A British flower artist reinterprets fine art through her colorful arrangements, MoMA readies for its comeback, and Generator makes a big purchase. Here are five stories from the design industry that got our attention this week.
The countdown has started for MoMA’s comeback
Reopening to the public next week, Gensler and Diller Scofidio + Renfro recently completed the multiphase, $400 million expansion of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The highly anticipated renovation kicked off in 2014 and added 40,000 square feet, which includes a new lobby, bookstore, café, gallery spaces, and an expanded ground floor aiming to effortlessly connect passers-by with the museum.
Housed in the 1939 Goodwin-Stone building, “MoMA’s interior design reflects principles of 20th-century modernism that correlates with the existing fabric of the property,” we wrote at HD. The material palette was kept simple and acoustic panels made with a micro-perforated American Black walnut wood veneer were added to continue the intimate and serene aesthetic. “We wanted to bring a material palette that introduced warmth,” Charles Renfro told Dezeen . “We wanted to make the spaces more intimate.”
The updates also include the addition of the Studio for live performances and Crown Creativity Lab for education—further immersing visitors with new ideas on art.
Experience New York though Artificial Intelligence
Istanbul-born, Los Angeles–based new media and data artist Refik Anadol‘s latest installation, Machine Hallucination, is not only an AI-version of New York created with more than 100 million public photographs of the city pulled from archives and Instagram posts, but it’s also the first Manhattan-based exhibition for digital art space Artechouse. Located within the 6,000-square-foot boilerroom on the underground level of Chelsea Market, Artechouse is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova, and is what Pastukhova calls “a home where new media artists are free to create and show their work without limitations,” she told Architectural Digest.
A London florist transforms her pieces into works of art
British florist Harriet Parry‘s Instagram feed (@flowerinterpretations) showcases her unique talent. Here, she flaunts her ability to reinterpret art, film, and fashion into striking floral arrangements. It’s a skill she honed while working as an interior stylist. “We threw a lot of fake flowers into our design schemes,” she told Vogue. “That was actually one of the things that sowed the seed.” Now, she’s creating otherworldly floral arrangements for editorial shoots and weddings (the more dramatic and theatrical the better, she say). Not surprisingly for the avant garde artist, her dream collaboration is with David Lynch. “His work has ‘that hint of the unexpected, that touch of the slightly off-kilter,’ much like her own artistry,” she said to the fashion magazine.
Generator acquires Freehand Hotels
Two big pieces of hotel news were announced this week. First, two pioneering brands have come together. Generator, one of the fastest-growing hospitality brands in Europe, has recently expanded its sphere of influence by acquiring Sydell Group’s Freehand Hotels for $400 million. Led by London-based Queensgate Investments, which owns Generator, its procurement of a U.S.-based brand like Freehand with a strong character and reputation is not only “of great strategic importance to our company, but it will allow both brands to reach new audiences,” Generator CEO Alastair Thomann said in a statement. The acquisition grows Generator’s footprint to 18 global properties, which includes Freehand locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami—a smart move for the European company, which has been trying to break into the U.S. market.
Liz Lambert out at Standard’s Bunkhouse Group
In the second piece of hotel news, Liz Lambert, founder and owner of Austin-based Bunkhouse Group is out at the company she founded in 2006. Standard International bought a stake in the company before purchasing a 51 percent share in 2015, according to reporting by Skift. Though the acquisition made sense at the time—both have cornered a unique segment of the lifestyle market—it now seems the relationship was more complicated than it appeared. For Lambert, the iconic hotelier has made a name for herself with her chic lifestyle properties located in Austin and Mexico, with plans to expand to New Orleans next year. According to a statement, she’ll continue to be a part of that hotel, with a design from Lambert McGuire Design, her new venture created with restaurateur Larry McGuire.