A pretty amazing story of a photographer that never got her due, until an historical hobbyist bought a box of never-before-developed film negatives and brought her work to life. Via MessyNessChic:
Picture this: quite possibly the most important street photographer of the 20th century was a 1950s children’s nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone. Decades later in 2007, a Chicago real estate agent and historical hobbyist, John Maloof purchased a box of never-seen, never-developed film negatives of an unknown ‘amateur’ photographer for $380 at his local auction house.
John began developing his new collection of photographers, some 100,000 negatives in total, that had been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago before they ended up at the auction house. It became clear these were no ordinary street snaps of 1950s & 60s Chicago and New York and so John embarked on a journey to find out who was behind the photographs and soon discovered her name: Vivien Maier.
A self portrait:
Vivian died without recognition of her beautiful photos in 2009.
Since then, the work of this incredibly talented and mysteriously private woman has rocked the art world, receiving international mainstream media attention alongside exhibitions all over the world including London, New York, Los Angeles, Chiago, Hamburg and Oslo.
The anticipated new documentary:
Now, the guy who bought that box of negatives at his local auction house has made a documentary film about the incredible discovery of a lost talent and the path to Finding Vivian Maier.
And yet, she remained totally undiscovered.
Using her Rollieflex camera, Maier captured some profound moments of life on the street.
An Opera that is taking high-tech wizardry and turning it into an incredible storytelling tool. New York City Opera’s Moses in Egypt uses an enormous LED backdrop to change scenery, moods and expression in split-second fashion. Via FastCo Design:
“Often, people’s expectations allow them to be too passive because they think they know what to expect–and many productions don’t go beyond those expectations,” Counts tells Co.Design. “I think there needs to be a sense of mystery and uncertainty in a production like this to fully engage the audience.”
Dries Van Noten SS13
Barack Obama for New York Magazine
Hillary Clinton for Volkskrant Magazine
A fun design and architecture project, Windows of New York is a weekly project by Jose Guizar.
Via the artist: A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up.
A unique charity and beautiful art project, Drift Relief finds driftwood left behind from Hurricane Sandy, and paints the wood in lovely patterns and colors. The unique pieces are sold, and the proceeds go to benefit those who “lost it all” in the storm.
I’ve always loved painted driftwood, and even grew up with driftwood ‘snakes’ scattered throughout my home. But these pieces tell a story, and their cause is worth your dollars.
Via Drift Relief: Each piece of driftwood or broken boardwalk was collected in the aftermath of Sandy and is hand painted and labeled with the name of the beach where it was found.
The appeal of tree houses is fairly obvious: seclusion, sustainability, coziness, communion with nature. Of course, often times those are qualities that are felt rather than understood–there’s a reason that, for many youngsters, the first real architectural impulse is to want a nest among the trees. But tree houses can retain their magic for adults, too. And as a gorgeous new book from Taschen shows, when that childhood dream is realized with grown-up resources, the results can be truly stunning.
Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air is a 350-page tome that collects 50 diverse tree houses from around the globe. In some cases, the structures are houses in the truest sense; one section is dedicated to the Kombai tribe of Indonesia, who build homes at dizzying heights of over a hundred feet in trees in the foothills of the Jayawijaya Mountains. Others are built for specific activities, like the Meditation Tree House, a simple structure, erected outside Rome, which offers a tranquil space for the owner to reflect.
But many of the projects included take vastly more experimental forms. And if you’re already uprooting convention and building a house in a tree, why not? The Free Spirit Spheres, located in British Columbia, are a series of hanging spherical cabins, connected by a series of rope ladders that borrow from sailboat riggings (adventurous travelers can rent the tree balls on a nightly basis). The Lake Nest Tree House, in New York, is representative of another tree-house microtrend, essentially a bird’s nest built at human scale. The Honey Sphere tree house, built in Beverly Hills, does away with walls and ceilings altogether–it was built by Robby Krieger, guitarist for The Doors, as a place to observe nature, and it’s little more than a platform encircled by an elegant geodesic sphere.
A very cool cloud sculpture. Via LaughingSquid:
“Cloud” is an interactive sculpture that lights up and rumbles with simulated thunder and lightning (video). Motion sensors on the Arduino-controlled sculpture trigger the lightning displays accompanied by sounds of thunder played on an internal speaker. “Cloud” can also be triggered by music, allowing it to serve as a unique music visualizer. The sculpture was created by Richard Clarkson, a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
via Boing Boing
I’m a fan of bold architectural plans. There are enough generic glossy boxes in the world, and when something new (and remarkable) is proposed, I tend to like it. So when Skidmore, Owings and Merrill put out their plans for a giant moveable ring that hovers over Grand Central Station in NYC, I grinned. While it could be perceived as whimsical, I think its appropriately new, exciting, and bold.
For half a century, Midtown East was the epicenter of New York. As the city made the transition from manufacturing economy to service economy after World War II, the neighborhood’s glitzy mid-century towers and broad boulevards became synonymous with the city’s image as an economic powerhouse. The crown jewel, of course, was Grand Central Station.
But Midtown East has faltered over the past two decades. Its aging office buildings can’t compete with newer towers downtown, and there’s very little in the way of pedestrian infrastructure to pull in foot traffic after 7 p.m. 750,000 people still pass through Grand Central each day–but few hang around in the area. According to the Department of City Planning, the area is in danger of becoming an auxiliary neighborhood to Times Square, full of hotels and chain restaurants. Which would suck, given the bombastic, elegant style it once stood for. It’s still the home of the Chrysler Building, after all.
With that in mind, the city is proposing a sweeping rezoning plan designed to bring new commercial towers and renewed pedestrian activity to the area. And to generate conversation, the Municipal Art Society of New York invited three firms that build frequently in the city–SOM, Foster + Partners, and WXY Architecture–to imagine what the rezoning plan could do for Grand Central itself.
As is usually the case with public-facing architecture events, the craziest proposal is garnering the most attention. While Foster + Partners and WXY proposed a series of incremental changes, including creating a massive pedestrian greenway on Vanderbilt avenue, SOM went all out, dropping a glimmering, O-shaped bomb on the proceedings. Their scheme would install a circular pedestrian deck far above the surrounding buildings, suspended between two new commercial towers. The deck would be open 24/7 and rival the Empire State Building for views. Below it, plenty of POPS (privately-owned public spaces) would add green space at ground level.
Here’s the kicker: it moves. Suspended like a crown above the neoclassical facade of Grand Central, the circular tubing would move upwards to give visitors varying views. “This grand public space moves vertically, bringing people from the cornice of Grand Central to the pinnacle of New York City’s skyline,” explains SOM partner Roger Duffy. Details on the structure are hazy, but renderings imply that two massive trusses would support the donut-shaped platform, hooked into vertical notches–not unlike some window-washing mechanisms.
The plan should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt, since the idea was to drum up public support for the rezoning, not to kick off the design process. “There’s nothing like it in the world!” raved one blogger, who is only half right. Structurally, there is very little else like it. Architecturally, there’s plenty of stuff like it: Olafur Eliasson’s ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum viewing platform. The London Eye. Even Foster + Partner’s forthcoming Apple Computer headquarters.
Which is absolutely fine–no one has a trademark out on outlandish donut-shaped buildings. And it would certainly be fun to take a ride in this thing. But I can’t help wonder about how the deck reconciles what’s happening on the ground level, which is the real problem the city needs to tackle. It’s a bit like an actual donut: saccharine, overwhelming, and nutritionally suspect.
Wired has a unique look at some of the taxidermy preservation that goes on in the Museum of Natural History in New York. This is specifically the North American Mammals hall. I had the opportunity to spend a whole day at the museum this summer, admiring the dioramas. World class collection.