What annoys me most about design today?

September 25th, 2012

Earlier this year, I presented remarks at the Gravity Free conference in Chicago, organized by Exhibitor Magazine and my friend Lee Knight. The event is an annual conference that is not to be missed. There were presentations on everything from comic book design to 3D printing–did you know we’re about to be able to print [...]

I.M. Pei’s Islamic Art Museum

March 7th, 2012

The Islamic Art Museum was commissioned to I.M. Pei by the Emir of Qatar. Construction finished in 2006, and the museum opened to the public in December, 2008. The museum is one of Pei’s best projects after the Louvre renovation and the pyramid. The geometric patterns of islamic patterns fit so perfectly I.M. Pei’s general [...]

I love shadows in museums

March 6th, 2012

The Islamic Art Museum in Doha was designed by the great I.M. Pei. It is a thing of beauty. I’ll post about the museum itself more tomorrow. Inside, there were many fine exhibits, but one thing caught my eye particularly: the shadows. Sometimes museum lighting causes multiple shadows on the wall or display table, and, in [...]

Curious Arab structures in Doha

March 5th, 2012

I’m not sure what these three things are, but they sure look authentic. My first impression was they were what the offspring of a cactus and wind tower would look like. They really cool forms and quite iconic. The lighting both at the towers’ bases and at sunset was gorgeous and dramatic. These huge icons [...]

I finally found Dubai’s cultural center

March 1st, 2012

My colleague David Park joined me in Dubai last week. As David and I walked around the spice souk we smelled the spices and loved some of their textural qualities. As we left to catch the boat across the creek, we found a wonderful area called the Baskakija, near the Dubai Museum. The Baskakija is filled [...]

Sir Norman Foster’s Sheikh Zayed Museum

February 29th, 2012

The Sheikh Zayed Museum which is–being designed by Sir Norman Foster–will be quite an icon. I’m not yet sure how the spaces will be used, but it will a sight to behold, which is what a lot of Abu Dhabi and Dubai is about. The view from a distance is unique and powerful, but I wonder [...]

Tadao Ando’s zen-like Maritime Museum

February 28th, 2012

Tadao Ando is well known for his poetic minimalist spaces. This project on Sadayat Island, Abu Dhabi is a beautifully rendered form that reminds me of the dow boats in Dubai. Speaking of boats, the boat passing through the center of the model is amazingly poetic. This is an amazingly unique and creative building. The museum’s spaces [...]

The museums of Sadayat Island

February 27th, 2012

Last week, I visited the Emirates Place Hotel in Abu Dhabi and saw an exhibit on the Sadayat Island museums. Sadayat Island has been developed on-and-off over the past few years, and may now be stalled a bit once again. The plan is to bring some of the greatest art and architecture to Abu Dhabi. [...]

More images of Dubai Mall lights

February 24th, 2012

Dubai Mall also features another Danny Barnycz LED lighting design. This piece is actually a nice filler in an otherwise boring center court. It’s really big.

Dubai’s monstrous penguins

February 23rd, 2012

No, Dubai doesn’t really have giant penguins–although with all the other exotic attractions there, you couldn’t be faulted for thinking so. Driving from the Dubai Mall the other day, I happened to see  two penguin-shaped buildings. I thought I ad seen it all but two penguins in the middle of the desert–now that’s a new [...]