Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Democratic Design for Public Performances

Architecture Review | Copenhagen Concert Hall

For Intimate Music, the Boldest of Designs

Published: January 19, 2009
Copenhagen Concert Hall: The building is swathed in a bright blue exterior made of translucent fabric.

"COPENHAGEN — It’s usually considered an insult to say that an architect designs pretty packages, let alone that he borrows ideas from a dead genius.

The main performance hall has a series of cantilevered balconies.

But Jean Nouvel should be forgiven for resurrecting old ghosts. His Copenhagen Concert Hall, which opened here on Saturday evening, is a loving tribute to Hans Scharoun’s 1963 Berlin Philharmonie, whose cascading balconies made it one of the most beloved concert halls of the postwar era. And Mr. Nouvel has encased his homage in one of the most gorgeous buildings I have recently seen: a towering bright blue cube enveloped in seductive images.

It’s a powerful example of how to mine historical memory without stifling the creative imagination. And it offers proof, if any more were needed, that we are in the midst of a glorious period in concert hall design. Like Frank Gehry’s 2003 Disney Hall in Los Angeles and Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie, now under construction in Hamburg, Germany, Mr. Nouvel’s new hall demonstrates that an intimate musical experience and boldly imaginative architecture need not be in conflict — they can actually reinforce each other.

The Copenhagen Concert Hall has the ugliest setting of the three. In a new residential and commercial district on the outskirts of the old inner city, it is flanked by boring glass residential and office blocks. Elevated train tracks running to the old city swing right by the building; swaths of undeveloped land with tufts of grass and mounds of dirt extend to the south.

Approached along the main road from the historic city, the hall’s cobalt blue exterior has a temporal, ghostly quality. Its translucent fabric skin is stretched over a structural frame of steel beams and tension cables that resembles scaffolding. During the day you can see figures moving about inside, as well as the vague outline of the performance space, its curved form embedded in a matrix of foyers and offices."

Read more of the article at:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The MoMa is going Danish... why are Danish Design companies funding design projects at the MoMa. Its a museum not a store. Or is it?

MoMA goes Danish

The world’s leading museum of modern art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, has become an unrivalled shop window for Danish design and furniture. Since November last year, when the museum reopened after three years of building and renovation at the famous address on Manhattan’s 53rd Street, all the visitor areas of the museum have been fitted out with Danish designed furniture and textiles, cutlery in the restaurant, even the coffee pots, ashtrays and candlesticks...
“The point of the project was to sponsor a platform of global quality on a par with MoMA’s standards – not a ’Danish exhibition’, cultural attach√© Irene Krarup explains. “It has become a design solution with an emphasis on comfort, functionality, and the highest aesthetic standards.”
In the final selection of furniture and accessories, a total of 33 Danish designers is represented, with approximately 150 different items and several thousand units including chairs, tables, couches, coffee pots, flatware, candlesticks etc. produced by 13 different Danish manufacturers.
It was important to MoMA not just to include design icons such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner and Poul Kjærholm, but also to give space for young designers. The result was that a lot of young, and to many visitors, quite unknown designers have been introduced.
The Danish Design Project has given MoMA an extraordinary design profile in all its public areas including restaurants and galleries... Read the full article here
New York City´s grid plan being translated vertically as a building? Where do I sign up?

Monday, November 19, 2007

A True Interior Designer

When I see a dying plant in my garden, I just throw it out. However Michael Trapp, who is an interior and garden designer, is able to turn this into a decorative feat. Who would have thought trees in a living room would work? Read Jane Garmey's article on him here.

A new way to workout

It used to be that when a person went on a vacation, (s)he got a way from the monotonous daily routine. But now with technology, people are even able to continue their workout sessions with their trainer on line.

Click here for the NYTimes article "Hello, Vacation: It's the Boss," by Lisa Belkin.

Do all objects need accessories?

Just a couple of weeks ago in the Styles section of the New York Times, there was an article about jewelry for furniture. It seems now that the fashion world has taken it a step further by decorating pipes and hoses.

To write the NYTimes article click here

Ellen DeGeneres moral act or traitor?

Although there is currently a Writers Gild strike, Ellen DeGeneres has decided to continue her show. A New York Times article entitled "Prospect of New York Protest Sends Ellen DeGeneres Home," by Bill Carter sheds light on her actions.
Ellen DeGeneres, right, will not tape two editions of her syndicated show in New York next week, ending the prospect of especially fervent protests from striking members of the Writers Guild of America. News of the canceled New York tapings, first reported yesterday on the Web site, was confirmed by representatives of Ms. DeGeneres’s production company, Telepictures. Ms. DeGeneres returned to her syndicated daily talk show last week after sitting out just one day of the strike. That decision drew strong protests from the Writers Guild because Ms. DeGeneres is a member of the union. Her writers have been on strike, but Ms. DeGeneres has said she felt obligated to continue taping shows because other staff members would otherwise be laid off. She received support from a different union, Aftra, which argued in a letter to the Writers Guild that Ms. DeGeneres was obligated as a member to continue to work. Her supporters also noted that unlike other shows, including those of Jay Lendo and David Letterman, Ms. DeGeneres’s is syndicated and could be canceled if obligations were not met. The guild countered that Ms. DeGeneres should have made a personal decision to support the writers. Cancellation of the New York shows does not mean Ms. DeGeneres has joined the strike. She will simply tape the shows at her regular studio in Los Angeles, a representative of the show said.
I personally support her actions because she is binded by a contract and if she were to continue then many of her workers would be out of jobs; however, there is an argument to made that she is undermining their strike by performing. Also, she is financially and socially benefiting from this because she is getting more viewer attention, since there are not many other talk shows to watch presently, and she is siding with the. What it comes down to with me is that she is forced to continue in order for the show not to end. Although Ellen is still writing she has allowed for many of her fellow writers to remain in the strike.