Sarcostyle Tower, Herman Miller, the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year Award, and Other News

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January 21, 2021

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And the Beazley Design of the Year award goes to … “Teeter-Totter Wall,” pink seesaws that straddle the US-Mexico border.

+ Designed by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of architecture studio Rael San Fratello in collaboration with Colectivo Chopeke, the installation aims to connect people across the border.

+ The pink teeter-totters were slotted into gaps in the steel border wall, allowing those on both sides the ability to unite through play.

Rendering courtesy of

Could Hayri Atak’s bubble-like Sarcostyle Tower be the newest addition to the Manhattan skyline?

+ The form and name of Sarcostyle Tower draw inspiration from the word “sarcostyle,” meaning “one of many contractile filaments that make up a striated muscle fiber.”

+ Hayri, who is based in Turkey, proposed a full glass exterior to reflect the cityscape, which would give Sarcostyle Tower a striking facade compared to its more traditional boxy neighbors.

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Venice’s 300-year-old hotspot Caffè Florian is at risk of closing due to the pandemic.

+ Known as the oldest café in the world, Caffè Florian has served many celebrity patrons over its three-century history, from Claude Monet to Andy Warhol.

+ “This crisis is not only economic but historical, as Caffè Florian is a piece of Italian history known throughout the world,” Marco Paolini, the managing director of the café, told Architectural Digest.

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Tom Dixon, Nicole McLaughlin, and more of the world’s top creatives give one chair a design makeover as part of the 19 Chairs project.

+ In phase one of the project, cofounders Tom and Will Butterfield spent 19 days creating one of the most “humble” pieces of furniture: a chair.

+ Then the design was sent to 19 of the world’s best-known designers, from Tom Dixon to Nicole McLaughlin, to reimagine the chair “with an older person in mind.” Now the chairs will be auctioned off with profits going toward Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice.

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Franck Bohbot captures a deserted New York wonderland in his latest series, Dear Winter.

+ Franck took the images while walking around NYC this past December.

+ The resulting photographs are cinematic snapshots of an unusually lonely Manhattan under a blanket of snow.

Photo courtesy of Grace Farms Foundation

This Herman Miller face mask is designed to fight modern slavery.

+ The limited-edition Herman Miller mask, called “Design for Freedom,” was created in partnership with the humanitarian nonprofit Grace Farms Foundation, and all proceeds will go to Design for Freedom, an initiative seeking to eliminate modern slavery from the built environment.

+ Architects Shohei Yoshida, principal of Shohei Yoshida + Associates, and Peter Miller, founding partner of Palette Architecture, designed the mask drawing from their work with Grace Farms.

One of President Obama’s motorcades on a trip to The Hague. Photo courtesy of R Boed/Flickr

Pimp my presidential ride: a look back on 30 years of presidential limousines.

+ The past 30 years have seen a total of five presidential limousine designs, including some of the most secure cars ever built.

+ Although the US may have said hello to a new president, that doesn’t mean President Biden is getting a new ride. The latest presidential limousines debuted in 2018 and likely won’t be replaced until after 2025.

mad worm

MAD Architect’s Wormhole Library sits on the coast in Haikou, China. Rendering courtesy of MAD Architects

These 10 architecture projects are redefining design this year.

+ From Sou Fujimoto to Heatherwick Studio, the projects are transforming affordable housing, cultural venues, and public spaces.

+ Many of the designs promote a sense of whimsy, such as NLÉ’s floating music hub and MAD Architect’s curved, wormhole library.

Image courtesy of Nissan

Nissan invites you to work from anywhere with its new caravan office pod concept.

+ Called the NV350, the van is retrofitted with a smartphone-controlled retractable workspace that extends out the back of the van and into nature.

+ Need a break from work? The concept also includes a luxurious roof balcony where you can relax from work or look up at the stars.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

In 2017 Aziz Ansari said he wasn’t sure Master of None was coming back. Now he’s reviving it for a third season.

+ “I’ve got to become a different guy before I write a third season, is my personal thought, I’ve got to get married or have a kid or something,” Aziz told Vulture after the second season finale. “I don’t have anything else to say about being a young guy being single in New York eating food around town all the time.”

+ Set in London, the new season will costar Naomi Ackie, with Lena Waithe set to reprise her role as Denise.