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Posts Tagged ‘Renzo Piano’

LA’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum Features Mysterious Bulbous Object


We’re counting the days until the opening of LA’s new museum, the Broad Contemporary at LACMA (or BCAM), which officially launches February 16. Actually, lots at LACMA is changing: a new Renzo Piano building, a new logo by 2×4, and new art from the collection of Eli Broad, who just decided he actually doesn’t want to make the Broad Museum the permanent home of the Broad collection. Oh well, the building and logo are nice.

The online countdown is full of teasers, like shots of Chris Burden‘s lamp installation, Richard Serra‘s two sculptures and Robert Irwin‘s palm garden. But this thing confounds us. What in the world could be inside that bizarre, odd-shaped covering? Guess we’ll have to wait until February 16.

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Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s Installation at the New York Times Building Moves Us


The idea to siphon the words and images from the New York Times’ 156-year archive onto 560 small screens at the paper’s new Renzo Piano headquarters seems like an innocent, obvious proposition—a printed paper, in a new age, “going digital.” But Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen‘s installation Moveable Type, which holds court in the lobby, has choreographed that content into an unimaginable art: It has made poetry out of the news. And it’s good.


To start, the algorithm crafted by Hansen (a statistician) is very picky about what it selects from the Times, and how those selections appear. Sentences that start with “I” are juxtaposed with those that start with “you.” There’s today’s news, then news organized into phrases starting only with numbers. There are heartbreaking lines from obituaries. Or simply the shapes of countries, a single line slowly tracing their borders.

Lean in and you’ll recognize the chattering of typewriters, gentle telephone tones, or another sound we imagined to be one of those old teletype machines cranking out wire stories, which gives it a very vintage newsroom vibe (matching the retro-optimism of the newsroom upstairs; you almost expect people to be smoking at their desks). Each sound is then paired impeccably with the proper words. Letters to the Editor, for example, appears with a sharp staccato typing that. sounds. like. someone. is. giving. you. a. piece. of. their. mind.


Rubin calls it an “organism” that “metabolizes the content,” and just in our few minutes stationed in the corridor with him not a single person walked by who didn’t engage with the piece; at least two people got their photos taken with it, and even hustling employees gave it a knowing smile (or maybe looked for their bylines to scroll up).

David Byrne recently wrote on his blog he had fun identifying the countries and this news of approval from a fellow designer of sound especially floored Rubin, whose work with audible seems to have made him into a human boom mic. As we switched on our camera his ears literally perked at the chirping tweet of our Canon PowerShot powering up. “Did your camera make that sound?” We played it for him again. “Hmm, I wonder why they chose a bird?” Rubin designed the sounds for some of HP’s products; it appears he’s always doing research.

As cool as our camera sounded, the shoddy photos we took on the scene were not as impressive, so we asked Rubin if he had any good ones, and what do you know, he did. Beautiful shots–a few more below–by Michel Denancé. Officially opened to the public December 17, you can see Moveable Type whenever the Times building is open, or by viewing this lovely making-of video on

Muji Comes to America; Michael Bierut No Longer Needs to Fly to Tokyo For His Fix


We can finally end our letter-writing campaign to Sam Hecht; today, the retail stars have aligned. Muji‘s first US flagship store has been announced as a tenant in the Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building, says the New York Observer. But it sounds like we won’t be the only ones camped out on the sidewalk before the grand opening:

“Finally, a flagship Muji store in midtown,” said acclaimed New York graphic designer Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram, who has designed the wayfinding system in the new Times tower. “New York designaholics have been waiting a long time for this. Now I won’t have to fly to Tokyo to get my Muji watches.”

So our only question is: Is it the two-tone? Or the bangle? You know, we could totally see him sporting the bangle. He did, after all, make our Best Dressed List.