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Posts Tagged ‘Thom Mayne’

Wallpaper* 2008 Design Awards Announced

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During the last ten days, the finalists for some of Wallpaper*’s Design Awards were posted so readers could muse over the potential decisions and lose sleep over the suspense (Would Kit Kemp‘s Haymarket trump Philippe Starck‘s Fasano Rio de Janeiro? Don’t make us even consider it!). As of January 12, the winners were announced with a party in London (soiree coverage here) and nice little video bumpers by Mainframe.

The list of judges is short but very sweet—André Balazs, Patricia Urquiola, Tadao Ando, Wong Kar-wai, Donatella Versace, Langlands & Bell—but the the list of winners is long—very, very long. So we culled the highlights for you:

· Straw-man Tokujin Yoshioka continues his winning streak as best furniture designer, after being named designer of the year for Design Miami.

· Los Angeles is the best design city, booya! (And using Thom Mayne‘s CalTrans building to represent LA in the voting didn’t even hurt us.)

· The New Museum by SANAA, which seems to be on the top of everyone’s list at the moment, is the best new public building.

· Yves Béhar‘s Little Green Computer That Could is named most life-enhancing device.

· A Richard Prince-Marc Jacobs collaboration for LV gets best bag.

· Sir Paul Smith earns his stripes for best collaborator.

· Arik Levy‘s Cubic Meter shelving system for Kenny Schachter bests what we can only imagine is a very competitive category: modular furniture; Twist by Carlo Colombo for Arflex takes shelving.

· Paper Alphabet by Sonya Dyakova is best typeface; best stationery is by Lucienne Roberts for none other than Tony Blair. We’ll leave it to the UK’s Creative Review for commentary on both of those.

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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.

Surprise Guests Announced for Tonight’s Ray Kappe-Shigeru Ban Event in LA

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For those of you in LA on the fence about attending tonight’s conversation at the Hammer Museum between Shigeru Ban and Ray Kappe (and moderated by Frances Anderton) this little tidbit might help you get off that fence and over to UCLA.

To celebrate Kappe’s 80th birthday (yeah he’s up there, but he’s no Julius Shulman), there will be surprise appearances by Michael Rotundi, Thom Mayne, and America’s most eligible eco-bachelor, Steve Glenn. (Tell him you liked his movie, okay? Even if you didn’t see it. Makes him feel good inside.)

Tonight, 7pm at the Hammer, and it’s FREE.

Moving Past Architecture’s “Self-Infatuated” Era

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“Building a Better Architect” was the theme for the afternoon session at Dwell on Design so taking the stage were Henry Urbach, who was named as Curator of Architecture and Design at SF MOMA last year, and Reed Kroloff, who, until recently, was Dean of Tulane’s School of Architecture, and who is now Director-designate of Cranbrook (something he told us at lunch would be like living in an “Eero Saarinen country club”).

Both praised Thom Mayne‘s SF Federal Building and said, basically, architects need to take off the vanity plates and follow the lead of someone like Dwell, who Kroloff used as a great example for successfully knocking architecture off its pedestal. Brilliant move, Kroloff, you just doubled your honorarium!

More Dwell on Design coverage.

Thom Mayne Says the SF Federal Building’s Got Excellent Social Skills

In this interview for AIA SF, Andrew Blum plays a fun game with a hyperliterate Thom Mayne: Try to get him to admit that the design of the new San Francisco Federal Building is “optimistic,” “daring” or anything more meaningful than just “a more reasonable place to spend nine hours of the day.”

The building’s social relationship is investigated in the exhibition “STREET CRED San Francisco: Architecture and the Pedestrian Experience” which runs through October 26 at AIA SF’s gallery. Kudos also for marrying an interview with images so nicely; production by Melanie McGraw.

Karl Rove and His Merry Gang of Architects

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It’s a hot, sticky hump day out here in LA which has got us in one heck of a sour mood. So what could possibly lift our sweaty, humidified spirits? Why Christopher Hawthorne, of course!

In today’s installment, Hawthorne gets political with his tome “Architects want to move closer to the centers of power” starring none other than the Bush campaign “architect” Karl Rove. In fact, says Hawthorne, lots of people want to be architects:

What is it about architecture that makes it so attractive as a metaphorical job description? There’s Bill Walsh, the NFL coach who after he died last month was widely remembered as “the architect of the West Coast offense.” And Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden‘s Rove, often is called the architect of 9/11. Don’t forget James Madison, architect of the Constitution, or Alfred Hitchcock, labeled by one of his biographers “the architect of anxiety.” The computer industry is full of information and software “architects” who do their building with zeros and ones.

And, of course, there’s God: architect of the universe.

The problem with all this, says Hawthorne, is that real architects don’t get the same level of respect; even people like Thom Mayne and Rem Koolhaas want to be more like Rove.

Interesting. We thought they wanted to be more like God.

Giving Up On Green Architects, Hawthorne Settles for the Ugly Ones

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While he finds it incredibly difficult to locate architects working in the field of sustainability, Christopher Hawthorne has no trouble naming names when it comes to architects creating eyesores.

Earlier this year he cringed with other architectural luminaries when judging Curbed LA’s Ugliest Building Contest (which we judged alongside Hawthorne). In a long-awaited commentary, “Bringing ‘Ugly’ Back,” he provides his analysis of ugliness, including naming Eric Owen Moss, Thom Mayne and Frank “F’in” Gehry the Fathers of Fug.

We hope the Los Angeles Times also got the hint when publishing the name of its own building as the ugliest runner-up in Curbed’s contest, to which Hawthorne quips: No Comment.

Architect George Yu Died Saturday at 42

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From the Architect’s Newspaper we learn that LA architect George Yu died Saturday, just one day before an exhibition featuring his Honda Advanced Design Center closed at SCI-Arc. The SCI-Arc faculty member, who worked at Morphosis before opening George Yu Architects, had suffered a long bout with cancer and was only 42.

Thom Mayne and his wife, Carole, have called for the community to contribute to the Yu children’s college fund. A letter from them is posted on Land+Living, who also has information on how to donate.

Frank Gehry’s F-Me Shirt-Wearing Promotional Campaign Pays Off In Spades

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Whether he’s busy screwing himself or trying hard to get others to screw him, Frank Gehry‘s publicity stunt is certainly working. In yesterday’s Times Mag, Pilar Viladas drops the Fuckable One’s name in two separate articles .

Here’s #1:

In the 1970s and ’80s, Southern California was a hotbed of architectural experimentation. Buildings by Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi of Morphosis, Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss and others challenged conventional notions of how we live and work, thrilling some observers and horrifying others.

And love letter #2:

The notion of limited-edition design–which is all the rage now and which loomed large last month at Art Basel and its offshoot, Design Miami/Basel–was not born yesterday. Indeed, the Swiss furniture company Vitra embraced it 20 years ago when it started Vitra Edition, which offered a way for cutting-edge architects and designers–like Ron Arad, Frank Gehry, Shiro Kuramata, Ettore Sottsass and others–to do experimental work without the constraints of production or the market.

Because, really, what can’t that god among men do?

Our Mayne Squeeze Shines on NPR

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Don’t know how we missed this seeing as we’re NPR-aholics, but Archinect alerted us to an awesome interview with Thom Mayne by Susan Stamberg. It’s a little about Caltrans, a little about architecture in LA and a lot about the Phare Tower in Paris, which will be the tallest building in Paris to be built since the Eiffel Tower.

We absolutely love the exchange between Mayne and the security guard at the Caltrans building (which, you may remember, was plagued with problems after opening):

“You’re the guy who built this building–designed it, I know, I know.”

“You still gonna talk to me?”