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.
Frieze Los Angeles and Art Basel Hong Kong have both postponed their 2021 editions.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the cultural calendar. Frieze Los Angeles announced that it will postpone its star-studded third edition from Feb. to Aug. 2021, and will leave Paramount Studios, which hosted the first two editions. “Paramount Studios is an actual studio and, following the pandemic, their filming commitments require limiting the number of people on-site,” says Rebecca Ann Siegel, Frieze’s publisher and director of the Americas and content. “For the health and safety of everyone involved we will be introducing a new model.” That model looks increasingly digitized and decentralized—while the fair’s new home has yet to be confirmed, some speculate that a number of galleries will mount presentations inside the city’s array of historic mid-century modern residences designed by Richard Neutra and John Lautner (a model embraced by collectible design gallery The Future Perfect). It follows news that Frieze New York 2021 will relocate from Randall’s Island to The Shed at Hudson Yards.
At the same time, Art Basel Hong Kong announced the postponement of its March event to May 21–23, citing ongoing travel restrictions that would make holding the fair in March unsustainable. It’s not particularly surprising news given that all three major editions of Art Basel—in Hong Kong, Switzerland in Miami—were canceled in 2020 owing to the pandemic. “We believe shifting the fair to May is the right decision given the current development of the pandemic and its impact on international travel restrictions,” says Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s Asia director. “By taking the decision early, our aim is to support our galleries in advance planning for their 2021 programs.” Further details on the fair have yet to be announced, but it still plans to take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. In the meantime, the fair will host Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel, a showcase of 22 Hong Kong galleries, at Fine Art Asia from Nov. 27–30. Its latest virtual viewing room, called OVR: Miami Beach, will take place from Dec. 4–6 in lieu of a physical show during a scaled-back Miami Art Week.
Harry Styles’ viral cardigan will enter the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection.
Earlier this year, before the pandemic threw in-person events for a loop, Harry Styles performed his song “Watermelon Sugar” on the Today show at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The technicolor JW Anderson checkerboard cardigan he wore quickly became an internet sensation, with TikTok users attempting to recreate its distinctive patchwork knit themselves. (The buzz even caused Jonathan Anderson to record a YouTube tutorial that explains the garment’s exact sewing pattern.) Even though the crocheted cardigan is no longer available for purchase, the Victoria & Albert Museum plans to immortalize the viral piece in its permanent collection. The museum’s curatorial team believes the cardigan signifies a mass shift toward more eco-friendly practices since it spurred a surge in homemade clothing.
A theater and museum complex resembling a suspended cloud is planned for Siberia.
A Gehry-like arts complex is coming to Siberia. The Vienna-based architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has envisioned the cloud-like Kemerovo Museum and Theater Complex to join the public promenades and squares in the Iskitimka River Course landscape, giving Russia a new cultural jewel. The glassy structure will house a 300-person chamber hall, exhibitions spaces, and restaurant, and stand as a testament to the firm’s radical approach to architecture, which relies on state-of-the-art 3D software to challenge conventional thought on built space.
Manlio Armellini, the man behind the past 40 years of Salone del Mobile, dies at 83.
Manlio Armellini, secretary general and longtime CEO of Cosmit (Comitato Organizzatore del Salone del Mobile Italiano) passed away on Nov. 16. At the helm of the company that organizes Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual furniture fair, Armellini played an essential role in its evolution and countless other initiatives during his four decades in the furniture industry.
Born in Porto San Giorgio, Italy, in 1937, Armellini got his start at FederlegnoArredo, an organization that brings together wood manufacturers and furniture companies. Shortly after, he helped develop and execute the first-ever Salone del Mobile in 1961. During his tenure, he singlehandedly expanded the fair’s commercial offerings and cultural initiatives to worldwide acclimation, solidifying the role of Italian design in the furnishing sector. Armellini’s efforts later led to an ADI Compasso d’Oro award for the promotion of Italian design in 1987. Under his council as secretary general, Salone del Mobile grew its exhibition space from 105,000 to 239,000 square feet, while increasing the number of visitors from 67,000 to 348,000, with more than 210,000 attending from outside of Italy.
“With Manlio’s passing, we’ve lost a friend whose tenacity and skill enabled the Salone del Mobile to achieve the successes recognized the world over,” Claudio Luti, president of the Salone del Mobile, said in a statement. “Along with the entrepreneurs, he oversaw and handled the evolution of what was to become the leading international event, and not just for design. He initiated cultural projects that rubbed off on the city of Milan, he was behind and believed in the SaloneSatellite project, and took on board the many changes that occurred over time, unfailingly coming up with solutions and innovations to safeguard and bolster the Salone brand, which was also his home and his life, with his wife Armida by his side.”
In response to rising sea levels, a series of floating islands are heading to Copenhagen.
Considering the inevitable rise of global sea levels, the Danish design firm Studio Fokstrot coined the first “parkipelago” (a portmanteau of archipelago and park), a series of floating land masses in the Copenhagen harbor. Officially titled Copenhagen Islands, the landscapes were designed to revitalize the waterfront and recoup public space lost to urban development.
The studio explains the vernacular significance of the project “to renew the proud traditions of the Danish harbor life by strengthening the social cohesion and awareness of the maritime life in and around the harbor.” The project’s outdoor programming runs the gamut from boating, swimming, and kayaking to picnics and performances. Each zone is organized by season, with schemes clustered together around land and more dispersed throughout the water.
CPH-Ø1 is one of the first islands being developed on-site. Studio Fokstrot is experimenting with thin strips of wood, steel, and recycled boating material to construct the first 215-square-foot island with a single linden tree. As shown in renderings, other isles will accommodate more green space intended to propagate new marine wildlife. CPH-Ø1 won’t be alone for long—more islands will pop up by the end of 2020.
A theater at the beloved Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts has been destroyed in a fire.
The Doris Duke Theaterin Becket, Massachusetts, burned down early Tuesday morning. One of two indoor theaters at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the performance space hosts an annual summer event that attracts some of the world’s leading companies. “It looked like what a bomb must look like when it goes off,” says Pamela Tatge, the executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow, who saw the damage firsthand. “It was just a pile of steel and wood. There’s amazingly one wall and one staircase that remains.” Though the theater was lost, it was the only building inside the arts campus lost to the fire.
Opened in 1990, the Doris Duke Theater was a hybrid of a modern dance studio and rustic barn. The pandemic has been challenging for the nonprofit, which relied on ticket sales for almost half of its revenue. Sara Mearns, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, expressed the importance of the venue in an Instagram post. “This place gave me the permission to be whatever artist I wanted to be.”
Today’s attractive distractions:
Athens sewage workers find a bust of Hermes built into a drainage duct.
Hendrick’s Gin is selling a stationary penny farthing bicycle. We need a drink.