Okawa City in Fukuoa, Japan is know for its furniture, and home to a group of artisans called Okawa Kagu. Theses artists, are steeped in the culture of finely crafted furniture, and now they are putting their skills towards creating tiny furniture for cats.
Source: Spoon & Tamago
Photo Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is working on documenting underrepresented historically significant LGBT sites to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve. The NYC Historic Sites Project website provides tools for those who want to gain awareness and appreciation of the impact LBGT individuals have made on American culture throughout history. One example of a notable site in LGBT history is the Little Red School House in Manhattan—one of the city’s first progressive schools—founded by Elisabeth Irwin in 1912.
Source: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides 4 free architecture courses online. The courses cover landscape, urbanism, photography, and the production of space. These courses are easily accessible and available to all. The courses are offered for undergraduate and graduate students and they are in many languages including English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Photo Credit: David Reed
Although some might imagine that leaving a dense urban core for clean air and a green backyard is associated with better health, research shows people are healthier and happier in densely populated urban cities. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong and Oxford University studied the impact of density on 400,000 people in 22 British cities. The study found that the main reason residents in dense urban cores tend to be happier and healthier is that they have the opportunity to walk. In areas where suburban sprawl dominates, it is often the best solution to drive, leading to lower rates of exercise and higher rates of obesity. A more compact city is more walkable. The study supports Jane Jacob’s idea of a “sidewalk ballet” with safe streets and socially engaged citizens.
Source: Next City
Grain silos, in metal and in concrete, are not uncommon in the built landscape. They often sit empty long after the milling or grain industries have moved on. These spaces have proved challenging for architects and preservationists to re-purpose, as they typically lack one essential element of comfortable design and daily life: windows.
In the case of the new Zeitz MOCAA museum in Cape Town, South Africa, design firm Heatherwick Studios did not let themselves feel constrained by the 1920s era silos’ unique structure. The resulting design creates a gallery space highlighting unexpected shapes. Heatherwick described his process as deconstruction as much as construction, and explained that he was motivated to create an interior space visitors couldn’t resist.
Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York has donated 2,784 images documenting its unique glass collection to the Artstor Digital Library. The non-profit museum is dedicated to telling the story of glass, from its ancient origins to today, spanning 3,500 years of glass history. With support from the Rakow Research Museum, the museum is a center for glass scholarship, housing the world’s foremost archive and reference collection on the history of glass making.
Source: The Artstor Blog
In honor of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, director Johnston Marklee invited young design studios from Europe and the Americas to submit large scale, modeled towers reinterpreting the original Tribune Tower brief. The exhibition mirrors a design competition in 1922, asking architects to conceive of a home for the Chicago Tribune Newspaper. The resulting tower, a neo-Gothic structure designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, was built in 1925.
Some of the towers are abstract, others deeply detailed. Sam Jacob Studio’s design borrows elements of architect Adolf Loos’ 1922 proposal for the tower, and gives it a modern twist. The exhibition uniquely shows the evolution of design throughout the last 95 years.
The Biennial opens to the public on September 16 2017, and runs until January 17, 2018.
Stepwells often have no above ground presence, but beneath the ground intricately carved steps lead into a pool of water displaying a beautiful and illusive architectural character. Tucked away in fields or hidden in cities, the Stepwells of India remain an architectural mystery. The scholarship of Stepwells is limited, but it is believed that the Stepwells once served as a communal place for washing, bathing, and drinking water. The Stepwells acted as a rest stop for travelers and ranged in intricacy and size. Many of the Stepwells are believed to be created or funded by women honoring their dead husbands. Interest in the Stepwells has risen in the past years. Hotels are using the Stepwells as a tourist draw, and others are revitalizing the Stepwells to be used in the communal way that they were originally intended.
Photo Credit: Watching “The Great Beauty,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Tower.”Janus Films; Magnolia Pictures; Kino Lorber
Over 200 public libraries have opted to provide Kanopy to library cardholders, free of charge. Kanopy provides over 30,000 movies online. Many of the movies are documentaries, international films, and from the Criterion Collection. The University of Texas Libraries’ provides unlimited access to Kanopy’s resources. The range of movies available is diverse, and Kanopy appears to be an incredible resource.
Walter Mittelhozer was a pioneering aviator and the co-founder of Swissair. He photographed many cities in the Middle East and Africa. Mittelholzer always flew with a co-pilot so that he could photograph from the air. A new book, published by Scheidegger & Spiecss documents his ariel shots.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will send you an image of a work in its collection based on your desire by texting one’s request to 572-51. Only 5 percent of SFMOMA’s collection is exhibited at any given time, but the message service pulls from the entire collection of 34,678 works of art, allowing one to view works based on individual taste. The message service has a few kinks, and it cannot evaluate complex sentences, but the range of artwork and efficiency of the service is phenomenal.
Google Arts & Culture, created in 2011, is an exploratory tool for arts and culture. The website has access to 45,000 images of artwork from over 1,200 museums and archives. Google Arts & Culture recently released a new section on the page called “Experiments.” The “Experiments” page offers four methods of discovering and drawing connections between images of art, artists, and other cultural artifacts. The amount of data in this section causes the pages to load slowly but the tools available are unique. For example, the T-SNE map is a 3D network that groups artist together in proximity based on a specific commonalities.
Google Arts & Culture has a bright, clean interface and some of the other pages include categories like, artists, historical events, movements, and mediums. One of the most enticing features of the website is the interactive vignettes. One can scroll through a series of images and videos accompanied with text to explore topics ranging from Audrey Hepburn and the shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo to cats in Korean paintings. Because of copyright laws, some of the more famous artists are not well represented, but the breadth of the website is substantial and one could spend hours following the stories of a variety of art and artists.
Source: Google Arts & Culture