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With their “lewd” content hitting roadblocks on social media, Vienna’s cultural institutions are doing what any respectable skin-bearing influencer would do: start an OnlyFans. That’s right, the tourism board announced that it will be sharing artworks deemed too provocative because they depict nudity on the platform for a monthly fee of $3 for 31 days. For instance, the Albertina Museum’s TikTok account was suspended and eventually blocked for showing a work by Japanese artist and photographer Nobuyoshi Araki that included a partially exposed breast. Both a painting by the legendary Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens and a video displaying work by Koloman Moser commemorating the Leopold Museum’s 20th anniversary were flagged by Instagram and Facebook earlier this year as potentially pornographic.
Each subscriber to Vienna’s OnlyFans account, @viennatouristboard, will receive a free ticket to one of the participating museums or a city card that offers discounts to everything from transportation to restaurants and bars. As for the debate over censorship and art, the tourism board says the city boasts “some of the world’s most famous artists whose works pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in art and society, so it hardly comes as any surprise to learn that some of their artworks fell foul of the censors over 100 years ago. Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness.”
A Free-Flowing Student Library Stuns in the U.K.
It’s been a year of many milestones for Grafton Architects, the Dublin-based practice founded by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. After snagging both the Pritzker Prize and the RIBA Gold Medal, the duo has rounded out their recent honors with the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize, which is awarded to commemorate the best new building in the U.K. The winner? Kingston University Town House, which eschews expectations of a typical college library and instead creates a “cathedral of social interaction.”
Instead of quiet stacks and siloed study rooms, the facility affords students much-needed breathing room thanks to wide staircases, broad terraces, and open-plan study areas that overlook a centrally located cubic performance space surrounded by stadium seating. “It’s a theater for life—a warehouse of ideas,” says Norman Foster, a member of the Stirling Prize jury. “In this highly original work of architecture, quiet reading, loud performance, research, and learning can delightfully coexist. That is no mean feat.”
A cloud-like set marks Alexander McQueen’s ten-year return to the London runway.
The British label debuted its latest collection under a transparent dome called “London Skies” and designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić. The bulbous structure crowned a 10-story parking lot in Tobacco Dock with a fusion of steel cable seams and a swelled transparent membrane that allows for inflating into a taut bubble and deflating for efficient repurposing.
Chloé makes history as the first European fashion house to become B-Corp certified.
The French label’s sustainable practices are gaining momentum as it joins DTC brands Patagonia and Allbirds with a “B-Corp” designation. Regarded as a formal commitment to the best in environmental and social governance, Chloé is making good on its past promises of sustainability through collaborations with Fair Trade certified suppliers, selections of low-impact materials, and protecting its commitments toward women’s equality.
Coldplay will embark on an eco-friendly tour that may set precedents for other artists.
With snapshots of past sold out stadiums in their mind, the band is gearing up to spread the message of the climate crisis with a reduced carbon-emission tour through bamboo sets, bicycle-powered production, electric dance floors, and planting one tree for every purchased ticket. Despite its potentially tokenistic marketing, Coldplay’s eco-friendly agenda may set a precedent for other artists to follow suit with equal regard for the environmental toll of touring.
The first supertall ever designed by Adjaye Associates may rise in Hudson Yards.
Responding to an RFP to develop a vacant block-long plot near Hudson Yards, the firm is partnering with the Peebles Corporation to design a cantilevered 1,500-foot-tall tower. Though the structure will host both public and workplace amenities, the absence of residential units deviates from a call for affordable housing by the borough’s community board. If approved, the tower will become the first skyscraper built by African Americans in the city’s history.
Steven Horton Jr. unveils a bold redesign of the United States flag for Black America.
On the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement, Horton is drawing on his racial heritage to reimagine a U.S. flag that speaks to the journey of minorities. “The American flag has become a symbol of division,” he says. “It is a symbol of the past. A past that embraced slavery and racism.” Taking inspiration from Marcus Garvey’s Black Liberation Flag, the Black Justice Flag was informed by his survey of Black people’s opinion of the stars and stripes. Its play on color and shape, meanwhile, nods to previous bloodshed, present progression, and future equity.