An Evolving Vision for ICFF and WantedDesign, and Other News

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ICFF + WantedDesign 2022. Image courtesy of ICFF

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An Evolving Vision for ICFF and WantedDesign

Anticipation is building for NYCxDesign, especially the upcoming ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan (May 21–23). Though the two fairs joined forces last year for a co-presentation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, this year’s event marks the fair’s first edition under new leadership: Kevin Gaffney as group vice president and Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat as brand directors. They’re aiming to provide a more cohesive fair-going experience, particularly with a floorplan reorganized by theme and category. This year’s edition also marks the first time the fair will share a location with the DIFFA by Design fundraiser, which assists people impacted by HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, and mental health issues.

Hainaut and Pijoulat, who formerly helmed WantedDesign, are looking forward to bringing their penchant for innovation and authentic design to an even bigger stage. “We’re looking forward to expanding on that reputation to include a strong focus on sharing best practices, educating the community, enhancing the role of design for the future, and creating an incredible experience for attendees,” they said in a statement. Among the programming highlights: a trend presentation from WGSN, a keynote from Snøhetta, a panel discussion with Be Original Americas, and the annual ICFF Editors Awards. –Ryan Waddoups

Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed by SANAA. Photography by Dean Kaufman

SANAA co-founder Kazuyo Sejima receives the 2023 Jane Drew Prize for Architecture.

Kazuyo Sejima can add another accolade to her list of achievements: the Jane Drew Prize for Architecture. The SANAA co-founder is celebrated for her role in elevating the profile of women in architecture, receiving international recognition for such high-profile projects as Grace Farms in Connecticut and becoming the second woman to receive the Pritzker Prize after Zaha Hadid. The Jane Drew Prize, awarded annually by The Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal, recognizes women who’ve made significant contributions to the field. Previous honorees include Denise Scott Brown and Yasmeen Lari.

Three landscape firms compete to revamp the Lake Monona waterfront in Wisconsin.

Sasaki, James Corner Field Operations, and Agency Landscape + Planning have unveiled proposals to revamp the Lake Monona waterfront in Madison, Wisconsin. Each scheme seeks to make access points clearer from downtown to the shore, adding playgrounds, beaches, and plazas. The public has until March 23 to weigh in on the proposals, which will then be recommended to the Lake Monona Waterfront Ad-hoc Committee for final approval by August.

Tiffany executives tease an upcoming co-branded sneaker collaboration with Nike.

Tiffany and Nike are reportedly collaborating on a co-branded sneaker. A teaser image showing a sneaker box in Tiffany’s signature robin’s-egg blue with Nike’s swoosh logo, labeled as “a legendary pair,” was posted by Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany’s executive vice president of product and communications, and Ruba Abu-Nimah, the brand’s creative director. The luxury jeweler, acquired by LVMH in 2019, has been shaking up its marketing strategy with collaborations and high-profile partnerships with the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, contributing to its “record year” in 2022.

A chandelier by Alberto Giacometti in John Craxton’s home in 2007. Photography by John Craxton

A rare Alberto Giacometti chandelier may fetch upwards of $8 million at Christie’s.

A chandelier made by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, purchased for £250 ($309) by the English painter John Craxton in the 1960s, is expected to fetch nearly £7m ($8.65 million) at Christie’s. Although the estimate is considered conservative, the chandelier’s rarity and prestige—Giacometti only ever created half-a-dozen chandeliers—could lead to a higher sale price, as the Swiss sculptor’s pieces consistently surpass salesroom records. The chandelier was once displayed in the lobby of the defunct cultural journal Horizon and hung in Craxton’s London home for 50 years before being verified by the Fondation Giacometti in Paris in 2021. 

OpenAI has hired 1,000 contractors to streamline the tool’s coding capabilities.

OpenAI, the company behind the chatbot ChatGPT, has hired roughly 1,000 remote contractors globally over the past six months. Sixty percent of the contractors were hired for data labeling, creating large datasets for AI training and autonomous vehicles, while the remainder is computer programmers creating data for OpenAI’s models to learn software engineering tasks. OpenAI’s Codex technology is already used in Microsoft’s GitHub to power the “Copilot” feature, which autocompletes lines of code for programmers. The company’s focus on developing Codex technology may eventually lead to the automation of basic coding, potentially eliminating some coding jobs and allowing people with little coding experience to build everything from websites to video games using simple text inputs.

The fourth edition of sprawling outdoor art exhibition DesertX will kick off March 4.

The fourth edition of Desert X (March 4–May 7) is sure to deliver some breathtaking moments. The outdoor art exhibition will showcase 11 international artists including Tschabalala Self, Héctor Zamora, and Mario Garcia Torres, who will bring mind-bending installations to the Coachella Valley in Palm Springs, California. Selected by creative director Neville Wakefield and co-curator Diana Campbell, the artists will use the desert landscape as a canvas to create artwork that reflects both the environment and the global issues at play. Campbell describes the works as “artistic interventions that make visible how our energy has a transference far beyond what we see just in front of us in our own localities.”

“Ariel Diane Arbus Vibe,” from the series “Ariel Stinks (50 Alternative Album Covers to Thrash and Burn).” Photography by Jill Miller

Today’s attractive distractions:

Thanks to big-name collaborators, non-alcoholic beer is in a golden age.

Here’s what may happen now that BuzzFeed is using AI to write quizzes.

An artist rebuffs singer Ariel Pink for unlawfully lifting one of her images.

Ancient Roman bathers’ intricate gems are recovered 2,000 years later.

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