The dystopian landscape imagined and drawn by the Norwegian artist Hariton Pushwagner in 1969 still resonates today, says Isabel Stevens – especially in Milton Keynes
This year's British pavilion will display the results of a global effort to find architectural solutions to modern problems, explains Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Fashion and Design at the British Council
With the Venice Architecture Biennale fast approaching, director David Chipperfield talks to Icon about his plans for the festival, which has the theme Common Ground.
An American road trip can be thwarted at the first turn-off by the confusing array of shields and arrows used to guide drivers through the highway network. Manual Creative decides to take things in a new direction.
A Dutch maritime museum is given a new lease of life, from the shimmering light of the entrance to the basement’s murky depths
Italian designer Michael Breschi’s vases recreate the vast storage towers made famous by Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs.
|Under Tomorrow's Sky||Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language||The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design|
|MU Gallery, Eindhoven||MoMA, New York||Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina|
|10 August 2012||Until 5 October 2012||Until 26 August 2012|
Liam Young, founder of urbanism think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, is bringing together an ensemble of “mad scientists, literary astronauts, digital poets, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries” to speculate on the future of the city. Biologist Rachel Armstrong (Icon 096), novelist Warren Ellis and sci-fi author Bruce Sterling are among those asked to collaborate on the fantastical imaginary metropolis, on show at MU this month.
MoMA’s summer exhibition looks at the “material qualities of language”, examining how contemporary and historical artists have been inspired by words and speech. Two key exhibits, Robert Smithson’s A Heap of Language (1966), a drawn pyramid of words with “language” at the apex, and Shannon Ebner’s video The Ecstaticalphabet (2011) introduce a mix of poetry, painting, sculpture and performance with work by Tauba Auerbach, Experimental Jetset and Karl Holmqvist.
Chairs are an essential part of life, but they also tell the story of economic, cultural, and social changes over time. This retrospective of American seating features historical pieces such as Abraham Lincoln’s 19th-century chair from the House of Representatives and modern icons by Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames. Things may get exhausting with 44 chairs from 200 years of history to see, but we recommend resisting the urge to have a rest on any of these pricey collectables.
|Anri Sala||Sarkis in the Submarine Wharf||Jerwood Makers Open|
|Centre Pompidou, Paris||Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam||Jerwood Space, London|
|Until 6 August 2012||Until 30 September 2012||Until 26 August 2012|
Albanian-born artist Anri Sala uses sound to recontextualise architecture and spatial experiences. For the film Answer Me (2008), the artist created music for a former German spy station, playing with the reverberations made by its geodesic dome structure. See four of his films at the Pompidou this month, along with No Window No Cry – a music box set into one of the gallery windows (pictured) that plays a jangling version of Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash.
This summer, Rotterdam’s former submarine construction site is once again transformed by a visiting artist commissioned by Boijmans Museum. This year it’s another surreal affair – Paris-based artist Sarkis will create Ballads, an exploration of “the depths of water” and “the thinness of air”. A monumental lampshade pendant covered in white feathers will hang inside an 18m bell tower, while John Cage’s Litany for the Whale plays continuously in the background.
Nao Matsunaga, James Rigler, William Shannon, Louis Thompson and Silvia Weidenbach are the five young designers selected for the Jerwood Makers Open this year. Each was given a £7,500 commission to create work exploring contemporary craft and materials. Rigler focuses on the relationship between ceramics and architecture, Matsunaga’s freestanding sculptures look at extremes of scale, Weidenbach’s jewellery is embellished using techniques new and old, and Thompson’s glass art plays with perception, making solid items appear liquid.
|Swiss Positions||Invisible Art||Futuro House|
|RIBA, London||Hayward Gallery, London||WeeGee Exhibition Centre, Espoo|
|Until 2 August 2012||Until 5 August 2012||Until 16 September 2012|
Le Corbusier may be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Swiss architects, but this show at the RIBA showcases a new generation of designers emerging from the alpine country, making their mark on the built environment. The travelling exhibition Swiss Positions presents 33 projects by contemporary Swiss architecture firms that reveal common concerns for the environment and sustainable development, including Christian Kerez (whose Leutschenbach school is pictured) and Clavienrossier.
This month the Hayward Gallery is celebrating “the invisible, the hidden and the unknown”. Challenging the notion that visual art must be seen to be experienced, the show traces the history of the movement from Yves Klein’s conceptual experiments in the late 50s to works such as Jeppe Hein’s Invisible Labyrinth (2005). Hein’s maze relies on visitors wearing headphones controlled by infrared rays that vibrate each time they bump into one of its virtual walls.
If you’re in Helsinki for the World Design Capital festivities, make sure to add the Futuro House exhibition in Espoo to your agenda. Matti Suuronen’s 1968 prefab pod house – an original of which has been restored for the show – started as a one-off holiday home, but quickly caught the imagination of idealistic American manufacturers, who saw its built-in furniture and gadgets, cheap mass-produceable structure and space-age design as the future of living. As sexy as it sounds – Playboy named Futuro its ideal bachelor pad in January 1974 – the concept never caught on and fewer than 100 were ever made.
This month the Columbia Museum of Art brings together 44 chairs from 200 years of American history, there's an original Futuro House on show in Finland, the designers selected for Jerwood Makers Open show off their talent and a group of sci-fi authors, scientists and urbanists make a fantastical model metropolis in Eindhoven.
100% Design will be hosting a lively seminar programme, which will feature international designers and industry leaders including Yvés Behar, Stephen Haggerty (of Hunt Haggarty), Vicky Richardson (British Council), Michael Young, Mat Hunter (Design Council), Chris Sanderson (LS: Global), Dan Hopwood (BIID), Christine Murray (Architects Journal), Simon Woodroffe (Yo! Home), Marcus Fairs (Dezeen) and many more.
Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design will host the 8th International Conference on Design & Emotion from 11-14 September 2012. This year's theme is "Out of Control", although the conference will cover all aspects of design and the human experience.
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