Author Archive


I started reading Alain de Botton’s “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work” on my flight from London to Lisbon last Wednesday. I got the book after seeing de Botton in conversation with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library last month. De Botton is a master in revealing the extraordinary behind the commonplace of our globalised world. In his latest book, he does just does that – wonderfully. And just as I was about to land in Lisbon I found a paragraph that talks about our warped notion of time through the life and death of strawberries. Indulge me if you will. (more…)


While Tulga is heading further East, I’m going North.
I’m taking the Adirondack train from New York to Montreal, which covers the 613km that separate the two cities in just over 10h. A high-speed train it is not, but this is the United States and the Obama Administration’s rail stimulus package is just getting started.

I’m going to Montreal next week not only for the scenic journey along the Hudson Valley, or to discover North America’s most European city, but to attend the opening of the “Speed Limits” exhibition, which takes place on May 19th at the CCA - Canadian Centre for Architecture.

I heard about “Speed Limits” from Cathy Leff, director of the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, who was a guest speaker in one of our D-crit classes this semester. The Wolfsonian co-organised the exhibition with CCA in Montreal, and will be hosting it in 2010.

According to CCA, this exhibition, curated by Jeffrey T. Schnapp (Stanford Humanities Lab), “addresses the pivotal role played by speed in modern life: from art to architecture and urbanism to graphics and design to economics to the material culture of the eras of industry and information. It also marks the centenary of the foundation of the Italian Futurist movement”.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what seems like a scholarly, historical approach to our overarching topic of discovery and discussion.


Still from Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time

Still from 'Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time'

One of my favorite presentations at the Design and Film symposium I attended at the Cooper Hewitt Museum last March was Stuart Kendall’s talk on the film Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. The documentary, directed by German filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, focuses on Goldsworthy’s site-specific sculptural work.

I was particularly interested in Kendall’s reading of this film, which he says it is not about making, but about modifying things. To Kendall, Goldsworthy’s work challenges an anthropocentric view of the world (as vindicated from Descartes to the multiculturalist agenda), the fetishism of the heroic creator or the question of artistic and environmental appropriateness.  Kendall’s lecture explored the concepts of modification vs. creation, of art – but also design – as disciplines that are part of a historical and material continuum he called long now.