Design is constantly contemplating the ways in which it can transcend time, reflecting the values of the current generation while suggesting possibilities for the future. In response, each building, product, and every other creation is an attempt to convey a pristine image, with innovative materials and unprecedented gestures that show no signs of aging. Providing more commentary on the subject, visual artist Xavier Delory has asked ‘what remains of the utopias and the promises of a better future promised by the modern movement at the beginning of the 20th century?’
The photoshopped series of images are a tribute to architectural monuments around the world. The first stopover is ‘Villa Savoye’ and its creator Le Corbusier, one of the founding fathers of the modern movement. The iconic structure has been ransacked and vandalized. The ribbon windows that navigate its perimeter have been shattered, haphazard strokes of paint ornament its pilotis, and large pieces of graffiti cover its stark white free façade. The manipulations intend to make a statement about the ‘five points of architecture’, and in turn, highlight the death of modernity.
The 72-Room Bohemian Dream House | Via
The building at 190 Bowery is a mystery: a graffiti-covered Gilded Age relic, with a beat-up wooden door that looks like it hasn’t been opened since La Guardia was mayor. A few years ago, that described a lot of the neighborhood, but with the Bowery Hotel and the New Museum, the Rogan and John Varvatos boutiques, 190 is now an anomaly, not the norm. Why isn’t some developer turning it into luxury condos?
Because Jay Maisel, the photographer who bought it 42 years ago for $102,000, still lives there, with his wife, Linda Adam Maisel, and daughter, Amanda. It isn’t a decrepit ruin; 190 Bowery is a six-story, 72-room, 35,000-square-foot (depending on how you measure) single-family home.
“I can’t believe it,” says Corcoran’s Robby Browne, an expert in downtown real estate. “I thought it was vacant.”
The house now feels like a dream world, or a benign version of the vast hotel in The Shining. Hallways go on forever. Rooms are filled with projects in various phases of completion. The renovations, mostly done by Maisel, are very “artists live here.” The air-conditioning, for example, is a building-wide network of giant plastic tubing (the kind used to ventilate greenhouses) that funnels cool air from six units, one on each floor. “It would have cost thousands to put in central air when I moved in,” he explains. The Mylar shades on the windows help keep the heat out; he and Linda make them in one of the rooms on the fifth floor.
"In these drawings I have explored ways in which the contingencies of designing might be made manifest in the things that we design. It is not that that I have tried to design objects that “are” contingent—everything we design could equally have been otherwise. Rather, I have tried to make the contingencies of designing experienceable, in contrast to the way that they are often tidied away.
The drawings begin from a consideration of apparently functional everyday objects. Though these have clear requirements following from their purpose, they are under-constrained and leave enormous room for variation. Using an elaborate process of drawing, I have amalgamated several possibilities together to create irregular compositions without any one dominant ordering principle (even that of orderlessness). This formal strategy is complemented by the inclusion of mechanical components, animating the objects so that they slowly cycle through alternative configurations while being used.”
- Ben Sweeting
The Barisieur is an alarm clock and coffee brewer. It eases the user into the day with the subtle movement of stainless steel ballbearings that boil the water through induction heating, accompanied by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It encourages a ritual before going to sleep, signalling to the body and mind that it is time to unwind and relax. Living slow even when times are fast.
Treehouse, Atlanta, USA by Peter Bahouth | via
Architect Peter Bahouth built a series of houses in the trees connected by wooden bridges in Atlanta. Inspired by his love for nature and his childhood memories of boyhood treehouses, environmentalist Peter Bahouth created this grown-up fort in his Atlanta backyard. The three rooms of this treehouse have been named ‘Mind,’ ‘Body’ and ‘Spirit’ by its owner. A suspension bridge connects the living room to the bedroom that includes a platform bed which slides out for a better view of the tree canopy.
Photography: Lindsay Appel