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Shannon Sharpe

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Seven Ways to Achieve Creative Success: The Rockwell Way

00:00 - 7 October, 2014
Rockwell Group's pop-up theater for TED. Image © Rockwell Group
Rockwell Group's pop-up theater for TED. Image © Rockwell Group

The Rockwell Group takes advantage of a cross-disciplinary approach, with a diverse array of projects ranging from large-scale buildings to product and set design. In this article by Shannon Sharpe, originally posted on Metropolis Magazine as "The Rockwell Way" we learn seven ways that the Rockwell Group has achieved creative success. Read the full article below to discover what drives this particular firm and how it could serve as an inspiration to anyone in the field of design.

How does the magic happen at Rockwell Group? “Pixie dust,” quips Marc Hacker, the firm’s in-house “Thinker.” All jokes aside, there is some truth here. From the animated Quan Yin statue in TAO Downtown to the shifting set of Kinky Boots, to the child-directed free play of the Imagination Playground, a distinct sense of magic imbues every one of these projects. All of them are driven not so much by a look, or even a sensibility, but by the endlessly curious creative process that shaped them. “I know this sounds trite, but it’s not about what’s true now,” says founder and president David Rockwell. “It’s about asking, ‘what if?’” What if an architect could be as experimental as a chef? What if the stage set became a character? What if your environment could transform with every step?

In the Rockwell Group world, asking “What if?”—also the title of a new book being released by Metropolis Books in December to commemorate the firm’s 30th anniversary—has led to an embrace of design at all scales. “On a given day, we could be working on an exhibition, a park, a master plan, an airport interior, a children’s hospital, and a night-club,” Rockwell says. “That confluence of things is probably what makes us most unique.” The process behind these projects —the Rockwell way—is really a set of permissions to roam and explore.

A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle

00:00 - 8 September, 2014
A New Festival that Celebrates the Architecture of the Arctic Circle, © Gunner Holmstad
© Gunner Holmstad

Last weekend saw the opening of a new cultural festival on Sandhornøy, a small Norwegian island within the Arctic Circle. Centered around three traditionally-inspired structures by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, SALT is a celebration of the history and culture of Arctic communities - and while the structures of the Norwegian festival will remain in place for a full year, the festival itself plans to tour the northern regions of the globe, with new locally specific installations at each locale. Find out more about the festival in after the break, in this post originally published on Metropolis Magazine.

Translating Smiljan Radić's Serpentine Pavilion from Fantasy to Fabrication

00:00 - 27 August, 2014
Translating Smiljan Radić's Serpentine Pavilion from Fantasy to Fabrication, The use of fiberglass allowed for the pavilion to be thin and brittle, but also had the strength to span a large face. The pigment made it fire retardant. Image Courtesy of Louis Webb Bird/AECOM
The use of fiberglass allowed for the pavilion to be thin and brittle, but also had the strength to span a large face. The pigment made it fire retardant. Image Courtesy of Louis Webb Bird/AECOM

Settled neatly in the quiet hum of London's Kensington Gardens rests Smiljan Radić's 2014 Serpentine Pavilion, an ethereal mass of carefully moulded fiberglass punctuated by precisely cut openings. Radić desired a structure that appears thin and brittle, yet was strong enough to support itself, and his affection for the rudimental layered qualities of papier-mâché - his maquette medium of choice - inspired the use of fiberglass by AECOM, who engineered Radić's wild ideas. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Paper-Thin Walls," an AECOM engineer explains their solution. Read on after the break to find out more.