Month: May 2012

Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary at the V&A

From tomorrow, the V&A in London will be hosting an exhibition on British designer Thomas Heatherwick as part of the museum’s British Design season, which also includes the Ballgowns exhibition in the adjacent galleries. This is certainly not a retrospective by any means, seeing as the practice is still very young, but more a celebration of their studio. Making and creating are very central to the exhibition, with over 150 objects ranging from fully-functional models (the Rolling Bridge really does curl up as it does in real life, and will be demonstrated every Friday afternoon) to maquettes and test pieces that show the design process. The detail even goes down to the laser-cut labels that give off a vaguely smokey scent as you navigate the exhibition. On display is a section of a new London Routemaster bus, which recently started it’s first journey on the No. 38, juxtapositioned next to a modest plank of wood that geniusly folds into pieces of furniture. The exhibition is full of contrasts; small and large, polished and rough, smooth …

Spray Painted Concrete Bollards by EVOL

Back in the beginning of the month I wrote a post on the urban cityscapes spray painted on cardboard by graffiti artist EVOL (see it here). The pictures in this post however, show another piece of work; the spray painted concrete bollards made to look like rundown housing estates, situated in Smithfield Market. Images: My own

Steven Holl Daeyang Gallery and House Watercolours

I often think that Steven Holl’s watercolours are somewhat overlooked in favour of glossy photos in architectural publications. So with that in mind, here are some atmospheric watercolours of recently completed Daeyang Gallery and House, situated in the Kangbuk area at the base of the hilly mountains in Seoul, Korea. The three copper-coloured pavilions of the building are arranged around a pool, with separate programmatic spaces rising above and below the plane of the water’s surface. Images: Steven Holl Architects via

Christian Louboutin at the Design Museum

The instantly recognisable glossy red soles of the typical Christian Louboutin stiletto reveal a creativity driven by fantasy, play, fetish and sex. The first UK retrospective of the iconic French shoe designer follows Louboutin’s creative approach, focusing on the foot as an object of desire. Disrobing and nudity have become important themes, with Louboutin stressing his preference for shoes that ‘undress’, rather than ‘dress’. Louboutin was born in 1964, the son of a cabinetmaker, and as a child recalls seeing a sign to a Museum of African and Oceanic Art showing a high heel shoe crossed out by a vivid red line. This is a lasting influence that seems to have inspired both the slender silhouette of the heel, and the erotic restraint of his work; particularly evident in his 2007 ‘Fetish’ exhibition at the La Gallerie Du Passage in Paris. The collaboration of photography with artist David Lynch showed footwear that was near impossible to walk in; there was even a ‘mono-shoe’ consisting of two shoes glued together. From the age of 14, Louboutin was …

Steven Holl Daeyang Gallery and House Watercolours

J. Mayer H. Architects in Georgia

Berlin architect Jurgen Mayer H. has recently made a name for himself with the completion of two ‘rest stops’ for the new highway in Gori, Georgia; a gateway that will connect neighbouring countries Azerbaijan and Turkey. J. Mayer H. Architects have already completed over five buildings in Georgia, with more planned for the future, including three more similar ‘rest stops’. The commission from the head of the Roads Department of Georgia came in 2009, with the wish to create social and economic activators on selected scenic viewpoints along the route, including supermarkets, a farmers market and a cultural space for local arts and crafts. The Socar and Wissol rest stops featured here are formed by a statement concrete skeleton, protecting passersby from the elements with it’s strong form, contributing to the rapid expansion and modernisation of cities in Georgia as well as the transport routes through the Caucasus Mountains. Images

Bauhaus: Art as Life at Barbican Art Gallery

At the weekend I paid a visit to the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican, probably the biggest exhibition solely dedicated to the pioneering German art and design school in recent history, and a substantial delve into the school’s turbulent pathway from 1919 to its final closure in 1933. This is a vast exhibition, with over 400 works; starting with ceramics and textiles from the school’s arts and crafts beginnings, to Bauhaus’s move in 1925 to the industrial city of Dessau and a purpose-built campus designed by founder Walter Gropius. The exhibition design, by architects Carmody Groarke, guides you chronologically through the works, revealing not only the huge output of works; buildings, painting, sculptures, but also life backstage at Bauhaus, with black and white photographs of the studios and revealing images of the students and professors. ‘The freedom from all conventions to liberate their creative potential” carries through their way of living as well; a playful portrait marks a case in point- Marcel Breuer standing next to three delectable ladies with the title of ‘Marcel Breuer …

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Dover Street Market Market Sample Sale

A few posts ago I wrote about the new Dover Street Market in Ginza, Tokyo. Now’s the turn of London. All this weekend Dover Street Market are hosting a sample sale at Bloomsbury Square. The theme this year is museum, with a vast array of clothing and accessories from past seasons from all Comme des Garçons collections, plus some other brands such as Celine, Peter Pilotto and Erdem. Most of the products were between 50-70% off, I spotted some gorgeous Erdem skirts (if only they had been in a smaller size!) and even a Comme des Garçons jacket which looked like it was from their AW 2011 collection, with bulbous black forms growing from the shoulders and sleeves. Although I didn’t end up buying anything, the sale is still worth going to. It’s on until Sunday 13th May from 10am to 7pm at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA. Images: My own on Instagram

Garden & House in Tokyo by Ryue Nishizawa

Garden & House in Tokyo by Ryue Nishizawa

Ryue Nishizawa, one half of Japanese architecture practice SANAA with Kazuyo Sejima, has recently created a house in Tokyo that rethinks the borders between room and garden, interior and exterior. The project is part of Nishizawa’s study into new inner city lifestyles of non-nuclear Japanese families, questioning the diversification and arrangement of living spaces to suit different urban situations. To maximise sunlight from adjacent tower blocks, Nishizawa designed a tall, thin building that was open to the street by slender colomns and fabric curtains, delicately positioned between the concrete slabs. The lack of a conventional facade gives the appearance of a floating new form taking residence between the surrounding enclosed blocks. Each room has access to a garden area or balcony with potted plants, connecting an inner city plot to greenery, which otherwise would be hard to come by in Tokyo. var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; Images: Domus