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.
In time for this year’s London Design Festival, the Australian ceramics brand Mud has opened a shop on London’s Marylebone Lane. Melbourne’s DesignOffice conceived the new digs, its second in London and tenth overall, as an airy showcase for Mud’s signature porcelain, which take pride of place within Vitsœ shelving and atop a Poul Kjaerholm PK54 table by Fritz Hansen.
But a new home deserves new designs, and so Mud has introduced a celebratory lighting collection. A single piece of handmade porcelain forms the portable Pop LED lamp, while a trio come together for the Flared Table Lamp, which nestles its light source in its base. Flared is also offered as a cantilevering floor lamp with accents in brushed stainless steel. Charming colorways for each include Blossom, Dust, and Slate, with additional options for Pop. —Jesse Dorris
At Clase Azul’s La Terraza Los Cabos, Tequila Soars to New Heights
Nestled in the seaside hills of San José del Cabo, a resort town dotted with Spanish Colonial Missions on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, a temple to tequila is putting stakes in the ground. Guests can choose their own culinary adventure at Clase Azul La Terraza, from an intimate omakase bar and secretive five-course chef’s tasting menu to artful cocktails and coastal Mexican fare at the casual-chic El Bar and La Terraza restaurant. Read more.
The artwork L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, created by the duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude, is marking its second anniversary this month. Initially unveiled in 2021, the project attracted six million visitors in just 16 days and reached more than half a billion people through media. Now, under the leadership of Vladimir Yavachev and in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, the artwork is entering its final phase of repurposing. The team plans to transform the 269,000 square feet of fabric and 9,840 feet of rope into shade structures, tents, and barnums for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.
Tadaaki Kuwayama, a Japanese painter of spare and vivid monochromes, dies at 91.
Tadaaki Kuwayama, a Japanese minimalist painter, has died at 91 in Manhattan. Initially trained in traditional Japanese painting, he moved to New York in 1958 and distanced himself from both his roots and the then-dominant Abstract Expressionism. Instead, he found kinship with artists like Donald Judd and Frank Stella, although he rejected the “minimalist” label. His work, often in monochrome, evolved from paper to canvas and incorporated materials like aluminum, titanium, and Bakelite. Kuwayama’s pieces are held in prestigious institutions like the Guggenheim and the Nagoya City Art Museum. Despite shifts in the art market, he continued to produce work in his Manhattan loft until his death, emphasizing the materiality of his art over traditional painterly qualities.
Graham Cowley beats out 3,000 entries to win the coveted John Moores Painting Prize.
Graham Crowley won this year’s John Moores Painting Prize with his 2022 painting Light Industry, beating out a record 3,357 entries. The painting, which explores luminosity in a motorcycle workshop, marks Crowley’s tenth entry into the competition since 1976. The prestigious award, which has previously honored artists like David Hockney and Peter Doig, grants Crowley £25,000 ($31,000) and a solo show at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Over nearly five decades, Crowley’s work has evolved from abstract to figurative, and he has exhibited at international venues like the Paris and Venice Biennales.
MAD Architects unveils visuals for a major arts center in China inspired by tea fields.
MAD Architects has unveiled the design for the Anji Culture and Art Center near Shanghai, a sprawling complex covering 1.6 million square feet. The center will include six distinct venues: a Grand Theater with a 1,300-person capacity, a Conference Center that can hold 2,000 people, as well as a Leisure Center, Sports Center, Youth Activity Center, and Art Education Center. These venues are unified under an undulating white-tiled roof inspired by the region’s green tea fields and surrounding hills. The design also emphasizes sustainability with features like green roofs, permeable pavings, and rainwater collection systems. The center aims to be a public space accessible from all directions, featuring a central corridor that offers views of the mountains. The project is expected to be completed by 2025.
Dozens of Balmain pieces were stolen ahead of the label’s Paris Fashion Week show.
Olivier Rousteing, the artistic director of Balmain, announced that a truck carrying 50 pieces for the brand’s upcoming Paris Fashion Week show was stolen. Despite the loss, Rousteing is determined to proceed with the show on September 27 near the Eiffel Tower, stating that his team and suppliers will work to recreate the collection. The theft occurs in the context of a 3.5 percent rise in vehicle thefts in the Paris region in 2022, according to data from France’s interior ministry. Balmain has confirmed the show will go on as scheduled.