Bottega Veneta Is Launching an Artisanal Craft Academy, and Other News

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Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta

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Bottega Veneta Is Launching an Artisanal Craft Academy

There are brands identified by logos, and then there are those pinpointed for their craft. Bottega Veneta’s leather intrecciato motif falls into the latter as one of the most recognizable signatures of a fashion house. Since the ’70s, strips of materials have been hand-braided into a pattern seen on the Italian label’s bags, wallets, and even ready-to-wear garments and housewares. Students can now get an inside look at the house’s commitment to artisanal craft with the opening of Accademia Labor et Ingenium, a school based between the house’s atelier in Montebello Vicentino and nearby Povolaro Dueville in Veneto. 

The school will admit 50 students per year and guarantee employment upon completion. Master artisans from Bottega Veneta will lead classes, aiming to impart time-honored skills and traditions while collaborating with local partners to celebrate Italy’s rich craft heritage. “Exceptional craft and creativity are essential to our brand and to the heritage of our home region in Veneto,” Leo Rongone, the label’s CEO, said in a statement. “With the Accademia, we take the collective ethos at the heart of Bottega Veneta to a new level, building on our rich history of skill-sharing and innovation to nurture the artisans of the future.” The program kicks off this week with a seven-week masterclass “The Artisanal Creative Process: Training Course in Bag Design & Product Development” in partnership with University IUAV in Venice. —Ryan Waddoups

College Road by HTA Design. Photography by Simon Toplis

“Europe’s tallest residential tower using volumetric construction” wraps up in London.

British architecture studio HTA Design has completed College Road, a 535-foot-tall apartment building in Croydon claiming the title of “Europe’s tallest residential tower using volumetric construction methods.” Comprising two towers of 50 and 35 stories, adorned with a pleated ceramic facade, the complex was built from 1,725 volumetric modular units surrounding a concrete core and foundation. The project reimagines Croydon’s mid-century architectural heritage, providing 120 affordable homes in the shorter tower and 817 rental apartments in the taller one, along with amenities like a podcast studio, spa, gym, coworking space, and rooftop sky garden. The building’s geometric facade takes inspiration from 1950s and 60s developments in south London, with a gradient of ceramic tiles by designer Adam Nathaniel Furman adorning 23-foot-tall columns at its base.

Gehry Partners submits a proposal to revamp a major symphony hall in San Francisco. 

The San Francisco Symphony, along with Gehry Partners and Mark Cavagnero Associates, has submitted a proposal to the San Francisco Planning Department for potential renovations to Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. The $100 million renovation plan includes redesigning the interior concert hall by Gehry Partners and reimagining the building’s exterior and lobby by Mark Cavagnero Associates. The project aims to enhance accessibility, transparency, and operational efficiency while creating one-of-a-kind experiences for a broader audience. The entitlement process, required for modernization projects, is expected to take approximately two years. Key components of the design include expanding outdoor space and reducing the main concert hall’s seating capacity while adding a smaller recital hall.

The Louvre Museum. Photography by Kiran Radley/Getty Images

The Louvre evacuated and closed on Saturday after staffers received a written threat.

The Louvre Museum evacuated thousands of visitors on Saturday following a written threat received by staffers. This incident occurred as France remained on high alert for terrorist attacks following last week’s killing of a teacher by a suspected radical Islamist. The museum chose to close for the afternoon for security reasons, and police conducted verifications of the buildings after approximately 15,000 people were asked to leave. Additionally, the Château de Versailles was also evacuated due to a bomb threat and the second edition of Paris+ par Art Basel installed anti-ram barriers around the venue. France has deployed as many as 7,000 troops across the country in response to the heightened terror threat. 

Ikea plans to reduce the price of its furniture to help ease its customers’ inflation woes.

Ikea is planning on reducing prices on its furniture following a period of price increases due to rising raw material costs during the pandemic. Despite selling fewer items due to the higher prices, Ikea has seen a 6.6 percent increase in sales for the year up to August. With rising interest rates impacting customers’ finances, the company hopes lowering prices will help maintain sales, although uncertainty remains about whether cheaper goods will stimulate consumption. Ikea has also diversified its business by offering services beyond furniture, such as a room design service and a mobile app for visualizing products in your space, alongside opening new stores in major cities and pledging to invest $2.2 billion in the United States to compete with other retail giants like Walmart and Target.

Ahead of her SFMOMA show, Yayoi Kusama apologizes for her anti-Black statements.

Yayoi Kusama has addressed and apologized for the racist descriptions of Black people in her past writings just ahead of her new exhibition, “Infinite Love,” opening at the San Francisco Museum of Art. In a statement received by the San Francisco Chronicle, Kusama expressed deep regret for her offensive language and stated her message has always been about love, hope, compassion, and respect for all people. Her writings, including her 2003 autobiography Infinity Net, have been criticized for portraying Black people in harmful ways. In response, SFMOMA is planning to create public programs next year to address how museums can navigate artists with problematic histories, signaling a broader discussion on the topic.

Venba. Image courtesy of Steam

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