Building a Sukkah, the Ultimate Design Brief

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 16, 2014
Categories: Art, Sustainable Design
Tags: architecture, holidays

If you’ve been through Willamsburg this week you’ve probably seen a lot of what looks like huts, shacks or makeshift shelters. These are actually Sukkahs, part of Sukkot, a Jewish holiday. Until recently, I wasn’t very well educated about them. I knew that many families ate all their meals inside them, and some (even entire families) will sleep in their sukkah for the duration of the holiday. They're built for entertaining and being together, which sounds great to me!

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BIG's Copenhagen Waste-to-Energy Plant Doubles as a Ski Slope

Curator: Wade Jeffree
date: August 11, 2014
Categories: Architecture, Environmental Design, Sustainable Design
Tags: architecture, Copenhagen, Environmental Design, sustainability

BIG is a Copenhagen- and New York-based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development. 


When you first look at this project you think, “Oh, okay, nice.” But once you look closer you say “What. The. Fuck?!”


I love how the idea of a building as mountain is addressed here. Wait—what? Not only is it a an architectural landmark, but it's also a ski slope and a beacon for a more energy-focused future in Copenhagen; it's the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world and is located in the heart of downtown Copenhagen. It allows sustainability to be a far more accessible topic of conversation.

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Why No Instagrams Allowed Made "This Is Competition" by Tino Sehgal the Best Thing at Art Basel

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 25, 2014
Categories: Experience Design
Tags: architecture, art, Basel, Herzog & de Meuron, Tino Sehgal
The best thing at Art Basel this June was an empty room containing a piece by Tino Sehgal called "This Is Competition." Two gallerists representing Sehgal stand and introduce themselves as well as the work, which involves discussing, re-enacting and ostensibly selling past works by the artist. 

The brilliant and entrancing aspect of the performance is that the gallerists speak by saying single, alternating words with each other in an ongoing, improvised speech that's also a choreographed, cooperative monologue and a lilting, competitive dialogue. 

Sehgal's work is immaterial and impressively undocumented. This piece and his portrait are represented only as empty grey boxes without descriptions in the official materials for the exhibition. The very fact that "This Is Competition" can't be photographed and shared via Instagram made it an indelibly memorable moment.

The empty room in question was one of 14 in the "14 Rooms" exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach, which was a powerful experience. The show's success was in part determined by the architectural environment designed by Herzog & de Meuron. A freestanding box within Hall 3 of Messe Basel, the interior contained a massive corridor with mirrored walls at either end. Along each side of the corridor were seven mirrored doors, each with a unique, sculptural wood handle. Only by opening the door and entering the room would you discover what was occurring within--an experience a little like playing "Let's Make A Deal" in a hall of mirrors.
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Shan Shui City: MAD Architects

Curator: Adam Wong
date: December 3, 2013
Categories: Environmental Design
Tags: architecture, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, MAD, sustainability, URBAN LANDSCAPE TAGS: SHAN SHUI CITY, URBAN PLANNING, YANSONG MA
Shan Shui City (the city of mountains and water) is one of Yansong Ma and his MAD architects’ latest conceptual architectures. The design responds to the theory and methodology of traditional garden design and landscape architecture in China. Just imagine a future in which the skyscrapers in the city, when appreciated from afar, would transform into a splendid landscape painting. That would be dreamy.
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Polka Dots and Civil Rights: Doug and Gene Meyer

Curator: Nancy Sharon Collins
date: April 8, 2013
Categories: Entertainment Design, Environmental Design
Tags: architecture, editorial design, Fashion, interiors, mid-century design, style

Doug and Gene Meyer: The Longue Vue Installation,” was a decorative arts, fashion and design exhibition curated by Jeff McKay earlier this year in New Orleans. (Note from author: I’m terribly envious of what these bright brothers, a style monger and the spirit of a social activist socialite pulled off in my hometown. This group took a mere retrospective of the Meyers’ work and created a blockbuster event.)

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