Luxury Real Estate Prices Rise, WeWork Files for Chapter 11, and More
This Week in Design, Barbara Walters’ former 11-room Fifth Avenue apartment is turned upside down ahead of Bonhams’ auction of the late TV presenter’s possessions, including design treasures like a cherry-red Eames chair and ottoman, and a custom armchair by Mario Buatta. The dining chairs are upholstered by Oscar de la Renta himself. Stay informed with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches, events, recommended reading and more.
While rising mortgage interest rates are contributing to a stagnant housing market, the luxury sector — filled with wealthy homebuyers willing to pay cash — is in the midst of a slight recovery, The Wall Street Journal Reports. According to new data from Redfin, prices, sales and inventory of the top 5 percent of homes are outpacing the overall housing market, marking a reversal from the slowdown in luxury in late 2021. The median luxury sale price last quarter rose 9 percent on a annual. to $1.1 million, nearly three times the annual increase for non-luxury homes. Meanwhile, luxury inventory rose 2.9 percent with non-luxury inventory falling 20.8 percent. According to analysts, luxury sector activity has increased most in cities that did not experience a real estate boom during the pandemic, including New York, San Antonio and Tampa, Florida.
Last week, a federal court ruled that the National Association of Realtors, along with Keller Williams and HomeServices of America, conspired with several major brokerage firms to inflate commissions paid to real estate agents. like New York times According to reports, the organizations were ordered to pay at least $1.8 billion — and possibly more than $5 billion — in damages to a group of home sellers who filed the class action lawsuit. The new ruling has the potential to upend the real estate industry: Buyer’s agents and seller’s agents will no longer split commissions and will be free to set their own rates. If the ruling holds up against appeals, home prices could fall across the board in the United States. Days after the court ruling, it was announced that NAR’s longtime CEO, Bob Goldberg, would step down from his position — following initial calls for his resignation. Due to sexual harassment allegations against the group’s president, Kenny Parcell. Nikia Wright, former CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, will serve as interim CEO of NAR while the group searches for a new leader.
WeWork has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, New York times Reports. The company said in a statement that it intends to embark on a restructuring strategy that may involve rejecting some leases in its office portfolio as part of a plan agreed by creditors who own 92 percent of its secured debt. For WeWork, the filing represents the latest salvo in a worrying few years, which has seen the company face the same setbacks as the rest of the commercial office building industry after the rise of remote and hybrid work during the pandemic — not to mention the debacle surrounding its aborted IPO in 2019. The company was worth $47 billion during its peak, was worth $45 million as of last week, and its shares are down 98 percent since the beginning of the year.
GigaCloud Technology, a B2B e-commerce solutions provider based in Industry City, California, has completed the acquisition of the assets of Noble House Home Furnishings in an all-cash deal valued at $85 million. Furniture today Reports. The deal comes after Los Angeles-based Noble House, a distributor, manufacturer and retailer of brands such as Christopher Knight Home, LePouf and OkiOki, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early September, when GigaCloud was named the chasing bidder for the company. Following the acquisition, GigaCloud will acquire the brand’s furniture inventory, warehouse leases, websites, domain names, trademarks, patents and more, with Noble House CEO Marshall Burns remaining in his current role as the company continues operations under its new ownership.
A federal judge in California has dismissed some claims in a lawsuit filed by three visual artists accusing several major artificial intelligence companies — including Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt — of using their copyrighted works for their generative software. like Reuters According to reports, artists Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKiernan, and Carla Ortiz initially complained that the companies’ unauthorized use of billions of images scraped from the Internet, including their own, violated their copyrights. Although he allowed the claim to be amended, U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled that the claims did not sufficiently prove that the AI-generated images were substantially similar to the artists’ works. He also denied other allegations from the artists, including that companies violated their publicity rights and competed unfairly with them.
Danish shipping giant Maersk announced plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs after it reported a sharp drop in third-quarter profits, citing current pressures such as excess capacity and rising costs, as well as a “weak macroeconomic outlook” and lower volume demand for years. Coming. . like Reuters According to reports, the company controls nearly one-sixth of global container trade, transporting goods for major retailers and consumer goods companies such as Walmart and Nike. Despite investing in new container ships to meet record freight rates during the pandemic, the company says it now expects global container volumes in its maritime business to fall by up to 2 percent this year as the industry adjusts to weak consumer demand.
Design consulting firm Ideao announced it will lay off 125 employees — roughly 32 percent of the company’s global workforce — by the end of the year. Fast company Reports. The cuts were the latest in a series of cuts at the company over the past few years, which has seen Ideo’s headcount drop from 725 in 2020 to about 500 today. According to CEO Derek Robson, the consultancy’s key challenges include increasing economic pressure coupled with widespread adoption of the “design thinking” process created by Ideo – which has produced ideas such as Ikea’s kitchen of the future and the Simplisafe security system.
Launches and collaborations
Bedding, bath and clothing brand Coyuchi has teamed up with lighting, appliances and home furnishings brand Rejuvenation to launch a collection of duvet covers, throws and rugs. The product range nods to the beauty of nature, with an earthy color palette and many handcrafted pieces – such as wool and jute rugs – that have not been altered or dyed to reveal their natural state.
Courtesy of Anthropologie
Anthropologie has tapped Academy Award-winning costume, film, theater and interior designer Katherine Martin (you’ve seen her work in films like Mulan Rouge, The great Gatsby And Elvis) for housewares collaboration which includes dishware, kitchenware, barware, candles, textiles, stationery and more. The 47-piece collection draws inspiration from the richness of the Art Deco movement, incorporating bold geometric designs, repeating motifs and striking colours.
Spanish ceramics brand Lladró has collaborated with New York-based Nigerian artist Láolú Senbanjo on a collection called The Dreamer. The limited edition includes two figurative sculptures in black with gold glitter, paying homage to the Yoruba body painting ritual.
Suggestions for reading
In the decades since the social media industry debuted, its economic impact has continued on an accelerating growth trajectory — expected to rise from a value of $250 billion this year to $480 billion by 2027 — although regulations and protections for creators still lag far behind. . . Also written by Drew Harwell and Taylor Lorenz Washington Post, the US Census Bureau’s Industry Index (which guides decisions about government spending and policy) still lacks a category for content creation, even with 50 million people around the world currently working as creators. As such, there are few rules to protect online workers, and the industry continues to become more complex in the meantime, with creators shifting from one-person operations to so-called “content machines.”
Cardboard’s role in the home has long been relegated to packing and transport rather than permanent, long-term use, but that may be changing. As written by Francesca Perry CNNToday’s designers are turning their attention to the material as a rediscovered source of sustainable home furnishings, picking up where previous experimental projects by famous architects like Frank Gehry and Shigeru Ban left off.
Cue the applause
KAI Founder and Chairman of the Board Michael Kennedy Sr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award during Construction Inclusion Week at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri. Inspired by the work of African-American architect Charles Fleming in the Richmond Heights neighborhood, Kennedy enrolled in the University of Washington’s architecture program in 1969, becoming the first African-American architect of record in the state of Missouri. After founding KAI in 1980, he grew the firm alongside his eldest son, Michael Kennedy Jr., into one of the largest minority-owned architecture, engineering and construction firms in the country, with more than 150 employees in four offices and a host. Notable projects include the St. Louis City Justice Center, St. Louis Metro light rail stations, and the Clyde C. Miller Career Academy.
Los Angeles-based woodworker, artist, and educator Sarah Watlington has been awarded the 2023 John D. Mineck Fellowship, which awards $25,000 to an early-career furniture artist. Watlington is a project manager at Offerman Woodshop (a group founded by actor and woodworker Nick Offerman) with a specialized interest in audio mixing and sculpture through the creation of custom record players. She plans to use the money to invest in studio equipment and continue her education in audio and electrical engineering and large ceramic sculpture.
The Hospitality Executive Women’s Network is now seeking mentees for its Martha’s Mentors program, a 10-month initiative designed to connect aspiring hospitality professionals with accomplished industry mentors, providing opportunities for career advancement, leadership development, and industry knowledge. And networks. Named in memory of industry veteran and former board member Martha Tellem, the program is open to active NEWH members with less than five years of industry experience. For more information, click here.
The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation is now accepting applications for Fitch Fellowships. Applicants may apply for one of three available research grants: the Fitch Mid-Career Fellowship, which awards up to $15,000 to a professional with an academic background and professional experience in historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design, Environmental planning and architecture. History or decorative arts. The Richard L. Blinder Award, which awards up to $15,000 to an architect or other relevant historic preservation professional to submit a proposal for architectural exploration and preservation; and the Samuel H. Kress Mid-Career Fellowship, which awards up to $15,000 to a professional whose research aligns with the mission of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in the context of historic preservation in the United States. For more information or to apply before the December 13 deadline, click here.
NeoCon is now accepting proposals for on-site and virtual programming for its annual event, scheduled for June 10-12, 2024, at The Mart in Chicago. Proposals for continuing education module sessions will be considered across a range of categories, including workplace, healthcare, hospitality and wellness, technology, sustainability and diversity, equality and inclusion. To apply before the January 15 deadline, click here.