Connect with us

News

Museums laud design inspired by, committed to nature

Published

on

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York and the Cube design museum in Kerkrade, Netherlands, have joined forces in Nature, a blockbuster show devoted to cutting-edge designs both inspired by nature and entwined in nature, with a focus on sustainability.

The show is sobering, at times humourous, sometimes heart-breaking (an extinct rhino that is made to come to life digitally, then vanish again in an instant), and decidedly uplifting when taken in as a whole.

“We searched labs and design studios around the world looking for innovative designs,” says Andrea Lipps, one of the curators at Cooper Hewitt who helped organise the show for the museum’s triennial. And they found them: “There are a lot of people, from all different disciplines, joining together and working very, very hard to find creative solutions to the enormous challenges we face.”

Nature, which explores the ways designs drawn from nature can address today’s environmental challenges, features 62 designers from around the world. The show opened at both museums simultaneously on May 10, and will remain on view at both venues through January 20, 2020.

“With 2018 the Earth’s fourth-warmest year on record and global carbon emissions at an all-time high, the crisis of human-caused climate change has never been more dire,” says Caroline Baumann, director of the Cooper Hewitt.

“Solutions will not emerge without radical new thinking. Nature brings together some of the most creative and intelligent designers whose works address our complex relationship to nature and its precious resources, and advocate for greater empathy for our planet,” she says.

Accompanied by a detailed book, Nature: Collaborations in Design, published by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the show is organised thematically into sections titled Understand, Simulate, Salvage, Facilitate, Augment, R emediate and Nurture.

At the Cooper Hewitt, the sprawling exhibit opens on the main floor, includes an enormous work installed in the garden, and winds around and up to the third floor.

The Understand section explores ways designers can use scientific knowledge to enhance understanding of nature, and features a work called Curiosity Cloud by the Austrian design team Mischer Traxler. The work, designed to draw attention to nature’s fragility, is composed of glass bulbs, each containing a handmade version of an insect species native to New York. When visitors walk through the delicate bulbs, the insects flutter, their wings clicking against the glass.

In the garden, Petrified River is an immense work made of cast concrete — an imagined landscape of Manhattan before being settled by Europeans.

Back in the galleries, Goatman describes a project in which British designer Thomas Thwaites created a complex exoskeleton for himself that allowed him to literally live — and eat grass — among goats for three days.

“It meant eating a lot of grass, and he missed being a human after that,” Lipps says. “But he learned a great deal about simplification.”

The Remediate section includes a “Sustainable Burial Suit” seeded with mushrooms, meant to be an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional coffins or cremation. And Totomoxle features wall panels made from heirloom corn husks, with their naturally vibrant colours.

Nearby is a Monarch Sanctuary, which imagines how the facades of buildings could be reconceived to become butterfly sanctuaries, with places for native plants like milkweed to grow.

As if all that weren’t mind-bending enough, the main hall features a work that resembles a strange, enormously tall, sort of colourful insect wing. The panels of the wing-like sculpture, Aguahoja II, are made largely of pectin and shrimp shells, with colours derived from natural sources like squid ink and beets.

“It’s theoretically even edible,” says Lipps.

The work is meant to draw attention to the fact that while permanent materials like metal and stone have long been revered, there is also value in materials designed to have a limited lifespan and then go back to nature, she explains.

On the third floor of the museum, Fantasma, made by a Japanese design team, features naturally glowing silk made from silkworms injected with a green fluorescent protein derived from jellyfish.

In the Salvage section, meanwhile, ink has been derived from exhaust soot — a practical use for pollution. There is also a prototype for Adidas sneakers made entirely of ocean plastic, and another prototype of sneakers that would be entirely compostable.

Nearby are beautiful vessels made from 3-D printed bioplastic derived from algae, bandages inspired by the adhesive that helps sea slugs cling to wet surfaces, and a lamp powered by the microorganisms in a cylindrical container of soil.

“There’s a level of optimism when you look around and see designers really taking on the challenge of all this,” Lipps says. “There’s a groundswell of creativity that’s continuing to reverberate.”

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

Source link

قالب وردپرس

News

Caricom conducting CSME sensitisation meetings in Jamaica

Published

on

By

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

A delegation from the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat is here for a series of engagements with the various stakeholders including the private sector and the labour movement on the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour, and services across the 15-member regional grouping, and the week-long sensitisation programme is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

A statement issued by the Guyana-based secretariat said the Caricom representatives will today participate in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 procurement seminar where Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke will address delegates on the Government’s procurement initiative for medium small and micro enterprises.

It said that Gladys Young, officer in charge of the Caricom Secretariat’s CSME Unit, will make a presentation on the ‘Future of Regional Procurement’.

A workshop on ‘Demystifying the CSME Regimes: Seizing the opportunities — addressing the challenges’ will take place on Wednesday at the Mona campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI).

The Caricom delegation will also meet with officials from Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association; Media Association of Jamaica; and Press Association of Jamaica.

– CMC

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

Let the public be the judge

Published

on

By

Let the public be the judge

Phillips mum on Integrity Commission’s failure to release Andrew Holness’ statutory declaration

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Print this page
Email A Friend!

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Peter Phillips says he is leaving it to members of the public to form their opinions on the failure of the Integrity Commission to publish a summary of the statutory declaration of Prime Minister Andrew Holness for last year.

Under the law the commission is to publish in the Jamaica Gazette the summary of the statutory declarations of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition annually.

Government officials have claimed that the commission sought clarity on an aspect of the declaration provided by Holness and this has already been provided.

But up to late yesterday there was no indication that the commission had published the information.

The commission, on July 12, published information that showed Phillips and his family with total income of $53.8 million, assets of $60.4 million, plus US$61.5 thousand in saving accounts, US$502,000 in securities and US$19.7 thousand in life insurance cash value.

Following a media briefing where he provided further details on a crime summit being planned by the Opposition for July 30, Phillips told the Jamaica Observer that he would not want to get into any extensive discussion on why the Integrity Commission has so far failed to gazette the declaration of the prime minister.

“The expression of concern should be that expressed by the Integrity Commission rather than myself because then it would descend into a matter of political point scoring,” said Phillips.

“The law provides that the Integrity Commission is the watchdog, the protector of the country’s national institutions — our parliament, our civil service, security forces, and the like. It should be the one that discharges that responsibility in a non-partisan fashion which enables it to secure the widest possible support among the general public,” added Phillips.

Earlier Phillips told members of the media that the Opposition was disappointed with the failure of the Holness Administration to convene a meeting with stakeholders to discuss Jamaica’s high murder rate and criminality, as agreed in the Vale Royal Talks some seven months ago.

“Given the fact that Jamaica has had seven states of emergency and a continuing high murder rate, we can wait no longer to convene a meeting of stakeholders as envisaged by the Vale Royal Agreement,” said Phillips.

“We consider it vital to convene the national stakeholders meeting now to agree on a national position so that all stakeholders can embrace the decisions and support their implementation,” added Phillips.

According to Phillips, the crime meeting will be a national effort, non-partisan in tone and content, and one that delivers tangible results.

“We are not about scoring political points,” declared Phillips.

He said the meeting will be convened under the theme, ‘Securing a safer Jamaica’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre and will assemble key stakeholders including the church, the private sector, and academics.

“I should point out that I have extended invitations to the minister of justice (Delroy Chuck), the attorney general (Marlene Malahoo-Forte), the minister of national security (Horace Chang), the Jamaica Labour Party, and we do hope that they will join us in this non-partisan effort to fight crime,” said Phillips.

“The meeting’s objective is to highlight causative factors and identify possible solutions which may include a set of sustainable, actionable, and results-orientated measures which could ultimately bring the dire crime situation under control,” he added.

The Opposition leader said a report of the consultations, with recommendations, will be presented to the Government, “which we hope will be accepted and implemented”.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

News

South African leader slams ‘flawed’ graft report

Published

on

By

‘);
} else {
$(“.fotorama-caption”).addClass(“remove_caption”);
}
})
.fotorama();

PRETORIA, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday slammed as “fundamentally and irretrievably flawed” findings by a watchdog concerning a donation to his 2017 campaign to head the ruling party.

“After careful study I have concluded that the report is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed,” Ramaphosa told reporters, adding that he has “decided to seek an urgent judicial review” of the findings concerning a controversial 500,000 rand (US$36,000) donation.

The country’s ombudswoman, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, said in an explosive report last Friday that Ramaphosa “deliberately misled the National Assembly” when he responded to an opposition question in Parliament last November.

Ramaphosa initially told lawmakers that the payment was to his son Andile for consultancy work for Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations (AGO).

But he later said it was a donation towards his campaign to become African National Congress party leader — a hard-fought battle in which he beat ex-president Jacob Zuma’s chosen candidate.

He apologised saying he had been misinformed when he first answered the question.

Despite the correction, Mkhwebane said Ramaphosa “indeed misled parliament” and that he should not have rushed to answer the question without having all the facts in hand.

Ramaphosa said the allegations against him by the public protector — or ombudswoman — “are serious… and should not be taken lightly”.

But the report “contains numerous factual inaccuracies of a material nature”, he said.

“The findings are wrong in law, are irrational and, in some instances, exceed the scope of the powers of the public protector,” he said.

“Given these deficiencies… it is appropriate that the courts make a final and impartial determination on this matter.”

Ramaphosa, who is just two months into a new term since the May elections, said he wanted “an expedited review process so that we do not keep the country in limbo about these matters”.

He stressed that the decision to turn to the courts should not be seen as judging the competence of the ombudswoman or her motives, “but is motivated instead by a determination that the law should be applied correctly and consistently”.

Critics of the ombudswoman accuse her of dabbling in ANC factional battles.

But Ramaphosa said he would not be distracted.

“I want to continue doing the work that I was elected for, and indeed this matter should never be a distraction,” he said.

Analysts suggest that damning allegations could boost Ramaphosa’s opponents within the ANC, which is riven by infighting.

Ramaphosa replaced the graft-tainted Zuma on promises to fight corruption.

But the party of Nelson Mandela is now bitterly split between Zuma supporters and those backing Ramaphosa, who took the helm after Zuma became entangled in a series of corruption scandals.

The former president faces an inquiry into corruption during his nine-year rule.

On Friday Zuma withdrew from testifying in the inquiry, complaining of bias, but agreed to return at a future date.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Trending