Month: June 2011

Akio Hirata’s Exhibition of Hats by Nendo

Akio Hirata’s Exhibition of Hats by Nendo

An unusual installation of 4000 hats by Japanese milliner Akio Hirata has been created by Japanese designers Nendo at the Spiral Garden in Tokyo. The hats appear to be balancing in mid-air, giving the impression of a flock of hovering birds filling the exhibition hall. Visitors are invited to walk in between and under the hand-made hats, most of which are white and suspended by invisible threads from the floor and ceiling. Hirata’s colourful and patterned creations stand out against the non-woven white hats, forming a strong contrast between handmade, one-off products and mass market headwear. The landscape of the hats creates an environment for the visitor to explore, casting shadowed patterns on the floor and creating pathways through the exhibition. Images: Dezeen  

Oliver Peoples glasses

Oliver Peoples glasses

I have recently been lusting and swooning after a chic pair of Oliver Peoples glasses ever since I tried on a tortoise-shell pair in a Brighton optician. A few months later I saw a shop assistant in a fashionable Old Street boutique wearing a similar pair, and knew it was time to for-goe the contact lenses and go back to old-school chunky eyewear. Above is a melancholic and brooding illustration by artist Paul X Johnson, titled Behold a Pale Horse. His images depict classic beauties in a greyed-out world, brooding into the distance with the obligatory ebony slicked back hair and venomous lips. Below that is an image of actor Gregory Peck, as Atticus Finch in the classic film of To Kill A Mockingbird, which has inspired a new vintage style for Oliver Peoples to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the literary novel. Images: Oliver Peoples

Serpentine Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Serpentine Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Photos have recently been released for the new temporary pavilion outside the Serpentine Gallery, created and designed by architect Peter Zumthor. A previous post of mine showed some concept images back at the beginning of April. “At the heart of Peter Zumthor’s Pavilion is a garden that the architect hopes will inspire visitors to become observers. Zumthor’s says his design ‘aims to help its audience take the time to relax, to observe and then, perhaps, start to talk again – maybe not.’ The design emphasises the role the senses and emotions play in our experience of architecture.With a refined selection of materials Zumthor creates contemplative spaces that evoke the spiritual dimension of our physical environment. As always, Zumthor’s aesthetic goal is to customise the building precisely to its purpose as a physical body and an object of emotional experience. Zumthor has stated that ‘the concept for this year’s Pavilion is the hortus conclusus, a contemplative room, a garden within a garden. The building acts as a stage, a backdrop for the interior garden of flowers and …

Shadow House by Liddicoat & Goldhill

Shadow House by Liddicoat & Goldhill

I first read about Shadow House in The Sunday Times a week or so ago, and was intrigued by both the architecture and the story behind it. The building was designed and built by relatively new architecture practice Liddicoat & Goldhill, consisting of husband and wife team David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill. The couple created Shadow House as their own home to both satisfy their fascination with the private house, but also to fulfil a frustration with the vicissitudes of the London domestic marketplace; “We knew that we could only realise the project if the house was very small, very simple and on an affordable piece of land – an anathema in London. We set out to find most awkward site possible, and to build a house there with our own hands”. The name of the house refers to the way its form plays with light and shade, replacing a former electricity substation at the end of a Victorian terrace in the Camden Square Conservation Area, just north of Kings Cross. The project is both …

Edge Condition Pavilion by Synecdoche

Edge Condition Pavilion by Synecdoche

Michigan architects Synecdoche have won a design competition run by Young Architects Forum of Atlanta, which has resulted in this stacked timber pavilion in Atlanta Georgian. The two and a half ton structure, called Edge Condition Pavilion, is constructed of timber offcuts and is held to the ground with cables. It is a bit of a balancing act, with the hardwood rods being help together solely by gravity. The architects described the project as; “Utilizing a by-product material as a means of invoking the temporary pavilion with a temporary material wood edges cut from hardwood boards give a standardized object to build upon creating a field in which to inhabit. By operating on the edge of definitive material, neither board nor wood chip, the wood edge becomes the temporal object between two phases. In the same light the pavilion offers the capacity to be an edge condition of construction. The methodical mode of stacking and maneuvering the edges is in itself on the edge of a mode of construction.” Images: Dezeen  

Columbine Goldsmith

The beautiful photographs of Columbine Goldsmith

I discovered the work of Columbine Goldsmith a couple of months ago, with a post featuring her work here. Goldsmith’s images are pretty and ethereal, capturing moments of intimacy and thought, with her use of a Mamiya 7 and Polaroid Land Camera.Columbine Goldsmith has since expanded her work into the world of film, with the result of a short film with co-director Allegria Torassa, titled L’ile, which can be seen on the Dazed and Confused website, here. Her newfound film-making style retains a sense of her still images seen here, but explores a more voyeuristic, and peculiar aesthetic; “Allegria and I didn’t plan on making this film. We were on an island – it was a vacation. We were in this enormous swimming pool with diving masks late one night. The swimming pool had an eerie green light which looked other-worldly and fantastic. We had visions of doing a surrealist film underwater — in the mood of Luis Buñel. So we spent the following days running around the island searching for an underwater camera. We never …

Map works by Matthew Cusick

Map works by Matthew Cusick

Texan artist, Matthew Cusick creates these fascinating artworks by cutting apart maps according to shade and colour and pasting them onto boards to form collages depicting landscapes, highways and people. The particular maps he uses for certain work have a deeper meaning than purely for their shade of colour: “The people I construct out of maps represent certain ideas and moments in time that resonate deeply with me,” he says. “The maps I choose for each work relate to that person’s timeline and history. I’ll use these maps as a surrogate for paint but also as a way to expand the limits of representational painting. Each map fragment is employed both as a brush stroke and a unit of information. The human form acts as a matrix in which inlaid maps from different places and times coalesce into a narrative.” Images: Matthew Cusick via Web Urbanist

Pablo Bronstein: Sketches for Regency Living at ICA, London

Today I ventured down to the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall to see their latest exhibition, Pablo Bronstein: Sketches for Regency Living, which is on from 9th June to the 25th September. It is the artist’s most ambitious exhibition to date, introducing major architectural interventions, a newly commissioned body of work as well as extraordinary original choreography. Drawing upon London’s Regency history and that of the ICA building, Bronstein uses a wide range of media to explore his interest in architecture, from performance and drawing to installation and sculpture. The world here imagined by Bronstein is one in which past and present, Classicism and Postmodernism, are married in highly stylised and often fantastical combinations. Bronstein’s practice is as much concerned with architecture itself as with the social relations that architecture constructs. Performance and choreography can be understood as an extension of the artist’s exploration of architecture into the realm of space and action. For Bronstein, ‘Dance is another way of drawing, you mark space out, you mark territories out, and dimensions and volumes with gestures, positions …

Air New Zealand Clothes Hangar by Gascoigne Associates

Air New Zealand Clothes Hangar by Gascoigne Associates

Clothes Hangar, the shop below in Auckland for airline staff at Air New Zealand, has recently been completed by designers Gascoigne Associates. The brief was to create a space where staff can choose their uniform and receive advice in a space that embodied Trelise Cooper’s new uniform design direction and the Air New Zealand brand. Gascoigne Associates designers Clark Pritchard and Theresa Ricacho consulted with Saatchi Design Worldwide to ensure the tie in with ‘the common thread’ sub-brand idea and on the design of the wall details, wallpaper and ‘pictures’. The ‘Clothes Hangar’ walls are entirely finished in random patterned ‘V’ grooved panelling. Floors are a washed oak laminate and together they provide the backdrop to the ‘blue’ tube racking, which wraps its way around the shop and into the fitting rooms. Images: Dezeen

Andro Wekua's 'Pink Wave Hunter' at Venice Biennale 2011

Zurich-based artist Andro Wekua created 15 sculptures, titled ‘Pink Wave Hunter’ based on memories of buildings in his destroyed home town of Sochumi, Georgia. The sculptures are mounted on a large pedestal and the theme of the installation aims to record his fleeting memories of a town that is now on the brink of architectural destruction. Wekua fled the town in the 1990’s after the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and as there is little documentation of the city in its original form, Wekua has had to rely on personal photographs and a fading memory, giving the sculptures an intriguing level of abstraction. Images: Wallpaper