PORTFOLIO: THE BOYS FROM BRAZZAVILLE / HÉCTOR MEDIAVILLA SABATÉ
Recording the snappy style of Congo-Brazzaville’s sapeurs reveals a subculture where dressing-up is
considered an art form, and what started as a hangover of French colonialism has now become a celebrated cult. (1)
ARCHITECTURE: SOUNDS OF THE SUBURBS / LE CORBUSIER & FIRMINY
After a stop-start history, the completion of the church of Saint-Pierre has made the city of Firminy in central France home to the highest concentration of Le Corbusier buildings in Europe. (2)
ARCHITECTURE: PALAZZO CHILOMETRO / CORVIALE
You can take a pick from ‘The Monster’ or ‘The Giant Snake’ but none of the nicknames given to Mario Fiorentiono’s Corviale housing complex outside Rome are particularly flattering. (3)
ART: MOLE ALERT / SIMON BOUDVIN
Some of the work that French artist Simon Boudvin produces is a schizophrenic distillation of art and architecture. Playing furiously with perceptions, he draws unsettling portraits of a construction’s ‘secret brother’. (4)
GRAPHIC DESIGN: OUTSIDE THE BOX / NEW VISUAL CULTURE OF MODERN IRAN
A recent publication by Reza Abedini and Hans Wolbers aims to show a different perspective of Iran through its modern visual culture. (5)
ARCHITECTURE: A QUESTION OF SCALE / VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE
The 10th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale took Cities, Architecture and Society as its central theme. Some complained of statistical overload and a lack of ‘real’ architecture.
ARCHITECTURE: OPEN HOUSE / EXYZT
The French collective Exyzt not only takes the idea of squatting to new professional dimensions, but also actively encourages its work to serve as a model to encourage personal initiative. (6)
URBAN ISSUES: SHRINK TO FIT / THE SHRINKING CITIES PROJECT
For the last four years the German interdisciplinary initiative Shrinking Cities has been investigating a global phenomenon, which challenges the ‘urban renaissance’ and produces concepts and strategies in fields such as architecture and landscape design that react to a future of parallel growth and shrinkage. (7)
DESIGN: WHAT GETS ME GOING / JEAN-MARIE MASSAUD
It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of Frenchman Jean-Marie Massaud to learn that the diving bell of Alexander the Great has provided inspiration. (8)
DESIGN: BALD AS LOVE / EERO KOIVISTO & JEAN-MARIE MASSAUD
The Winnie the Poohs of the design world have a mutual appreciation for each other that is laced with a wicked sense of humour. What is it these bald and beautiful men share, other than hedonistic streak and tendency to meander down the path of life?
ART: SWEET HOME ALABAMA / WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY
For more than four decades American artist William Christenberry has been photographing the vernacular architecture of Hale County, Alabama. The aesthetics of ageing are one just one of the focuses in this sun-bleached and rusting vista. (9)
DESIGN: PLASTIC PRAISE / MONOBLOC
Loved and despised in equal measure, the humble Monobloc chair has been found everywhere from Saddam Hussein’s underground hidey-hole to outside Buckingham Palace. (10)
ART: RADICAL SAMBA / HELIO OITICICA
Although Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica died in 1980, not only his work but spirit are being revived. A number of recent exhibitions highlight various aspects of this anti-elitist artist. (11)
UNUSUAL DWELLINGS: UNDER COVER / CHRISTIAN SCHWAGER
Switzerland has been faking it in more ways than one. In Christian Schwager’s project he uncovers the disguised bunkers that have been masquerading as your typical Swiss Chalet for years. Until you get up close, trust no shutter or balcony. (12)
ART: I LOVE PROZAC / PIER STOCKHOLM
For each of his projects young Peruvian artist Pier Stockholm produces a collection of t-shirts. Far from a cynical marketing tool, he uses them as extended canvas to tell stories of human experience from depression to puberty.
ART: ROCK FALL/ ART ON THE FURKA PASS
Its location might be Switzerland’s answer to The Shining, but once the land-art event at the Hotel Furkablick on the Furka Pass attracted some of the biggest names in the art world. (14)
PUBLIC ART: DIGITAL FOLK / TEXT ART
Yellow Arrow is just one of the organisations that inspires people to use text messaging as a canvas for public art. Outside of curatorial filters, its immediacy and pervasiveness can offer an effective crossover between the virtual and real landscape.
DESIGN: TOKYO DESIGN WEEK / REVIEW
Sometimes a wall of confusion, but just throw your mind, body & soul into the experience and Tokyo Design Week offers an exciting alternative to the the euro-design circuit.
DESIGN: DISCO DIVA / B&B ITALIA
With a communication strategy that is celebrating 40 years, the B&B Italia brand is renewing the 1972 Le Bambole design of Mario Bellini and re-embracing the spirit of disco and denim.
DESIGN: DAMn° PRODUCTIVITY
Just for the New Year DAMn° presents a mega-selection of products, places and prototypes from both established and new talent – plus a fair few works by people whose sanity and sense of humour is by no means assured! (15)
AGENDA / WHAT TO SEE & WHERE