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Barry Friedman, Richard Dupont Among MAD Visionaries

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Less than a week stands between you and the 2014 MAD Ball, set for November 11 at NYC’s Pier Sixty, when the Museum of Arts and Design will celebrate not only the one-year anniversary of director Glenn Adamson’s invigorating arrival but also the recipients of its annual Visionaries! Awards. This year’s winners, chosen for their influential creations or leadership in art, craft, and design, are Michael Aram, whose eponymous company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; double-take-inducing artist Richard Dupont; gallerist and collector Barry Friedman; and Ligne Roset. Each will receive a new gilded-glass award created by artist and verre eglomisé pro Miriam Ellner, who was featured in MAD’s recent NYC Makers-themed Biennial. Also freshly commissioned for the MAD Ball are a series of live demonstrations by artists and makers including photographer Benjamin Fredrickson, ceramicist Zack Davis, and pastry chef Olivier Dessyn. Proceeds from the MAD Ball support the museum’s arts education programs.

Restoration of Alvar Aalto’s Viipuri Library Wins World Monuments Fund Modernism Prize

RUS-Viipuri-glass-facadeThe 21-year-long project to restore Alvar Aalto‘s Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia (né Viipuri, Finland, before Stalin and co. took a fancy to it) has clinched the 2014 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize, awarded biennially to an innovative architectural or design solution that has preserved or enhanced a modern landmark. The award will be made to the Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library with Vyborg’s Central City Alvar Aalto Library. Previous winners of the prize—$10,000 and a limited-edition Barcelona chair created by Knoll especially for the occasion—include an architectural consortium that restored typhoon-ravaged Hizuchi Elementary School on Japan’s Shikoku Island and the team effort of Bierman Henket Architecten and Wessel de Jonge Architects to restore the Zonnestraal Sanatorium in the Dutch town of Hilversum.

The Aalto-designed library was completed in 1935. “An icon of twentieth-century architecture—with its distinctive sky-lighted roof, undulating wood-slatted lecture hall ceiling, and glass façade-enclosed staircase—the library at Viipuri is one of Aalto’s most important buildings from the years in which he was adventurously exploring a new modernist vocabulary; indeed, photographs of the building soon made him known around the world,” said jury chairman and MoMA veteran Barry Bergdoll, professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, in a statement issued today by the WMF. “The restoration organized and executed an impressive international campaign that has ensured the survival and revival of Aalto’s masterpiece by restoring it to its original function as a vibrant municipal library.” The prize will be presented at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on December 1 followed by a free public lecture.

Studios Kabako Wins Curry Stone Design Prize

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Studios Kabako performing more more more…future, set to the poems of political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. (Photo: Agathe Poupeney)

The Congolese performance and theater studio Studios Kabako is the winner of the $120,000 Curry Stone Design Prize, established in 2008 to recognize those using design to address critical issues ranging from post-conflict development and peacekeeping to clean water access and healthcare. Past winners of the award, selected by a design star-heavy jury, include artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, Boston-based MASS Design, Architecture for Humanity, architect Antonio Scarponi, and Brooklyn’s Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula created Studios Kabako in 2001 to address social memory, fear, and hope in the aftermath of civil war. The organization is based in Kisangani, the third largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Faustin Linyekula manifests how art should be the first design component in building a better society,” said prize founders Clifford Curry and Delight Stone in a statement issued this morning announcing the winner. “Studios Kabako’s performances expose on an international platform the devastating effects of local conflicts, while in Kisangani they are assembling daily the building blocks for envisioning a sustainable future.”
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Ready the Creamed Corn! Canstruction Returns to New York

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“Polarized Against Hunger,” the Canstruction NY 2013 entry by GACE Consulting Engineers

Ever dreamed of recreating a Richard Serra sculpture with tomatoes from the pantry? Erecting a monumental tribute to Alexander McQueen’s armadillo heel using only canned peas and elbow grease? What about constructing a truly giant giant panda that can feed hundreds? Teams from top architecture and engineering firms will prove that they can do it, and for a good cause. The international charity competition that is Canstruction returns to New York City next month and with it the opportunity for teams of architects, engineers, and students they mentor to design and build giant structures made entirely from unopened cans of food—all of which are ultimately donated to City Harvest. The competing teams’ carefully stacked creations will be judged in categories that include Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, and Most Cans. The works will be on view from November 6 through November 20 in the Winter Garden and lobby of Brookfield Place. Bring non-perishable foods when you visit, and they’ll be donated along with the cans used in the competition.

Spire Wins People’s Design Award

COOPER HEWITT'S 2014 NATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS GALAThe people have spoken, and selected Spire as the winner of the 2014 People’s Design Award, announced by presenter Bruce Mau at the Cooper-Hewitt‘s National Design Awards ceremony and gala held last night in New York. Designed by Zhao Zhao (pictured), Spire—a wearable device that senses and tracks physical movement, position, and breathing patterns—takes its place alongside past winners such as PackH2O, Trek’s Lime Bike, and Toms Shoes.

The mission of Spire, which began shipping this month after three years of R&D, is to “change the way the world breathes.” Data from the device, which is zapped to a mobile app, can provide the wearer with insights about his or her daily activity and state of mind, according to the San Francisco-based team. The app also can help users to boost their activity, relaxation, and focus. Spire bested a slate of 20 nominated works, ranging from elegant and inventive consumer products (Drift Light, Lumio, Soma Water Bottle) and eco-friendly construction materials (Mushroom Building Blocks) to emergency tools (SAM Junctional Tourniquet) and design solutions for human and environmental problems (Deka Arm, Ecozoom Stove).

Nan Goldin, Martin Parr Among 2014 Lucie Award Honorees

(Nan Goldin) 1998
Nan Goldin, Guido on the dock, Venice (1998)

The Lucies, presented annually to honor statuette-worthy achievements in photography, turn twelve this year, and in the run-up to the glittering November 2 gala at Carnegie Hall (tickets now on sale), the Lucie Foundation has announced the 2014 honorees:

• Lifetime Achievement: Jane Bown
• Achievement in Fine Art: Carrie Mae Weems
• Achievement in Documentary: Martin Parr
• Achievement in Photojournalism: Nick Ut
• Achievement in Portraiture: Nan Goldin
• Visionary Award: Pedro Meyer

Top winners of the 2014 International Photography Awards juried competition will be announced at the gala, as will the winners of the Lucie Foundation’s Support Category Awards, including Print Advertising Campaign of the Year, Fashion Layout of the Year, and Picture Editor of the Year.

Hagy Belzberg, Paola Navone Among New Members of Interior Design Hall of Fame

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An interior view of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, designed by Belzberg Architects. The subterranean building, topped by an insulated roof of green-landscaped park ground, has received LEED Gold certification. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Interior Design magazine is gearing up to add four members to its Hall of Fame: Hagy Belzberg of Santa Monica-based Belzberg Architects, architects David Lake and Ted Flato of San Antonio-based design firm Lake|Flato, and Paola Navone, the shape-shifting Italian architect, designer, art director, interior decorator, critic, teacher, exhibition organizer, and self-described “little bit of an anthropologist.” Andrea Woodner will receive a special leadership award for her work as founder and board president of the Design Trust for Public Space, an incubator that transforms and evolves the New York City landscape with city agencies and community collaborators. They’ll be honored at a gala on December 3 at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the inductees will join the storied ranks of ID Hall of Famers such as Thierry Despont, Frank Gehry, Albert Hadley, and Andree Putman. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the Alpha Workshops. Meanwhile, in a first for the magazine, the December issue of Interior Design will be dedicated to Hall of Famers (150 members and growing) and how they have shaped the design world.

Alison Bechdel, Rick Lowe Among 2014 MacArthur Fellows

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(Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Cartoonist and graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) and artist Rick Lowe (Project Row Houses) are among this year’s MacArthur fellows, the annual mix of thinkers, writers, artists, mathematicians, and materials scientists awarded $500,000 in no-strings-attached “genius grants” over five years. “Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world,” said MacArthur Fellows Program vice president Cecilia Conrad, in a statement issued today. “Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination.” Other 2014 fellows include documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, translator and poet Khaled Mattawa, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, and computer scientist Craig Gentry. Meet all 21 MacArthur fellows here.
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Voting Opens for People’s Design Award

vote for design.jpgPast winners of the People’s Design Award, launched by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2006 to complement its annual National Design Awards, have ranged from the Katrina Cottage and Toms Shoes to a Braille Alphabet Bracelet and the cultural force that is Debbie Millman‘s Design Matters. As for the 2014 winner, it’s up to you, and by “you,” we mean anyone who votes—early and often (OK, daily)—here.

From today through October 6, you can browse and vote for your favorite of a field of 20 nominated designs including elegant and inventive consumer products (Drift Light, Lumio, Soma Water Bottle), medical devices (Cue, Spire, Stick-On Circuit Board), eco-friendly construction materials (Mushroom Building Blocks), emergency tools (SAM Junctional Tourniquet) and design solutions for human and environmental problems (Deka Arm, Ecozoom Stove). The winner will be announced on October 9 at the National Design Awards Gala in New York City and on the Smithsonian’s voting site.

Vitra’s Rolf Fehlbaum to Receive Philly Museum of Art’s Collab Design Excellence Award

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collab awardMake way for the chairman. Vitra’s Rolf Fehlbaum is the winner of the 2014 Collab Design Excellence Award, bestowed annually by a collaboration of design professionals supporting the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Past winners of the award include Marc Newson, Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Zaha Hadid, Marcel Wanders, and Frank Gehry.

Hadid (designer of the Vitra Fire Station) and Gehry (who worked his magic for the Vitra Design Museum and offices) are old chums of Feldbaum, who currently serves as chairman emeritus at Vitra, the legendary design firm founded in 1950 by his parents. The family-owned Swiss firm was quick to make inroads stateside, in part by becoming a licensee of Herman Miller (enter George Nelson and the Eameses). Feldbaum will give a lecture and pick up his award, a silver and laser-etched rubber swoop (pictured) designed by Kate Reynolds and fabricated by jewelry designer Maria Eife, on November 21, which will also mark the opening of “Vitra: Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots,” an exhibition that will be on view through April 26.

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