The Week in Design

From #BaltimoreUprising citizen photography to drone graffiti and a fine art exhibit dedicated to food, everything that was good in design this week.

Don’t Play With Your Art

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen in Milan

Arts & Foods. Rituals since 1851, a costly exhibition currently at the Triennale in Milan and curated by Germano Celant, dives into the subject of food’s relation to art with pieces that range from Andy Warhol’s banana album cover for the Velvet Underground, to a section on cannibalistic rituals. Celant chose to begin the exhibit chronologically at 1851 because that was the first year of the world’s fair, the Art Newspaper reports.

Keep Hope Alive

Situated nicely on the main waterfront en route from Arsenale to Giardini is the Ukrainian national pavilion, which is currently housing group art show Hope! for the 56th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Hope! is meant to act as a testament to the current crisis in Ukraine, and a way for regional artists to voice their optimism for the future of their country. The show features some of the brightest names in local talent, including Yevgenia Belorusets, Nikita Kadan, and Open Group. Hope, which opened yesterday and will run through August 2, is organized by the PinchukArtCentre with the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.


KATSU, an NYC-based graffiti artist, has taken the dubious title as the first of his ilk to ever be accused of drone vandalism. As WIRED reports, he’s perfected the notion of using a drone as an extra helping hand since last year, and now has made a formal debut on an ad of Kendal Jenner which recently appeared in Soho.

Dr. Feel Good

ADWEEK recently weighed in on the history of Dr. Martens, specifically the eight-eyelet 1460 boots, from their origins a service worker staple before evolving into punk wear. So who was the first person responsible for bringing these sturdy boots into the mainstream? Sometime in the 1960s, Robert Klara writes, “[Pete] Townshend [of the Who] had just bought the pair at a local Army Navy store for £2. And why? Because he was pissed off. ‘I was sick of dressing up as a Christmas tree in flowing robes that got in the way of my guitar playing,’ Townshend told rock chronicler Martin Roach. ‘So I thought I'd move onto utility wear.’”

The Protagonist, A Beautiful Mansion

One of the crucial elements in dystopian Sci-Fi flick Ex Machina, other than robots and the tech apocalpyse, is the home of the main character: a huge contemporary mansion, nestled somewhere in the middle of mountain terrain. This mansion really does exist, and you can stay there too, albeit for a hefty amount. The Juvet Landscape Hotel resides in Valldal, Norway. The hotel, which features 28 rooms, was “built without the need for rock blasting or changing the terrain,” BuzzFeed reports. Ex Machina’s production designer Mark Digby tells Vanity Fair that they wanted to find a place that was very remote. “We wanted it to be among nature, we wanted it to be stunning, and we wanted it to be exclusive,” says Digby. Speaking about the modern furniture, and set designs, including a Jackson Pollock replica he says “We chose an eclectic range of mid-20th century designs I think that are classic and everlasting.”

Week In Design Link Round Up:

Italian photographer Marco Citron (above) captured the subtle beauty of Eastern Europe’s failed architecture. [Calvert Journal]

​Priya’s Shakti, a comic book and “social impact multimedia project”, spawned from India’s domestic violence issues, is now an interactive exhibition at NYC’s City Lore Gallery. The gallery has turned itself into a walk-in comic book where audiences can “unlock” special animation, videos, real-life stories via mobile visual discovery platform and an app. [City Lore]

A vending machine popped-up in Berlin that distributes, and schools consumers on, ethical clothing. [Prot.ein]

An amateur photographer captured some of the most compelling images of the #BaltimoreUprising, and made the cover of Time. [Hyperallergic]

3D open-sourced bird nests at Printed Nests were offered up as a possible answer to dwindling urban bird populations. [The Creators Project]

via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

Keep Reading Show less
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet