With a background in engineering, artist Ricardo Cid uses visualization to understand and reimagine everything from periodic elements to playing the sax. Here he flies through a presentation for the AN staff, leaving us more than a little fascinated, if not, at moments, a little perplexed.
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It's almost time to face the mid-August blues, that moment when the back-to-school copy books hit the drug store shelves. Well, there's still time to cram in a few summer day trips. One item at the top of the list should be a visit the recently landmarked Childs Restaurant building, better known as the headquarters for Coney Island USA. There, the freak shows still reign and Zoe Beloff's small show on toy theater dioramas has an extended its run till mid-September. The four dioramas at the museum are part of a larger project called "The Somnambulists," with the diorama segment called "Four Hysterical Dramas." The show's focus on the 19th century theater's preoccupation with madness makes perfect fit for the Coney Island Museum, which take up the second floor of the Child's building. "The show is about about where the science and sideshows collided," said the artist. Beloff's last show at the museum also dealt in early psychoanalytic themes and is now touring Europe. Three of the four theaters are inspired by real buildings, two of which are insane asylums while a third is the gate house at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. But the Chinese-style theater is derived from a more traditional source, a toy theater featured in Peter Baldwin's book on the subject. Pollock's Toy Museum in London provided the artist with additional grist. Inside the three dimensional Victoriana, twenty-first century technology brings the project to life, archival film footage is projected by a hidden DVD onto semi-silvered glass, giving the illusion of 3-D. In the diorama titled "Hysterical Hemipligia Cured by Hynosis" 19th century footage of a mentally ill patient was taken from the archives of the Dr. Guislain Museum in Belgium. "I’ve always been interested the science in a more reputable way, but in the museums of the 19th century things were more fantastic," said Beloff. "I am really fascinated by dioramas, where the science becomes a spectacle, which is highly contrived and controlled."
On Thursday, the East River Waterfront Esplanade officially opened to the public. Last week, while the paint on the new bike lanes was still drying, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden took AN on a walk through of the first section. The commissioner barely contained her excitement while showing off design details by landscape architect Ken Smith and SHoP Architects. Follow the commissioner as she takes us through the dog run and points out clever details like the "Get-Downs," the riverside bar stools, and "seat walls."
AN's Julie Iovine held a freewheeling conversation last week with architect Rafael Viñoly under the subject heading "What Comes After Postmodern Architecture." The architect had some choice words about the period before moving on to a variety of other topics, including corporate architecture, collaboration, and New York. https://vimeo.com/22260678
"Drafted: the evolving role of architects in furniture design." It was a MAD idea: To talk about why American manufacturers don’t do the job they once did in supporting American architects and designers at making furniture. Held March 10 at the Museum of Arts & Design’s own restored and midcentury soigné auditorium, the assembled panel really knew what they were talking about: Michael Graves recalled his early days working for George Nelson in riveting detail and why Target has dropped independent designers; Jeffrey Bernett, one of the few American designers routinely designing for B&B, summed up Italy versus Herman Miller; Gisue Hariri of Hariri & Hariri eloquently addressed why architects feel compelled to make furniture, and what happened when her architecture firm tried to go there on a larger scale; and Granger Moorhead of Moorhead & Moorhead gave great reason for everyone to hope there is another golden age, especially for New York furniture designers, just ahead. https://vimeo.com/21070456
With over 270,000 square feet and costs projected at $50 million, the Botswana Information Hub is ambitious on many levels, both literally and figuratively. The winner of an international competition, the SHoP-designed research campus brings green technology to the Gaborone, Botswana. The sinuous structure merges into the landscape, with various levels seeming to kinetically lift from the earth. An "energy blanket" roofscape blends solar and water re-use systems into the sweeping composition. Gregg Pasquarelli tells AN all about it. AN Mixed Media> SHoP in Botswana from Architect's Newspaper on Vimeo.