Adrian Grenier Talks Sea Level Rise and Sustainable Living in Miami (Video)

Miami knows how to throw a party, and raising awareness for important causes by wrapping them in swanky, cocktail-laden packages is our particular area of expertise. Film producer Peter Glatzer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier, co-founders of sustainable living brand SHFT, brought a refreshing take on the activity by outfitting an Arts & Entertainment District loft with environmentally conscious products and decor.

In partnership with NR Investments (NRI) and collaboration with Hillary Littlejohn Scurtis Design, SHFT curated a studio at Filling Station Lofts that reflects the online platform's call for a cultural shift toward sustainability in design, art, food, and music. The Filling Station unit was filled with furnishings from American artisans and companies that keep an eye on their planetary impact, from an organic California-made sectional, to a stunning fallen tree trunk-based dining table.

SHFT and NRI invited press and locals to see the model loft, hoping to foster the idea that conscious consumers don't have to sacrifice great design. We spoke to Grenier and Glatzer about their inspiration for the event and why Miami is primed to see a change in our surroundings.

See also: Coral Gables Museum's New Exhibit Offers Answers to Miami's Rising Sea Level Woes

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Miami Icons: The Versace Mansion, a High-End Hotel Inspiring Macabre Fascination

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Photos by Zachary Fagenson
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman argues for the Versace Mansion, AKA Casa Casuarina.

It was an indelible image seen around the world. The bloodstained steps of the Versace Mansion in the immediate aftermath of the inexplicable murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace. who, in spite of his wealth and influence, seemed a most unlikely target of an assassin's gun. For all the opulence that this palatial home represents, it's those stairs, where the homeowner was inexplicably ambushed by the crazed killer Andrew Cunanan, that still finds tourists gawking and gazing in amazement.

How strange that that small parcel of cement turf should overshadow the grandeur and spectacle borne by one of Miami Beach's most lavish domains. With ten bedrooms, 11 baths, a magnificent center courtyard, and 23,000 square feet of living space, it's imposing indeed. Versace was a man of impeccable taste, and up until his death in 1997, the furnishings and décor that he surrounded himself with reflected that fact.

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Miami Icons: The Biltmore, a Glitzy, Golden-Age Throwback

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Photos by Karli Evans
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman swoons over the retro sophistication of The Biltmore.

It's hosted heads of state, athletes, movie stars, and even gangsters. In the '20s and '30s, the world's biggest celebrities went through its doors. When it first opened those doors on January 15, 1926, its stature as a South Florida landmark was all but assured.

Back then, the Biltmore was the centerpiece of the young but thriving city of Coral Gables, a remarkable melding of Mediterranean, Moorish, and Old World architecture, one that stands alone in its dignity and distinction. Over the years, it's also become a symbol of a golden era, of glitz, glamour, and upper crust society. Its location was obviously appropriate, a draw to a destination soon to be dubbed America's Riviera.

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Miami Icons: Vizcaya, Birthplace of Magic City Luxury

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Photos by Karli Evans
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman argues that Vizcaya offers a lesson in Miami luxury.

Any place that provides the setting for a meeting between the Pope and the President has to be pretty special, right? So it was no small surprise that the luxurious Villa Vizcaya was chosen as the location for President Ronald Reagan to welcome Pope John Paul II for the Pontiff's first visit to Miami in 1987.

Vizcaya has a certain regal presence that befits the world's royalty. When Bill Clinton needed a place to host a Summit of the Americas in 1994, Vizcaya again seemed the natural choice.

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Copperbridge Foundation Brings Cuban Artists to Miami Stages

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Geo Darder gets down with the culture in Cuba.
Here in Miami, more than in any other city in America, an encounter with Cuban culture is akin to a return to the roots. No matter whether it's dance or art, music or theater, it's the heritage itself that seems to matter most, with the artistic and entertainment elements often affirming a personal connection.

That may seem like a broad-based generalization, but given Miami's population and its sizeable Cuban quotient, there's no denying its accuracy. It's especially true in the case of Geo Darder, the founder and artistic director of the Copperbridge Foundation, an artistic initiative he and a group of partners launched four years ago as a means of facilitating the exhibition and interpretation of artistic works from the Caribbean, Africa, North and South America, and Cuba in particular.

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Pavilion MMM Will Transform Miami's Cultural Plaza Into a Giant Swingset This Summer

Categories: Art, Design

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The Dawntown Miami design competition has produced plenty of unique theoretical projects: a giant helium balloon at the Miami Marine Stadium, for instance. This June, one of those ideas will come to fruition: Pavilion MMM, a temporary installation made of swinging garage sale chairs, canvas shades, and construction scaffolding that'll take over the plaza at the Miami-Dade Cultural Plaza.

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Cool Spaces! Architecture Series Premieres Tonight on WLRN

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Courtesy of Stephen Chung, Cool Spaces!
Seattle Public Library, Seattle by OM/REX
Consider the space you're occupying as you read this. It exists because someone you've probably never thought about envisioned and created it. So, go home tonight and instead of watching some of the crap that passes for late night TV, catch the public television premiere of Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture and find out what goes into making the buildings we pop in and out of daily.

Tonight at 10 on WLRN, Cool Spaces! will debut its first hour-long episode in a series profiling North America's most innovative and provocative public architecture. Each episode tackles a central theme and examines "three very different cities, buildings, architects, and very different designs," according to host and project creator Stephen Chung. Originally an architect and educator, Chung only stepped in front of the camera as a means of introducing the world to quality architecture and its importance after the recession hit the industry and his practice hard.

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FIU RoboCop Helping Disabled Officers Get Back in the Field

Categories: Design, Technology

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In two years, Miami might be home to the first on-duty robocops.

For the past 18 months, FIU's Discovery Lab has developed and built a functional, mobile. and interactive robot specially designed to help disabled officers and veterans return to the field. With a budget of just $20,000, TeleBot is groundbreaking for its affordability -- plus, who ever built a working robot in just 18 months?

Recently profiled by Fox News and the Discovery Channel, Telebot is becoming something of a national celebrity, but we're proud to say it's Miami students who got him there.

See also: Listen: How the New RoboCop Compares to the 1987 Version

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Design to Collide: PechaKucha Miami Hosts Rapid Fire Presentations

Categories: Art, Culture, Design

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Courtesy of Carl Hildebrand
PechaKucha. It's not a Pokémon or an obscure ingredient in your mother's spice rack. It's a concise, effective means of presentation⎯20 slides, set to 20 seconds each. One straight shot -- pay attention, or miss out.

PechaKucha (pronounced pe-che-kuh-cha in Japanese) is "kind of like speed networking, it's for professional presentations," Carl Hildebrand, public programs manager at the Wolfsonian and head of Miami's PechaKucha chapter, said of the unique exhibition format.

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Architects Propose Saving the Miami Marine Stadium With a Giant Helium Balloon

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via pinkcloud.dk
PinkCloud's Project Inflatable.
Miami's a city where old and new meet in unique and often surprising ways, especially when it comes to its architecture. So PinkCloud's idea to revitalize the Miami Marine Stadium, an architectural treasure now covered in graffiti, is perhaps the most fitting proposal for returning the venue to life.

It's futuristic. It's eye-catching. And oh yeah, it's essentially a giant helium balloon.

See also:
- Miami Marine Stadium: A Revival of Magic, Concrete, and Spray Paint
- Parkour Athletes Flip to Save the Miami Marine Stadium (Video)

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