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Courtesy Phaidon

Hey Hey, HAY

While the Danish design firm HAY is just celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, it has achieved a rarefied place in the design lexicon that’s more often associated with brands many decades older. This standing is defined, in part, by being often imitated, yet maintaining a certain level of quality and integrity. HAY originals can always be told apart from those trying to knock it off.

Tableware by Gohar World

Surreal Meals

For artist Laila Gohar, meals are all about “creating moments,” as she puts it, “and setting the stage for them to happen.” Gohar, who hosted at least one dinner party a week in her New York apartment before the pandemic, entertains guests with her delicious, engagingly absurdist handiwork, such as blocks of butter molded into the shapes of an eye, nose, ear, and mouth, or a Christmas tree–like tower of langoustines and pink roses. Each fantastical concoction radiates with a heartfelt desire to connect with her diners in profound ways. “I am guided—obsessed, really—with beauty,” Gohar says. “My mission on earth is to cultivate joy and happiness, and to channel a nearly overpowering empathy into my work. It’s about so much more than food.”

Installation view of “Objects in Sculpture.” (Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)

Shaping Space

“What is the texture of scale? Can a surface be eliminated? Can space expand?” Viewers encounter these and other questions, which are printed on a wall, upon encountering the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition “Objects in Sculpture” (through Oct. 10), Minnesota-based designer Jonathan Muecke’s first solo presentation in a major museum. For Muecke, a graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art who has worked at the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, objects are vessels through which to explore the connections between spaces, materials, and perception. Through his output—pared-down pieces in evocative forms and tactile mediums—he encourages viewers to think about how objects can shape the ways we interact with our surroundings.

The main space in Kvadrat’s New York showroom. (Photo: Daniele Ansidei)

Square Roots

Squares, with their even proportions and sharp corners, evoke a sense of honest, hard-edged rationality. The shape has deep connections with Kvadrat, the 54-year-old Danish textile company known for its forward-looking, often vibrant fabrics and artistic collaborations. The brand’s very name is a Danish word for the four-sided form, which, in the old days, before the advent of computers, covered the graph paper used to record textile patterns. The square literally lay at the core of its fabrics’ structure.

Rêveuse grower champagne

Home Grown

Twenty years ago, April Siler had a chance encounter with “grower Champagne”—wines made from grapes in the Champagne region of France that are harvested, processed, and bottled by the same estate that grew them. (The category stands apart from Champagne houses, such as Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, and Dom Pérignon, which typically blend together grapes grown by multiple growers from across the region.) Awed by grower Champagne’s fuller flavor and vibrant, fruity savor, the Melbourne-reared, Brooklyn-based food and beverage executive set out to learn more about the niche sector, and to cultivate a greater U.S. recognition for its production.

Photo: John C. Hawthorne. Courtesy Alex Tatarsky.

Clowning Around

It’s late August, and I’m walking on Grand Street in Lower Manhattan. It’s one of those summer evenings that’s cooler than expected, a pleasant foreshadowing of fall. I’m on my way to discuss compost with the artist Alex Tatarsky, and as I head east from the subway, I pass through the dense, networked scents of the edge of Chinatown: the briny tang of fish markets, the sweet snatch of a fresh egg waffle from a rolled ice cream shop, the yeasty cloud that floats around the famous bialy shop. Approaching Abrons Art Center, where Tatarsky is doing pick-up rehearsals for an out-of-town run of their show Dirt Trip, this close-packed olfactory landscape opens up into something with more space: a faint vegetal whiff from a small vacant lot, the not unpleasant chemical tang from a passing truck, and beyond these, the smell of a certain rot rolling in from the East River.

The “shite” (primary performer) in “Makura Jido” (“Chrysanthemum Boy”). (Photo: Yutaka Ishida. Courtesy Japan Society)

In Noh Time

Two winters ago, I picked up a copy of Penguin Classics’ Japanese Nō Dramas, a volume of two dozen translations by Royall Tyler I’d been meaning to read since tearing through Yukio Mishima’s Five Modern Noh Plays a decade previous. I had moved into a New York City gem (an apartment with a fireplace), and with Covid cases skyrocketing and temperatures dropping, I decided that a winter fireside with a handful of centennia-old ghost stories (cat in my lap, or reading aloud to a friend) might carry me away from the pandemic—from Brooklyn, 2020—to somewhere entirely distinct.

A bottle of Frank August bourbon

American Spirit

The history of bourbon is an ambery fog of competing local legends. Depending on what Kentucky county you’re in, you’ll get a different claim as to who invented it. Despite its murky origins, though, what has always remained clear is that bourbon is a quintessentially American spirit. (In fact, in order to legally be sold as bourbon in the United States, a whiskey must have been made in the country; purists argue bourbon must hail from Kentucky specifically.)

Installation view of Christine Sun Kim’s “Time Owes Me Rest Again.” (Photo: Hai Zhang. Courtesy the Queens Museum.)

Seen and Heard

At first glance, the term “deaf sound artist” might seem an oxymoron. The Berlin-based, Korean-American artist Christine Sun Kim wants to uproot that assumption. Over the past decade, Kim has created a multidisciplinary body of work that investigates the complex, and often confrontational, relationship between Deaf culture and hearing culture. Her 2013 performance “Face Opera II,” for example, features an all-deaf cast but no signing, upending the expectations of hearing viewers. For her recent project “Captioning the City,” Kim installed large-scale descriptions of various noises across Manchester, England, urging viewers to reconsider how sound is experienced in an urban space. Across disciplines, Kim has sought to expand our understanding of both sound and communication, and to make visible the often overlooked labor that deaf people undertake to engage with the hearing.

Culture (All 740 articles)

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In Tokyo, Cocktails Are Both a Culture and a Craft
Ini Archibong Creates a Traveling Monument Devoted to the African Diaspora
The Media That Shapes Claus Sendlinger and His Slow Hospitality Brand
How Tom van Puyvelde Transformed a Berlin Bathhouse Into an Office Rooted in History and Place
How This Antwerp Designer Uses Cork to Create Meditative Spaces of Silence
This Mexican Fragrance Brand Borrows Its Notes From Local Vegetation
This Berlin Craft Bakery Brings Ancient Grains Into a Contemporary Context
Cartier’s First Solar-Powered Watch Features Straps Made From Food Scraps
How Illycaffè Uses Art to Enhance the Coffee-Drinking Experience
The Science Behind The Nue Co.’s Stress-Relieving Fragrances
Maxine Bédat’s New Book Traces the Lifespan of a Pair of Jeans to Illustrate the Ills of Fast Fashion
Symphonic Masterpieces in Better-Than-Ever Fidelity, Mixed by a German D.J.
The Met Gala’s Most Memorable Moments, According to Stylist Kate Young
The Evolution of the Fare at Fong On, New York’s Oldest Family-Owned Tofu Shop
This Digital Tool Kit Reveals How Art Benefits Our Brains
Old Family Photographs Are This Self-Taught Perfumer’s Muse
This Soundscape Brings an Age-Old Model of Communal Living to Life
A New Book Examines the Enduring Relevance of Kintsugi as Metaphor
Kate Young’s Tips for Becoming a Celebrity Stylist
The Unexpected Advantages of Wood-Fired Cooking, Explained by Japanese Chef Yoshihiro Imai
A New Film Highlights Fashion Designer Margaret Howell’s Admiration for Understated Japanese Objects and Materials
This Public Audio Installation Helps Listeners Take the Long View on Life
This Olfactory Design Studio in Berlin Makes Scents That Stimulate the Soul
Master Potter Edmund de Waal on the Necessity of Revisiting the Past
How Stylist Kate Young Selects Gowns for the Golden Globes
How to Eat Your Food Scraps
Yolande Batteau’s Latest Body of Work Reflects a Passionate Personal Investigation of Materials and Self
This Car Diffuser Transforms Any Road Trip Into an Opulent Olfactory Experience
These A.I.-Generated Songs Raise Awareness About Mental Health in the Music Industry
A. Lange & Söhne’s Latest Timepieces Transform a Wrist Into a Site of Wonder
How to Make Fermented Drinks at Home, According to Antwerp Chef Barbara Serulus
This New Online Forum Lets Anyone Air Their Anxieties About the Climate Crisis
A New Cartoon Uses Art to Teach Kids How to Confront Life’s Challenges
What Stylist Kate Young Packs in Her Fashion First-Aid Kit
 A New Book Tackles the Hotly Debated Role of Encyclopedic Museums
A Storied Japanese Watermill Produces the Primary Ingredient in This All-Natural Incense
An Elegantly Imperfect Table Lamp, Translated From Cardboard to Clay
How to Eat Your Way to a Stronger Immune System
Audience Q&A: Kate Young on Her Vogue Years, Style Tips, and Fashion
How Stylist Kate Young Picks the Perfect Premiere Dress
What Catherine and John Pawson Cook at Home in the English Countryside
A New Book Surveys 11 Transcendent, Light-Filled Homes Designed by Tadao Ando
“Worn Stories” Explores How Memories Are Made and Maintained Through Clothing
This Perfume Brand Makes Scents That Evoke Los Angeles’s Rich Music History
Peter Adjaye’s Emotive Soundscapes Immerse Listeners in the Past and Present
How Embracing Other Senses Can Help Those Struggling With Smell Loss
Vietnamese-American Stylist Beverly Nguyen Pays Tribute to Her Family and Friends With a New Pop-Up Shop
London’s First Vegan Butcher Shop Sells “Meats” That Rival the Real Thing
Traditional Self-Care Alternatives, According to Some of the World’s Healthiest Cultures
This Chicago Music Label Is on a Mission to Unearth Lost Sounds
The Distilled Splendor of Elsa Peretti’s Jewelry and Homewares