Design News April 2016

China Bans ‘Bizarre’ Architecture


In a statement by the Chinese government, China plans to forbid the construction of ‘bizarre’
architecture that is not economical, functional, aesthetically pleasing or environmentally
friendly. The government instead aims to promote ‘economic, green and beautiful’ buildings. The upcoming regulations aims to curb the trend of ‘bizarre architecture’ by encouraging the use of prefabricated buildings, which the government hopes will, not only drastically reshape city skylines, but also limit urban sprawl and improve the overall urban layout as more and more people flock to the cities.


Claude Parent No More

claude parent

French Utopian architect and theoretician Claude Parent, who is renowned for his oblique function theory (which he developed alongside philosopher Paul Virilio), passed away recently at the age of 93. His iconic projects Maison Drusch and Church Sainte-Bernadette du Banlay exemplify his ‘oblique’ theories, constructing dramatic, sloped spaces to provoke inhabitants into being more self-aware. His ‘utopian’ preoccupations and methodology has inspired many architects, most explicitly Jean Nouvel, whose first professional work as an architect was in collaboration with Parent.


Anish Kapoor acquires exclusive rights for Vantablack


Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor has acquired exclusive rights to the revolutionary Vantablack pigment, said to be the blackest shade of black ever created. Developed by British company NanoSystems, Vantablack is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes. When light strikes Vantablack, it becomes trapped instead of bouncing off and is continually deflected between the tubes. The pigment is currently the blackest substance known – so dark that it absorbs 99.96 per cent of light. He has been rebuked by fellow artists who feel that he is monopolising a colour.


Michelangelo’s Tuscany Villa on Sale

Function of the oblique

Michelangelo’s Tuscan farmhouse, which he purchased in 1549, is on sale. The 9687 sq. ft. property comprising eight-bedrooms, seven-baths is available at a price tag of $8.15 million. The property remained in the Buonarroti family until 1867. The original deed is signed by Michelangelo himself and comes with the purchase of the three-story home. Over the last 20 years, ongoing restorations have been made to the façade and interiors. But the restoration architects have retained the original wood-beamed ceilings and fireplaces, and a brick barrel-vaulted ceiling in one of the living rooms.


IKEA to replace polystyrene with mushroom packaging


IKEA is planning to replace the nasty polystyrene foam packaging with an innovative, eco-friendly alternative– Mushroom Packaging. Designed by New York-based company Ecovative, this packaging is made using mycelium that functions similar to the root of the plant. Ecovative grows the packaging using agricultural waste like corn husks. The waste is cleaned and then combined with mycelium which grows around the waste as it sends out fibres to digest it. The mass is then broken up again and the little pieces of waste covered with mycelium are put into moulds. The mycelium continues to grow until the mould is filled. The shape that emerges is hardened and used as packaging.

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