Roll Your Own Film Series

Washington’s Building Museum, one of the city’s often overlooked gems, recently had an Architecture & Design Film Festival that I unfortunately missed.

I have already seen Columbus, which I recommend design minded, about the meaning of a city and outlining low-key relationships that rang true. (It helps perhaps that I have been to some of those buildings in Columbus, IN, and they are remarkable.)

In the process of looking up the others, found that all of Workplace, Gary Hustwit’s film about the creation of new quarters for NYC’s R/GA (a big deal ad agencies/design firms) is available, if and you liked Huswit’s Helvetica (which I loved), you’ll enjoy it. It starts a bit like an RG/A infomercial, but clearly Hustwit got editorial control. The principals say their piece (including candid meeting footage with Norman Foster) and so do those people who can’t believe what is being foisted on them!  Crisply done and worth a watch if you are interested in architecture and design.

Impossible, beautiful bicycles

Gianluca Gimini’s collection of surreal, everyday bicycles

Italian/American designer (his slash, not mine) Gianluca Gimini asked people to draw a men’s bicycle from memory. Although it’s a form that is familiar to most people, it’s surprisingly hard to draw. (It’s also, as he points out, an interesting exercise in epistemology. Even though we “know” what a bicycle is, and how it works, that’s rarely sufficient for drawing a functional diagram.)

On the other hand, the non-functional diagrams people gave him were often beautiful, and as imaginative product designs. he realized that they go far beyond what any one designer could ever hope to dream up. So he rendered the bicycles in photo-realistic images, which are both weirdly fascinating and beautiful. Check out his “velocipedia” for more.

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