Milwaukee mayor declares September 16 Santiago Calatrava Day

Santiago Calatrava at opening

The city of Milwaukee has dedicated September 16 to Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to commemorate the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, completed in 2001.

The announcement came during a visit to the museum by the 71-year-old architect to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the building’s opening in October 2021.

“I’m speechless,” said Calatrava on hearing the announcement at a live press conference. “As an architect, you see who works here and there, I mean, it never happens to me, something like that.”

Milwaukee’s mayor Cavalier Johnson presented Calatrava with a plaque commemorating the occasion and thanked the architect for jumpstarting “Milwaukee’s renaissance”. The mayor read a proclamation that referred to the pavilion as an “icon for the city of Milwaukee and a touchstone of civic pride”.

Santiago Calatrava speaking at MAM opening
Santiago Calatrava designed the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, which opened in 2001. Photo by Dennis Felber

Calatrava — for whom the announcement came as a surprise — took the stage and thanked the people of Milwaukee for the recognition.

The architect also noted the care given to the structure saying that entering the museum again more than 20 years later was “like the opening day”.

Since its construction, the Quadracci Pavilion has become a central part of the architectural character of Milwaukee and the addition of the building made the museum the largest arts institution in the state of Wisconsin, a title it still holds.

It has become emblematic of the museum as a whole, with its shape presented on the museum crest, and locals referring to the building simply as “the Calatrava”.

Quadracci Pavilion image
The structure sits on the shore of Lake Michigan. Photo by John Magnoski Photography

“With the Quadracci Pavilion, Calatrava designed not only an internationally celebrated architectural feat, but a lasting symbol of innovation, inspiration, and momentum for the city of Milwaukee,” said the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The museum was Calatrava’s first project in the United States. Added to a site that already held buildings by Eero Saarinen and David Kahler, the 142,050-square-foot (13,197-square-metre) Quadracci Pavilion was designed with three separate but integrated components.

Quadracci Pavilion view from the lake.
The structure has become an important part of Milwaukee’s architectural identity. Photo by John Magnoski Photography

“For a young architect, as I was at the time, working on my first major project in the USA, there was no shortage of motivation to deliver my very best: the picturesque location, the architectural heritage and the world-renowned art collection provided ample inspiration,” Calatrava told Dezeen.

“The Art Museum in Milwaukee has remained in my mind as one of the most interesting and uplifting experiences in my whole career.”

Wings on top of Quadracci Pavilion
A pair of movable brise soilel wings tops the building. Photo by John Magnoski Photography

Calatrava said that the beauty of the lake and the presence of many works by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the area were large inspirations for the Quadracci Pavilion design.

Jutting out into the lake, Windhover Hall is a large public space that connects two galleries and looks like the bow of a ship from the outside. The ship-like edges of the building continue around the facade in arcs that cantilever over expansive glazing.

Above Windhover Hall are two massive “wings” called the Burke Brise Soliel. The wings are made up of 72 steel beams and the whole structure is movable to provide different shading angles depending on the time of day.

Weighing 90 tons, the wings take approximately 3.5 minutes to close and are guided by a series of sensors that monitor wind speeds. If high speeds are detected, the wings close automatically.

Inside of Quadracci Pavilion
The building has a large central public space. Photo by Kat Schleicher

The final component of the design is a long bridge that connects the primary structure to the city. It is partially supported by suspension wires connected to a tall metal mast that rises parallel with the wings of the Burke Brise Soliel.

Calatrava’s design required the pouring of concrete into custom wooden moulds in order to achieve the smooth edges of the building and bridge.

The museum announced a free day at the museum as part of the celebrations. The holiday has only been announced for 2022, and it is unclear if it will be extended to future years.

Since the Quadracci Pavilion, Calatrava has designed a number of structures in the United States including Oculus, a transportation hub at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Calatrava founded his studio in 1981 and has since become one of the world’s best-known architects.

Other noteworthy projects include the multi-structure City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain and the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.

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The TourBox Elite, a UI Add-On with All the Controls

This fascinating TourBox Elite object looks like a teaching aid for a UI course: It features buttons, a dial, a scroll wheel, a knob, a D-pad, et cetera.

It connects to your computer via Bluetooth, and each controller can be assigned a function of your choosing.

Some suggested applications:

It’s currently being sold at a “back to school” discount of $219 (vs. $268) that ends on September 25th.

QuickDraw: A Hidden Under-Desk Charging Cable Mount

This clever little gizmo is by Elevation Lab, an industrial design firm that evolved into a brand, following a wildly successful iPhone dock they designed and Kickstarted in 2012. Today the company designs and sells both desk accessories and Apple accessories.

Called QuickDraw, it adheres to the underside of your desk, keeping your charging cable tidily out of the way. A quick-release mechanism holds the cable in place, and a spring-loaded clip allows you to reel more or less cable, as needed.

Here’s how it works:

QuickDraw runs just $13.

Galaxy Air earpiece concept uses hand gestures to interact with your phone

Remember the early days of Bluetooth earpieces that looked like a piece of hard candy coming out of just one ear? Although we have long grown away from those designs toward more discreet TWS earbuds, it seems the design pendulum is swinging back to that position. Of course, the “stem” design of the likes of the AirPods isn’t that obnoxious, but it did tell designers that it was OK to go beyond conventions again. This design concept definitely breaks free from today’s common design trends and embraces some highlights of the past, all for the sake of delivering a new experience in controlling your smartphone without taking it out of your pocket or even touching any device at all.

Designer: Yash Saboo

There are a few ways that allow you to use your smartphone without touching it, at least for some of the most basic functions. You can command Apple Siri or Google Assistant by voice, or you can tap and swipe on your smartwatch for some functionality that’s available on your wearable. Voice control isn’t always feasible in all situations, though, and not everyone has a smartwatch. A lot of people have Bluetooth earbuds, and those at least let you control music and calls. The range of controls available here, however, is severely limited because you can only map a few taps or even fewer swipes to certain actions.

This Bluetooth earpiece concept blasts the door wide open by expanding the number of actions you can make. Instead of relying on limited taps and swipes, you’ll be able to use hand gestures made in front of your face or ear to control the smartphone in your pocket or on your table. A two-finger wave, for example, can accept or end calls, while twitching your index finger can make an emergency call. Of course, you can still use taps and swipes on the earpiece itself for media playback, freeing hand gestures for other actions like reading notifications or your schedule.

To make gesture recognition possible, you will definitely need more hardware than can fit in tiny earbuds. That’s why this design goes a bit back in time to reuse some designs from previous years. The over-the-ear design, for example, has mostly disappeared by now, but it’s utilized here to offer a secure fit for a bone conduction headset. Yes, this doesn’t go inside your ear but allows you to be completely aware of your surrounding even while wearing it. Unfortunately, that technology hasn’t exactly retained its popularity, but it’s still a better option in this context.

The most important part of the earpiece, however, is all the electronics that are crammed in a case that will hang behind your ear. It’s similar, in a way, to how some hearing aids try to hide those same parts, but this time there’s really no attempt to mask its presence. After all, it needs to be able to see what’s in front of your ear so that it can detect hand gestures.

It’s admittedly an unorthodox design that may or may not be uncomfortable to wear over long periods of time. The fact that it also works only on one ear makes it less useful for enjoying music or watching videos with stereo sound. It’s still an interesting take on how we can expand the ways to control our phones with hand gestures without having to wear smart glasses that open an entirely different can of worms.

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Sandy Powell, Joycelyn Longdon, Indy Johar and Don McCullin announced winners of 2022 London Design Medals

Sandy Powell

Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell has been awarded this year’s London Design Medal, while PhD student Joycelyn Longdon received the emerging designer title.

Powell and Longdon are joined by architect Indy Johar, who has received the Design Innovation Medal, and renowned photographer Don McCullin, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Medal.

The four medals are awarded by the London Design Festival to established and emerging designers who have contributed to London and the design industry.

Sandy Powell
Top: photo is by Manfred Werner courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. Above: Sandy Powell is the winner of this year’s London Design Medal. Photo is by Tim Walker

The London Design Medal is described as “the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence”.

This year’s winner is south London-born Powell, who has designed costumes for over 50 films and received Oscar and BAFTA awards for her work on films The Favourite and Shakespeare in Love, among others.

Winning the London Design Medal was “exciting,” Powell said.

“In film, it’s the people who have worked on the right project that year who get awarded,” Powell said.

“I’m very grateful and appreciate the fact that my work is recognised, but the London Design Medal is more exciting because it’s design across the board, not just me and other costume designers.”

Costume design by Sandy Powell
She has received the award for her costume designs

Powell is the 16th recipient of the award, which has been given out annually since 2007. Previous winners include designer Ilse Crawford, who won last year, as well as designers Thomas Heatherwick and Es Devlin and architect David Adjaye.

This year’s Emerging Design Medal, which is awarded to work created within five years of the recipient graduating, was awarded to Cambridge University student Longdon.

Longdon is completing a PhD in the Artificial Intelligence For Environmental Risk (AI4ER) programme and is also the founder of online education platform Climate In Colour.

Her interdisciplinary research includes fieldwork carried out in Ghana, where Longdon is working with local people to install acoustic sensors with the aim of recording ambient forest noise and wildlife.

Joycelyn Longdon
Longdon has been awarded the emerging designer title. Photo is courtesy of the London Design Festival

She plans to revisit the country next year and hopes to build an interactive tool that helps the communities she has worked with to engage with the ecological data taken from the sensors.

“I’m drawn to working on problems that are affecting those who live closest to nature but are going to be the most vulnerable to it,” said Longdon.

“If technology is going to play a bigger part in conservation, then I think people need to build that technology in equitable and respectful ways.”

Indy Johar
Johar will take home the Design Innovation Medal. Photo is courtesy of the London Design Festival

Johar will take home the Design Innovation Medal, which “celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally”.

Co-founder of Architecture 00, Johar’s studio has completed a number of projects including a building in the Design District on London’s Greenwich Peninsula.

More recently, the architect founded Dark Matter Labs, a “field laboratory” with a focus on the power structures at play within the built environment.

“We’re in a moment where most of the world around us is going to have to be reimagined,” said Johar.

“Design is an act of synthesis, so I think it will play a central role across the material, social and institutional, and how they interweave. I see the discipline growing.”

Don McCullin
McCullin has won the Lifetime Achievement Medal. Photo is by Matilda Temperley, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Photojournalist McCullin has won the Lifetime Achievement Medal, which “honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career”.

Known especially for his war photography as well as his work documenting people in urban Britain, McCullin won the British Press Award in 1961 for his essay on the construction of the Berlin Wall and was the first photojournalist to be awarded a CBE in 1993.

“Everything you do with the camera is creative. It can be a lethal weapon, telling ugly truths, but it can also tell happy stories,” said McCullin.

“Whatever I was doing, I always made sure I did it peacefully. Instead of a rifle, I took the camera.”

The four creatives will receive their medals at an awards ceremony held at St Bartholemew’s Hospital in London on Thursday 22 September as part of the London Design Festival.

London Design Festival 2022 takes place from 17-25 September 2022. See our London Design Festival 2022 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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The Top Marble Look tiles by Marazzi

Photograph showing dining chairs and table with marble patterned wall, floor and tabletop

Dezeen Showroom: tile manufacturer Marazzi has expanded its grande line of tiles to include an antibacterial surface flecked with veining simulating the look of marble stone.

The Top tiles are designed for use as kitchen surfaces, backsplashes, tables, doors and for other bespoke applications thanks to their natural aesthetic combined with cutting-edge hygienic enhancement.

Photograph showing dining chairs and table with marble patterned wall behind
They combine the durability of marble with contemporary hygiene technology

Tiles are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that makes them odour, stain resistant and antibacterial.

Like genuine marble, the ceramic tiles are highly durable and can withstand use in high-traffic areas in both residential and public settings.

Photograph showing contemporary living space with marble walls and floor
Tiles are available in three natural colourways

Tiles are available in matt, satin and glossy finishes in black, golden white and statuario colours.

They come in three thicknesses – 6, 12 and 20 milimetres – for use across a range of applications.

Product: The Top Marble Look
Brand: Marazzi

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Cesar's Tangram kitchen island aims to introduce "concept of sinuosity to kitchen design"

Cesar's Tangram kitchen island

Promotion: design studio Garcia Cumini has created a customisable kitchen island for kitchen brand Cesar, which is informed by an ancient Chinese game of geometric shapes that can create “endless figures”.

Named Tangram, Cesar‘s kitchen island consists of both curved and straight shapes that can be combined to create multiple configurations.

Users can use Tangram to create unusual, creative designs, with the unit either used as an island, placed against a wall, or even used as a solution to wrap around awkward corners.

The kitchen island also has a sink, tap, hob, a cabinet for storage, and an area designed for breakfast.

Cesar's Tangram kitchen in a showroom
The kitchen island includes both straight and curved elements

“Inspired by the ancient Chinese game of geometric shapes that can be combined with one another to create endless figures, this product echoes modular logic while avoiding linearity and introducing a new concept of sinuosity to kitchen design,” said Cesar.

Tangram was also designed to adapt to user needs – in some areas of the design, the circular surfaces get smaller, which intends to give the user more space.

Cesar's Tangram kitchen island
The island includes a sink, tap, hob and breakfast area

“Adapting to various needs, its eccentric shapes aren’t made up of simple semicircles or portions of circles, but rather follow a soft and variable radius: in some points, for example, the shapes get smaller to take up less space and make it easier to get by,” said Cesar.

The island’s cabinet doors include the brand’s Oi and Accento handles, which were designed to fit into the doors’ three-dimensional grooves.

A close up detailed view of Tangram
The design comes in a range of finishes

The design’s cabinet door can also include a special decorative detail upon request. An irregularly patterned element called Groove can also be added, which is made up of a sequence of vertical incisions designed to hide the joint between modules and “ensure a unitary perception of the arrangement”.

Tangram’s cabinet comes as a wall element or in a two-faced version, which can also be used in multiple spaces, including a living room or dining room.

Tangram in black in the living room
Tangram can also be used in the living room

“Tangram, designed for Cesar, allowed us to bring a part of our design concept to the world of kitchens as well. In addition to the multi-functional nature of the projects designed up until now with Tangram, we were also able to introduce a fluidity and dynamism that’s certainly rather uncommon in this sector,” said Garcia Cumini.

“The contours have been softened thanks to the newly designed modules, a challenging element in an industrial system, but the kind that Cesar loves to take on.”

To view more about Tangram visit Cesar’s website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Cesar as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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Bizarre Geometric Scissors with Template Functionality

These bizarre Trisqucle scissors are by Japanese scissors manufacturer Zencix.

The name is derived from “triangle, square, circle.”

I could find virtually nothing about them, except that they’ve been in production since at least the 1980s; auction site Worthpoint is selling a vintage pair from that era.

The modern versions are carried by UK-based stationery brand Present & Correct, who has rebranded them Shape Scissors. They run £22.50 (USD $26) apiece.

Uji feat. Nyaruach: QuemaQuema

Argentinian ethnomusicologist and electronic music producer Uji returns with “QuemaQuema,” an enthralling track featuring a kinetic beat and bold vocals by South Sudanese recording artist Nyaruach. The single is set to appear on Uji’s forthcoming album, TIMEBEING (out 21 October). Corresponding with the song’s release is one stark yet sensational segment of director Jazmin Calcarami’s eight-part visual treatment for Uji’s LP; it’s an intimate, powerful and utterly tantalizing battle through dance.

Zaza modular sofa by Charles Wilson for King

Photograph showing sofa in living room

Dezeen Showroom: furniture brand King has collaborated with designer Charles Wilson to create a segmented sofa with a “relaxed tailored finish” that encapsulates Australian design.

The Zaza sofa features deep seats surrounded by plump arm rests, back rests and pillows with distinctive edge stitching that aims to cocoon the user.

Photograph showing detail of sofa upholstery
The designer intended to create a quintessentially Australian aesthetic

The sofa benefits from adjustable arms and backrests, allowing the user to alter angles to their needs, creating a comfortable place to sit and relax.

Its modular design allows it to be configured in a range of layouts for added flexibility.

Photograph showing sofa in living room
Zaza is modular and adjustable

“I think the key to Zaza’s success is the soft organic look on a modular sofa, which can sometimes be a contradiction in terms,” said Wilson.

Each module rests on slender steel sleigh legs finished in dark bronze and is available in fabric or leather upholstery.

Product: Zaza
Designer: Charles Wilson
Brand: King

Dezeen Showroom

Dezeen Showroom offers an affordable space for brands to launch new products and showcase their designers and projects to Dezeen’s huge global audience. For more details email

Dezeen Showroom is an example of partnership content on Dezeen. Find out more about partnership content here.

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