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The Eames Shell Chair needs no introduction—since its debut in 1950, the midcentury design icons have popped up in virtually every setting on the planet, from small-town diners to lobbies of five-star hotels. Charles and Ray Eames first introduced the seating staple in fiberglass, but its manufacturer, Herman Miller, eventually switched to polypropylene in 2006 due to environmental and safety concerns. (Evolving material technology made it possible to return to a safer fiberglass option again in 2013.) The entire Eames Molded Plastic Chair portfolio will soon undergo another material transformation, this time into 100 percent post-industrial recycled plastic—a change will eliminate roughly 122 tons of plastic annually, accounting for a 15 percent carbon reduction for the beloved product line.
“Ray and Charles embraced a spirit of continuous reinvention for the Molded Plastic Chair, especially in developing the use of sustainable materials with each iteration,” says Herman Miller president Ben Watson, who notes the brand will continue to pursue meaningful, responsible change as material technology evolves. This past year, the brand announced it would start producing the best-selling Aeron Chair with ocean-bound plastics sourced from vulnerable coastal communities across India and Indonesia. “Part of responsible design is first making things that will last,” Watson continues. “The second part is always looking for ways we can improve our designs to make the world more sustainable and equitable for all.” —Ryan Waddoups
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha will reopen in October after a massive revamp.
“One of the most important museums in the Middle East, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha, is due to reopen on 5 October following the “reimagination and reinstallation of its permanent collection galleries”, say museum officials in a statement. The museum has been closed since April 2021; the reconfiguration of the museum is part of a cultural bonanza in the small oil-rich state ahead of the Fifa World Cup launching in November. The galleries will be organized according to broad historical and cultural themes, periods and geography, and will explore the “great traditions of Islamic craftsmanship”, according to officials. The newly restored 19th-century Damascus Room, which took three years to re-assemble and conserve, is among the main attractions.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]
Ukraine plans to seek UNESCO cultural protection for the historic port of Odesa.
“Ukraine’s government will ask the UN’s cultural watchdog to add the historic port of Odesa to its World Heritage List of protected sites as Russia’s invasion continues, the agency said Tuesday. Russian forces have advanced to within several dozen miles of the city, which blossomed after empress Catherine the Great decreed in the late 18th century that it would be Russia’s modern gateway to the Black Sea. Analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin could soon target Odesa to completely block Ukraine’s Black Sea access, potentially with heavy bombardments like those that razed the port of Mariupol.” [H/T Kyiv Post]
An immersive entertainment venue is headed to L.A.’s Hollywood Park complex.
“A new HKS-designed entertainment venue is rising in Inglewood’s under-construction Hollywood Park mixed-use mega-development. The project is led by experiential media and immersive technology company Cosm and will be the first location to utilize their domed and compound curved LED technology. The site sits adjacent to a fellow HKS-designed project, SoFi Stadium. It will feature an 87-foot-diameter LED dome in a 65,000-square-foot facility that can house up to 1,700 guests. Programming will include live sports and entertainment, experiential events and content, immersive art, music, and more.” [H/T Archinect]
Burberry and the British Fashion Council team up on an industry diversity initiative.
“Dubbed ‘The Outsiders Perspective,’ the program seeks to address the underrepresentation of minorities in the fashion industry. Created by former Roksanda chief executive and BFC executive board member Jamie Gill, the initiative will provide mentoring opportunities to people of color seeking to break into the fashion industry in various fields, such as sales, merchandising, operations, marketing, and legal. The program has three financial backers, including Zalando, Burberry, and Deloitte, with additional resourcing support from Karla Otto, the Mayor of London’s office and British Fashion Council.” [H/T Business of Fashion]
Burning Man returns to the Nevada desert, this time with a particularly “cool” artwork.
“The arts and culture festival that pops up in the Nevada desert every year is back after a two-year break for COVID-19, with ever-more-outrageous mutant vehicles, mammoth chairs, and a 48-foot-tall wood bell tower. But in the middle of Black Rock City, an even cooler surprise awaits: a glowing, 8,000-square-foot installation inspired by the world’s largest body of floating ice—the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Dubbed The Last Ocean, the installation resembles a fractal patchwork of 300 LED platforms that come alive when people step, dance, or do yoga on them. It was designed by interactive artist Jen Lewin, with the goal of capturing the fragility of our natural landscape, prompting people to reflect on their impact on the environment.” [H/T Fast Company]
Ten women accuse influential German art dealer Johann König of sexual misconduct.
“Ten women have accused the influential German dealer Johann König of sexual misconduct in a report published by the outlet Die Zeit. The women accused König, who runs an eponymous gallery with locations in Berlin, Seoul, and Vienna, of making unwanted sexual comments and inappropriate touching. One woman accused König of forcibly kissing her. According to Die Zeit, these allegations, some of which were by women who requested anonymity, date back several years. They had not been made public until now because the women initially didn’t want them reported for fear of retaliation, the investigation said, and because there had been “at least one” pending complaint against him.” [H/T ARTnews]
Activists protest against the proposed redevelopment of Manhattan’s Penn Station.
“On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside the Farley Post Office in Manhattan. They were demonstrating against the proposal to demolish much of the area surrounding Penn Station for the proposed construction of ten office towers. As part of the demonstration, 55 coffins were laid in front of the building’s monumental steps—one for each building slated for demolition. The protest was organized by the nonprofit ReThink Penn Station, which has spoken out against the redevelopment.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]
Today’s attractive distractions:
Franco Rossi’s obscure 1962 film Smog can open our eyes to Modernism.