Archigram Archive

Every once in a while you stumble upon a website that demands a lot of attention. Sometimes it is an immersive flash site, sometimes it’s an obscure photo blog, and sometimes it’s a treasure trove archive of design. I have been a long time fan of the architecture collective Archigram, but access to their pleathora or revolutionary work has been sparse. This has been particularly true of their seminal magazine, which has been getting more and more underground exposure. The University of Westminster has put together this large online archive of the collective’s work. With the support of the Humanities Research Council and working with the archives of Dennis Crompton and Ron Herron they have done a superb job unlocking the mysteries of Archigram. Grab a brew and sit back for a long design drool session.

SANAA Awarded Pritzker Prize

Announced a few weeks ago, the austere yet lovable architecture firm SANAA has been awarded the prestigious Priztker Prize for Architecture. Kazuo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa will be awarded this prize in Los Angeles on 17th of May. The Priztker has been awarded to living architects for achievements since 1979 and is considered to a be true defining moment in an architect’s career. Congratulations to our favorite huggable architects! Above are pictures of their Gifu Apartment building finished in 1998. I grew up in apartments like these and really hated them, but this design would make living in such a building again more than bearable.

Established NYC

The name thoroughly explains the appeal of NYC-based design firms. Established is an architecture and graphic design firm that can sculpt a business from the ground up. I never knew how comprehensive of a project a salon design could be. I wish I had had a chance to cop one of those Bar Milano matchboxes!

Wonderwall

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Thanks to the french blog la cuisine du graphiste (in english : the graphic designer’s kitchen), While reading la cuisine du graphiste (the Graphic Designer’s Kitchen) I discovered that the great japanese interior design firm Wonderwall updated their website! With the help of Yugo Nakamura, the infamous creative director, designer and engineering explorer all forms of interactive expression in digital and networked environment.

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Thumb Projects

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With a self-professed fondness of “fluorescent inks, extreme matteness, live and immediate processes, color, shape, very glossy paper, voids and holes, surprises, everydayness, diagrams” Thumb Projects makes architecturally intricate designs for print. The two founders, Jessica Young and Luke Bulman, exhibit their architectural training in their love of Buckminster Fuller and spider-like graphics.

Friendship Chronicles, Ch.2 – Melbourne, Australia

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For the most part, things are excellent. I really canít complain. Have met some super swell folks here and in all earnestness, really dig it here. If I were say, five years younger, perhaps I’d consider living here for a bit. Regardless though, things here are super good and I’m in a few words or less, quite stoked. This first week, I was able to spend some time with the awesome folks at Hammer&Tong, Marilyn&Sons, and SouthSouthWest. Seriously, all awesome and all more than accommodating.

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Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles

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I have lately been researching the quirky architectural critic Reyner Banham. Amongst his many loves, Los Angeles took on a profoundly soft spot in his heart. His adoration for the city of Angel’s “non-plan,” organic layout informed much of his architectural ideals.

In 1972, after writing Los Angeles: the Architecture of Four Ecologies, Banham made a documentary about the City following his exploration of his favorite haunts of fascination. The story begins with Banham expressing his love for driving, (which he learned to do in “order to read Los Angeles in the original”,) moving through landmarks such as Pueblo de Rio and the Watts Towers.

This fun BBC documentary can be viewed in full here thanks to Google video. If you find yourself in LA you can also take a bus tour that walks through Banham’s thoughts and notes about this city.

John Pawson

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I was recently introduced to John Pawson by Cro and DJ. Pawson is a British architect/designer who’s minimalism hits me on a whole other level. Maybe it’s his unorthodox path to design. Many it is from his tutelage by Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata. Whatever it is his work straddles that line of minimalism that moves between meaningful and meaningless which is such a fine line. Like a true Architect he designs furniture, housewares, writes, and occasionally designs homes.

Curiosity

Beautiful architecture by Gwenael Nicolas of Curiosity Inc.

Lebbeus Woods

It has been quite some time since I have seen this work. And it pleases me to run into this again and see this man still rocking it. Lebbeus Woods. Have been a big fan of his formal experimental work since I was in school and it still holds up very well to this day. I think what is very interesting is just the power, the graphic power that these sculptures possess. It reminds me of some of the early proun sculptural studies of El Lissitzky but with, let us say, some slight amplification. Regardless, still very rocking to this day, I envy the career and life of this man. Perhaps someday. Someday. We shall see. Nevertheless, enjoy and have a great week. “I have a clear grasp of what it is that I want to achieve, though I am still searching for the best realization of ideas that have driven me all along.”

More Zaha Hadid

As if the Chanel Modile Art exhibit designed by Zaha Hadid wasn’t brilliant enough…she’s now got a collection of work on display at sonnabend gallery, new york from november 1 to december 13, 2008. The works on show reflect hadid’s vision of a new urbanism, where art, architecture and design collide.

Hiroshi Nakamura and NAP Architects

Hiroshi Nakamura is a young Japanese architect who plans to change the world one atmosphere at a time. Nakamura’s recent ‘Dancing Trees, Singing Birds‘ project gained a significant amount of press when it was completed earlier this year. Looking through their work it quickly becomes clear what Nakamura’s true magician skill is, atmospherics. Many of the projects house gestures with light that completely alter and define the spaces. In projects like the House SH the bulbous facade creates a well of light that arrests the interior in subtle white light. Nakamura uses light to transform spaces. Within the various projects I hear the voices of Yayoi Kusama (Necklace House), James Turrell (SH House,) and Ernesto Neto (????/Epson Project.) Not to say that he is ripping those artists off. The nature of the projects make the work a lot less soulless than those referenced artists. But the use of their motifs and techniques are luxuriously appropriate.

Lego Madness

Wish I were in Copenhagen to see this in person. Architect makes Scale Model of Housing Proposal in Lego