Monday, May 25, 2015

JEWEL BOXES: A sparkly new architectural gem on the Yale University campus

I was fortunate to attend my nephew's recent graduation from the Yale School of Management, which opened its stunning, super-modern new facility in January of 2014. The 240,000-square-foot building is wonderfully bright and airy, with inviting smaller spaces tucked in here and there, and a gracious central courtyard that serves as its organizing feature. My grad school certainly didn't look anything like this!
Main entrance and front of Yale SOM

The building has been called 
"the newest version of the Starship Enterprise"

Yale's campus has long been known as a living history of architecture (three centuries' worth.) Some of the world's greatest architects -- James Gamble Rogers, Louis I. Kahn, Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, Cesar Pelli, and Frank Gehry -- are represented in its buildings, which in various ways express "the struggle to balance collective identity and individual expression -- the essential struggle of life in a democracy."

Edward P. Evans Hall was designed by Foster + Partners, the prominent firm chaired by Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Lord Norman Foster, a 1962 graduate of the Yale School of Architecture. Below are more artists' renderings of the building.

Concourse overlooking the courtyard, classrooms on right

               “Theater-in-the-round” classroom

Exterior view of classrooms (blue pods)

Student lounge

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And below ... the University of Glasgow Art History 
building, where I did a graduate programme
in decorative arts

Hmmm ... looking at it now, it doesn't seem so bad ...
just kind of dark and stodgy ...

Luckily, it was very close to

The Willow Tea Room, designed in 1903

~ oOo ~

EVENTS: Midcentury May in NYC (five-pass available all month)

Midcentury May NYC

Five of the city's primo cultural organizations have partnered this month
for Midcentury May NYCwhen a single pass (@$30) will 
cover admission to all participating venues. Sounds like a great
way to combine museum-hopping with meandering through NY's parks, 
which are now spectacularly in full bloom.

Featured exhibitions include:
 Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand (Museum of the City of NY);
 How Posters Work (Cooper Hewitt); Revolution of the Eye (The Jewish Museum); 
Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism (Museum of Jewish Heritage).

"Everything is Design. Everything!" ... Paul Rand
Rand's witty and eye-catching graphics are on view 
at the Museum of the City of NY --> 
Sept. 7, 2015
Above: Logos by Paul Rand
Paul Rand, Eye Bee M, 1981
(get it?)
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from Cooper Hewitt's How Posters Work
Grammo-Grafik, 1957
"How Posters Work" features more than 125 pieces from the museum's permanent collection, demonstrating how some of the world’s most creative graphic artists have employed design principles to produce powerful acts of visual communication. The exhibition is organized into 14 subsections: focus the eye, overwhelm the eye, use text as image, overlap, cut and paste, assault the surface, simplify, tell a story, amplify, double the meaning, manipulate scale, activate the diagonal, make eye contact and make a system.

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Installation view, Revolution of the Eye, Jewish Museum

The impact of Jews on American television, especially during the 1950s and 1960s, is a force which cannot be denied, sometimes leading to the mistaken impression that "Jews control the media". Rod Serling's seminal "Twilight Zone" and Gene Rodenberry's "Star Trek", both highlighted in this exhibition, exemplify the continuing resonance of the Holocaust and the immigrant experience on Jewish screenwriters.

 Works by Saul Bass, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Eero Saarinen, Ben Shahn, and Andy Warhol are also included in 
Revolution of the Eye, along with ephemera, television memorabilia, and clips from 
The Ed Sullivan Show, The Ernie Kovacs Show, and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.

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Below: from Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) exhibition 
Pathmakers: Women in ArtCraft and Design

   Eva Zeisel, Frame for a Folding Chair, 1949; 
           Chrome-plated tubular steel
Vivian Beer, Anchored Candy No. 7, 2014
Steel, automotive paint

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The design exhibition at NY's Museum of Jewish Heritage 
is superb --a highlight of the 2015 museum season!
See my May 11 blog posting about it.

George Nelson's Marshmallow Sofa and desk --
I'll take one of each!

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

EVENTS: Dwell on Design 2015, LA, May 29-31

Arcways stairway, manufactured in Neenah, WI

Beam me up, Scottie! More than 400 exhibitors will present 2000+ midmod home furnishing and construction products at next weekend's Dwell on Design extravaganza, running May 29 - 31. The three-day exhibition and conference, comprising one trade day and two consumer days, will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. World-class speakers, product demonstrations, classes for design professionals, and workshops for design enthusiasts will make this exhibition especially accessible and exciting.

A focus of the event, addressing the severe drought situation in California, will be environmentally friendly landscape design. Homeowners will discover ways to replace water-thirsty grasses with native California plants, drought-tolerant flora, and stonework. (Many years ago, a friend of mine who had grown tired of mowing his huge lawn, joked that he should tear it out and pave it over. Looks like his remark was prophetic!)

Hollywood Zen "hardscape", by landscape designer Katrina Coombs

Below are some randomly chosen pics from the 
upcoming Dwell on Design exhibition

Ceiling by American Awning & Blind Co, LA

                 Allen Construction Breezehouse, Santa Barbara

Modern Glass Home in Forest, Barema European Windows and Doors,
 Santa Monica

And my personal fixation ... light fixtures!

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         Illuministi fan/lamp combo

Light in Art Light chandelier, Grey Drops with white sides
Light in Art showcases the work of famed Israeli designer, Shimon Peleg, 
an international glass and stained glass artist with stores worldwide.

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For more information about the exhibition, and/or individual artists whose 
work will be displayed, link here

Sunday, May 10, 2015

ODD BITS: An affordable (very tiny) Modernist home!

Don't give up -- you CAN find an affordable Modernist condo! 
(But you have to be a fish to fit into it.)

In case your fish isn't ready to commit to buying, there's also a hotel
available for short stays.

Available at -- where else? --