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    Design Museum's Objects of Desire exhibition explores “what surrealism is and why it matters now”

    Curator Kathryn Johnson explains the story behind surrealism and its impact on design in this video Dezeen produced for the Design Museum about its latest exhibition.

    Titled Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today, the exhibition features almost 350 surrealist objects spanning fashion, furniture and film.
    The exhibition, which was curated by Johnson, explores the conception of the surrealist movement in the 1920s and the impact it has had on the design world ever since.
    The exhibition features nearly 350 pieces of art, design, photography, fashion and filmIt features some of the most recognised surrealist paintings and sculptures, including pieces by Salvador Dalí, Man Ray and Leonora Carrington, as well as work from contemporary artists and designers such as Dior and Björk.
    “Surrealism was born out of the horrors of the first world war, in a period of conflict and uncertainty, and it was a creative response to that chaos,” Johnson said in the video.

    “It saw in the fracturing of the world an opportunity to shake things up, to do things differently, to think differently, and to acknowledge the subconscious and its importance for our everyday lives.”
    The exhibition explores the beginnings of the surrealist movement in the 1920sThe exhibition explores surrealism’s impact on contemporary design, with nearly a third of the objects on show dating from the past 50 years.
    “We want to start a conversation about what surrealism is and why it matters now,” Johnson said.
    The name of the exhibition references the importance of the concept of desire within the movement. In the video, Johnson explained that the surrealist movement began with poetry, with French poet and author André Breton penning the first surrealist manifesto.
    Breton described desire as “being the sole motivating force in the world” and “the only master humans should recognise.”
    The exhibition’s name refers to the importance of the concept of desire within the movementThe exhibition is segmented into four themes. It begins with an introduction to surrealism from the 1920s and explores the influence of the movement on everyday objects, as well as its pivotal role in the evolution of design throughout the twentieth century.
    Another part of the exhibition explores surrealism and interior design, since early protagonists of the movement were interested in capturing the aura or mystery of everyday household objects.
    Objects on display include Marcel Duchamp’s Porte-Bouteilles, a sculpture made from bottle racks, and Man Ray’s Cadeau/Audace, a traditional flat iron with a single row of 14 nails.
    Early surrealists were interested in capturing the mystery of ordinary household objectsThe exhibition moves along to the 1940s, where designers started using surrealist art for ideas to create surprising and humorous objects. Items borne from this include Sella by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and Jasper Morrison’s Handlebar Table.
    A key section of the exhibition includes a spotlight on surrealism’s significance in the UK, documenting the partnership between Salvador Dalí and the British poet and art patron Edward James, whose collaboration resulted in some of the most notable works of surrealism such as the Mae West Lips sofas and the Lobster Telephone.
    The exhibition features a number of pieces by Dalí including the Lobster TelephoneAnother section of the exhibition examines surrealism and the body in relation to the human form, sexuality and desire.
    Included in this section are Sarah Lucas’ Cigarette Tits, in which the language of tabloids is used to expose stereotypes of female sexuality, and Najla el Zein’s Hay, which highlights the sensory pleasures provided by everyday materials.
    Photographs, vintage magazine covers and fashion items are on display to show the impact of surrealism on the fashion industry starting from the 1930s.
    The exhibition features fashion and objects exploring the human form, sexuality and desireAccording to Johnson, “surrealism attracted more women than any other movement since romanticism.” As a result, she wanted to ensure there was a wide representation of female artists and designers in the exhibition.
    “I think that was partly because of concerns about the body, about sexuality, and how the domestic were key themes of surrealism from the beginning,” she said.
    “But those themes were approached in a very original and critical way by the women associated with the movement – some of whom would not have considered themselves surrealists but were in dialogue with those ideas.”
    Surrealism attracted more women than any other movement since romanticism, according to JohnsonThe final section of the exhibition looks at the surrealist preoccupation with challenging the creative process itself and how this resulted in original works of art and design.
    According to Johnson, contemporary designers are still using ideas from early surrealism, such as welcoming chance into the creative process, or using techniques like automatism.
    “The surrealists try to write and draw without thinking, and we see in the exhibitions and studies where they are drawing in an automatic way. But now, of course, contemporary designers have other tools to use to try and bypass the known and the conventional,” Johnson said.
    The exhibition is on show at the Design Museum until 19 February 2023An example of this in the exhibition is Sketch Chair by design studio Front, which was produced using motion capture technology to translate the movement of drawing in mid-air into a 3D-printed form.
    “The surrealists knew that changing the mind would change the material world and we’re now at this frightening but thrilling juncture where we’re creating a computerised intelligence that can be creative,” Johnson said.
    Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today opened at the Design Museum on 14 October 2022 and is on show until 19 February 2o23.
    Tickets are available at
    Partnership content
    This video was produced by Dezeen for Design Museum as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen’s partnership content here.

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    Ginza Ecological Map designed by Hakuten presents the “hidden story of Ginza”

    Design studio Hakuten has created a three-dimensional map of Ginza, Tokyo, that presents the ecology that exists in the district.

    The Ginza Ecological Map, which was featured in the Japanese makeup brand Shiseido’s Hakuten’s window, was designed to “carefully express the impression of the location and the history of the city, with a hidden story of Ginza”.
    The map showcased the local ecology in the areaIt spotlighted the natural elements found throughout the district, including samples of trees, plants, insects and earth, with the intention of enhancing the local community’s knowledge of its district’s ecology. Each item was presented in one of 72 windows – similarly to how scientific specimens are exhibited in museums.
    The exhibition ran throughout 2021 and across two themes: Organisms, which presented insects and cuttings from plants, and Earth – showcasing the diversity of soils found throughout the district.
    Parts of the glothistle plant were arranged in a clock-like motif to represent the district’s Wako clock tower”We care­fully displayed this ecology in the window as if they were scientific specimens,” said Hakuten.

    “The exhibition ran throughout the year across two different ecological themes – Organisms and Earth – and brought to light a new and beautiful Ginza that had not been seen before in the form of the Ginza Ecology Map.”
    Ginkgo biloba trees were planted in Ginza in 1906The materials were collected during a number of fieldwork studies in addition to the knowledge gained from speaking to people local to Ginza. Once collected, the items were exhibited in creative ways with the aim of becoming a tool to communicate the connection between Ginza’s natural world and society.
    For example, the plant named glothistle was collected from under the city’s Wako clock tower, and as part of the exhibition was displayed in a clock-like motif to represent it.

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    In addition, the district’s ginkgo biloba trees were planted in 1906, and according to the designers, they represent a “turning point for modernisation in the city”.
    As a nod to the tree’s heritage in the district, images of Ginza’s buildings were printed onto the collected ginkgo tree leaves as part of the exhibition.
    The exhibition showcased a number of plants and insects”Unlike most window displays that show objects and installations that only suit its occasion, not only did Ginza Ecological Map provide a new perspective of Ginza city, but through research from local residents it also expanded into a communication tool between the city and the people,” said Hakuten.
    “By looking at the usually unseen ecology that exists in a metropolis, we were able to rethink the relationship between the city, people, and nature in an attempt to approach a more sustainable society.”
    Earth was collected as part of the exhibitionAs part of the Earth theme, the colour of the soil across the district was documented, including samples collected from sidewalk ditches and from around various plants such as dogwood and camellia.
    The exhibition also shed light on creating a number of creative resources from the city’s soil – including pottery and crayons – and clothing dyed using local plant’s pigments.
    The map featured in the Japanese brand Shiseido’s windowAccording to the studio, the pandemic provided the opportunity to reflect on the human-nature relationship as Ginza was “emptied” because of the pandemic.
    The project was conceived of this change, and aimed to rethink the district’s approach towards creating a society more mindful of enhancing and protecting its nature.
    The exhibition also presented the ways in which local plant pigments can be used as textile dye”In Covid-19 where we were provided with more opportunities to deeply reflect upon the global environment, this project allowed us to rethink the relationship between the city, people, and nature in an attempt to approach a more sustainable society,” said Hakuten.
    Ginza Ecological Map has been shortlisted in the exhibition design category at this year’s Dezeen Awards alongside, Weird Sensation Feels Good – The World of ASMR, Greenwood Rising: Black Wall Street History Center exhibition and Journey of the Pioneers.

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    Architecture at Home exhibition presents “human-centred” housing prototypes

    New York studio Levenbetts and Mexico City practice PPAA are among the firms that have designed sustainable and socially conscious architecture prototypes for an exhibition on housing at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas.

    Architecture at Home is an exhibition that brings together experimental housing by five architecture firms based across the Americas.
    The prototypes are positioned alongside The Fly Eye Dome by Richard Buckminster FullerThe prototypes respond to issues central to the state of today’s housing in both the USA and around the world by acknowledging the present needs of occupants and their natural surroundings, as well as reflecting on the past.
    Curated by Dylan Turk, the show takes place outside along the meandering Orchard Trail at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
    Levenbetts created a pinewood structureThe designs are positioned alongside a 50-foot prototype of the 1965 Fly’s Eye Dome by the late American architect and theorist Richard Buckminster Fuller – a prototype that encompassed his idea for the ultimate affordable, portable and self-sufficient home.

    One of the five prototypes is House of Trees: City of Trees by Levenbetts, a structure made from Arkansas southern yellow pine that is composed of two pavilions connected by walkways, which are housed under fanned slats of wood.
    Built from mass timber, the prototype was designed to offer a low-cost and sustainable solution to housing with a form that complements the contours of its surrounding landscape, according to Levenbetts.
    Translucent panels connect inside and outside spaces in PPAA’s prototypeAnother prototype that aims to connect inside and outside spaces was created by PPAA, which includes natural soil flooring.
    Formed from translucent geometric panels, the house is designed to stand alone as a single structure or can be scaled to achieve a series of linked houses that would encourage community-based co-living.
    Totem House: Histories of Negation attempts to highlight systemic racism in Arkansas and beyond”The concepts presented here offer hope for the future,” said the museum.
    “Each structure demonstrates how thoughtful design can inspire more sustainable and human-centred models of building and living.”

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    Totem House: Histories of Negation is an experimental sculpture by Studio Sumo that aims to discuss the often-suppressed histories of Black and Indigenous peoples in northwest Arkansas through architectural symbols.
    Designed as a series of totemic structures, each totem is engraved with information citing events that detail the forced migration or expulsion of these communities over many years in Arkansas and elsewhere.
    Studio: Indigenous designed a prototype that emphasises a house’s hearthThe structures take the form of an outline of a house from a distance. But up close, the shape is meant to disappear – drawing attention to the injustice and displacement endured by local communities.
    Totem House can also be expanded into a functioning structure that can be prefabricated off-site, according to its architects.
    “Each firm recognises the complexities and barriers that exist in the current housing system, from financing and established building practices to neglected histories of place,” added Crystal Bridges.
    Mutuo offered a sculpture that addresses issues surrounding home ownershipStudio: Indigenous founder Chris Cornelius offered a prototype that aims to explore how conventional housing models could be improved for Indigenous peoples.
    Cornelius designed an experimental structure with a towering steel hearth, which he described as an important place to gather inside the home.
    Compartmentalised rooms also offer internal flexibility – a hallmark of many Indigenous homes, according to Cornelius.
    Architecture at Home takes place outside at Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtLos Angeles-based practice Mutuo used concrete, steel, clay and Mexican handcrafted wood to create a prototype that aims to explore issues surrounding homeownership inclusivity.
    Made up of rigid columns, these building blocks represent stumbling blocks that many people experience when trying to secure their own house.
    Large sections of each room in the prototype home were omitted from the design, aiming to expose the many issues within the housing industry that are not often enough acknowledged, according to Mutuo.
    Visitors can explore the works along the museum’s Orchard Trail”My goal is to prove that affordability, beauty, and diversity in housing types can coexist when designing, regulating and developing housing,” said Turk.
    Other projects that explore experimental housing concepts include a community in Mexico with homes by Frida Escobedo and Tatiana Bilbao, a pair of hill-like buildings in France by MVRDV designed for “a variety of income levels” and Hackney New Primary School and 33 Kingsland Road – Henley Halebrown’s affordable housing project in London.
    The photography is by Ironside Photography. 
    Architecture at Home takes place from 9 July to 7 November 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Journey of the Pioneers exhibition presents the world in 2071

    German studio Atelier Brueckner has created an immersive exhibition at the Museum of the Future in Dubai that aims to investigate the world in 2071.

    Named Journey of the Pioneers, the permanent exhibition was created for the recently opened Museum of the Future, which was designed by local studio Killa Design.
    Atelier Brueckner split the exhibition, which was shortlisted for this year’s Dezeen Awards, into three sections that aim to investigate what the world may look like 50 years from now. The sections focus on life in space, bioengineering developments and the future of well-being.
    The exhibition’s first district contains a space stationAccording to Atelier Brueckner, each district was designed using different materials and methods to represent their distinct but interconnected narratives.
    The first district focuses on life in a space station, the second on an organisation that aims to regenerate endangered ecosystems, and the final district examines the future developments of well-being rituals.

    “The experience touches on subjects and narratives that are relevant in the present day and foreseen to be still the challenges that we will face in the future,” said Atelier Brueckner.
    “The experience is both informative and transformative and calls on the visitors to embark upon an expedition to a future for which they will, through individual choices, become part of a collective effort to create a better future for all humanity.”
    The second district is named The LibraryThe first district presents the OSS Hope space station – the “largest man-made object in space”. Within the exhibition, visitors can look out from “space” to see a digital image depicting the Earth 50 years from now.
    During the immersive experience, visitors are “recruited” to undertake a fictitious mission aligned to the space station’s overall aim – “to use the sun’s energy to provide power for mankind by harvesting it from the moon and then transmitting it down to the Earth”.
    As a nod to its futuristic theme, the exhibition’s surfaces were 3D-printed, according to Atelier Brueckner.
    The Library presents a range of organisms, such as single-cell organisms, plants and mammalsThe second district is named the HEAL Institute – an organisation that uses bioengineering to help regenerate damaged ecosystems.
    Also included is a “digital Amazon”, which intends to showcase how life in the rainforest is interconnected.
    “In ‘the Forest’, visitors gaze upon a majestic Ceiba tree at the sound of rain, as thousands of dancing point clouds overlay the scenery with the choreographed, but invisible life, that infuses the Amazon,” said Atelier Brueckner.
    This district also features The Library, which includes 2,400 laser-engraved crystal jars that represent different species. This includes single-cell organisms, plants and mammals, which will either be alive or extinct by 2071.
    The organisms presented in the second district will alive or extinct by 2071The third and final district is described by Atelier Brueckner as “the space where the pioneers encounter themselves”. It aims to be a space where visitors can reconnect to their senses while exploring what the future of well-being will look like in an increasingly technological world.
    The district includes a number of therapies and treatments using technologies, such as “Movement Therapy” where visitors can explore and discover the benefit of dance. Additional therapeutic areas in the space include Grounding, Connection, and Feeling.
    The district also includes “The Centre”, which is designed as a space for relaxation and contemplation, and Atelier Brueckner chose earth and clay-like tones on the district’s walls to be in keeping with its theme.
    The final district explores a number of therapies including Movement Therapy”The design approach for the whole experience was an exercise in the creation of suspension of disbelief, crafting convincing environments through the choice of materials and the overall spatial design, and through the intricate score-like staging of the various narrative & sensorial components,” said Atelier Brueckner.
    “With moments of tension and moments of release, rhythmic crescendos and climaxes, and phases of decompression and contemplation.”
    The designers chose warm, earthy colours to complement the final districtIn addition to the main exhibition, the museum includes a space showcasing future innovations and products, in addition to a space with an “immersive and engaging landscape dedicated to children”.
    The exhibition’s design was created in collaboration with Marshmallow Laser Feast, Jason Bruges Studios, Galerija 12, Altspace, Framestore, Superflux, Emilie Baltz, Deep Local and Certain Measures.
    Journey of the Pioneers been shortlisted in the exhibition design category at this year’s Dezeen Awards alongside Ginza Ecological Map, Weird Sensation Feels Good – The World of ASMR and Greenwood Rising: Black Wall Street History Center exhibition.

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    Five key exhibitions at Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2022

    Lisbon Architecture Triennale has returned for its sixth edition, with exhibitions, installations and contributions by the likes of Dutch studio MVRDV and Japanese studio Tomoaki Uno Architects.

    Titled Terra, the Latin word for earth, this year’s Lisbon Architecture Triennale is a call to action centring on sustainability and forging a balance between communities, resources and processes.
    The 14-week-long event was curated by Portuguese architects and educators Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay. It takes place until 5 December 2022 and includes a number of exhibitions, book launches, conferences and fringe events across the city of Lisbon.
    Each of the exhibitions and events highlights climate change, human reliance on resources as well as social, economic and environmental injustices and how these issues are connected.
    Read on for five key exhibitions at the 2022 edition of Lisbon Architecture Triennale:

    Curated by Cityscapes Magazine co-founder Tau Tavengwa and anthropologist and writer Vyjayanthi Rao, Multiplicity is an exhibition that looks at ways architecture and design can respond better to global challenges such as inequality, climate change and conflict.
    The exhibition is organised across several of the National Museum of Contemporary Art’s minimally decorated rooms, with books, posters and other exhibits arranged on folio cabinets and plywood tables to encourage visitors to engage with them.
    It also includes case studies of architecture projects, such as Wiki House by Architecture 00, BookWorm pavilion by Nudes and Plugin House by People’s Architecture Office, which highlight architectural and design-led initiatives and solutions to social and global issues.

    Retroactive is an exhibition at Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), curated by design studio Taller Capital founders Loreta Castro Reguera and José Pablo Ambrosi.
    It identifies ways to help communities living in “vulnerable places due to overcrowding, lack of resources and basic service infrastructure” through the use of architectural initiatives.
    “Retroactive explores the suturing tools of communities in urgent need of architectural solutions that may reconcile their sense of belonging and spatial dignity,” explained Lisbon Architecture Triennale organisers.

    At the Garagem Sul museum, Cycles highlights the circular economy of materials, presenting ways in which designers, architects and creatives can reuse waste. The exhibition was designed by local office Rar.Studio and curated by architect Pedro Ignacia Alonso with art curator Pamela Prado.
    “Cycles addresses the role of architecture within the endless processes of transformation and redistribution of matter, and showcases the possible encounter between architecture and sustainability, economy, heritage and memory,” said organisers of Lisbon Architecture Triennale.
    A focal point of the exhibition is Falca, a mound of cork piled in the rear corner of the gallery by artist Lara Almarcegui.

    Visionaries is described by its curator Anastassia Smirnova as an “invitation for action”. It is arranged within the Culturgest centre across a collection of rooms, which each shed light on radical ideas spanning different categories or themes.
    Among the visionary projects is Dutch architecture studio MVRDV’s proposal to raise Eindhoven’s cathedral by 55 metres to insert social and public functions below it, alongside an exploration into French architect Roger Anger’s utopian city Auroville in India. Other contributors include Japanese studio Tomoaki Uno Architects, Spanish architect Andrés Jaque and Spanish office Ensamble Studio.
    “Their projects, more than mere physical and spatial structures, are ambitious and controversial prescriptions for planetary strategies,” said Lisbon Architecture Triennale.
    “In many different forms, from the bedroom scale to city models, these radical prototypes are open to being productively interpreted, not just replicated, by future generations.”

    Independent Projects
    Alongside the main exhibitions, a total of 16 projects have been developed in response to the triennale’s theme of Terra. Twelve of these are exhibited at the event’s headquarters at Palacio Sinel de Cordes, while the other four are dotted across the city of Lisbon.
    Among them is After Plastics, a project by that imagines a landscape where microplastics play a vital role in a new plant growth. Meanwhile, designers Zhicheng Xu, Mengqi Moon He, Stratton Coffman, Calvin Zhong and Wuyahuang Li, are presenting Lodgers, a proposal for temporary housing for different life forms in Nevada, built from local materials.
    Lisbon Architecture Triennale takes place from 1 October to 5 December 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    The photography is by Sara Constança.

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    Copenhagen Architecture Festival exhibition responds to “ridiculous” big-budget building projects

    An exhibition in Copenhagen showcases work by students who were instructed to develop projects for extreme environments in order to come up with original design solutions not influenced by “castle in the sky” builds and architecture blogs.

    Named New Methods for Big Challenges: Architecture and Extreme Environments, the exhibition was commissioned for this year’s ongoing Copenhagen Architecture Festival (CAFx).
    It was curated by David Garcia, founder of local studio MAP Architects and an associate professor at the Royal Danish Academy’s architecture and technology institute, where he teaches a masters course titled Architecture and Extreme Environments.
    The exhibition is being held at Halmtorvet 27 in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking DistrictThe exhibition showcases the result of students’ work on the programme, which sees them live and work for weeks in harsh locations such as Alaska and the Gobi Desert.
    There they must seek to build and test design prototypes that benefit the communities living in these challenging environments by harnessing the resources available and collaborating with local people.

    Garcia said the aim of the course, as well as responding to climate change, is to give the students no choice but to produce original architecture – without the temptation to copy what they see online.
    “I wanted to make my students start in a very difficult place where there is no precedent, pushing them to an extreme context so they have to think anew,” he told Dezeen.
    “It’s partly based on the idea that it’s hard for students to separate themselves from the images they see on the architecture blogs. These websites have an enormous impact on students, who crave inspiration, but it can be overwhelming as there is so much readily available.”
    Garcia said the idea for the masters course was based on his time making “ridiculous” projects at a large British architecture firmHe added that his own experience working on big-budget projects for rich clients while at major British architecture firm Foster + Partners was behind the conception of the course.
    “I spent many years designing castles in the sky and that was pivotal in coming up with this programme,” he said.
    “I realised that from a resource perspective, and from the point of view of solving the world’s problems it was ridiculous. I’m extremely critical of those types of projects despite having worked on them myself in the past.”

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    The exhibition starts with blown-up versions of pamphlets produced by MAP Architects exploring concepts for architecture in places like Antarctica, Chernobyl, or the Earth’s orbit.
    For instance, one pamphlet suggests that Antarctica’s constant extreme cold be used to cool seeds in a World Seed Bank, as an alternative to the centre in the Arctic’s Svalbard where air conditioning is sometimes required due to temperature fluctuation.
    Among the projects featured in the main exhibition is a desalination device produced by a student placed with an Inuit community in the Bering Strait, where only saltwater is readily accessible.
    Projects were developed in locations like Alaska, the Gobi Desert and the Atacama DesertThe student’s research uncovered that thawing saltwater ice initially produces drinkable water, as this melts faster than saline.
    Via a series of tubes and chambers, the device takes a block of saltwater ice and transforms it into a glass of fresh water overnight that can be drunk in the morning.
    Meanwhile, the orange Inxect suit by Pavel Liepins aims to tackle issues of plastic pollution and food security in the Faroe Islands.
    It channels body heat and humidity generated by movement into an attached habitat for plastic-eating mealworms, which are non-toxic to humans and rich in protein.
    Students were encouraged to think originally about ways they could respond to the challenges of harsh environmentsSome exhibits play with materials, such as an insulation product made out of pine needles by a student placed in Alaska and a method for creating bricks from sand by a student sent to China’s Gobi Desert by Gabriele Jerosine.
    Not all the projects worked successfully, including a device intended to wrap around the stilts of houses in flood-prone Manaus, Brazil, to produce tidal energy, which proved to be overcomplicated and too fragile to function.
    “Personally I don’t care whether their experiments work or not, and I don’t have a specific aesthetic that I look for; that’s not as relevant to me, I’d like the students to explore their own aesthetics,” explained Garcia.

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    “What I care about is that the students are working with the goal of improving the environment in mind, and doing so in a way that is unique to them,” he added.
    Garcia’s own work also features, in the form of a passive heating tent developed for the Atacama Desert in Chile where temperatures get very high during the day but drop dramatically at night.
    The tent uses a self-activating piston to expose a stick of soapstone, an efficient thermal accumulation material, to the sun to be heated during the day before being withdrawn into the tent at night where it gradually radiates heat to provide warmth.
    The exhibition runs until 20 NovemberSome projects produced by students on the course – which has an intake of between 20 and 25 each year – have worked so well that they have been left for use by the community.
    One such example is a project that used urine’s electrolyte properties to power a toilet light in rural Zanzibar, to enable women to feel safe using it at night.
    New Methods for Big Challenges: Architecture and Extreme Environments is being held in CAFx’s space at Halmtorvet 27 in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District and runs until 20 November.
    Copenhagen Architecture Festival is running a series of events across Copenhagen and Aarhus, mainly between 6 and 16 October 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    The photography is by Francesco Martello.

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    Mixed Seats aims to show “what a chair could be”

    Designer Ali Shah Gallefoss invited 15 creatives to design their own interpretation of a chair that is suitable for a public space, all of which were presented as a recent exhibition in Oslo, Norway.

    Called Mixed Seats, the exhibition was curated by Shah Gallefoss and exhibition platform Pyton.
    Mixed Seats featured a series of concrete chairs including one by Henrik ØdegaardIt featured an installation of concrete chairs from Norwegian creatives including designers Henrik Ødegaard and Maja Pauline Bang Haugsgjerd, which were arranged in a cluster outside at a square next to Oslobukta shopping centre.
    The project stemmed from Pyton inviting the participants to a dinner party for which they were asked to design and bring their own chairs.
    Tron Meyer designed a blue chair while Jonas Løland made a stoolArchitect, designer and artist Tron Meyer created a textured blue seat with a chunky backrest while architect Jonas Løland offered a sandy-hued stool with three-pronged legs.

    “The chairs are individual suggestions for what a chair could be,” Shah Gallefoss told Dezeen.
    “They’re fun, bold, weird, serious, and playful, just like the group of individuals that made them.”
    Maja Pauline Bang Haugsgjerd created a swirling stoolWhile the creatives were free to add additional materials to their chairs, they were instructed to use concrete as their base material. The furniture was made at a collective workshop held in Drammen.
    Some of the offerings feature colour while others were kept simple, such as an ambiguous, rough concrete stool in the shape of a star or flower by designer Christoph Boulmer.
    Spindly wooden legs make up Kevin Kurang’s abstract stool”The variation in shapes and sizes made an appealing composition,” reflected Shah Gallefoss.
    “When they arrived at the square at Oslobukta they looked like small ants, with the huge Munch museum in the background.”
    Christoph Boulmer designed a flower-shaped chairShah Gallefoss himself contributed a chair design to the exhibition with a squat concrete seat attached to a sculptural metal backrest.
    After the exhibition was dismantled, the curator explained that each of the chairs has travelled to a new location to be repurposed in various ways.
    Shah Gallefoss contributed his own design to the exhibitionIndustrial designer Falke Svatun created seating made from two abstract cylindrical concrete components that has now been placed in Oslo’s Sentralen restaurant while product designer Bjørn van de Berg’s stool featured at Stockholm Design Week.
    “It is [often said] that Norwegians don’t like to sit next to another person on the bus,” joked Shah Gallefoss.
    “But the majority of outdoor furniture [created] is benches that invite people to sit down and disturb your peace and quiet. That made me think about personal space in a public setting.”

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    As well as exploring suitable seating for public spaces, another key objective of Mixed Seats was to showcase and encourage multidisciplinary creativity across Norway, according to Shah Gallefoss.
    “I hope that by introducing fifteen creatives [to each other], the exhibition will plant a seed that will grow and strengthen collaborative efforts between the different disciplines, and in the end, build a stronger design industry,” he concluded.
    Two cylindrical components make up Falke Svatun’s chairOther recent chair designs include a chubby furniture collection by Holloway Li and Uma Objects that was presented at London Design Festival and a chair made of plastic rubbish by design studio Space Available and DJ Peggy Gou.
    Mixed Seats was on display as part of Oslo Runway in Norway, which took place from 23 to 28 August in Oslo, Norway. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    London Fire Brigade “celebrates bravery” with exhibition marking launch of updated typeface

    The London Fire Brigade has unveiled its updated typeface designed by Studio Sutherl& and The Foundry Types at the Running Towards exhibition of graphic artworks informed by the organisation’s design heritage.

    The Running Towards exhibition took place at the Shoreditch Fire Station during the London Design Festival, with visitors entering through the building’s big red shutters into a display of artworks created by UK designers.
    The exhibition took place at Shoreditch Fire StationThe new Fire Brigade Sans typeface, created by Studio Sutherl& and The Foundry Types, was displayed on the exterior of Shoreditch Fire Station.
    Its design was informed by the lettering of old fire engines and on the facade, the typeface was printed in the red, yellow and gold colours synonymous with fire engines.
    Studio Sutherl& designed London Fire Brigade’s new typefaceTo celebrate the typeface, London Fire Brigade collaborated with communications agency KesselsKramer, writer Thomas Sharp, Studio Sutherl& and carpet manufacturer Britons on the exhibition, which saw designers create their own interpretations of the organisation’s design heritage.

    Among the pieces on show were graphic interpretations of the Danger Risk of Fire safety sign, a bespoke carpet with a pattern informed by the universal fire exit sign and firefighting objects and items from Shoreditch Fire Station’s own collection.
    London Fire Brigade’s typeface Fire Brigade Sans was featured on postersKesselsKramer described the showcase as “a celebration of London Fire Brigade’s bravery, aiming to inspire that very same spirit within ourselves.”
    The studio invited 25 London-based designers to recreate the fire safety symbol for their display, titled ​​Warning: Risk of Fire.
    “It felt appropriate that for London Fire Brigade’s inaugural Design Festival exhibition, a piece of graphic design synonymous with the fire service became the focus,” said KesselsKramer.
    Franz Lang’s design tells the story of her grandma’s catPresented on triangular signs, each artwork was designed to tell a story of firefighting bravery. Graphic artist Jimmy Turrell’s interpretation was dedicated to his father who was a firefighter.
    Illustrator Franz Lang’s entry represented the story of her grandma’s cat, who was rescued from a tree by the fire brigade.

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    “This is such an iconic location for an art show,” said Lauren Coutts, art director at KesselsKramer. “To get a rare glimpse into a fire station is very exciting in itself so to then be able to celebrate bravery here, in so many forms, feels very special.”
    Britons created a bespoke wool carpet for The Running Towards exhibition, which features a pattern informed by the universal fire exit symbol.
    Britons designed a carpet to display at The Running Towards exhibitionBurgundy and navy chevrons repeat along the length of the carpet with arrows and stick figures that reference the fire exit sign. According to Britons, the carpet is made from wool to exemplify the material’s naturally fire-retardant properties.
    “As a material, wool contains a higher water and nitrogen content than other man-made fibres making it a naturally fire-retardant material,” said Britons.
    “Another benefit is that it does not emit smoke or fumes, often one of the main causes of serious health issues following a fire.”
    The exhibition showcased graphic posters in a colour palette that references fire enginesOther exhibitions that took place during London Design Festival include a collection of wooden objects made from a dying ash tree and a sculptural stone installation that references Stonehenge.
    The photography is courtesy of the London Fire Brigade.
    The Running Towards took place between 20 and 24 September as part of London Design Festival. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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