Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Cold War Modern

10/10/2008

The Messerschmitt Kabinenroller, 1955
Now parked in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

as part of

Cold War Modern: Design 1945 – 1970

The 300 objects on display range from terrific toys — such as the three-wheeled micro car above. Plus a shiny Vespa motor scooter, an even shinier Sputnik and some Apollo space suits showing signs of wear — to futuristic frocks by designers such as Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin.

There are Eames chairs and Dieter Ram radios, and Raymond Loewy’s drawings for the interiors of spacecraft…. Robert Rauschenberg’s 1963 painting “Kite,” with its menacing military imagery, contrasts with the near-primitive Socialist-Realist pathos of a 1950 tapestry woven by Polish art students.

The show starts with the startlingly differing hopes for the reconstruction of Berlin in the architectural plans for the old-fashioned classical buildings on Stalinallee in the East, and the Modernist housing schemes in West Berlin by the Interbau team that included Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen.”

If you can’t make it to London, visit the show’s excellent website here.

And you can watch these videos related to the exhibition, such as the climax of Dr. Strangelove, to the song “We’ll Meet Again”

And then what to do in case of attack (“Send your young children to the fallout room…..”) in “Protect and Survive”

Top photo: Die Neue Sammlung, A. Laurenzo

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Trafalgar Square Freeze

03/03/2008

The folks walking in odd suits at the beginning are “Pearly Kings and Queens.”

Wiki tells us, a Pearly King or a Pearly Queen is a person dressed in a traditional cockney costume covered in mother-of-pearl buttons. These costumes were treasured heirlooms, hand made and sometime representing much of a family’s material worth.

Modern pearlies devote their time to charitable activities. Each individual area of London once had a king and his ‘donna’ (from the Italian for woman), as their wives / queens are sometimes called — one for each of the London boroughs, one for the City of Westminster, and one for the City of London.

The patterns used on pearly coats, which sometimes run in families, have special meanings, among them:

* Horseshoe = Luck
* Doves = Peace
* Heart = Charity
* Anchor = Hope
* Cross = Faith
* Wheel = Coster’s barrow
* Symbols of Playing Cards = Life is a gamble
* Flower Pots = Costermongers
* Donkey Carts = Costermongers

Also seen in the Disney film Mary Poppins, the musical number “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” features a troupe of Pearlies.

And in the film Trainspotting, when the protagonist moves from Edinburgh to London, Pearlies are featured.

Where do architects find inspiration?

02/07/2008

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The first four images are the spaces that Jacques Herzog told the Tate Modern were his most inspiring.

The antique underground caves in Rome.
Stockholm City Library by Erik Gunnar Asplund.
The space under the Eiffel Tower by Gustave Eiffel.
Biblioteca Laurenziana by Michelangelo in Florence.

It’ll be interesting to see how they affect especially the interior and the outdoor spaces of the new Tate Modern 2, which is the bottom image.

Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are designing that new building to go next to the existing Tate Modern, which they also created out of a former power station by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Tate Modern 2 is due to open around 2012.

01/13/2008

Visit London. Go surfing.


The world’s first artificial surfing machine. In other words, chlorine surfing.

05/28/2007

Sod your town square!

London has.
Temporarily. But it’s a start. I wish they would never sod off.
The idea should grow, like crabgrass.
The Beeb has more.

[via]

12/21/2006

I think I’d like this.


Click here to see the slide show and video.
It’s in London’s Victoria and Albert.
I like new in old. I like lights.
I like colors. I like technology (sometimes!)

-E

via

12/21/2006

I think I’d like this.


Click here to see the slide show and video.
It’s in London’s Victoria and Albert.
I like new in old. I like lights.
I like colors. I like technology (sometimes!)

-E

via

12/21/2006

I think I’d like this.


Click here to see the slide show and video.
It’s in London’s Victoria and Albert.
I like new in old. I like lights.
I like colors. I like technology (sometimes!)

-E

via

12/06/2006

London wants to do it.

I think more cities should.

Chicago should do it between Millennium Park
and the new Art Institute wing.

Do watch the video on this page.

“Open up squares! Create new spaces! … Places where people can talk and think.”

That’s what’s really ‘green.’

-E

12/06/2006

London wants to do it.

I think more cities should.

Chicago should do it between Millennium Park
and the new Art Institute wing.

Do watch the video on this page.

“Open up squares! Create new spaces! … Places where people can talk and think.”

That’s what’s really ‘green.’

-E