The birthday gift that architecture lover Brad Pitt received from his partner Angelina Jolie is a Frank-Lloyd-Wright-designed house named Petra, set on a private island in the shape of a heart in Westchester country, north of NYC. Petra’s original cottage was erected in 1950, yet its larger property was built from one of Wright’s blueprints in 2008.
Fantastic news for New York-based design collectors. The Salon: Art + Design has announced its list of exhibitors for the fairs' third year, running from November 13-17 and on the list the strongest line-up of galleries ever seen at any New York fair. Coming to New York for the first time is the edgy Parisian Galerie Kreo showing contemporary
Pioneers of digital design. What the four members of the Swedish design group Front has done was to first sketch furniture and then designed it in space. They materialized hand made sketches through using a urique method where they combine Invisible pen strokes in the air recorded with Motion Capture becomes digital 3D-files and rapid prototyping.
Glass instead of stainless steel. This building that looks like an enormous cloud of glass and clearly reflects the signature style of Frank Gehry, is the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, which is set to open in the fall. Constructed of thousands of glass panels, it comes to provide a permanent center for the charitable organization.
It seems like this is the yea for Italian design. The amazing book Made in Italy by Grace Lees-Maffei was published, Gaetano Pesce has just opened his retrospective at Maxxi Museo nazionale della arti del XXI secolo, and the Triennale Design Museum in Milan is showing its landmark exhibition Italian Design Icons, presenting a group of icons from the permanent Collection of the Museum, which tells the story of Italian modern design.
He would have been 128 years old today, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who was born in Aachen, Germany in 1886. Mies moved to the USA in 1937, and pioneered luxurious modernism in this country, where new materials such as steel and glass were heavily employed.
The Tropical House was the ultimate employment of Jean Prouve's vision about prefabricated housing in the postwar era. It incorporated features designed particularly for the tropical climate, with all elements but the largest structural steel pieces, all made of aluminum. The three models were transported by airplane from Europe to remote locations in Africa to address the 1950‘s housing shortage in the French colonies.
While resin has been used in making of the decorative arts for centuries, applied in a form of lacquer and for varnishes and glazes, it has been extensively utilized in collectible furniture design in recent years. Plant resins have a very long history dating back to ancient Greece and China, but the epoxy resin we see in furniture today is a chemical version of the natural substance, which requires no less labor intensive processes. At Design Miami/Basel, the Germany-based Ammann Gallery presents a new furniture series by Italian design collective nucleo that look as if is carved our of semi-precious stones.
I love this little building on 13th Street on the border of the Village and the Meatpacking District. Designed by the Japanese architect Junya Ishigami (who also designed the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2008) and completed in 2008, it was initially the boutique for Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and now hosts Marni. In renovating an existing building, the architect split the building in two to create a pedestrian way connecting the two streets. I love it for the pristine shape, for the use of brick and glass in the most genuine way, the way these two materials meet, and the minimalist form.
Can't wait to see the upcoming show Louis Kahn: the Power of Architecture at the London Design Museum, which contains architectural models, original drawings, travel sketches, photographs and films. If there was such a notion as star-architect in the postwar years, Louis Kahn would have won that title. Because most design critics agree that Kahn was the most talented and influential American architect of the mid-century years. He advanced modernism beyond the fading International Style into immense, poetic expression, and became an inspiration for generations of architects to come.
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