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Design Philadelphia

Handicapping Design Philadelphia

Last night Design Philadelphia kicked off its 6th annual festival of art, architecture, and design. This year the event boasts over 150 events over 11 days, all aimed, as Design Philadelphia executive director Hilary Jay told me, "to create an atmosphere in this region where the creative spirit can flourish." I should also note that the overwhelming majority of the events over the course of the 11 days are free. "We want the barrier of entrace to be really low," Jay said. "A lot of people don't understand capital-D design and I want to help educate the public about what design means to their everyday lives." I'll be visiting Philly in the middle of next week and aim to check out a few events myself; here's what Jay is most looking forward to.
October 8, 2010
Entering the Fiere.

Cersaie 2010

Cersaie is the biggest trade show of the year for ceramic tiles, and each September Bologna becomes a hub for showing the latest innovations featuring the multi-faceted material. From roofing to flooring, interior walls to exterior siding, Italians brought their a-game to the Fiere, and for those of you who have never been to a trade show here’s a peek at what we saw.
October 6, 2010
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Listening There: Scenes From Ghana

Two years ago, Mabel O. Wilson and Peter Tolkin traveled through Ghana, visiting the cities and documenting the architecture that had been erected over a thirty-year period, beginning in the late 1940s, when colonial rule was ending. These mid-century buildings were mostly modernist, designed by architects from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Lebanon, Italy and Ghana; they had been reviewed in contemporary architectural publications, as part of a lively debate on what became known as “Tropical Modernism.” Until recently, their legacy had all but disappeared from the historical canon. Wilson and Tolkin's trip was motivated by a desire to see how these buildings had fared in the half century since their construction, and to explore how they functioned in today's increasingly urban and global contexts. The resulting photographs are on view at STUDIO-X NEW YORK until December 16th, in an exhibition entitled "Listening There: Scenes From Ghana." Here's a preview.
October 5, 2010
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MoMA's Small Scale, Big Change

The exhibition "Small Scale, Big Change" opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this Sunday. Curious to hear more about the show—which sadly I won't have the chance to see in person—I got curator Andres Lepik on the phone to talk about the exhibition, which focuses on 11 architectural projects in underserved communities around the world.
October 4, 2010
Image from a series of photographs documenting former Death Row prisoners’ requests for their last meal before execution, by James Reynolds.

Friday Finds 10.1.2010

Bask in the glow of our Internetly finds, because this week we've got a little bit of everything: podcasts, videos, paintings, tumblr love, and more.
October 1, 2010
Baron House, Fabian Baron

John Pawson: Plain Space

"John Pawson Plain Space," a retrospective of British architect John Pawson's work, is on view at London's Design Museum until January 2011. Coinciding with the exhibition, Phaidon Press has published "John Pawson: Plain Space," the first monograph of his work from the past decade. The book spotlights thirty of Pawson's wide-ranging projects, from landscapes to monasteries to yachts to a ballet stage set, and shows how the master of luxurious minimalism has worked with light, space, proportion, and materials to refine his aesthetic and broaden the field. Here's a peek inside the book, written by Alison Morris. To dig deeper, check out this video interview with Pawson, posted on Phaidon's website.
September 30, 2010

Venice Biennale: Giardini

Although the Venice Architecture Biennale invades all nooks and crannies of the four-square-mile island, most of the festival's big-hitters reside under the roof of only one building, the Italian pavilion at Giardini. As we round out our 2010 Biennale overview, we highlight the exhibits that not only left us pondering, but also left us hopeful for the future of architecture.
September 28, 2010
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A Whirlwind New York Visit

Last week I spent a few days running around Manhattan (sometimes literally) reporting a handful of upcoming stories for Dwell. In addition to seeing many inspiring projects and meeting many inspiring people, I squeezed in a few stops to some of my favorite design-centric spots.
September 28, 2010
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Medlock Ames' New Tasting Room

When I was in Healdsburg checking out H2Hotel, I took a little detour to Medlock Ames' recently opened tasting room and bar, which is on the site and in the footprint of the century-old Alexander Valley Bar and Store, just north of downtown Healdsburg. Architect Luke Wade, builder Andy Bannister, and Medlock Ames' general manager Kenneth Rochford showed me around.
September 27, 2010