The Obama Presidential Center Breaks Ground, and Other News

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The highly anticipated Obama Presidential Center breaks ground in Chicago. 

Following a clearance order from the Supreme Court in August, the Obama Presidential Center breaks ground today on Chicago’s South Side. Designed by architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, the $700 million structure was slated for construction earlier in the year after a comprehensive federal review, but was delayed by several roadblocks, including opposition groups who campaigned against its location beside Jackson Park. Overcoming consecutive hurdles since its announcement in June 2016, the development is finally underway with a special live-streamed ceremonial event.

To reduce waste, the European Union proposes a mandate for universal chargers.

Tech brands often trade uniformity for innovation, but a new scheme by the European Commission may forecast a drastic shift in how they approach manufacturing. The potential law compels tech brands to produce standard USB-C charging ports across all hardware, and discourages firms from packaging chargers with its devices on the pretext of waste reduction and easy consumer access. Although some smartphone giants such as Samsung and Huawei have already formulated devices with this charging configuration, Apple’s recent launches rely on Lightning connectors. To this end, the policy’s impact remains ambiguous as the proposal must pass a vote in the European Parliament to become law.

Versace and Fendi close Milan Fashion Week with a first-of-its-kind runway show.

Heritage fashion brands have gained prestige for their individual hallmark styles, and the essence of post-pandemic togetherness sparked a historic partnership between Versace and Fendi. Marking a global first with its memorable closing show, The Versace by Fendi collection—coined “Fendace”—witnessed Donatella Versace switch roles with Fendi’s lead designers, Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini-Fendi, to create a harmony between both labels. The result: the Fendi monogram anchored by Versace’s signature Greek key in a range of silhouettes that paid homage to the storied histories of both Italian labels. Polished with the walks of supermodels from the likes of Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski, this shared catwalk engraved itself in the fashion history books as two luxury firepowers joined forces to celebrate one another.

The influential performing arts leader Kristy Edmunds joins MASS MoCA as director.

MASS MoCA gained renown as one of the country’s largest contemporary art museums since its inception in 1999 under the guidance of founding director Joe Thompson. The gap from his departure in October is now filled by the institution’s recent appointment of Kristy Edmunds. Following her stewardship at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, Edmunds enters her role with a focus on artistic dialogue. “A whole creative ecosystem exists in North Adams to realize the vision of artists—from inception to monumentally scaled completion, and everything in between—while enhancing the economic benefits to the community,” she says.

ODA refashions a defunct parking lot into a multi-use office scheme in Buenos Aires.

A dated parking structure situated between the Hipodromo and the Rosedal de Palermo is slated for renovation by American architecture firm ODA. Named after its namesake equestrian, the mixed-use development Playa Gigena salvages 80 percent of the original skeleton and upscales the property to roughly 160,000 square feet—43,000 of which centers around green terraces—to bridge the two interrupted neighbourhoods. Playing host to a public park, offices, a 250-spot garage, and a medley of retail and gourmet outlets, the reconfigured site exercises a fresh typology that celebrates the post-pandemic back-to-work mindset.

The Han Nefkens Foundation teams with three Asian museums for a $100,000 artwork.

In an effort to spotlight seasoned artists of Asian heritage who haven’t yet shown at a capital international exhibition, art collector and novelist Han Nefkens has enlisted Mori Art Museum, M+ Hong Kong, and the Singapore Art Museum to sponsor a screen-based artwork titled Moving Image Commission 2021. In early October, the finalist will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of Nefkens and the three museum directors. “I’m excited about this new project because it allows us to broaden our scope beyond younger artists,” says Nefkens. “I’m convinced that by sharing our knowledge, expertise and our belief that art is an important catalyst for change, this commission will have an impact that will not be limited to Asia.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

Expect to see retro, escapist, punchy, and music-inspired baby names in 2022. 

Supreme’s collaboration with mattress brand Hästens feels extremely predictable.

Ai Weiwei’s hand-painted face masks are more befitting of a frame, not a face.

Some lucky amateur divers discover a hugely valuable trove of Roman coins.

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