January 27, 2023

Happy Friday! Design Miami Shows and the World Cup saturated this week’s news, and our editors rounded up stories and announcements you may have missed. Here’s what you need to know for this first weekend of December:

Germane Barnes appointed artistic director of dieDAS in Saaleck

While architect and artist Germane Barnes’ fluffy and playful seating capsules landed in Miami’s Design District this week in Miami, the Miami-based, Chicago-born designer was named Artistic Director of dieDAS – Design Akademie Saaleck in Saaleck, Germany. Barnes takes over the role at dieDAS, an international school and scholarship program for designers, replacing Maurizio Montalti, an Italian designer and the institution’s first artistic director.

Along with a group of grantees, Barnes will “use methods of tactical urbanism to stimulate conversations about race, ethnicity, immigration, displacement and nationalism” in the region under the theme of Monumental Affairs, according to a press release. The work will examine the implications of monument building and canonization, particularly in relation to issues of race and oppression. This work is consistent with Barnes’ earlier artistic interests exploring the intersection of the built environment and black domesticity.

Barnes is no stranger to the international design scene, and in addition to the Miami Design District, his work has also been featured at MoMA, LACMA and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. He has also received a number of prestigious industry awards, including the 2021 Harvard Wheelwright Prize and the 2021 Architectural League Prize.

Texas Tech College of Architecture was renamed Huckabee College of Architecture

Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture announced yesterday that it will change its name to the Huckabee College of Architecture. The change follows a generous donation — the largest in the college’s history — by Chris and Robin Huckabee in honor of Tommie J. Huckabee, the founding director of Huckabee Architects, who attended college at the Lubbock-based institution from 1954 and subsequently founded one eponymous architecture firm, his own children attended university and his son Chris remained attached to his alma mater, serving on the Board of Regents from 2015 to 2021 and as Chairman from 2019 to 2021.

This isn’t the Huckabee family’s first donation to the college. In 2022, they launched the Timothy Terry Memorial Endowed Scholarship to honor a deceased friend, colleague, and former Texas Tech colleague. And in 2007, her donation created the Huckabee Student Lounge, officially known as The Corner.

In a joint statement from University Dean and Professor Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger, he said, “This very generous donation from the Huckabee family marks an important milestone for our college and Texas Tech University. The first class of architecture at Texas Tech was taught by the College of Engineering in 1927, and by 1986 architecture was a separate college. Now, in 2022, we are renamed Huckabee College of Architecture. This gift from the Huckabee family is transformative and will enable students, faculty, staff and friends of the college to reach new heights.”

How many migrant workers died building facilities for Qatar 2022 World Cup?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar just over a week ago and has been surrounded by controversy from the start. An interview between British TV personality Piers Morgan and Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, revealed that an estimated 400 to 500 migrant workers died during the construction of World Cup venues. This controversial figure comes after a 2021 report published in Guardianin which 6,500 migrant workers lost their lives between 2011 and 2020. (Qatar won the bid to host the global football showcase in 2010, and construction of the facilities began in 2011.)

To host the World Cup, Qatar built eight stadiums in addition to 17 non-competition venues in various cities across the small country.

Reacting to the disturbing news, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, said in a statement: “The ongoing debate over the number of workers who have died preparing for the World Cup exposes the stark reality that so many bereaved are still waiting for truth and justice.

“Over the past decade, thousands of workers have returned home in coffins without giving an explanation to their loved ones. The extreme heat and grueling working conditions in Qatar are likely to have contributed to hundreds of these deaths, but without full investigation, the true extent of the lives lost can never be known. Meanwhile, families suffer the added agony of severe financial insecurity that comes with the loss of the primary breadwinner.”

The Architectural League of New York Prize for Young Architects + Designers announces the 2023 theme: Uncomfortable

The Architectural League of New York has announced the theme for the 2023 Architectural League Award for Young Architects and Designers. Interested applicants have until February 15, 2023 to submit a portfolio and a statement on how they would react to the topic “Uncomfortable”.

The annual portfolio competition is open to architects, designers and studios with less than 10 years of non-bachelor’s or master’s degree experience living and working in North America.

The theme is open to designers’ interpretation and challenges applicants to consider uncomfortable issues such as climate change and labor practices or anything else that makes them uncomfortable.

The winners, announced in March, will present their work in June through a series of lectures, media and an exhibition. Each recipient will also receive a cash reward of $2,000.

This year’s jury consists of Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor; Wonne Ickx from the Mexican company Productora; Kyle Miller, architect and professor at Syracuse University; and Tya Winn, director of project planning for Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia and professor at Syracuse University.

Last year, the six award winners expressed their views on the subject of grounding. Past recipients of the League award have included Germane Barnes, New York designer Bryony Roberts and San Francisco-based company SAW.

Philadelphia launches design competition to create permanent statue of Harriet Tubman

Earlier this year, City of Brotherly Love officials temporarily erected a statue of pioneering abolitionist Harriet Tubman at City Hall to coincide with the 200th anniversary of her birth. Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom was designed by Wesley Wofford and was on view at Parish Hall until March 2022.

Public response was overwhelming, prompting Philadelphia officials to commission Wofford to design a permanent Tubman statue for the site, but this was ultimately met with scorn from local artists and community members, who felt that diverse and local artists missed the opportunity should have to bring their design ideas to the historical work.

This week, the city officially announced the open call for artists, and while it’s open to all, the announcement mentions that those who are local and “reflect the diversity of Philadelphia, as well as minority and female artists” are given priority be obtained.

The competition will be held in two phases. In the first phase, interested artists submit their qualifications by January 26, 2023. Following these submissions, five artists or teams of artists are selected to submit designs for public scrutiny. Installation is planned for either 2024 or 2025.

Further information on the project and competition can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *