Helene Binet

‘glasgow’, 2010
architecture by zaha hadid
edition 8 + 2 ap / hand printed b/w silver gelatin (61 x 50.8 cm)
photo © hélène binet, courtesy gabrielle ammann // gallery, cologne

Architecture has immense power. It creates experience, whether gazing upon a built work, or looking out through framed viewports to the world beyond. Helene Binet captures the essence of these experiences beautifully. I find her work to be breathtaking, allowing us to feel the impact of intangible elements such as light, shadow and movement of form. These visceral moments are often impossible to comprehend without having the fortunate opportunity to experience them first hand. They are often found in the smallest detail, or from a vantage point only the camera can document, yet are critical to understanding of the architects vision and intent. The dramatic effect of her craft uniquely conveys the countless hours the designers have spent to envision and create these experiences. The images provide me with inspiration, appreciation and beauty.

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Vintage wallcoverings…

My earliest memory of wallpaper designs was in the apartment that I grew up in. It was a muted color landscape with metallic highlights. Strange how I could remember the details so well, and now I'm thinking the metallic touch was quite brilliant actually. What prompted me to write this post wasn't really about wallpaper actually, but rather Lucienne Day's textile designs. As I was reading an article about Robin & Lucienne Day, the fabric images that were shown in the story reminded me so much of a wallpaper exhibition that I went to in 1995 at the Cooper-Hewitt. So I went through my archive and dug up the booklet (shown above) from that exhibition – titled "Kitsch to Corbusier, wallpaper from the 1950s". Did you know Le Corbusier designed a line of solid-color wallpaper in 1932? The National Design Museum started collecting wallpaper in 1900 and now houses over ten thousand wallcoverings dating from the late 17th century to the present. Below are just a few of the designs from the booklet that I scanned in, some of them are still very much relevant, don't you think? Click here to view their collection online if you are interested to see more.

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Corbusier’s Voiture Minimum

Cover of new book, Voiture Minimum: Le Corbusier and the Automobile, published by MIT Press. All images © The MIT

Architect Antonio Amado has written a new book about the work of Le Corbusier. Published by The MIT Press, and released on March 4, 2011, it is an exploration into Corbusier's love of the automobile. As one would expect, the automobile envisioned by  Le Corbusier is a disciplined yet sculptural example of modern design. I wish this vehicle was available for purchase today. With trends toward compact and efficient vehicles, in the spirt of the Isetta, and the Citron 2CV, it would be a welcome vision on the road.

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