Posts tagged with "Summer":

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Broken umbrellas and bicycle wheels get a second life in these two, completely recyclable pavilions on Governors Island

Two whimsical summer pavilions on New York City's Governors Island have been slated for reuse elsewhere, themselves built from recycled and repurposed materials. The Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG Studio and the Organic Growth Pavilion by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects both tied as winners in the annual City of Dreams design competition, and the jury, torn between the two, greenlighted both pavilions, launching a dedicated Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund their construction. The pavilions will soon reincarnate as decorative chandeliers, sun canopies, and oyster beds. Conceptualized for this very purpose, the Billion Oyster Pavilion is made from nylon rope, steel rebars, clamps, and custom cast-concrete blocks, and will form part of a Governors Island high school’s years-long initiative to restore oyster beds in the New York Harbor. Serving as a natural water filter, oyster beds would help vastly improve water quality. Meanwhile, the Organic Growth Pavilion also flags garbage as an epidemic while aiming to recontextualize waste as a resource. Fabricated from broken umbrellas, bicycle wheels, and old stools, it forms a series of plant-like structures in a collective canopy measuring 1,223 square feet. The canopy will be broken up and distributed to sites across the city for use as decorative chandeliers or smaller shade structures. “The jury saw that the Billion Oyster Pavilion and Organic Growth were both incredibly interesting designs that interpret the competition brief in completely different ways,” said David Koren, executive producer of Figment, a non-profit organization that organizes the City of Dreams competition with the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter’s Emerging Architects Committee. “Perhaps we can create some really exciting dialogue around temporary architecture and sustainability.”
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Chicago Placemaking Festival Aims to teach Old Places New Tricks

In a few short years, the term placemaking has migrated from wonky urban planning circles to neighborhoods across the country—that communities come together around public space is no groundbreaking observation, but when successful the idea can be revolutionary on a local scale. So hopes Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council, who this weekend will sponsor “Old Place New Tricks,” a bid to “activate” neighborhoods from Englewood to Ravenswood with public space interventions that range from a “healthy eating happy hour” to “Selfie Sunday.” In all 18 events will rally neighborhoods across the city (and in the suburb of Blue Island), starting today and running through Sunday. MPC put together a map of them, which you can explore here. “Placemaking gives people the power to transform their neighborhoods, one space at a time,” said MPC’s Kara Riggio in a statement. “We at MPC hope this challenge provides communities an opportunity to tackle those vacant or underused spaces they've been eyeing for a while. Most of all, though, we hope it's a chance for people to get together with friends and neighbors for a great summer event!” No one’s under the illusion that pop-up art installations and weekend get-togethers can untangle the mess of problems plaguing many Chicago neighborhoods, but there’s hope that a community event focused on violence prevention in Austin, for example, or a peace-themed conference in Englewood may constitute a good start.
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Spontaneous Interventions To Spruce Up Chicago’s Millennium Park This Summer

Starting Memorial Day, Chicago's Millennium Park will host the U.S. debut of a bright array of public design projects, many of which appeared at the 2012 Venice Biennale. Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good will feature 84 works, including more than a dozen for Chicago and several that also appeared in Venice. One Venice Biennale carryover will be the slew of pull-down banners created by Brooklyn design studio Freecell and Berkeley-based communication design firm M-A-D. An “outdoor living room” for Millennium Park, designed by Wicker Park firm MAS Studio, is among the new installations. The space will serve as an outpost for the exhibition, according to MAS director Iker Gill, shading visitors with a canopy of more than 700 moving acrylic panels with a lively color palette. Local woodworker John Preus of Dilettante Studios will salvage lumber for the wood support structure and seating. The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events brought the design contest to Chicago for its first U.S. showing. Programs will take place at the Cultural Center, in the pop-up pavilion in Millennium Park, and at various offsite locations through September 1. Here’s a video of Freecell and M-A-D’s banner project from the biennale:
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Lasvit’s Olympic Installation

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Infitiny, by Lasvit

The London Czech House brims over with gold, silver, bronze - and now crystal

So far the Czech Republic's Olympic athletes have won a smattering of medals at the Summer games, but this year all the country's athletes, medal winners or not, will be rewarded for their efforts with a crystal trophy courtesy of Lasvit, the official crystal partner of the Czech Olympic team and the country's leading manufacturer of custom light and glass installations. The crystal trophies will also be doled out to VIPs visiting the Czech House, which is playing host to a series of events meant to promote Czech culture during the games. Inside, Lasvit is presenting the finer side of Czech culture with their Hydrogene Crystal Bar, an illuminated bar in the VIP section, as well as Infinity, a sculptural glass lighting installation suspended in the public mezzanine. Like most of Lasvit's high-end custom jobs, Infinity was designed by Jitka Kamencova Skuhrava, whose long list of projects for the company include several hotels and event spaces in Abu Dhabi, dozens more in China as well as two teal-colored cascades for Tiffany & Co. Her preference for natural forms shows up again and again, in the swirling glass shapes that weave through the air like frenzied schools of fish or the leaf-like forms that twist into a loose interpretation of the figure eight symbol. Infinity, by Lasvit For Infinity, Skuhrava started with 3D renderings of the interior of the Czech House in London to determine what form, size, and lighting schematic would work best for the space. Once she finalized her design and made samples to test it out, the labor-intensive job of hand blowing the individual pieces of glass began. Though Skuhrava comes from a family with a long tradition of making stained glass and is skilled in glass blowing, etching, engraving and all aspects of glass craft, the installations she designs are much too large to make on her own. Still, she oversees all aspects of the fabrication and regularly works with a local Czech glassworks, instructing their craftspeople as to how she wants the pieces made for each project. Lasvit's Infinity For Infinity, Skuhrava used 1,600 9-inch leaves of hand blown glass, each etched with fine, linear grooves. The leaves are woven together with a "special wire system" Skuhrava is hesitant to expand on, saying only that it's "delicate, almost invisible, but safe." Once the leaves are strung together they're attached to a perspex structure in 15 pieces along with the LED system. Infiinity was tested out and preinstalled in the Czech Republic before being shipped to London, where Skuhrava and with five others installed it over two days, from July 21-22, just before the Olympics began. In total, Infinity stretches 21 feet by six and a half feet with a height of five and half feet and weighs in at 2,200 pounds. Though Infinity is quite striking on its own, the Czech House is packed with so much evidence of its culture that the installation is dwarfed by a cluster of large projection screens and is left floating off to the side, looking beautiful, but lost.
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The Most Fun at P.S. 1?

Admittedly, we've been pretty darn obsessed with this year's P.S.1 Young Architects Program, Pole Dance. But after last week's party, the enthusiasm appears to have been justified. Not because this is the first one ever with its own interactive component, where you can log-on to the Pole Dance site and manipulate its sound (also a first) with your phone, or watch visualizations, or upload your own pictures. Not because of all the beautiful and architecturally famous people who came out, as our photos clearly document. No, this may just be the best damned pavilion in the program's decade-long history because it's the most damn fun. Your proof is after the jump.