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San Francisco's fourth-tallest tower inches closer to approval
AN rounds up 2019's must-reads for the holiday season
Scottsdale’s oldest, Pueblo-revival style strip mall is being demolished
The adobe-style landmark, Papago Plaza, was built in 1962 and originally named Frontier Town Plaza. In an attempt to stay true to regional architectural heritage, the plaza changed its name while simultaneously undergoing a Pueblo-revival style renovation in 1988. The term, Papago, is now an obsolete name given to the indigenous Tohono O’odham people by Spanish colonizers—it has since been rejected by the tribe. The redevelopment will keep the name in remembrance of the original strip. “Keeping the name was important to tell the legacy of the project. You gotta respect that. It’s been here for 60 years,” said Mashburn. The $100 million redevelopment will consist of a 118-room Marriott hotel, more than 270 apartments developed by Alliance Residential, restaurants, retail, and an Aldi grocery store. It would be a stretch to call it adaptive reuse, though some have, but the developers plan to repurpose a few of the strip’s elements such as the kachina on the sign and the original wood beams. The new center will also feature murals, gathering areas for events, and a park with a water feature. Construction of the first phase retail center is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. The hotel, apartments, and grocery store will follow. Aesthetically, the redesign couldn’t be any different from the original mall, as the ethos of the American roadside establishment has faded—exchanging parking lots for 120,000 square foot garages, novelty gift shops for accessible green space, and suburbs for multi-level apartment buildings. And while it is certainly emblematic of good ole’ Americana, some residents could care less about the strip's demise. Local journalist Peter Corbett tweeted, “Good riddance to Papago Plaza. It's a stretch to call it iconic... the architecture was a mashup of Flintstone's Bedrock City and faux Pueblo style." But as Didion said, when it comes to the retail experience, frontiers will continue to be reinvented, sometimes at the expense of history and sometimes at the expense of pure nostalgia. See below for a video tour of the historic Papago Plaza before demolition:
Down it goes. pic.twitter.com/4enkMmOUEQ— Josh Frigerio, ABC15 (@JoshFrigerio) December 5, 2019
Coming up Jaque
Andrés Jaque will curate the Shanghai Art Biennale 2020
The Shanghai Art Biennale was the first international biennale of contemporary art on the Chinese mainland when it was first launched in 1996, and it soon became one of the most widely followed internationally. Previous iterations of the biennale have centered on the themes of history, modernization, social production, and urbanism. Commenting on his role in the biennale’s thirteenth edition, Jaque stated that he would like the city of Shanghai to not only be its host, but also “a fundamental actor in the discourse, content, and experience.” In this vein, Jaque will commission new projects from talent around the city “as a way to assemble different kinds of sensitivity and knowledge through art-making, and moreover, as a way to empower the legacy the Biennale leaves for the social issues the city is constituted on.” Jaque’s appointment reflects one of the first for an architect, as previous curators of the biennale—including Cuauhtémoc Medina, Anselm Franke, Qiu Zhijie, and Raqs Media Collective—have primarily identified as artists and art curators. The thirteenth edition of the biennale will be held from November 13, 2020, through March 28, 2021, and its theme will be announced in January.
Just announced: I am happy to share the news, that I have been appointed Chief Curator of the Shanghai Art Biennale 2020. It is an honor to follow the work that friends and colleges that I deeply admire did in previous editions. #ShanghaiBiennale pic.twitter.com/r2dDTC6tck— andres_jaque (@OFFPOLINN) November 30, 2019
Fair Pay for Fair Work
Lawrence Scarpa on paid competitions
Aric Chen is the new curatorial director of Design Miami, the premiere show of collectible design, which features the world’s top designers and architects. The show returns for its 15th edition December 2 through 8, 2019, alongside Art Basel, showcasing a body of work that revolves around the theme of environmental sustainability. Until recently, Chen was the lead architecture and design curator at the soon-to-open Hong Kong museum M+. Long before that, he grew up in Chicago with his Taiwanese mother before studying architecture at Berkeley and then design history at Cooper Hewitt. In 2008, he was the co-creative director at Design Fair Shanghai, and served as the creative director at Beijing Design Week from 2011 to 2012. Chen now lives in Shanghai, where he teaches and works as M+’s curator-at-large.
A former Archpaper columnist himself, Chen recently spoke with AN’s products editor Gabrielle Golenda about the current state of design, the environment, and issues affecting the industry, as well as major changes that will shape the field in the coming years.
AN Interior: How is the environmental impact of humanity on the world affecting design?
Aric Chen: When it comes to issues of the environment, I don’t think we can talk about design as solving problems anymore, as we now realize that the problems are too complex to “solve.” That being said, design offers a way to help change behaviors, to mitigate our impact on the planet, and to adapt and build resilience to what we can’t change. It’s prompting us to rethink the relationship between natural and man-made, raw materials and waste, and production and consumption in exciting and promising ways.
How can platforms like Design Miami influence how we think about these issues? How are you addressing sustainability at the show?
Design Miami, and the work it shows, has always been about more than aesthetics and form. To me, what makes a design “collectible” are the ideas that inform it: the experimentation—in terms of these ideas, but also through materials, making, and, yes, aesthetics and form—that it embodies, and the messages and narratives it communicates. The best design speaks to the issues and concerns of its time, so questions around materials, production, and sustainability in our current environmental condition are naturally finding their way into Design Miami through the work of designers who are pushing the boundaries of experimentation and discourse—and, I hope, finding a market to support their work in doing so. As such, I hope we’re contributing to a cultural conversation while also taking practical steps to make the fair more sustainable—for example, by partnering with the advocacy group A Plastic Planet to eliminate single-use plastics from the fair’s food and beverage.Read the full interview on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.