Daily digest: A rocket base rises in Sweden’s Arctic north, the German Pavilion proves divisive, and more

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Daily digest: A rocket base rises in Sweden’s Arctic north, the German Pavilion proves divisive, and more

The German Pavilion installation at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, 2038 – The New Serenity, involved forgoing physical interventions for QR codes (Francesco Galli)

Welcome back to another Tuesday, and another roundup of art, design, and architecture news.

Here’s what you need to know today:

North of the Arctic Circle, Sweden is building an isolated spaceport

Sweden is building Europe’s first launch platform for orbital satellites, and it’s doing so right at the edge of the Arctic north. In Kiruna (a mining town endangered by sinkholes and soil subsidence previously covered when the entire settlement was forced to relocate), the Swedish government is turning what was previously a space research center into a launching point for rockets and satellites as soon as the end of 2022.

H/t to the New York Times

The German Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale goes mega minimalist

At the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, some countries went for flash and megastructures at their respective national pavilions. Others, not so much. At the German Pavilion, 2038 – The New Serenity, an international team of over reportedly 100 members (including Zaha Hadid Architects’ Patrik Schumacher and Tatiana Bilbao) has installed QR codes along the otherwise bare walls of the pavilion, that, when scanned, will play a video of what life in the year 2038 could be like. Reactions, according to what Dezeen has rounded up from Biennale-goers, have been mixed, to say the least.

H/t to Dezeen

Instagram is abuzz over this Postmodern ear mirror, but who made it?

Trying to figure out who made an ear-shaped mirror that went viral on Instagram after being picked up by stoopingnyc two weeks ago led Curbed reporters down a New York City design history rabbit hole. The ear-mirrors (earrors?) have come up for sale infrequently in the past through vintage furniture dealers, but even those retailers seem flummoxed about where the mirrors came from originally (most likely Italy) or what they’re even made from.

H/t to Curbed

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion is finally complete

Four years after the design-build team for Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion was selected, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the $1.5 billion addition is finally complete. On May 12, Governor Cuomo touted the project’s completion, saying that despite construction slowdowns brought on by COVID-19, the new annex would add an additional 1.2 million square feet of convention center space for when in-person events begin to pick up again.

H/t to ABC

Jack Dorsey donates $3.5 million to expand San Francisco’s plan to pay artists

San Francisco is reportedly extending its Guaranteed Income Pilot program, which pays local artists $1,000 a month to help buoy them during the pandemic, thanks to a $3.46 million gift from Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. First launched in March of this year to support struggling artists and originally only funded for a 6-month run, Dorsey’s donation will allow the program to now run through October of 2022 and to add another 50 artists, bringing the total up to 180.

H/t to Hyperallergic

Florida State University will cancel convention center plans in favor of football stadium renovations

Tallahassee’s Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency is reportedly scrapping plans for a $20 million new convention center at Florida State University, citing concerns that it won’t reach capacity post-pandemic. Instead, the agency is now considering a request from the university to redirect that money into renovating the Doak Campbell Stadium.

H/t to the Tallahassee Democrat