Guinness Storehouse Tour

One of the must-see things to do when you are in Dublin is visiting the Guinness Museum. It was one of the best museum experiences I have ever done. Unlike most traditional museums which present a collection of artifacts, the Storehouse takes you through the brewing process of how this famous beer is made. The layout, the graphic design, the sensory elements, the overall presentation etc. really make this museum exemplary in terms of cohesive and immersive storytelling.

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V&A Dundee by Kengo Kuma

When I was thinking of traveling to Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow were at the top of my list. But when I heard of the opening of a new V&A museum in Dundee, designed by Kengo Kuma really solidified my decision to go there.

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It’s quite a distance from Edinburgh, a couple of hours at least. On your way to Dundee you can see rolling hills and the occasional herd of sheep passing you by. The most majestic part of the journey is traveling across the river and seeing this jagged little site at the edge of the water.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is one of the most recognizable buildings in Glasgow. Designed by John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen in 1901, it was originally titled the Palace of Fine Arts. As a designer walking through the space, I’m the type of person who is looking at the context and not necessarily the content. I’m looking at how things are presented not necessarily the thing on display. As I entered the wing with all the busts, for me it’s not the sculptures that compel me closer, its the way they engage the viewer with the full spectrum of space. Busts hanging from the ceiling draws me more in than a bust of Queen Victoria. Continue reading “Kelvingrove Art Gallery”

Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

You gotta love a museum with a sense of humour. In the front of the entrance stands an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington sculpted by Carlo Marochetti. The statue has a traffic cone on its head. The cone has come to represent the city’s light-hearted attitude to authority in most tourist books. Continue reading “Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)”

Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects

Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland. I took a day and traveled to Glasgow where you can find some of the biggest hitters in architecture all within a kilometer of each other. The Clyde Auditorium (Armadillo) and SSE Hyrdo both designed by Foster and Partners, are right next to one of the best looking museums in all of Europe – The Museum of Transport / The Riverside Museum design by the one and only Zaha Hadid. Continue reading “Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects”

Highlights from CUTMR 2019

The 16th installment of Come Up To My Room (#CUTMR) is an alternative design exhibition that provides a platform for experimentation outside the norms of art and design, at the edges between intention and interpretation. Freed from the constraints of traditional practice, CUTMR encourages spatial exploration that engages our senses, our memories and our perceptions of reality. The exhibition challenges participants to push their everyday practice by offering a blank canvas upon which to explore new themes and ways of working. Framed within the backdrop of the historic 130-year-old Gladstone Hotel, CUTMR invites artists and designers to create site-specific, immersive installations that stimulate the imagination and encourage discussion and dialogue between contributors and visitors alike. The Gladstone welcomes Jana Macalik & Jennie Suddick as the curatorial team for CUTMR 2019.

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IDS has a new vision shifting its focus from consumers to professionals

“We are brokers of dialogue,” Director of Conference Programming, Ian Chodikoff mentions as he explains the shift in IDS’ (Interior Design Show 2019) current vision. The expanded programming of “bringing people together to experience the power of design” speaks to the new opportunities the show is trying to foster among the industry. Continue reading “IDS has a new vision shifting its focus from consumers to professionals”

Oculus at the World Trade Center by Santiago Calatrava

On a recent trip to New York City, the one building I wanted to see was the Oculus at the World Trade Center designed by the legendary Santiago Calatrava. In his signature style, the white ribbed structure allows for light to come into the space where deep below the surface lie two levels of shopping and a subterranean rail station. Continue reading “Oculus at the World Trade Center by Santiago Calatrava”

Fractal Worlds by Julius Horsthuis

When I learned about this gallery called ARTECHOUSE where they bring together art, science, and technology, I had to make my way there…even though it was in Washington, DC. Continue reading “Fractal Worlds by Julius Horsthuis”

Fun House by Snarkitecture is more like a Mad House

Sharing an Uber is always interesting when you tell them where you are going and they call the site a ‘parking lot.’ This is what I experienced on my last trip to Washington, DC.

On a recent trip to Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to visit the National Building Museum to see Snarkitecture’s Fun House which is the Museum’s imaginative Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall.

Curated by Italy-based Maria Cristina Didero, the heart of the exhibition is presented within a Snarkitecture-designed house, aka a white house that recalls and re-imagines the idea of the traditional home. Fun House includes a sequence of interactive rooms featuring well-known Snarkitecture environments and objects, like Dig (2011) and Drift (2012), as well as new concepts developed for the Museum. The rooms throughout the house convey the ten-year story of Snarkitecture while underlining the studio’s peculiar, yet accessible way of reinterpreting the built environment.

This is the set up that was being featured on many architecture blogs and corresponding images. What the writer/blogger/curator neglect to express is that sheer madness that a summer program invites in terms of its visitors aka families and tourists. As an individual that wants to experience as many innovative exhibitions, having to dodge running children, packs of friends taking selfies and the noise of people playing ping pong, basketball with the ping pongs and jumping into the pool of balls is insanity. They should have renamed the exhibition from Funhouse to Madhouse because that’s what it felt like.

I’m all for having the largest amount of people experience new things especially in the world of design and architecture, but ‘interactive’ something goes a little too far when they treat ‘the art’ as a playground. Especially when there is a deep narrative and practice behind the work. But after I was able to get through my snobbiness, I got into just letting loose and getting as many Instagramable moments as I could.

What can I say, at the end of the day, architecture and design is at the mercy of how it interacts with its visitors and how its visitors interpret the space. Sometimes you have to read the narrative and say ‘f*ck it, I’m jumping in the pool, too!’