A Neighborhood Café That Looks The Part, and Other News

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

Sloane Street Deli in London by Rawan Muqaddas and Melis Ugurlu

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A Neighborhood Café That Looks The Part

London’s new Sloane Street Deli celebrates the beauty of simplicity with a holistic design that buoys the sensorial joys of a classic neighborhood spot: the aroma of coffee wafting from the cream-hued La Marzocco machine, the fresh bagels and pastries spread across the tile-wrapped counter, and the colorful specialty foods displayed behind the fiddle rail in a market nook. Middle Eastern designer Rawan Muqaddas, who is based in Kuwait and London, respected the building’s history by preserving original elements such as the large windows, white moldings, dark wooden floors, and marble tabletops. Contemporary flourishes—warm tones, playful signage, and modern artworks—bring it into the present. The all-day cafe will serve breakfast staples with produce sourced from the British Isles and, naturally, afternoon tea.

David Adjaye. Photography by Ed Reeve

Créateurs Design Awards gives David Adjaye the first Charlotte Perriand Award.

David Adjaye has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Charlotte Perriand Award, which recognizes a living architect whose career achievements mirror Perriand’s contributions to the design industry. In accepting the award, Adjaye noted how the late architect’s thinking and philosophies have influenced his design sensibilities: “She was really expansive in thinking about what the profession could be, and understood the role of designers in their responsibility toward making the 21st century as beautiful and as empowering and as edifying as possible for people of all races—and for our human civilization to thrive.” 

After a tumultuous year, the Barbican Centre hires Claire Spencer as its first CEO.

Europe’s largest performing arts venue has appointed its first-ever CEO. Claire Spencer, who arrives from Arts Centre Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House, will play a key role in overseeing diversity and inclusion initiatives at the cultural venue, which was rocked by allegations of racism after staffers published a dossier that alleged discriminatory behavior on behalf of management. Spencer will also help oversee the venue’s $208 million refurbishment, which aims to drastically reduce the Brutalist structure’s carbon footprint.

Triangle Tower in Paris by Herzog & de Meuron

Construction begins on the environmentally “catastrophic” Triangle Tower in Paris. 

Despite opposition from locals and environmentalists, construction has kicked off on the 42-floor pyramid-shaped Triangle Tower in Paris. The skyscraper, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will become the city’s third-highest building when it completes in 2026. Legislators from the city’s Green Party have denounced the tower as a “climatic aberration” that should be abandoned because of its “catastrophic carbon footprint.”  

Wikipedia is enlisting artists to illustrate BIPOC figures whose entries lack portraits. 

Research suggests that Wikipedia entries lacking portraits often register as less significant and negatively impact readers’ engagement and interest. The Wikimedia Foundation is launching Wiki Unseen, an initiative to help improve the visual representation of BIPOC individuals by enlisting artists to create portraits for figures without their likeness featured on their entries. To accomplish this, it’s partnering with the Afro Free Culture Crowdsourcing Wikimedia on Wiki Unseen, which was started by Wikimedia volunteers in 2015 to raise awareness around individuals of African descent who are active on Wikipedia. So far, the group has identified 20 biographical articles whose current lack of images they’d like to address, enlisting Enam Bosokah, Esther Griffith, and Bukhtawar Malik for the project.

(FROM LEFT) Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley; Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald. Images courtesy National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The Obama Portraits’ national tour is adding stops in San Francisco and Boston.

Last year, the presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama—painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively—embarked on a national tour organized by the Smithsonian. The portraits were originally planned to stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Now, more dates have been added for the De Young Museum in San Francisco in June and at Boston’s Museum of Fine arts in September and October. Once the tour wraps up, the portraits will return to Washington, DC, and be put on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. 

The alleged thief who laundered $4.5 billion in Bitcoin is an NFT artist and collector. 

Earlier this week, federal agents arrested New York couple Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein and Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan on charges of conspiring to launder $4.5 billion in Bitcoin. The 119,754 virtual coins, which were allegedly stolen during the 2016 Bitfinex hack and were worth a mere $71 million at the time, were then used to buy gold and NFT art. Though details surrounding the case still remain unclear, the couple allegedly transferred the money to Lichtenstein’s digital wallet across more than 2,000 transactions. Artnet News has the full report, including impeccably researched insight into each of their creative pursuits, such as Razzlekhan’s ambitions to be a “raunchy rapper making surrealist art.” 

A new apartment building in Manhattan is made of 577,000 pounds of industrial waste.

Perched on the corner of 47th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan is The West, a newly finished apartment building that at first glance appears decades old. That’s because the bricks cladding its facade are composed of nearly 580,000 pounds of industrial and demolition waste, lending the building a rough texture compared to glassy structures nearby. The bricks, created by Dutch company StoneCycling, contain 60 percent waste that includes ceramic toilet bowls, steel, and roof tiles. In the coming years, StoneCycling aims to open a factory that employs special machinery to help them produce bricks made of 100 percent waste, a goal dependent on Europe’s robust recycling infrastructure.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Image via Shutterstock

Today’s attractive distractions:

Megan Thee Stallion becomes a “bag of Flamin’ Hot Chips” in her latest song.

The “UnFuck the Future” app encourages climate action in a lighthearted way.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, the oldest pub in Britain at 1,229 years old, is closing.

Scientists unearth 18,000 ancient Egyptian notepads that chronicled daily life.

All Stories