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December Diary 2012

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Diary editor: Riya Patel | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Design-Miami copyShiro-KuramataUnbuilt-Helsinki
Design MiamiShiro KuramataUnbuilt Helsinki
Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami BeachDesign Museum Gent, GentMuseum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki
5-9 December 2012Until 24 February 20135 December 2012 – 24 February 2013

This year, for the first time, Design Miami and its counterpart Art Basel feature galleries from Lebanon, Israel and Germany. The event also has a new focus on American design, including works by Wendell Castle and David Wiseman. Meanwhile, an installation by art studio Snarkitecture reimagines the entrance to the show tent as a floating landscape of air-filled tubes (above).

Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata’s creations are among the design world’s most coveted items, regularly gracing the salerooms of Christie’s and Bonhams. Design Museum Gent’s exhibition promises to please – or tease – any diehard collector or fetishist of industrial materials and abstract designs in metal mesh and transparent acrylic. Kuramata, a contemporary of Ettore Sottsass, is known to influence the designs of Issey Miyake, Toyo Ito and Tadao Ando.

Curators Åbäke and Nene Tsuboi have worked in the MFA’s workshop to bring to life, at least in model form, numerous unrealised projects for the city. They say the resurrection of these plans presents an alternative view of the city, with the intention of portraying “another reality” rather than inciting criticism of its current make-up. Projects from the museum’s archives include Charles Smith-Polvinen’s notorious planned motorways of the 1960s, which would have sliced through the Helsinki landscape.

Unexpected PleasuresEmerging ArchitectureUrushi Lacquer + Design. East Meets West
Design Museum, LondonRIBA, LondonDie Neue Sammlung, Munich
5 December 2012 – 3 March 2013Until 1 March 201312 December 2012 – 17 February 2013

What makes a piece of jewellery precious? Celebrating contemporary jewellery from the perspective of both the wearer and the maker, Unexpected Pleasures will explore the narratives expressed in various pieces and the often unusual associations people see in their jewellery. Karl Fritsch’s rings (pictured) are among more than 130 items featured. The pieces on show range from the everyday to the extreme, so prepare to reassess how you accessorise.

Back for its 14th year, the Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture exhibition showcases an international shortlist of the best architects and designers under the age of 45. The show is known for recognising a variety of projects , including many completed on small scales and budgets. Last year’s joint winner, Creus e Carrasco’s remodelling of the harbourfront in Malpica, north-west Spain (pictured), was a lesson in improving the organisation of the public realm over a range of levels and complex spaces.

Urushi, an ancient Japanese lacquer, provides an unexpectedly good match to the fluorescent designs of Ettore Sottsass. The complex lacquering process fascinated the late designer, who after years of development produced a small series of sleek tables and boxes with the finish. This show explores urushi’s role in the bridging of Eastern and Western design practices, and considers the move from industrial design to handicraft in works by the likes of Dieter Rams.

Art-in-the-StreetPerfect-Place-to-Grow copySpace-Machine-Theatre
Art in the Street: European PostersThe Perfect Place to GrowSpace-Machine Theatre: Sets and Architecture
Museum of Fine Arts, BostonRoyal College of Art, LondonMuseum of Applied Art, Cologne
Until 21 July 2013Until 3 January 201315 December 2012 – 10 March 2013

This exhibition focuses on the “poster mania” of the 1890s – a time when fine art was entering mass consciousness through its presence on Europe’s streets and in its shop windows. Forty posters from the MFA’s collection are on display, including 1920s art deco, Bauhaus and Russian photomontage designs. Designs by poster artists such as Jules Chéret feature alongside works by Wassily Kandinsky and a set of Swiss “object posters”, which are as striking today as they were 100 years ago.

David Adjaye, Barbara Hepworth and Tracey Emin are just a few of the notable Royal College of Art faculty and alumni included in this mammoth exhibition to celebrate the school’s 175th anniversary. Across four themes, the changing context of art and design education in Britain is appraised in the light of reform and political change. Student work from the RCA’s history is shown alongside current projects, including the Olympic cauldron, Thomas Heatherwick’s contribution to the London 2012 Games.

Architecture for imaginary worlds is the subject of Space-Machine Theatre. The case studies presented are diverse: from the Opéra Garnier in Paris to the political and abstract stage sets of the Weimar Republic and concepts such as Walter Gropius’ Total Theatre. Gropius’ design, never built, proposed a “theatre machine” that rejected hierarchical seating and had the ability to adapt its performance space into multiple configurations.

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