Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Toronto's esports stadium, a Central Saint Martins collaboration, mixed reality developments and more in our look around the web

Art Basel Debuts Free Spring Digital Film Program

Commencing with South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho’s dialogue-free (but meticulously sound-designed) short film, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, Art Basel’s 2021 digital film program presents free online screenings selected by Art Basel Film sector curator Li Zhenhua. This short, which explores Taoist philosophical concepts, premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Other films in the line-up—which are united by the theme “You are in me, I am in you”—include Samson Young’s Muted Situation #5: Muted Chorus (available 12 March) and He Xiangyu’s The Swim (available 9 April). Watch The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, read an interview with the artists and learn more about the program on the Art Basel website now.

Screenshot from The Ways of Folding Space & Flying

Toronto’s 7,000-Seat Esports Arena by Populous

Designed by architecture studio Populous and slated for completion in 2025, Toronto’s currently unnamed multi-purpose arena incorporates state-of-the-art features necessary to facilitate large-scale esports events (where competitive video games are played for spectators). In addition to the acoustics-oriented swooping roof, renderings for the 7,000-seat stadium include an array of screens that form a comprehensive media facade. Developer OverActive Media, owner of two Toronto esports franchise teams, hopes the arena will “ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events.” Read more at Dezeen.

Image courtesy of Populous

Central Saint Martins Students Redesign the Birkenstock

As Wallpaper* notes, the comfort provided by Birkenstock’s ergonomic “Arizona” sandal led it to be one of the most shopped footwear items of 2020. As the German brand eyes an acquisition by LVMH, Birkenstock releases the results of their two-year collaboration with the BA Fashion History & Theory and MA Fashion courses at London’s acclaimed fashion education institution, Central Saint Martins. What began as an archival effort was extended into a collection, which includes four winning designs from masters students Saskia Laenerts, Dingyun Zhang, Alecsander Rothschild and Alex Wolfe (and Birkenstock’s first-ever Archive style). Its goal is to bring the brand into the global fashion conversation—and the creativity of the collection certain warrants that. Read more about the collaboration at Wallpaper*.

Image of Birkenstocks by Dingyun Zhang, courtesy of Matteo Carcelli and Birkenstock

Microsoft Mesh’s Virtual Advancements in Mixed Reality

“It all felt like a Microsoft Teams meeting set in the future,” The Verge Senior Editor Tom Warren says of his experience inside the Microsoft Mesh collaborative platform—a mixed-reality space, which he accessed via the HoloLens 2 headset, that allows for shared virtual experiences. It’s Microsoft’s intention to achieve “holoportation” (where people appear as a digital form of themselves), but right now users arrive as “virtual avatars taken from the AltspaceVR” (which Microsoft acquired in 2017). Still, Warren’s immersive experience was shockingly tactile—and Microsoft hopes that intrigued developers will begin designing within the world. Read more about the technology, which launched today, at The Verge.

Image courtesy of Microsoft 

An Exhibition That Celebrates Failure

Featuring 40 objects on loan from Sweden’s Museum of Failure, Cité du Design’s exhibition, When Design Flops (on view online) celebrates lessons learned during the design process, as well as inventions that are intentionally absurd. From a twin champagne glass to the somewhat frightening Little Miss No-Name doll, many of these creations were artistic endeavors, while others were enormous (and costly) snafus. Some designs were forgotten (DIVX) and others iconic (DeLorean DMC-12), but all will engage viewers—and perhaps even make them feel better about their own failures, too. See more on the French museum’s site.

Image “Twin Champagne glass” © Katerina Kamprani, courtesy of Cité du Design

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy + copyright Delorean DMC-12, 1981-1983, © KW43 Branddesign