Happenings

Mechanical Mirrors

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Artist Daniel Rozin creates fascinating interactive installations using sensors and motors that re-adjust a series of objects to reflect whatever is standing in front of them. The mirrors are different shapes, sizes, and colors assembled with a variety of materials including wooden pegs, plastic spokes, and pieces of trash to create unique patterns: one resembles a lovely basket weave, another made of wood cylinders appears reflective like an amalgam of shiny pennies. The secret to the mechanics is the hidden camera behind each composition that feeds what it sees in real-time to a computer, which translates the image into a video signal. Rozin’s custom designed software then instructs each motor to move the panel it controls accordingly, resulting in a mirror-image of the subject. This summer art lovers will have a chance to interact with the installations in person as part of the Digital Revolution exhibition at London’s Barbican.

California Living

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Beginning March 29, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts will present California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way. More than 250 mid-century design artifacts, including furniture, textiles, fashion, and vehicles will immerse the viewer in the airy California style that Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and RM Schindler made iconic. The progressive designs are contextualized with information that reflects on the period’s social, cultural, and creative consciousness. The goal of these designers, according to the exhibition’s curator Barron Bailly, was “to make everyday life beautiful and comfortable.” The groundbreaking exhibition organized by the LACMA is the first major study of modern California design, and PEM is its only stop on the East Coast. Catch it before it closes July 6.

Image via PEM

Beautiful Science

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The 21st-century is the golden age of data visualization. This phenomenon is evidenced in everything from film plots to the world’s billionaires being mapped and dissected into glossy, digitally produced pictorial compositions. A new exhibition at the British Library, Beautiful Science, reflects back on how complex information was displayed before the onset of computers. Serving as a time capsule of factual representation, the show features drawings that represent topics from Crimean war deaths to ocean currents with the oldest diagrams dating back to the early 17th-century. Art in themselves, the detailed illustrations of yore shed light on the incredible ways information has been distilled by hand.

Museums After Dark

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The “After Hours” program is the first recipient of the IK Prize, an initiative that facilitates the enjoyment of art through the use of digital technology. The prize winners Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns, and David Di Duca, also known as “The Workers,” plan to bring art to night owls with the use of hi-tech robotics. Beginning this summer, anyone with a Wi-Fi connection will be able to sign up to for a late night self-guided through the Tate Britain thanks to camera wielding robots.

Image via Movie Mania

Design Shanghai

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Design Shanghai launches February 27 bringing 150 of the brightest names in architecture and international design to China for a week of showcases featuring contemporary, classic, and limited edition furniture, textiles, lighting, and more. Set in the palatial and newly renovated Shanghai Exhibition Centre, the event will place a strong emphasis on China’s rapid growth and give their growing class of elite consumers the opportunity to purchase high-end global designs from the likes of Tom Dixon, Alessi, and Fritz Hansen. The most sought after and exclusive collectibles will go up for auction March 2.

Image via Design Show Shanghai

100 Years of History at Grand Central

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A new beautifully designed website commemorates 100 years of rich history at Grand Central Station in New York City. Created in partnership with the New York Transit Museum, the website explores the engineering, design, and “decline & renewal” of one of the country’s largest and busiest public travel hubs. Videos, stories, historical documents and photographs take the user on a journey from the station’s early days of steam fueled travel to its central role today as a travel, cultural, and culinary destination. In addition, the resource offers insight into the iconic depot’s future with plans, maps, and images of the new train station being dug beneath Manhattan at this very moment.

Image via mkfeeney

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Generation Press releases a limited-edition rainbow hued catalog to accompany Barber Osgerby’s exhibition In the Making. The authors of Design Transitions: Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How Design is Changing traveled the world searching and speaking to design practitioners in hopes of answering the question “How are design practices changing?” Lidewij Edelkoort’s The Pop-Up Generation ruminates on the generation born behind a screen and looks at how their ability to fluidly move between digital and analog has created a whole new kind of hybrid art.

Image by jab5

Design Indaba Film Festival

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Premiering February 21, Design Indaba FilmFest 2014 will present an array of films devoted to creativity in its countless forms. With feature-length films on urban design, street and performance art, photography, architecture, motion graphics and more, it will be sure to delight design fans of all types. Not only is the event’s content unique- the moving-going experience sets itself apart with a selection of films being screened at an old drive-in at Maiden’s Cove, Clifton and the rest projected at South Africa’s oldest surviving building The Castle of Good Hope. Never-before seen in South Africa, the films ruminate on inspiration, human nature, and the urban condition, undoubtedly leaving the viewer with a lasting impression.

Light Play

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Following in the footsteps of Random International’s wildly popular Rain Room installation that debuted at London’s Barbican before moving on to the Museum of Modern Art, United Visual Artists (UVA) debuts their own immersive exhibit Momentum at the London art centre this month. The spatial experience consists of “12 pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing” patterning the curved walls and encircling the visitor in fluid light and a rhythmic soundscape. Conceptualized and executed in just six months and described as “a blissfully meditative experience,” the installation is certainly not to be missed if in London between now and June 1.

Image by James Medcraft via It’s Nice That

Panama’s Bold Biomuseo

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World-famous architect Frank Gehry is set to debut his first built work in Latin America. After a number of delays, the Biomuseo in Panama City, a bold and colorful 43,000-square-foot concrete structure with an elaborate folded roof system is now receiving a limited number of visitors in five of its eight interactive galleries. Built on a former U.S. Army base at the entry of the Panama canal, the museum was conceived to highlight the country’s biodiversity and rich ecosystem. The project has dual intentions – to introduce tourists to Panama’s natural charms and serve as a catalyst for environmental conservancy among locals.

Image via Skyscraperlife

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