Design in Times Square
The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts worked with New York’s AIGA to create October’s Midnight Moment – when, at 11:57pm every night of the month, a short film by designer Andrew Sloat will be projected on all the screens in Times Square. Sloat’s film shows a series of cards with letters, which change manually in a flipboard style, reading excerpts of the US Constitution. The final showing is tonight.
Landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh has taken a tiny plot of land at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston – the Monk’s Garden – and made it into a vast area for exploration. By covering the garden with winding brick paths, the area becomes a series of twists and turns among trees and plants. Ferns and small trees cover most of the area outside the path, giving it a layered, dense sensation, like a forest. Van Valkenburgh said he created the garden as a “compliment in contrast” to Renzo Piano’s museum addition.
Paul Smith at Design Museum
On November 15, the Design Museum London will open the first retrospective for fashion designer Paul Smith, who is even helping to curate the show himself. Celebrating his career to date, it will chart his history, from his first store opening in Nottingham. It will be evocative of his quirky style, including his love of cycling and a re-creation of his office, complete with the books and objects he looks to for inspiration.
Wes Anderson World
Everything Wes Anderson touches becomes part of his carefully calibrated, engaging world. A new filmography – The Wes Anderson Collection, by writer Matthew Zoller Seitz is no exception – the book itself meticulously designed, taking readers through the creation of each of Anderson’s films, woven with an in-depth interview by the author. The website for the book is even a journey into the Anderson style, with a terrific animation and video essays on each film.
British designers Raw Edges gave themselves the challenge of creating a chair from a single loop of material, resulting in the Kenny chair. Inspired by pattern-making methods and origami, the designers wanted to devise a “3D volumetric shape” from flat material. The seat rests on a basic wooden frame, forming a pocket-like shape for seating from a Kvadrat warp and weft material.
New research is showing that change is good when it comes to where you sit at work. A recent article in the WSJ notes that intermingling different work departments in seating charts – and switching up those charts every 6 months or so – has led to innovation in several companies, at a low cost. Temperaments also effect productivity, and can be contagious – two opposite ends – a calm, relaxed state and a nervous, stressed state are found to be the most contagious, effecting the people and work being done in proximity.
(Image of Tecno’s Office Design)
Students at Brigham Young University created a pretty genius way for parents to keep an eye on their newborn’s vitals while they sleep. Owlet is a little bootie that fits comfortably onto babies’ feet, and includes sensors and an accelerometer. It connects to an app on parents’ smartphones, giving a visual read-out of the baby’s oxygen level, heart rate, skin temperature, sleep quality, and sleep position. The project was recently successfully crowdfunded, and plans to share essential gathered data with researchers working on SIDS.
Bookshelf: What We’re Reading
The magazine dedicated to “architectural entertainment” – Pin-Up recently released a collection of inspiring interviews with a huge variety of architects and designers. Read this discussion with Tom and David Kelley on their new book, Creative Confidence. And 99U’s new installment in their series of great guides for those in the creative workforce, Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career looks like promising encouragement.
(Image of Philologische Bibliothek by Norman Foster)
Proving that a little color can go a long way, a group of Syrian students recently painted a vibrant colored pattern onto the longest public stairs in Syria, completely transforming the drab concrete into a beautiful statement. With hopes to bring a little light and color to the politically embattled nation, architecture academic Salmo al-Bata organized a crew of volunteer students to paint the path in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange, pink and red.
Designer Julia Torres Moskovitz’s book The Greenest Home, released this summer, came about from her frustration with the lack of case studies and information around building passive houses. Her team at Brooklyn’s Fabrica 718 designed New York’s first passive house, consuming 90% less heat energy and 75% less overall energy than the typical home. Moskovitz’s great book details 18 of the best-designed examples of passive homes, with project plans, photographs and construction techniques to help others forge ahead to build their own. Check out this interview with the author.