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The Most Important Design Moments of the Past 10 Years

Posted by admin on December 18, 2019
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When this December turns to January, we’ll be entering not only a new year but a new decade, leaving behind the 2010s, for better or worse. A lot has happened in the past 10 years—at the beginning of this decade, the iPhone had not yet reached ubiquity, President Obama was in the sophomore year of his first term, and most design news and inspiration still came largely from the printed page. A lot has come to pass in the design world since January 1, 2010, but we’ve narrowed down the most important moments that stood out among the rest. [Souce: AD]

Death of Zaha Hadid
Photo by Christopher Pillitz. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential architects, Hadid’s untimely death in 2016 cut short her immeasurable talent and vision. At just 65 years old, Hadid’s passing forced the design world to contend with the notion that the apex of her talent would never be fully realized, though her legacy lives on in architectural gems like Germany’s Phæno Science Center or the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. (2016)

The French fashion house made waves in 2017 when they released a $2,145 tote that was strikingly similar to IKEA’s signature blue FRAKTA tote, which retails for just $0.99. While it wasn’t an official collaboration like those the Swedish furniture retailer has released since (collabs with Virgil Abloh, Tom Dixon, and Colette come to mind), the cheeky tote introduced the era to their genius partnership projects and catapulted it into a more elevated space. (2017)

Rebirth of Ground Zero
Photo by Drew Angerer. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

In the wake of 9/11, New Yorkers and the world wondered what was to become of the distressed downtown Manhattan site. Ground Zero sat patiently as a recovery and construction zone for years, slowly transforming into a fitting memorial. Since 2013, a plethora of projects have given new meaning to the area; among them are SOM’s World Trade Center, Snøhetta’s 9/11 museum pavilion, Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, Michael Arad’s memorial pools, and Peter Walker’s landscape design. (2013—2016)

Instagram
a person holding a cell phone in front of a logo for instagram
Photo by Thomas Trutschel. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

The birth of the world’s most popular photo sharing app at the beginning of the decade has had an immeasurable effect on design, radically changing everything from how we gather inspiration, the rate at which trends come and go, how architects and designers attract new clients, and dismantling institutional hierarchies, among other things. The platform has also given rise to an Instagram aesthetic; everything from products and furniture to fair booths and entire structures have been designed to attract attention on the app, no doubt creating a ripple effect throughout the industry. (2010)

New Museums and Important Renovations
Photo by Pgiam. Image courtesy of Getty. 

Countless new cultural institutions sprouted up across the globe and existing ones moved into new starchitect-designed homes, but there were a handful of projects that stood out against the rest. Of particular note are David Adjaye’s design for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016), the Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris (2016), Renzo Piano’s design for the new Whitney Museum (2015), Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s MoMA expansion (2019), the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum (2015), the Rem Koolhaas-designed new space for Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015), and the reopening of the Cooper Hewitt following a three-year closure (2014). The new and polished-up structures are more than just dazzling buildings; the thoughtful designs allow the institutions to recontextualize their collections, and provide better space for both temporary and permanent exhibitions to shine.

High Line Transformation
Photo by Alexander Spatari. Image courtesy of Getty. 

Not only has Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 1.5-mile-long abandoned elevated railroad-turned-public park radically transformed the West Chelsea neighborhood, but it has also served as a template for countless other public reuse projects around the globe. (2014)

Architecture’s #MeToo Reckoning
a woman holding a piece of paper
Photo by Towfiqu Photography. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

When the #MeToo movement unveiled decades of sexual assault and power abuse in the entertainment industry, it was only a matter of time before it came for the design world. Five women came forward with stories detailing alleged sexual harassment by architect Richard Meier as reported in the New York Times, and many others made allegations on an accusatory list that made the rounds. While only a few names were made public, the fallout from the list has sparked change and reparations. (Meier apologized in a statement to the Times, saying he was “deeply troubled and embarrassed” by the accusations, and later stepped down from the leadership of his firm.) (2018)

ISIS Destruction of Palmyra
Photo by Joe & Clair Carnegie. Image courtesy of Libyan Soup.

In a terroristic effort to erase all evidence of non-Islamic history, ISIS occupied and destroyed treasured structures in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria such as the Temple of Bel, the Temple of Baal Shamin, columns in the Valley of the Tombs, and the Arch of Triumph. While natural disasters and climate change have threatened other historic sites around the world, the intentional destruction of the ancient archeological site was a devastating loss for the architecture community. (2015)

English Castles and Manors
a castle in the country side
Photos by R A Kearton. Image courtesy of Getty.

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