“As Autumn Leaves” (AAL) is a spatial installation designed and built by students of the Laboratory for Computational Design (LCD) for Beijing‘s 2013 Design Week. Located in a historic hutong district in Beijing, AAL highlights the existing entrance to Dashilar Factory where emerging creatives exhibit their design. The concept is based on ephermerality of nature. As temperatures change, autumn turns to winter, and trees shed their leaves, AAL recalls the passage of time through changing seasons.
Khao Mo, which translates as Mythical Escapism, is a reflective sculptural work by Sanitas Studio currently being exhibited at the Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre. The concept behind the work is based on city dwellers’ desire for a moment of escape from everyday life, along with the concept of the Chinese garden: a scaled replicated universe expressed through nature in order to create a sense of tranquility. According to the artist, “the smell of earth, the moisture and vapour that evaporate from the earth, the ordinariness and the emptiness allow the audience time to imagine.”
The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise – especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use ‘Urban Acupuncture’ to Revive Beijing’s Historic Hutongs.
Amsterdam’s famous canal district celebrated its 400th birthday this year. And though the district has grown and evolved throughout the centuries, now, more than ever before, this UNESCO World Heritage site is struggling with how to ensure the past doesn’t hold a vice-like grip on its future.
For Jarrik Ouburg, an Amsterdam architect, the problem was more specific: in such a historic district, how do you keep urban transformations from slowing to a stop? This question eventually led him to his ongoing project, “Tussen-ruimte.” Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for ‘between space’) installs pieces of contemporary art and architecture in the hidden alleys and courtyards that have formed over years of building in the canal district.
London-based United Visual Artists (UVA) has brought Sou Fujimoto’s “cloud-like” Serpentine Pavilion to life with an “electrical storm” of LEDs. With the intention of making the architecture “breathe” from within, UVA seamlessly integrated a network of LED lights into the latticed, 20mm steel pole structure that mimics the natural forms of an electric storm. In addition, carefully conducted auditory effects further enhance the experience, transforming Fujimoto’s “radical pavilion” into an electrified geometric cloud.
The Museum of Modern Art has kicked off the popular Warm Up Summer Music series in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 with the grand opening of Party Wall. The towering installation, designed by Ithaca-based studio CODA, was the winning proposal of the 14th annual Young Architects Program in which provides emerging architects a chance to construct an innovative project as long as shades, cools and seats visitors.
With a porous skin made of woven skateboard scraps, the experimental structure has successfully met the challenge by providing a shaded refuge for the crowds with refreshing cooling stations and detachable wooden seats.
See Party Wall in action after the break…
He has made his debut in the MAXXI piazza. As the winner of the Young Architects Program (YAP) in Rome, Turin-based studio Bam! Bottega di Architettura metropolitan has transformed the concrete facade of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum into a visual spectacular with the installation of a yellow, translucent and aerostatic prism.
For this architect, there is an indiscernible line between art installation and building. Alexander Brodsky studied architecture in Moscow, while working on art installations and drawings both independently and in collaborations with other artists. Brodsky admits that his career path was unconventional, that he felt unready to take on the responsibility of building. Instead, Brodsky’s approach to architecture is through the lens of art: occupiable, room-sized installations that test spatial and sensory boundaries.
More after the break.
Under the guidance of Toyo Ito, Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata envisioned an futuristic, experienced-based installation which sought to express “manifestations of flow as they relate to people and nature” to the spectators of the 2013 Milan Design Week. Titled “Amazing Flow”, the installation offered a “vision of the city of tomorrow” with a multi-sensory experience that embodied the “Lexus’ world vision” and a glimpse into how cars flow throughout built environment The display consisted of a continuous, wooden structure that represented a moment in which “roads, humans, wind and water flow as a single entity.”
Compare the installation to the Lexus “Create Amazing” promotional video for the 2014 LF-LC Concept car and watch an interview with Hirata after the break…
Envision a future where undulating “solar plants” transform the rectangular masses of our cities into a vibrant metropolis where technology aids in the coexistence of humans and nature. Represented in the conceptual installation “Energetic Energies” at the Milan Design Week 2013, this notion of redefining our relationship with the sky through photovoltaics is based on years of technological research and development by the Panasonic Corporation, who commissioned Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata to imagine the possibilities.
The exhibition features a 30 meter-long makeshift city, whose “hills” of photovoltaics overtake clusters of white, translucent buildings while shadows of clouds move in and out of the space.
A video interview with Akihisa Hirata and more images after the break…
The internationally – and often controversial - acclaimed artist Christo has unveiled the “largest indoor sculpture ever made”. Prepared to debut in a public exhibition starting March 16, the inflated “Big Air Package” has been designed to occupy a 117-meter-tall former gas tank known as Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany. The 90-meter-high, 50-meter-wide sculpture is made from 20,350 square meters of semitransparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope, with a total weight of 5.3 tons and a volume of 177,000 cubic meters.
The seemingly endless, inflatable installation was conceived in 2010 and is Christo’s first major work after the passing of his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude in 2009.
More on Christo’s “Big Air Package” after the break…
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Situ Studio has unveiled the fifth edition of Times Square’s annual Heartwalk installation – a heart-shaped “room within the city” made of salvaged Sandy debris. Inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” Heartwalk begins as two weathered ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift to form an illuminated heart enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.
More images after the break…
SO? Architecture and Ideas’ Sky Spotting Stop has been announced as winner of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP) Istanbul Modern in Turkey. Similar to its counterparts - CODA’s skateboard scrap Party Wall in New York and bam!’s buoyant installation He at MAXXI – the shady escape will be constructed in late June in the Istanbul Modern’s courtyard, offering refuge from the busy streets of Istanbul while overlooking the mouth of the Bosphorus.
More on ‘Sky Spotting Stop’ after the break…
With an intention to attract and impress viewers with his massive scale, He has been selected as winner of the 2013 Young Architects Program (YAP) MAXXI in Rome, an annual competition that promotes and supports young and emerging architects in collaboration with MAXXI Architettura, MoMA/MoMA PS1 of New York, Constructo of Santiago and, for the first time, Istanbul Modern, Turkey.
Turin-based studio bam! bottega di architettura sostenibile, designed He as a grandiose and buoyant installation that transforms the concrete MAXXI facade and expansive piazza into a visual spectacular, while offering a shady escape from the Summer heat.
Burden, a performance artist known for crucifying himself on a Volkswagen and once hiring a friend to shoot him in the arm, doesn’t have any particular interest in transportation or urban planning, he says, although he has used toys in his artworks since the 1970s. “Toys are interesting as objects — they’re the tools you use to inculcate children into adults,” he told Fastco Design. “They’re a reflection of society.” His mini-city is “modeling something that’s on the twilight of extinction: the era of the ‘free car,’” Burden says, referring to the idea of jumping into one’s car anytime and going wherever one pleases. “Those days are numbered, but think it’s a good thing. The upside is that cars can be faster and safer, and you don’t have to worry about drunk drivers. Think about it: The cars in Metropolis II are going a scale speed of 230mph. That’d be great to do for real in L.A.”