All posts filed under: urban planning

Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City

Diana Al-Hadid: Liquid City is an exhibition full of history that is so relevant today. Al-Hadid’s solo show is currently on view through September 24, 2017 at San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California.  Liquid City is like a micro-cosmos of a world, in which the observer has carefully assembled her sharp point of view towards the core. It features an art-historical study on a matter that is hybrid and timely in the world, where archaeological sites and cultural homes are disappearing in front of our eyes. The subject is immense, but in this exhibition, the history gets rewritten in more pleasant terms. The exhibition focuses on Al-Hadid’s creative process by bringing together works and related primary source materials. One example of this fruitful exchange is a large sculptural installation titled Nolli’s Orders (2012), which refers to Giambattista Nolli’s landmark 1748 map of Rome. The artist has included a reprinted folio of Nolli’s map and works on paper by old masters, to support the idea for the sculpture. The two-dimensional papers are an interesting contrast to the …

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 …

Hello!earth from Scandinavia

Copenhagen, Denmark from hello!earth on Vimeo. This is a hello!earth video. The hello!earth performance group appears on video as part of the Metropolis Festival held in 2009 in Copenhagen. What is so intriguing is their interdisciplinary approach and work, which seems so effortless yet requires much planning. Their performances cover investigations of cities and the urban environment. They also go to exploring nature and ‘earth’. The participants involve themselves in meeting people, and experiencing something new, and exiting. Their ’embodied experience’ creates the adventure.

New York City Grand Central Centennial celebrates with arts

New York City Mass Transit has a program called MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design, which commissions artists through a competitive selection process to create original, site-specific permanent artwork for stations. This spring, there was also auditioning for a role of a subway performer. Link and more info here.  Grand Central Diary is a video created by London Squared Productions. It is currently part of the exhibition “On Time / Grand Central at 100” (curated and organized by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design). It is now on view through July 7 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery, which is located at the terminal. Grand Central Diary is a short film that shows the everyday routines at the station from a fun and quarky perspective of animated objects at the terminal and nearby.

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, …

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 …

Event about historic preservation at The Van Alen institute

Coming up is a super cool event about Historic preservation in New York. Preserving our ecosystems and heritage includes also streets and other public spaces, as well as historic buildings and architectural landmarks. Tomorrow on January 17th, Euro Circle network is hosting a benefit for the “Neighborhood Preservation Center”. The Van Alen Institute’s 6th floor gallery is the event location, and the address is 30 West 22nd Street New York. One of the event hosts Elin Jusélius is pursuing her Masters at Pratt in Historic Preservation. She told me that the basic idea of this event is to introduce the historic preservation field to people who are interested in learning more about it. EJ: Historic preservation (or heritage conservation as it is called outside of the US) is a changing field, it deals with both tangible and intangible heritage. It is closely linked to sustainability as it is always greener to keep existing buildings, than to build new ones. For instance, all buildings have ’embodied energy’, the energy spent on building it, on processing materials, …

The Egg provides environmental harmony

What is a role of architecture in democracy is a grand question to ponder. First critical question can be directed to the volume of buildings in our urban public spaces. The human scale, people and architecture relationship cannot be taken for granted. Architecture may also be a spoiled industry. The problem is that architecture is sometimes taken as harmless, not harming the environment. It is easier to point to the exploitation of environment by oil and gas industries. Democracy plays also with massive volume. It wants to show off. Former governor of NY Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a plan to elaborate Albany as a state capitol. Imagine a relatively small town in Upstate New York that has an appearance of a state capitol hosting democratic ideals in architecture. Such is the story of the Empire State Plaza. The story goes that Nelson Rockefeller drafted himself the basic designs for the Albany’s government campus. Architect Wallace Harrison revised the plan, which included mixed aesthetical styles in it. The aesthetics of Versailles, Indian capital Chandigarh’s urban designs by …

I found this architecture book from St. Mark’s Bookshop

What a nice thing to find out that St. Mark’s Bookshop can celebrate its upcoming 34th anniversary with victory.  Cooper Union agreed to a new one-year lease to reduce the bookshop’s monthly rent, this was necessary so that the bookshop can continue serving the Lower East Side community (and other visitors as well).  Every signature did count, I was one among the 44,128 on the online petition. The organization behind the action is the Cooper Square Committee, and for over 52 years it has ensured that the diverse community of Lower East Side may continue to bloom. The bookshop has become my favorite, it is a smaller scale, and yet, the books that the store carries makes it really a big bookstore. Among subjects of philosophy, arts, religion, psychology, social sciences and so forth, St. Mark’s Bookshop carries great books about architecture and design. I found one of my favorite architecture books from their selection. ‘The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt‘, is a book written by architecture professor Mark Wigley (1993, paperback 1995, The MIT press).  The following theme of ‘the image of the house, and the visitors in the house’ offers a good puzzle for reading architecture from more deconstructionist …