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PingMag introduced and conducted an interview with Japanese artist Kazuhiko Kawahara, otherwise known as Palla. With a background in architecture, Palla took interest in photography and naturally he was led to taking pictures of cityscape structures. In addition, he would make adjustments to the photos by duplicating layers and rotating or flipping it over the original image. The result is a pleasing array of lines and patterns of urban structures. From the interview, you can get a sense that Palla puts a lot of thought into each piece, as it requires meticulous judgment on his part of how much to shift the images. All of his works dating back to 2002 are available on his weblog Pallalink.net.

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For those of you who are waiting on the renovations transformation project for the Royal Ontario Museum, Renaissance ROM, it looks as though it will be 6 months behind schedule. Designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind, this is intended to be one of several projects leading Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance, changing the image that the city is presented to the rest of the world. The Renaissance ROM is a $211 million project (estimated to be more now after the delay) which encompasses a 14,500-square-foot space known as The Crystal. This new expansion will be ‘a structure of organically interlocking prismatic forms, asserting the primacy of participatory space and public choreography’. The ROM hopes that they will not have to further delay their planned $50,000-a-table gala for June 1st, 2007.

-phil

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This fall, Gucci opens their new flagship store in Ginza, Tokyo. What’s special about this new location is that it is the first ever Gucci flagship to be housed in its own building. The 8 story tower is constructed with two layers of hanging glass panels that are clear and bronze. The result is an illuminated glow effect that radiates with a light installation in the nighttime.

Inside the first three stories of the shop, you will see men’s and women’s collections of handbags, luggage, accessories, and other staple Gucci goods. As well, the Gucci Cafe, located on the 4th floor, will allow shoppers can take a break from shopping and enjoy a view of the Ginza cityscape. The 6th floor is reserved for future gallery space. If that’s not enough, Gucci is introducing their “Made to Order” program where special custom orders will be taken for handbags to be handmade at Gucci’s Italian Workshop, while you are allowed to choose the most precious materials Gucci has to offer. This perk will be exclusive at the Ginza store. See more at the Gucci site.

-phil

Tashen Architecture Series

November 10, 2006

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Taschen brings a unique perspective to world architecture, displaying architectural trends by nation. Each book offers 15 to 20 architects with the focus on how they contributed to recent buildings in their nation. Entries include short biographies as well as terrific photography of the architects’ most significant recent projects. The France, United States and Japan editions are available this month while previous editions for the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Switzerland are available now. At $25 USD, you can’t really have an excuse not to own any of these essential reads.

– Jon