Posts tagged with "Maya Lin":

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Storm King Art Center exhibits architectural projects that take on climate change

The group exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change and the solo presentation Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir opened last month at Storm King Art Center, in New Windsor, NY. The two exhibitions present an array of large-scale sculptural projects, along with photos, videos, drawings, and other works that grapple with the human impact on the environment and the history of the 500-acre site. In Indicators, the 18 participating artists and collectives engage with the art center’s site, and with the environment, geography, and infrastructure more broadly, some through explicitly architectural means. Field Station for the Melancholy Marine Biologist by Mark Dion is a wooden cabin housing a “scientific lab” with contents that respond to the surrounding ecology. Field Station is part of Dion’s broader project of appropriating scientific and archaeological methods to trouble the ways we come to know our environment. Gabriela Salazar’s sculpture Matters in Shelter (and Place, Puerto Rico) uses the visual language of temporary shelters built after hurricanes or the semilleros used to protect young coffee plants as commentary on personal narrative and climate change. The typical concrete cinder blocks that support the structure will be gradually changed out for bricks made of compressed coffee grounds, which will in turn slowly disintegrate. Salazar’s piece meditates on the very fragility of the built world and highlights the paradoxical place of concrete in it; it's a material both fundamental to making structures that can withstand climate change-caused severe weather, yet it releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide while being produced. Other exhibiting artists in Indicators include David Brooks, Dear Climate, Ellie Ga,  Justin Brice Guariglia, Allison Janae Hamilton, Jenny Kendler,  Maya Lin, Mary Mattingly, Alan Michelson, Mike Nelson, Steve Rowell, Rebecca Smith, Tavares Strachan, Meg Webster, and Hara Woltz. Storm King also is presenting the sixth iteration of its Outlooks series with Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir. Cameron-Weir created A toothless grin. A STAR EXPANSION! GLOBE OF DEATH A graveyard orbita site-specific sculpture combining a metal sphere, inspired by motorcyclist’s “globes of death,” the metallic globes bikers enter and speed around inside, and a military-style shelter. The closed globe set in an open field is intended to be suggestive of communication devices and scientific apparatuses—real and imagined, current and future—while the shelter suggests someone watching over. Weir researched the history of Storm King mountain, and let it inform her choices in materials. One such material inspiration were the steel fasteners and bolts of the Star Expansion Industries Corporation which was owned by Ralph E. Ogden and his son-in-law Peter Stern, who founded Storm King Art Center. The project also engages with the history of a successful 18-year fight to block a ConEdison power plant in Storm King Mountain. Indicators: Artists on Climate Change Storm King Art Center 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY Through November 11 Outlooks: Elaine Cameron-Weir Storm King Art Center 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY Through November 25
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Archtober Building of the Day #17: Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

This story is part of a monthlong series of guests posts by AIA New York that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours. See the full 2017 schedule here. On an unseasonably warm Saturday, Archtober got a tour of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Manhattan’s Chinatown, revealing the design thinking behind the museum and how it operates today. The adaptive reuse of the ground floor and basement, the two floors rented by the museum in what is otherwise an office building, was carried out by Maya Lin Studio and Bialosky + Partners Architects. Our tour guide was Alina Shen, Museum Educator at MOCA. Our tour began outside, as Shen pointed out the 1915 building’s original façade and discussed the ground floor renovation. The 14,000-square-foot building used to be the Grand Machinery Exchange, one of 40 used-machine dealers on the block, which in the early 20th century attracted buyers from across the country. At the ground floor, the architects transformed the industrial façade with large spans of glass. Closely attuned to the neighborhood and the museum’s mission as a repository of Chinese-American history, Lin’s design incorporated text as a way of harkening back to text-laden signs of Chinese-American-owned businesses nearby.   When the tour moved inside, Shen described the museum’s history and mission. In the 1980s, cofounders Jack Tchen and Charlie Lai noticed that many objects, such as cabinets and photographs, were being left on the curb throughout Chinatown. They began collecting and archiving the objects, and after some research realized that many stores in Chinatown were approaching the end of their 99-year leases. Tchen and Lai created the Chinatown History Project as a way of preserving the memory of these spaces and the older generation of Chinese-American residents. The project eventually grew into MOCA. Formerly located at PS 23, the museum moved into its new digs in 2009, increasing its space six-fold. The lobby, filled with natural light from the glass façade, uses many recycled materials, including much wood, which mixes well with the exposed brick walls of the building. Moving back from the lobby, Shen showed us the “courtyard,” which despite its name is more of an atrium with a large skylight overhead. The space starts in the basement – down recycled-wood stairs from the ground level – and spans three floors. The courtyard also brings in crucial natural light and some interior views to the galleries, which are all housed on the ground floor. MOCA’s basement level houses restrooms and administrative and education spaces.   Our tour continued through the exhibition spaces, laid out in a vague U-shape around the atrium. The first five galleries contain the permanent collection, which tells the story of Chinese in America with a special focus on Manhattan’s Chinatown, and ends with a fascinating meditation on the urban patterns of the 21st century, from traditional Chinatowns to more suburban settings in New York and Los Angeles. Parts of the display tell the stories of prominent Chinese Americans, while others focus on ordinary people to delve into the social makeup of Chinese American communities at various points in time. A timeline runs along the base of many of the display walls, and drawers invite the visitor to interact with the space, continuing the Museum’s goal of being dialogic rather than monologist. The innermost space in the museum faces Lafayette Street, straddling the border between Chinatown and Nolita, thus speaking to the issues of gentrification and transition of many urban ethnic communities. This room, which has an elegant tin ceiling and an end-grain wood block floor, also includes cabinetry saved from stores in Chinatown that were closing, complete with dried herbs and spices. This liminal space emphasizes the fact that the museum, like Chinatown, is an evolving rather than fixed entity, a concept echoed throughout the design.
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Maya Lin and Frank Gehry to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Two designers are among the 21 Americans chosen this month to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Barack Obama selected architect-artist Maya Lin and architect Frank Gehry to receive the medal, presented annually to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions” to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The medals will be presented at the White House on November 22. “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor—it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” Obama said in announcing the recipients. “From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way." Lin was cited in the White House announcement as “an artist and designer who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art. She designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and since then has pursued a celebrated career in both art and architecture. A committed environmentalist, Lin is currently working on a multi-sited artwork/memorial, What is Missing? bringing awareness to the planet's loss of habitat and biodiversity.” Gehry was described as “one of the world’s leading architects, whose works have helped define contemporary architecture. His best-known buildings include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Dancing House in Prague, and the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain.” Obama’s 2016 list includes 19 living Americans and 2 who have died, and is heavy on figures from the entertainment and sports industries. Others joining Lin and Gehry include: Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Lorne Michaels, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bill and Melinda Gates, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bruce Springsteen, Cicely Tyson and Tom Hanks/David S. Pumpkins.
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Renderings revealed for Maya Lin’s Smith College library

A venerable liberal arts institution in Northampton, MA has revealed renderings of its new library by architect and artist Maya Lin.

In contrast to institutional expansions that gobble open space, Maya Lin Studio’s design for the Smith College library reduces the building's footprint to add greenery back to the campus. Two curved glassy wings will bookend the library's core and replace ungainly additions from the 1960s and 80s that restricted movement from the science quadrangle to the campus center.

Lin, in partnership with Shepley Bulfinch, was selected to design the addition last year. The college announced last week that a third architect, William Bialosky, has joined the original team.

The design defers to Frederick Law Olmsted's 1893 campus plan, which envisioned the campus as both a botanic garden and arboretum. The glazed facades of the two "jewel boxes" (really?) hug Neilson Library (1909) and provide complementary programs: The north wing is more social, with a digital media commons, general collections, and a cafe, while the south wing holds Smith's special collections, many of which focus on women's history. A new outdoor amphitheater and sunken courtyard on the north side will soften the gradient between in and outdoors, especially during those long New England winters. Landscape design is by Edwina von Gal in partnership with Ryan Associates.

Inside, notable features include an oculus atop the central atrium and a top-floor "skyline room" that bisects the older building's roof to offer sweeping views of the campus lake and the Holyoke Mountain Range. The reliance on natural light, Lin explained, will reduce the building's energy consumption.

Construction is expected to begin next summer and the building should be complete by fall 2020.

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Maya Lin seeks design approval for a 20,000-square-foot mansion in Tribeca

A five-story, 20,000-square-foot mansion designed by Maya Lin and others would rise on a prominent corner in Tribeca, if New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approves the project. Lin, the founder of Maya Lin Studio, and collaborator William Bialosky of Bialosky + Partners Architects, are expected to meet with the preservation commission this month as part of their application for construction approval. The mansion would rise at 11 Hubert Street, at Collister Street, in Tribeca. The property is currently occupied by a three story building that dates from the 1980s, with commercial space at ground level and apartments above. A six story warehouse occupied the site before World War II. According to materials presented to the preservation commission and community representatives, Lin and Bialosky propose to add two stories to the existing building and fill in a void above the first level on the Hubert Street side. The resulting residence would rise about 70 feet, matching the height of the adjacent building on Hubert. The exterior would be clad in brick, stone, coated stainless steel, perforated metal, and both clear and fritted glass. The design has been likened to a building within a building, in that it has the scale of the warehouse building that was on the site but its window proportions recall residential buildings of a smaller scale. According to the design team’s submittal, “the articulation of windows with metal frames creates a layering and detailing that refers back to masonry and cast iron buildings” in the area, and the scale “preserves the proportional relationships with the neighboring historic buildings.” The designers also note that “there is precedent for contemporary buildings in historic districts” and show examples of midblock and corner buildings in SoHo, the West Village, Tribeca, and the Upper East Side. They also show an example of a corner building with a glass façade in a historic district. According to the Tribeca Trib Online, the mansion’s estimated cost is $15 million to $16 million and plans call for five bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a dog room, separate prep and catering kitchens, a wine closet, two bars, a screening room, his and her studies, a landscaped courtyard, a 5,000 square foot sports and fitness center in the basement, a garage, and a rooftop garden with solar panels. The building’s client has not been identified. Also according to the Tribeca Trib, the design received approval in May from the Tribeca Committee of Community Board 1, which is advisory to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The LPC meeting is scheduled for June 21.
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Maya Lin and Shepley Bulfinch selected to revamp Neilson Library at Smith College

Maya Lin and the national design firm Shepley Bulfinch have been tapped to reimagine Smith College's 106-year-old Neilson Library. The project, which is slated to break ground in 2017, is intended to create more space for the museum's growing collection and to truly transform it into a state-of-the-art institution. “Maya Lin’s celebrated work within the combined fields of architecture, art and landscape–coupled with Shepley Bulfinch’s extensive experience in creating 21st-century academic libraries–will create a new library that is not only functional but forward-looking,” said Smith College President Kathleen McCartney in a statement. “Maya Lin thinks of libraries as today’s temples–spaces for reflection, intellectual exploration, and discussion of ideas. I am confident that she and the design team will work in close partnership with the Smith community to create a library that will showcase our collections and enrich our community in ways we can only begin to imagine.”
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Maya Lin wins Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize

Maya Lin has won the 21st annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her “outstanding and continuing artistic contributions to society and to the beauty of the world,” according to the Gish Prize Trust. The prize, which was created in 1994 through the will of actress Lillian Gish, has a cash award valued at $300,000. Previous winners of the Gish Prize include Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Spike Lee, and Frank Gehry. “I am deeply touched and grateful to become a part of this astonishing line of Prize winners, all of whom were selected because of the very simple but powerful goal set down by Lillian Gish: to bring recognition to the contributions that artists make to society, and to encourage others to follow on that path,” Lin said in a statement. “Because I have been donating so much of my time over the past seven years to a single long-term project, What Is Missing?, the award will make an enormous difference in enabling me to move the work forward.” The award will be presented in a ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art on November 12th.
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MAD Museum gets Out of Hand

A cross-section of postdigital design work illustrates the role of parametrics in the built environment.

Spawned from his 2011 show on Patrick Jouin, Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) curator Ronald Labaco conceived Out of Hand as a more comprehensive show that clarified the role of digital design, from its capabilities to its significance in our daily lives. “People just didn’t get it,” said Labaco of Jouin’s 2011 MAD show. “Unless you’re immersed in it, it can be hard to understand so I thought if we showed something like this in the galleries again, we needed to provide information that can be digested more clearly.” Staged across three floors of the museum, with two exterior sculptures, Labaco said the show is an important program for MAD among other New York art institutions like MoMA, Cooper Hewitt, and the New Museum. The goal to raise awareness of 3D printing is timely, by chance. “Paolo Antonelli’s Design and the Elastic Mind, and two shows from Material Connection were complements to my show for the uninitiated,” Labaco explained. Out of Hand’s broad scope includes digital designing and fabrication processes like CNC milling, digital weaving and knitting, laser cutting, and 3D printing to display how these technologies influence the built environment. “It’s a historical look at the last 8 years and works from as early as 2005 are incorporated because, in my mind, that was when the major shift between rapid prototyping and 3D printing really occurred,” said Labaco.
  • Curator Ronald Labaco
  • Location Museum of Arts & Design, New York
  • Date October 2013– July 2014
  • Materials ceramic, concrete, polyurethane, resin, PVC, metal, gypsum, wax, paper, wood, jacquard
  • Process water jet cutting, laser cutting, laser sintering, 3D printing, digital weaving
Organized in six themes, a cross-section of traditional methods and new design capabilities are illustrated by architects crafting art, artists doing design, and photographers making sculpture. Approximately half a dozen pieces were commissioned for the show while others were an extension of existing works: For example, a chair by Jan Habraken evolved into the more comprehensive Charigenics. Placards for each piece call out production methods, from 3D printing (10 materials are featured) to digital knitting, underscoring the multi-step creation process to make the point that digital design isn’t only press-and-print. And many of the show’s pieces are a combination of old-world handcrafting and newer digital geometries and computations. Pieces like Rapid Racer, Bosch’s 3D-printed vehicle fabricated over 10 days and weighing just 29 pounds, and Zaha Hadid’s Liquid Glacial "Smoke", a coffee table CNC-milled from polished plexiglass, illustrate the functional role of digital design. Data input is actively incorporated through two interactive pieces from Francios Brument, for which he developed his own scripting, as well as a Shapeways workshop that is open to the public. Traditional forms are realized by new methods in Nendo’s 3D-printed paper boxes that are lacquered with traditional urushi for a ringed faux bois. Other featured artists, architects, and designers include Richard DuPont, Greg Lynn, Anish Kapoor, Marc Newson, Frank Stella, Daniel Libeskind, and Maya Lin. Just as dynamic as the digital disciplines themselves, new pieces are being added throughout the show’s run. Look for a new piece from Iris Van Herpen by mid-November. Out of Hand will remain on view through July 6, 2014.
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Architects Design For Themselves in Venice

One of the perks of being an architect is the excuse to build yourself the coolest of all possible houses (despite any budget holes it may push you into). An excellent way to explore this phenomenon comes at this weekend's Venice Art Walk + Auctions, and their Art and Architecture Tours. Featured on the tours is one of the wackiest houses we've ever seen: Architect Tony Coscia's own Skywave House (above), a serpentine sculptural form unraveling itself from a single plane and hovering over a glass base. Another highlight is Glenn Williams' Guitar House, a cubist creation that  the architect designed for himself after being inspired by a Picasso painting of a guitar. The tours also include Maya Lin's Nichols Beach House, Lin's first built project in the west, which connects living spaces to a lofty arts studio via a multi-story deck. The Art Walk itself includes visits to more than 50 artists’ studios and special exhibits as well as a 400-piece silent art auction.
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Such Great Heights

Winter makes Chicagoans crave a sense of escape. An intriguing new exhibition of Maya Lin’s work at the Arts Club of Chicago provides a timely opportunity to visit, visually at least, some fascinating terrain. With its small and large-scale sculpture and installations, viewers can travel from mountain peaks to the bottom of the sea. Chicago’s streetscape is flat, melding almost seamlessly with the shores of Lake Michigan. Lin’s work challenges the viewer to explore topography and geologic phenomena of greater depths and heights, pushing us to consider the natural environment far beyond our immediate surroundings. Through April 23, the public can view eleven of Lin’s works, including the room-filling Blue Lake Pass (2006)  and Flow (2009), the latter mimicking the undulation of wave swells. Much of the work is a continuation of the solo exhibition Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes that was organized by the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA and traveled to several major museums. For the show at the Arts Club, Lin created a site-specific work, Reversing the Flow (2010), where the Chicago River is cast with straight pins in its two dimensional map shape. And at first glance, one might confuse the three-dimensional plywood model next to Flow as a sonar reading of Lake Michigan, when it is actually Caspian Sea (Bodies of Water series, 2006). Maya Lin The Arts Club of Chicago 201 E. Ontario Street Monday – Friday, 11-6 Through April 23
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Nature Boy

The young British designer Max Lamb, the subject of a solo show at Johnson Trading Gallery in Hudson Square that opens today, creates furniture with rugged natural materials—blocks of stone, molten metals, beach sand—and various methods of hand-working. The results reflect a distinctive and surprisingly contemporary sensibility. In addition to the pieces in the show, most of which are diminutively scaled chairs or stools, a series of video projections show Lamb sculpting/fabricating the furniture, revealing his process of working, which in many ways is as interesting as the pieces themselves. In the standout of these videos, the viewer sees Lamb meticulously carving lines in the sand at a beach in Cornwall. Then the viewer sees him, with the help of a friend or assistant, pouring a liquid (molten pewter) into the grooves. Seconds later in the time-lapse video, we see Lamb pull a perfectly formed stool out of the sand. He is clearly delighted with his creation, and the viewer will likely be pleased as well. In another video, you watch Lamb carve a chair out of polystyrene foam with a saw and a hammer. The foam is then sand packed to make a cast. Molten bronze is then poured into the cast in a process he calls the “lost foam” technique, similar to lost wax casting. Another shows him sawing slabs of stone into chairs or benches. Recalling moments of both Maya Lin and Andy Goldsworthy’s work, Lamb is clearly a designer to watch. Max Lamb is on view through November 7.