Monthly archives: November 2011

The Shard "will be loved"
– Renzo Piano

Dezeen Wire:
Italian architect Renzo Piano says his London skyscraper, The Shard, will be loved by the public, because "it will be accessible, because it is transparent, understandable and not mysterious" – The Telegraph

The public will be able to access restaurants and a viewing gallery at the top of Europe's tallest building, which fellow architect and friend of Piano, Richard Rogers suggests "will be one of Renzo's major works [and] one of his major successes."

Piano believes that skyscrapers such as The Shard represent the most responsible approach to tackling the issue of urban sprawl, stating: "It is more socially correct to intensify the city and free up space on the ground. The city is fragile and vulnerable, so we have to be careful."

New York's September 11
museum delayed

Dezeen Wire:
the opening of the September 11 museum in New York, which is scheduled for September 2012, is under threat due to an ongoing dispute over unexpected costs – The Washington Post

The museum is part of a memorial to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre being developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who say that they are owed $156 million by mayor Michael Bloomberg's National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation. The row had been kept quiet over fears it could overshadow the 10th anniversary of the attacks but has now led to the suspension of construction contracts which could delay the completion of the museum.

See our previous story on the opening of the National September 11 Memorial, an animation of the memorial fountains and architecture critic Rowan Moore's examination of the infighting that has plagued the redevelopment of the World Trade Centre site.

Bacteria and pedal power could be the
future of kitchens – The Guardian

Dezeen Wire:
design critic Justin McGuirk says that a kitchen concept by Dutch electrical company Philips that uses decomposition to generate methane gas for cooking is an example of how we may "have to get more comfortable with bacteria and with putrefaction's role in our ecosystem" – The Guardian

McGuirk claims the Microbial kitchen concept's "steampunk" aesthetic offers "an alternative vision to the clinical kitchen," and also mentions the trend for low-tech kitchen appliances, such as designer Christoph Thetard's pedal-powered devices, which he says represent a reaction to the impending energy crisis.

Last year Dezeen published a report on Food and Design, including examples of low-tech gadgets for preserving and preparing ingredients and concepts for growing food in the kitchen.

Even more designers and brands
at The Temporium

Diego Ramos

Our Christmas shop, The Temporium, opens next week and we're excited to announce more participants – including British brands Established & Sons and Another Country, and Spanish textile designer Cristian Zuzunaga... as well as chocolate moustaches by Diego Ramos for Chocolat Factory (above).

We'll also have flying Christmas cards, USB stick necklaces, diamond-shaped lights and much more... More »

TV presenter's housing scheme is "a much better
application of celebrity philanthropy than most"

Dezeen Wire:
 architecture critic Rowan Moore says that a housing development built by the UK architecture show presenter Kevin McCloud's company Hab is a positive attempt at reversing the trend for "unimaginative, overpriced, undersized" properties in the UK – The Guardian

Moore describes the scheme in Swindon, England, as "imaginative and well-designed," whilst cautioning that it will take time to determine whether McCloud's goals of creating a community and "making people happy" have been achieved. He adds that the houses themselves are "very plain-looking" and far removed from the aspirational properties that feature on McCloud's show, Grand Designs.

Ai Weiwei supporters post nude photos
online in protest against police

Dezeen Wire:
 supporters of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei have been posting photos of themselves naked on a website as a protest against the Beijing police's decision to question his assistant, who had taken nude pictures of the artist and four women – The Telegraph

Ai was detained for 81 days earlier this year by the Chinese government on charges of tax evasion, during which time he was also asked about the photographs that he says have no deeper political meaning.