DIGITAL ARTWORK, LIVING GARDENS, AND SOFTER LINES ARE ALL THE RAGE
Originally Appeared on SothebysRealty.com
Digital artists are basking in the spotlight, architects are branching out with green features in sustainable projects, and designers are softening straight lines. Here are the latest trends in art, architecture, and design.
This year’s pixel-popping prices for digital art, ushered in by Beeple’s $69 million NFT Everydays—The First 5000 Days, have created a whole new community of collectors.
“With NFTs [nonfungible tokens, the unique blockchain files that authenticate ownership of the digital work], the art world finally has a medium that allows collectors to have wide accessibility to art,” says Max Moore, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art sales, Asia. “Traditional collectors have shown great interest in NFTs, too, showcasing that there is real staying power for the medium.”
Edinburgh-based artist Trevor Jones, who, back in 2011, began painting QR codes into his works that are scannable with a smartphone and app, creates works that he describes as a “fusion of fine art with technology.”
Using artificial intelligence, he produces animations and videos that incorporate morphing software to complement and enhance his physical paintings.“Many of my patrons own both my physical and digital works, so they can enjoy the painting on the wall in their home while the digital image or animation counterpart can be displayed on a photo frame such as a Meural or Canvia,” he says.
“A lot of these art enthusiasts are curating their own exhibitions with apps,” he adds.
By incorporating live plants into their blueprints, architects literally are creating green buildings.
Ma Yansong, for example, wrapped his award-winning Beverly Hills condo complex, Gardenhouse, in 26 species of native plants, notably ferns, vines, and succulents, whose leaves and flowers change color with the seasons. And Stefano Boeri clad his pair of iconic award-winning Bosco Verticale residential towers in Milan in 15,000 fragrant trees, plants, and shrubs.
Los Angeles architect Anthony Laney has taken the concept one step closer to nature, planting a 16-foot-tall Australian brachychiton tree in the entry of a home his eponymous firm designed in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
“The [ clients’] inspiration was a trip to Japan, where they saw a home with mature trees in its core,” he says. The project, which won a LuxeRED Regional Award and a Luxe Gold List award, also features solar panels and a landscape of native plants.
All of Laney’s L.A. projects are rooted in nature. In more traditional “green” commissions the firm creates courtyards with gardens, trees, and water features or designs pocket gardens that can be seen from every room.
“In a row of townhouses, for instance, we might create a five-foot to eight-foot open-roofed garden that backs up to a blank wall,” Laney says. “It’s modest in size but significant in impact.” In addition to creating shade and cooling the surrounding air, living plants boost psychological wellness. “We hope to see the idea of planting live trees in homes more and more,” he says.
From the award-winning furniture of Gustaf Westman and the curly-striped rugs of Pieces Home to the undulating pattern of Baina’s organic cotton Johanna bath towel, designers are embracing the comfort of the curve and the placidness of the pastel.
Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, whose design firm, 2LG Studio, is based in London, see the move toward softness and playfulness as a welcome rebellion against the strictness of straight-lined sophistication.
“Curves speak of nature beyond the capability of man-made, the nonlinear speaks of the future, and the craving of these organic shapes is perhaps a desire for change,” Cluroe says. “It is about facing the impossible head-on, taking a different approach, being open to the unexpected ‘curve balls’ that life can and does throw at us, perhaps particularly in this moment.”
Besides which, Whitehead adds, “curves look damn cool and bring a little fantasy into the everyday.”
The duo’s designs are imbued with a joyful, playful spirit. In their own home, a detached Victorian in South East London that serves as a live/work space and passion project, they explore the quirky beauty of saucy scallops, the headiness of the hand-painted squiggle, and the wonder of wavy pleats that turn up not only on formal draperies but also on complementary center-ceiling lights. The project, they say, allows them to indulge their own fantasies in the interior environment.