For modernist architect Shigeru Ban, the art of structural design isn’t just an exercise in aesthetics, but rather a means of solving important problems during humanitarian crises.
Though Ban stands as the mind behind iconic structures such as the Centre Pompidou-Metz in Lorraine, France, its his temporary structures that have perhaps garnered the most recognition, earning him this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious honor in the field of modern architecture.
In the wake of massive crises, Ban has lent his skills to designing temporary structures that bring both shelter and beauty to people in need. He has worked with the UN to design refugee shelters for displaced populations in countries like Turkey and Rwanda and has even built two temporary churches in cities shaken my natural disasters. After a powerful quake struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011 and severely damaged the city’s iconic 19th-century cathedral, Ban worked with local firm Warren and Mahoney to build the Cardboard Cathedral. The stunning, A-frame structure was made primarily out of cardboard tubing and paper, Ban predominant materials that are both cheaply accessible during times of crisis and are largely recyclable when the buildings come down.
This well-researched and thoroughly experienced first-hand guide to South Africa’s coastal ‘Mother City’ by prominent South African blogger Miss Moss offers a very hip, artistic and vibe-y list of places to see, shop, dine and visit in Cape Town - from winelands and cafes, to boutiques and art galleries.
Summer 2012, me and my then-boyfriend, now husband rented an apartment before I went on a yoga retreat in Provence. We took the Eurostar in from London and ran the streets in the misty rain. We hung in cafes and practiced french at the market and smoked hookahs with hip hop loving French Moroccan kids who now send me game requests on Facebook. We slept in a hard ass loft bed in an awesome apartment in the 3rd, and one day we had the fool ass idea to walk to the Eiffel Tower.
It looked close, we thought to ourselves. We started walking at 3 PM, meandered around canals and took breaks for dinner and looked at the stolen hieroglyphs at the end of the Tuileries and wound up there just before midnight, as the last elevator crept to the top of the tower. And I stood there and was stunned by the lights and the beauty and we kissed and we shared the moment and then tried to figure out how to get home on the metro since our legs were on fire.
A couple days later we were trekking around the 18th and climbing the stairs to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. I didn’t know that at the top we would become engaged. And after he popped the question we sat and looked over the Paris skyline and hit up an art store and drank whiskey in the afternoon and watched Paris come home from work. This was before everything, before the fellowship and before the sickness and before the wedding and before the baby and before this other life I have now where I can’t even see the roses in my backyard.
I look at this photo, and just remember being so blissfully in love.
I just got around to seeing this movie, despite the fact that it did not get a wide-release.
Find it and watch it.
Believe me when I say, this film is in the same league of sci-fi/speculative film classics as Bladerunner and Children of Men.
Should have a HUGE fandom.
It deals with issues like class, caste-systems, oppression, and the nature of humanity in a way mainstream films like The Hunger Games never could.
Let me tell you a story about the film-maker Joon-Ho Bong. Some years back, I had the privilege of attending a screening of one his films and the man happened to be there. At that time, he’d already gotten some notice for making The Host, another awesome film that allegorizes heavy issues in humanity.
So, he does the q&a at the end and someone asks him why he’s never produced a Hollywood movie.
…And he says, paraphrasing; that Hollywood would never let him make the kind of movies he’d like. He’d have to hire an all-white cast and the actors would have to fit a certain aesthetic. They couldn’t be non-white, older than twenty-five, or non-thin…especially actresses.
He said, it’s not worth selling out, when he can make the kinds of movies he wants in South Korea.
…And then he makes this.
I’d love to spoil it for you, but suffice it say it was, as all good speculative sci-fi is, very effecting for me.
Again, I beg you PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE.
And if you need more convincing??
Your faves are in it: Octavia Spencer aka the above flawless actress in the poster, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris and the father/daughter pair from The Host, Kang-So Hung and Ah-Sung Ko (which had me thinking AU!).
Now, I shall commence spamming my tumblr with Snowpiercerreblogs…
peace and blessings to everyone trying to articulate and maintain better, more enlightened versions of themselves even when mediocrity and familiarity seem like seductive routes. let that flicker of longing for something better be enough light to sustain the first step….