Our daily view of the world through the lens of design.
BY THE EDITOR
November 03, 2022
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Olafur Eliasson’s Illusory Shelters reflect the Qatar desert
Ever since Qatar won the 2022 FIFA World Cup bid in 2010, the Middle Eastern country has been on a journey of change. Qatar is racing against the clock to realize eager plans for new developments, including eight state-of-the-art football stadiums designed by a range of celebrated architects, several high-profile cultural institutions, a 47-mile rail system, dozens of luxury hotels, an expansion of Hamad International Airport and a star-studded public arts program with Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst.
The latest artwork to be unveiled is by Olafur Eliasson, the environmentally conscious Danish-Icelandic artist who has long explored the interplay between human perception and the natural world. His installation Shadows Traveling on the Sea of the Day (2022) gently breaks the harsh desert north of Doha with 20 circular shelters arranged in a pentagram pattern. Each is supported by semi-circular rings which, when viewed from the structures’ mirrored undersides, form a perfect circle and give the illusion of staring down at the earth. “It’s an invitation to re-sync with the planet,” says Eliasson. “It is a celebration of everything that is in and moves through the desert – animals, plants and people; stories, traditions and cultural artifacts; Wind, sunlight, air and shimmering heat.” —Ryan Waddoups
Alejandro Aravena will auction his newest home in Mexico for an educational charity.
“In a hilly neighborhood in Monterrey, Mexico, stands a castle-like house, cylindrical and monolithic. Larger-than-life sections in the façade appear as if they had been recorded with a massive clay knife. The approximately 6,000-square-foot residence, along with two Mercedes and a bank check worth approximately $3.7 million, is the grand prize of Mexico’s Sorteos Tec Tradicional lottery, a raffle that funds scholarships for students attending Tecnológico de Monterrey institution for higher education. Approximately 1,200 pesos – about US$60 – goes into the dream home raffle and supports the dreams of hopeful students.” [H/T Dwell]
Nigerian designer Nifemi Marcus-Bello wins this year’s Hublot Design Prize.
“Nifemi Marcus-Bello’s work on community projects with an ethnographic focus has led to him winning the 2022 Hublot Design Prize, announced by jury members Hans Ulrich Obrist, Marva Griffin, Alice Rawsthorn and Samuel Ross. Nigerian-born designer won for his work resulting in new forms and typologies focused on community needs. The Hublot Design Prize, created in 2015 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Big Bang, was conceived by Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and the late graphic designer Pierre Keller. The winner can look forward to 100,000 Swiss francs in prize money.” [H/T Wallpaper]
The latest from JR participatory installation is an AR-focused photo booth pyramid in Giza.
“The tourist arrives at an attraction, turns around and takes a selfie. It’s behavior that has bothered larger-than-life photographer JR for years. In 2016 he made the Louvre’s glass pyramid disappear using a giant anamorphosis lowered by a crane. He did something similar at the Eiffel Tower. Now, in the Giza pyramid complex, he makes the visitor selfie completely redundant. In the foreground of the Egyptian monuments, JR installed his own pyramid: it’s a black-and-white photo booth that passers-by can enter and have their portraits taken. These images are converted into 16-foot posters and pasted onto billboards supported by the pyramids. ‘Of the participants[s]”, says JR’s press release, “Become co-creators, collaborators and protagonists in the long artistic history of this website.” [H/T Artnet News]
Howard University selects designers for Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts.
“Howard University has selected Moody Nolan and Washington, DC-based KGD Architecture to design the next piece of their ongoing $785 million campus revitalization. When complete, the new Center for Fine Arts & Communications will house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the university’s television and radio stations (WHUR/WHUT). The new visual arts center was named after the late actor and the Class of 2000 graduated last year, in recognition of his commitment to preserving and promoting artistic education at the university. [H/T Archinect]
Jack Diamond, the Canadian designer behind Diamond Schmitt Architects, has died at the age of 89.
“Toronto-headquartered global architecture firm Diamond Schmitt Architects has shared the sad news that founding director Abel Joseph “Jack” Diamond has passed away at the age of 89, just a week shy of his 90th birthday. In an official statement, fellow principal Donald Schmitt described his friend and longtime business partner as “one of the most important and influential Canadian architects of his generation”. Diamond, a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Gold Medalist and Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, designed numerous landmark projects in and around Toronto and beyond during his highly decorated architectural career.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]
Just stop oil pauses its eco-protests but will resume if its demands are not met.
“Just Stop Oil has declared a temporary pause in its eco-protests but vowed to escalate action if its demands are not met. The group conducted a month-long campaign of civil resistance, vandalism and protests in October to meet its demands that the government halt all new oil and gas licenses. Activists from the group have dramatically attempted to scale Downing Street, demolishing buildings with orange paint, targeting award-winning artworks with soup and regularly disrupting London’s traffic by sticking themselves to the street. In a warning of new actions on Tuesday, the group said: “Starting today, Just Stop Oil will pause its campaign of civil resistance. We are giving time to those in government who are in touch with reality to reflect on their responsibilities to this country at this time.’” [H/T Evening Standard]
Even though Complaints increase it posted its best-ever profitable quarter versus Airbnb.
“Continued high rates for short-term rentals and vacation homes have propelled Airbnb to post record third-quarter revenue and profits, Airbnb reported Tuesday. The accommodation booking agency continued to benefit from pent-up travel demand from consumers as the pandemic eased. Airbnb’s net income for the period ended September 30 rose 46 percent year over year to $1.2 billion, its highest quarter ever. The San Francisco-based company generated revenue of $2.9 billion in the third quarter, which was also a corporate record. The sales mark rose by 29 percent compared to the previous year.” [H/T Skift]
Today’s Attractive Distractions:
NASA’s cheeky “Smiling Sun” photo has unleashed a galaxy of sun meme.
Fast fashion giant bill opens a permanent loading that won’t sell anything.
This slime centered experience is equal parts latitude and mental escape.
Holly Herdon covers Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” uses them deepfake twin Holly+.