Re-issued on the 125th anniversary of his birth, Synergetic Stew is a document of a magical life of heady science matched only by Fuller’s penchant for “light, wild things.”
In the 1950s, architect Jeffrey Lindsay led a little-known era of geodesic dome design in Québec, which is explored in the new book Montréal’s Geodesic Dreams.
Post–World War II, architects were confident that a better life could be built, that design could improve society through efficiency and community.
WATER MILL, NY — On the same day the Apollo 11 Lunar Module touched down on the Moon, an art collective in Japan was rowing on a giant white arrow down the rivers between Kyoto and Osaka.
The designs and theories of Buckminster Fuller may seem like quaint retrofuturism today, but there was a time when his utopian ideas seemed to hold the key to peaceful and sustainable human existence on earth — at least he thought so.
Perhaps modeling what would be the architectural icon of your country’s capital off the infamous Tower of Babel isn’t the best idea. But it wasn’t superstition that brought down the gargantuan spiral of El Helicoide — or the Helix — in Caracas, Venezuela. It was economics, politics, and the continuing shadow of surveillance and secrecy.
Earlier today, the Pritzker Foundation named Shigeru Ban as its 2014 Laureate. Focusing on his work in disaster relief, the nine-person jury praised his interventions in places such as Rwanda, Haiti, India, China, Italy, and his home country of Japan — Ban is the third Japanese architect in the past five years to win the award.
Like ghosts of a future that never arrived, the United States is littered with space age relics that landed in the 1940s to 1960s in the form of diners, banks, motels, and other commercial architecture. While the futuristic style definitely made its mark on the big coastal cities, like with Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center in New York and Los Angeles International Airport’s Theme Building, it was also popular in a much more unexpected locale: on the Mars-like red earth of Oklahoma. Despite being a rather conservative place, the state fostered some pretty wild architecture, and you can still see its remnants as quiet oddities in the cityscapes. Oklahoma City especially has wonderful examples of this retrofuture trend, known as “Googie” architecture.
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK/ PITTSBURGH, PA — In his new book, Contemporary Art: World Currents, Terry Smith argues that three concerns dominate contemporary art: (1) world-picturing, or the imagination of global interconnectedness, (2) environmental problems and awareness and (3) the effects of social media. On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity to hear Smith, who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, speak about these “currents” of art created since the 1980s. When I visited Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery later that day to review the Pittsburgh Biennial, Smith’s ideas were fresh in my mind and I found myself comparing the exhibition to his understanding of art history.
Amanda Hughen and Roger Hiorns are two artists who look to the relationship between industrial and anxiety production as source material for their artistic practice. Hughen and Hiorns also serve as a study in contrasts, approaching the problem from different coasts, with different concepts, and in different traditions.