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”

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!’

Toronto’s Nuit Blanche 2018

“I can do that, all I need is an iPhone and a couple of lights,” this is what my friend says as we go through an interactive experience that flips our image as we walk through.

This is one of the many lack lustered experiences we were hunting down because it was Nuit Blanche and art was in the air. I remember years ago when they had proper funding and sponsorship the top tier artists and installations that flooded the streets of Toronto. Now, I feel there is a real gap in programming, curation and all around art. I had this same experience at Hamilton’s Supercrawl, where I was looking for some real art and was disappointed at what was presented. Continue reading “Toronto’s Nuit Blanche 2018”

The Serpentine Pavilion: Unzipped by Bjarke Ingels

Getting the opportunity to design a structure for the Serpentine Pavilion is like the Super Bowl of architecture. I had the pleasure of visiting last year’s pavilion designed by Francis Kere and was so amazed and moved by the space that I honestly could have stayed there for days.  Continue reading “The Serpentine Pavilion: Unzipped by Bjarke Ingels”

London Design Biennale creative campaign

For the second consecutive edition of London Design Biennale, the Domenic Lippa team at Pentagram has created the visual identity and promotional materials. As with the previous identity, a restricted colour palette of orange, black and white is used. Continue reading “London Design Biennale creative campaign”

Planet of Plastic

The newest cover of National Geographic is set to become one for the ages. As the world continues to drown in single-use plastic, the iconic magazine has launched a multi-year initiative called Planet or Plastic? The newly unveiled June 2018 cover illustration by Jorge Gamboa is a heartbreaking visualization of the reality we’re collectively facing.

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Janet Jackson Billboard Icon Award

Last night, the 52-year-old singer became the first black woman to receive the honour. She joins the club of Icon recipients along with Neil DiamondStevie WonderPrinceJennifer LopezCeline Dion and Cher. In her speech, she fully addresses the #MeToo movement with her speech: “It’s a moment when at long last women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart or mind.” Continue reading “Janet Jackson Billboard Icon Award”

Speculating the Future of Food

In a recent Monocle Minute newsletter, they featured California-based chef James Corwell who has created Ahimi, a tuna alternative made from tomato, soy sauce, sugar, water and sesame oil. This is coming after the stark realization that within the next 30 years, because of overfishing there may no longer be any fish in the sea. Which means we have to look for some seafood surrogates and realities about our precious ecosystem. Continue reading “Speculating the Future of Food”