigeru Ban and his relief organization Voluntary Architects' Network are going to team up with local universities and architects in earthquake-ravaged Nepal to create transitional housing for those who lost their homes. Ban, who uses paper tubes and corrugated tubes to build the housing, is asking that people make donations to Voluntary Architects' Network.
4. RISD honors architect Friedrich St. Florian
Hailed a "visionary" for his futuristic drawings, and probably most known for conceptualizing the World War II in Washington D.C., architect Friedrich St. Florian also produced critically acclaimed residences in Southern New England, and opened his self-named practice in Providence while serving as the dean of architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design for eight years. The RISD Museum Associates recently honored St. Florian at its Annual Spring Gala. "It is with deep respect and admiration that we honor Friedrich St. Florian at this year's RISD Museum Associates' gala," said Elizabeth Lane, event co-chair, according to Boston.com. "His contributions to the world of architecture and higher education are an example of the powerful connection RISD has across the globe."
5. Design's Future Joris Laarman
It looks like the future of design is here. At Joris Laarman's studio, based just outside of Amsterdam, robots build furniture, a 3-D printer creates chairs and computers make designs. The designer, who has collaborated with bigwigs like the designer lighting company Flos and Swiss furniture concern Vitra, is even offering fans a design, called the Puzzle Chair, at www.bitsandparts.org, which can be created by anybody who has access to a 3-D printer. His company also serves as an incubator for startups that use technology in design.
6. Eames Radios
Charles and Rey Eames may be known for their curved chairs and furniture, but they also designed electronics. Collectors are now after a little-known creation by the superstar mid-century design couple: radios. The pieces, the earliest of which come from the 1940s, are a prime example of their bent-plywood process, and go for as little as $1,000. A new, more affordable, and an original way to own an Eames, if you ask us.
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--Ann Binlot is contributor to ARTPHAIRE. This New York-based writer and graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism covers the spectrum from foreign affairs and politics, to fashion and art. Binlot has also contributed to several publications including TIME, Marie Claire, Newsweek and more.