Sharif Abraham

Steilneset Memorial, Peter Zumthor & Louise Bourgeois /

The Steilneset Memorial is composed of two pieces- one completely by Peter Zumthor, the other an exhibit by the late Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), within a structure by Zumthor, the Steilneset Memorial in Vardø, Norway is a tribute to the dark, early 17th century and it’s witch hunts. In total, 135 individuals were indicted for the crime of sorcery (it’s never as much fun in the real world), of which 91 were convicted. The Zumthor structure is a suspended fabric cocoon, hung within a pine scaffolding. Within, a long hallway is host to 91 hanging lightbulbs behind 91 windows, paying homage to the needlessly lost souls. More images here Dezeen

dezeenSteilneset Memorial by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois14

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion: Herzog and De Meuron & Ai Weiwei /

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has collaborated with Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, designers of the Tate Modern, to create this year's summer pavilion at London's Serpentine Gallery. A thin steel tank pond provides a roof for a conceptual archaeological dig of previous summer pavilions comprising cork ramps, cork flooring and cork seats. The smell must be incredible! Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron


Marina Abramovic and Uly /

Marina Abramovic and Uly started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened. Marina Abromavic & Ulay

Ulay with Marina The Artist is Present 2010 MoMA 602x401

Architectural Review_AR 125 /

Clifton Hill House in Architectural Review - AR125/ June 2012 - reviewed by Paul Carter and titled "Creative Archaeology". The article extrapolates the subliminal and cryptic ideas behind the work within the context of the notion of "identifications"- the desire for dreamed dwellings as well as spaces choreographed for everyday comfort. Carter writes: "The result is a creative assemblage, a new house where typologies (family histories, architectural anatomies and the palimpsesticfuture visions of recurrent dreams) are crafted into drawings, arrangements of walls – where windows, recover their association with privilege, emancipation and epiphany – and volumes, that transform what was ruined into the precious scaffolding of unfolding futures. The Clifton Hill House is a revelation because it insists on the role the enigmatic plays in feeling at home: there is always something beyond and it is in the house." Download full article here

ARfront cover2

The Spatial Arts: An interview with Jacques Derrida /

Peter Brunette & David Wills interview Derrida in 1990 in America. He talks about great work as consisting of it's ability to resist "philosophical authority" and it's emancipation from the hegemony and authority of philosophical discourse. In other words that which makes the work unplaceable, enabling it to escape the space of certainty.The idea being that if the work is only there to fill a hole- that is, it meets historical, ideological and technical requirements- then there is no work (of art presumably). If there is work, it is because that even when all conditions of analysis have been met, something else still happens. If the same thing is being recognized then it would be a stillborn, dead from the start, and nothing has happened. It needs to transform, to move elsewhere for something to have happened. You can download the full interview here.

jacques derrida

The balance between the natural & the man made /

Fascinating conversation with Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. He talks about the natural and man made world and discusses sustainability beyond the life cycle of buildings. Press to download PDF.." For me architecture is a global issue. There is no ecological architecture, no intelligent architecture, no fascist architecture, no sustainable architecture – there is only good and bad architecture. There are always problems we must not neglect; for example energy, resources, costs, social aspects – one must always pay attention to all these."

ES de MouraMETRO

Window washing, Vanessa van Dam /

I came across this unrealized piece by Artist Vanessa van Dam’s. It's a proposal for a window washing installation at the Pharos Office Tower near Amsterdam. It offers a critique on the anonymous glass office building, exploring the relationship between architecture and maintenance. Van Dam proposed the installation of 85 industrial-sized window wipers typically found on airplanes and lighthouses. This is very intriguing as maintenance (a desire to maintain "newness") is an obsession in Australia. With a movement towards a mechanized environment, I can imagine a city where the machines, apparatuses, materials, and techniques of maintenance become part of the image of the city. 

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Roden Crater, James Turrell /

James Turrell is interviewed on a journey through the Arizona desert to his site specific work at Roden Crater. Really extraordinary. A disused crater is turned into a massive light art project, partly funded by the Guggenheim (40 million) . What I like the most about this work is the way it mediates landscape, phenomenological and cultural experience. There's a small piece at the beginning about the Goldstein "skyscraper"- purpose built room for sky/light experience. see the video here

Roden Crater Aerial View Turrell

Minus K House, Shanghai /

It is refreshing to see work in China that does not allude to a generic western perspective and deals with Chines culture and its collective memory. This house by the Foreign firm KUU in Shanghai, is 170 m2 and is designed as a duplex composed of a normal dwelling for the family of a worker combined with a weekend house for the owner of a slipper factory. It is located in the compound of the firm's warehouse. The location seems already odd, and so does the program. The designers based their layout on 19 squares, each three by three meters, to form an irregular grid. This recalls the experience normal Chinese people had until recently with shared kitchen, bathroom or communal courtyards and semi public collective neighbourhood streets. But in contrast to the forced arrangement by shortage of housing, in this case a choice is offered which creates an opportunity for communication in a cultured way. More images

Minus K Shanghai

Thomas Heatherwick talks to an Audience- extraordinary /

Architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick talks to an audience about his work and inspiration- extraordinary. Have a look at the kissing bridge about 4.5 min in. The studio's work draws on ideas gleaned from art, film and popular culture, creating work with strong materiality and intrigue. Thomas comes from a background of "crafting" small objects and uses this as a starting point for the making of large buildings. The image to the right shows the British Pavilion at Expo 2010.  

Expo2010 Heatherwick Studio

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