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!’

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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”

The BIG little house

Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to live in a home designed by a starchitect? Well, this is your chance to live in a tiny home designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingles of BIG.

Continue reading “The BIG little house”

Hello Kitty Train

Why do places like Japan think of inventive ways of taking the mundane task of commuting to a whole another level? Hello Kitty is getting their own themed bullet train which will take to the tracks on June 30th. Continue reading “Hello Kitty Train”

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”

Branding a brandless company – Muji

What I love about Muji is the simplicity in their designs. You can see it in every aspect of your home. There’s a sense of zen and cleanness about the look and feel of their products. In recent years this company has started to expand its product line to pre-fab homes to hotel chains in Asia.

Continue reading “Branding a brandless company – Muji”

Best installations at Milan Design Week 2018

Going to Milan Design Week is all about innovation in the industry. Introducing new products to the market and doing it in a BIG way. This year, I could attend by scrolling through the many projects that artists and influencers felt were Instagram worthy.

Continue reading “Best installations at Milan Design Week 2018”

Salone del Mobile – The Manifesto

As another Salone del Mobile approaches, one interesting development is to see how exhibitors and the rest of the industry will respond to a new manifesto that was published ahead of the event. The manifesto calls upon the industry to up its innovation and sustainability, citing specifically the need to embrace the “circular economy” and forge meaningful relationships with cultural institutions in the city. Continue reading “Salone del Mobile – The Manifesto”