The White House Scores a Noguchi Sculpture, and Other News

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Floor Frame (1962) by Isamu Noguchi at the White House Rose Garden

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The White House Rose Garden will soon receive a sculpture by Isamu Noguchi.

Floor Frame, a 1962 sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, will soon be installed at the White House Rose Garden—the first work by an Asian-American artist to be included. Melania Trump announced the news this past Friday, noting that the artwork highlights the contributions of Asian-Americans to the country’s creative landscape. Brett Littman, the director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Queens, described the sculpture’s placement as a triumph, though said that it comes at a tough moment. “The key for us is that this will be on display in perpetuity at the White House,” he told The New York Times. “Administrations come and go, but artwork remains. We feel proud, and we think Noguchi would feel proud as well.” 

H&M debuts a collection of garments made of innovative fabrics upcycled from waste.

According to the New Standard Institute, 150 billion new pieces of clothing are made each year—roughly 19 for every person on earth. Acknowledging that it’s part of the problem, H&M has lately tried to course correct. Last month, the fast fashion behemoth debuted Looop, a machine in its Stockholm store that shreds old garments into new ones. And now, the brand is making strides toward circularity with its Conscious Collection, which is made almost entirely out of materials upcycled from waste. It marks the launch of new fabrics such as AgraLoop BioFibre from Circular Systems, a natural fiber made from converted food crop waste; Vegea, a faux-leather material made from winemaking byproducts; and Made of Air, a plastic formulated from carbon emissions sequestered from the air. 

Toshiko Mori receives the Museum of the City of New York’s Louis Auchincloss Prize.

The Museum of the City of New York has honored Toshiko Mori with the Louis Auchincloss Prize, an annual award presented to “writers and artists whose work is inspired by and enhances the five boroughs of New York City.” Since arriving from Japan in the 1960s, the renowned architect and Cooper Union graduate has worked on a multitude of high-profile projects, including the master plan for New York University’s decades-long expansion, Sean Kelly Gallery’s 22,000-square-foot gallery, and an entrance to the 34th Street–Hudson Yards subway station. In a video accompanying the award, Mori notes that she designs for clarity and longevity: “It’s in my ethos to provide moments of repose in the architecture that I create.” With the award in tow, she joins a prestigious group of luminaries such as Robert A.M. Stern, Gloria Steinem, and Ada Louise Huxtable.

A wall by Tadao Ando in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

Demolition begins on a concrete wall by Tadao Ando in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.

In 2002, Tadao Ando finished a concrete pavilion and freestanding wall in Piccadilly Gardens, a bustling plaza in Manchester’s city center. Even though it’s the Pritzker Prize winner’s only project in the United Kingdom, the complex has recently fallen out of favor with locals—more than 20,000 people signed a 2016 Manchester Evening News petition to tear down the wall, which blocks sightlines across the plaza, as part of a long-term revitalization plan. It now seems that Manchester City Council is moving forward with those plans. Demolition has begun on the wall, but some argue that recent graffiti that says “the north is not a petri dish” should be preserved. “This is only the first part of what will be much bigger plans to make Piccadilly Gardens the vibrant and inviting space at the heart of the city which it should be,” Manchester city council member Pat Karney said in a statement. “I’m going to mark it on my calendar.”

In Brooklyn, Grand Army Plaza’s landmark Memorial Arch gets a much-needed restoration.

In 1920, Grand Army Plaza was formally inaugurated as an elegant entrance to Prospect Park by its designers, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. Though the park was never quite embraced by the public, today it serves as a de facto gathering place for Brooklynites. It may look grand from afar, but the landmark Memorial Arch desperately needs restoration work. The 80-foot granite monument’s roof, which failed 10 years ago, is rife with invasive reeds growing from shattered roof tiles, and as early as 2018, mortar fell from one of the arch’s nine-ton keystones. To address the arch’s decay, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is enlisting the Prospect Park Alliance to embark on a $6 million restoration—its first in 40 years. The project will stabilize its exterior envelope, replace the roof, repair interior iron staircases, and upgrade exterior lighting. The conservation work is slated for completion by 2022. 

John Lautner’s Harpel Residence II in Anchorage, Alaska

Today’s attractive distractions:

Andrew Fabishevskiy creates an electric NASA motorcycle for the moon.

John Lautner’s Harpel Residence II, his only in Alaska, hits the market.

Issey Miyake’s newest store in Osaka is splashed with watery elements.

Achieve Pharrell’s age-defying looks through his brand-new skincare line.


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