A new house for the Design Museum in London

If you had the opportunity to walk near Holland Park, you probably are familiar with the location where the Commonwealth Institute used to be: a Grade II listed building dating back to the 1960s. The building was designed by Robert Matthew/Sir Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall and Partners, architects, and engineered by AJ & JD Harris, of Harris & Sutherland.

The building is the new house for the Design Museum. The museum was founded in 1989, originally located by the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London, and recently relocated to Kensington opening its doors on November 24th, 2016. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The new location also houses the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning, 202-seat Bakala Auditorium and a dedicated gallery to display its permanent collection, accessible free of charge.

I recently visited the museum and had the opportunity to attend the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition currently being shown. The exhibition showcases designs produced over the previous twelve months worldwide.The entries are nominated by a number of internationally respected design experts a, falling into the seven categories of Architecture, Transport, Graphics, Interactive, Product, Furniture and Fashion. Since 2015 there have been six categories: architecture, fashion, graphics, digital, product and transport. Beazley Insurance came on board as exhibition sponsor in 2016.

I was very pleased to see at least two entries from Mexico. One of them is the work of the mexican Alejandro Magallanes for the Almadía publishing house, a small but innovative publisher based in Oaxaca, Mexico. I highly recommend reading the post in Yorokobu entitled “Las portadas exquisitas de Alejandro Magallanes”.

Name: Almadía book covers design
Designers: Alejandro Magallanes
Paragraph description:
The front covers for the Almadia book series was conceived when Magallanes looked into the archives and origins of the Almadia publishing house. Creating a bold design, the covers add an element of craftsmanship whilst providing an object that the reader would like to behold.

The other entry from Mexico was Yakampot, a fashion brand that aims to become an international name while embracing the cultural heritage of the country’s womenswear.

Also notable are the entries from Jonathan Barnbrook for the design of David Bowie’s last album “Blackstar”, as well as the Space Cup that enables astronauts to drink from a cup rather than a straw, developed on the International Space Station. The cup was a result of addressing the microgravity effects faced by fluids while at zero-gravity. The project “Capillary Effects of Drinking in the Microgravity Environment” (Capillary Beverage) studied the process of drinking from specially designed Space Cups that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity.

Designers: Jonathan Barnbrook
One line description:
The album cover uses the Unicode Blackstar symbol creating a simplicity to the design allowing the music to be the focus and the creation of an identity that is easy to identify and share.
Paragraph description:
The album cover uses the Unicode Blackstar symbol creating a simplicity to the design allowing the music to be the focus and the creation of an identity that is easy to identify and share. Designed using open source elements, the artwork for the album became open sourced itself following Bowie’s death enabling fans to engage, interact and use it.

Name: Space Cup
Designers:
Mark Weislogel: Innovator (IRPI LLC/Portland State University)
Andrew Wollman: Designer (IRPI LLC)
John Graf: Co-Investigator (NASA Johnson Space Center)
Donald Pettit: NASA Astronaut Innovator (NASA Johnson Space Center) Ryan Jenson: Sponsor (IRPI LLC)
One line description:
Using capillary forces to replace the role of gravity, the Space Cup enables astronauts to drink from a cup rather than a straw and was developed on the International Space Station.
Paragraph description:
The Space Cup was designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station. The cup is designed to exploit passive capillary forces to replace the role of gravity in an earth-like drinking experience, but in the low-gravity environment of space. Sealed drink bags are normally sipped through a straw to avoid spilling in space. The Space Cup however uses surface tension, fluid wetting properties, and a unique shape to drive the liquid toward the astronaut’s mouth while drinking.

One more year in Pictures – Project 365

This is the 2013-2014 instalment of the Project 365. I can’t believe it has been three years of this already. I hope you enjoy!

Here is a link and you can find a video below:

Project 365 – 2013/2014

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10 Years of the Tate Modern

This month it is ten years since Tate Modern first opened its doors. I do remember it very well as it was one of the things that I was really looking forward to visit, as those were the first few months that I had been in this fantastic place called London.

As an adopted Londoner, I do feel very proud of thes magnificent exhibition space and I have seen many of the events that have taken place there: Rothko, Dali, Kahlo, Matisse, etc, etc, etc.

I do love the view as you approach the Tate from the Millenium Bridge and that is even before you have seen the great pieces that are housed in the building. Once inside, the vast space of the world-famous Turbine Hall is able to truly take your breathe away, specially if happen to be there when some of those well-renowned Unilever exhibitions are awaiting. Let’s take for example Louise Bourgeois’s towers (I Do, I Undo, I Redo, 2000; and the spider), Olafur Eliasson’s The Weather Project (pictured below) in 2003 or Rachel Whiteread’sEmbankment (2005) – yes the giant sugar lupms!

Now that its first decade is over, it is by no means the end of the projects that the Tate has under its sleeve. There are plans for an extension in 2012. The new extension has been desinged by Herzog and de Meuron will rise from behind the power station and I can’t wait to see the end result.

So, if next weekend you are looking for something interesting to do in London, please consider visiting this fantastic place. You will surely have a great time.

Oh and don’t forget to have a look at the fantastic view from the restaurant at the very top floor.

tate_modern
Regeneration: Turbine Hall in 1994 and (right) during Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project”, 2003-04 (Photo: Tate Photography Marcus Leith/Andrew Dunkley)