12.008: Cincinnati Builds the WorldPosted: 25 June 2012 | Author: bcooper | Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment »
The exhibition Cincinnati Builds the World: Local Designers. Global territory. opens tomorrow Tuesday June 26th from 6-8pm at the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati (811 Race Street). Eleven design practices showing a total of 15 projects are exhibited at the gallery.
Stop into the gallery to check out the projects (participating designers at bottom of page). Directly below is text from the exhibition catalog (available for free at the gallery):
Design is a global territory. It is a universal language that becomes distinguishable with the specificities of a project. Design should be aesthetically pleasing and functionally competent on all scales, but the answers to those problems fluctuate. This territory, cannot be physically marked, “[Design] is [design]. There is no boundary.” Instantaneous information exchange and overnight transportation enable designers to work internationally with ease and bring back “suitcases of knowledge” to their local work. The participating local designers are individual groups working from Cincinnati, which is building the world through these people, their projects, and stories.
The maps and climate diagrams in this catalog begin to create a framework for understanding the context of a project and a place relative to another. The information is only basic and broad, much like the detail of a world map. The stories share common generalities whose specificities are drastically different project-to-project. Setting, point-of-view, and plot resonate in the design projects and begin to show how design can communicate as a story.
CBTW is set in 9 countries on three continents. However, two design projects do not have a singular setting. Universal Symbols for Healthcare is environmental graphic design of symbols to communicate medical terms and specialties. These symbols began from rigorous research and were refined through proven testing standards in order to design the symbols that translate best to a global audience. Hablamos Juntos and the Society of Environmental Graphic Design recognized that visual design can transcend language barriers. However, it was difficult to achieve 85% approval goal for each symbol because of different meanings in particular cultures, such as symbols that represent medical aid with a Swiss cross in predominantly Muslim cultures. The symbols are fully implemented at four test sites and are now freely available for use
Spaces Can Be Brands, Too recognizes that P&G’s workplaces are important symbols of the company. P&G’s headquarters is in Cincinnati, but it is a global company with workplaces around the world. Kolar’s project is 3-dimensional branding. Kolar uses brand guidelines and design principles that are adapted and successfully integrated in P&G workplaces in various cities. In order to do this, Kolar had to define the principles (color, shape, transparency, materials, visual style, and transition) that are locally inspired and executed while communicating a unified brand. This is a global strategy that recognizes and works with the specifics of different
All other projects in the exhibition have an identifiable and specific setting. Each setting provides different opportunities. China began rapid development and urbanization early in the millennium. The country continues to plan for land development and large structures. Riverside Square is located on the airport highway and is intended to serve as one corner of a gateway to Taiyuan. The site is currently a vacant lot with little development surrounding it. Similarly, Mentougou Tower is to serve as a gateway to Beijing. Its observation deck provides views to the urbanized center of Beijing to the east and the natural environment of the mountains to the west.
The diversity of countries in CBTW shows that development is not concentrated in a single region, but is spread throughout the world. In stark contrast to the urbanization of China, two projects are isolated from a built environment and reside in a rural context. These projects continue to take cues from their local culture through building techniques or material experience. Working internationally is a trade-off between one’s own knowledge of design and construction combined with utilizes a culture’s techniques, strengths, and traditions as an advantage.
The buildings that rise in a setting are not always inspired by the physical place, but sometimes by the place’s culture or history. Sochi Park Adventureland will be complete for the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is a combination of Russian history and culture manifest in the pavilions and attractions. Champlin Architecture incorporated principles of feng-shui into the contemporary design for a private residence in a single family development. The home opens to the exterior with varying levels of privacy to take advantage of site features. A day of shopping in Mexico City, especially as experienced in Liverpool Interlomas, is an all-day event. The building has to serve as an attraction and entertainment. The design team created the full-height atrium which pulls shoppers up to the roof-top park and gourmet area as a destination.
The general problems or opportunities that confront design become specific as the plot unfolds and reveals the complex nature of design projects. A359 originally received an invitation to submit a proposal for a public service hall in Zugdidi, Georgia. After being awarded the project, the site was relocated to Poti, Georgia and the design had to adapt. The building responds to Georgia’s initiatives to have centralized spaces for government services, to be more transparent, and to make interaction with government agencies easier for its
The Village Life Outreach Project began from the initiatives of a medical professional. Eventually there was a need for a medical building in Roche and the project began through dialogue with the Roche community. Emilio Fernandez designed the Liga Contra la Ceguera Hospital as a hospital for ophthalmology. His uncle, a well-known ophthalmologist, founded the hospital. He wanted a place to teach ophthalmology and provide affordable or free care for those that could not afford to pay a fee for what was, at the time, a rare specialty in the country. However, the revolution took place during construction and Emilio had to leave the country. The project was never completed as intended.
More than any other aspect, the designers’ relationships helped them secure the work exhibited. The client for the South China Botanical gardens contacted Rough Brothers, who then contacted SFA Architects. Their previous relationship with Rough Brothers led to involvement in the proposal submission for a new conservatory. Networking in different places often pays off, as it did for A359. A team member attended a real-estate conference in France and created a relationship that lead to their involvement with the service hall in Poti.
The multiple points-of-view in design are important aspects: designer, client, user, etc. Ferrari World’s client was Aldar Properties, a developer in the United Arab Emirates that received approval to use Ferrari’s brand. Ferrari produces an expensive, exclusive product experienced by few. Through Ferrari World, the brand gets to be experienced by all visitors. The brand extends to the Ferrari shield, viewed with cameras under the planes that fly in and out of Abu Dhabi’s airport. Jose Garcia Design envisioned the End of the World Spa, but is also part of the business development team. The design is closely linked to the value of the spa. The renderings and images become part of the package, portraying the quality and aesthetic of the spa to potential investors. The message and value must be communicated to a client before and after a project’s execution. The Park 5 development is intended for residents of different nationalities near the center of Beijing. GBBN’s design reflects an international culture and creates a feeling of exclusivity through ground floor retail and courtyard. The units were quickly filled after construction finished, responding to changing cultural demands.
Design’s story can cross language barriers because it asks general questions, similar amongst disparate particular problems. Design is a universal language–a global territory –with different dialects. You can understand similarities from afar, but specifics are revealed with more experience as your vocabulary expands. Some buildings stand out depending on your point-of-view, and each story is unique, even in similar settings. There are always options, but eventually you have to write the story.
A359 Partners in Architecture
FRCH Design Worldwide
Jack Rouse Associates
Jose Garcia Design
REZTARK Design Studio
University of Cincinnati School of Design
Village Life Outreach Project
Bradley Cooper, GBBN
Carmen Seger, Kolar Design
Danny Luegering, GBBN
Elizabeth Schmidt, GBBN
Stefan Cornelis, GBBN
Mary Jo Minerich, GBBN