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Pocket Dept. will share a table with the Brooklyn Art Library at this year’s annual Brooklyn Night Bazaar — a holiday market that combines local vendors and nightly musical performances.
When • Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight
November 15 & 16, November 22 & 23
Where • 165 Banker Street, Brooklyn
I often think about the great Russian constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin spending 1929 to 1932 in the bell tower of a monastery in Moscow, dressed as a medieval craftsman, while trying to build a thing he called Letatlin, an orinthopter, which is a human-powered bird-like flying machine. I don’t know what exactly he thought he was doing making an aircycle years after the invention of the airplane but the fact that he went whole hog on such an utterly ambiguous, let alone impractical, enterprise, makes it feel to me like one of the most profound and moving endeavors in the history of art.
2. Drunk History
I feel a strange kind of hope for the future of American culture when I watch the television series Drunk History, where schnockered historians narrate episodes of history while actors “lip-sync” their slurred lines. Somehow it manages to feel both DIY and sophisticated, like the kind of thing that only the coolest person you know could make. My only hope is that my new book with Princeton Architectural Press will earn me an appearance on the show.
3. Machine Project
As an art museum director, I have strangely never found myself feeling envious of anything happening at another art museum. But I continually find myself wishing that I had thought of any number of ideas that come out of the art space Machine Project, in Los Angeles. Founded by Mark Allen and based in an unassuming storefront space, among its many oddball programs, Machine has organized a museum sleepover for houseplants, a poetry delivery service and an auto theft workshop for children. Who can touch that?
Growing up in an immigrant Jewish household in Queens, virtually every week my father would make a stew called Cholent. With a precise way of placing every piece of potato and meat and a method of spreading lima beans that seemed to be prescribed by rabbinic tradition, my father would prepare this sacred dish on Friday night before sundown and allow it to simmer overnight so that we could eat it for lunch on Saturday. And about a year ago, the thought occurred to me: It’s a cassoulet. I love cassoulet!
5. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson helped me see that our best self is our child-self. I take the film Moonrise Kingdom, and everything else he made, to boil down to a single imperative: We may never have connected with our child-self as a youth and we are even less likely to tap into it as an adult, but it remains our task to try nonetheless. When we are able to lighten the heaviness of the world, then we are truly artists and the world is ours.
Tianjin Museum (Tianjin, 2004)
Shin Takamatsu Architect & Associates with Kawaguchi & Engineers
Architect Shin Takamatsu on his inspiration:
“I was at a loss as to how to find a context—a clue to the design,” he continues. “At that time, I saw white birds flying in the contaminated and mud colored sky that was typical in Tianjin. This appealing sight gave me the direct source of my creation’s inspiration.”
From New Museums in China from PAPress.
Paul Rand: Defining Design
October 27, 2013 - January 26, 2014
Museum of Design Atlanta
Paul Rand: Defining Design examine the trajectory of Rand’s career by juxtaposing his iconic designs with discussion of the design principles by which they were informed. In addition, short films, interviews, and Rand’s own writings will further illuminate his thoughts on the design process. The exhibition is curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website www.Paul-Rand.com.
Designer and author Steve Heller will give a lecture called “Learning from Rand” on November 7th at 7pm in the Hill Auditorium of the Woodruff Art Center and will be followed by a reception at MODA.
For more on Paul Rand, don’t miss Paul Rand: Conversations with Students published by PAPress in 2008.
Guangdong Museum (Guangz hou, Guangdong, 2010)
Rocco Design Architects
Guangdong Museum joins a library by Nikken Sekkei, a children’s activity center by Steffian Bradley Architects, and a much discussed opera house by Zaha Hadid Architects to form a new cultural center in Guangdong’s Zhujiang New Town.
From New Museums in China, new from PAPress!
“And at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher…”
—Edgar Allan Poe
The house of Wyndcliffe in Rhinebeck, New York
From Ghostly Ruins: America’s Forgotten Architecture
Happy Halloween from Princeton Architectural Press!
National Museum of China (Beijing, 2011)
Architekten von Gerkan, Margund Partner
(top) Tiananmen Square, with the National Museum of China on the left and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong on the right.
From New Museums in China, new from PAPress.
From Lickshot: A Photo Scrapbook, 2009
Happy 77th birthday to Sir Peter Cook! The Plug-In-City (above) he designed for Archigram—just one of his brilliant creations—remains an inspiration to designers and thinkers everywhere.
National Design Awards | Jeanne Gang and Paula Scher
For more than thirty years, we have been fortunate to work with the most talented authors and designers in the world. Tonight we salute two of the best—Paula Scher and Jeanne Gang—as they accept National Design Awards at the 2013 gala in NYC.
The Architecture & Design Film Festival
October 16 – 20
Tribeca Cinemas / 54 Varick Street / NYC
The Architecture & Design Film Festival is underway at Tribeca Cinemas in NYC. The largest film festival of its kind, it will showcase more than 30 films, panel discussions, book signings and Q&A’s with design leaders and film makers from around the world.
Here are just a few of the films we’re excited about:
The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert
(USA, 2013, 88 min)
Sat 10/19 at 7:15 PM, Sun 10/20 at 5:00PM
Our recent book Conversations with Paolo Soleri draws from the visionary architect’s personal notebooks and sketchbooks to present the visionary architect’s ideas about contemporary issues such as climate change, oil dependence, suburban sprawl, and overconsumption.
(USA, 2012, 75min)
Thurs 10/17 at 9:30PM
Director Kelly Anderson documents the makeover of downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall, the subject addressed by our recent book Street Value: Shopping, Planning, and Politics at Fulton Mall.
Tadao Ando: From Emptiness to Infinity
(Germany, 2013, 52 min)
Fri 10/18 at 10:15 PM, Sun 10/20 at 7:30 PM
Our own Tadao Ando: Conversations with Students, the first of Ando’s writings to be translated into English, traces his development from an early interest in the traditional building craft of his native Japan through his political awakening in the turbulent 1960s to his current stature as one of the world’s foremost architects.
Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty
(see the trailer above)
(USA, 2012, 57 min)
Sat 10/19 at 3:15 PM
The feature length documentary celebrates the twenty-five year career of internationally renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. The subject of acclaimed book Stickwork, Dougherty has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures out of nothing more than saplings. The film follows the artist and his collaborators during a year of stick work and reveals Dougherty’s process, personal story and inspirations.
This week we asked Jamie Thompson Stern, who compiled and edited The Filmmaker Says, the latest addition to our Words of Wisdom series, to tell us about five things that have been on her mind lately.
1. James Turrell
James Turrell had three major shows up this summer, and I was able to catch the one at the Guggenheim and then the one at LACMA (which is up through 2014). Verbal superlatives fail to convey the physical experience of seeing his shows. Aten Reign in the Guggenheim rotunda blew me away. His work is disorienting (in a good way), deeply moving, and otherworldly, and it simply transported me. Like all good art, the longer you sit with it, the more it reveals. Just go if you can, and make sure you plan to stay a long time. I hope someday to visit his as-yet-unfinished Roden Crater project in Arizona.
Wrapped LA is a fantastic new company based here in Venice, California, that makes beautiful wrapping paper, journals, floor coverings, wall décor, and more. The vision of the two young entrepreneurial founders is expressed not only in their brilliant and vibrant design aesthetic, but in the way the products make you focus on minute details that otherwise might pass by unnoticed. Lovely and inspirational.
3. The Story of Film
A friend of mine just turned me on to The Story of Film on Netflix. How had I never heard of it? Mark Cousins, a film critic from Northern Ireland, directed and narrated this 15-hour documentary originally broadcast in the UK in 2011. It’s a comprehensive, unconventional, non-Hollywood-centric take on the entire history of film. Like the best college course you’ve ever taken, The Story of Film is a master class that makes you fall in love with movies all over again. Cousins’ lilting voice and dry, lightly deadpan delivery is hypnotic. You’ll grab for something to write with as he mentions yet another gem you’ve never seen but which he makes sound absolutely seminal. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll look at film in a new way after watching it.
4. Bookman’s Alley
My daughter Maddie goes to school in Evanston, IL and introduced me to a charmingly labyrinthine used bookstore there called Bookman’s Alley. I’ve since spent hours lost in its warren of rooms and passageways. I always find something incredible when I’m there. It’s like magic—I’m usually led to something I didn’t know existed but can’t live without. For instance, earlier this year I picked up an old copy of Andre Bazin’s What Is Cinema, which was key in helping me think about the way I wanted to organize The Filmmaker Says.
5. The Happy Show
I’m sorry—it’s cruel to tell you about another show I saw that’s now closed, but I’ve got to say that Stefan Sagmeister’s art / graphic design / typography / mixed media exhibit The Happy Show made a huge impression on me. I’d missed it in LA but caught it at the Chicago Cultural Center a few weeks ago. Sagmeister’s work is a thought-provoking examination of his intensely personal journey to increase happiness combined with comparative research of social data. Right up my alley. It was another show I visited several times, just to sit with my thoughts. You should be able to get a sense of it when he completes The Happy Film, twenty minutes of which were on display at the show. But hey—the good news is if you’re going to be in Paris later this year, The Happy Show opens November 28, 2013, at La Gaîté Lyrique.
Let the Fire Burn, a documentary about the clash between the radical group MOVE and Philadelphia police, opens today. Using nothing but archival clips, it relives the May 13, 1985 police bombing of a Philadelphia row house occupied by the group. The bomb, meant to “evacuate” residents, resulted in the death of eleven MOVE members and the destruction of an entire city block.
In Move: Sites of Trauma, the twenty-third volume of our Pamphlet Architecture series, author Johanna Saleh Dickson investigates the traumatic events including the reconstructed house located on the site that stood unoccupied for nearly two decades. Dickson proposes an architectural treatment intended to facilitate and promote healing within the affected community. An excerpt from the book can be read here.
Robert Indiana: Beyond Love
Whitney Museum of American Art
Through January 5, 2014
Opening today at The Whitney Museum, this long overdue retrospective promises to go beyond Robert Indiana’s best known work to reveal the emotional poignancy and symbolic complexity of his art. So forgive us as we take one last shot at LOVE. Here’s Robert with the lesser-known blue/green version, taken from the pages of our 2010 book Large Scale: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s.
Author and former PAPress editorial director Clare Jacobson will be giving a talk on her upcoming book New Museums in China tomorrow, September 27, as part of Beijing Design Week. It will be held at the CAFA Museum at 3:00 p.m.
China Central Academy of Fine Arts (pictured above)
8 Huajiadi South Street, Chaoyang, Beijing