Posts Tagged ‘why are things so boring now?’

Spaceship condo

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


Spaceship condominium in Guilford, Connecticut, designed by Wil Armster. We need to see more buildings like this, especially in Vancouver, to break up the endless architectural monotony not to mention mediocrity. What we could really use is more small developers and more interesting small developments. We could do with fewer megadevelopers producing non-green, endlessly tall, utterly unlivable and bloody boring towers with their dark, windy streetscapes.

I realize this blog is getting repetitive on this topic. And it’s only going to get worse.

Via 1so50. More photos on Flickr.


Citroen Kar-a-Sutra

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Living room on wheels designed by Italian designer Mario Bellini in 1972 as a collaboration for Citroen and Pirelli. It’s a combination conversation pit/sleeping area. It was introduced to the US later that year in a show at MoMA – Italy: The New Domestic Landscape.

We’re so bloody sombre now.

Via daddytypes, via Kar-a-Sutra stats and photos at Mario Bellini’s studio site [, found via iso50]

Munich Olympics Graphics, 1972

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Logo and graphics from the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, by Otl Aicher. Via. Unfortunately the excellent design produced by Munich was eclipsed by the gruesome tragedy that unfolded at the Games.

It’s a little-known fact that the graphic icons for each sport – now so familiar to everyone – originated with the Munich ’72 Olympics. Above, ceramic vases and shot glasses, official souvenirs, and below, matchboxes. Beautiful.

Below, poster from the torch relay, and Waldi, the Munich dachsund mascot and the first mascot of the Olympic Games. Thanks to Christina for the mascot image and information (see comment). There’s a photo of a Waldi toy here and poster at bottom.

The Mexico Olympics, 4 years earlier, also had superb design with graphics by Lance Wyman. Compare these to the embarrassing Vancouver 2010 Olympics graphics.



See-through furniture

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Glas Italia tables - XXX series

These are a mix of glass and lucite, past and present. The bottom 3 pieces are from the 70s and all of the pieces at top are contemporary. Transparency puts furniture into the realm of the future or the imaginary, even when it also automatically harks back to the 1970s. Which may be the same thing. The 70s also had that thing for kaleidoscopic and candyshop colour, iconoclasm, disco and visual pleasure. And conveniently mirrored table tops. Above, XXX tables by Glas Italia, released this year. See this Arren Williams article. Below, glass and lucite by Italian company Sawaya Moroni, who are present-day masters of this too. Example further below are vintage.

Lucite tables by Sawaya Moroni

Sawaya Moroni

Sawaya Moroni

Two photos above are by Klick Interiors.

French Lucite Desk, 1970s

French Lucite Desk, 1970s

Above, French 70s lucite desk from here. Below, Electrified Plexiglas and Mirrored Glass Low Table by Ron Ferri, circa 1970’s USA. Mirror, Lucite. From Todd Merrill

Electrified Plexiglas and Mirrored Glass Low Table by Ron Ferri

Electrified Plexiglas and Mirrored Glass Low Table by Ron Ferri

Below, unknown chair.

Lucite chair

Rita Pavone, “Il geghegè”

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Rita Pavone.

Thanks, Keith.


The Dome Show – Intermedia builds geodesic domes, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1970

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Installing the Dome Show, 1970, Vancouver Art Gallery

These photos of The Dome Show, an exhibition by art collective Intermedia at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1970, are all from the web archive Ruins In Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties. (See another post on this absolutely amazing site here.) The Dome Show was an experimental art show involving architecture, sculpture, performance, music, improvised happenings, a giant public dinner party, bonfires, public home movie nights and many other things over the months of its exhibition. Above, Installing the Dome Show at the VAG.

From the site: “The unifying structure of the Dome Show was Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. Each Intermedia member who was interested was invited to build domes individually or communally for the exhibition. Before the exhibition installation Intermedia members constructed their domes in a variety of public spaces, including the Maplewood Mud Flats, at 4th and Arbutus, Kitsilano Beach, in front of the Bentall Center in Downtown Vancouver, and outside of the Vancouver planetarium.”

Buckminster’s geodesic dome was obviously at the height of its popularity then. Now, forty years later, there seems to be a revival of interest in its utopian promise or its grooviness or its sheer architectural difference or what, exactly? It reappears during times of environmental crisis, war, or general turmoil? Or when staid protestantism makes you want to flee to a stately hippie pleasure dome? The critique of Buckminster Fuller’s dome as a product of the military industrial complex is only one element in its contradictory history. Wherever the appeal of the dome derives from, I’m grateful to Ruins in Process for the documentation. The website is particularly valuable not just because of the beards and the fashions, but because it d0cuments a period of art that for all its notoriety is actually not all that well known, not just because it was pre-internet, but also perhaps because of the tendency of the work to be temporary, performative, process-based and dependent upon happenings, and in so many other ways difficult to document. Also, as Carole Itter says in her interview on the site, if you were present at a happening and were documenting, it meant you weren’t in the moment, and that wasn’t cool. Her comments on the role of women in Intermedia are also pretty interesting.

Dome Show, 1970 Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia Straight ad insert

Above, an art insert in the Vancouver weekly The Georgia Straight. Below, construction of a dome in the Mudflats, Vancouver.

Dome construction, mudflats, Vancouver 1970

dancer in geodesic dome

Above and below, dancers in a dome near the Burrard Street Bridge.

Dome Show, Georgia Straight insert

Meeting at Intermedia on Beatty Street

Above, meeting of Intermedia on Beatty Street. Below, “100 flutes” performance in aluminum dome.

The Dome Show, 100 flutes

DomeShow, closing party, City Feast, Bingo

Above,”Bingo,” an event at City Feast, a city-wide public dinner to close The Dome Show. Below, End of the Dome Show – burning of a dome out in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, on the night of City Feast at the close of the show. A bonfire on one of Vancouver’s main arteries could so not happen now.

burning of dome outside Vancouver Art Gallery at end of Dome Show, 1970