Kanye West Is Living in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Other News

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photography by Michael Chang

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Kanye West is living in an Atlanta stadium while finishing his next album Donda.

Kanye West has been living in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium while putting the finishing touches on his next album, Donda, which is scheduled for release on August 6. (He even built a makeshift studio on the premises, which he shared on Instagram.) The 21-time Grammy Award winner and political provocateur recently staged a massive listening party on the premises, which can accommodate up to 71,000 people and features a glass wall called “Window to the City” that offers views of Atlanta’s skyline. Though he might be finishing the album here, he wrote most of the lyrics at Bighorn Mountain Ranch in Wyoming. 

The Museum of Arts and Design appoints Timothy R. Rodgers as its 11th director.

The Museum of Art and Design (MAD) has hired its 11th director in a six-year period in hopes of stabilizing operations. The institution’s recent merry-go-round of directors have sparked concerns of a lackluster governance by the board, culminating in a fatigued employee base and distrust among artists. Entering the fray is Timothy R. Rodgers, a seasoned director known for his efforts at the Phoenix Art Museum, who plans to restore trust among staff, spotlight Indigenous creatives, and diversify the museum’s board. “We wanted someone who can really be our future,” said MAD treasurer Michael Dweck, “I understand the stakes are high given the perceived churn that we have had.”

Thomas Heatherwick dismisses rumors that he’s working on a Covid-19 memorial.

The British designer Thomas Heatherwick has dismissed rumours that he’s working on a Covid-19 memorial with the British government. Deemed as an improper fit, the artist’s studio comments that “as designers who have experience creating moments of national significance, we were approached in an advisory capacity.” In order to facilitate the consultative role, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has formalized a UK Commission on Covid Commemoration—its role entails exploring appropriate concepts and a timeline for a memorial exhibition. “I also know that communities across our whole country will want to find ways of commemorating what we have all been through,” says Johnson. “This national endeavour—above party politics—will remember the loved ones we have lost.”

Lever House. Photography by Lucas Blair Simpson, courtesy SOM

SOM returns to New York’s Lever House after 70 years to oversee its restoration. 

As one of the original curtain wall skyscrapers in Manhattan, Lever House has enlisted SOM to lead its restoration after seven decades. The landmark site’s new owners call for an update in the building’s interior infrastructure, but any exterior alterations require the approval of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. After designing the building in 1952, SOM’s historical stake in the renovation project pays homage to the masonry’s heritage and highlights this job as a hallmark in architectural preservation. “I can’t think of another building that’s 70 years old that’s been under the care of the same architect or architectural firm,” says commissioner Fred Bland. “I think the new ownership is to be commended [for] not breaking that chain and having Skidmore continue to be the preserver of their own work.”

The Frankenthaler Foundation awards art museums $10 million for sustainability efforts.  

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has fortified its commitment to energy-efficient practices by dedicating $10 million to the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative: a national program that encourages art institutions toward sustainability. Ranging from $7,300 to $100,000, the first $5.1 million in distributed grants will finance energy conservation efforts as well as earthquake and wildfire relief. Among the initial round of grant recipients are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, and William A. Farnsworth Library. A further $4.9 million has been allocated for a second round scheduled over the next two years. “We wanted to help U.S. art institutions join the climate fray,” says foundation president Fred Iseman. “There is a void to be filled, a crying need to provide technical know-how and financial support to art institutions to scope their needs, define problems, and implement solutions.”

Baccarat Residences in Miami

Miami’s glittering new Baccarat Residences unveils their ultra-luxurious details.

Another day, another new Miami supertall. This time it’s the Baccarat Residences, the 75-floor glass tower in Brickell by the firm Arquitectonica. The encore to the French heritage company’s property in New York is being developed by Jorge Perez’s Related Group and Barry Sternlicht’s SH Hotels & Resorts, and will feature a serene interior aesthetic that references 18th-century French design and 1930s Art Deco with the brand’s signature crystal festooned over nearly all of the surfaces. The amenities are befitting of the Baccarat name: a wellness center fitted out with a hammam and meditation spaces, a private screening room and wine cellar in the communal clubhouse, an in-house yacht for water taxis services, and membership to the beach club at 1 Hotel South Beach. The project is slated for completion in 2024. 

Scammers are stealing the late Qing Han’s artworks and minting them as NFTs.

After captivating the world with her evocative illustrations, the four-time open heart surgery survivor and stage-four cancer fighter Qing Han (Qinni) left a powerful artistic footprint—one that is currently being poached by frauds to create NFTs. As described by William O’Rorke, NFTs are a digital wild west as their lack of regulation, transparency, and enforcement of IP rights often leads to scammers trying to profit off a craze. Within a year of her passing, Qinni’s drawings fell victim to the digital swindle within the marketplace Twinci. As the herald of Qinni’s legacy, her brother and fellow artist Ze Han memorialized his late sister’s social media handles and plans to maintain her artistry by working toward dismantling the fraudulent NFTs.

Wire mesh installation by Edoardo Tresoldi at a wedding. Image courtesy of Designlab Experience

Today’s attractive distractions:

It turns out that young workers care about respect more than snazzy office perks.

This new instrument aims to create the most detailed 3-D map of the universe.

Couples are enlisting artists to create interactive experiences at their weddings.

Pour one out for this UFO spaceship McDonald’s, which was demolished in 2000. 


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