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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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)”

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.

Continue reading “Highlights from CUTMR 2019”

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”

The Current State of Architecture

In the recently published book On Seen, Zoe Ryan presents the eleven most influential design and architecture exhibitions in the last 50 years. From This is Tomorrow to Massive Change: The Future of Global Design she identifies the key drivers such as expressive antidotes, new materials and conceptual work that made these exhibitions so important. Coming from a curatorial background she builds the case and sets the stage that historically:

Exhibitions have long played a vital role in making and remaking architecture and design history. They bring together key figures and bodies of work, position ideas and present arguments, shed light on current concerns, suggest future directions and draw connection with larger theoretical, political, and cultural conversation…Where within the fields of architecture and design, exhibitions have been critical to advancing ideas (13).

Within this context of making and remaking design history through exhibitions, the most famous and prestigious stage for the fields of architecture and design is the Venice Architecture Biennale which is considered “the Olympics for architecture, bringing together a global perspective” (Feuerman, The Conversation) around contemporary design. This is where the world gathers every two years to see what significant breakthroughs and innovations are propelling the industry forward.

Set in a “semi-abandoned shipyard and its adjoining garden…the Venice Architecture Biennale is a colossal exhibition comprised of one major installation by a significant architect, as well as a multitude of smaller shows put on by individual countries (known as the national pavilions)” (Jack Self, CNN).

Yet, in recent years there has been a dilemma with the Venice Architecture Biennale and the content being presented. President Paolo Baratta of La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) articulates this problem clearly in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale program book Reporting from the Front:

What is an architecture exhibition? And what should a Biennale Architecttura be? In La Biennale Arte, to which La Biennale Architettura is offspring, the works are right there on display before the visitors; with an architecture exhibition, the works are elsewhere. What should be represented here? This is indeed an ongoing quest (16).

 

Sacred Spaces by Meredith Jay

Meredith Jay is a multidisciplinary artist who received a BFA in studio art from Concordia University. Located in Toronto, she makes sculptural installations that merge the digital and physical, as well as, sound, drawing, video and film. Through ritual and devotion Jay invokes and questions human behaviour and the collective memory.  Continue reading “Sacred Spaces by Meredith Jay”

Design Does – Barcelona Design Museum

Now, this is how you get the average individual to care about design. Currently on show at Barcelona Design Museum Design Does collectively explores how design tackles the challenges faced by society, at times offering improvements and, at others, doing just the opposite. Conceived to transcend the limits of space, time and conventional formats, this project explores the responsibility that lies with design and its impact on the industry, people, social systems and cultural values. Design Does question the designer’s role today and in the future as a provider of solutions, humanist, strategist and/or agent of change. Continue reading “Design Does – Barcelona Design Museum”

V&A to salvage wreckage for Venice Architecture Biennale

A fragment of the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate salvaged from the demolition site by London’s V&A museum is to be transported to Italy and displayed at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.

The V&A acquired a three-storey section of the estate last year in addition to the fragment it will take to Venice when demolition work on the brutalist social housing estate began. Continue reading “V&A to salvage wreckage for Venice Architecture Biennale”

Innovation Exchange at EDIT

Last September, I was part of a team that produced George Brown College’s exhibition at Canada’s first design biennial EDIT (Education, Design, Innovation, and Technology). The installation was made up of several parts: a video, a timeline, a VR experience. Continue reading “Innovation Exchange at EDIT”

Designer Maker User

From objects to services to systems, everything in this world has been designed. Design is a process carried out by people, for people. At its heart is a dialogue between three key people: the designer, the maker, and the user. Currently, on show at London’s Design Museum, Designer Maker User invites the visitor to explore design from the perspectives of all three. It shows how designers respond to the needs of makers and users, how users consume and influence design, and how revolutions in technology and manufacturing transform the world. Continue reading “Designer Maker User”