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.

Fractal Worlds by Julius Horsthuis is a visual journey through mind-bending sci-fi worlds and infinite 3D geometric patterns. Incorporating both projection and virtual reality elements, the exhibition transports viewers to another dimension.

What is impressive about the space is the knowledgeable staff, the grandness of the space and the gallery’s ability to make sure there are multiple opportunities and touch points to experience VR, AR and immersive technologies. You have to check-out their cocktail bar.

Horsthuis uses math and infinite geometric patterns to create mind-bending images and films that take your imagination on a journey. They are mesmerizing and in a fractal reality, Horsthuis is much like a director or photographer in which he is operating in a world that already exists and it is up to him to search for the right fractal angle. It’s magnetic and awe-inspiring because it is nothing like you have experienced before but immediately hooks you in because its both familiar and alien at the same time.

Learn more about the artist and his work here.

 

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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.

So, how can we turn the tide and get some real high-quality art and design in our cities? We have to demand that we deserve better.

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. 

What I find impressive about the programming is done by the Brits, is that they are always looking for ways to innovate and collaborate on a large scale. 

In 2016, Bjarke Ingels was invited to design the serpentine pavilion which is situated in the middle of Hyde Park in London. “The serpentine gallery is an icon for miniature architectural manifestos and 2/3rds of the architects who have designed the pavilion are Pritzker Prize-winning architect,” as he describes the honour it is to be chosen to design on Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design.

Now, we are lucky to have the opportunity to have this structure in our very own backyard. It’s not every day we get to this type of experience. Like most high profile exhibitions, this one is timed and although it seems you can just ‘walk off the street’ you have to buy tickets to see it.

The interior programming of the space has been changed from a bar/performance area to an exhibition space that allows the visitor to learn more about the architect and the proposed condo that is to curtain the street. This was the first time I was aware that we were to have a BIG building in Toronto and immediately registered. Finally, a building that reflects the type of lifestyle I want to live in that is not a ‘glass tower’.

As you approach the entrance to the pavilion, the cavernous form invites you into the structure where you are invited into the mind of Bjarke Ingels. The movement created by the fiberglass grid-like skeleton almost expands and contracts as if it is breathing as you explore and discover the many projects by BIG architects. As grandiose as it appears, it is a very intimate space and when you look up, the ‘unzipped’ feeling emerges. When you exit and get the chance to walk around the pavilion, the shape undulates to mimic a rolling hill and false natural landscape within the dense fabric is it located in.

What can I say, I’m a fan and can’t wait for us to have a truly, unique and innovative building in Toronto.

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.

Continue reading “Planet of Plastic”

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”

Science and art: creating new immersive environments

What happens when art meets technology? Meet two companies using their specialties in photography and virtual reality to bring viewers inside the works of Damien Hirst and Zaha Hadid. Continue reading “Science and art: creating new immersive environments”

Dezeen and Instagram team up for @design

In a world where influencers rule the day on social media. Two of the biggest influencers in architecture and design have joined forces to outsource the content. They recently did a call for contributors to be one of the founding members to be featured during Milan Design Week. One of the caveats, you actually have to be going to cool stuff and are willing to post it for this channel.  Continue reading “Dezeen and Instagram team up for @design”