Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal Names 2021 Resident Artists, and Other News

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

This year’s resident artists at Black Rock Senegal. Top row: Tyna Adebowale, Abbesi Akhamie, and Delali Ayivor. Bottom row: Mbali Dhlamini, Abdi Farah, and Moses Hamborg.

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Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal names the artists selected for this year’s residency.

Black Rock Senegal, the lavish seaside studio in Dakar that belongs to celebrated painter Kehinde Wiley, has named the 16 artists selected for its 2021 residency. Hailing from various locales around the world, the artists will spend several weeks at the studio alongside Wiley, sharing his passion for using art to explore and galvanize social change. The 2021 residents include Hilary Balu, Abbesi Akhamie, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, Delali Ayivor, Mbali Dhlamini, and Arinze Ifeakandu, among others. Perhaps best known for his portrait of former U.S. president Barack Obama, Wiley has spent much of the quarantine in Dakar, using the pandemic as an occasion to pause and paint. He recently unveiled Go, a stained-glass fresco that depicts young Black New Yorkers break dancing, at the new Moynihan Train Hall

Ikea’s parent company buys 10,000 acres of forest in Georgia to save it from destruction.

Ingka Group, the owner of most Ikea stores, has purchased a 10,840-acre forest in Georgia to save it from development. The organization worked with nonprofit The Conservation Fund on the purchase, which brings Ingka’s total ownership up to more than 600,000 acres of forest across Europe and the United States. It’s the latest in a string of sustainable developments pursued by the Swedish furniture giant in its goal of becoming entirely carbon-neutral by 2030. Last year, Ikea used fewer fossil fuels than ever before, stopped selling non-rechargeable batteries, ceased printing its catalog, and launched a secondhand store. The company has pledged to make $730 million in additional sustainability investments by September.

The Arlington Helix by NBBJ

Amazon unveils a strange, swirling new Helix design for its office in Arlington, Virginia. 

On the heels of its wonder-inciting Seattle Spheres, Amazon has unveiled its next architectural feat: the Arlington Helix. American firm NBBJ is again leading the design, this time a spiraling structure with a variety of work environments and immersive nature elements for the company’s employees. “A true double helix in shape and structure, this unique building will feature two walkable paths of landscaped terrain that will spiral up the outside of the building, featuring plantings you may find on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,” Amazon said. Other highlights include an artist-in-residence program, public green space for farmers’ markets, an amphitheater, and mixed-use retail. It’s been a busy week for the tech giant, which announced yesterday that founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO and becoming executive chairman. Andy Jassy, the chief of Amazon’s cloud computing division, will assume the role of CEO. 

The Guerrilla Girls cancel a Phaidon book deal over ties to Epstein associate Leon Black.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is being pressured to part ways with the chairman of its board of trustees, Leon Black, following accusations about the billionaires close ties with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The activist group Guerrilla Girls has been voicing this demand since 2019 and announced the cancelation of their contract with Phaidon Press that same year after ascertaining that the art publisher was owned by Black. The Guerrilla Girls explained that they signed the deal with Phaidon in 2018 to publish a monograph surveying their activism since 1985. After the group revealed they broke the contract a year after news surfaced about Black’s ties to Epstein, instead they published Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly with Chronicle Books in 2020. “We decided we could not work with Phaidon,” the Guerrilla Girls told Hyperallergic. “The staff was very understanding but the top guy was pissed off, telling us no other authors were voicing our concerns.”

I.M. Pei’s residence halls at the New College of Florida

A Florida college launches a campaign to restore three Brutalist-style dorms by I.M. Pei. 

The New College of Florida is launching a campaign to restore three 1960’s Brutalist-style residence halls designed by Pritzker Prize–winning Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. The effort, called Pei For the Future, hopes to raise $15 million to revamp and modernize the dorms that typically house first year students at the 110-acre bayfront campus in Sarasota. “After 55 years, Pei’s iconic structures are showing their age. We are inviting New College alumni, our community, and beyond to participate in preserving this extraordinary architectural legacy. I.M. Pei built for the future. The humanist legacy of his work is timeless. It’s now up to us to pass it on,” says Foundation board member Monica Van Buskirk, who is spearheading the campaign. Pei passed away in 2019 at the age of 102. Revisit our tribute in which we asked leading figures in architecture to reflect on their favorite Pei buildings.

A section of Highway 1 near Big Sur, California, completely collapses into the ocean.

A small portion of a scenic road near Big Sur fell into the Pacific Ocean after heavy rains caused a “debris flow” of water, boulders, trees, and mud. The aftermath left a 150-foot-wide gap about 50 miles from Monterey. More than a mere drop in the pavement, the wreckage from a humongous v-shaped scar fell down to the ocean, with a pile of mud and trees clutching on to the rocky hillside above. “This road is prone to rock fall and slides, and this is just the nature of the highway,” said Kevin Drabinski, a department spokesman. “We built a road on the edge of a continent, and we have the forces of the hillside and the ocean always at play.”

The ultra-skinny proposed “skyscratcher” in Sydney

Today’s attractive distractions:

After promising a big announcement, David Lynch expertly trolls the internet.

Palm Springs Modernism Week returns with a video-heavy virtual program.

Tudor’s meticulous design and assembly process is transforming watchmaking.

Australian architects propose an extremely narrow “skyscratcher” in Sydney.

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