This is a catch-up review of a handy pocketbook I missed when it first appeared—much to my regret. It would have saved me hours of digging up information on new buildings and have been an indispensable companion on recent visits to New York. Having written an architectural guide to LA, and edited two others, I know how much skill and effort must have been invested in research, selection, procuring images, and writing succinct descriptions. Hill has chosen more than 200 buildings completed in the first decade of the 21st century in all five boroughs, plus a selection of projects anticipated for the second decade. What makes the guide a joy to use is the clarity of the layout, in which buildings are grouped in 22 districts and indicated on useful maps that also include subway stops. Scattered through the geographical coverage are break-out sections on public spaces, designer shops and restaurants, fire houses, memorials and other categories.
Over his 10-year career as an architect, Digital Physical CEO Robert Miles Kemp “worked on everything from skyscrapers to houses,” he says, but “it was difficult to have clients understand everything we’d show them. I wanted to build a real time design tool.” Kemp eventually moved on from building structures on to building software, but the experience planted a seed.
If you’re an artist, the chance to have thousands, if not tens of thousands, see your work is a chance too good to pass up. It was certainly true for Cynthia Minet, a Los Angeles sculptor, whose Packing(Caravan) was chosen for a temporary exhibition at LAX, as part of an on-going (and nationally growing) move to showcase art in airports. The installation would include a collection pack animals—a pair of oxen, an elephant, a camel—constructed from pieces of recycled and repurposed plastic. An outgrowth of her explorations of bioengineering, genetic modification, fashion consumerism, and ecology, the animals were witty, thoughtful and wholly apropos of their surroundings.
For sheer glamour, you can’t beat the Roaring Twenties. The clothes. The jewels. The furnishings. For their newest collection, Mokum, the New Zealand textile company, taps that rich heritage with a collection by Catherine Martin, the acclaimed, Academy Award–winning costume and set designer.
In the contemporary open-plan office, openness can come at a price. While the set-up can foster collaboration and creativity, there are times when a little privacy or just a little peace and quiet are exactly what’s needed to solve a tricky problem or get a terrific idea down. Couple openness with environments that are heavy on cool-looking, but not so sound conscious, materials (concrete, wood and the like) and you have something akin to a perfect storm of noise. So, designers and architects will turn to products—drapes, carpet and acoustic materials—for these spaces to mitigate the impact. Trouble is, aesthetics are often not part of the equation.