Es Devlin Creates Chaos in London’s West End, And Other News

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Photography by Brinkhoff Mögenburg and Daniel Devlin

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Es Devlin Creates Chaos in London’s West End

Hysterical fear slowly throwing the Puritanical town of Salem into chaos is one of The Crucible’s most memorable themes—not to mention a sly critique of McCarthyism that resonates today. So when director Lyndsey Turner commissioned Es Devlin to devise a scenography for Arthur Miller’s classic 1953 play at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End, where it’s playing until Sept. 2, the Tony Award–winning set designer drove that point home by envisioning a fluid centerpiece that upends any semblance of order on the stage. 

As the drama unfolds, a rotating trapezoidal form produces illuminated rainfall that, as Devlin describes, “conjures for the audience how precarious their community order may have felt to them.” Ditto for the 40 neatly arranged church chairs that progressively become strewn across the stage. A hidden gutter drains the downpour, allowing water to be used repeatedly. “I aimed to create an environment that would support this potent visceral text as it grabs its audience by the guts,” says Devlin. She avoided using too many period props to illustrate a key point: “[The play is] as urgent now as it has always been.” –Ryan Waddoups

Image courtesy of Minnesota Zoo

The world’s longest elevated pedestrian loop officially opens at a Minnesota zoo.

The Minnesota Zoo Treetop Trail, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian loop, has officially opened to the public. The project repurposed 1.25 miles of a former monorail into a walkway, providing visitors with new views and experiences amidst the zoo’s wildlife, hardwood forest, and wetlands. Led by Snow Kreilich Architects with contributions from Buro Happold and TEN x TEN, the scheme aimed to minimize disruptions to the zoo’s animals and guests during construction. The $39 million trail, funded through public and private support, aligns with the zoo’s commitment to wildlife conservation and connecting people with nature.

The Lunar Codex project aims to place 30,000 works of art on the moon’s surface.

By the end of next year, the moon may host an art collection robust enough to fill several museums. Spearheaded by Canadian physicist, poet, art collector, and science-fiction author Samuel Peralta, the Lunar Codex project will send 30,000 works of art, literature, music, film, and theater to sites on the moon’s surface via three landing modules. The moon-bound art will include pieces from PoetsArtists magazine, focusing on contemporary figurative works, along with contributions from Olesya Dzhurayeva and Connie Karleta Sales. The materials will be inscribed on tiny, durable NanoFiche or digital memory cards, creating a message-in-a-bottle to the future and reflecting humanity’s creative spirit amidst global challenges.

Image courtesy of KPF/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

KPF’s 5 World Trade Center will include 400 permanently affordable housing units.

New York governor Kathy Hochul announced that 1,200 housing units will be built at 5 World Trade Center, making it the complex’s only residential building. The KPF-designed tower, developed by Brookfield Properties and Silverstein Properties, received approval from the state’s Public Authorities Control Board to proceed with its glass-and-metal curtain-walled scheme. The project will include 400 units of low- and middle-income housing, with 80 units reserved for those who were in Lower Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks and its aftermath. 

Birkenstock’s parent company is planning to launch an $8 billion IPO in September.

L Catterton, the private equity firm that owns Birkenstock, is planning to launch an IPO for the German sandal brand in September. Sources indicate that the IPO could value Birkenstock at more than $8 billion, with some suggesting it could reach up to $10 billion. The brand’s sales have recently surged partly due to its appearance in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie; its revenues in 2022 reached $1.3 billion, a 29 percent increase from the previous year.

California is investigating the data collection practices of “connected” vehicles. 

The California Privacy Protection Agency (CPAA) announced it will review the data privacy practices of connected car manufacturers. Connected cars offer smart features like web-based entertainment, location sharing, and smartphone integration, which automatically gather consumers’ locations and personal details. The CPAA’s enforcement division is investigating whether these companies comply with California law in their collection and use of consumer data, as modern vehicles function as connected computers capable of monitoring people both inside and near the vehicle. The probe is carried out under the California Consumer Privacy Act, granting privacy rights to Californians, including knowing the personal information collected, deleting it, and stopping its sale or sharing.

Today’s attractive distractions:

The Beanie Bubble is the latest entry in a summer of corporate biopics. 

Revisit an illuminating 1987 Artforum essay about the late Paul Reubens. 

Residents of Punjab, India, are known for building bizarre water tanks

According to Jaron Lanier, musical instruments can reveal the real world.

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