Welcome to NewsFile, our bi-weekly round-up of the latest news in the worlds of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art. This week we showcase Design Milk’s Editor at Large Katie Treggiden‘s new book Urban Potters and. Tune in throughout the week for updates on those stories. But up first, we jump in with the Battersea Power Station‘s outdoor sculpture installation.
Jesse Wine + Haffendi Anuar Chosen for Battersea Power Station Installation
Battersea Power Station’s ‘Powerhouse Commission,’ in partnership with the CASS Sculpture Foundation, is part of the renovated effort to find and elevate international artists with “an exceptional opportunity to achieve new levels of ambition by creating an outdoor sculpture.”
Nine artists were invited to submit proposals for their site-specific outdoor sculptures, and among those on the shortlist, Jesse Wine and Haffendi Anuar‘s projects were selected. Wine’s work draws on that of Henry Moore.
British-born, New York-based Jesse Wine’s work will mirror the timeline of Battersea Power Station through the historical development of sculpture during the same period, from 1933 through to the present day. The work will directly reference Battersea Power Station’s local history of sculpture by re-creating and re-interpreting the work of Henry Moore, who studied at the Royal College of Art and presented work in Battersea Park. At the same time, it will retain Wine’s signature style, adorned with depictions of objects – including cups of tea, sandwiches, notepads and flat caps – suggesting a huddle of workers paused for a tea break on this icon of 20th century British art.
Anuar’s work features towering ceramic stilts, or pilotis, traditional architectural columns that lift a building above ground or water.
[Pilotis] are commonly found in stilted dwellings, such as fishermen’s huts, across Asia. Within the context of Battersea Power Station, Machines for Modern Living are intended as surrogates of BPS’ chimneys. By installing them on ground level at Circus West, their presence will be anchored to the site, bringing the distant chimneys of Battersea Power Station within grasp. The complex forms of the sculptures with their angular stacks allude to both western minimalism and traditional Malaysian-Indonesian architecture.
Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal
Chinese architect and ZAO/standardarchitecture founder Zhang Ke has been awarded the 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal. ArchDaily writes the medal recognizes an architect who is “exceptionally accomplished in the field of creative architecture and has carried on Aalto’s legacy of sustainable, humane design.”
The jury praised him as an architect who “stands to resist against the context of China’s rapid urbanization and to promote individuality in an effort to manifest an alternative point of view, going against the commercial mainstream of the country’s standard practices.”
We particularly like his traditional brick hutong renovation (pictured below). ArchDaily writes the small alley flanked with courtyard residences was dotted with several small add-on structures from families of the years. Instead of eliminating them, the architecture firm found the structures to be an important historical element and “a critical embodiment of Beijing’s contemporary civil life.” The structures now beautifully house a library, an art space and various gathering spots.
Zhang Ke received his Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1998. His work has been featured at the many exhibitions and biennals in Europe. Many honors have been awarded to Zhang Ke and his studio ZAO/standardarchitecture.
The medal was presented by the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, the Architectural Society, the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Helsinki.
DIY Open Source Kiln
Check out this mega-cool “open source” kiln anyone would be able to assemble with easy and accessible materials. The design, submitted for Hackday Prize 2017 by a [Matt] (sic), features clay mixed with perlite, an insulating, refractory material, which is then molded into bricks, and fired, Hackday writes. The result is a brick that looks good enough to be made into a kiln.
[Matt] has already put a lot of work into the calculations required to figure out the heat transfer of this kiln. At best, this kiln is going to take 14 hours to get up to temperature. That’s incredibly slow, but then again, this kiln will be electric, and will only use 1500 Watts.
Mwabwindo School Awarded 2017 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award
Design Miami/ is pleased to announce the Mwabwindo School project as the recipient of the 2017 Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award. In its fourth year, the annual award is sponsored by Officine Panerai and celebrates significant contributions to the field of design. For the first time in the award’s history, the recipient is a collaborative project, conceived by 14+ Foundation, New York; Selldorf Architects, New York; and artist Rashid Johnson, with the addition of newly- commissioned furniture by Christ & Gantenbein, Basel.
About Mwabwindo School: 14+ Foundation is a New York City–based nonprofit established by Joseph Mizzi and Nchimunya Wulf in 2012 to develop, build, and operate schools in rural African communities. The organization’s initiatives are centered on the following core tenets: empowering children through education, achieving meaningful engagement with the communities they serve, promoting arts-based education, and the belief that quality design can not only inspire, but also make a difference.
Mwabwindo School, which will open in 2018 and serve primary school students in rural southern Zambia, will be the second school in the region developed by 14+ Foundation, an organization committed to increasing education accessibility in rural African communities, where travel distance to school is one of the biggest impediments to quality education.
“Nchimunya and I were absolutely thrilled to open our first school in January 2015, which has now grown to serve almost 250 students with a fully cost-free education, and includes important community-based projects and programs. Our newest project, Mwabwindo School, designed by Selldorf Architects, represents a meaningful and organic expansion of our projects and programs within nearby rural Zambian communities.” -co-founder of 14+ Foundation, Joseph Mizzi.
The school’s design by Selldorf Architects, New York, is inspired by the tall trees on the surrounding savanna that serve as shaded gathering spaces. The complex will comprise mud-brick classrooms for 200 students arranged around courtyards and covered by a large corrugated metal roof canopy, housing for eight teachers, a vegetable garden, and playing fields. Handmade bricks have been fabricated on site and buildings will be constructed by local masons, providing employment and training opportunities. Rainwater will be collected for use in the garden, solar panels will provide energy for the school and teachers’ housing, and a windmill will power the facility’s well water. The design will also incorporate a mural installation to be created on-site by contemporary artist Rashid Johnson in collaboration with Mwabwindo School students, emphasizing the importance of art-based educational projects and programs.
“Working on the Mwabwindo School has been inspiring for our office; committing to the potential of architecture and beauty to create meaningful change in people’s lives is powerful,” said Annabelle Selldorf, principal of Selldorf Architects. “And now seeing how the school is coming together and the way the community in Mwabwindo has already taken it on as a point of local pride, is immensely exciting. Design Miami’s recognition of the potential of collaborative and socially conscious design with the Visionary Award will amplify this important message.”
The project will also involve providing the larger community of Mwabwindo Village with vital improvements to infrastructure and access to goods and services, including wells and water systems, increased access to medical services, recreational areas, and more.
Text from Design Miami.
Ceramic Chronicles in New Book Urban Potters
Design Milks’ Editor at Large Katie Treggiden has written her third book. Urban Potters: Makers in the City. The book explores the contemporary ceramics movement and features 28 artists in six cities around the world: London, Copenhagen, New York, Sao Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo, Design Milk writes.
“My hope is to tell a more inclusive story of clay, recognizing the diversity of its craftsmen – and women.”
Treggiden tells Design Milk, her book also sheds light on the formative work of women in ceramics, including that of Marguerite Wildenhain, Rith Duckworth and Eva Zeisel. In the chapter on New York City Teggiden tells the stories of how these women—all of whom came to the US to escape from Nazi Europe—inspired generations of ceramics artists to come with their experimental styles.
Stay tuned for more newsy tidbits and happenings from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art throughout the week. And as always, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below.