The Rubell Museum Eyes Expansion to Washington, and Other News

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

A rendering of the Rubell Museum’s forthcoming location in Washington, DC. Image courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle

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

The Rubell Museum will open inside a landmarked former junior high in Washington.

“The Rubell Museum in Miami, founded in 1993 to house Don and Mera Rubell’s vast private contemporary art collection, will open a new space in Washington, DC in late October this year. Residents of the city will enjoy free admission to the museum, to be located at 65 I Street in southwest DC, under a mile’s walk from the Capitol. The new 32,000-square-foot location has been repurposed from what once was Cardozo Elementary and later Randall Junior High School, a historically Black public school that was active from 1906 to 1978 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.” —[H/T Hyperallergic]

Gucci will start reimbursing travel expenses for employees seeking safe abortions. 

“In light of the leaked Supreme Court document that threatens the abolition of Roe v. Wade—and subsequently, a woman’s right to pursue an abortion—Gucci has announced it will expense travel for any U.S. employee who needs access to health care not available in their home state. The fashion label issued a statement on May 8, writing that it ‘remains steadfast in its belief that access to reproductive health care is a fundamental human right.’” —[H/T Input]

The former Neponsit Adult Home in the Rockaways, New York. Photography by David Shankbone

Plans to demolish an old hospital near the Rockaways is threatening a “queer utopia.”

“A city plan to demolish a long-abandoned hospital and nursing home in the Rockaways has drawn scrutiny from all sides—including those who want the building to stay up to protect a historic beach haven for New York’s queer community. The public hospitals agency announced last month that three crumbling buildings comprising the former Neponsit Adult Home on Beach 149th Street would be torn down at the end of the summer season. The land would then be turned over to the Department of Parks and Recreation, and eventually be home to a park, with space for lifeguard facilities and parking.” —[H/T The City NYC]

Fentress Architects will design the California Indian Heritage Center in Sacramento.

“Fentress Architects has been chosen by California State Parks and the California Indian Heritage Center Task Force to design the California Indian Heritage Center (CIHC) in Sacramento. Per a press announcement, the site will be a destination where ‘visitors from across California, the nation, and the world will be drawn to this center of statewide significance for cultural preservation, learning and exchange, land stewardship based on Native American values, and a place to engage all visitors celebrating the living cultures of California tribal communities.’” —[H/T Archinect]

The site of the upcoming Yangqu dam. Photography courtesy of Weibo

China will build a 3D-printed hydropower dam entirely using robots over two years. 

“China is using artificial intelligence to effectively turn a dam project on the Tibetan Plateau into the world’s largest 3D printer, according to scientists involved in the project. The 180 meter (590 feet) high Yangqu hydropower plant will be built slice by slice—using unmanned excavators, trucks, bulldozers, pavers, and rollers, all controlled by AI—in the same additive manufacturing process used in 3D printing. When completed in 2024, the Yangqu dam will send nearly 5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year from the upper reaches of the Yellow River to Henan, the cradle of Chinese civilization and home to 100 million people.” —[H/T South China Morning Post]

It’s unclear whether relaxed rules on museum deaccessioning have a lasting impact.

“In April 2020, just weeks into the global Covid-19 lockdowns, the Association of Art Museum Directors announced it was loosening rules on how museums use the proceeds from sales of art, or deaccessioning, for a two-year window. It stated that museums could direct the funds towards the “direct care of collections”—rather than restricting them to further art acquisitions. Intended to mitigate the dire financial consequences of the pandemic, those resolutions expired on 12 April this year, bringing an era of expanded deaccessioning to a close.” —[H/T The Art Newspaper]

A $1 billion settlement is reached in a lawsuit filed by Surfside condo collapse victims. 

“A nearly $1 billion tentative settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit brought by families of victims and survivors of last June’s condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, an attorney said Wednesday. Harley S. Tropin announced the $997 million settlement during a hearing before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman. Still pending final approval, the settlement involves insurance companies, developers of an adjacent building and other defendants.” —[H/T NPR]

Image courtesy Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA

Today’s attractive distractions:

The Event Horizon Telescope has caught sight of a once-unseeable black hole.

Deep-sea researchers have spotted a “yellow brick road” off the Hawaiian coast.

After recent attacks on comedians, some venues are stepping up their security.

The average millennial has killed seven houseplants, so don’t be hard on yourself.

All Stories