Carlo Ratti Associati Brings Biophilia to Palazzo Mondadori, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Oscar Niemeyer's Palazzo Mondadori. Image courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati, DSL Studio/Delfino Sisto Legnani, and Melania Delle Grave.

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Restored USM furniture and biophilia abound at Carlo Ratti’s Palazzo Mondadori refit.

The first phase of renovations on Oscar Neimeyer’s Palazzo Mondadori was recently unveiled by Carlo Ratti Associati, who realized the project together with the late Italo Rota and Maestro Technologies. Together the three studios revitalized 1,300 pieces of original, modular USM furniture which were distributed over 200,000 square feet of office space. An abundance of integrated planters, along with transparent meeting rooms and special care to maximize natural light throughout, maintain Niemeyer’s architectural legacy in a modern application.

Foster + Partners and Arup unveil initial concept drawings for California’s high-speed rail.

After years of bureaucratic holdup, Foster + Partners and Arup have finally been able to share four model designs for California’s high-speed rail stations. Sustainability and community integration are at the fore of the concept drawings for stations in Merced, Fresno, Kings Tulare, and Bakersfield, which will feature pedestrian bridges and landscaped plazas—all aimed at enhancing connectivity and economic growth. A recent influx of federal funding has fast-tracked a projection for the rail line’s first operational segment to debut between 2030 and 2033.

An OMA concept drawing of Centre Pompidou Jersey City. Image courtesy of OMA.

The U.K.’s Home Secretary disavows Banksy’s migrant boat artwork at Glastonbury.

Home Secretary James Cleverly criticized an inflatable boat with migrant dummies attributed to Banksy, which appeared at the Glastonbury Festival. The official called it “vile” and a “celebration of loss of life.” The piece, released during a set by the band Idles, was interpreted by some as commentary on migrant deaths in the English Channel. In his remarks, Cleverly accused the Labour Party of hindering border control efforts and using divisive immigration rhetoric while decrying the work as an offensive attempt at humor. 

At the Art for Tomorrow Conference, Venice and Qatar reveal a cultural heritage partnership.

A new five-year pact between Qatar and the city of Venice has aligned the two geographic locales on a shared course to restore key areas of Venice and collaborate on cultural heritage projects. The agreement, which was announced at the Art for Tomorrow conference, spans initiatives across education, art publications, and exploring connections between Venetian and Islamic architecture. The announcement comes as direct flights between Qatar and Venice resume following pandemic-era cessations.

New Jersey withdraws financial support from Centre Pompidou’s planned museum there.

Centre Pompidou’s Jersey City museum project has been deemed financially unfeasible by state officials, who have withdrawn funding for the long-delayed project. Escalating costs and financial burdens on taxpayers were cited as key reasons for the decision, which has led to the museum’s indefinite suspension and the reversal of an $18 million funding allocation. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency has also requested the return of $6 million previously allocated to the museum.

Artificial skin created at the University of Tokyo. Image courtesy 2024 Takeuchi et al., 2024.

Today’s attractive distractions:

The University of Tokyo’s robots made from living skin can crack a smile. 

This AI blood test shows promise in detecting Parkinson’s Disease early.

One thing Millennials aren’t killing? The market for new-age suitcases

Can’t get a table at Carbone? Try booking these celebrity beauticians.


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