Celebrated as one of America’s earliest institutions dedicated to contemporary art, the museum was originally founded in 1939 as a spin-off of New York’s MoMA, and called Boston Museum of Modern Art. It was later renamed the Institute of Modern Art, and then the Institute of Contemporary Art to better reflect its programme, making it the first institution to use “contemporary” in its moniker.
Emphasising this history, Miller’s redesigned simplifies the title into the three initials, arranged with a lower-case “c” wedged in between a capitalised “I” and “A”.
“In the new identity, ‘Institute’ and ‘Art’ (as ‘I’ and ‘A’) act as formal bookends around a small ‘c’, highlighting the idea that ‘contemporary’ is at the core of the museum’s mission and always in flux,” said Pentagram in a project statement.
The logotype is bold and black, and broken up by slender lines to resemble letters printed with a stencil. This references the 20th-century warehouses in the surrounding area, according to Pentagram.
“Set in stencil letterforms, the identity evokes openness and activity, as well as the industrial heritage of the harbour,” said the graphic design agency, which is one of the world’s most prolific.
Large versions of the new logo, which were added in several places across the cantilevered top of the building, are also segmented with vertical lines created by the cladding.
Another supergraphic is imprinted on the translucent ICA Watershed – a small outpost in the East Boston Shipyard across the harbour from the main institution, which opened earlier this year to host programmes during the summer months.
Pentagram designed the logo to be scaled to suit various marketing materials, which the studio also overhauled as part of the rebranding. These include animations, the website, signage and environmental graphics.
On these items, the institution’s full name, Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston, is set in a smaller font in various arrangements around the logo.
A pairing of blue and black provide the principle palette, taking cues from the waterfront, with undulating line details resembling waves. There are also materials that come in contrasting brighter hues of purple, red and yellow.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro completed ICA Boston 12 years ago, conceiving a design that integrated the contemporary art gallery with spaces for public programmes. A defining feature of the building is the exterior steps that lead onto the Harbourwalk.
The building is among a series of projects intended to reinvigorate the area into the “city’s most vibrant district”. Future projects in the new neighbourhood include a European-style piazza and a pedestrian loop.
Next generation’s architects can get to grips with model-making and learn modernist design principles with the Mini Modern Colours kit.
Like all of the products by architectural model kit manufacturer Arckit, which have been hailed as “posh Lego”, it is assembled from modular components that connect without glue, offering a less messy alternative to traditional constructions.
A town awaits to be assembled from this intricate Lego set, which comprises a music store, dental office, a dance studio, and an apartment with a rooftop terrace and barbecue.
The Assembly Square kit, which features 4,002 Pieces, is the 10th addition to Lego’s Creator Expert Modular Building series, following a Parisian restaurant, a diner, a detective’s office and a brickwork bank.
COS has proven that any age can be fashionable with the Printed Organic Cotton trousers in its kids and babies range.
The fashion brand – which is better known for its minimal garments for adults – has used soft organic cotton-jersey and decorated it with a spotted pattern. The bottoms are pull-on to make them easy for the adult in charge and feature a gusset for added comfort for the little wearer.
Geometric shapes and stripes in bold colours adorn this playful mini table-set to spice up children’s meal times.
Designed by by Italian architect and design Alessandro Mendini for Alessi, the series includes a plate, bowl, cup and a round tray. Accompanying cutlery is shorter than usual, with bulbous handles to help with gripping.
Add drama to bedtime stories with the pop-up book by Argentinean illustrator Gérard Lo Monaco.
The book opens to reveal stripes that mark out the colourful roof of a carousel. Inside, turned pages reveal a different animal, ranging from an orange kangaroo with a kid in its pouch, jumping pink pigs and a purple hippo.
Hungarian-born Bauhaus educator László Moholy-Nagy is set to feature in a new movie, highlighting the role he played in bringing the school’s ideology to America. For our Bauhaus 100 series, the film’s producer Alysa Nahmias speaks to Dezeen.
Moholy-Nagy is often overshadowed by Bauhaus stars like Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, yet he played a critical role in continuing the school’s teachings after it was shut down in 1933. The New Bauhaus aims to draw attention to his legacy.
“Moholy is not within the Bauhaus ‘all-stars’, but is instrumental in so many aspects of the Bauhaus. But somehow I think not given his due, and I hope that the film can do a major part,” Nahmias told Dezeen.
Two years in production and set to release in 2019, the documentary is produced by former architect Nahmias and cinematographer Petter Ringbom, in collaboration with Erin Wright and Marquise Stillwell.
It focuses on Moholy-Nagy’s time in Chicago, where he established the New Bauhaus design school, and will explore his personal history and formative ideas.
“We should look at Moholy in the same way as Gropius or Mies”
“One of Moholy’s ideas is that the person is above the product, that as we are creating artwork, design and products, we are also creating ourselves, both on the individual level and as a collective society,” said Nahmias. “This is one of the ideas that I want to explore in this film, that makes it go way beyond being about design or art.”
Following retrospectives of Moholy-Nagy’s work at major museums like the Guggenheim in 2016, and the Art Institute of Chicago and the LACMA in 2017, the film offers a closer look and emotional journey through his life, exploring his work as an artist, designer, visionary, and teacher.
“We saw the exhibitions and thought his work was incredible. We thought, why haven’t we learned more about him,” she said.
“You get a sense that there is more there, and more people should look at him in the same way they look at Gropius or Mies, or other great 20th century artists.”
Moholy-Nagy taught at the Bauhaus from 1923 to 1928
Born László Weisz to a Jewish family in rural Hungary, the artist changed his surname to Moholy-Nagy, switching from his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother’s lawyer friend Nagy, who supported the family when László’s father left. He then added Moholy after the town of Mohol, in present-day in Serbia, where he spent his childhood.
He was an educator at the Bauhaus from 1923 until 1928, becoming head of the metal workshop. This programme marked the school’s move towards its original focus of being a design and industrial institute. Following the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy established his own design studio in Berlin before fleeing the Nazi regime in 1935.
After briefly living in London, in 1937 he was invited by the Association of Arts and Industries to become the director of the New Bauhaus school in Chicago.
“The Association of Arts and Industries was a bunch of wealthy industrialists based in Chicago, and wanted to start a school along Bauhaus lines – that was actually on the telegram,” Nahmias said.
“They knew about Gropius, because he was already at Harvard, and he recommended they talk to his friend László.”
Moholy-Nagy opened New Bauhaus school in Chicago
In 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the New Bauhaus school, but after a year of running, the majority of businessmen at the Association of Arts and Industries pulled their money out, causing the school to close.
“After that first year, I think the association realised that Moholy was doing something that was very much along Bauhaus lines, but wasn’t necessarily productive in their limited definition of what the school would produce in its students,” explained Nahmias.
“Moholy was taking them through a circular that was going to be very productive in terms of industry and design, but in the immediate assignments, it was like they were making photograms and wood sculptures for blind people, and they were doing all of these Bauhaus-like experimentations.”
Moholy faced a choice at that moment, where he could either let that go and look for a job somewhere. But he instead decided to keep going with his dream and vision. Industrialist Walter Pepke, chairman of the Container Corporation of America, collaborated with Moholy-Nagy to underwrite another iteration of the school, which would be called the School of Design.
“It was a very entrepreneurial act for an immigrant refugee”
“Moholy reopened the school with him, rather than it being run by the Association of Arts and Industries, it ended being his own school. It was a very entrepreneurial act for an immigrant refugee, in his second year in America,” explained Nahmias.
“It was a constant struggle for Moholy to keep it open and running. He often didn’t take a salary and often worked other gigs. It was like any other start-up, in a way. He was constantly fundraising with Walter Pepke in Chicago and beyond, to keep the school alive.”
This School of Design, formerly the New Bauhaus, became the Institute of Design in 1944 and part of Illinois Institute of Technology in 1949. After many iterations, the New Bauhaus is still in practice today, honouring the curriculum of the original Bauhaus school.
“The New Bauhaus definitely didn’t fail, but rather found a different way of operating,” said Nahmias.
Moholy passed away of leukaemia in 1946, and was succeeded by Russian-born British architect and industrial designer Serge Chermayeff as dean. He is father of prolific graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who passed in December 2017.
Moholy’s legacy lives on in Chicago to this day, but Nahmias hopes the film will make his work known by a larger audience.
“We often see architecture films that are hagiographies – like a biography of a saint – and it is so worshipping that you are not getting at the heart of what this person went through, and what motivated their work,” Nahmias said. “I think for all of these artists, designers and architect, there are stories.”
Moholy’s daughter offers “unique perspective” in the film
A key feature of the documentary is an interview with Moholy’s daughter, Hattula, from his second wife Sibyl, an architectural and art historian from Germany. Hattula manages the estate of the artist with the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, which she founded in 2003. She is 85 and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“This was one of the happy discoveries, that not only was she [Hattula] willing to give us access and facilitate the project, but she was willing to be filmed and really be part of it, which I think is a unique perspective on a Bauhaus artist,” said Nahmias.
Advisors on the documentary include MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll, curator Ellen Lupton of Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, curator Elizabeth Siegel at the Art Institute of Chicago, Princeton professor Hal Foster, author Thomas Dyja, and architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee.
The Bauhaus is the most influential art and design school in history. To mark the centenary of the school’s founding, we’ve created a series of articles exploring the school’s key figures and projects.
Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine discuss their approach to design and the work they are currently undertaking as part of a residency at Brooklyn creative space A/D/O, in this movie produced by Dezeen for MINI.
The London-based duo – Japanese architect Murakami and British artist Groves – are currently working from the A/D/O design hub that was founded by MINI in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as part of its designer-in-residence programme.
The residency will culminate in an exhibition at the venue in January, featuring new works informed by the studio’s time spent in New York.
“We’ll be exploring the idea of how technology and ephemeral materials can synthesise,” Groves says in the video, which was shot by Dezeen at A/D/O. “We’re working with plasma, fog and light.”
Nate Pinsley, global managing director at A/D/O x MINI, says that the designer-in-residence programme is mutually beneficial for the venue and the visiting designers.
“ADO is a creative hub created by MINI that brings together people from all sorts of backgrounds and disciplines who are interested in exploring the future of design,” he says.
“The residency allows us to explore a little bit more broadly, and invite a talented team like Alex and Azusa to come in and explore the topics they want to explore.”
Designers enrolled in the programme are able to make use of the creative facilities that A/D/O offers. “We provide space, access to fabrication tools, and we also provide access to the community,” Pinsley explains.
“Ultimately, architecture has a social responsibility to the people that uses it, don’t just build it because you can or an authoritarian government lets you,” argued ArchBoi92.
“This might appear to some as a justification for starchitects to construct – and greatly profit from – massive projects with autocratic states while avoiding criticism for collaboration, for complicity in their bosses’ actions,” pondered duckusucker.
However, some commenters felt that Koolhaas’ views were a long time coming: “Britain is waking up? What a day, what a lovely day. At last! We’re here, in the Middle East, and we’re waiting since 1945,” exclaimed Octavius.
“Rem has always been a strong, critical thinker that provokes. He appears to have lost none of his verve,” added threefloatingorbs.
A glazed box revealing floors wrapped in a terracotta screen forms part of this new academic facility, designed by CO Architects for a university in Kansas City.
Built on the site of a former parking lot, the Health Education Building is located on a prominent corner in the University of Kansas Medical Center campus – on the Kansas side of the state border with Missouri. It serves as the primary educational facility for the institution’s medical, nursing and allied health programs.
“As the campus continues to grow, the Health Education Building will emerge as the geographical centre and interdisciplinary resource among the existing concentration of clinical, research and educational buildings,” the team said in a project description.
Roughly rectangular in plan, the building consists of two wings, with a glazed connector volume running between them. Encompassing 171,744 square feet (15,956 square metres), the facility contains classrooms, simulation labs, clinical skills rooms and student life space.
Exterior walls are wrapped in glass and reddish brick. On the west elevation, the upper level of the building cantilevers over the site and reaches toward an active street. Glazed facades provide a clear view of the interior, where volumes containing labs are enclosed in a terracotta screen.
“The cantilevered west wing acts as a lantern, providing daytime and illuminated night views of the advanced simulation labs that appear suspended inside the building,” the team said.
“The curving terracotta and glass enclosures of the simulation spaces invite metaphorical interpretations for human organs within the skin surrounding them, and symbolise the hands-on, progressive curriculum taught in the building.”
The eastern elevation, which is more opaque, features Roman brick cladding – a material the takes cues from the traditional masonry found on campus. On the ground level, the brickwork “appears to dissolve into a lattice-like screen that runs past windows, providing views into the large learning studio inside”. A similar strategy was used at the top of the building for mechanical purposes.
The north side of the building features a sloping walkway, which leads to another research building and parking facilities. The team incorporated a landscaped courtyard that was influenced by the grass-covered Flint Hills region in eastern Kansas. Condensate water from the building’s mechanical system is used to irrigate the landscaping.
Conjoined to the south side of the building is a glass-enclosed bridge, which passes over a street and connects to Orr-Major Hall, a brutalist-style educational building constructed in the 1970s.
Spanning 250 feet (76 metres), the glazed bridge is meant to function as both a “pedestrian conduit and social destination”. The interior offers space for studying and socialising. Large, tree-shaped columns provide structural support and visual interest.
The entire building offers a diverse mix of formal and informal spaces that encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving.
“Each floor of the building is designed to promote a sense of student camaraderie, community and teamwork,” the team said.
The first and second storeys house 15-person tutorial rooms, four-person study rooms and one-person carrels. Classrooms and learning studios – including mock medical environments, such as operating theatres – are located on floors one through four. Faculty offices are situated on the third and fourth levels, while a large event space was placed on the fifth floor.
The central volume serves as a circulation hub, providing access to elevators and stairs. Retail spaces help activate the base of the building.
The centre has a number of sustainable features, including LED lighting and occupancy sensors that help control heating and cooling. Skylights that project above the ground on the north side bring natural light to learning studios in the basement level.
On the west side, a semi-conditioned thermal buffer is created between the exterior glass walls and the interior terracotta screen. This buffer cuts down on energy use while still providing views and daylighting.
Overall, the university building is expected to consume 24 per cent less energy than mandated by the state energy guidelines, according to the team.
CO Architects was founded in 1986 as a regional office of Anshen + Allen (now part of Stantec) and became an autonomous firm a decade later. Another academic project by the California firm is a copper-clad laboratory complex in downtown Phoenix that evokes jagged and striated rock formations.
Design/programming architect: CO Architects CO Architects team: Scott Kelsey, managing principal/principal-in-charge; Paul Zajfen, design principal; Jonathan Kanda, principal for medical education and simulation; Tanner Clapham, associate/project architect; Chao Chen, architect; Michael Ly, designer Executive architect: Helix Architecture + Design Client: University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) General contractor: McCownGordon Construction MEP engineer: Henderson Engineers Structural engineer: Bob D Campbell and Company Civil engineer: SK Design Group, Inc Landscape: Land3 Studio Lighting: Henderson Engineers Acoustical: The Sextant Group, Inc Artists: Miki Baird, Marcie Miller Gross, Jesse Small, and Jeremy Rockwell
The impossible geometries of Dutch graphic artist MC Escher are explored by Oki Sato’s studio Nendo in an exhibition open at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
The exhibition, called Between Two Worlds, includes 157 prints and drawings by Escher, made between 1916 and 1969, taken from the largest collection of the artist’s work, at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.
The Japanese studio has designed an immersive monochrome design for the exhibition that draws on the artist’s work by playing with themes of geometry and space.
The studio took the simple shape of a house as the basis of its designs for the project, adapting the form into different dimensions and scales. The house was chosen as it is a symbol that represents space.
The house motif has practical and conceptual applications, with variations on the shape forming seating, providing a context for display and directing visitors. Birds, fish and other frequently recurring animals in Escher’s work are used to explain the concepts behind the exhibition and as a 3D navigational tool.
The exhibition is arranged according to themes rather than chronologically, over nine display areas, each designed to provide a fitting backdrop for the specific exhibits.
The opening space features a 17-metre-long corridor with an animation projected onto the floor that leads visitors to the first gallery. Here a long white bench that looks as though its made up of interlocking houses provides a seating area, where visitors can look at Escher’s early work.
In the next room, a pattern of house shapes has been laid on the floor of a symmetrically designed gallery space, themed around reflections and refractions, such as Eye, from 1946.
Further on, a three-metre staircase raises visitors to a viewing deck that looks down on a 60-metre-long and six-metre-high gallery, from where they look down on a row of four black houses that investigate Escher’s subject of “the regular division of the plane”.
The roofs of these houses gradually open up the further away from the viewing gallery, until they become a row of five white houses at the back of the room. Various works are displayed amongst them, where visitors can walk around and discover them.
In the next room black metal pipes holding Escher works appear to float in space. Visitors can walk around the gallery and when viewed from certain angles, the black pipes form the outline of a house.
This area is dedicated to Escher’s work that explores extreme perspectives and optical illusions.
Visitors can experience an optical illusion for themselves, in a 21-metre corridor with an entrance almost four metres high and a back wall just 50 centimetres tall. The designers have used contrasting colour to further emphasise the change in perspective.
A 3D house pattern made from a thin metal sheet becomes the backdrop for a projected animation to explore the idea of geometrical beauty.
Further on, a huge chandelier hangs in the middle of a circular gallery. It is made of more than 55,000 small flat black and white houses, and has 17 pieces of art displayed around them that all relate to the idea of reflections and geometric forms.
Nendo has also created a snaking white path that cuts through a black room, with raised sides so that visitors are sunk below the walkway. The curves of the path are based on even angles and tangency, which refer back to Escher’s aesthetic principles. The artist’s Snakes work of 1969 is exhibited here.
An 11-piece collection of objects that started as paper mockups and ideas for the exhibition design have evolved into a group of objects that will join the gallery’s permanent collection made from black and white painted metal.