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September 28, 2005

More on Gehry and Pitt, the Celebritization of Design


PSFK, The Global Trends Collaborative, built its name on studying trends the world over. They picked up on celebrity design, a trend PURE CONTEMPORARY explored in residential furnishings in Couture Club, Living the Lux Life, when they reported on Mick's daughter Jade Jagger's partnership with John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck's Yoo, one of the world's most innovative and visionary property developers.

Frank Gehry's relationship with actor Brad Pitt may be just another example of this trend.

Then again, maybe Pitt's just hard up for a place to live and his friend Gehry hatched a plan to help him out.

Josh Arghiros, chairman and chief executive of Karis, the company developing the proposed Gehry-Pitt project said of the actor: "He was there at inception and will be involved all the way. Frank has asked him to take on the design of one of the restaurants and one of the penthouse flats. Brad is looking for a place to live in Britain and it may well be that he'll take one of the flats in Brighton."

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Modern Art


In the hands of two Masters of Science students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway math is a creative pursuit. They took what they learned of an algorithm created by Paul Hough in 1962, a system that reveals lines, circles, and ellipses in pictures, and used it to create individualized art that looks as unique as the algorithm behind it.

Called Hough Waves, these photographic prints elegantly express symmetry and structure.

They're available for order in a variety of sizes as a single image or broken in to triptychs, and printed either on canvas or paper mounted on aluminium plates. Colors can be chosen through a java applet on the site and digital mock-ups are available free of charge.

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September 27, 2005

Schultz Furniture Available on eBay


This year, Richard Schultz donated furniture to the Hamptons Designer Showhouse for a pool area designed by Steven Learner Studio, and now those pieces are being auctioned off on eBay.

Available on eBay until 4pm EST Thursday, September 29th are the Outdoor Contour Lounge Chair Set and Petal Table. Richard Schultz does not offer its warranty on these items and they are sold as is.

Click here to get in on the auction!

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Edwardian Dress, Nimbyism & A New Gehry Row

Earlier this week, we wrote about Canadian Frank Gehry's new seaside schema for diminutive Brighton & Hove England. Canadian Frank Gehry's drawings were said to be inspired by the billows of Edwardian skirts. But Edwardian dress Schmardian dress, editorializes London's Guardian which likens the looming towers to "rumpled balls of paper laid on top of each other, clad in a faintly sick sheath echoing the collapsing World Trade Centre." (We told you there was controversy.) Not to be outdone by Fox for fair and balanced reporting, the newspaper made space for a retort by Piers Gough, architectural advisor to the Brighton & Hove project. Gough accuses dissenters of wanting to only appreciate Gehry from afar, and that these Nimbys don't understand that the height of the towers is proportional to the long avenues they oversee. Besides, he adds, the apartments provide affordable housing.

Congratulations Mr. Gehry. Me thinks we have quite a row going.

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September 26, 2005

Erasing a Piece of Modern Architectural History

Ever wonder what was the seminal point in modern residential architecture, from glass and steel to cement?

Gordon Bunshaft, who designed IBM's facility in Armonk, only built one residence in his life -- that for his wife Nina in the Hamptons, but what a residence. The Travertine House (1963) was a cement rectangle with a tiny footprint (2,400 square feet) that saved its use of glass for the back to overlook the pond and gardens. ArchNews notes the irony and the demolition of Bunshaft's modest East Hampton villa that has been noted by nearly all as a breakthrough in mid-century modern, and yet was doomed by a very unfortunate series of events and "culprits."

Bunshaft's widow willed the art & Feature0176_01xarchitecture ensemble to the Museum of Modern Art. After removing the art (half the character of the home), MOMA sold the structure to Martha Stewart, which seemed an odd move at the time and even more so now. To sell this less-was-more backdrop for works by Miro and Giacometti to the more-is-more doyenne of home-spun creations? Stewart did hire a fellow architect from Bunshaft's alma matter, Skidmore, Merrill, Owens, and he gutted the interior to the studs. Before renovation could continue, Stewart was in a protracted legal battle with a neighbor over boundary lines (she eventually won) but by then Stewart was up to her eyeballs in other legal problems.

She put the home up for sale and textile magnet Donald Maharam grabbed it. According to his son-in-law and architect, the lack of upkeep and dearth of footprint (a mere 2400 square feet that sits in the shadows of Hampton mansions) made the structure impossible to renovate. His needs of 2005 are not the same as the Bunshafts' of 1963 -- and so in July, the house -- and a portion of modern architectural history -- was erased.

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Frank Gehry & Brad Pitt, Design Duo?

_40826512_victorian203_1The small English seaside town of Brighton and Hove takes life slowly, it just became a single town in 2000. But now, it's facing a controversial plan meant to propel it onto the international stage.

Brighton and Hove initially agreed “in principle” to a plan for "starchitect" Frank Gehry to build a £290 million landmark that should do for Brighton and Hove what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao, Spain, which is transform it from "off the grid" to tourist hot-spot. As an added bonus, for some reason, Gehry's friend Brad Pitt is said to want a hand in the design of the building. (Evidence of Pitt's qualifications in this field is so far non-existent.)

4_2Whether Brighton and Hove will be regaled by the names Gehry and Pitt enough to give up their seaside views in favor of what many residents term a "monstrosity" remains to be seen. So far the plan, which if accepted will be complete in 2012, has generated nothing but controversy.

Gehry's inspiration for the project came from the top image of Edwardian ladies.

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See a Ghost?

Ghost_chair_1Love, death, dysfunction and plastic surgery. Just a few of the components that make up FX's Nip/Tuck.

Now add high-end contemporary home furnishings to this hot, Miami-based drama. In the season premier, placed eloquently in the foreground, sat a row of Louis Ghost Chairs by Philippe Starck.

Just a few years ago it was Rachel's Apothecary Table from Pottery Barn on Friends. Next, Sex and the City made household names of Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik.

Is this contemporary furniture's year? Don't be surprised if you happen to see a Knoll end table in the living room of one of the Desperate Housewives.

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September 24, 2005

Contemporary Zen

In Japan, Zazen means meditation. For Richard Judd, Zen leads to Divine creation. Through the curved lines of his furniture, Judd aims to exhibit the meditative process of the soul and capture the spirit of its maker -- and shares it with others.

"Reading about Zen Buddhism," says Judd, "created the desire to be a craftsman. A passage describes how your day could be an active meditation if you were properly focused on your work. I chose wood working as a profession that would allow for this attention."Richard_judd_2

So just how well does he reflect the principles of Zen Buddhism in his work? Upon visiting south central Wisconsin, the Dalai Lama slept in a cherry bed made by Judd.

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September 23, 2005

Interview with Paola Antonelli on SAFE design...

A few weeks ago we noted MOMA's upcoming opening of SAFE: Design Takes on Risk. And as the gulf coast shudders under the deluge of Rita, once again the flaws and strengths of design are apparent as it relates to barriers, temporary housing or life-sustaining elements. Metropolis has a Q&A with MOMA currator Paola Antonelli who speaks about the exhibit, her favorites among the 300 products and the cultural aspects of designing for safety.

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September 22, 2005

Around the World with Karim Rashid


Or, catch him in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum.


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