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Live From New York, It’s Core77

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Another blog goes audible on us: the first of the Core77 Broadcasts are now up. The “broadcasts” will be a combo of audio and video interviews, studio tours, and speakers from Core77 events. Already up are experience design guru Nathan Shedroff and Frank Luca from the Wolfsonian, with presentations from Core77′s Star Trek conference. Listen for the distinctive rockin’ intro–it easily crushes the sleepy-jazzy stuff that precedes most podcasts.

She’s Back…

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Yes, the mysterious “Guest Blogger” has returned with her stash of sewing patterns, fabrics, hats, shoes and more. Some of you may remember me, others, well, never mind. Steve should remember me – we met at the book signing for Annie Logue’s “Hedge Funds for Dummies”. If Steve doesn’t recall meeting me, that’s fine. I tend to blend in with the wallpaper, especially when I’m wearing a cocktail hat. Anyhow, my name is Mary Beth Klatt, I live, write and goof off in Chicago. I frequently write about architecture and fashion; you can see my articles in USA Weekend and Chicago Home Magazines, the Chicago Tribune and Preservation Online. I also have a blog like the rest of the world. I’ll be filling in for Alissa while she’s taking the Sound of Music tour in Austria on a pair of skis.

Speak Up Asks “Now What?” and We’re Asking the Same Thing

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Armin Vit‘s posted some kind of manifesto over at Speak Up, except we’re not really sure what it’s a manifesto for:

Speak Up became notorious for its I-have-nothing-to-lose brash attitude that attacked, questioned and poked everything in its way…Designers loved it. There had never been anything like it. We were the fight that broke out in a bar that everyone gathered ’round to see and would throw in a beer bottle every now and again.

The glory days! Oh, the memories! To be a young blog again!

In the past twelve to sixteen months, however, we’ve run out of questions and even perhaps out of steam. Some of us (authors) have gone from outsiders to insiders…We have done it all. We started to get repetitive and, well, sometimes even boring.

Oh god, the real world! Mid-life crisis! Comb-over!

With this new outlook on Speak Up, we hope to bring you Design Relevance. We will do it with strong opinions and, when possible, with flair. We will share our views on what we find interesting, in the spirit that you will consider everything for its design values.

Huh? What does this mean? Values? Is this some Tony Robbins crap? We were bummed until we saw this comment:

Bah. Let’s get back to throwing beer bottles.

Woooooooo! Kegger at our place!!!

Blogging About Blogging About Blog Design

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An interesting piece over at Brandon Wood‘s site, “In An Era of Feed Readers, Does Blog Design Still Matter?” The conclusion, as reached by the site, is, in short, “Yeah, kinda, but content should always be your focus,” of which the latter is fairly obvious, but that first part opens up a world of conversation. This writer, personally, doesn’t comb through feeds because he wants that experience connecting with sites, so the design is drastically important. And we wager there’s a whole slew of people like us, in addition to the huge quantity of internet users who don’t even know what a feed is (see: 99% of people on the internet). And while we may not be the most beautiful destination on the web, and we understand the point they’re making, we find it hard to stomach the examples used in the post, namely Scoble’s blog, which we aren’t going to link to because we agree with Airbag. There’s just got to be a cutoff where we go from “design isn’t important for my blog” to “I’m actively trying to make mine look as terrible as possible to dissuade readership.” Still, there’s probably a nice little discussion in here somewhere.

Speak Up Now Quipping 24/7

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Those of you at the Cooper-Hewitt right now already know about this, but Speak Up‘s Quipsologies is now a daily, hourly, minute-ly feature. And the true spirit of the Speak Up community, a second column is entirely reader-generated.

All we have to say is: Brave.

Open for Design. Or Is It?

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At first glance, Open for Design seems to be the most exciting new design blog in town. Pretty windows float mesmerizingly over fog-shrouded hills. The writing is top-notch (Design Observer contributors Dmitri Siegel and Tom Vanderbilt are here); even though it’s Design 101 it’s still compelling. No, we’d say the only problem we have with this design blog is…the design.

Fancy Flash fun is not so good for a blog. Neither are having both long features and short posts in different places. You want to get in quickly, read what you can in one fell swoop, make a smartass comment, and go on to the next waste of your time. We, for one, weren’t really planning on clicking up to five times to get to the end of the feature stories, and so often, we don’t. It took us about 45 minutes to get into the real blogs themselves, which are separated into too-closely-related sub-blogs–style, living, city, art (not design!), tech–which you have to switch back and forth between to find the newest content. Don’t click on the floaty windows, though, you’ll be propelled back to the Land of the Lake, where only feature stories reside. And speaking of those feature stories, well, we’d love to link to an interview with Charles S. Anderson, but we can’t. You have to find it for yourself.

A closer look at the periphery of the blog reveals some clues. It’s “curated” by Infiniti, aspirational design-centric company, a world where swirling windows do indeed sell cars. And since whole thing is powered by Microsoft, well, let’s just say we expect them to overdo it.

It’s Official, We’re Essential (And We Only Had To Pay Noreen Morioka $500)

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The only thing better than getting a really great compliment is finding yourself in exceptionally well-complimented company. Communication Arts’ “50 Essential Bookmarks” includes us (thank you), along with a bunch of other great sites even we didn’t know about.

Newstoday.com: Looks great, reads great, but we keep refreshing it so we can hear that girl say “News today!”

AdsoftheWorld.com: The place to go so you can truly experience how much funnier the rest of the world is allowed to be on TV.

cultureby.com: We love Grant McCracken, we just never knew he had a blog.

gigposters.com: Super cool rock posters organized by artist and…designer, which somewhat negates our earlier post from today.

Essential, indeed.

Happy Halloween From Spook Up

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The festive kids over at Speak Up have two features up to get you in the spirit of handing over precious Butterfinger bars to creepy-looking kids. First we’ll indulge in a tasty treat from Marian Bantjes who never fails to bring us a little historical perspective with our visual culture. “Bare Bones” excavates all those scary symbols from skeletons to witches, and reveals why zombies and vampires just don’t fit in with the rest of the freaks.

Then, don’t forget to chime in on Jimm Lasser’s rhetorical question “What is the Perfect Halloween Costume?” on this holiday where everyone employs a little design sense to construct the perfect, slutty costume.

Hendra On Huffington Gets Others In a Huff

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We truly felt the winds of change pick up after last Thursday’s introduction to Designism–people started emailing us questions, word of similar pursuits got around, the topic came up at an event out here in LA. And now, by way of our friends at Design Observer (who, might we add, are a very Designist bunch themselves), we see the topic being introduced to a wider audience, via our new hero Tony Hendra on the Huffington Post. It’s a great article that sums up the evening in Hendra’s Python-esque prose, but judging from the comments, some people just don’t seem to get it:

With all due respect to Milton Glaser (who is indeed legendary), that logo in red, black, and yellow screams “German”, and the blackletter “D” harkens back to Gutenberg, rather than to the future, or even the present. We may be fighting fascism, but do we want to drape ourselves in that flag? I don’t!

The design you show is reminiscent of a hitlerite badge. The big germanic “D” (Deutchland Uber Alles) on a field of red, white and black is striking.

This graphic could easily have been culled from 1930s Germany.

Another sick twisted bunch of so-called Americans does the FBI keep a watch on groups like this? Timothy McVeigh would probably have been a member scary thought scary farking thought indeed.

Something On TimesSelect That Might Actually Be Worth Paying For

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With barely enough time to clean out her desk at Dwell, Allison Arieff has already moved on to greener design pastures: she’s landed a blogging gig for the NY Times. And while we’re thrilled to the gills that the Gray Lady has chosen to acknowledge design with such a lofty distinction, we’re bummed it couldn’t be in the form of a real, printed column, or perhaps by naming Arieff something like their first-ever, oh, we don’t know…design editor?

You must be a blood oath member of the TimesSelect illuminati to read the rest, but if future posts are like this treatise on Stumpf, Airstream and design in Italy, it just might be worth selling your soul.

Correction: All apologies to Pilar Viladas, the lovely and quite able design editor of the Magazine. What we’re asking for here is a design critic for the paper. You know, a critic. Someone who writes about the important stuff.

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