Mathieu Lehanneur Makes a Case for Minimalism, and Other News

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

“Outonomy” by Mathieu Lehanneur at Maison & Objet 2024. Photography by Felipe Ribon

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

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here

Mathieu Lehanneur Makes a Case for Minimalism

In a throwaway culture rife with overconsumption and social media constantly bombarding us with influencers hawking buzzy new products, it’s easy to lose touch with life’s true necessities. This reality has been top of mind for Mathieu Lehanneur, the Parisian luminary who not only designed the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Torch but was named Maison & Objet’s Designer of the Year for the annual trade show’s 30th edition. At the fair, which wrapped up on Monday, the French multi-hyphenate unveiled a temporary structure that makes a case for rethinking our consumption habits and perhaps embracing minimalism. Rendered as a radiant yellow cabin furnished with an ensemble of items like a punching bag and a seemingly floating glass table, Outonomy also aimed to provide moments of respite and clarity during the noisy fair.

Mounting a temporary installation at a design fair as a riposte to consumption may seem counterintuitive, but—in line with the fair’s theme of Tech Eden—Lehanneur seeks to galvanize shifts in how we approach our living habits and interact with the world at large. In that sense, Outonomy ventures beyond serving as a vehicle to brag about sustainable initiatives. It’s more of a thought starter. “I wanted to suggest an alternative vision to the modern representation of man dominating over nature,” he says. “The history of civilization and architecture is punctuated by attempts, solutions, and propositions for an isolated dwelling: the igloo, the cabin, the hut, or the yurt. The idea here is to combine our needs with current technologies. It’s about a possible life, a way to ask each visitor the implicit question: are you ready?” —Ryan Waddoups

505 State Street. Photography by Selvon Nef

Alloy unveils images of 505 State Street, a new Flatiron-shaped skyscraper in Brooklyn.

Alloy has revealed images of 505 State Street, a glass-clad Brooklyn skyscraper that will be powered by electricity. The 44-story residential skyscraper, which is slated for completion by 2025, features a “wedding cake-like” design with glass and aluminum cladding. To blend with the surrounding architecture, the lower three floors are clad in dark textured concrete. Alloy aims to integrate the building into the community while providing 441 residences with electricity for heating and cooling, and they have requested the use of renewable energy sources. 

A performance artist from MoMA’s 2010 Marina Abramović exhibition sues the museum.

Performance artist John Bonafede, who participated as a nude performer in the 2010 Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present,” has filed a lawsuit against MoMA alleging that the institution failed to prevent sexual assaults against him by museum attendees. Bonafede claims he experienced repeated sexual assault during the exhibition, and he accuses MoMA of having knowledge of ongoing assaults against worker-performers but failing to take corrective action. The lawsuit is brought under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows survivors of sexual assault to sue regardless of when the abuse occurred. Bonafede seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, and other relief.

California Forever. Image courtesy of SITELAB/California Forever

New details emerge for California Forever, a proposed $800 million city in Silicon Valley. 

The California Forever project, an $800 million venture to create a city in Silicon Valley, has unveiled more details in a filing with the Solano Registrar of Voters. The project aims to house around 50,000 residents on an 18,600-acre site in Solano County, California. While most of the land will be used for housing, schools, offices, and commercial purposes, 4,000 acres will be dedicated to parks, trails, ecological habitat, and community gardens. The project’s design takes inspiration from urban planning concepts like the 15-minute city and aims to create a walkable, middle-class community without imposing new taxes on existing residents or businesses.

Creative Capital names the 50 grant recipients of this year’s “Wild Futures” Awards.

Creative Capital has announced $2.5 million in grants as part of its 2024 “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact” Award. The awards are divided into two categories, recognizing visual artists and supporting filmmakers and those working with moving images. Fifty projects will each receive up to $50,000 in unrestricted funding to support the artists involved. Among the recipients are Russel Craig, Nona Hendryx, Dyani White Hawk, Lourdes Portillo, Colleen Thurston, Gavin Koreber, Meleko Mokgosi, and more.

Apple’s decade-long effort to build an electric autonomous vehicle sees further delays.

Apple is shifting its focus in its electric vehicle (EV) project to a more limited design with basic driver-assistance features, abandoning its previous plans for a fully autonomous vehicle. The company now aims to introduce the EV no earlier than 2028, marking a delay from earlier projections. The project, known as Titan, has seen multiple changes in strategy, leadership, and delays over the years. Apple is now working on a Level 2+ autonomous system, akin to Tesla’s Autopilot, which requires drivers to remain attentive and ready to take over when necessary. 

David Hockney's work on view at Lightroom London. Photography by Justin Sutcliffe.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Are immersive exhibitions based on Van Gogh and Dalí nothing but cash grabs?

According to Simon McCarthy Jones’ new book, our thoughts are being controlled.

Beatriz Flamini found a surreal experience when she chose to live underground.

An Israeli company gets greenlit to make the world’s first cultivated beef steaks.

All Stories