Design Dispatch

Taco Bell’s New Times Square Cantina Features Food Lockers and Other News

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Sports courts will be part of the mixed-use masterplan for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

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An unused train yard in Milan will be revitalized for the 2026 Winter Olympics

Architecture practices Diller Scoficio + Renfro (DS+R), PLP Architecture, and Carlo Ratti Associati have been tapped to convert an abandoned train yard into a park and athlete village for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Located in the Porta Romana neighborhood in southeast Milan, the architecture studios will transform the site into a new district made up of apartments, offices, retail space, and sports centers that encircle a large urban park with vast meadow gardens, wet and woodlands, and elevated greenways. Similarly to DS+R’s Highline in New York, the elevated greenways will be landscaped with raised gardens that provide biodiversity and walking routes across the development.

Brooklyn artist William Hicks hits Salt Bae with $5 million lawsuit for copyright infringement.

Hicks alleges the viral butcher and chef Nusr-et Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, illegally printed his art on menus, takeout bags, and signs at international Nusr-Et Steakhouse locations in Turkey, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates without permission. According to a Manhattan federal lawsuit from Monday, Hicks and fellow artist Joseph Iurato were hired by Gökçe in September 2017 to make a mural of the Turkish restaurateur in his “signature salt-sprinkling pose.” The court papers say the first work was displayed in Gökçe’s Miami steakhouse and subsequent commissioned murals appeared at his restaurants in Doha, Dubai, and New York.

Archaeologists’ discovery of a 5,000-year-old mass-production brewery in the ancient city of Abydos at Sohag Governorate in Egypt.

New York Botanical Garden and the Judd Foundation among the 225 recipients of grants from the National Endowment for Humanities.

On Wednesday, the National Endowment for Humanities bestowed new grants to 225 beneficiaries, including The New York Botanical Garden, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Totalling $24 million, the grants will support projects at libraries, universities, museums, and historic sites in 45 states, as well as in Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Some of the initiatives include the excavation of a newly discovered ancient Egyptian brewery by researchers at New York University, the implementation of a traveling exhibit honoring Emmett Till’s legacy at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and a research biography of the congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis by David Greenberg, a professor at Rutgers University.

Thanks to surging sales, LVMH’s first quarter revenue exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

Sustained by a thirst for Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior accessories, sales at French luxury goods group LVMH recovered more rapidly than expected in early 2021 as Chinese and U.S. shoppers relished buying amid easing COVID-19 restrictions. LVMH—owner of 75 brands including Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Rimowa, and Tiffany and Co.—made its first quarter earnings public on Tuesday, showing like-for-like sales up 8%.

The Venice Architecture Biennale will return this year with “silent openings.”

Much to the public’s disappointment, the national pavilions of the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale will open without guests next month. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the fair was pushed back twice in 2020 and ultimately canceled. Plans to return with a physical event this year were announced for May 20 but given the resurgence of cases in Italy and European travel restrictions, several pavilions have cancelled their physical opening events. Meanwhile, the Swiss, Dutch, and Singaporean organizers intend to host “silent openings,” or virtual events during the invitation-only vernissage on May 20 and 21.

Tecla, a revolutionary 3D printed house designed by Mario Cucinella Architects in collaboration with specialists WASP, was unveiled this month in Italy.

Mario Cucinella Architects designs world’s first 3D-printed house made entirely from raw earth.

Located in Italy’s Massa Lombarda region, Tecla, made in collaboration with specialists WASP, is a landmark achievement in the quest to combine the natural materials of ancient dwellings with modern technology. The zero-waste structure—its shell is biodegradable—took just 200 hours to construct using local soil and is fully self-sufficient.

Cardi B launches 90s-inspired apparel and footwear collection with Reebook.

Following on the heels of her Club C sneaker drop this past year, Cardi B is teaming up with Reebok for an encore. The rapper and songwriter has reunited with the sportswear brand for a more expansive collaboration: her first-ever clothing release, The Summertime Fine Collection, in tandem with the release of new colorways of the Cardi B Club C and the Club C Double. Drawing inspiration from 90s fashion and Cardi’s favorite summer memories walking the Coney Island boardwalk, the line features Reebok’s signature silhouettes with Cardi-style contouring and waist-cinching details in tops, bras, jackets, and tights. Officially dropping on April 23, the entire collection is offered in sizes from 2XS to 4X.

Taco Bell's contactless system is perfect for pandemic-era cleanliness, removing the need for human interaction.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Google “doodled” 18 works from The MET’s collection, celebrating the 151st anniversary.  

Margiela just dropped a paint-splattered version of the Classic Leather Tabi.

Taco Bell’s new Times Square Cantina features food lockers and is completely contactless.

NASA has released a sublime image of rolling blue dunes on Mars. 

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