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Eero Aarnio Retrospective at Design Museum Helsinki

The most extensive overview thus far of the work and thought of designer Eero Aarnio has open at Design Museum. Aged 83, Professor and interior architect Eero Aarnio has had an exceptionally long career and is one of the internationally most widely known names in the history of modern design in Finland.

The Eero Aarnio retrospective will be a comprehensive exhibition of the designer’s work in furniture, lamps, small objects and unique one-off pieces from the 1950s to the present. Along with objects it will also feature more rarely seen original drawings and sketches demonstrating the designer’s work. Visitors to the exhibition will be shown the less-known aspects of Aarnio’s design process with materials collected from the designer’s own work table and the production lines of the factories. The exhibition is curated by Suvi Saloniemi, Chief Curator at Design Museum, and the exhibition architecture is by Ville Kokkonen and Florencia Colombo.

Eero Aarnio Retrospective, at Design Museum Helsinki

Exhibition: Konstantin Grcic: Hieronymus

As humanity finds itself more and more exploded and human beings are less and less (or increasingly) aware of themselves in the “coming community” of unidentified unity- seeking entities deciphered by Giorgio Agamben, Konstantin Grcic’s series from Da Messina’s Saint Jerome represents a significant contribution to the displacement of the issue of the individual. In these five pieces of furniture, the way the sitter positions himself is always an open question: there is, in each of the pieces, a choice to be made between the several places to sit; there is in every case a need to accept, with the angles of the seats and the curve of the legs, a certain tension.

There is no discomfort, but challenge in comfort, exactly as we should not let ourselves limit ourselves in ourselves, but in fact should expand, exercise our abilities in order to expand our world. The five items are all a small pedestal – a stage, seemingly separating us from the world; and there is a certain amount of theatricality in each of them, by mean of the materials used; fibre-cement, aluminium, marble, 3D print, all make for quite an effect. But at the same time there is no weight that would locate them beyond the logics of life: they all remain in the human community, and do not seem to escape into another world.

Exhibition: Hieronymus, at Galerie kreo, Paris, March 23 – July 14, 2016

Distance(s) by Pedro Léger Pereira

Exhibition: distance(s), Lisboa, Portugal, by Pedro Léger Pereira

Still/Life: Tapio Wirkkala Retrospective Exhibition

The centenaries of the births of Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk, two influential figures in Finnish design, will be celebrated between their respective hundredth birthdays, from 2 June 2015 to 16 October 2016. The designer, sculptor and academician Tapio Wirkkala (1915–1985) and his wife, the graphic designer and ceramic artist Rut Bryk (1916–1999), were influential in launching the concept of modern Finnish, and Scandinavian, design, which still continues to enjoy international acclaim even today.

With the diverse events and exhibitions, and the products and books to be launched, the centenary year aims to increase the visibility of the important work done by Wirkkala and Bryk. The content of the centenary year programme in Finland and abroad is a natural continuation to the efforts to improve the national and international recognition of Finnish design.

Centenary, by Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation

The Bauhaus #itsalldesign by Vitra Design Museum

With the major exhibition »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« (26.09.2015 – 28.02.2016), the Vitra Design Museum presents, a comprehensive overview of design at the Bauhaus for the first time. The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution.

The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, by Vitra Design Museum

Optical Variations by Damien Bénéteau

The M.A.D.Gallery is hosting “Optical Variations”, an exhibit by French artist Damien Bénéteau, featuring four of his illuminated, hypnotizing monochromatic mobiles. A photographer by training, Bénéteau creates art dedicated to light, capturing it in a playful and energetic way that renders it nearly tangible. Bénéteau’s kinetic sculptures reflect his fascination with how an object’s volume is perceived in various lighting situations and his interest in mechanics and machines. “My greatest influences come from minimalist sculpture, seen in the mixture of geometric aesthetics, austerity and simplicity found in my work” says the artist.

In three of his installations for the M.A.D.Gallery – “Length Variations”, “Circular Variations” and “Spatial Variations” – the French artist plays with pendulums, pairing their oscillating movement with light to create a trio of mesmerizing phenomena. “Sphérolithe”, in contrast, sees the former photographer moving away from the continuous movement of the pendulum, rather letting light emanating from a stationary point speak for itself. The light pulsates like the throbbing of a heartbeat: consistent, calm, calculated.

Operating from his own atelier in the suburb of Paris, Bénéteau, a connoisseur of machinery, uses milling, polishing and metal turning machines to create his structures, each one requiring between three and six months of work.

Optical Variations, by Damien Bénéteau

Reproduction of Taliesin 4 Table Lamp by Yamagiwa

Reproductions of original masterpieces from legendary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Taliesin 4 Table Lamp, by Yamagiwa

Apartment 50 by ECAL

In September 2014, twelve Master Product Design students of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne were invited to reflect on a collection of objects to meet everyday needs in the Cité Radieuse in Marseille. The outcome of this research is being displayed as part of an exhibition staged in Apartment 50 from 4 to 19 July 2015. Apartment 50 was restored by two enthusiasts, Jean-Marc Drut and Patrick Blauwart, as close as possible to its original condition. Listed as a historical monument, the venue occasionally hosts exhibition projects.

World-renowned designers have already exhibited there, such as Jasper Morrison, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic and Pierre Charpin. Thus, under the direction of Thilo Alex Brunner, head of the Master Product Design at ECAL, and of ECAL professor Augustin Scott de Martinville, a series of objects was produced over one semester by the Product Design Master students. The project began in September 2014 with a three-day workshop in the Cité Radieuse, allowing students to experience life in the building.

Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, by Master Product Design students of ECAL
Photography by Michel Bonvin

Equilibrium by Nathan Burkett

The garden, titled ‘Equilibrium’ has revealed some key new trends in landscaping for 2015 and signals a return to soft, useable spaces where greenery is used in place of traditional ‘hard’ landscaping elements to create structure and symmetry in nature. Some of the garden’s key features include a cantilevered arbor which wraps around the perimeter to create an architectural ‘frame’ in which the rest of the garden sits.

In the centre of the garden a custom-designed fire pit is framed by two perennial garden beds which inject colour and fun to break up the formality of the surrounding features. The seating area is paved with intricate stone work which continues along the garden’s base, interspersed with soft lawn areas and a pond which is subtly tiled with Italian glass.
The living pergolas, which stand approximately 3m tall and have been grown over a five year period, represent a return to nature as an architectural centerpiece, using organic material to create the built form, which Burkett says is a key recurring theme in his design.

Equilibrium, Melbourne, Australia by Nathan Burkett
Photography by John Wheatley

Mad Men Monument by Lorenzo Apicella

Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. The bench is located in front of the Time & Life Building, fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence.

The idea behind the bench is strong and simple. The silhouette of Don with his arm draped over a couch has become a symbol of “Mad Men,” seen in the final moments of the opening titles designed by Imaginary Forces. The show’s story is told against the backdrop of massive cultural changes in the 1960s, and the graphic pictures Don sitting back, taking it all in. The bench invites visitors to do the same, to take a moment and observe the excitement of New York around them. Fans are welcome to “drape” themselves on the bench like Don, and take and post photos.

“Mad Men,” and Don in particular, are known for their cool, consummate sense of style, and the show has been credited with renewing interest in mid-century modern design. Rather than recreate the look of the period, Apicella’s design for the bench echoes it in clean, smooth lines that make the monument the chicest, most sophisticated piece of street furniture in the city. Comprised of only two pieces, the 12-foot-long bench combines a ½” thick-rolled steel plate seat and back, balanced on a 10-foot-long cast concrete base. Don’s silhouette is cut from the seat, which has a powder-coated black finish with white painted graphic elements. The concrete base color was selected to complement the existing plaza paving pattern.

Mad Men Monument, by Lorenzo Apicella with Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman

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