As we noted in our 5 New Design Exhibitions for July 2014 post, July and August tend to be quiet months in the world of architecture and design exhibitions.
If evidence to back up our claim were needed, our 5 New Design Exhibitions for August 2014 recommendations features architectural photography in Cologne, Portuguese interior design in Lisbon, interface design in Sydney…….
And that’s it. That’s all that is opening this August. And one of them opened in late July.
But less is famously more, and a little can a long way……
“Markus Brunetti / FACADES. Kathedralen, Kirchen, Klöster in Europa” at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, Germany
Louis I. Kahn famously spent his formative years sketching the ruins of European cathedrals, sketches and studies that unquestionably inspired many of his own projects: “No architect can rebuild a cathedral of another epoch embodying the desire, the aspirations, the love and hate of the people whose heritage it became”, he wrote in 1944, “But we dare not discard the lessons these buildings teach for they have the common characteristic of greatness upon which the buildings of our future must, in one sense or another, rely”1
An inclination of that to which Louis Kahn refers can be gleaned in Bavarian photographer Markus Brunetti’s large format photos of European cathedrals and churches.
Since 2005 Markus Brunetti has travelled Europe doggedly photographing buildings such as the Notre Dame de Reims, Catedral de Burgos, Frauenkirche Dresden or Santa Croce Florence from an uncompromising frontal perspective. In the subsequent editing Markus Brunetti removes all people, animals and other vestiges of daily, mortal, life from his photos to leave an impression of the construction that allows the viewer to focus fully on the architectural work. And so draw a personal meaning from the desire, the aspirations, the love and hate of the people responsible for its construction.
Markus Brunetti / FACADES. Kathedralen, Kirchen, Klöster in Europa opens at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, An der Rechtschule, 50667 Cologne on Wednesday August 20th and runs until Sunday December 14th.
“Respect and discipline are required by all: The Commission for the Acquisition of Furniture” at the MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda, Lisbon, Portugal
In 1940 the Portuguese authorities established the Commission for the Acquisition of Furniture (CAM) with the responsibility of furnishing all government buildings, institutions and facilities. A function CAM carried out uninterrupted until 1980.
Consequently, in the course and fulfilment of its function the CAM was largely responsible for defining and controlling the formal image and identity of the Portuguese state as presented to both foreigners and the Portuguese public at large. A not inconsequential fact for lest we forget the CAM’s tenure started under Oliveira Salazar’s right wing Estado Novo dictatorship and continued up to and beyond the 1974 Carnation Revolution and end of Portugal’s position as a colonial power.
Based on a University of Lisbon research project “Respect and discipline are required by all” aims to explore not only the background to and reality of the CAM but also how its influence remains felt today in Portuguese public buildings and public life.
Presenting some 100 examples of furniture designs commissioned, purchased and used by the CAM in addition to photographs, archive documents and testimonies the exhibition promises to investigate subjects such as the influence of international modernism in Portugal and the limitations of design and architecture in a conservative, totalitarian state.
Respect and discipline are required by all: The Commission for the Acquisition of Furniture opened at the MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda, Rua Augusta, nº 24, 1100-053 Lisbon on Thursday July 24th and runs until Sunday November 2nd
“Interface: people, machines, design” at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
Despite the omnipresence of highly designed technical objects in our modern world, the development of such is largely due to the efforts of a relatively small number of manufacturers and designers. A small, almost exclusive, club who form the centre point of the Powerhouse Museum Sydney’s spring exhibition. Starting with Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot at Braun before moving over, for example, Ettore Sottsass and Mario Bellin at Olivetti and on to Hartmut Esslinger and Jonathan Ive at apple, “Interface: people, machines, design” aims not only to explore and explain the evolution of interface and usability design over recent decades but also explain how that development has not been an organic evolution but the result of the concerted efforts a few visionaries. And possibly marketing departments. In addition the exhibition promises to go deeper into the past and look at historic examples of usable interactive design. Albeit interactive design without the big, sellable, names.
Interface: people, machines, design opens at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney on Friday August 15th and runs until Saturday October 11th
1. Quoted in Eugene J. Johnson, “A Drawing of the Cathedral of Albi by Louis I. Kahn”, Gesta, Vol. 25, No. 1, Essays in Honor of Whitney Snow Stoddard, 1986