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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Pitt’

Friday Photo: When Starbucks Met Maytag

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Photo: Robert Humphreys

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an espresso bar made of abandoned washing machines, and it’s among the recycled design masterpieces of Rotterdam-based 2012 Architecten. The Maytag-meets-Starbucks-meets-Sputnik creation will be featured in the third season of e2 design (say “e-squared design”), PBS’s Brad Pitt-narrated environmental and green building series. 2012 Architecten is the subject of an e2 episode entitled “Super Use,” a lush mini-documentary exploring how the architectural firm’s partners elegantly repurpose everything from car tires to windmill blades as building materials. Other topics e2 tackles in its third season, which premieres online on September 1, include the Aga Khan‘s Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, a 500-year-old dump turned “urban lung”; the efforts of Renzo Piano to integrate the natural world into his design for San Francisco’s natural history museum; and the work to rebuild New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward in a way that is environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable. Hmm…how’s the Big Easy fixed for washing machines?

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Dig Your Baby Teeth Into This New Site

feature_sharing.jpg We’re a bit beyond babies at this juncture in life, but we couldn’t help but be a bit amused by this new site, Kidmondo, an online baby journal and organizer for overwhelmed parents who are still all too eager to share every step, tooth and hair on their newborn with their farflung friends and family. It’s like Facebook for the proud parents crowd with a photo gallery, medical and food journals. We’re surprised that there’s not a virtual Diaper gallery, but that’s just the jaded journalist speaking. Basic Kidmondo is free for up to three children, which means Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will have to look elsewhere to show off their six young offspring. Springwise, where we found out about this site, notes while Kidmondo is presented in English, it could be easily adapted to the customs and languages of many countries. Look out, China?

Brad Pitt Builds Little Pink Houses For New Orleans

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When the Sexiest Architecture Fan Alive Brad Pitt put on his cute little hard hat in New Orleans back in August, we had no idea he was going to actually build houses. But the word is out that he’s not only given $5 million of his own money to help rebuild the Ninth Ward, he got David Adjaye, Thom Mayne and Shigeru Ban to help, too. And if this video on his new non-profit site Make It Right is to be believed, Pitt is so absorbed in his cause that he can’t even be bothered to change into something other than an ill-fitting thermal shirt, its neck sagging after a day spent sweating at the construction site.

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Make It Right pulls in a team of 13 architects to design the actual houses, but there’s also an 11-block art installation called the Pink Project, based on the color of a wrapped house that struck Pitt while filming a David Fincher movie (this one?) Listening to the NPR interview provides the full story, along with the hypnotic swoon-worthy cadence that only an upbringing in Springfield, Missouri could produce.

Now here’s a holiday gift idea that might not leave you feeling empty inside: You can “buy” houses or even donate items inside a house that people need. This way you not only feel good, you’re also that much closer to Brad.

Brad Pitt Returns As the Hunky Disembodied Voice of Sustainable Design

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Be still our hearts! We just got word from the peeps at Design: e2 that Brad Pitt will indeed be making another turn as narrator when the second part of the series premieres on November 30. Morgan Freeman is currently fulfilling Energy:e2 duties, check your local listings, or grab the webcast online. That’s right, we said online. In addition to airing on PBS, the new design episodes will be streamed at www.e2-series.com starting on November 23 at 10:00am EST. Nothing like a little Brad with breakfast.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Evil Plan to Make Families Get Along

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Choosing an easy target is important in an architectural review, and the Boston Globe’s Ken Johnson chooses perhaps the easiest one of all to shred this week, taking issue with the elder and more deceased Brad Pitt favorite in his piece “The flaws in Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for living.” Johnson claims that the the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright and the House Beautiful” exposes Wright’s many shortcomings, namely, aesthetic unity, big living rooms and wide open public spaces:

Wright thought the open plan reflected a more democratic, flexible, and modern way of life, but it can be argued that his designs reduce privacy and freedom by exposing all members of the family to relatively unimpeded surveillance and control. A family that does so much of its living in one room must be either unbelievably harmonious or very well trained by whoever holds the reins of power.

Which shouldn’t be any surprise, really, given Wright’s notorious controlling nature. But is it just us, or does Johnson’s tone sound like someone’s having problems with the rein-holder at home?

Brad Pitt Dons a Hard Hat For Global Green

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We know, we know, Paris Hilton buying architecture books and now this? But our dear Brad Pitt, lover of this Frank and that Frank has long been a fixture in our UnBeige pages. A few months ago we alluded to the fact that Brangelina would be moving to New Orleans to supervise the Global Green sustainable housing initiative. And today, in the sweltering August heat, with that damp white t-shirt clinging ever so slightly to his sticky pectoral muscles, it looks like he’s doing a great job.

Lots more shots of Pitt looking extremely helpful at Splash.

And After All, You’re My Water Wall

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Here’s a great example of where our priorities are when it comes to architecture. Design a green building and Brad Pitt will get all the credit. But design a building with waterfall walls and you’ll get your work plastered all over the web.

For the International Expo Zaragoza 2008 in Spain a team from MIT has created “something like an inkjet printer on a large scale, which controls droplets of falling water,” describes Carlo Ratti. The water is recycled, so don’t treat the building as your personal Arrowhead dispenser. However, the jets have motion sensors, so if you toss a ball towards the waterfall, a hole will appear at the right place in the stream. Which is exactly the quality you need in your next home.

Christopher Hawthorne Wishes He Could Find Some Green Designers to Write About For Once

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With Philip Nobel lighting the way for architecture critics to speak their tainted little minds, critics everywhere are now making pointed attempts at abrasiveness. But sometimes it just doesn’t fly. When Christopher Hawthorne at the LA Times finally makes it out to NY to review the “Design for the Other 90%” show, he tries to make some kind of point about the lack of green designers. We only have to wonder…what on earth is he talking about?

Rem Koolhaas has offered what seems like a dozen explanations–some of them rather convincing, actually–for his willingness to take commissions from the Tibet-paving, coal-belching Chinese government. Peter Eisenman has long been happy to play the charming villain for the green crowd. Zaha Hadid‘s buildings show a mesmerizing disdain for the idea that she bears responsibility for anything beyond the health of her own legacy.

Horrible use of the starchitect card. Ho hum. Nothing new there. Try again.

Among the green generation, who is heading up the charge? Well, nobody, really. This may be the first movement in architectural history whose followers are more famous than its leaders. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom are well-known fans of green design. Among green designers, on the other hand, we have the ambitiously principled (read: sorta vanilla) Cameron Sinclair, who leads Architecture for Humanity; the great, greatly mustachioed and soft-spoken Shigeru Ban; and William McDonough, who is beginning to project an Andy Rooney vibe.

Although we can’t disagree with either the vanillaness of Sinclair or the Rooneyness of McDonough (or the greatness of Ban), we have to say it’s clinically insane to say that there’s a dearth of well-known green designers. Really? Leo and Brad are the greenest architects you could find?

Hawthorne, what are you smoking? We bet that’s green.

Annie Leibovitz Captures the African Conversation for Vanity Fair

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In an unprecedented effort by Vanity Fair, 20 different covers of the July issue hit newsstands today for their Africa issue, featuring famous peeps having a “conversation” about the continent as shot by Annie Leibovitz. Feast your eyes on the slideshow: Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Queen Rania of Jordan, Bono, Condoleeza Rice, George W. Bush (Surprise! But excellent coordination ensured he was paired with safe Condi and Tutu to prevent his eyes from being clawed out), Desmond Tutu, Brad Pitt, Djimon Hounsou, Madonna, Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Warren Buffett, Bill & Melinda Gates, Oprah, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Iman and Don Cheadle.

Although we’re not gonna go into the politics of the pairings, a few poses definitely caught our eye (even though it sounds like they were patched since VF published Leibovitz’s shooting schedule):

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Chris Rock whispers sweet stock tips in Warren Buffett’s ear; Barack Obama definitely has Don Cheadle’s vote, and perhaps his undying affection.

“Design:e2 Part II” Preview

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We just got a super sneak preview of the next season of “Design:e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious,” the sustainable design series that premiered on PBS last summer. While you can still catch the first season in reruns, the folks at kontent>real are knee deep in production on part II of the design series–which will premiere this fall–and the energy series, to follow after that. A few choice tidbits:

-California’s energy plan as a global example

-A super-sustainable community in Bangladesh

-The wind farms of Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota

-Enrique Penalosa‘s work in Bogota

-The Druk White Lotus school in India

-Ed Mazria‘s architecture2030

We also got our hands on the DVD of the first season, which you can buy, too, and it’s a gorgeous green world populated with high-profile friends of the environment like William McDonough, Susan Szenasy, Sergio Palleroni, and more. We also plan on listening to Brad Pitt‘s dreamy voiceover again and again…perhaps as we drift to sleep every night.

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