Optical IllusionOptical Illusion

27 November 2014 by Veerle Devos

Optical Illusion

The lure of LINDBERG eyewear

LINDBERG eyeglasses are a thing. They are worn by everyone who is someone, from the Pope to the Emperor of Japan to the Queen of England to Giorgio Armani to Brangelina. That is saying something, especially when you consider the variation in style between the personalities concerned. If not downright phenomenal, this is surely a curious occurrence. At least we at DAMn° find it so. Which is the reason we’ve opted to provide a splash of insight by way of inside viewpoints and a plethora of accompanying visuals. Here’s to the quest to somewhat dilute the hitherto exclusive natu..

Craftsman finishing a pair of horn frames


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Rocking itRocking it

24 November 2014 by Lyle Rexer

Rocking it

Ai Weiwei does Alcatraz

“If you disobey the rules of society, they send you to prison; if you disobey the rules of the prison, they send you to us…. From this day on, your world will be everything that happens in this building.” (The prison warden in Escape from Alcatraz) The big house doesn’t get any bigger than Alcatraz. Although the U.S. federal prison situated on an island in the San Francisco Bay has been closed since 1963, its legend as the hardest of hard places has only grown. And even if ‘the Rock’ is a tourist attraction managed by the National Park Service, the name ..

Alcatraz Island, site of the exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. Photo: Ben Fash.


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Discomfort Breeds ContentDiscomfort Breeds Content

24 November 2014 by Veerle Devos

Discomfort Breeds Content

Nacho Carbonell’s intrusive ways

The subtext to this story is this: by transplanting oneself into an environment that is quite contrary and less than cosy, there is every chance that one’s creativity will flow. For that is how it has been for Nacho Carbonell, whose move from sunny Spain to the northern part of Europe resulted in a great deal of uneasiness, which has in turn lead to a surge of design success and a whole lot more. Having made the original move in order to study, Carbonell had the choice to hasten back south once he graduated, but decided not to. Why? Well, by then, he had learned just how beneficial it..

Carbonell in front of his Cocoon Seats, made to face Eindhoven Cathedral during Dutch Design Week 2012: “A temporary project, but one that says ‘I want to stay’, since it’s made of 6000 kg of concrete.” It was, however, removed. Image: Veerle Devos.

nachocarbonell.com groningermuseum.nl

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Africa the BraveAfrica the Brave

24 November 2014 by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Africa the Brave

The Dark Continent comes to Italy

How opportune that the African continent has been imported to Italy for a spell! Even if people already know about the changes going on there, or think they do, this is advantageous. Because once the same information is placed in a familiar context, things are seen in a different light. One way or another, those who visit the Triennale in Milan this year are gifted the experience of immersing themselves in the exhibition and all its trimmings. With architecture in focus, the presentation simultaneously addresses the state of development of the many and diverse countries that make up its lan..

Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve, South Africa Photo: Michael Poliza.


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Beyond CollectingBeyond Collecting

24 November 2014 by Pedro Gadanho

Beyond Collecting

Archiving Architecture’s Legacies

The question is not readily answerable. While the archiving of all of the studies, sketches, drawings, and models leading up to the production of a building is often desirable – after all, these materials provide insight into the particular work of architecture’s reason for being – it is not practical to achieve without enormous difficulty and expense. And what the heck to do about digital files that become out dated every few decades or less? And should the institute that takes on the task necessarily be located in the home country? And is this a decision best left to the..

MAK exhibition view, 2014 / HOLLEIN MAK Exhibition Hall © MAK/Mika K. Wisskirchen

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Rounding UpRounding Up

24 November 2014 by Anna Sansom

Rounding Up

Olafur Eliasson’s many facets

Olafur Eliasson has an oeuvre whose range is expansive. There are likely very few readers who have not seen any of his works or studied any of his projects. With the major exhibition now running in Denmark, DAMn° found it an opportune moment to engage the artist in conversation, not only to talk about the works in this important show but also about the many and various things he has realised and those he is itching to create.

Olafur Eliasson and the Turner colour experiments Exhibition currently on view at Tate Britain, London.

Metalinguistic GamesMetalinguistic Games

24 November 2014 by Francesco Spampinato

Metalinguistic Games

Åbäke’s playground

Åbäke can be described – on paper, at least – as a collective of four transdisciplinary graphic designers who established a studio in 2000. But contrary to any image that might come to mind, the team has a hand in many pies, and those pies do not resemble graphics so very much. A lot of what the group does is concentrated on the social aspect of design, and achieved through unusual and often pervasive means. It is a kind of madness in which there is method.

Avant la faim et après: Jumeaux, 2014. Sculptural objects. A public commission from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, in collaboration with the Musée de la Danse, Rennes Photo: Nyima Leray. Courtesy of Musée de la Danse, Rennes, and CNAP, Pa

The Last Industrial Revolution?The Last Industrial Revolution?

24 November 2014 by Cristina Guadalupe Galván

The Last Industrial Revolution?

3D printing, for goodness sake

A recent book exploring the world of 3D printing has inspired DAMn° to dig into the data in order to provide a fair glimpse into the state of this technology as it stands today. In assessing its utilisation across the globe, especially in the housing industry, it becomes clear that we are reaching a turning point that proffers the possibility of exciting future developments, not least helping to ameliorate homelessness and readily providing adequate shelters in crisis situations.

Mr. Rudenko with his 3D-printed backyard castle

Portrait of the Artist as a Lone WolfPortrait of the Artist as a Lone Wolf

24 November 2014 by Sam Steverlynck

Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Wolf

The way of René Heyvaert

Although it is certainly not uncommon for the works of an artist to go unrecognised in their lifetime, it can often seem particularly sad or unfair. Such is the case with René Heyvaert’s oeuvre. Having transformed, mainly through circumstances outside of his control, from an architect into an artist, Heyvaert practiced a form of art making that suited his limited physical condition. With these restrictions seemingly serving as a catalyst, he used many unusual components in his artworks, rendering them hard to categorise and unusually delightful.

Portrait of René Heyvaert from the René Heyvaert diary pages, 1975-1976 (detail)

The Benefit of ImpatienceThe Benefit of Impatience

24 November 2014 by Norman Kietzmann

The Benefit of Impatience

Martin Mostböck revs things up

With projects that include chairs, plant pots, and houses, Martin Mostböck’s career has been fanciful – just the way he likes it. The fact that Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni, and Arne Jacobsen are his role models, offers a tiny bit of insight into the spirited nature of this designer, although it does not tell the whole story; for that can only be gleaned from perusing or otherwise experiencing the objects he conceives.

FLAXX Chair, 2014

Tripping the LightTripping the Light

24 November 2014 by Silvia Anna Barrilà

Tripping the Light

Fantastic happenings in the Ruhr district

In a presentation that focused on light in the urban context, the German district of Ruhr has fantastically illustrated the powerful effect that lighting has on the human being in a city. Through five installations by five artists, the initiative proved that a gesture of light, contrived as a public work of art, could make an enormous difference to the way people experience their everyday outdoor environment. And that this difference is most welcome.

Aeropolis by Plastique Fantastique. Photo: Roman Mensing © Urbane Künste Ruhr

Going MobileGoing Mobile

24 November 2014 by Anna Sansom

Going Mobile

Pleasurable temporalities

On the occasion of the publication of a book on portable architecture, DAMn° could not help but delve into its pages and discover the many and various forms of structure that have been constructed for temporary or nomadic use. Although such dwellings are not a new concept, they are perhaps becoming more appreciated these days, as life in the developed world gets more and more complicated.

Open House by artist Matthew Mazzotta and Coleman Center for the Arts, Alabama, US

Romancing the ChairRomancing the Chair

24 November 2014 by César Jiménez-Martínez

Romancing the Chair

Cristián Valdés exploits limitations

Cristián Valdés became widely known through the design of a single piece of furniture: Silla Valdés, a chair made of laminated wood, steel tubing, and leather. In the nearly 40 years since then, he has continued to produce furniture and architecture – his metier, applying the same basic principles used for that chair. DAMn° speaks with Valdés about his lengthy career, starting with the original chair that made his name.

Marbella House, 2003. Ochoalcubo complex, Puchuncavi, Marbella, Chile Architecture and furniture by Cristián Valdés

When the Going gets Tough…When the Going gets Tough…

24 November 2014 by Veerle Devos

When the Going gets Tough…

25/15 Serralves

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto (Portugal) is a diehard friend of the arts. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Foundation & the 15th anniversary of the Museum, there are high hopes for the future, despite current funding concerns. Renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza designed the museum at a time when there was no financial crisis, lest, he imagines, the building may never have come to exist. There is, however, an astute plan in place for ensuring that the museum does not sink asunder. Meanwhile, several impressive exhibitions mark the occasion.

Pritzker prize-winning Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, passionately explaining the current situation of the arts in Portugal. Photo: Veerle Devos

Optical IllusionOptical Illusion

24 November 2014 by Veerle Devos

Optical Illusion

The lure of LINDBERG eyewear

The rise to fame of LINDBERG eyewear would seem to have come about very naturally, dare we say innocently? Whatever the case, it is inspiring to note that a father and son team, by setting up a business together and doing what they were passionate about doing, proceeded to gain the attention of big-shots around the world, without much effort at all. DAMn° was eager to nestle up to the owners and find out what the story looks like from the inside.

Craftsman at LINDBERG

40 x 4040 x 40

24 November 2014 by Patrizia Coggiola

40 x 40

The crafting of waste

Italian designers Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti began collaborating about a year ago. Their favourite material is Carrara marble. But the key to their ingenuity is the use of discarded marble tiles in the design of all sorts of household objects. By employing the latest technology, they are able to achieve simplicity of form, concentrating on gesture to achieve minimal purity.

Piet fruit bowl, by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti

At the OfficeAt the Office

24 November 2014 by Patrizia Coggiola

At the Office

A space for communicative solutions

Until about a decade ago, office furniture was strictly functional. And then, quite suddenly, office design was flooded by home-office trends, in a desperate attempt to restore a sense of warmth to the atmosphere. It is only now that the industry has come to realise that the solution lies in a synthesis of the two. DAMN° takes a look at the new components being developed for working environments, with ergonomic, acoustic, and visual concerns in mind.

großgestalten office

What Love has to do with ItWhat Love has to do with It

24 November 2014 by Silvia Anna Barrilà

What Love has to do with It

Guto Requena transmits a message

This is a love story of a different sort. The way it works is that we as individuals transfer our emotional data into the object that we wish to possess. Designer Guto Requena has devised a way in which our sensations can be monitored and fed into the making of a given product. Furthermore, we can then print this object ourselves – in the place where we stand, as it were – without any worry as to copyright infringement. DAMn° reckons this truly smacks of 21st century thinking.

3D-printed bowl (top view)

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