All posts filed under: design

Designer Margrethe Odgaard about process and color

Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard’s exhibition was on view at the Design Museum in Helsinki during this summer. An introduction to her work put the creative aspect of design in focus. Odgaard’s study of color and the cultural signification of it is very relevant and timely for innovative design conversation, in which we are looking for perspectives that see beyond the pure form. It feels timely to give design process a platform, which naturally builds discussion about contemporary creative culture. In the world of high tech platforms, we may say that the DNA of design can be found in those practices, which designers organically share with the world in which they live. Without the personal and playful approach, perhaps the future of design would find itself in trouble. The Helsinki exhibition featured Margrethe Odgaard’s collaborations and use of materials bringing forth an idea of process. What it highlights is that design should not abandon creativity and art. Margrethe Odgaard was assisting late Louise Bourgeois in the artist’s large scale work, which she created for MoMA in 2005-2006. The young designer learned from …

Richard Serra at SFMOMA.

SFMOMA Serendipity

The opening of a new expansion of the SFMOMA art museum was celebrated just a couple of weeks ago. The intention of the new Snøhetta designed museum, is to increase public access to the museum by creating more room for education for the arts and related fields, to bridge the gap between the exhibiting gallery spaces and unticketed areas, as well as connect the outdoor spaces around the museum. More room to hang out, to meet, to educate, to inspire and to be inspired. SFMOMA opened at its current location in 1995, when the construction was designed by Mario Botta. For the reconstruction, Snøhetta design team had a challenge to double the gallery spaces, and help create a museum, which is a hub for new things to emerge. The refurbished museum aims to bring together American and International arts, while the collections span through gestural modernism and conceptual art, to the emerging contemporary art from the Bay Area. SFMOMA has also promised to reach out to global art communities at large. The new SFMOMA proves that it …

ETH Zurich pavilion attracted during IDEAS CITY festival

ETH Zurich pavilion was constructed of waste materials and opened to visitors during the IDEAS CITY Festival in May 28-30, 2015. The 3-day biennial festival takes place in New York City in May mapping the future of cities with culture as a driving force. It is a collaborative event, including a conference and street festival, inviting to civic action, as well as giving a platform for creative ideas to be exchanged.  This year’s theme was inspired by Italo Calvino’s literary work Invisible Cities (1972). Participants explored questions such as transparency and surveillance, citizenship and representation, expression and suppression, in their daily lives.  Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else. (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities) The ETH Zurich pavilion hosted events through the festival. What does a truly smart city mean to us was a highlighted theme around the site. The pavilion was entirely made of waste, so while our answers to what smart …

Artist profile: Man Yau

Man Yau is a Helsinki based artist currently living in New York City. Her art and design philosophy comes from craftsmanship, which means exploration with different materials. She collaborates genuinely with other designers and artists. Most recently, she exhibited @TheHoleNYC together with two other Finns, Jesse Auersalo and Nina Merikallio in their show called “Dislocation”.  Man says that having so many idols and mentors in her life makes it impossible to start with a particular list.. But I do love a mark that Ettore Sottsass has left to the design history, I recently experienced a wonderful show by Daniel Leyva, Toshio Matsumoto’s “Shift” is better than weed, and streaming with my brother is always encouraging. -Man Yau FIRSTINDIGO&LIFESTYLE: How would you describe your medium, intersection between art and design, using traditional materials to convey popular topics or trends?  MAN  YAU: Firstly, the intersection between art and design, what does it mean nowadays anyways? I feel that the borderline between art and design has been crossed, and more and more experimental design objects or functional art …

Fog in art by Fujiko Nakaya

Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya’s environmental installations and fog sculptures have become widely known around the world.  According to her, fog represents an interactive medium which makes the audiences feel and participate in its pure natural wonder. Fog comes closer than clouds; although these are scientifically the same, fog calls for a different kind of dialogue with nature. The above fog sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya is at Toyota Municiple Museum of art in Toyota, Aichi. Born in Japan, Nakaya is a daughter of the physicist and science essayist Ukichiro Nakaya, who is credited for making first artificial snowflakes in the world. Inspired by natural weather phenomena, she created her first fog sculpture for Expo ’70 (Osaka Japan) to be presented at the Pepsi Pavilion. Ever since, Fujiko Nakaya’s works have been on display on international venues, including Guggenheim Bilbao and Australian National Gallery. In 2013, her Fog Bridge became a waterfront wonder for local and international audiences in San Francisco’s Exploratorium. The work was part of the year’s waterfront celebrations, highlighting the bay area and its special …

threeASFOUR spring/summer 2014

On September 8, 2013, avant-garde fashion collective threeASFOUR debuted their spring/summer 2014 line at The Jewish Museum as part of threeASFOUR: MER KA BA – exhibition. The collective’s fashion and art is inspired by the geometric patterns found in synagogues, churches and mosques throughout the world. For the nine sculptural dresses featured in MER KA BA, they use laser-cut lace, origami pleats, and 3D-printed textiles to unite symbolic patterns from diverse religions. (Video by Brian Gonzalez) The collectives 3 designers were born in different cultures: Gabriel Asfour is from Lebanon, Adi Gil from Israel, and Angela Donhauser from Tajikistan. Their approach to fashion is poetic and socially conscious. For threeASFOUR, couture is about more than just beautiful clothes; ‘it is both wearable art and a platform for their free-spirited philosophy.’  — — — threeASFOUR’s MER KA BA installation exhibition is on  view until February 2, 2014, at the Jewish Museum in New York. Check the exhibition site.

Fashion Curating: Unsustainability, gender and class readdressed

Fashion Interactions is a multidisciplinary exhibition that explores fashion culture by means of contemporary art, design and media. The exhibited works comment, on the unsustainability of the fashion industry, analyze the relationship of fashion and corporeality, and investigate how people use clothing as a tool for building identities. The exhibition is Curated by Annamari Vänskä & Hazel Clark and it presents works from: Federico Cabrera, Heidi Lunabba, Jasmin Mishima, Anna Mustonen, Nutty Tarts, Timo Rissanen, Salla Salin, Heidi Soidinsalo, Saara Töyrylä and Timo Wright. This exhibition opens on Friday November 15, 2013 in New York City. It is a collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design and the SheilaC. Johnson Design Center, Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, and the Centre for Fashion Studies (Stockholm University).   (Fashion Interactions-exhibition, Timo Wright-‘un fit’ video still) FASHION CURATING NOW is a daylong symposium at Parsons The New School for Design on Saturday November 16 9:30 am-5 pm. The symposium reflects the subjects around the Fashion Interactions exhibition focusing on the possibilities and challenges of contemporary fashion …

"Elephant Love" Pop-up Shop: Crowdsourcing for art and charity

By Patricia Chow Last weekend I had my first photography show in Chelsea (New York City), as part of the High Line Open Studios.  Since my day job is in statistical research, this was my first experience putting together an art show – and it was fabulous!  The show was a great way for me to combine three completely separate facets of my life: the artistic side (I am a photographer and graphic artist); the volunteer side (I teach ESL 3 days a week); and my personal and professional networks, which were instrumental in ensuring the success of the show.     I first started to photograph when I was living in Spain in 1995, and much of my photography focuses on the different perceptions that a newcomer has of ordinary surroundings. Since beauty can only exist in the eye of the beholder, I have tried to convey the essence of what I find beautiful in a place, rather than what is commonly considered beautiful, which, in many cases, is simply familiar.  There are a …

Designer Mari Isopahkala // fresh whirlwind from the Milan Design Week

Firstindigo&Lifestyle: COULD YOU TELL A GREAT STORY FROM MILAN, AN ENCOUNTER, HOW WAS IT LIKE THIS TIME? Mari Isopahkala: It was overall a great trip, although these design exhibition weeks are sometimes heavy. Meeting different people and professionals is very interesting and gives you back a lot. As I had to be standing a lot, and walk around long distances between the exhibit places, I kept changing my shoes to feel more comfortable. I got few great contacts. It will be exiting to see what these new things will bring me in the near future. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU ATTENDED MILAN DESIGN WEEK? Mari Isopahkala: Many times, I have not even counted. Not every single year during my active working years, but almost. It is already a very familiar place to me.     (Designer Mari Isopahkala with a ruffle carpet, 2009. Capture: Liisa Valonen. Above: Kristallit small glasses, Konkkaronkka cutlery for Marimekko, designed by Mari Isopahkala) Firstindigo&Lifestyle: WHEN YOU WERE IN NEW YORK TWO YEARS AGO, WHAT DID THE CITY OFFER? Mari Isopahkala: …

Alpo Aaltokoski: Faux, Sahara, and kinesthetic communication

Choreographer and dance pedagogue Alpo Aaltokoski is one of the pioneers of Finnish contemporary dance. He remembers how it all started. In the 1980s, for example, it was the trend in Finnish choreography to use army style landing-boots as a choreographic device. Then, using strong visual effects and technology in contemporary dance performances was established fast. Aside from creating visually appealing multidimensional dance works, Aaltokoski has been a key educational voice in the Finnish dance culture. He believes that dance belongs to everyone, including the children and the young people, and it should be part of  their primary education. According to him, dance art and dancing body create affects and tell stories that are different from our ordinary conversations. Outside Europe, Aaltokoski’s own dance company has appeared in The US, Canada, Central America, South America, Asia and Africa. For many years (until 2012), choreographer Aaltokoski was the artistic director of the Full Moon Dance Festival (Täydenkuun Tanssit), which is a well-known Finnish contemporary dance festival in the world. Between 2003-08, he held a position of …