The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
Damien Hirst designs the cover art for Drake’s long-delayed album Certified Lover Boy.
In a cryptic Instagram post, Drake announced the release date for his upcoming album, called Certified Lover Boy. The post was accompanied with an image of cover art that features a grid of 12 multiracial “pregnant woman” emojis wearing differently colored shirts designed by the British artist Damien Hirst, whom Drake tagged in the post. The cover garnered a wide variety of responses, which ranged in intensity from “corny” to “an abomination.” (Lil Nas X even spoofed the cover with 12 pregnant men and then promoted his own forthcoming album, which has a much more futuristic look and feel.) If anything, Hirst’s artwork nods to his Spot Paintings series of monochromatic canvases covered in rows of colorful dots, which he said he created to “create structure to do nothing.
Esrawe revamps its Mexico showroom into an exhibition space packed with artworks.
Known to foster partnerships between creatives and designers, Mexican multidisciplinary design studio Esrawe has converted their showroom into a collaborative workspace that spotlights limited-edition art pieces. The collection spans works from the host studio and Héctor Esrawe’s personal holdings to installations by VISSIO, EWE, and designer Manu Bañó. Sporting a curated selection of high-design furniture, glass displays, and local artworks, Esrawe’s outlet-turned-gallery will nurture a haven for creatives to operate within and invites the global art scene to participate in its dialogue of Mexican culture.
In Rimini, the newly opened Fellini Museum will honor the late Italian film director.
Named after the renowned Italian film director, the Fellini Museum revamps the downtown area of Rimini—the birthplace of the Federico Fellini—with two structures bridged by a historic piazza, both imbued by a “Felliniesque” touch. Castel Sismondo, a renaissance-inspired castle, highlights Fellini’s lavish media portfolio through its array of anecdotal installations, interactive panels, and a reconstruction of the late director’s personal library; the second structure reimagines the ground floor of an 18th-century palazzo with a duplicated version of the Fulgor Cinema by designer Dante Ferrettias, an homage to Fellini’s discovery of film in his youth. The installation of a mist fountain in the dividing thoroughfare, however, is sparking backlash because it violates Italy’s stringent heritage laws by interfering with the historical remains buried under the Rimini site.
In Milan, a raging fire at a residential high-rise is drawing comparisons to Grenfell.
A fire in an 18-story Milanese residential building is drawing comparisons to the Grenfell Tower fire in London as recorded by Milan mayor Beppe Sala. On Sunday, the Torre del Moro apartment block in Milan was engulfed by enormous flames. Reports noted that the ember, which began on the 15th floor, was catalyzed by the structure’s aluminium and polystyrene cladding and the failure of the internal fighter-fighting fail safes. Despite the velocity of the fire, all residents were safely evacuated. “What became clear from the beginning, though, is that the exterior coating of the building went up in flames all too quickly, in a dynamic that closely recalled the Grenfell Tower fire in London a few years ago,” says Sala.
The Domino Tower in Zanzibar may soon become Africa’s second-tallest skyscraper.
In an effort to restore the Tanzanian economy in the wake of the pandemic, the nation unveils plans for a 70-story tower on an archipelago in Zanzibar designed by the New York– and Dubai-based interiors firm xCassia. Titled the Domino Tower, the $1.3 billion project draws inspiration from its namesake and will play host to luxury hotels, 560 apartments, and a marina, among other assets. Although the project’s long-term viability remains unclear due to its financial weight, it forwards Tanzania’s “Blue Economy” program—an approach to tourism that is centered on hailing tourists by promoting the geographic location of autonomous islands in the Indian Ocean. Further questions about the development’s feasibility arise when flooding risks from unchecked climate change enter the conversation.
Brazil prepares to privatize $5.8 billion in federal properties to help refuel its economy.
The dichotomy between culture and economy continues as Brazil is offering 4,000 historical properties to the private sector to refuel the national economy. Valued at $5.8 billion, the list of sites up for auction are hallmarks of Brazil’s vernacular architecture: a 1920s railroad station that housed A Noite newspaper, Latin America’s maiden skyscraper, and the infamous Gustavo Capanema Palace (the Ministry of Education and Health). The privatization proposal finds its roots in the government’s SPU+ program, which aims to revitalize the economy by monetizing $21 billion in federal properties by 2022. Despite local and global backlash and calls for preservation, Brazil is forwarding its exchange of heritage for economic prosperity.
Today’s attractive distractions:
A new photography book peeks inside America’s eerily abandoned movie theaters.