Francis Kéré Finishes a Community Playground in Uganda, and Other News

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The Kamwokya community playground by Kéré Architecture in Kampala, Uganda. Photography by Iwan Baan

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Francis Kéré completes a multipurpose playground and gathering spot in Uganda.

“It started out as a straightforward idea to build a new playground in Kampala, Uganda. And then architect Francis Kéré got involved. Completed this past summer, with an official inauguration on October 14, the project has grown to include open-air areas for gathering, multipurpose rooms for workshops and night classes, a small gym, an internet café, a music studio, restrooms, and a multisport pitch. Nestled in the heart of Kamwokya, a poor urban district on the margins of the city, the site is a pocket of public space carved from a thicket of dilapidated houses and zigzagging alleys.” [H/T Architectural Digest]

A shuttered coalfield will be converted into a renewable energy plant in West Virginia.

“Coal was king for decades in rural Appalachia. In recent years, however, the switch to natural gas and tough regulations placed on coal and power plant operators has jeopardized the fuel’s future. Coalfield Development, a West Virginia nonprofit dedicated to promoting economic development, is on the forefront in trying to change that, bringing much needed revitalization and economic drivers to the region, with eight projects across the state of West Virginia through the Appalachian Climate Technologies Coalition (ACT Now Coalition), a grant recipient of the national Build Back Better Regional Challenge organized by President Biden and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

David Lynch at the Serpentine Pavilion in Los Angeles. Photography by Jeff Vespa/Surface

David Lynch secures his first-ever New York City gallery representation with Pace. 

“Pace Gallery, one of the world’s biggest galleries, with nine locations worldwide, has added famed filmmaker and artist David Lynch to its roster. Through the arrangement, Lynch will have New York gallery representation for the first time ever in his career. The gallery’s first exhibition with Lynch, intriguingly titled ‘Big Bongo Night,’ will open in New York this November. It will coincide with an exhibition of Lynch’s works on paper further downtown, at Sperone Westwater gallery. In addition to paintings, the Pace show will feature mixed-media lamp sculptures.” [H/T ARTnews]

Legislation to establish a Smithsonian LGBTQ+ museum is introduced to Congress.

“The Smithsonian Institution’s host of cultural institutions may one day include a national museum chronicling the work of LGBTQ+ movements in the U.S. Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin introduced two bills to establish the National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture in Washington, DC, the first step in what will likely be a lengthy legislative process. The first bill creates an eight-member commission to explore the viability of creating the museum, including developing a fundraising plan and identifying possible locations. The second will formally establish it within the Smithsonian.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

A new campaign reveals how Comic Sans can help dyslexic people read more easily.

“Comic Sans is the comedic low-hanging fruit of the design world. Chastised for its unprofessional, primary school print-off capabilities, it’s a typeface that at one point or another, like Coldplay or Twilight, became cool to hate. But the denunciation of Comic Sans in design overlooks one of its greatest strengths: it can help people with dyslexia read texts more easily. As such, it’s the focal point of a campaign from Dyslexia Scotland, together with Innocean Berlin and WeTransfer, for Dyslexia Awareness Month. Though the font is the eye-catching poster child, the campaign speaks to an even wider problem, hoping to raise awareness around the need for a more inclusive mindset at large in design.” [H/T It’s Nice That]

Google’s new Pixel Watch. Image courtesy of Google

Google unveils the Pixel Watch, its first-ever smartwatch, to compete with rival Apple.

“The Pixel Watch has been heavily leaked and teased over the past year, but today, Google finally revealed the complete details of its first-ever smartwatch. There aren’t too many surprises, but the fact that Google is actually launching the smartwatch marks a new chapter for Android wearables. While the tech giant was once an indifferent bystander, it’s now an active player. The $349.99 Pixel Watch’s design isn’t anything we haven’t seen before at Google I/O or in leaked renders. It’s essentially what the Apple Watch would look like if it had a circular display, complete with a digital crown and side button.” [H/T The Verge]

A Yayoi Kusama pumpkin swept away by a typhoon gets restored to its original site.

“Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin sculpture has made its return to the Japanese island of Naoshima. It has been restored to its original setting, on the edge of an old pier, where it has been perched since 1994. The artwork was swept up by a typhoon in August 2021. Footage of the incident showed the pumpkin rolling around in the violent waters. It was later recovered and taken away for restoration work. The newly installed pumpkin has, according to reports, been given a strengthened structure to protect it from extreme elements.” [H/T ArtReview]

A wax worm eating a piece of plastic. Image courtesy of CSIC Communications Department/PA

Today’s attractive distractions:

Vermont dairy farmers think cheese can help solve the climate crisis. 

Scientists learn that wax worm saliva can rapidly degrade plastic bags. 

Dozens of hopefuls are competing to have the best mullet in America.

The world’s oldest two-headed tortoise is celebrating its 25th birthday.

All Stories