AI Envisions a Future with Plant-Covered Skyscrapers, and Other News

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Image courtesy of Manas Bhatia

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According to AI, the future holds residential skyscrapers covered in trees and plants.

“Manas Bhatia has a bold vision of the future—one where residential skyscrapers covered in trees, plants and algae act as ‘air purification towers.’ In a series of detailed images, the New Delhi-based architect and computational designer has brought the idea to life. His imagined buildings are depicted rising high above a futuristic metropolis, their curved forms inspired by shapes found in nature. But the pictures were not entirely of his own imagination. For his conceptual project, ‘AI x Future Cities,’ Bhatia turned to an artificial intelligence imaging tool, Midjourney, that generates elaborate pictures based on written prompts. Using a series of text descriptions—featuring phrases like ‘futuristic towers,’ ‘utopian technology,’ ‘symbiotic,’ and ‘bioluminescent material’—Midjourney yielded a series of digital images that Bhatia further tweaked by honing the prompts.” [H/T CNN]

Tommy Hilfiger returns to New York Fashion Week with a Warhol-inspired show.

“Tommy Hilfiger brought his $9.3 billion brand back to New York for the first time in three years with an autumn show inspired by Andy Warhol that also managed to be one of fashion week’s most diverse. As ever with Tommy Hilfiger, the Sunday night show was as much about the vibe as the fashion. Silver balloons recalling Warhol’s 1966 work Silver Clouds decorated the stage, Hilfiger-branded water cans were handed out and Lady Bunny, another Warholian muse, played Donna Summer tracks. The clothes themselves were a lesson in star-spangled preppiness, though it felt more Mean Girls than Love Story, taking the rawest collegiate iconography—varsity prints, cheerleader costumes and logos—and turning them into chunky knits, thick scarves and supersized dresses.” [H/T The Guardian]

A new proposal would shut off the Eiffel Tower’s lights an hour early each night. Photography by Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Paris is proposing to shut off the Eiffel Tower’s lights an hour early every night.

“The Eiffel Tower is shutting off its lights, and by extension, the entire Paris skyline may soon be getting a little darker. Later this week, Paris city hall is expected to propose that the tower’s light be shut off an hour earlier than it currently is, according to a report in The Guardian. If put into effect, the Eiffel Tower would go dark at 11:45 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. The plan comes as Europe faces a mounting energy crisis, largely due to the cascading impacts of Russia invading Ukraine. However, the move, much like the tower itself, is largely symbolic. The head of the tower’s management, Jean-François Martins, told the publication that the gesture was “part of the growing awareness around energy sobriety.” Currently, only 4 percent of the tower’s annual energy consumption comes from evening lighting.” [H/T Architectural Digest]

Jean-Luc Godard, innovative director who shaped French New Wave film, dies at 91. 

“Jean-Luc Godard, the daringly innovative director and provocateur whose unconventional camera work, disjointed narrative style and penchant for radical politics changed the course of filmmaking in the 1960s, leaving a lasting influence on it, died on Tuesday at his home in the district of Rolle, Switzerland. He was 91. In practice he seldom scrambled the timeline of his films, preferring instead to leap forward through his narratives by means of the elliptical “jump cut,” which he did much to make into a widely accepted tool. But he never tired of taking apart established forms and reassembling them in ways that were invariably fresh, frequently witty, sometimes abstruse but consistently stimulating.” [H/T The New York Times]

Selldorf Architects’ proposal to revamp the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London, originally designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Image courtesy of Selldorf Architects

Critics are concerned about a proposed remodel of the National Gallery in London.

“Architects, critics, and academics are concerned about Selldorf Architects’ plans to remodel Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s postmodern Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London. Plans to overhaul Venturi, Scott Brown’s extension to the National Gallery in central London have been described by detractors as ‘damagingly destructive,’ ‘an act of vandalism,’ and a ‘tepid shower of the pallid and the polite.’ Selldorf Architects’ plans, which are due to be decided on this autumn, would see the Sainsbury Wing’s facade updated with its dark glass replaced with transparent panes and the lobby largely remodeled, with ceilings and original columns removed.” [H/T Dezeen]

Dozens of exhibitions will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death.

“More than 40 exhibitions focused on the legacy of Pablo Picasso will open over the next year as part of an ambitious programme marking the 50th anniversary of the Spanish artist’s death. The initiative, known as Celebration Picasso 1973-2023, is supported by the French and Spanish governments. The shows and events—including 16 exhibitions in Spain, 12 in France and seven in the U.S.—will be overseen by a ‘bi-national’ commission led by officials at the Musée national Picasso-Paris and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist’s grandson and president of the Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Foundation for Art. There are no exhibitions planned for the United Kingdom.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Kanye West. Photography by Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP/Getty Images

Today’s attractive distractions:

Sheep can be surprisingly effective lawn mowers in solar-panel fields.

Hundreds showed up to a Brooklyn Rainbow to secure their Telfar bag.

Though they’re a kitschy household staple, garden gnomes are polarizing.

Kanye West decides that he’s 100 percent done with corporate America.

All Stories