Tiffany is a curator, educator, and writer. She has served as assistant director of exhibitions at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, as curatorial assistant at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and as the managing editor of
Pin-Up. Her writing as been featured in The Architectural Review, Artsy, Cultured, Disegno, Domus, Finnish Architectural Review, Metropolis, Surface, and The New York Times, among others. Tiffany Lambert's Articles A Lisson Gallery Exhibition Contemplates the True Meaning of Sculpture At New York’s Lisson Gallery, an unfettered approach to sculpture is the driving force behind a new group exhibition. On view through August 5, “The Odds Are Good, The Goods Are Odd” presents the work of 11 groundbreaking New York City–based contemporary artists. In the exhibition, sculptures are a metaphor. The presentation is filled with a broad variety of pieces that may evoke, prompt, or signify. In Wisconsin, an Exhibition of Analog Art Shaped by Digital Themes In his 1982 book Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, the late futurist John Naisbitt predicted that people employed by technology companies would crave real-world social connections with others—a phenomenon he called “high tech/high touch.” The best response to an increasingly digital, impersonal world, he believed, wasn’t resistance to it, but considering it from a human point of view. This Soundscape Brings an Age-Old Model of Communal Living to Life Morning prayer. Children playing. Cooking dinner. Singing a lullaby. The quotidian sounds that form our everyday experiences are those that Spanish filmmaker Carlos Casas recorded in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, while visiting mahallas—tight-knit, multi-generational living quarters that feature shared amenities including kitchens and gardens—that are being threatened by new real estate developments. The country currently has around 9,000 of them, each acting as an independent administrative unit that aids hundreds of residents through services such as resolving community issues and providing social assistance. Casas captured the soundscape of these spaces for “Mahalla: Urban Rural Living,” the pavilion of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, open today through November 21. (The project marks Uzbekistan’s inaugural participation in the event, and was curated and designed by Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, founding partners of the Basel-based architectural firm Christ & Gantenbein and professors at the Swiss research university ETH Zürich.) A New Book Examines the Enduring Relevance of Kintsugi as Metaphor Kintsugi, the time-honored Japanese practice of using powdered precious metals to repair broken ceramics, has steadily gained popularity in Western culture (aided, perhaps, by our increasing fervor for handcrafted pottery): It’s been the subject of TED Talks, exhibitions at leading institutions such as the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and written works that use it as a symbol for embracing one’s imperfections or as a model for sustainability. But learning about the origin of the craft in Japan, which likely took place during the late 16th or early 17th century, is critical to fully understanding the art form and its impacts. Both are surveyed in the Okinawa-born author and potter Bonnie Kemske’s new book Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend (Bloomsbury). In it, she interviews kintsugi masters, details various techniques, and considers potential grounds for the custom’s development. Here, Kemske discusses kintsugi’s origins and why it resonates so strongly with people today. This Olfactory Design Studio in Berlin Makes Scents That Stimulate the Soul For Shizuko Yoshikuni and Manuel Kuschnig, the Japanese-Austrian couple behind the Berlin-based olfactory design studio Aoiro, scent is essential to the success of any environment, adding an important experiential quality that goes beyond sight and sound. They make location-specific aromas for a wide range of clients—including Bang & Olufsen, Design Hotels, and Vitra, whose VitraHaus gallery in Germany reopened this week with a custom Aoiro scent diffused through the air of its entrance—with the aim of eliciting an emotion. Walk into any of their perfumed projects, and its savor is likely to be felt, not simply smelled. A New Book Tackles the Hotly Debated Role of Encyclopedic Museums Debates about whether encyclopedic museums—institutions that collect and contextualize cultural artifacts across time and space—should act as more than mere repositories date back decades, but have taken on a new urgency as of late. Now, institutions are contemplating their futures while navigating critical questions about representation, diversity, and the decolonization of both their programming and collections. Scholar and critic Donatien Grau, the head of contemporary programs at Paris’s Musée d’Orsay (and the guest on Ep. 12 of our At a Distance podcast), tackled these topics through interviews with nearly 30 leaders, and compiled the conversations in a new book, Under Discussion: The Encyclopedic Museum (Getty Publications). We recently spoke with Grau about the future of institutions and the layered, ever-evolving narratives of the objects they contain.
What central issues do encyclopedic museums face today, and what prompted you to explore them? The Obscure Familiarity of Eric Oglander’s Found-Object Sculptures Artist Eric Oglander gravitates toward materials that collapse time and space, and holds an unwavering faith in the power of found objects. The Tennessee native is something of an archeologist, with an eye for design—a hunter-gatherer who assembles his sculptures from a trove of discarded treasures, which he first started accumulating during walks in the woods as a kid. So it comes as no surprise that Oglander, now based in New York, is also a collector of folk art and antiques (he sells them via tihngs.com, and plans to open a brick-and-mortar shop of the same name in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens later this year). It’s an interest he shares with Patrick Parrish, a fellow dealer and owner of his eponymous Manhattan gallery, where Oglander’s new solo show, “P.E.,” is on view through May 15. Nakagawa Mokkougei Makes the World’s Most Exquisite Buckets In a year so necessarily and intensely domestic, it’s especially easy to appreciate the beauty and singularity of something designed and built with care. Nakagawa Mokkougei, a father-son shop with studios in Kyoto and Shiga, is a world-class maker of ki-oke, wooden buckets traditionally used in Japanese onsen that have found alternative uses throughout the world, such as storing rice, holding champagne bottles, and elevating vessels for everyday use. (The outfit’s immaculate wares are available in the U.S. through the New York design gallery Les Atelier Courbet.) A seventh-generation master woodworker and artist, the elder Nakagawa, Kiyotsugu, and his son, Shuji, have collaborated with the likes of Nendo and Hiroshi Sugimoto and, like many craftspeople, practice their art as a way of life, working at a personal scale and using natural materials and time-honored processes. Even the scents of their works are highly considered. “Sawara cypress has a soft smell and the property of absorbing water well, so I usually use it for rice keepers,” Shuji says. “Hinoki cypress has a strong scent, so it’s not suitable for food and drink directly, but it’s good for bath goods.” Japanese Designer Naoto Fukasawa’s New Stool Collection Raises the Bar of Sustainability Because of its ubiquity, it’s tempting to describe Emeco’s iconic Navy Chair, designed in 1944, as basic. But that would belie the sophistication and intention at work. Born at the end of World War II and making the best of the very real constraint of material shortages, the Navy Chair was—and is still—produced in a Pennsylvania factory using recycled scrap aluminum and requiring a hyper-involved, 77-step process of hand-welding. So when the brand approached Naoto Fukasawa to create a new stool in this lineage, the Japanese industrial designer, who established the philosophy of Super Normal in 2006, together with Jasper Morrison, took full advantage of the company’s know-how. “I’m influenced by the handmade and [the level of] craftsmanship in the work, and with Emeco, I was impressed by that,” says Fukasawa, who has designed furniture and objects for B&B Italia, Herman Miller, and Muji, among other companies. How East Fork Is Using Its Coveted Pottery to Promote Equality East Fork imbues traditional clay tableware with a sense of delight, resulting in pieces that are instantly recognizable. The company’s ceramics feature its signature raw clay rims and matte glazes that allow for playful color combinations, while nodding to the heritage and legacy of the craft industry in Asheville, North Carolina, where it’s based. Since Alex and Connie Matisse founded East Fork with their friend John Vigelandin, back in 2009, its mugs and bowls have become highly coveted mainstays—as is evidenced by the 42 tons of clay it goes through each month (yes, month)—while its expansion into the lifestyle realm, with online recipes and carefully culled pantry items, such as black garlic shoyu from Japan’s Kyoto prefecture, give the brand a contemporary edge. We recently spoke with Connie about East Fork’s strategy for keeping up with demand, and how its most radical work takes place outside of the limelight.
Your products often immediately sell out. A few months ago, an article in the New York Post called your passionate fans the “new potheads.” What makes East Fork’s pieces so covetable? Dr. Pamela Dalton Explains What Covid-19 Can Teach Us About Smell The mysteries surrounding our olfactory systems have been the focus of Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center since it opened, in 1968, more than 20 years before the discovery of the odorant receptors that we use to perceive scents. Today, it’s the world’s only independent nonprofit organization dedicated to interdisciplinary research around smell and taste. One of the center’s members, Dr. Pamela Dalton, a cognitive psychologist with a background in public health and chemosensory science, began creating and administering smell tests as soon as olfactory impairment emerged as a primary symptom for the novel coronavirus. We recently asked Dr. Dalton how thoughts and emotions impact the way we perceive scents, and what Covid-19 reveals about our noses. An Offbeat Exhibition in Madrid Puts the Focus on Curators In 2019, Madrid-based designer Jorge Penadés founded Extraperlo, a nonprofit exhibition platform for unorthodox work and ideas. Its latest installment, “Curating Curators,” on view Feb. 18–20 at Penadés’s warehouse-like studio as part of this month’s Madrid Design Festival, upends the conventional approach of making exhibitions about objects and the designers who create them. Instead, Penadés, along with Milan-based curator Maria Cristina Didero, brought together 14 curators, journalists, and consultants from around the world to prove that those who support creativity behind the scenes are creative agents in their own right. “Designers, architects, and artists always have the spotlight,” Penadés says. “But we have a lot of people helping us [designers] make our work better. They deserve attention.” These Radical Textiles Grew Out of Focused, Open-Minded Attention Textile designer Anni Albers, who was born in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century, brought a modernist touch and experimental spirit to the ancient art of weaving. She wrote extensively about the craft; a line from one essay, written in 1941, informed the title of the upcoming exhibition “In a Slow Manner,” the first presentation at Paris’s Maison du Danemark since it completed an extensive renovation. Opening Feb. 3, the show (which will debut online, due to a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases, and be followed by a physical iteration at a to-be-announced date) brings together the work of 10 emerging and established artists who reimagine the future of fabric by giving it the sort of focused, open-minded attention that Albers championed. The Japanese Company Applying Elements of the Slow Food Movement to Perfume Made on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, fragrances by Di Ser appeal to more than the nose alone. Perfumer Yasuyuki Shinohara founded the company, in 1999, as two interconnected entities—a pharmacology arm, which produces herbal tea, incense, and other botanical products, and an agricultural research arm—and makes scents that blend both approaches. He and his team concoct small-batch, chemical-free perfumes out of plants (ones that are native to Japan or that are used in the country’s centuries-old ceremonies) grown on-site, showcasing the possibilities of an olfactory world that intersects with a farm-to-table ethos. Industry Expert Nick Quah on What Makes a Great Podcast In 2014, Nick Quah launched Hot Pod, a newsletter focused on the art of podcasting. Today, the Malaysia native also serves as a podcast critic for New York magazine’s culture and entertainment website, Vulture, and hosts Servant of Pod with Nick Quah, a podcast on the craft and culture of podcasting. We recently phoned Quah at his home in Idaho for an off-the-cuff conversation about his enthusiasm for the medium, the industry’s changing landscape, and why fun is an essential ingredient of any great audio show.
Podcasts can adapt to a wide array of topics. Is flexibility their greatest asset?