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Friday Photo: Of Gaudí and Man

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Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia gets its close-up in Swiss filmmaker Stefan Haupt’s Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation, a documentary making the theatrical rounds. The beloved basilica, Antoni Gaudí‘s French Gothic-meets-Art Nouveau fever-dream sand castle, is still in progress, its construction having been stalled by conflict (Spanish Civil War, World War I, World War II) and financial famine since it was commissioned by the Order of St. Joseph in 1882.

Sagrada, now playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, celebrates Gaudí’s vision and the ongoing work of laborers, artisans, designers and architects to complete the colossal project. Haupt envisioned the film as a biography of the building. “Just like human beings, buildings and artistic creations have their biography and their genesis,” he says. “They have an origin, ‘parents,’ a moment of creation and birth and then a life until they are accomplished—or destroyed—with a possible continuation in a modified form.”
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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

On Boxing Day, a Design-Themed Wrapper’s Delight

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Did Santa bestow upon you the infinitely modern gift of molded plywood furnishings? There’s always next year. In the meantime, spend a bit of your Boxing Day watching four creative teams tackle the challenge of wrapping an Eames lounge chair and ottoman for Design Within Reach’s Big Bow Project. Despite the name, none of the participants—Craig Redman and Karl Maier (Craig & Karl), Ellen Van Dusen (Dusen Dusen), Print All Over Me, and Snarkitecture—resorted to slapping an outsized, Lexus-style red ribbon on the iconic pieces and calling it a day. Instead, they devised original approaches that would have delighted the Eameses, from colorful plywood boxes to snug-fitting plastic sheathing. DWR is keeping the chairs and lounges under wraps for all to admire through Wednesday, December 31 at DWR’s SoHo Studio (Craig & Karl, Print All Over Me) and 57th & 3rd Studio (Dusen Dusen, Snarkitecture).

Season’s Greetings from UnBeige

(Dan Flavin)
A Christmas card created by Dan Flavin and sent to artist Andrew Bucci in 1962. (Photo: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

The word from the FAA is that Santa’s sleigh has cleared American airspace, and so as design lovers of all ages get to the business of unwrapping their bottles of Helvetica perfume, marsala-hued apparel and homegoods, books of medical oddities, Philippe Starck-designed illuminated hatrests, and 2015 typography calendars, we at UnBeige HQ wish you the brightest of holidays.

Have a Fontastic Year with the 365 Typography Calendar

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Only seven calendar shopping days ’til 2015! Keeping track of time takes on a typographical twist with the 365 Typography Calendar, which sets each month in a different typeface. The calendar is the brainchild of Pentagram veteran Kit Hinrichs, who produces it through his San Francisco-based design office. “So many people, designers included, have no idea who designed the beautifully crafted typefaces that are very much a part of our everyday life,” he says. “I wanted to enable people to become more aware of type as a designed object.” The dozen typefaces celebrated in the 2015 edition are “a lively mix of classic and revival typefaces, along with distinctive display faces by some of this generation’s best type designers,” and in addition to holidays, the calendar notes the birthdays of the type designers along with their brief biographies or explanations of what inspired the design.

Quote of Note | Anthony Grafton

(Abraham Bosse)
Abraham Bosse, A Printer’s Workshop, circa 1642

“Historians of technology and science like Pamela Long and Pamela Smith have taught us to see the exciting potentialities of Renaissance workshops, from the houses of printers to those of smiths and apothecaries. They have revealed these shops…as ‘trading zones’ where skills and practices were swapped. In early modern Europe’s imagined society of orders, those who worked had dirty zones. But in the printing shop, for example, everyone had to think and everyone had soiled fingers. There the learned could learn about typesetting and compositors could learn to prepare texts for the press. The production of art is one province of this larger world.”

Anthony Grafton in “A Great Master at the Met,” his New York Review of Books essay on Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry, on view through January 11 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Learn Infographics and Party Like a Chart Star

daniel zeeviReady to respond to requests of “Show me the data!” with more than a sad little bar graph? The Mediabistro mothership is now recruiting would-be data visualizers for an online course in infographics that can “engage an audience in your brand, cause, or mission.” Guided by tech-meets-branding whiz Amanda McCormick, whose resume includes work with organizations such as New York City Ballet, Bitly, and SocialFlow, students will get up to speed with online tools (we’re looking at you Many Eyes) and develop a robust spec for a data visualization. The infographical fun starts Tuesday, January 20. Learn more here.

Design Jobs: Monrovia, First for Women, NewBay Media

This week, Monrovia is hiring a graphic designer, while First for Women needs a photo editor. NewBay Media is looking for an art director, and  is on the hunt for a director of design and branding. 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.

Vladimir Kagan on Sculptural Furniture, Louise Nevelson, and Tom Ford

kaganVladimir Kagan turned 87 in August, not that you would know it from his lively, globe-trotting blog or latest crop of projects, which includes new lines of furniture for Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Ralph Pucci (look for them at next year’s Design Miami). The designer appears in the January/February issue of Elle Decor, on newsstands today, looking back and pushing forward, with wit and wisdom firmly intact.

Among his own design heroes is Wendell Castle, a fellow octogenarian who Kagan has long admired and envied for “his ability to create furniture that is closer to sculpture than anything utilitarian,” he tells Elle Decor‘s Ingrid Abramovitch. And speaking of sculpture, did you know that Kagan goes way back with Louise Nevelson? She “was a ceramicist before she became a sculptor, and we carried some of her bowls in the store,” he says of the late Nevelson. “When she started to make sculpture, she went to my factory and picked up remnants of wood for her black artworks. You can see the negative shape of my furniture designs in some of the sculptures.”
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Jessica Hische’s Lovely Letters Bound for USPS Stamps

LoveHearts-ForeverJessica Hische forever! That’s what we would have called the forthcoming postage stamps that feature the loopily, lacily beautiful letterforms of the self-described “letterer, illustrator, and crazy cat lady,” but the United States Postal Service has opted for “Forever Hearts.” Hische began by drawing the lettered hearts by hand and then completed the stamp art digitally. Art director Antonio Alcalá (who whipped up those stunning seed packets stamps, among many others) designed the stamps—one red-on-white, one white-on-red, both guaranteed to eternally retain their first-class value—which will be released on January 22, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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 jumped on the microblogging bandwagon. Look to the official UnBeige Twitter feed, for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and free candy (OK, we’re still working on the physics of that last one). The Mediabistro tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts, but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering here.

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