brian eno, es devlin, jeremy deller, and more form climate and social justice collective

brian eno introduces social justice collective hard art   Renowned musician and artist Brian Eno has teamed up with a diverse group of individuals, including designers, artists, filmmakers, writers, and more, to form HARD ART, a cultural collective seeking to combat the challenges of climate change and democratic decline. The team counts 150 members, with […]

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RAD+ar encloses tropical Frame Garden with mirrored panels in Indonesia

Frame Garden by RAD+ar

Large mirrors frame the tree-planted interiors of this cafe and seating area beside a park in Jakarta, Indonesia, completed by local studio Research Artistic Design + architecture.

Called Frame Garden, the project is designed to enable the local community to make better use of the neglected park, providing a cafe operated by coffee chain Tanatap, visitor facilities and a small gallery beneath a semi-outdoor tropical garden.

External view of Frame Garden in Indonesia
RAD+ar has used mirrored panels to enclose the tropical Frame Garden in Indonesia

“The site is adjacent to an abandoned public park boasting vast greenery with ironically zero facilities,” said Research Artistic Design + architecture (RAD+ar) principal Antonius Richard Rusli.

“Consequently, nobody would pay attention to how much positive impact the park has and can contribute to not only the environment but also to the surrounding communities,” he told Dezeen.

Seating area within public garden shelter by RAD+ar
Trunk-like sculptures made of fibreglass feature within the space

The stage-like Frame Garden incorporates an amphitheatre-style seating area for up to 300 people, which winds between lush planters and trees as it steps down from the entrance towards a large opening overlooking the park.

Designed to be “facadeless”, this open space is framed by alternating mirrored and glazed panels, which reflect the plants and trees and offer glimpses of the surrounding park. Twisting, trunk-like sculptures made of fibreglass also animate the walls.

Stepped seating area at Frame Garden in Jakarta
The upper level is lined with amphitheatre-style seating

“Frame Garden celebrates its porosity being as open as possible as a contribution to the cityscape,” explained the studio.

“Without a front or back, the building is free to be approached from all directions while taking advantage of the surrounding landscape,” it added.

Beneath Frame Garden’s upper level, the partially subterranean ground floor contains the cafe and gallery, illuminated by skylights that reveal the garden above.

A stepped ceiling – the inverse of the seating space above – covers the cafe and is fitted with concealed lighting, while a wall of full-height glazing looks onto a covered garden and outdoor seating area.

Cafe interior within Frame Garden by RAD+ar
The seating forms a stepped ceiling in the cafe below

“Upon entering the building, [visitors] walk underneath a very low ceiling 2.2 metres in height that slowly increases the height of space into 7.5 metres as the visitor walks from the front garden to the back garden on the ground floor,” said RAD+ar.

“[They] are teased by what appears to be sliced skylight and people activities in the garden above.”

Seating area illuminated by skylights at Frame Garden in Jakarta
Skylights on the lower floor reveal the garden area above

The gallery sits on the other side of the rear covered garden, which it also looks onto through a wall of full-height glazing.

Frame Garden’s service areas for the kitchen and toilets have been organised along the edges of the site, leading to a parking area at the rear of the building that sits beneath its large opening.

Exterior view of mirrored garden by RAD+ar
A large opening overlooks the adjacent park

Other projects recently completed in Jakarta include a family home topped by an angled, tiled roof and a bamboo extension to a studio.

The photography is by Mario Wibowo.

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Thomas Heatherwick's Humanise campaign creates “boring alter-egos” of UK landmarks

UnLandmarks by Uncommon Creative Studio for Thomas Heatherwick's Humanise Movement

Creative agency Uncommon Creative Studio has made “boring” versions of UK landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle for Thomas Heatherwick‘s Humanise campaign.

Created to demonstrate how UK landmarks would look if designed in modernist styles, the agency used artificial intelligence to reimagine the landmarks. Along with Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle, Uncommon Creative Studio created alternative versions of the Tower of London, Royal Liver Building, Palace of Westminster and Hovis hill.

Unlandmarks by Uncommon Creative Studio for the Humanise campaign
Uncommon Creative Studio created “boring alter-egos” of buildings including Buckingham Palace (top) and Edinburgh Castle (above)

“The series of images shows six of the most loved and quintessentially British landmarks stripped of their personality to reveal their boring alter-egos,” said Uncommon Creative Studio, which is a Humanise campaign founding partner.

“Using artificial intelligence, fed with 75 years of soulless development data, UnLandmarks reimagines Britain’s most beloved buildings through the eyes of its most boring architectural trends.”

Boring version of The Tower of London
The studio also reimagined The Tower of London

Uncommon Creative Studio created the visuals for the Humanise campaign, which was launched last year by UK designer Heatherwick, as it believes that images are the best way of conveying the campaign’s message.

“We wanted to bring public attention to bear, to create a conversation around the importance of our built environments and the power of design to do more than inspire but to improve our human health,” Uncommon Creative Studio founder Nils Leonard told Dezeen.

“People are visual though, despite all of the articles, white papers and data on a subject the best way to move people is with something they can see, and then feel,” he continued.

“Taking our most sacred spaces and making them as boring as the rest of our environments is the start of the conversation, the way to bring everyone to the Humanise cause.”

Brutalist Parliament
The Palace of Westminster was given a brutalist makeover

Uncommon Creative Studio aimed to select buildings from across the country that would prompt an emotional response.

“We wanted to find sacred buildings – immortal and untouchable,” explained Leonard. “Then viscerally mutate them with 75 years of bland design.”

“The soul had to leave the building,” he continued. “The buildings we chose are the ones that define our country in the minds of every citizen and visitor – making this point with the icons of our nation felt the only way to get people to look again.”

Royal Liver Building
The Royal Liver Building was rendered in the international style

The neo-classical Buckingham Palace, the main facade of which was designed by architect John Nash, was transformed into an international-style block, while the Charles Barry-designed, gothic revival Palace of Westminster was given a brutalist makeover.

The Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle were given modernist makeovers, while the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool was reimagined with glass and steel facades.

Finally, the studio transformed the housing on Gold Hill in Dorset, which is best known as the location for Hovis bread adverts.

Gold Hill in Dorset
Gold Hill in Dorset was also reimagined

The visualisations were made with a combination of AI graphic tools including Stable Diffusion, ComfyUI, MidJourney and Photoshop Generative Fill, with 200 variations created of each landmark.

“Taking cues from 75 years of soulless building data, we created a database of materials such as clapboard, stone cladding, concrete, glass and steel,” explained Leonard.

“The fittings, trends and familiar design tricks,” he continued. “These were then paired with architectural styles like contemporary international, volume house building and communist monumentalism – this combination built the foundation for our AI prompts.”

Umlandmark souvenirs
Uncommon Creative Studio created UnLandmark souvenirs

To draw attention to the “boring” landmarks, Uncommon Creative Studio created a range of souvenirs featuring the visualisations, which they placed at stalls outside London landmarks.

“Initially people reacted with disgust, which is great, and shock, fascination,” said Leonard. “A bit of outrage that we’d tampered with iconic, beloved landmarks.”

“Then a worry these were real plans for redevelopment,” he continued. “Most people got what we were trying to do.”

Souvenir mug of boring Edinburgh Castle
The souvenirs included mugs

Overall, Leonard hopes that the visuals can serve as a “dystopian warning to the future”.

“We hope people realise what we’re taking for granted – that beautiful buildings are not just a luxury, but something that’s at the core of who we are as a nation,” he said.

“The UnLandmarks project spotlights a century-old global issue: how most new buildings have become increasingly soulless, worsening our health and contributing to the climate crisis.”

Poster of brutalist Parliament
It also made posters

The visuals form part of the wider Humanise campaign, which was launched last year alongside a book named Humanise written by Heatherwick and a Radio 4 series led by the designer in which he takes aim at boring buildings.

In an interview with Dezeen, the director of the team leading the initiative, Matt Bell, explained what it aims to achieve, while Heatherwick selected 10 “humanised” buildings to explain its ideals.

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Dezeen video captures reconstructed spire at Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame cathedral under scaffolding

This Dezeen video shows the restoration progress of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, including its reconstructed spire that is crowned by a golden rooster.

In the video, viewers can see the 96-metre-tall spire without its scaffolding, with a design replicating the 1859 version designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

 

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The Dezeen video reveals the reconstructed spire at Notre-Dame

The reconstructed spire is topped with a recreation of the original cross and a golden rooster designed by architect Philippe Villeneuve who is leading the renovation works.

Villeneuve said the rooster’s “wings of fire” are intended as a reminder that “the cathedral can be reborn from the ashes, like a phoenix”, the BBC reported.

Notre-Dame cathedral under scaffolding
Much of the cathedral remains under scaffolding

While the spire marks a major milestone in the restoration of the cathedral after the devastating fire in 2019, scaffolding remains around much of the rest of the building.

Works were originally hoped to be completed in time to reopen for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but it will now remain closed until December 2024. However, scaffolding is expected to remain around the building until 2028.

Notre-Dame cathedral's reconstructed spire
The new spire is crowned by a golden rooster

The fire that engulfed Notre-Dame cathedral in 2019 gutted its interior and destroyed its roof and spire, making headlines around the world.

It prompted a flurry of designers to offer proposals for a replacement spire, but speculation about its future ended when president Emmanuel Macron said he would ensure the building was rebuilt “identically” to how it was before the event.

As part of the restoration project, the forecourt and the surroundings of Notre-Dame cathedral are also being revamped.

This will see Belgian architect Bas Smets revive the square facing the cathedral and transform an abandoned underground car park beneath it into a visitor centre.

The photography is by Lizzie Crook.

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Leo Maher references “queer legends” with Something Sticky lighting sculptures

Something Sticky by Leo Maher

British artist-designer Leo Maher has created sculptural lights that tell stories about homosexuality, set to feature in the Alcova exhibition during Milan design week.

A fake mermaid, a flower in drag and an ancient torture practice are all referenced in Maher‘s series, which he has named Something Sticky.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
The series includes Leopard Slug, which emulates a gastropod mating ritual

The works were made from various materials, from aluminium to ceramic, combined with found and crafted objects such as sunglasses lenses, resin-dipped flowers and palm tree fronds.

The Design Academy Eindhoven alumnus describes the collection as “a hot-pot of queer culture” that is “deliberately kitchen-sinky in its form language”.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
Fiji Mermaid highlights a now-discredited narrative about a half-human, half-fish

“Like sticky hands gathering breadcrumbs, wet skin on the sand, a lint roller removing hairs from a dinner jacket, the series is given shape by gathering what has been left behind,” he said.

Maher will present four table lamps from the Something Sticky series at Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, one of two historic houses hosting this year’s edition of nomadic Milan design week exhibition, Alcova.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
It is made from materials including concrete, granite, wood, and sunglasses lenses

Following on from Maher’s graduation project, Unfamiliar Passions, the designs are all based on myths and stories relating to queerness and its influence on history and culture.

“Through joining various different material elements, each piece attempts to convey the narrative of queer legends, and question the cavernous holes left in the telling of time,” said the designer.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
Burl; Diamond of The Forest celebrates burl wood growth

Works set to feature at Alcova include Burl; Diamond of The Forest, which draws parallels between burl wood growth and homosexuality, in that both develop under pressure to conform.

“Burl growth incorporates underdeveloped buds, most commonly a result of some sort of stress or injury,” said Maher. “Inside these complex knots, there is an abundant labyrinth of suppressed pasts.”

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
The design draws parallels between burl wood growth and homosexuality

Fiji Mermaid highlights a now-discredited narrative about a half-human, half-fish, while Leopard Slug explores queerness in nature by emulating the same-sex mating ritual of a gastropod.

Also at Alcova will be Hairy Matters, a hairy lamp intended to question the gender stereotypes applied to grooming rituals.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
Hairy Matters questions gender stereotypes in grooming rituals

Other works from the Something Sticky series, created with support from Dutch cultural fund Stimuleringsfonds, have been exhibited at Copenhagen gallery Tableau, design fair Collectible and Berlin gallery Cabin.

They include Gingering, which references the torture practice of inserting ginger into the anus, and Bee-Orchid, which pays tribute to a flower that has evolved to look like a female bee, in order to attract male bees to pollinate it.

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
Gingering references an ancient torture practice

“Stories of queer pasts are just as likely found where we might least expect them,” said Maher.

“Recognising the tears and breaks that exist in the ordinary, [that is] the unpredictable key to our map for discovering hidden queer gold.”

Something Sticky by Leo Maher
Bee-Orchid features a flower disguised as a female bee

Maher will also present new works for the Alcova exhibition: two wall scones, two candelabras and three pendant lamps.

Standout pieces include Drift Blossom, a lamp combining organic wooden elements with re-purposed antique glass flowers, and Naiad, a hanging lamp combining 3D-printed resin with cast brass.

Alcova takes place from 15 to 21 April 2024 as part of Milan design week. See our dedicated Milan guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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Oblò pendant light by Paola Navone for Lodes

Oblò pendant light by Paola Navone for Lodes

Dezeen Showroom: Italian architect Paola Navone collaborated with Venetian brand Lodes to create Oblò, a pendant light with a chromatic palette designed to recall “the sensations of the sea”.

Navone of Milanese practice OTTO Studio created the pendant light, which is characterised by a bulbous diffuser made from pyrex and silicone.

Oblò pendant light by Paola Navone for Lodes
Oblò was designed by Paola Navone for Lodes

Each diffuser is finished in iridescent, transparent, azure steel, glossy smoke or silk white finishes. The light also comes in three globular shapes.

The diffuser is suspended by a slender woven fabric cable with a grey rubberised terminal that conceals the electric wiring and is attached by a delicate hook.

Oblò pendant light by Paola Navone for Lodes
A delicate hook attaches the pendant light to its woven cabe

An LED is hidden within the hook, ensuring only the glass is visible. This was designed to create the illusion of the diffuser floating like a buoy.

“Oblò, the Italian word for ‘porthole’, has a fluid silhouette and chromatic palette, evoking the sensations of the sea,” said Lodes.

The pendant light can be used in a variety of residential or commercial spaces – from stairwells to above kitchen islands – and will be unveiled at the Lodes showroom during Milan design week.


Product details:

Product: Oblò
Designer: Paola Navone
Brand: Lodes
Contact: info@lodes.com

Material: pyrex, silicone, woven fabric
Colours/finishes: transparent, iridescent, azure steel, silk white, glossy smoke

Dezeen Showroom

Dezeen Showroom offers an affordable space for brands to launch new products and showcase their designers and projects to Dezeen’s huge global audience. For more details email showroom@dezeen.com.

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Study finds botanical gardens offer “greater cooling effect” in cities compared to parks

Kew Gardens botanical garden

The Global Centre for Clean Air Research has published research that found botanical gardens are one of the best ways to cool cities and mitigate the effects of heatwaves.

In its study, the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey analysed how different examples of blue infrastructure (water areas and features) and green infrastructure (planted elements) can mitigate urban heating.

It found that botanical gardens can cool city air temperatures by up to an average of five degrees Celsius. Wetlands and green walls were also highly efficient at urban cooling compared to grass parks.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Research found that botanical gardens with water features, such as Brooklyn Botanic Garden (above), have an efficient cooling effect. Photo by King of Hearts on Wikimedia Commons

While it has been known that blue and green infrastructure can cool air temperatures, the group hopes that its findings give a comprehensive picture as to why this is and offer town planners examples of how to mitigate heat in their plans.

GCARE founding director Prashant Kumar explained that the diversity of planting, dense canopy cover and the addition of water features found in botanical gardens contribute to its effectiveness at cooling the surrounding air.

“By incorporating green-blue-grey [human-engineered infrastructure for water resources] infrastructure (GBGI) into urban planning, cities can create more sustainable and resilient environments, mitigating the adverse effects of heatwaves and improving overall liveability for residents,” he told Dezeen.

“Botanical gardens feature a diverse array of natural elements, including various vegetation such as tree species, shrubs, and grass, as well as water features like ponds, brooks, and waterfalls,” Kumar continued.

“This combination results in unique cooling mechanisms not typically found in parks and consequently, botanical gardens demonstrate a greater average cooling effect compared to parks.”

Graph of the cooling effect of blue and green infrastructure by GCARE
The Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) studied the cooling effect of blue and green infrastructure. Graph by GCARE

According to Kumar, the findings on the effectiveness of botanical gardens can be used to improve the cooling of other green spaces. This could include diversifying plant species, introducing water features, strategically placing plants for shading, and including educational aspects for visitors.

“We can draw valuable insights from botanic gardens to enhance the cooling effectiveness of other green spaces,” he said.

“Botanic gardens offer lessons on selecting heat-tolerant plant species, maximising canopy cover for shade, promoting evapotranspiration through diverse vegetation, strategically designing layouts for microclimate control, conducting educational outreach on green infrastructure, and implementing effective maintenance practices.”

“By implementing these principles, other green spaces can mitigate urban heat island effects and create more comfortable outdoor environments for communities,” Kumar added.

For the research, GCARE studied examples of blue and green infrastructure from across the world and the cooling effects they had compared to the local climate and population density.

Kumar stressed that cooling solutions should be chosen to suit the specific local conditions to achieve the most efficient outcome.

“[The research] highlights the need for region-specific strategies in city planning to optimise the cooling benefits of GBGI,” he said.

“For instance, in temperate climates, wetlands and parks are most effective due to their evapotranspiration and shading properties.”

“In continental climates, green walls and botanical gardens show promise, while in dry climates, pocket parks and wetlands play a crucial role in cooling,” Kumar continued. “Tropical climates benefit from roof gardens due to their microscale impact in densely built areas.”

Sharing Kumar’s sentiment that diverse green spaces are needed to mitigate heat, Phineas Harper wrote that lawned parks should be replaced with urban forests and Arup specialist Dima Zogheib argued more trees should be planted in cities to curb heatwaves.

Top photo of Kew Gardens, London, by David Iliff on Wikimedia Commons.

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