MatchesFashion Alums Bring Their E-Commerce Know-How to Design, and Other News

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MatchesFashion Alums Bring Their E-Commerce Know-How to Design

Devotees of design objets, take note: Abask, a new e-commerce platform from two of the brilliant minds behind MatchesFashion, is putting future heirlooms at your fingertips. The platform, founded by Tom Chapman and Nicolas Pickaerts, launched Wednesday with 2,000 products. Among them: revivals of previously archived Murano glassware by the likes of Venini, 1950s cocktail napkins from the Taf Firenze archive, with forthcoming exclusive launches like Zoë de Givenchy tableware. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

The Magdalene College Library by Niall McLaughlin Architects. Photography by Nick Kane, courtesy The Stirling Prize

A library designed with longevity in mind receives this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize. 

“The Magdalene College Library has just swooped up the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2022 Stirling Prize, which celebrates the most significant building of the year. An elegant marriage of load-bearing brick walls, gabled pitched roofs, and brick chimneys, the  building is located in a 700-year-old college that’s part of the University of Cambridge. It replaces a cramped library next door with a new structure that houses a larger library, complete with an archive facility and a picture gallery. Designed by the London-based firm Niall McLaughlin Architects, the library opened in 2021.” [H/T Fast Company]

A proposal aims to transform parts of New York into rain-absorbing super sponges.

“Most of New York City—more than 70 percent—can’t absorb rain due to all its concrete and pavement. This often leaves water falling from the sky with no place to go, leading to catastrophic and deadly flash floods. Scientists expect the problem to worsen with climate change. To combat this, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection proposed to create a series of infrastructure installations that would transform portions of the five boroughs into super sponges. The Cloudburst Management plan will turn available outdoor public surfaces and subsurfaces into layers that can absorb, capture, or divert precipitation. Using technologies such as porous pavement and collection basins installed below recreational facilities such as playgrounds, it can handle up to 2.3 inches of hourly rainfall, or an extreme storm one might expect to occur once every 10 years.” [H/T Gothamist]

Analysts predict Rolex and Audemars Piguet prices will plunge as supply surges. 

“Prices for the most popular pre-owned Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watches will fall further as the market has been flooded with supply, analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a report. After surging in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, an index of the most popular models from Daytona chronograph maker Rolex tracked by WatchCharts has fallen by 21 percent since the market peak in April. Prices for the most popular Nautilus-maker Patek Philippe references are down 19 percent on the secondary market while those for Audemars Piguet, the maker of the Royal Oak, have declined 15 percent since the peak. Prices will likely keep falling due to a “dramatic” increase in supply.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

“O Barco/The Boat” (2021) by Grada Kilomba. Photography by Richard Thompson

Grada Kilomba stages a “slave ship” work outside the former British Navy offices.

“The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is marking its tenth anniversary on a powerfully somber note with the first-time UK showing of the Portuguese artist Grada Kilomba’s striking 105-foot-long installation that occupies the main courtyard of Somerset House. O Barco/The Boat (2021) consists of 140 charred wooden blocks configured in the outline of the hold of a historical European slave ship. This grim reminder of European expansion and colonization is rendered all the more potent given the history of Somerset House as the former home of Britain’s Navy Board.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

A lawsuit claims that Audrey Gelman and The Wing owe $1.7 million in unpaid rent.

“Audrey Gelman has moved on from the Wing, but the Wing has not quite moved on from her. While the co-working space closed all of its remaining locations in August, the landlords of the Wing’s former Soho location on 52 Mercer Street filed a lawsuit Wednesday over $1.7 million in back rent. The lawsuit, which names both Gelman and the company, claims that the Wing stopped communicating with landlords Matthew and Howard Baden in September and that they found out the company was shutting down only from media reports.” [H/T Curbed]

After renovations, the National Library of France opens its vault of French treasures.

“Dagobert’s bronze throne. Charlemagne’s ivory chess pieces. Mozart’s handwritten score of Don Giovanni. A 16th-century globe—the first to use the word ‘America.’ In a library? Yes, but not just any library. These works belong to the National Library of France. After 12 years and 261 million euros (more than $256 million) of renovations, the country’s national library in the heart of Paris has reopened and is showing off more than 900 of its treasures. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne officially inaugurated the site at a champagne-filled cocktail party in September attended by much of Paris’ intellectual ruling class.” [H/T The New York Times]

Muralla Roja by Ricardo Bofill. Image courtesy of Ricardo Bofill

Today’s attractive distractions:

The James Webb telescope captures an enormous “cosmic fingerprint.”

Ricardo Bofill’s eminently Instagrammable Muralla Roja is listed on Airbnb.

If your houseplants are dying, we recommend consulting this handy guide.

Going beyond the menu is making restaurant workers’ lives miserable.

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