A reading group begat a film festival, at least that's the short version of the creation story of the New Urbanism Film Festival, now in its second year. The brainchild of founders Josh Paget and Joel Karahadian, the festival brings aims to bring discussions around planning out of the classroom and the conference rooms of city halls and to a broader audience through engaging films. (FORM was on board as a founding sponsor last year, and we're back again this year!)
A well-researched, critical study of an architect who is in urgent need of re-evaluation. In 1963, Paul Rudolph was widely admired—for his leadership of the Yale School of Architecture, newly installed in his monumental building; for his light, airy houses and schools in Florida, and for his ambitions to renew American cities. He was seen as an iconoclast, experimenting with new forms and materials, and offering bold alternatives to modernist orthodoxy. He was unafraid to express himself, break the rules, and create an architecture of emotion. As Rohan writes, "Rudolph believed that every cantilevered beam, every twist of a passageway, and every bright orange carpet could awaken the creativity and individuality of a building's inhabitants and thus combat the monotony and conformity of postwar life."
In the current issue of FORM, we include some maravelous tile installations featuring the work of Hallworth Design, Ceràmica Cumella, Granada Tile and Spec Ceramics. Today, to celebrate the debut of a new series we're calling Showroom Spotlight, we're highlighting some more great tile options, all from SOLI Architectural Surfaces.
For design professionals in Los Angeles, the company is a go-to source for stone, wood and concrete surfaces—not to mention a range of innovative and beautiful tile options. Possibilities range from stylish contemporary designs in porcelain and ceramic designs to reclaimed options that reflect founder Soli Besharat's interest in vintage materials.
Among their wares are glazed porcelain mesh-mounted ceramic tiles from Hoshi, which come in a rainbow of color choices and can be mixed to create visually arresting custom installations that evoke textile designs.
Isola Murano glass tiles are made in Italy and only available in the United States through Soli. The company produces the tiles in large rounds, which are then cut into square or rectangles, ensuring that no two tiles are exactly like.
Besides new designs, SOLI also carries an assortment of reclaimed tiles, such as colorful, patterned encaustic options and stunning, graphic triangular numbers crafted from metal. Despite their age, the latter bring a surprising, contemporary vibe to installations.
Bohemian Coding has released the latest version of its award-winning graphic design application, Sketch. Defined as a “simple interface with powerful tools,” Sketch supports formulation of icons, websites, and interfaces through a transparent, straightforward layout.
By Michael Webb
Any pretext to revisit La Serenissima is welcome, and the Biennale offers a recurring excuse. It allows you to wander around the crumbling brick halls and still waterways of the Arsenale—arguably the most fascinating place in the city—and admire the zoo of architectural curiosities in the Giardini. The tide of mass tourism doesn't extend this far, though the obscenely large yachts moored along the quay are evidence of another kind of predator. This year's architectural Biennale was directed by Rem Koolhaas who insisted that it open in early June and run six months, as does the art exposition. Hopes ran high that his prestige and creative imagination would generate a memorable show.