One of the great joys of art and art and architecture fairs is the energy they create for specialized focused architecture exhibitions at alternative sites away from the main venues. This is true for all Venice Art and Architecture Biennales and the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy. This week's Art Basel/Design Miami, perhaps because it is still a relatively young event and focused on art and design and not architecture, is short on these sorts of serious ancillary events. But there is one small yet highly focused and detailed exhibit that stands out this week. Curated by Alastair Gordon (along with a class of students he taught this semester at FIU), the exhibit Accidental Architect: Robert Motherwell, Pierre Chareau and the Quonset House of 1947 details the house that Chareau designed for the New York painter in East Hampton when the Hamptons were still affordable for artists. Gordon obsessively photographed the house a week before it was destroyed in 1985. Quonset huts, of course, have a great legacy in America during war time, but this was not an ordinary metal unit but one tweaked and detailed by the master French architect. The exhibit has some of Gordon's beautiful detailed photographs of the structure that shows the outer limits of what can be accomplished with mass produced technology. We owe Gordon a debt not just for his obsessively detailed images, but the intelligence with which he put this show together. Gordon tied it to Motherwell’s artistic conversation with the house and his Mexican-born wife, Maria Ferreira y Moyers, who was making her own experiments in art and prose and became, in effect, a "third collaborator" on the design of the house. Barney Rosset, publisher of Grove Press, bought the property in 1952 and added incongruous cedar shingles and Spanish tiles. Despite many protests, the house was demolished in 1985 to make way for an "Adirondack-style" McMansion. The exhibit is in the Main Gallery of the Miami Beach Urban Studios at 420 Lincoln Road, 4th Floor.
Posts tagged with "Design Miami":
One of the early highlights of Miami Art and Design Week is the spectacular Larry Bell sculpture 6X6 An Improvisation at White Cube Gallery’s pop up space in the Wynwood Art District. Last night, Bell was interviewed by uber questioner Hans Ulrich Obrist in the gallery next to the piece. Bell talked about his years learning to manufacture and laminate his art pieces on East 9th Street in New York City after Pace Gallery sold out his show before he even arrived at the gallery. He also described his early years as a painter (he started out studying graphic design) influenced by Willem De Kooning, which eventually had him make spaces of wood and glasses rather than paint them. Bell described the nearly unlimited spatial and geometric possibilities of his glass cubes. When Obrist, who always wants to be prepared for his interviews, asked Bell to consider his installations as collages, referencing Vladimir Tatlin and others. Bell did not seem to want think about his work as Obrist farmed it and blurted out, “Hans and I only met for a few minutes before this talk,” and "I don’t know what to say about the work!"
Day one of the 2015 Miami Art Week of nineteen various fairs scattered around Dade County opened today. Design Miami is up first and staged in a large tent with a broken air conditioner with humidity and rain lurking outside. The trade show is a cross between Milan's Salone de Mobile and Art Basel and leans toward luxury products manufactures like Louis Vuitton with their "fabulous" Lounge Chair by Marcel Wanders and galleries that specialize in stripping movable objects off Jean Prouvé buildings like the wall of hooks for the deposit of keys from Maison Tropicale. There were a few really unique pieces scattered throughout the tent including the entrance canopy, called Unbuilt, of pink foam models by Harvard GSD students (Joanne Cheung, jenny Shen, Steven Meyer, Doug Harsevoort, Yiliu Shen-Burke), professors (Luis Callejas, Hanif Kara, Dan Borelli), and new AIA New York Director Ben Prosky. New creative work by experimental designers was in short supply but Aranda\Lasch’s stainless steel seat forms with silicon foam stood out at gallery ALL as did Fernando Romero’s hot setting sun of Swarovski glass. The Campana brothers channeled primitive patterns into shelves and tables and Audi showed a new electric concept car with a solar panel roof due out in 2016. Oh yes, it is $86 for three sandwiches and a bottle of water—and did I mention no A/C?
The Architect’s Newspaper will be in Miami this week for a slew of art and design events including Art Basel, Unbuilt, Design Miami, the Salone del Mobile preview, and launches of the new Institute of Contemporary Art and limited edition Ducati motorcycle. We have received a huge digital and paper file of official press releases but there may be scattered events and launches that have not landed on our desk. Is there anything the AN audience should know about on the edges of the official events? What are we missing? Let us know here in the comments below or tell us about your design highlights of the week!
The Chicago based Design With Company have been commissioned by Airbnb to design an installation for Design Miami/. Conceived as a large space of familiar building fragments, the so-called belong. here. now. will be an interactive space to be programmed throughout the week-long festival, with performances, events, and exhibitions. Occupying a lot which has never been activated by Design Miami/, across from the main venue, the design incorporates a series of columns, walls, seating areas, and thresholds that invite the public to interact with the project in undefined ways. Design With Company, a team comprising of Allison Newmeyer and Stewart Hicks, is no stranger to instigating impromptu public performance with their work. In their recent project Porch Parade in Vancouver B.C. they built a series of technicolor “front porches” as a stage set of public interaction. belong. here. now. engages with similar motifs evoking scenes of a Roman forum, held in perfect ruin just far enough to be re-imagined for new use. The soft pastel colors bring the project into Miami with a nod and a wink. Design Miami/ will be held in Miami Beach from December 2–6, 2015.
At the recent Design Miami fest, artist Naihan Li exhibited her work-of-art wardrobe, which is helpfully—or confusingly—titled I AM A MONUMENT. (Apologies, and a tip of the chapeau, to Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour.) The monument in question is, of course, Rem Koolhaas' CCTV building. But the homage isn't limited to the exterior of the structure. Inside—the cabinet, if not the building—things get interesting. The elaborate compartments and cupboards contained in the rosewood armoire would seem to take inspiration from programmatic diagrams of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture's Beijing skyscraper. The artist explained her thinking: "The CCTV tower, shaped like a loop of video in endless production, has been turned into a wardrobe, where the ritual of dressing and undressing can also be said to be an endless loop."
At Design Miami, Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang has teamed up with nature photographer James Balog on an installation called Thinning Ice. Produced for the haute crystal manufacturer Swarovski, the walls of the enclosure comprise a seventy-foot-long LCD screen that displays Balog's documentary images of the Solheimajokull glacier in Austria. The interior of the space is populated with abstracted ice floes: tall tables that are pocked with amorphic depressions representing the random patterns creating by thawing ice and meltwater. At the bottom of these holes are collections of strategically-lit crystals; in varying sizes and colors, both perfectly faceted and imperfectly formed, they are objects of contemplation. The aluminum floor of the pavilion is split, the crack again filled with crystals. An architectural musing on the degrading polar environment, the piece itself is evanescent—it's in place just for the duration of the art fair, which runs from December 3 through December 7.
Design Miami/, the annual global design forum, has announced that Minneapolis-based designer Jonathan Muecke has been selected to design its pavilion for next month's show. For the coveted commission, Muecke created a cylindrical space accessible through two entrance points. The structure is finished in primary colors: red and green on the inside and blue and yellow on the outside. Within the circle is “seamlessly shaped seating” designed to “allow visitors a moment of quiet reflection.” While the design may seem fairly simple, Design Miami/ thinks the space will really come alive when the Florida sun comes through its translucent tarp, creating a "shifting topography of reflected color.” According to Design Miami/, Muecke’s practice “resists standard divisions between design, art and architecture, instead focusing on refined forms that investigate notions of positive and negative space, positional relationships to structures and the innate desire to read notions of functionality into objects that relate to human scale.” The young designer studied architecture at Iowa State, design at Cranbrook Academy of Art, and interned for Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland. Design Miami/, which occurs alongside Art Basel, celebrates its 10th anniversary from December 3–7th. [h/t DawnTown]
(Editor's Note: FXFOWLE Architect’s PR head, Karen Bookatz, offers a brief, Instagrammed account of architecture and design highlights at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.) Don’t get me wrong: I love art and I love attending art fairs. They provide one a unique opportunity to see what’s fresh and new in the art and design industries—or whatever trade is being rep’d—every few months. For me, however, a booth is a booth is a booth. Art fairs must continue to find new ways of further distinguishing themselves or otherwise run the risk of conventionality. What Frieze did last May with SO-IL’s tent design (and to a lesser extent, Bade Stageberg and Cox’s environmental design effort for The Armory Show 2012) was a major step in the right direction. Likewise, custom installations and collaborative efforts, while public relations/marketing ventures more than anything else, have proven to be undeniably effective in creating buzz and increasing visibility for the respective firm, artist, or collaborative. (This is why I was personally so adamant about my own firm’s presence—with an architectural installation/lounge project at the Miami Project art fair—at this year’s Basel.) Untitled Art Fair | Keenan/Riley Architects The example of Frieze was most certainly a source of inspiration behind the new Untitled Art Fair, the tent of which was designed by Keenan/Riley Architects . I had the chance to chat up the founder of Untitled over sunset cocktails on Friday evening. I asked if he was considering commissioning a new tent designer for subsequent years—an RFP, or a call for proposals, perhaps? Unfortunately, this did not seem like his intention, but I nevertheless applauded his efforts. And the location of the fair—right off 5th and Ocean Drive on the beach—was off the chain. Guiro | Absolut Art Bureau Perfectly situated on the beach (between the W Hotel and the The Setai), Guiro, Absolut Art Bureau’s glowing, egg-shaped installation that—quite literally—secreted vodka for nine hours every evening, all in view of top-notch curated art and music programming, is exactly what the doctor ordered. I can’t wait to see what Absolut Art Bureau has in store for us next year. Drift | Snarkitecture There’s not much else to report on this crowd-pleasing, Louise Bourgeois-inspired installation other than restating the obvious: it was awesome and there should have been/should be more installations like it. Miami Art Museum Construction Tour | Herzog & De Meuron A first for me at—what is, now, my fourth—Art Basel: a construction site tour. I spent a beautiful Saturday morning on an intimate site tour of Herzog & de Meuron’s new project for the Miami Art Museum—which is slated to open at Basel 2013—led by Jacques Herzog, in the flesh, along with MAM director Thom Collins. Perfect structure, perfect site….perfect everything.
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The designer’s most recent collaboration with Milgo/Bufkin explores mass customizationArchitect-morphologist Haresh Lalvani is continuing his longtime relationship with Brooklyn-based fabricator Milgo/Bufkin with the Morphing Fruit Platter 1D Series 300, which was unveiled at this year’s Design Miami as part of the Moss exhibit, Mass Customization of Emergent Designs. The 100 platters presented at Moss represent the designer’s latest thoughts about the intersection of mathematics and manufacturing based on a process he calls Lautomation. Derived from the term “Length Automation,” Lautomation is a new way to automate patterns for mass-produced, mass-customized shapes. The process generates infinite patterns with an automatic, 1-D equation based on length. When applied to any selected length, Lalvani’s algorithm creates a series of patterns, each an evolution of the previous one ad infinitum. The Fruit Platters’ “length” of 300 refers to 300 points on a continuous curve, giving each plate 300 perforations. As in his other work, Lalvani said the process represents a “morphological genome” because the size, shape, and position of each platter’s holes are different. Made with powder-coated, laser-cut steel, Milgo/Bufkin has produced only 100 of the 12-inch-diameter platters. Each one is numbered according to its position in the morphological sequence, which created 1,000 patterns in all. And just in time for the holidays: It’s not too late to give loved ones their own piece of newly-formed design DNA (for $700). According to the Moss web site, “The 900 platters from this series which have not yet been realized can be ordered, with no surcharge. This is to reinforce the new reality of digital production: the elimination of 'economy of scale', whereby making 'more' of something costs less. This historic paradigm—one of the tenets of the Industrial Revolution—will no longer be a truth.” Each piece is accompanied by a 12-minute animation of all 1,000 patterns created in the series.
Design Miami, the high-design fair that runs with the giant, Art Basel Miami Beach, exhibited two objets d’architecture over the Miami Art Week, and named an architect, David Adjaye, as its 2011 Designer of the Year. Both objets were sculptural pavilions: one is an installation by Adjaye, commissioned for the fair, and the other a restored modernist icon with a utopian agenda. Adjaye’s pavilion Genesis was sited just outside the entrance to the Design Miami fair tent. Constructed with digitally cut timber planks, Genesis is triangular in plan, with an ovoidal interior space that opens to two sides, a smaller window on the third side, and an oculus above. Called by Adjaye “architectural furniture” because it’s not exactly a building, but almost a sculpture meant for human occupation, Genesisbecame a civic amenity for fairgoers, and gave the parking-lot site a feeling of a plaza. The other pavilion was in a vacant lot in the Design District. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome prototype was an early experiment in inexpensive prefab shelters and environmental, off-the-grid living. The dome, one of only three ever made by Bucky, was restored by Design Miami’s founder, Craig Robins. It was joined by the Fuller’s “omni-directional transport system”, the Dymaxion 4, restored by Lord Norman Foster using his own original Dymaxion as template. The 24 foot-wide prototype dome is a tessellation of hexagonal fiberglass panels with plastic bubble dome windows that seem to radiate from refracted light. It appears strong, but lighter than air, as if a white cloud of geometric purity is floating just along the ground. It was paired with Fuller’s Dymaxion Car as part of the traveling exhibition, “Architecting the Future: Buckminster Fuller and Norman Foster” curated by Lady Elena Foster (Long before he was knighted, Foster worked with Fuller.) The dome will be permanently installed in Miami’s Design District, in a plaza being developed by Robins. The Miami fairs have always been cross-disciplinary, beginning in the early years with the spontaneous creation of the “Miami model”: part serious fair, part social event, part bacchanalian party, part educational experience, and part clearing house for other creative media. Design Miami showed how naturally design-as-art can fit into this maelstrom. Perhaps architecture, although it has always played a cameo role during Basel week, will move in the same direction.
Design Miami is all about furnishings as art, parties, being someplace warm in December, and more parties. It’s not so much about architecture, except that the most riveting eye-grabber is often an installation by an architect. In 2006, Zaha Hadid, named Designer of the Year, created a plasticene web of wonder that ensorcelled the interior atrium of the Moore Building in the Design District. More recently ArandaLasch created tents set up closer to the action and directly in front of the convention center where Art Basel Miami Beach is located. This year the tent went to New York architects Moorhead & Moorhead. They worked in collaboration with ArandaLasch who fitted out the interiors. This year’s Designer of the Year, Konstantin Grcic elected to put his installation in the tent-shaded courtyard: his Netscapes are structurally intense hammocks, swing sets for real swingers, as it were. The morning after opening night, we talked to Granger Moorhead about their tent installation: “We had to cover a lot of area on a limited budget [$40,000], so we decided to work as much as possible with existing rental tents. We started with those solid vinyl panels that are basically floppy and flat. Then we slit them with an offset pattern and folded them in and out and fixed them with aluminum pop rivets to create tension and to make them volumetric. The openings allowed for light and air and a very pleasant atmosphere for hanging out on the hammocks.” Two tents are set up side by side with the smaller one serving as an open forecourt with partially slit sides to show off the process and the transition, a favorite Moorhead & Moorhead motif. The larger portion is left untouched. “We started working on it conceptually six months ago but because it’s in a parking lot, it had to go up really fast, in a week and a half,” said Moorhead. He added that the best part of Design Miami so far was finding a Miami edition of the Shake Shack, but with no lines.