Editors' Picks Events
Our editors select their favorite design and architecture-related events happening all over the globe.
During the 1960s and 1970s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 illuminates the unique works of these individuals through videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera, and other original and re-created objects and environments. Though the countercultural movement is typically associated with psychedelic art, West of Center frames a wider integration between the artistic practices, political action, and collaborative life activities now fundamental to contemporary art and culture.
Co-curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, Never Built: Los Angeles looks at visionary works that had the greatest potential to reshape the city, from buildings to master plans, parks to follies, and transportation proposals any of which could have transformed both the physical reality and the collective perception of the metropolis. The stories surrounding these projects shed light on a reluctant city whose institutions and infrastructure have often undermined inventive and challenging urban schemes. The show will contain dozens of illustrations exploring the visceral (and sometimes misleading) power of architectural ideas conveyed through renderings, blueprints, models, and the lost art of hand drawing. Through these images, and accompanying narratives, the city is interpreted in a new light, with discarded projects understood as art.
Bringing together almost 200 objects from around the world, Unexpected Pleasures celebrates the work of contemporary jewellers who have challenged the conventions of jewellery design. Curated by jewellery designer and maker Dr. Susan Cohn, the exhibition offers a survey of contemporary jewellery presented through a number of themes: Worn Out, celebrating the experience of wearing jewellery; Linking Links, looking at the ways in which meaning and narratives are expressed in jewellery; and A Fine Line, offering insights into the origins of contemporary jewellery today, highlighting key instigators of the contemporary jewellery movement.
The Conversations in Context program series offers visitors the opportunity to join a leader in architecture, art, landscape, history or design for an evening tour of The Glass House campus followed by an intimate conversation and reception on the historic property. The events take place Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- On September 20 join Harvard professors Gary Hilderbrand and John Beardsley
- On October 4 join Princeton professor Beatriz Colomina and Columbia professor Felicity Scott
- On October 11 join Michael Maharam, principal of textile company Maharam, and Paul Makovsky, editorial director of Metropolis
- On November 8 join Murray Moss, founder of Moss Bureau, and Francois de Menil, founder of FdM:Arch
Beginning September 20, 2012, the Museum of Vancouver will host the first-ever solo exhibition of the late, Vancouver-born conceptual artist Tobias Wong. The show will feature over 50 pieces of Wong's groundbreaking work with common objects, including well-known items such as Bulletproof Quilted Duvet, the Ottoman, and This is a Lamp. The exhibition, a product of Wong's friends, collaborators, and family, ends January 1, 2013.
The 2012 Architecture in the City Festival is currently underway in San Francisco. Througout the month of September, a series of lectures, walking tours, exhibitions, film screenings cover a wealth of topics under the theme "Design: It's About Time." Some 40 events are being held and here's what we think will be most interesting (you can also view the complete calendar here):
- San Francisco Living Home Tours, September 15–16
- Design: It's About Time lecture moderated by Deputy Editor Aaron Britt, September 18, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
- Heath Ceramics San Francisco Tile Factory and Showroom tour, September 21, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
- Yellow Building tour, September 24, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
- Closing Night Party, September 27, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
- Urban Agriculture in Unlikely Places walking tour, September 29
- Mid-century Modern in Diamond Heights walking tour, September 29
The Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., will open its exhibition of Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park series on June 30. It will include over 80 abstract works by the innovative artist including paintings and drawings created with a range of methods as well as monotypes and prints. The exhibition, which covers the 21-year span in which the artist worked in the Southern California community of Ocean park, closes on September 23rd.
The 8th annual Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is happening September 27th to 30th. IDSwest is Western Canada’s annual premiere residential, interior design show featuring 350 exhibitors showcasing quality products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, and consumers. Featured speaker Tommy Smythe, designer on Sarah 101 on HGTV, will be sharing his tips and tricks with visitors on Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th, injecting his brand of fun and fashion into the show. Don't miss the GE Cafe Trade Day Friday September 28, 2012 – 10am – 4pm.
The Hammer, Chisel, Drill exhibition will showcase the production process of sculptor Isamu Noguchi over the course of a career that lasted more than four decades. Located at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York, it will display a varied combination of photographs depicting Noguchi in his studios, sculpting tools used throughout his life as an artist, and a careful selection of finished products to capture his work in practice. The exhibition begins October 3rd and ends April 28th.
The Docomomo U.S. Tour Day seeks to raise the awareness of and appreciation for buildings, interiors, neighborhoods and landscapes designed in the United States during the mid-20th century. Tour Day invites organizations and people across the county to take stock of significant 20th century built design in their state, city, region or neighborhood and celebrate that work with Docomomo U.S. in a tour. In addition to a continued partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians, Docomomo is joining with the American Society of Interior Designers and the Paul Rudolph Foundation for Tour Day on October 6th.
From February 18 to May 20, 2012, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the exhibition Rineke Dijkstra, the artist's first midcareer retrospective in the United States. This is the most comprehensive museum exhibition to date of the artist's oeuvre, the first major Dijkstra exhibition organized by an American museum, and the first solo exhibition of her work in San Francisco. The exhibition features nearly 70 color photographs and five video installations, including two new video projections.
Following World War II, the United States and Europe sought to address the dire need for public and affordable housing through new construction. The post-war decades saw the development of many innovative design, construction and social arrangements. This legacy represents an important part of our collective architectural and cultural heritage but its preservation is plagued by many practical and social issues. By bringing together American and International experts, the Fitch Colloquium seeks to create a dialogue about the preservation of these buildings, which are at the intersection of social, physical, cultural and architectural values.
The free colloquium is open to the public and will include expert speakers from the United States, the Netherlands, France, Brazil, Morocco, and more. 8.5 AIA/CEUs can be earned as well.
As the water crisis progresses, a new exhibition at the A+D Museum calls designers to action. The 2012 Drylands Design Exhibition will feature work by architects, landscape architects, engineers, and urban designers responding to the challenges of water scarcity in the face of climate change. With a focus on the American West, the exhibition will present a portfolio of adaptive strategies and will explore a range of approaches for how buildings and parks, houses and streets, industry and agriculture, cities and neighborhoods might be adapted to face a drought-prone future. The exhibition's opening reception will be held at the A+D museum in Los Angeles, California and a series of events will follow at locations throughout L.A.
Palm Springs Modernism Week is an 11-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, and culture in Palm Springs, California. This design aesthetic originated in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and was typified by clean, simple lines which came to define desert modernism.
Modernism Week is filled with a variety of events including architectural tours, films, lectures, an architectural symposium, educational events, and chic, fun parties in cool mid-century modern homes and boutique hotels. Visit the event site for more detailed listings.
The first retrospective examination of the artist’s prolific print practice since 1988. The exhibition includes over 100 prints and five paintings. The exhibition is organized thematically in order to explore Kelly’s key formal motifs: grids, contrast and curves.
Best known for his fluorescent light installations, Dan Flavin was also an avid draftsman. This first retrospective of his drawings will include over one hundred sheets representing every phase of his career: early abstract expressionist watercolors of the 1950s, studies for light installations, portraits and landscape sketches, and pastels of sailboats from the 1980s. In addition, the exhibition will feature nearly fifty works from Flavin's personal collection of drawings, including nineteenth-century American landscapes by Hudson River School artists, Japanese drawings, and twentieth-century works by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt.
This exhibition marks Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday, and delves into the designer's impact on contemporary life in Britain. The show spans his career, from post-war austerity through to the new sensibility of the Festival of Britain in the 1950s, the birth of the Independent Group and the Pop Culture of the 1960s, to the design boom of the 1980s and on to the present day.
Eames Designs: The Guest Host Relationship is a part of the city-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative. Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.
This exhibition will focus in on the words of Charles and Ray Eames. This theme will be explored through a display of Eames' quotes shown typographically and on film – alongside key related objects (from tumbleweed; to bread; to a keg of nails) and vintage furniture. It will examine the relationship between these objects and the ideas that flow from them. It will aim to illustrate how their innovative insights can inspire us to appreciate the world differently by honoring “the uncommon beauty of common things.”
Modernism was the go-to style of the mid-20th century, with famous designers such as Russel Wright, Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames. By the end of the century, however, its glow had faded. Some 60 years later, Modernism is enjoying a second life. Raising the question, why now? Experts, including iconic designers Vladimir Kagan and Jack Lenor Larsen and co-founder of the gallery R 20th Century, Evan Snyderman, will take a look back–and forward–to offer answers to this provocative question. Moderated by Judith Gura, professor of Design History at NYSID.
This major international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool. With the rise of user-generated content and new creative software, along with innovations in publishing and distribution systems, people outside the field are mobilizing the techniques and processes of design to create and publish visual media. At the same time, designers are becoming producers: authors, publishers, instigators, and entrepreneurs employing their creative skills as makers of content and shapers of experiences.
Crafting Modernism covers a 25-year period that begins with the craftsman-designers of the 1940s and 1950s, and concludes in 1969 with innovative works that upended traditional concepts of craft, and included humor, psychological content, and social commentary in provocative and unique works of art.
Constructive Spirit examines the connections, both conceptual and personal, among abstract artists, suggesting parallels that cut across time, national borders, and a range of media, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings and films. Featured artists include Alexander Calder, Joaquín Torres-García, Jesús Rafael Soto, Gyula Kosice, Lygia Clark, Ellsworth Kelly, Geraldo de Barros and many others.
Classic Contemporary features major Pop, Minimal, and Color Field works in MCASD’s collection of American Art dating from the 1960s and 1970s.
Encompassing Albers' career from 1917 to 1973, this exhibition begins with four early self-portrait prints and follows to a group of boldly abstract compositions from Albers' tenure at Germany's revolutionary Bauhaus, where he taught alongside Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. Albers participated in the school's utopian aspiration to improve modern life through manufacturing and design—ideas that resonated throughout Albers' career. The Hirshhorn's show also includes a series of black-and-white designs intended for mass production in glass, such as "6 and 3" (1931), and an illuminated display of eight glass panels, in which the artist modernized and transformed the medieval tradition of stained-glass windows, best characterized by "Fugue (B)" (1925-28).
To see more images from the show, please visit the slideshow.
This exhibition is the first comprehensive overview of John Lautner’s architecture. Co-curated by Los Angeles–based architect Frank Escher, who is also the Administrator of the John Lautner Archives, and Nicholas Ohlsberg, former Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and independent curator, the exhibition includes 115 original drawings and sketches; ten original models; six large-scale architectural models created for the exhibition and a documentary film.
Jane Davis Doggett, M.F.A. 1956, is known for her career in creating graphic identities and wayfinding systems for massive public spaces, including 40 international airports. Doggett recently invented the concept of IconoChrome images—“geometric designs in colors expressing philosophically profound messages.” Her series, Talking Graphics, consists of these colorful designs, converted to vector images and printed as books and large panels.
Adrian Wilson leads a presentation about his unique collection of handmade typefaces and trademarks last seen in use by nineteenth-century fabric merchants.
This long weekend sees two exhibition openings and two closings worth checking out: a look at Iannis Xenakis's work and the changing understanding of "landscape" in New York, Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago in the Windy City, and Ewan Gibbs' drawings of San Francisco in the City by the Bay.
The exhibition explores the fundamental role of drawing in the work of Greek avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001). A leading figure in twentieth century music, Xenakis was trained as a civil engineer, then became an architect and developed revolutionary designs while working with Le Corbusier. Comprised of over 60 documents created between 1953 and 1984, this will be the first North American exhibition dedicated to Xenakis’s original works on paper. Included will be rarely-seen hand-rendered scores, architectural drawings, conceptual renderings, pre-compositional sketches, and graphic scores.
Design Real, curated by Konstantin Grcic and designed in collaboration with Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni, is the first design-focused show to be presented at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.
Grcic's selection of objects was guided by several basic criteria. As the title of the exhibition suggests, all of the selected products are 'real', mass produced items that have a practical function in everyday life. There are no prototypes, concepts or models featured in the exhibition. With few exceptions, all of the products are currently in serial production and are more or less available for individuals to buy. Moreover, all of the objects were conceived within the last ten years. From this starting point, Grcic has brought together a wide range of products with different styles and functions, from furniture and household items to technical and industrial innovations.
Grcic explains: 'good design admits to the deeper insight that beyond performing a purpose in a good way, the purpose itself has to be good. All 43 items in the exhibition fulfil this idea in their own way. The relevance a product has to our life lies not only in its use, but also in how far we identify with it. A good product becomes part of our culture.'
Approximately 140 prints, drawings, collages, and watercolors from the permanent collection offer the opportunity to ruminate on what constituted “modern” at various moments during the first half of the 20th century.
In this solo exhibition of Black Mountain artist Lorna Blaine Halper (1924- ), drawings, sculptures, and paintings will be on view, beginning with works created during from her time at Black Mountain College in the late 1940s, and continuing onto the present.
Evident in her earliest work is the influence of her fellow Black Mountain students and professors, such as Josef Albers, Fannie Hillsmith, Ruth Asawa, Robert Motherwell and Ilya Bolotowsky, and others.
At a time when contemporary culture is dominated by mass media and we are all glued to many screens, it is fascinating to contemplate the career of little-known Austrian sociologist, Otto Neurath (1888-1945), a polymath whose intellectual and moral compass - forged in the embers of World War I - led him to predict the dramatic growth of the knowledge economy and to develop tools for a universal pictorial language. Ever in the interest of advancing participatory forms of democratic exchange, Neurath was by turn an academic, economic minister, housing administrator, museum director and philosopher of science. He collaborated with the leading planners, designers and artists of his time, - among them Adolf Loos, Josef Frank, Le Corbusier, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and key New Deal intellectuals - and his work had a profound influence on a range of disciplines, including architecture, philosophy, economics, urbanism and graphic design.
On view at the Schindler House from November 4, 2009 through January 31, 2010, the exhibition is loosely divided into three sections. The scene is set with artifacts and ephemera from Vienna's Settler Movement of the 1920s, when Neurath initiated his public career. The centerpiece of the exhibition re-creates works from Neurath's Museum of Society and Economy, the major work of his life.