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.
An Immersive Picasso Show Lands at Former SF Porn Palace
Digitally projected exhibitions dedicated to history’s greatest artists have seemingly become omnipresent despite receivingmixed reviews and being likened to little more than glorified selfie backdrops. Following the successes of “Immersive Van Gogh” and “The Art of Banksy,” a like-minded series called “Imagine Picasso” will debut in San Francisco early next year. Billed as the “largest-of-its-kind immersive experience,” the traveling exhibition will feature more than 200 works spanning the late Cubist painter’s prolific career.
Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, who co-founded “Imagine Picasso,” cite San Francisco’s “rich diversity, creative energy, and deep appreciation for the arts” as a natural draw when deciding where to stage the exhibition’s U.S. debut. The show will unfold inside the Skylight, a sprawling 40,000-square-foot venue with 60-foot-tall ceilings located in the Mission District’s Armory complex, which once served as the headquarters for pornography site kink.com.
Though Mauger and Baron cite the setting’s “unique history” as providing an “ opportunity to create something entirely new for all audiences,” a former porn palace seems a curious venue to celebrate the career of a noted misogynist and philanderer whobled the women in his life for art. “He submitted them to his animal sexuality, tamed them, bewitched them, ingested them, and crushed them onto his canvas,” Marina Picasso, the painter’s granddaughter, recalls in hermemoir. “After he had spent many nights extracting their essence, once they were bled dry, he would dispose of them.” For those willing and able to separate the art from the artist and from the location, tickets ($40 for adults, $20 for children) areon sale now.
A Holistic Gym With a Focus on Biorhythms
Housed in an erstwhile 1902 Berlin post office, local architects Gonzalez Haase AAS transformed the historic structure into a serene environment fit for the circadian-based fitness program. “We asked the architects to design a space that would give guests a sense of being disconnected from everyday life during their workout, despite being located in the middle of the city,” says Nicolas Hagius, half of the brother-brother braintrust, of the interiors lined ash floorboards from Germany’s Havelland region, stainless steel, and granite fixtures. “We consciously chose natural materials such as wood and linen, for their neuro-athletic training and sports science, lively character, to contrast the more reduced interior.”
Trainers, osteopaths, and neurologists have devised numerous concepts rooted in light, sound, aroma, and tempo. Berlin-based fragrance studio Aoiro was tapped to develop custom scents whose natural ingredients such as citruses, herbs, spices, and woods encourage different biorhythmic responses to the time of day. White lights are dimmed to minimize blue light waves, helping to prevent the disruption of melatonin production during workouts ranging from kettlebell and circuit training to boxing and pilates. “Physical performance starts in the mind. Movement is regulated by the central nervous system and sensory input plays a significant role in that process,” says Timothy Hagius.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art removes the Sackler name from seven galleries.
The decision comes in the wake of mounting outrage over the Sackler family’s role in the opioid crisis, which has seen several other high-profile cultural institutions forgo the benefactor family’s name. The Met’s decision, however, may have a wide-reaching impact. “The Met is a bellwether,” Patrick Radden Keefe, who authored the book Empire of Pain about the Sacklers’ role in the opioid crisis, told the New York Times. “It’s in some ways the institution that’s most linked with the Sacklers in the public mind because the Sackler Wing is so iconic and because it was one of the early recipients of their very significant philanthropy.”
The German furniture fair IMM Cologne gets canceled again over Covid-19 concerns.
IMM Cologne has been postponed to 2023 after pandemic-related concerns reportedly made planning the fair “almost impossible.” The furniture and interiors fair was scheduled to take place in January, but has now been pushed back to 2023 amid a surge in Covid-19 cases across Europe. “The current special basic conditions in the interior design industry make the practicability of IMM Cologne almost impossible,” Oliver Frese, COO for trade fair organizer Koelnmesse, said in a statement. “We didn’t make this very bitter decision easy for ourselves, but consider it to be our obligation to take this step now in close consultation with the industry. In this way we provide clarity and planning security in the interests of our exhibitors.”
New York City is mandating that all new buildings must use electricity-powered heat.
New York lawmakers recently reached a deal that new buildings below seven stories must go electric by 2024, with taller ones following suit by 2027. Before the mandate, most buildings in New York had been using gas heating. While some burning of fossil fuel in new buildings will be allowed, using it for heat and hot water will be prohibited. “The evidence is clear: An immediate shift to requiring gas-free buildings is both feasible and necessary,” a coalition led by NYCC, NYPIRG, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Food & Water Watch said in a statement. “We have the technology and the skills to build all-electric buildings, many of which are already built or under construction across the city.”
Simone Leigh reveals details about her upcoming U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
After being chosen to represent the U.S. at the 59th Venice Biennale, Simone Leigh has revealed more details of what to expect from her pavilion. Though details of her exhibition are still largely under wraps, ICA Boston director Jill Medvedow notes that the exhibition will be “global in its research and references, intergeneration and collaborative in its lines of inquiry, and will leave an indelible mark on all who visit.” Leigh will also host a three-day event in September with performances, film screenings, and conversations between scholars, artists, and activists. Hosted by Open Society Foundations director of culture Rashida Bumbray, the symposium will touch upon themes of maroonage, magical realism, and medicine, and “continue [Leigh’s] work of making Black women’s intellectual labor more visible,” she says.
British tabloids claim that Kanye West may succeed Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton.
According to an anonymous tipster at The Sun, Kanye West is already being tapped to take over the late Virgil Abloh’s position as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear. The “source” isn’t purported to work at either the French label, its parent company LVMH, or Ye himself, so the rumor should be taken with the tiniest grain of salt. That being said, the outspoken rapper once voiced envy of his former collaborator’s role at Louis Vuitton shortly into his tenure, back when he was still seeking fashion-world acceptance. Despite this, Louis Vuitton chairman Michael Burke emphasized that Louis Vuitton’s design team will plan the house’s Summer 2022 runway show without a creative director.
After serving as a Covid-19 hospital, New York’s Javits Center now has a rooftop farm.
New York City’s Javits Center all but shut down over the past two years, eventually being used as a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients in the throes of the pandemic. Now that in-person events have returned, the iconic I.M. Pei–designed structure has reopened with an added feature—a rooftop farm that cultivates more than 50 crops including apple and pear trees. “We really expect it to be a place where we can grow a decent amount of food in an efficient manner for the convention center,” said Ben Flanner, co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, the company that designed and manages the farm. “It’s a beautiful space, and I think it can be very inspiring from a what-is-possible standpoint for the hundreds of thousands of people that come through the convention center.”