Design Miami Names Wava Carpenter as Curatorial Director, and Other News

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Design Miami 2019. Photography by James Harris

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Design Miami has named the design specialist Wava Carpenter as its new curatorial director.

Design Miami has appointed the contemporary design specialist Wava Carpenter as curatorial director effective immediately to spearhead the fair’s expanding digital platform and the live event scheduled for December. She replaces Aric Chen after his appointment as general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. This isn’t Carpenter’s first rodeo with the design fair: She previously directed programming, design, and commissions from 2006 to 2010 and recently served as a curatorial adviser. As co-founder of Anava Projects, an agency that supports design for good, Carpenter collaborated with Design Miami on purpose-driven initiatives such as Architects for Beirut, an online sale of architectural drawings and artworks that raised money for Beirut Urban Lab following the city’s devastating August 2020 blast. “Returning to Design Miami feels like a happy homecoming,” Carpenter said in a statement. “The fair has evolved so much since its early days and I’m looking forward to supporting the continued upward trajectory.”

Virginia Supreme Court rules Charlottesville’s confederate memorials will be removed. 

The ongoing battle to remove two prominent monuments of confederate generals—Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson—in Charlottesville, Virginia, has drawn to a close. On April 1, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that plans to remove the memorials will finally move ahead. Though the initiative to remove both monuments predates the 2017 Unite the Right rally that saw thousands of white nationalists storm Market Street Park to protest the removal of Lee’s statue, which resulted in one death and 19 injuries, efforts to remove both memorials redoubled after the violent skirmish. 

Precept by Polestar

Polestar reveals plans to manufacture the world’s first climate-neutral car by 2030.

In efforts to eliminate all carbon emissions from its manufacturing, Polestar plans to design a truly carbon-neutral car by 2030. Appropriately called the Polestar 0, the vehicle and its manufacturing process will create zero emissions, unlike many other car makers who offset their emissions by planting trees. “By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what’s possible today,” says Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “We will have to question everything, innovate, and look to exponential technologies as we design toward zero.”

Los Angeles and the Getty team up to preserve landmarks related to Black history.

The Getty has partnered with Los Angeles to reimagine how the city preserves Black heritage landmarks. Called the Los Angeles African American Historic Places Project, the three-year initiative will see the Getty’s Conservation Institute and the city’s Office of Historic Resources work directly with communities and cultural institutions to identify sites that historically represent Black life. The project is “ultimately about equity,” says Conservation Institute director Tim Whalen, noting how only three percent of the city’s 1,200 historic landmarks honor African American heritage. “Historic preservation is about the acknowledgement and elevation of places and stories,” he continues, reiterating the project’s goal to make sure “the stories and places of African Americans are more present and complete.”

Image courtesy Venice Biennale

Venice’s city council blocks the rental of private property during the Venice Biennale.

In Venice, Italy, a new decree will restrict the time limit for temporary shows staged in Venetian buildings that aren’t public, foundations, or not-for-profit. The municipality has long allowed temporary exhibitions, often the pavilions of participating countries, to be held on private properties without requiring that the owners seek legal approval. Now, in a measure being called the “exhibition-blocking edict,” the longest any show can run is a mere 180 days, including set-up and dismantling. Further, the decree notes that at least one year must lapse from a show’s dismantling before another one can be set up. The new decree has already been causing dismay among organizers and other institutions preparing for the highly anticipated Venice Architecture Biennale, which will open on May 22 following extensive pandemic-induced delays. 

Clavin Klein is joining forces with Heron Preston to create a capsule collection.

Known for co-founding mens streetwear brand Been Trill with Virgil Abloh, the multi-hyphenate Heron Preston will partner with Calvin Klein for the brand’s first major collaboration with a designer. “Heron Preston for Calvin Klein” will comprise seasonless and genderless CK staples like white shirts, underwear, and denim reimagined with Preston’s signature je ne sais quoi. “We have this idea of working with different visionary and creative people to help tell a Calvin Klein story through the lens of their perspective on, or experience with, the brand,” says Jacob Jordan, global chief merchant and head of product strategy at Calvin Klein. “I see this project as a first step; it’s a reawakening for the brand, moving us closer in our connection to culture and creativity.” 

Image courtesy of Fabergé

Today’s attractive distractions:

Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul may become the site of an unexpected world record.

Francis Bacon collected grim, macabre photographs of elephant carcasses.

Fabergé is creating a $2.2 million dragon egg inspired by Game of Thrones.

This AI composed posthumous songs for Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain.

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