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Monthly Design Review - January 2017

In this month's review, a mixed-tape: Futuristic African Architecture, An essay on Photography and Film, Salvador Dali's Cookbook, Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter at the Moma, William Christenberry's Southern Houses and the design of the London Underground.


BUILDING UTOPIA: Bodys Isek Kingelez (article in, 2016)

Bodys Isek Kingelez was a Congolese designer, an architect, a builder and an urban planner capable of conceiving entire cities in miniature. Having made Congo’s chaotic capital Kinshasa his home in 1970, Bodys lived among its aesthetic and political anarchy, and the city's energy is reflected in his meticulously constructed fantastical structures.

Kingelez' architecture exhibits is reminiscent of African and Soviet modernism mixed with vernacular architectural elements. It reflects the utopian ideology of mid 20th century African construction boom, but also the chaos of modern-day mega-cities with multi-cultural and post-colonialist structures.

To see more images and read about Kingelez' work, read, and an essay by Dave Eggers in Frieze Magazine.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMA (article on 2016)

Writer Laura Havlin explores the connection between Magnum photographers and the cinematic medium through visiting work by members Robert Capa, Harry Gruyaert, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Gilles Peress, Josef Koudelka and Raymond Depardon.

To read and see Magnum members' photos, visit


LES DINERS DE GALA by Salvador Dalí (2016)

Published originally in a limited edition in 1973 and now re-issued, this book is part cookbook and part artwork. Dalí, who was an amateur chef known for his sumptuous feasts, wrote 12 chapters of recipes organized by meal courses, including aphrodisiacs. Those are accompanied with Dalí’s exceptionally strange illustrations and collages created especially for the publication, and extravagant musings on subjects such as dinner conversation: “The jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge.”

To order the book got to or


INSECURITIES: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (Museum of Modern Art, NYC, through Jan. 22nd)

This timely exhibition explores the ways in which contemporary architecture and design have addressed notions of shelter in light of global refugee emergencies. Bringing together projects by architects, designers, and artists working in a range of mediums and scales the exhibition focuses on conditions that disrupt conventional images of the built environment.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.


WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY - SUMMER I WINTER - Pace/McGill Gallery, NYC, thrrough Jan. 21st

Recognized as a pioneer in color photography, William Christenberry hails from Alabama, and it's there where he often shot his well-known images of rusted signage, winding dirt roads, and the weathered exteriors of humble structures.

The show presents a selection of photographic pairings juxtaposing views of the Christenberry's signature Southern subjects in the summer and winter seasons. His prolonged studies of place chronicle the passage of time in the classic rural South, and aid in creating iconic images of its disappearance.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the gallery's website.


DESIGNOLOGY - London Transport Museum, UK

The exhibition explores the evolution of transportation design, as well as looking at how our travel experiences might develop in the future. From the visual to the virtual and from Victorian engineering genius to modernist masterpieces, designology uncovers the fascinating designs and processes behind London’s moving metropolis. Publicity and communication, architecture, technology, engineering, service operation and the urban environment are explored, demonstrating how every aspect of the Capital’s transport system and the passenger journey have been thoughtfully designed since the early years of the 20th century.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.


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