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Guggenheim Reveals Submissions for Helsinki Museum Design Contest

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The world is one step closer to Guggenheim Helsinki. The open, international competition for the design of the the proposed art and design museum, to be located on city-owned land in the southwestern part of Helsinki’s South Harbor, is nowhere near its big Finnish finish, but today the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation cut the virtual, Marimekko-patterned ribbon on an online gallery of submissions. The featured entries, which were received from 77 countries and can be filtered using trait-based tags (dome, glass, opaque, concrete, twisted, shiny, and more), are for stage one of the competition. Now it’s up to an 11-member jury chaired by Mark Wigley, Dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, to convene in Helsinki to select six finalists on the basis of their architectural design, relationship to the site and the cityscape, practicality for users (including criteria for the use of materials), and feasibility. Stage two begins next month, and the big voittaja (winner) will be announced in June 2015.

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Wanted: Graphic Designer Who Seeks Better Living Through Chemistry

magicliquid.jpgDo you have a longstanding fascination with the periodic table? Do you remain confident in the power of space-age polymers? Are you surrounded by limiting reagents? If so (and even if not), you might consider seeking a better living through chemistry as an art director for the American Chemical Society. The Washington, D.C.-based organization—the world’s largest scientific membership association—is seeking a creative services manager to “create and develop branding guidelines and best practices” as a member of its marketing department. Bring your Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Flash skills, and don’t forget to balance your equations.

Apply for this art director, American Chemical Society position or view all the current mediabistro.com design jobs.

In Brief: RIP Oscar de la Renta, Banksy Riffs on Vermeer, Istanbul Design Biennial Update

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• Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died last night after a long battle with cancer. The bon vivant, whose fashion house announced last week the appointment of Nina Ricci veteran Peter Copping as creative director, was 82.

Banksy is back. His latest work, painted on a building in his hometown of Bristol, is a pierced-eardrum riff on Vermeer‘s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

• It’s all systems go for the second Istanbul Design Biennial, which kicks off November 1. Curated by Zoë Ryan and associate curator Meredith Carruthers, the biennial will host 53 projects created around the theme “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be.” The list of participating designers, announced this week, includes Elena Manferdini of Atelier Manferdini, Sissel Tolaas, Beth Schechter and Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, and Atelier Bow-Wow’s Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima.

• The Museum at FIT holds its fourteenth fashion symposium—Dance & Fashion—this Thursday and Friday. Speakers including Wendy Whelan, Narciso Rodriguez, and Valerie Steele will explore topics ranging from tutus and ballet shoes to African-American dance and the trend of tapping fashion designers to create dance costumes. Don’t miss the wrap-up session: a tango performance that will inevitably evoke the dearly departed Mr. de la Renta. Register for free here.
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Design Jobs: TYR, Meredith, Levine/Leavitt

This week, TYR is hiring a senior graphic designer/associate art manager, while Meredith needs an assistant art director for More. Levine/Leavitt is seeking a studio manager, and  is on the hunt for a staff photographer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great design jobs on the UnBeige job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented UnBeige pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

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Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having joined the tweeting masses. Look to the UnBeige Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and our exclusive photo of Rem Koolhaas in mid-ponder—it makes for smashing smartphone wallpaper.

Now Read This: Louise Fili’s Grafica della Strada

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fili book sideLouise Fili has done it again. The designer of all things bello, including stunning packaging and branding for the likes of Jean-Georges, Tiffany & Co., and Sarabeth’s, turns her Italophilic eye to signage in the pages of Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy, new from Princeton Architectural Press. The chunky yet compact book is a photographic diary of sorts, revealing the most inventive restaurant, hotel, street, and advertising signs spotted by Fili over three decades’ worth of Italian travels. “These signs chart the highs and lows of Italian typography, from a classically elegant gold leaf script for a Turin jewelry store to a very spirited (and unreadable) type rendered in orange and blue dimensional plastic letters for a shop selling doormats in Rome,” notes Fili by way of introduzione. “From the sublime to the ridiculous, each and every one, in its unique way, is dear to me.”

Ayse Birsel Explains It All

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Intriguing future book alert! According to the readerly repast that is Publishers Lunch, designer Ayse Birsel has inked a deal for Design the Life You Love, “a playful, creative, interactive book that teaches readers how to use Birsel’s own design process to think like a designer, and design the life they love.” The co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an expert at deconstruction at reconstruction, will publish the volume with Ten Speed Press.
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Superior Interiors: NYSID Showcases 90 Years of McMillen

McMillen Inc. turns ninety this year, and the New York School of Interior Design is celebrating the august firm with an exhibition that explores its legacy of superior interiors. Writer Nancy Lazarus got a behind-the-scenes look at the country’s oldest continuously operating interior design firm during a recent visit to NYSID.

30's Cosmopolitan ClubThe white gloves worn in the 1920s, when McMillen was founded, are long gone, but the renowned interior design firm carries on many of the traditions that have accounted for its longevity, said Ann Pyne. As McMillen’s co-president and daughter of the founder, Eleanor Stockstrom McMillen Brown, Pyne shared her inside perspective at a recent NYSID panel discussion. The event coincides with a 90-year retrospective exhibit, on view until December 5.

“Walking into the McMillen office gives you the feeling that you’ve arrived at a company that knows its business,” said Tom Buckley, principal and founder of Brown Buckley, and a former head of McMillen’s design department. “Mrs. Brown had a very progressive mind and was a forward-moving businesswoman.”

As Pyne sees it, the firm’s design authority, non-negotiable business models, devotion to education, and attention to finishes are the cornerstones of its success. McMillen interiors also adhere to the “discipline of the room,” while promoting a sense of conviviality and coziness. That foundation has stayed with McMillen alumni long after working at the firm, noted Buckley.
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Mark Your Calendar: Michael Graves ‘Past as Prologue’ Symposium

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Stock up on Peeps and reserve your ticket to “Past as Prologue,” a just-announced symposium that will be held “in honor of Michael Graves on the occasion of his fiftieth year in practice.” Organized by The Architectural League of New York and hosted by Parsons The New School for Design, the November 22nd confab will consider Graves’ deep influences on the disciplines of architecture and design. Tackling subjects such as architectural pedagogy, drawing, and the design of objects (fingers crossed for a session on “the Hitler teapot”!) will be the likes of Billie Tsien, Steven Holl, Paul Goldberger, and Museum of Arts and Design director Glenn Adamson, with a day-capping conversation among Graves, Peter Eisenman, and Adele Chatfield Taylor, the former director of the American Academy in Rome. Tickets are now available: they’re $25 each, but League members and students can attend gratis.

Quote of Note | Pete Wells on Keith McNally

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“[O]f course, he worries about the interiors. Cherche Midi’s is lovely. Outside is a dystopian intersection. You’d never know it in the dining room, which feels intimate, almost private, although of course every face is on display, bathed in light the color of apricot jam.

For three decades, Mr. McNally has been rooting around in the same Lego kit: distressed mirrors, chipped subway tiles, bottles backlighted to look like stained glass. In his hands, these well-worn tricks give restaurants the battered nobility of a vintage Saab. When anyone else tries, they end up with a 1986 Ford Escort. Sets and lighting will never be the whole show.”

-New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells in his recent review of Keith McNally‘s Cherche Midi, which opened in June on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery in NYC

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