Marimekko Returns to New York, and Other News

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Marimekko’s new store in SoHo, New York. Image courtesy of Marimekko

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Marimekko Returns to New York, and Other News

On Thursday, cult-favorite Finnish fashion brand Marimekko opened its latest shop in SoHo, New York. The storefront is new, but the brand’s presence in the city isn’t: its former flagship in the Flatiron District permanently closed in 2021. The new downtown location brings a studio-like feel, which draws from both the industrial architecture of Marimekko’s Helsinki textile printing factory as well as the simplicity of Shaker interiors. 

Consider it an extension of creative director Rebekka Bay’s philosophy of “less but better.” The storefront, which will carry fashion, bags, accessories, and home decor, “is an ever-evolving concept that has been designed to be rediscovered over and over again,” she says. “It aims to create a dialogue with New York, its inhabitants and creative culture.” —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

Image courtesy Claesson Koivisto Rune x Ikepod

Claesson Koivisto Rune reimagines the original Ikepod timepiece by Marc Newson.

“Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune intertwine romantic references in their rethinking of a classic chronograph for Swiss watch brand Ikepod. The new limited-edition aeronautical chronograph, Skypod, is a reinterpretation of the original 1999 Megapode piece, originally designed for Ikepod by Marc Newson. The new piece stays faithful to the watch’s distinctive case shape, but takes its most technical form yet. A circular slide makes possible complicated calculations, such as computing fuel consumption for an aircraft or navigating range and distance for a pilot.” [H/T Wallpaper]

A multitude of renowned artists sign a letter denouncing human rights abuses in Iran.

“Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Marina Abramović have signed an open letter in solidarity with protesters in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in September. The letter, launched by an anonymous group, reads: “We, artists, writers, academics and cultural practitioners from across disciplines and various countries, support the call of our Iranian colleagues to stand in solidarity with their struggle against the repressive and despotic Islamic state in Iran.” Other artists and curators who have signed up to the statement include Lynn Hershman Leeson, Nari Ward, Arthur Jafa, Hans Haacke, and Robert Storr.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

AMP Capital Tower by 3XN in Sydney. Photography by Adam Work

A dated Australian skyscraper gets upcycled into a new building without demolition.

“Once Sydney’s tallest building, the AMP Centre was showing its age. The outdated 1970s structure had come to the end of its lifespan, and the tower’s owners wanted to replace it with something bigger, better, and more energy-efficient. But demolishing high-rises comes with significant environmental costs. So in 2014, Australian investment firm AMP Capital launched an architectural competition with an unprecedented brief: To build a new skyscraper without demolishing the old one. Dubbed the world’s first “upcycled” high-rise, the resulting tower opened earlier this year and, on Friday, was named World Building of the Year 2022. Standing at 676 feet tall, the vastly expanded 49-story skyscraper, now known as Quay Quarter Tower, retained more than two-thirds of the old structure, including beams and columns, as well as 95% of the original building’s core.” [H/T CNN]

Australian artists call for stricter copyright laws after an AI app “steals” their work.

“Australian artists say Lensa, the app that uses artificial intelligence to generate self-portraits, is stealing their content and are calling for stricter copyright laws that keep up with AI-generated art. But the parent company behind the app has defended its use of images, saying Lensa learns to create portraits just as a human would—by learning different artistic styles. Over the past month, the AI image generator has trended on TikTok and Instagram, with users paying to turn photos of themselves into stylized art portraits. To do this, the app uses Stable Diffusion—a text-to-image app that is trained to learn patterns through an online database of images, called LAION-5B, which sources billions of images from across the web. Artists say it’s taking their work without their permission.” [H/T The Guardian]

An Ohio golf course built on Native American earthworks must surrender its lease.

“For more than a century, golfers at a course in central Ohio have navigated ancient Native American earthworks built to measure the movement of the sun and the moon through the heavens. Now it’s the country club’s days there that are numbered. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the state’s historical society, which owns the land, can use eminent domain to expel the club and create a public park in an attempt to gain recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.” [H/T The New York Times]

The Ellinikon Metropolitan Park by Sasaki in Athens. Image courtesy Sasaki

A derelict airport near Athens will soon be transformed into a sprawling coastal park.

“The Athens International Airport was decommissioned in 2001, leading to two decades of work for the local government to establish funding and a governance mechanism to transform the 600 acres of unused space into Europe’s largest coastal park. The site has a layered history, from prehistoric settlements to the construction of the airport in the 20th century and the site being used as an Olympic venue in 2004. Architecture office Sasaki is leading the design to transform the site again and create the Ellinikon Metropolitan Park, a restorative landscape and climate-positive design that will serve as a park, playground, and cultural center for the city of Athens. Developers will break ground early next year.” [H/T ArchDaily]

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is rescinding Kanye West’s honorary degree.

“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago announced Thursday that it is rescinding an honorary degree it awarded to Kanye West in 2015. “The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West’s anti-Black, antisemitic, racist, and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities,” the institution said in a statement. “Ye’s actions do not align with SAIC’s mission and values, and we’ve rescinded his honorary degree.” Taking back the degree is the latest consequence that West has faced since making a series of antisemitic statements both on social media and in interviews with Fox News, Infowars, and other outlets.” [H/T ARTnews]

Household appliances reimagined in Gaudí’s style. Image courtesy of Marcus Byrne

Today’s attractive distractions:

Neon Saltwater turns a derelict Las Vegas gas station into a neon oasis.

Using AI, household appliances get redesigned in Gio Ponti’s vibrant style.

Hundreds of Yeti coolers are mysteriously washing up on Alaska’s coast.

This “digital” McDonald’s restaurant serves food using a conveyor belt.

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