Posts tagged ‘exhibit’

Spectacular, conceptual, or overconfident?

Russia’s Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale is perhaps another example of Russia’s love for over-the-top design and presentation, but it is also just genuinely AWESOME.


image via designboom

The pavilion is split into two completely separated sections; you have to walk out of the pavilion and enter through another doorway to access the other part. The top section has every surface covered with QR codes that, when read through the Samsung tablets provided, feature different design submissions for the new business and technology city of Skolkovo, located right outside of Moscow. The Skolkovo project, or i-City, is a fairly controversial new initiative to encourage new business opportunities and investment in Russia through an “open” city with an investor-friendly tax structure. However, funding and support for the project has mostly been from the government with little foreign funding as of yet, resulting in an unclear forecast of how successful the project is going to be. i-City is scheduled to open in 2017 with a university, housing, and space for over 500 companies to work in various science and technology fields.


image via designboom

The bottom section, which in some ways is even cooler than the top section, features tiny backlit images of the Soviet Union’s many secret science-related cities of the past. The room is entirely dark except for these small images, creating a very intimate setting for the viewers of these rarely seen photos of cities from all over the Soviet Union, many of which don’t exist anymore.


image via designboom

Both sections of the Biennale exhibition were curated by Sergei Tchoban and Sergey Kuznetsov of SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov, who are also masterplanning the Skolkovo project. The architectural team they’ve chosen for the project includes Pierre de MeuronRem KoolhaasKazuyo Sejima, and the Venice Architecture Biennale’s director David Chipperfield, plus the future winners of several rounds of competitions that will be held as the project progresses.


image via designboom

Overall, Russia’s Pavilion is pretty amazing (although it did not win first place), but I wonder how much of it “show-factor” and how much of it is really high quality design? And while I didn’t get to see it in person, which might disqualify me from weighing in, I did get a full run-down from someone who got to experience it live. My take is that it’s both: a really spectacular presentation but also an exploration of some incredible concepts.

September 12′s daily design idea is also the big question that remains: how successful will the very top-down economic initiative of the Skolkovo project be for Russia, particularly now that it has been juxtaposed so publicly with many of the region’s lost cities?

September 12, 2012 at 12:21 am 1 comment

Floating green space?

If the idea of a a park underneath the New York City streets is a bit too intangible for you, not to worry, there’s always the fully realized floating green spaces of Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno. While the project’s images are similarly mind-blowing, the experience of Saraceno’s ‘Cloud Cities’ installation is a bit easier to grasp as it’s currently on display at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Germany.

photograph via bold magazine

While I haven’t been (and, sadly, won’t be) able to wander in and around the pieces myself, I do have a couple friends who were lucky enough to do so – and they say it really was as amazing as it looks.

conceptual drawing via designboom

The designboom article has great photos and sketches of the ‘Cloud Cities’ installation, as well as an interview with Saraceno while climbing in the piece itself. Some great mid-installation shots are also available on inhabitat (as is an article on an unrelated installation of nature-themed bubbles in Paris in 2010, in case you’re digging this kind of art).

February 27’s daily design idea is when your concept alone dazzles, make sure your execution lives up to the hype. Saraceno seems to have succeeded, on both counts.

February 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

Sunflower Seeds 2010 by Ai Weiwei

Re-blogged from dezeen.
Written by Rose Etherington.
Originally posted October 11, 2010.
Copyright © Dezeen Limited 2006-2010

Sunflower Seeds 2010 by Ai Weiwei

“Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has covered the floor of the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London with more than 100 million individually handmade replica sunflower seeds.

Sunflower Seeds 2010 by Ai Weiwei

>> more stunning photos after the jump

Continue Reading October 11, 2010 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

Artists and Architects.

The contemporary relationship between artists and architects, and the question of how important it is to identify as one or the other, have both become increasingly interesting to me as my own design career develops.

Some people have worked in both fields, either simultaneously or through a gradual shift. Maya Lin is perhaps one of the more successful living individuals to act as both, but it’s worth noting that her art and architecture portfolios are definitively separate. Frank Stella is one artist who gradually moved towards architecture (read more in the refreshingly “forthright” interview from Architectural Record), while “perhaps no contemporary architect takes himself more seriously as an artist than Frank Gehry,” according to one New York Times article.


preliminary sketch by Frank Gehry for Panama Puente de Vida Museo

The dynamic between artists and architects can also be clearly separate but still collaborative/co-influential, as is true of artists Michael Gaillard, Grant Guilliams, Kim Holleman, and Eve Mosher, who are all currently exhibiting at SUPERFRONT:

“SUPERFRONT is proud to present ARTISTS WHO PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS ARCHITECTS, a summer group show on view at the Brooklyn gallery through August 13th.  The exhibition brings together 4 artists of disparate backgrounds who, nonetheless, share a common familiarity with practicing architects in New York City.

Curated by Mitch McEwen, Director of SUPERFRONT, with input from Lee Ping Kwan, architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and Mimi Zeiger, editor and publisher of loud paper, the exhibit emphasizes playful and tactile investigations of landscape, site selection, authority, and scale.  The resulting exhibit mixes astute games of narrative, word play, and humor with an irreverence for architectural gravitas.  Sculptures, drawings, physical models, and instrument-like objects are on display.”

SUPERFRONT is located on 1432 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The gallery is open Sat & Sun 1-6 PM, and the exhibit runs 17 July –  13 August, 2010. Opening Saturday July 17th 6:00pm – 8:00pm.


a study for Kim Holleman’s “Trailer Park” installation (various cities, 2006-2010)

July 17′s daily design idea is does the specialization of design professions discourage interdisciplinary practice? Or do professional boundaries encourage higher standards and more innovative thinking about specific materials and realizable production methods?

July 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

Get your foot (literally) in the door.

via the Minneapolis Institute of Arts:

“Held once every 10 years, “Foot in the Door” is an open exhibition for all Minnesota artists. This ever-popular exhibition celebrates the diversity and enthusiasm of Minnesota’s visual — and, new [in 2010], audio/video — artists. It’s an important event for the arts community and a great opportunity for artists to display their work at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The sole curatorial criteria? Each submission must fit within one cubic foot.

The History of “Foot in the Door” Exhibitions

The first Foot in the Door Show was developed by the MAEP’s Artist Panel in 1979. Early critics of the MAEP were concerned that a program in which artists chose exhibitions would “let anyone into the museum.” The panel’s response was to do just that: invite all Minnesota artists to participate in the Foot in the Door Show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, as long as each work was no larger than one cubic foot.

In 1980 the first Foot in the Door Exhibition featured work by 740 artists. It was a fantastic success—a whirlwind of images and ideas coalescing into one gallery. And so, an exhibition and arts community event was born. In 1990 The Other Foot in the Door Show grew to include works by nearly 900 artists. And by 2000, the exhibition had become legendary, featuring over 1700 artists, many of whom had participated in the previous two exhibitions.

Today, we’re proud to present Foot in the Door 4 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It has grown to be the state’s largest art exhibition, with nearly 5,000 works registered for the current show. This year, Foot in the Door 4 introduces video and multi-media works, which can be seen at vimeo.com/groups/footinthedoor4. Immerse yourself in Foot in the Door 4 and experience the creative energy of the Minnesota arts community.”


an extremely small selection of pieces in this year’s Foot in the Door exhibit

Unfortunately the exhibit closed this past June, but you can still see documentation of some of the works on the MIA website, Flickr, and Vimeo.

July 8’s daily design idea is do all artists deserve the opportunity to show their work in a public art institution?

July 8, 2010 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

Artists, environmentalists, and sharing.

The Whitney Museum just kicked off an exciting new exhibit entitled “UNDERCURRENTS: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art” that will be occurring in various locations throughout the western shore of Manhattan, including The Kitchen, the High Line, the Little Red Lighthouse, and the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, from May 27 until June 19.

via the Whitney Museum:

“Ethical cohabitation—how to live together and how to be in the shared environment—is the problem that brings together the sociopolitical, cultural, and ecological within this exhibition. While ostensibly aiming to achieve harmonious balance, such relations are nevertheless inherently antagonistic and always unstable. In this context, how does one choose to act?”


Large Frog and Bee by Tom Otterness is not part of this exhibit, but can be seen at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in the Bronx. Photo by Adam Reich.

June 3’s daily design idea is any design that you execute will have to share resources with its users, you, and the rest of the world. How can you use this awareness to bring a new ethical sensitivity to your design process?

One of UNDERCURRENT’s many upcoming events is This Picnic Stinks! on Saturday from noon-3pm, co-sponsored with my friends at the Design Trust for Public Space. Hope to see you there!

June 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment


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