All posts filed under: design

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 …

Paolo Cavinato at VOLTA

Paolo Cavinato, RILIEVO #2 CUCINA CON PRESENZA Paolo Cavinato, LIBERATION #2 Italian artist Paolo Cavinato was presented at VOLTA NY 2013 by Milanese Massimo Carasi Gallery. Cavinato is an artist using diverse techniques that enhance spaces from multi-sensorial perspective. Cavinato’s training as set-designer and interior designer, perhaps creates the point of view that makes the reality, or the space we usually inhabit a suspension. He does fascinating interior research works with wood, iron, nylon and acrylic. Yet, these works represent schemes for something bigger and more in meta-scale. As, on the other hand, his many TEATRINO-projects display the depth of a meta-structure. They are intriguing indeed, and can be viewed at his webpage. Art and design, language, conception, architecture, interiors, houses, are all mixed as a form of existentialism of being. Paul Cavinato, TEATRINO  Artist website: http://www.paolocavinato.net/

Wrapped Snoopy House by Christo

It can feel a little overwhelming when a familiar, child-like, popular-culture-like object joins a family of ‘art’.  This type of partnership occurs sometimes. I was in California recently, and had time to visit Charles M. Schulz–museum in Santa Rosa for the first time. Particularly, seeing a detailed exhibition of the techniques, how Snoopy animations were made was very enlightening. So was the Wrapped Snoopy House-project, which took me by surprise. The Story of the Wrapped Snoopy House began in 1975, when Schulz met Christo, as the first witnessed Christo’s project presentation to the Sonoma County’s board of supervisors. Christo was looking for support for his famous Running Fence-project, which came to be the 24 and half mile, 18-foot high white nylon curtain that zigzagged over the hills of Sonoma County, and landed into the ocean at Marin-Sonoma. Any event, Schulz and Christo became friends, and one testimony of their lasting friendship is the Wrapped Snoopy House, which is exhibited in the Schulz-museum. Collage for  Wrapped Snoopyhouse, 2003 Christo. Pencil, drop cloth fabric, polyethylene, pastel, charcoal, …

Finnish Paloni designers come to New York

MINNA SÄRELÄ is a founder of Finnish design collective PALONI, which is coming to New York this weekend to open a pop-up store during the fashion week. PALONI shop will be open through the end of February at the Ivana Helsinki NYC Concept Store. Their motto is: YOU CAN CALL IT DESIGN, INDIE FASHION, ART OR HANDICRAFT. WE CALL IT PASSION.   Firstindigo&Lifestyle: Minna, I was so happy to hear that PALONI is coming to New York, tell me little bit about this ‘invasion’? Minna: I founded Paloni one and a half years back, and lately started to feel that it’s time for the next step, broadening our scope and doing the first international project. New York opened as an opportunity through another Finnish fashion company Ivana Helsinki. After I got to discuss with their crew, things started going forward very fast. Our designers are very excited about this project and the possibilities it offers. We had a total of 37 Finnish designers joining the project, despite a very tight schedule for the preparations. Now …

Kamppi Chapel of Silence in the World Design Capital 2012

Kamppi Chapel of Silence opened in May-June 2012 and immediately became a Helsinki World Design Capital architectural landmark. It has become a huge tourist attraction with thousands of visitors coming to see it on a weekly basis, and the architecture has gained international following. The Chapel is designed by the K2S Architects, and is built by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. It is a collaboration of the City of Helsinki and the Church. Kamppi Chapel of Silence is a unique concept in Finland, being a first of its kind. The Chapel was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award. Nordic Architecture and Design Magazine FORM chose it as the building of the year within Nordic countries. The architectural shape brings in mind, for some, ideas of Noah’s ark, and for others it reminds them of egg or bowl shapes. What is extraordinary about it, is the element of cutting out the sounds of the city. When you enter the space you have come into contact with silence, …

Anna Zaigraeva rocks her beadwork design

Anna Zaigraeva lives in New York City and works as a Russian to English translator. She designs beadwork jewelry in her spare time. -Anna, tell us how you started doing these and when?  – I learned beadwork from my best childhood friend back in Moscow. We were both ten. Since I moved to the States, I’ve mostly just continued to learn by trial and error – I don’t subscribe to magazines or beading clubs or anything like that. So I’m not a hot-shot technique-savvy beader by any stretch of the imagination. -How long did it take to learn? – Not very long. They are difficult to make, but not because the stitches are tricky. It just takes a lot of time to pick and choose the right bead. I use high-quality Japanese Miyuki size 15/0 beads, which are pretty uniform compared to other brands, but even they are not uniform enough to simply string them at random and hope the pattern comes out. I have to constantly compare the fringe I’m working on against the …

Art deco flavor

Art deco movement was much of an international phenomenon, also in Asia. An exhibition of Japanese art deco from 1920 until 1945 was recently in Japan Society, New York City. In this show, it became apparent that in Asia, the cultural influences were often taken from abroad. This tells us that we are all curious about how other cultures’ decorate, eat, live their lives, and even do sports. Japanese got interested in skiing, for example.  Many Japanese have been inspired by the Scandinavian ‘slow life’ and design. This vintage poster from the exhibition Deco Japan, is very inspirational both in color scheme and design.  

Robin Rapoport: From Alexander technique to design sensing

How to describe living the artistic life? How to live a life surrounded by one’s own art? Making art is so intimately linked into one’s sensing of the world that there isn’t simple answers. In the current research of art, we try to map different kinds of knowledge embedded in the artistic processes. ‘Living’ with the arts is like ‘dwelling’, which in fact implies an old meaning for a house. The doors in the house keep opening and closing as a trespass to new fragments of interiors. The repetitious movement of stepping in and out of the interiors gives even the doorhandles almost allegorical significance. Robin Rapoport is a sculptor and designer who has been choreographing for her dance company Headless Horse. As a dancer in Robin’s company, the creative process made me reconsider dancing together with the sculptural.  Robin has been looking for a living and forming entity in the sculpture, which could be realized through the dancer’s body and her movements. Another layer came from the Alexander technique, which would bring those two …

A great Yellow city

There is only so much we can do with the urban panning? Move cafes to the rooftops, leave the city center only for taxis? Start using bikes in the city. What remains in the city that never sleeps aka *NYC* are the yellow cabs. As I have gotten used to them in everyday life, I thought to invent something that would describe my mindscape, or, rather, imagine together with the cabs. One rainy day I figured that the rain looked like yellow. The yellow rain landed on our coats, we hurried as usual, yet something was different. It was perhaps the awakening to the spring, the anticipation, or coming into this realization that the colors are there around us. The everyday is packed with shapes, colors, lived and animated livelihood, art, design. Anything. I love one thing, *pink*. Now, when That color arrives in the city, occupying the busy business and residential avenue of New York, something Is in the Air. Last year this extravaganza color paraded a good amount of time on the street …