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.
Despite structural interventions, San Francisco’s Millennium Tower continues to sink.
Millennium Tower, San Francisco’s notorious “sinking” high-rise, is only sinking further into its foundation. Work to reinforce the tower recently came to a halt after engineers found that the building had sunk an additional inch in the months since work commenced. The 58-story tower, the tallest residential building in San Francisco, has drawn comparisons to the Leaning Tower of Pisa for having sunk 18 inches and leaning 14 inches since being unveiled in 2014. The issue has sparked a legal battle between homeowners, the building’s developers, and a neighboring construction project; developers cite eroding soil due to construction of the nearby Transbay transit center as reason for the tower sinking more than expected. Despite a spokesperson for the Millennium Tower Association saying that the building is safe, the association has suspended construction to help better understand the issue at hand.
Bob Ross’s old business partners take issue with the late artist’s Netflix documentary.
Bob Ross shot to international fame in the ‘90s with The Joy of Painting, his soothing instructional painting show that aired on PBS for 31 seasons. Ross’s gentle tone and laid-back style have rendered him an internet legend and ASMR phenomenon more than two decades after his untimely death, in 1995, of lymphoma. A new Netflix documentary, however, paints a slightly different picture. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed highlights damning accusations from his son, Steve, that Ross’s longtime business partners Annette and Walt Kowalski have shut him out of the business empire against his father’s wishes. The Kowalskis are firing back, saying that “the final narrative lacks considerable nuance and accuracy, and carries a clear bias in favor of those who were interviewed.”
Tomás Saraceno’s solar-powered hot air balloon has set dozens of world records.
Even though “Aerocene Pacha” only takes flight for 16 minutes, Tomás Saraceno’s fuel-free hot air balloon that’s powered exclusively on solar power recently set 32 world records. The records were set with Aerocene pilot Leticia Noemi Marques, who took off in Argentina’s Salinas region and flew with the message “Water and life are worth more than lithium” on the balloon. According to the Fédération Aeronatique Internationale, it marks one of the most sustainable flights in human history and a landmark experiment in aviation.
Suffering from intense heat waves, Athens appoints its first-ever “chief heat officer.”
Temperatures in Athens have recently climbed to 111 degrees Fahrenheit as wildfires choked the air and ravaged more than 200,000 acres of forest across Greece. The intense climatic fluctuations caused the city to appoint Eleni Myrivili as its first-ever Chief Heat Officer, tasked with carving out an inhabitable future for the sweltering Greek capital against the odds. (Athens lacks ample green space, and its dependence on vehicular travel means asphalt oozes heat.) “Heat is an invisible and insidious killer,” Myrivili tells the New York Times. “It’s really important to get people to understand why it’s dangerous.” Among her plans to heat-proof Athens include outfitting more homes with air conditioning, covering roofs with solar panels and gardens, and planting thousands of trees to provide shade and cool the air.
Carlo Ratti unveils plans to build a 51-floor hydroponic “farmscraper” in Shenzhen.
Carlo Ratti Associati has announced plans to build a 715-foot-tall hydroponic skyscraper in the heart of Shenzhen. The Jian Mu Tower, which would occupy the last available plot in the Chinese city’s central business district, would dedicate more than 100,000 square feet to crop cultivation within vertical hydroponic farms. That method of crop cultivation involves growing plants using water-based solutions rich in minerals and nutrients as opposed to soil, which helps save space as plants can be organized and grown vertically. “The vertical hydroponic farm embraces the notion of zero food miles in the most comprehensive sense,” Ratti tells Dezeen. “Crops cultivated in the tower are sold and even eaten in the same location, which helps us conserve a great deal of energy in food distribution.” The building will produce an estimated 300 tons of food every year, which can feed roughly 40,000 people.
Chanel buys more jasmine fields in the South of France to secure production of No. 5.
Chanel has purchased an extra 25 acres in the South of France in order to secure enough supplies of jasmine and other flower varieties, which the luxury brand uses to create its Chanel No. 5 scent. Chanel struck a deal with the Mul family in the late 1980s to anchor production of five flowers after local producers sold their land due to property deals close to Nice and the French Riviera. The varieties of jasmine grown within the region, especially near the city of Grasse, has a specific scent that helps give Chanel No. 5 its distinct aroma.