Tomèf Transforms the London Base of Spring Studios, and Other News

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

Spring Studios London by Toméf. Photography by Rachel Smith

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Tomèf Transforms the London Base of Spring Studios

Tomèf has transformed the London base of Spring Studios, a 25-year resident of a revamped paint factory near Camden Town. The redesign of the editorial hub’s state-of-the-art film and production studios strikes a tasteful blend of vintage and modern, with sculptural furniture and vivid textiles invigorating workspaces and communal areas. Notable accents include custom scalloped sofas inspired by Piero Portaluppi, Josef Frank fabrics and Art Deco cabinetry in the CEO’s quarters, and visually arresting wallpaper from Los Angeles artist Marco Lorenzetto. “Our design,” says Tomèf founder Tommaso Franchi, “celebrates the vibrancy of the agency through colorfully rich materials and textures, respectfully balancing history and the building’s role in nurturing young talent within the creative industry.” —Ryan Waddoups

Living Breakwaters. Image courtesy of SCAPE Landscape Architect

Scape founder Kate Orff scoops the Obel Award for the Living Breakwaters project.

The 2023 Obel Award has gone to American landscape studio Scape and its founder Kate Orff for their Living Breakwaters project in Staten Island. The project uses strategically placed stones and eco-friendly concrete to not only protect the shoreline but also restore marine biodiversity. Jury chair Martha Schwartz praised the project as a modern take on ancient breakwater techniques, emphasizing its potential to inspire global coastal adaptation. Kate Orff sees the award as validation for holistic, planetary-scale design and urges quick, collaborative action to repair declining natural systems.

Up-and-coming designer Dilara Findikoglu cancels her London Fashion Week show.

Dilara Findikoglu, a designer who has dressed celebrities like Margot Robbie and Cardi B, has canceled her much-anticipated show at London Fashion Week. Despite her label’s successes and a strong social media following, Findikoglu cited financial constraints as the reason for the cancellation. She emphasized the need for investors to keep her wholly owned brand afloat and said the financial realities of running a runway show were too burdensome. The designer’s decision highlights the broader challenges facing independent designers, particularly in London, where the impact of Brexit and the pandemic have made it increasingly difficult to succeed. Industry experts note that even well-known designers are struggling, pointing to the cancellation as a sign of the industry’s current instability.

Ye’s Malibu home. Image via Google Street View

A former project manager sues Ye for wrongful termination over illegal design choices.

A former project manager for Ye, previously known as Kanye West, is suing the rapper for wrongful termination, alleging he was fired for refusing to remove all windows and electricity from Ye’s $57.3 million Malibu home. The lawsuit accuses Ye of multiple labor standard violations, including creating hazardous work environments and failing to pay salaries. The legal action reveals that Ye was attempting a comprehensive overhaul of the property, aiming to convert it into a bunker-type structure resembling a 1910s bomb shelter. Photos released in May support the contractor’s claims, showing the home stripped of its glass and interior features. Another lawsuit has been filed concerning poor conditions at Ye’s Yeezy Christian Academy, which was reportedly built without glass windows.

Cairo art hub Darb 1718 faces demolition as the government plans to build more roads.

The Egyptian government has ordered the closure and demolition of Darb 1718, a prominent art center in Cairo, to make way for a new road. Founder Moataz Nasr has filed an urgent lawsuit and launched a petition, garnering more than 11,000 signatures, to halt the demolition. Despite these efforts, Nasr’s social media accounts have been suspended, hindering further support. The move is part of a larger trend where the government is prioritizing infrastructure over cultural spaces, leading many to question its commitment to contemporary art.

Fernando Botero, the Colombian artist known for rendering voluptuous figures, dies at 91.

Fernando Botero, the Colombian artist famous for his distinctive style of exaggerated, rotund figures, died at 91. His art, which spanned paintings and sculptures, was both commercially successful and critically divisive. Born in Medellín, Botero faced early challenges including the death of his father and expulsion from Jesuit school for his “irreligious” ideas. He gained global recognition when MoMA purchased his work Mona Lisa, Age Twelve in 1961. Over the years, his art evolved to encompass political themes, most notably a series on the Abu Ghraib prison abuses. Despite facing personal tragedies, such as the loss of his son in a car crash, Botero’s impact on the art world remained substantial. His works are displayed in major cities and he donated a significant portion of his collection to museums in Colombia.

The new VTC Tank Man font by Tré Seals

Today’s attractive distractions:

The once-critically endangered Azores bullfinch seems to be bouncing back.

British pubs experiment with surge pricing, taking all the fun out of drinking.

Does America have a problem with private beaches? The Atlantic investigates.

VTC Tank Man, a new serif typeface, honors protesters at Tiananmen Square.

All Stories