A while back I posted a short film called Wanderers created by Erik Wernquist, you can check it out here. In that film Erik used recreations of actual NASA imagery depicting the exploratory nature of humans. Set to Carl Sagan’s words from the past:
“Herman Melville in Moby Dick spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote, I love to sail forbidden seas.”
At the time the film did the rounds on the interwebs it seems that it was’t just the public that showed an interest… wholly crap, NASA also noticed. They commissioned Erik to take on another short film to celebrate and promote their work on the Cassini satellite and it’s planned spectacular ending by sending it in to Saturn. The image above is a screen grab from that film, you can check out the full 3min here on Vimeo. Saturn is 1.2 Billion km from earth however Cassini is not the most distant man made object, this title goes to Voyager 1 which is now approximately 18 Billion km from Earth at the edge of our solar system but also about 300 years short of the Oort Cloud. Voyager was launched in 1977 and is expected to stop transmitting in 2025. Cassini was launched in 1997 and will burn up in Sept of this year. I love the work of NASA and all the other international space programs and I hope one day that Australia gets more involved.
Not your typical armchair, designed in 1971 and still sold to this day as a limited edition of 200 pieces in Grass Green or 50 pieces in Nordic Grey. At 1.4m x 1.4m x 950mm high the Pratone by Gufram is a radical piece of art, design and furniture that needs a big home. These are the same designers that brought us the Cactus coat rack and the Capitello, an iconic, ironic and ionic column head arm chair. Available through Living Edge, link to them here.
You might recall my earlier post with Marcel Duchamp’s readymade ‘Fountain’ (1917), link to it here. There he spoke of the alternate to the readymade “A Rembrandt used as an ironing board”. Here we have just that but a meta version with Gladwell’s performance piece ‘Reversed Readymade’ (2014) pictured that features a rider performing BMX type stunts on a mockup of Marcel Duchamp’s readymade ‘Bicycle Wheel’ (1913). The Gladwell work premiered at the inaugural Per4m program at Artissima 21, Turin, Italy. Follow the jump to see some more images of the performance or you can search youtube for the whole piece.
Shaun is currently the highest priced living video artist and also was my very first post on this Journal where Gladwell had a commissioned show at ACMI in Melbourne a number of years ago. Shaun has been a force on the world stage for many years and represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2009. The Bicycle Wheel (1951) edition number three after lost originals from 1913 was part of Marcel Duchamp’s series including the Fountain & Ladder. He called them “Assisted Readymades.” Duchamp later recalled that the original “Bicycle Wheel was created as a distraction, I enjoyed looking at it, just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace.”
It’s happening people, a real ‘paperless office’ is getting closer than ever before. I’ve talked about this stuff in some previous posts here and here but day by day those ideas are becoming a reality. I’ve been experimenting with this iOS app called Morpholio Trace since it was released and the advances are progressing at a rapid pace. These steps are not without stumbles but on a whole these apps are great for marking up and sketching details on the fly.
The bollard art or ‘bollart’ was starting to happen but not fast enough. So I went out there with some friends and painted some myself. I did the Giant Die in white with black dots and no, the opposing sides do not all add up to seven, remember this was a clandestine operation in the dead of night with some risk of arrest so we had to move quickly. You’ll also see the blocks have a number of existing holes including 2x forklift holes on two of the sides and 2x ring pull holes on the top so I placed the dots as best as possible to suit these holes. We picked one of the best spots in the city; directly in front of the NGV atrium and opposite Melbourne’s famous graffiti filled Hosier Lane, couldn’t be better. Follow the jump to see some action shots taken by my sister Evelyn Rose and niece Mia Rose.
Many thanks to the team work of artist Carla O’Brien and her friend Eloise. We also did a giant rubix cube and a number of scrabble pieces that all looked great. Glad I went out there and did it, I’m still looking forward to see some other ideas.
Most people will know the Basilica i Temple Exiatori de la Sagrada Familia (or the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family) in Barcelona, Spain. Originally designed in 1883 by Francisco Paula de Villa then re-designed in the Gothic and Art Nouveau style by Antoni Gaudi. He then worked on this project until his death in 1926 at age 73 with less than a quarter of the project constructed. The mid point was reached in 2010 and completion is anticipated for 2026. Gaudi was walking the streets viewing buildings and was struck by a tram, he looked so disheveled at the time and had no ID so he was thought to be homeless, a lack of care by the public and authorities lead to his unfortunate death. He was later identified and given a fitting public funeral. Recently some renders have been circulating showing the final product, worth a search. The image above is one of the less often shared views showing the vaults. I believe this was part of a series that formed the book Heavenly Vaults by David Stephenson, if not then it is certainly in that ilk.
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and one of his early ‘readymade’ artworks called Fountain (1917). Duchamp famously quipped “the alternative to this concept is ‘reverse readymade’ where an existing work of art would be used as an ordinary object “A Rembrandt used as an ironing board”, imagine. Some contemporary artists of our time that reference this readymade notion include Ai WeiWei and the Ming Vase photo collection where he drops a priceless vase (not so ordinary) and captures the moment of destruction. Andy Warhol and his Tomato Soup Cans (1962) or the Brillo Boxes (1964). Australian artist Sean Gladwell recreated Duchamp’s famous Bicycle Wheel (1913) and used it in his own performance piece. They call it Reverse Ready Made but really when you think about he is using the wheel like an ordinary object which happens to be a famous art work that is a readymade ordinary object so figure that one out for me.
Getting back to Fountain above, this was first exhibited in 1917 which happens to be 100 years ago, hard to comprehend. Originally rejected by the Society of Independent Artists in New York City the work was then exhibited elsewhere to much fan-fare, the original was subsequently lost however 8 replicas were created with some association to Duchamp. In 1999 edition number 5 reached a record price of $1.7M at Sotheby’s, the remaining five are in gallery collections, one in private hands and the whereabout of the remaining piece is unknown. Apparently there are some arty types out there who try and piss in these whenever they are put on show, pretty gross and not the sort of performance art that I’m keen on seeing.
Anti-terror bollards have the Melbourne public crying fowl but I see hundreds of five sided canvases ready for the picking. Here is one idea, over to the Melbourne graffiti scene, your move. I can’t wait to see some others.
*UPDATE: This concept was put into action, check out the result in another post here.
The Americas Cup trophy is the oldest perpetual sports prize in history, competition has traditionally occurred around every four years with the USA holding the cup for the majority of that time. We all know Australia were the first to snatch it away with Ben Lexcen’s winged keel, a win by design and the sciences. Bob Hawke famously said the day after “any boss who sacks anyone today for not turning up is a bum”. Good luck to New Zealand in their campaign and better luck next time to the UK team in becoming the challenger and hopefully taking the cup back home.
*UPDATE: Well done to the Kiwi’s for taking the cup home after winning 8 races to 1. I’m looking forward to visiting NZ soon to see the cup and possibly the next series of races. Sounds like there may be some huge design changes afoot.
I must admit that I like a bit of tech. This is the Bjarke Ingels designed Friday lock, a collaboration between Friday Labs and BIG Ideas. Basically it’s a battery operated automated lock that can be retrofitted to the inside of most doors. The external face remains as is with a key however the inside snib is swapped out for this unit. When you get close to the door with your mobile phone the door lock opens up providing access. When you leave; the door locks behind you and it can also provide temporary access to guests, cleaners, workmen etc remotely. If either your phone or lock battery die then you revert to using a key, simple. Many will say why bother but I say why not. Any of these things that modernise a home are a good thing. Its fine for our cars to be modernised so why not our homes.
This is the recent Netflix produced TV documentary series called Abstract that takes an in-depth look into a number of designers from around the globe. It got my attention with architect Bjarke Ingles of world renowned Danish firm BIG. Bjarke is an interesting cat who’s had a meteoric rise in the industry with some of the largest commissions granted to a relative new comer. He talks about this and one of the reasons he believes he is able do so… building cheaply. The show also follows the process of his expansion into New York City along with the coveted Serpentine Pavilion commission in London. Great viewing.
Some others include Tinker Hatfield, the head shoe designer for Nike who was the man behind the Back to the Future 2 concept boot which was recently developed into the automatic lace-up EARL, soon to be released. Ralph Giles, head designer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and parent company of Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Lancia & Masarati. Giles is a full-on rev head with a keen eye and loads of respect for the classics.
Excellent viewing and I’m looking forward to watching the rest: Interior Designer Isle Crawford, Stage Designer Es Devlin, Graphic Designer Paula Scher, Illustrator Christopher Niemann & Platon, Photographer.
Designed in 2003 by Tokyo based studio YOY, Naomi Ono & Yuki Yamamoto created something pretty special here. You can see how this works from the images below or if you can’t be bothered then read these instructions: Step 1. Buy the chair/artwork 2. Hang it on the wall 3. Take it down when needed and lean it against the wall 4. Sit. It is one of the most original pieces of design I have ever seen. Options come as typical chair, arm chair and a sofa all styled on the Louis XV chair, a classic theme that has stood the test of time. Elastic fabric over an aluminium frame, the armchair is 1500h x 1100w x 40mm deep… yep that is only 4cm deep. Distributed by Innermost in HK & London and available in Australia through ECC Lighting & Furniture. Links to all those sites are there. Images curtesy YOY and I’m pretty sure this was first posted on Dezeen a long time ago. More images below.
In renovation projects one of the first steps is to undertake a measured survey. We will not accept another architect’s measurements as they have no guarantee. We visit the site and draw some rough sketches of the floor plans, we will then add measurements to locate walls, openings, windows and doors, floor coverings and fixtures and ceiling heights. In parallel we generally need a land surveyor to provide an accurate site plan to locate the title boundary, slope of the land, building envelope, overall heights, distances to neighbours and locations of their windows, doors and features. We will then take all of these measurements and produce an accurate existing conditions floor plan and elevations which in-turn become the base from which we start designing. Ultimately these are a part of the documentation for the proposed works. A full knock down or greenfield site requires fewer of these steps but we always need to know what we’re dealing with.
Now lets look to the future for a moment… READ MORE >
I was talking to a friend recently and we both admitted that our sites had a lot of space posts, it’s just too interesting to ignore. The Mars Curiosity rover has been travelling for over a year now and it’s clocked up 3 miles on the red planet. Every now and then the operators do a bit of a selfie check to see how she is doing, pretty cool. This is also a little reference to my original website that had a Mars landscape as the background. It’s a little more sophisticated now.
Okay, I promise this will be the last boat entry in my Journal for a while however I could not resist this one for a couple of reasons: the Aqua Riva by Marc Newson is just so cool and also because last week we lost Carl Riva at age 95; the designer of the original Riva.
Designed in 2010, these remakes were a very limited edition of only 20 units. Based very closely to the original with the styling, shape, colours and the interior spaces. The boat is 10m long, fits 6 people and no surface was left untouched, both the original and the remake are equally desirable. If you browse Marc’s website or if you’ve followed his design work; he takes a pretty special item, does a work over, adds the words ‘by Marc Newson’ and they become iconic and increase in value considerably. In 2017 a second hand model of this Aqua Riva by Marc Newson was available in Monaco for $635K, let assume the new ones were over $1M. More images below.
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This is the mega or giga-yacht called WHY, designed in 2009 by Luca Bassani of Wally in collaboration with Hermes, the fashion house. Inventive in many ways but most notably in it’s shape, it is almost as wide as it is long. This unique form provides a massive volume and added stability, I found some articles online showing scale model water testing as well as a 1:1 mock up for volume and interior studies. The entire roof was designed with integrated solar panelling to reduce fuel consumption, keep in mind these types of boats can cost between $20 – 200K to fill their diesel tanks. There were 2 sizes being explored including the WHY 58 x 38 (meaning length in meters by width) pictured here along with an alternative size WHY 37 x 24. There is something amazing about Luca’s design work on such a large yacht like WHY in that he manages to make these things look beautifully simple despite their complexity. The project was scuttled but it’s still worth a look.
Harry Seidler AC OBE (1923 – 2006) was one of Australia’s most successful, prolific and avant-guard architects. He studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer and worked with Alvar Aalto & Josef Albers. Siedler and his projects were awarded dozens of accolades in both Australia and abroad including the AIA Gold Medal in 1976 and RIBA Gold medal in 1996. Harry was also one of the founding members of the Australian Architecture Association. His wife Penelope Seidler AM currently heads up the firm Harry Seidler and Associates that is still going strong.
Harry was a great businessman and would, apparently, regularly take apartments in his buildings as payment. Harry and Penelope lived in one of the apartments in Ithaca Gardens until they built the Harry and Penelope Seidler House in Killara (1967), another architectural gem. It is considered that Harry brought apartment living to Australia and also helped instigate the strata title ownership model as opposed to company title which is still most common in the US. Company title is something the Nightingale apartments are reintroducing today.
Some of Seidler’s most memorable buildings include Australia Square, Grosvenor Place, the Aquarius Apartments, Milson’s Point apartments and their current offices, Blues Point Tower apartments, Rose Seidler House and the Shell Building in Melbourne.
This is the entry canopy to the ‘Ithaca Gardens’ apartment building in Elizabeth Bay (1960). I lived here until 2002 and it was a beautiful modernist building to inhabit, located in the heart of Sydney commanding spectacular views of the harbour it didn’t get much better. The roof top is common property for laundry facilities and clothes drying so the concept of penthouse apartments hogging the top floors was avoided. The design of this canopy is also replicated at the rear of the building for the parking areas with the most extraordinary piece of engineering to create a column free run of cantilevered and folded roofs that is well worth a look.