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Queen of the Curve, Zaha Hadid – A Renowned Architect from Iraq Passed Away

March 31st, 2016
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    A young Zaha Hadid stands in front of the Trevi fountain in Rome. Image from her family archives.

    Observer Obit

    In her own words.

    on march 31, 2016, world renowned architect zaha hadid passed away at the age of 65. born in baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics before enrolling at london’s architectural association in 1972. by 1979 she had established zaha hadid architects, and quickly rose to global prominence. working with office partner patrik schumacher, the studio utilized a host of innovative technologies that often resulted in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

    Guardian Obit

    Zaha was an outsider and upfront about the unfair treatment she experienced as a woman, a foreigner and a designer of expensive, weird-looking buildings – a triple whammy. She did not fit the stereotypical white male profession of registered architects. Jealousy and prejudice failed to bar her way, but it took its toll.

    Reaction from Social Media

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    Theaster Gates – The Revolutionary artist of Craft-Urban Renewal + Junk Dada Noah Purifoy at Josha Tree

    March 21st, 2016
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    Theaster Gates

    Theaster Gates at White Cube

    Theaster Gates’ practice includes sculpture, installation, performance and urban interventions that aim to bridge the gap between art and life. Gates works as an artist, curator, urbanist and facilitator and his projects attempt to instigate the creation of cultural communities by acting as catalysts for social engagement that leads to political and spatial change.

  • Design Boom

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    Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

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    The Unknown Purifoy

    Noah Purifoy

    Scott Burton – A Sculptor who challenged Elitism; his work fused art & life

    December 29th, 2015
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    Burton died of complications due to AIDS on December 29, 1989, at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City.
    See Aids Memorial on FB here.

    Roberta Smith (obit)

    Mr. Burton, a small, wiry man known for his erudition, verbal precision and explosive laugh, worked as a critic and an editor for Art News and Art in America before becoming a full-time artist.

    He was inspired by tensile chairs and tables of Rietveld, the Dutch De Stijl designer who, like Piet Mondrian, specialized in simple geometries and primary colors. Further inspiration came from the round stone table and stools that Constantin Brancusi created as a memorial for the fallen of World War I in Tirgu Jiu, Rumania. But he also took ideas from Art Deco designs, the common American lawn chair, as well as rustic or Adirondack furniture made from bark-covered tree trunks and branches.

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    Scott Burton

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    His wide-ranging body of writing, which often champions positions thought to be antagonistic and advocates for underdogs, is united by a strong and consistent underlying philosophy—his belief that art should be accessible, personal, and affective, that it should challenge the elitism, exclusivity, and hierarchies that plague the art world in favor of producing subjective and eclectic emotional responses and direct connections with viewers. He sought to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, placing emphasis on temporal and performative works because they are subject to the same mortal span as the viewer and deny the impossible permanence of the object.

    (via)

  • Mahogany scottburton Table by Scott Burton

    Cherry, Mahogany and Scott Burton

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    Chorus of Chairs..

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    Hannah Weiner, Scott Burton, Anne Waldman, Vito Acconi, Bernadette Mayer, Eduardo Costa and John Perreault, NYC, 1969

    (repost)

  • Eileen Gray – Innovative Designer, Her Dragon Chair sold for 28 Millions

    October 1st, 2015
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    Homepage

    Intelligent Life EILEEN GRAY’S UNDERRATED PAINTING

    She should be world-famous for her innovative designs—and would be, had Le Corbusier not intervened. But, as Michael Watts reports, her story now has a happy ending, thanks partly to a new film

    Gray was a bisexual Anglo-Irish aristocrat who became a free-spirited member of the bohemian classes. She is said to have driven around Paris, where she spent most of her life, in a Chenard-Walcker roadster with Damia, her celebrity girlfriend, and Damia’s pet panther. Even at the age of 80, Gray thought of buying a Vespa scooter. When she died, in 1976, she was 98 and still painting and experimenting with materials such as Plexiglass.

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    screen Via

    Wiki

    Design Museum

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    The unique and remarkable ‘Dragons’ armchair was acquired from Miss Gray by Suzanne Talbot, the first patron to provide her with an opportunity to create a complete environment. The exotic, symbolist character of the piece situates it conceptually within the first phase of Miss Gray’s creative cycle.
    The Mad Tea Party (previous post)

    Collection of Funny chairs, Bat, Elephant, Dragon chairs etc.

  • R.I.P Frei Otto – Named 2015 Pritzker Laureate

    March 10th, 2015
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    R.I.P Frei Otto – Named 2015 Pritzker Laureate (Archdaily)

    Frei Otto has just been named the 40th recipient of the Pritzker Prize – two weeks prior to the expected official announcement. The abrupt news has been released early due the unfortunate passing of the German architect and structural engineer, who was best known for the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium. The pioneering tensile structure, which stood in considerable contrast to the strict, authoritarian stadium that was its predecessor, was meant to present a different, more compassionate face for Germany.

    “Throughout his life, Frei Otto has produced imaginative, fresh, unprecedented spaces and constructions. He has also created knowledge. Herein resides his deep influence: not in forms to be copied, but through the paths that have been opened by his research and discoveries,” says the Jury.

  • Otto Frei (Cavvia net) (See more designs here.)

  • Dazeen obit 1archFreiOtto(image via )

  • Shigeru Ban won last year Pritzker

  • Dreaming of a treehouse (youtube)

  • Jan Palach – A Poem by David Shapiro & his collaboration with architect John Hejduk

    August 11th, 2014
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    Jan Palach was born on 11 August 1948- an activist who set himself on fire in in 1969.. Palach’s protest caused extraordinary reaction both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

    These web pages present the life story of Jan Palach

    His schoolmates liked him for his nice and friendly nature. He was quiet, pensive, and very well-read. Since his early childhood, he was interested in nature, technology, and history.

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    Poetry and Architecture, Architecture and Poetry
    by John Hejduk David Shapiro

    The Funeral of Jan Palach

    When I entered the first meditation
    I escaped the gravity of the object,
    I experienced the emptiness,
    And I have been dead a long time.

    When I had a voice you could call a voice,
    My mother wept to me:
    My son, my beloved son,
    I never thought this possible

    I’ll follow you on foot.
    Halfway in mud and slush the microphones picked up.
    It was raining on the houses;
    It was snowing on the police-cars.

    The astronauts were weeping,
    Going neither up nor out.
    And my own mother was brave enough she looked
    And it was alright I was dead.

    —David Shapiro

    When I read of the sacrifice of Jan Palach, I was reading of a heroism toward which I had aspired but recoiled. But it is not for everyone to be such a sacrifice, as many have said, it is not even easy to be a disciple of such a hero. Indeed, Palach finally asked others to refrain from a mechanical martyrdom.

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    On the art of collaboration
    He is perhaps most proud of his long collaboration with the late architect John Hejduk, who served as dean of Cooper Union’s school of architecture for many years. In 1991, a poem Shapiro had written about the Czechoslovak student Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion, was engraved on a plaque as part of a memorial designed by Hejduk and mounted on the grounds of Prague Castle in the Czech Republic.

    Sketch for house of suicide by John Hejduk

  • Pataphysics – interview of David Shapiro

  • DaVinci Chianti & The Last Supper – Hiroshi Sugimoto, Foster Won Isamu Noguchi Prize

    May 16th, 2014
  • Norman Foster, Hiroshi Sugimoto receive Isamu Noguchi Award

    Norman Foster (Arch daily)

    Acts of God – Hiroshi Sugimoto (see more here)

    Related links
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    (Some Living American Women Artists)

    Click to see large DaVinci Chianti 2012
    Photo by Fung Lin Hall

  • Mao's Last Banquet
    Mao’s Last Banquet by Zhang Hongtu

    Stanley Theater by Sugimoto – (scroll down)

  • Shigeru Ban – Architect of Emergency Shlter wins Pritzker

    March 25th, 2014
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    Humanitarian activities (design boom)

    Shigeru Ban (NY times) wins Pritzker

    The Guardian on Shigeru Ban

  • David Shapiro

    My student Shigeru Ban wins the Pritzker for his work in temporary structures. Look up his curtain house blowing in wind. And for his tubes of cardboard. I loved a poem he wrote that was about being confused at 20 by going from Japan to New York all the time. His embrace of victims of the storms. Proud of his clear architecture.Another example of the greatness of John Hejduk’s conception of the social contract which is, after all, architecture. The fantasies at Cooper became the poetry within disaster. Cardboard !

    Shigeru Ban.Paper tube emergency shelter .Time lapse video

  • City for Lovers and Friends – Lewis Mumford – Banksy in Studio

    October 19th, 2013

    Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.

    Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer.

  • Edward Burtynsky - Navajo reservation adjacent to a Phoenix suburb.


  • via Robin Gunningham/Mr Banksy… or Banksy in Studio

  • Why Scandinavian Prisons are Superior.

    It’s a postcard-perfect day on Suomenlinna Island, in Helsinki’s South Harbor. Warm for the first week of June, day trippers mix with Russian, Dutch, and Chinese tourists sporting sun shades and carrying cones of pink ice cream.

    “Is this the prison?” asks a 40-something American woman wearing cargo pants and a floral sleeveless blouse.

    R.I.P Paolo Soleri – Architect, Theorist of Archology

    April 10th, 2013

    Remembering Paulo Soleri 1919-2013

    Today the world has lost one of its great minds. Paolo Soleri, architect, builder, artist, writer, theorist, husband, father, born on Summer Solstice, June 21, 1919, has died at age 93.

    Soleri spent a lifetime investigating how architecture, specifically the architecture of the city, could support the countless possibilities of human aspiration. The urban project he founded, Arcosanti , 65 miles north of Phoenix, was described by NEWSWEEK magazine as “…the most important urban experiment undertaken in our lifetimes.”

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    Paolo Soleri used to host Italian night, where he cooked for a few hundred people at Arcosanti. We will miss him and his dinners greatly. We all bought his bells and enjoyed taking visitors to Cosanti or Arcosanti.

  • See young Paulo Soleri at Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesen West. (Design Boom mentions his early beginning with Frank Lloyd Wright)

  • Here are photos from visit to Cosanti in Scottsdale.

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    Archology - Arcosanti

    “My position is not reductionist; my position is minimalist. Nothing is or becomes outside the big bang. Each organism is the big bang in action.” Paolo Soleri

    “In nature, as an organism evolves it increases in complexity and it also becomes a more compact or miniaturized system. Similarly a city should function as a living system. Arcology, architecture and ecology as one integral process, is capable of demonstrating positive response to the many problems of urban civilization, population, pollution, energy and natural resource depletion, food scarcity and quality of life. Arcology recognizes the necessity of the radical reorganization of the sprawling urban landscape into dense, integrated, three-dimensional cities in order to support the complex activities that sustain human culture. The city is the necessary instrument for the evolution of humankind.” —Paolo Soleri

    Oscar Niemeyer R.I.P

    December 6th, 2012

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    Oscar Niemeyer dies at 104

    Architects, critics pay tributes to Oscar Niemeyer

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    Oscar Niemeyer – A Memory of Bienneial Sao Paulo

    The Man from Rio - Niemeyer

    The Billy Rose Garden in Jerusalem – Isamu Noguchi

    November 16th, 2012
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    Noguchi Garden
    in Jerusalem <>

    ( Photos by Fung-Lin Hall taken from the Billy Rose Garden in Jerusalem)

  • Isamu Noguchi – Nov 17, 1904

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    This set by acclaimed designer Isamu Noguchi, used in Martha Graham’s ‘Embattled Garden,’ was damaged when basement storage of the Martha Graham Dance Company, located in the West Village, flooded in late October 2012. The company said it is still assessing the extent of the damage.

    See Isamu Noguchi design from The Appalachian Spring..

  • Noguchi Museum NY..(youtube)

  • Yoshiko Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Noguchi
    Yoshiko Yamaguchi - Isamu Noguchi’s ex-wife .. an international diva who became a politican and has become a passionate advocate for Palestinian causes.

  • Edward Said on Israel occupation (youtube)