Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Design competitions, televised art classes, virtual parties, online orations and more ways to feel connected

George Nakashima’s Children Live Within and Preserve His Design Legacy

Japanese-American architect and furniture designer George Nakashima’s New Hope, Pennsylvania property houses more than 19 buildings by the craftsman. Two of them are homes to his daughter, Mira (who runs the grounds) and his son, Kevin—an unofficial keeper of the family’s saga. A prolific creator, Nakashima turned from commercial architecture to midcentury folk craft. During his life, he transformed walnut and maple, cherry and redwood slabs into furniture that bucked the trend of disposable modernity. In the homes of his children, Nakashima’s work remains preserved and, in turn, so does the heritage that inspired him. Read more at The New York Times.

Virtual Parties Draw 100k+ Guests

Epitomizing a new type of digital togetherness, DJ sets on Instagram Live now draw hundreds of thousands of guests. After the cancellation of gigs at South by Southwest and Coachella, LA-based D-Nice set up a booth in his home, selected over eight hours of music (ranging from Al Green and Mary J. Blige to Travis Scott and Sister Sledge) and pressed record. His session, affectionately called D-Nice Homeschool (aka Club Quarantine), reached over 100k viewers from all over the world. At one point the stream hit a peak of nearly 175k viewers (breaking Instagram’s viewership record)—a moment we ourselves took part in. Our current, collective circumstance makes events like this possible and important—and are a reminder that we’re part of a far-reaching community. Read more at The New York Times.

First-Ever Recordings of Penguins Vocalizing Underwater

For the first time ever, scientists have recorded the sounds of penguins communicating underwater. While it’s commonly understood that the flightless birds chirp to one another on land to ask for help with food and foraging, the underwater calls are less understood as researchers found that penguins were “often hunting alone when making their calls, suggesting they might have been directed at their prey instead.” Many of the penguins emit  noises just before catching their prey, suggesting it could be in order to stun or scare them. But, as study author Pierre Pistorius (biologist at Nelson Mandela University) says, perhaps “they’re just penguins’ way of saying, ‘Hooray, food!'” Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

Grayson Perry’s TV Art Class

Brilliant British artist Grayson Perry (CBE RA) is teaming up with Channel 4 for a television show instructing viewers how to hone their own creative skills. With Grayson’s Art Club, the beloved artist will offer tips on painting, drawing and sculpting. He then hopes to display the work in a future exhibition. Perry tells the Evening Standard, “Accessibility is a part of what I want to do which is make art an ordinary part of life but a stimulating part of life. I’m not really talking to the art world, I’m more interested in the average Joe on the sofa.” Find out more at the Evening Standard.

Artist Kate Shepherd’s Video Walk-Through of Her Galerie Lelong Exhibit, “Surveillance”

“While you’re looking at the paintings, they’re reflecting you,” artist Kate Shepherd explains in her three-minute walk through of Surveillance, her captivating, highly conceptual show at NYC’s Galerie Lelong & Co. Shepherd began this series in 2017, with the intention to have the shifting, reflective quality of each painting’s enamel surface be the subject itself. She refers to the process behind the works as puzzles she needed to complete—and some are born from what the gallery refers to as a referential loop. On pause for global health concerns, the exhibition (and more on the meticulous, thoughtful process) can be accessed through Shepherd’s video on Vimeo, as well as at the Galerie Lelong & Co site.

“Fountain of Hygiene” Challenges Creatives to Rethink Hand Sanitizer

London-based studio Bompas & Parr has teamed up with the Design Museum to launch a competition called Fountain of Hygiene for which creatives are to rethink and redesign hand sanitizer packaging. The winning creations will be displayed in a future exhibition (both in real life and online) and then auctioned off, with proceeds donated to The British Red Cross. Design Museum director Tim Marlow says, “Design has an important role in helping to solve many of the challenges that we face in daily life” with the overall goal for the project to encourage “new behavioral norms which benefit the ongoing health of global society.” The competition closes 29 March, and entrants are encouraged to design for sanitizer pumps, but also “sprays, wipes, dispense units or even gestures and rituals.” Read more at It’s Nice That.

Watch the Animal Kingdom Online

Whether it’s elephants gathered around a watering hole at the border of South Africa and Mozambique or jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, creatures continue their day-to-day lives, and we can tune in thanks to various livestreams. Some platforms play constantly, while others are open during specific hours—regardless, each serves as a welcome relief from our immediate worlds, reassuring us that life goes on. Find streams featuring bears, jellyfish, penguins, elephants, manatees and more magnificent creatures at Atlas Obscura.

Simon Freund’s “Mit Oder Ohne” Memory Game

Simon Freund’s newest photo series, Mit Oder Ohne (which translates to “With or Without”), features 32 Polaroid photos taken with flash and those same 32 scenes captured once again without flash. Rather than present the two side-by-side, Freund turned his collection into a memory game. The game—accessible online or in print on original Ravensburger memory cards—comes in 16, 36 or 64 squares and showcases the difference flash can make when shooting the same still twice. It’s also an entertaining way to occupy a few spare minutes, exercise one’s memory, and support an independent photographer. Play the game at Freund’s site.

Sir James Dyson and Other Entrepreneurs Produce Ventilators

Corporations helmed by some of the world’s most successful executives are pivoting their businesses to meet the demands of hospitals facing the current global health crisis. Dyson (named for its founder Sir James Dyson) successfully designed and will manufacture 15,000 ventilators in response to a plea from UK’s Department for Health and Social Care. A spokesperson for the company says, “We have deployed expertise in air movement, motors, power systems, manufacturing and supply chain and are working with medical technology and development company, TTP—The Technology Partnership, based in Cambridge.” Additionally, in the USA, Elon Musk guaranteed the delivery of 1,200 ventilators to Los Angeles from China’s overstock by purchasing them outright. Read more at Forbes.

Free Live Conversations at “TED Connects: Community and Hope”

With a captivating roster of speakers that aims to tackle topics plaguing the world at large, the series TED Connects: Community and Hope will provide free, daily conversations this week—commencing 23 March with Harvard Medical School’s Susan A David, PhD on emotional agility. Bill Gates will follow up his much-discussed TED Talk with more insight on the healthcare system on Tuesday 24 March. And the rest of the week will feature Gary Liu, CEO of the South China Morning Post; Seth Berkley, epidemiologist and head of GAVI, the vaccine alliance; and Priya Parker, author, The Art of Gathering. Head of TED Chris Anderson will host the series, which is moderated by Whitney Pennington Rodgers, TED’s current affairs curator. Visit the TED Connects site to catch each conversation.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.