A little tease

A little tease - we're announcing the winner of our furniture Design Awards at a function in Auckland on Thursday night (the full results will be published in our June/July issue, on shelves Monday June 6). The image below by Toaki Okano shows a few (but not all) of our finalists: the 'Odin' chair by Jamie McLellan (last year's Design Awards winner with his 'Flyover' table), the 'Fiord' table by Sam Haughton/IMO, a 'Weld' vase by Phil Cuttance (on the table), David Trubridge's 'Sola' light, and 'A2' stools by Sam Haughton/IMO.

Not pictured: the 'Isla' chair and ottoman by Alex Webster for Coast, the 'Adjutant' table by Nathan Goldsworthy, 'Band' shelves by David Moreland, and the 'Ruin' side table by Mark Seeney. You can check in here on our blog on Thursday night to see who the winner turns out to be.

Thanks again to our Design Awards partner, Daniel Le Brun, who made the awards possible and will be giving the finalists some of their fine product on Thursday night.

Chinese Art & Architecture

Steven Holl's 'Linked Hybrid' building in Beijing (below) is just one of the many attractions on the China Contemporary Art & Architecture tour in September, which takes in architectural and cultural attractions in Beijing, Shanghai and Xizhou. The tour is guided by two New Zealanders (who are also Beijing residents), John O'Loghlen and Sophia McKinnon, who have run similar and very successful tours like it in the past.

China can be a tough place to tour if you don't speak Mandarin, so this is a great way to see the country through its architecture and contemporary art. You'll also get access to many locations you wouldn't otherwise get to see. The tour lasts a week and numbers are limited to a total of 16. If you're interested in taking part or getting more information, you can email John on john@gunghoventures.com or Sophia at sophia.mckinnon@googlemail.com.

Ceramics at Art + Object

An interesting auction coming up at Auckland's Art + Object on June 8: The Martin Hill collection of International and New Zealand ceramics, billed as the most important collection of post-war studio ceramics ever assembled in New Zealand. The works in the image below are by (from left) Shoji Hamada, Hans Coper, Dame Lucie Rie, Tatsuzo Shimaoka and Michael Cardew. You can read more about the auction at the link here, and the works are all on display at the auction rooms now.

Michael Parekowhai in Venice

Artist Michael Parekowhai is representing New Zealand at the Venice Art Biennale, which opens on June 4, and bloggers Jim and Mary Barr are there watching Michael's grand installation be unloaded, a process involving cranes and barges and lots of potential complication (but no actual major hiccups so far). You can follow the action on Jim and Mary's blog at the link here. The image below is from their blog, showing one of the crates containing Michael's work being unloaded.

Some of you might remember that we featured some photographs of Michael's installation, On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer, in our April May 2011 issue.

We were lucky enough to see the works - a heavily carved grand piano, and two bronze replica pianos with giant bulls atop them - at a warehouse in west Auckland before they were packed up to be shipped to Venice. It was an amazing event - the carved piano was being played while the bronze bulls stood guard nearby, and there was something in the air that caused quite a few people to weep. In a nice way.

The photographs of the works below are by Jennifer French, courtesy of Michael Lett. The Venice Biennale is on until October 25, a fantastic excuse to visit that spectacular city (as if an excuse was needed).

Parsonson Architects in Dwell

Gerald and Kate Parsonson's holiday home on the Kapiti Coast, which Gerald designed and which won our Home of the Year award in 2001, is on the latest cover of Dwell, the US architecture magazine. 

Magazine Cover

You can see a slideshow of Matthew Williams' photographs of the bach at the link here.

If Matthew's name seems familiar, that's because he used to shoot for us until he moved to New York a few years ago. It's great to see good New Zealand architecture represented abroad. Remember you saw it in our mag first!

Another of Gerald's designs features in our upcoming June/July issue (which also contains our annual furniture Design Awards). We send our last pages of that issue to the printers tomorrow (it'll be on sale on June 6), and after that we start tackling the Home of the Year 2011 issue.

The Auckland Art Gallery


If you're in Auckland anytime soon, it's worth taking a walk up Kitchener Street to see the final touches being put on the refurbishment of the Auckland Art Gallery. There was some consternation when the refurbishment was first announced, mostly because the competition for the commission was won by Sydney architects FJMT, but our guess is that public opinion is now swinging in behind this alluring addition to the city's heart. The refurbished gallery is due to open in August. There's a webcam following the development on the gallery's website which you can access at the link here.

Did architecture kill the museum?


There's an interesting debate going on at New York Magazine's website at the moment, where the closure of the American Folk Art Museum, housed in a much-admired building by Williams Tsien, has the magazine's art critic Jerry Saltz blaming the architecture for the museum's demise. Read Saltz's rationale and architecture critic Justin Davidson's rebuttal at the link here. There are many New Zealand admirers of Williams Tsien's work - the couple gave a talk here only a few years ago - and James Timberlake named them as some of his favourite architects, so you can understand some of the vehement disagreement with Saltz's finger-pointing.

James Timberlake in the Dominion Post

Phew! We're back from our very busy week-long Home of the Year judging tour, with our visiting US architect James Timberlake (below) and New Zealand architect Patrick Clifford. We saw a great diversity of homes, and our thanks go out to the architects and owners of the homes on our shortlist for helping to arrange our visits. The finalists and winner of the Home of the Year award will be revealed in our August/September issue, out August 4.

While we were on the road, James gave talks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to a total of around 1,000 people, so thanks to all of you who came along. Highlights of his Auckland presentation will be posted online soon at eboss - we'll let you know when they go live.

In the meantime, James' interview with Hank Schouten of the Dominion Post is online now at the link here. Thanks again to Altherm Window Systems for making James' visit possible.
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