Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi’s much-awaited “universal museum,” the Louvre Abu Dhabi designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, was opened to the public. After several years of delays and problems including accusations of worker rights violations, revisions in economic strategies, and regional turmoil, the completion of the museum is a feat in itself. Critics, supporters, naysayers, artists, economists, and human rights agencies, have all closely followed its shaky progress, but now that it’s finally open, reviews of the building are steadily pouring in.
Read on to find out how critics have responded to Nouvel’s work so far.
The Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros is an outstanding example of extraordinary artistry crafted by Mexican muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros, together with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. The building was constructed in 1971, taking the shape of a diamond and housing “The March of Humanity,” what is recognized as the world's largest mural. It blankets both the interior and exterior surfaces, covering a total of 8,000 square meters. In 1981, the Polyforum was declared a monument of Mexico’s National Patrimony.
It is safe to say that architects, academics, critics and even the public have been arguing about the merits of architectural style for centuries. Even during the course of my own career, the more general style categories of contemporary-vs-traditional have continued in an unabated battle. For better or worse, contemporary has generally won out as the default position for most schools and publications, probably because of the sheer visual entertainment value it offers, and the lucrative merits of its two stepchildren, branding and advertising.
I’d like to propose another position: that certain enduring principles of art, rather than any temporary style—and, remember, they are all temporary—should be our real architectural goal. This presumption means you must be agnostic when it comes to style and put aside any notion of an ideological stance regarding the right or wrong of your architectural preferences. There are those, of course, who say that to imagine that “my art” is better than yours, or even that I can define real art in the first place, is a fool’s errand.
At international stone exhibition Marmomac 2017, Chinese firm OPEN Architecture has created a transient installation titled "The Eternal & The Ephemeral" that allows visitors to transform a cube of stone tiles into new, unplanned forms. The project responds directly to the theme of the event, "Soul of City," which asked designers from across the globe to collaborate with Italian stone manufacturers to create pieces built entirely from stone. OPEN's concept focused on the relationship between transience and heaviness in the material, prompting the installation to gradually "disappear" over the 4-day event.
After 10 years of exploring the world and making LEGO interventions to city walls and masonry in disrepair, artist Jan Vormann invites you to contribute to the ongoing project Dispatchwork. Vormann began making these toy-block repairs in Bocchignano, Italy, and since has made colorful additions to Tel Aviv and Berlin.
Jan Vormann has visited nearly 40 cities across Europe, Central America, Asia, and the United States. Some of the installations use a handful of toy bricks while some have used up to 20 pounds.
What do a lot of recent architecture college grads have in common besides their degree? Student loans and disillusionment (see point 1 in Megan Fowler’s 11 Things You Learn at Your First “Real” Architecture Job to understand what we mean by "disillusionment"). But with the emergence of the digital age and “side-hustle economy,” millennials are learning how to monetize their passions, and now 1 in 4 Americans are making money digitally. Side-hustling has become so popular that there is even a school for it. The difference between a side-hustle and a second job is that side-hustles aren’t just about giving yourself a raise. Your side-hustle is something you truly love to do, and would probably do anyway, but now you get to share it with the world and make a little extra cash in the process. So what side-hustle is right for you? Here is a list of side-hustles which suit the skillset of architects and designers.
You’re going to wish you saw this Instagram worthy art installation. Gateways (@Landofceramics) at the central fountain in Granary Square, King’s Cross closed this week. It was designed to celebrate the DesignJunction event (September 21-24) an interior design show by and for the industry, set in challenging industrial sites as part of the greater London Design Festival.
There wasn’t much in the way of art that Roberto Burle Marx couldn’t do. He was a painter, print-maker, sculptor, stage designer, jeweler, musician, tapestry-maker and one of the leading landscape architects in the 20th century. Marx’s passion for art, in all forms, strengthened his ability to design landscapes.
The week of Burning Man 2017 is halfway through, and glimpses of the event are starting to make their rounds through the social mediasphere. Under the theme of “Radical Ritual,” this year features as many impressive structures and sculptures as ever, including a central temple holding the wooden man built to commemorate the Golden Spike, the ceremonial final spike driven to join the rails of the United States’ first transcontinental railroad.
Check out our favorite structures from the event, below.
2017 Perrier Artist of the Year Eric Rieger, also known as HOTTEA, has completed a massive installation of colorful string at the largest indoor mall in North America, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Consisting of 13,000 individual strands of yarn in 103 colors, the installation completely transforms the mall’s Atrium, enveloping visitors in a storm of buzzing color as soon as they pass through the north entrance. In total, a total of 721 pounds of yarn were used, covering the footprint of 55 by 45-foot skylight above.
Last month, ArchDaily had an opportunity to speak with Akshat Nauriyal, Content Director at Delhi-based non-profit St+Art India Foundation which aims to do exactly what its name suggests—to embed art in streets. The organization’s recent work in the Indian metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru, has resulted in a popular reclamation of the cities’ civic spaces and a simultaneous transformation of their urban fabric. Primarily working within residential neighborhoods—they are touted with the creation of the country’s first public art district in Lodhi Colony, Delhi—the foundation has also collaborated with metro-rail corporations to enliven transit-spaces. While St+Art India’s experiments are evidently rooted in social activism and urban design, they mark a significant moment in the historic timeline of the application of street art in cities: the initiative involves what it believes to be a first-of-its-kind engagement between street artists and the government.
The work of artist Alex Chinneck is grounded in architecture. From melting buildings to a slumping facade to a structure ripped in half and hovering, Chinneck’s work plays with the expectation of materials and tectonics, resulting in captivating mind-bending illusions. His latest work (and first permanent sculpture), Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles, continues this exploration, taking the form of a large brick wall ripped down the center.
Whether architecture is a form of art or not has often been a controversial topic of conversation within the architecture world. If one goes by the general definition of the word "art," architecture could potentially fit within the umbrella term: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." As anyone involved in the architectural discipline probably knows, there is an abundance of varying definitions of the word "architecture," so whether its primary purpose is to achieve beauty or to organize space is evidently up for discussion.
Ask Jay A. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Prize, and he may say that "architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry." Ask The Guardian's Jonathan Jones and he may tell you that "architecture is the art we all encounter most often, most intimately, yet precisely because it is functional and necessary to life, it's hard to be clear about where the 'art' in a building begins." But this ambiguity is part of what makes the field of architecture challenging and exciting. To celebrate this complicated aspect of architecture, below we have collected a list of just some of the works that could be seen as art, architecture or both, depending on who’s looking, to provide some context to those blurry boundaries.
Today, April 26th 2017, marks I.M. Pei’s 100th birthday. The occasion offers a wonderful opportunity to take a retrospective look at one of the most significant and productive architects of the past 100 years, with many organizations hosting events, celebrations, and symposiums to talk about Master Pei and his notable projects. However at these events, just as throughout I.M. Pei’s career, there is unlikely to be much intellectual conversation about Pei’s architectural legacy. The main discussion around I.M. Pei is still focused on his design talent and intriguing narratives about the charisma he used to convince clients to continue through tough projects.
Though I.M. Pei himself has never talked at length about his design theory or the intellectual basis of his projects, these simple narratives leave certain questions unanswered: Where does I.M. Pei’s inspiration for architectural form come from? How did his architectural design affect his peer group of architects and artists, and contribute intellectually to the contemporary art world?
Chilean architect and illustrator Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa created "Architecture of the Portrait": a series of illustrations of renowned architects drawn with the precision and accuracy of a fineliner. In order to choose the protagonists of her geometrical analyses, the architect states a preference for strong character and the presence of imperfections, which imparts a certain richness to the representation.
The architectural construction of the face is done using lines to create a hatch effect. Next, she adds color that pays tribute to the traditional default CAD shades: yellow, cyan and magenta.
Jordanian artist Raya Kassisieh, with the support of American firm NADAAA, has repurposed her exhibit from the Amman Design Week in Jordan to create blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families. The Entrelac exhibit, created by Kassisieh and NADAAA, consists of 300kg of hand-knit, un-dyed wool which was later cut and stitched to create blankets for those fleeing the Syrian Civil War, now approaching its sixth year.
The production of creative work often requires a very particular type of space—a temple, if you will, to the work being done. Architects and artists are open about how their living and working areas affect their practice, and musicians, of course, are no different. Perhaps this is why places and spaces are often featured on album covers. The art on an album cover is partially advertising, but it is also often a visual symbol of an entire period in the life of a musician. An album's cover artwork may depict the view a band saw coming into the studio every day, the building the album was recorded in, the city the musician grew up in, or myriad other more abstract connections. We will leave it to you to make sense of the connection between the 7 architectural landmarks featured on the following albums and the music their images envelop, but the stories behind the constructions themselves may help you make a more educated guess.