Harvey Milk’s Memorial, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The conceptual design for Harvey Milk Plaza, named for the activist, unveiled in 2018.

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Harvey Milk will be commemorated for his brazen efforts with a memorial in the Castro.

Decades after California’s first openly gay politician helped bring the HIV epidemic to the forefront of public consciousness, Harvey Milk will finally be acknowledged with a memorial in the Castro District. After the initial design was criticized in 2017, local firm SWA was selected to oversee the makeover of the plaza and has promised to seek out the community while conceiving the memorial. 

Audio app Clubhouse has a booming ecosystem around it. 

As the start-up gains momentum—the invite-only app recently surpassed 10 million users—an ancillary economy has built up around it, ranging from user-generated web tools for managing audience Q&As to a free soundboard for use in Clubhouse rooms to a Telegram bot that lets people record audio. Now, there are at least four apps for adding a colorful ring around your avatar.  

MoMA PS1 unveils first NY retrospective of Niki de Saint Phalle.

The late feminist sculptor, filmmaker, painter, jewelry designer, and one-off parfumeur Niki de Saint Phalle is coming home with a well-deserved retrospective. Born in the suburbs of Paris, but reared in New York City before returning to France in the early 1950s, the self-taught artist made it a point to insert social commentary into her phantasmagoric work. Now, Saint Phalle is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. Set to open March 11, Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life is the commemorative exhibition and the artist’s first major retrospective in the city where she spent her childhood and adolescence.

MVRDV’s new mixed-use tower in San Francisco, inspired by California’s rocky landscape, begins construction. 

Rotterdam-based practice MVRDV’s new mixed-use tower is now underway in San Francisco. Building A is part of the city’s new Mission Rock master plan, an effort to revitalize the Southern waterfront. The 23-story tower features undulating terraces inspired by California’s rocky topography.

Foster + Partners plans international airport in Saudi Arabia. 

In 2019, the architecture practice was called on to design a new airport for the Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism development on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Set for completion in 2022, “the Red Sea International Airport has been envisaged as a gateway to one of the most unique resorts in the world and an integral part of the visitor experience,” said Gerard Evenden, partner of studio at Foster + Partners. “Inspired by the colors and textures of the desert landscape, the design seeks to create a calm and luxurious journey through the terminal and will become a transit hub for visitors coming in by both land and air.”

Photographer Simon Phipps warns brutalist architecture in England at risk of demolition.   

The photographer, whose Brutal North book surveys brutalist architecture in the north of England, says mismanagement, shrinking council budgets, and an overall lack of appreciation for the severe concrete style is leading to the unnecessary demolition of historical buildings and the work of important architects such as Owen Luder.

Today’s attractive distractions:

The history of Snake: How the Nokia game defined a new era for the mobile industry.

A world of shacks and shanties is a place of makeshift beauty on England’s margins.

An uncertain future for Japan’s love hotels–in pictures.

Check out NYPD’s new robotic dog in action in the Bronx.

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