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Simplify, Soften, Enrich: Hella Jongerius on Redesigning KLM’s Business Class Cabins

As if you needed another reason to plan a trip to the Netherlands, Utrecht- and Berlin-based Hella Jongerius recently completed an overhaul of KLM’s World Business cabins. Writer Nancy Lazarus recently got the scoop on the project.

Hella Jongerius
(Photo: Oliver Mark Photo)

“Humans dream of flying, of floating, and we have extra time on planes. So I wanted to have a place where passengers can dream, be at home, have a craft feel, and a human touch,” said Hella Jongerius earlier this week at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). “For airlines it’s all about efficiency, but you also need tactility.” The Dutch designer, known for playfully integrating industrial design with craftsmanship, was interviewed by MAD drector Glenn Adamson on Monday evening in an on-stage conversation that focused on Jongerius’s redesign of KLM’s World Business Class cabins, a project she worked on for two years starting in 2011.

Working on high-end aviation design can be equally challenging and rewarding, according to Jongerius. “There’s lots of exhausting moments on planes when you can’t move around. But as a designer you can act and contribute to solving that situation,” she explained. “KLM was open to different approaches, and with business class we wanted to do extra things since it’s for luxury.” The interior redesign started with the curtains, carpets, and seat covers and expanded to include the seats. The new cabin rollout includes twenty-two 747s and fifteen 777 KLM planes.
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Mediabistro Course

HTML Basics

HTML BasicsStarting November 24, work with an experienced web developer to code and design your own webpage! In this course, Laura Galbraith will teach you how to understand the basic structure of HTML, identify the most commonly used tags, create webpages with images and hyperlinks, and create a basic CSS. Register now!

Robert Wilson Creates ‘OK’ Cup for Illy

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In the unlikely event that the name Robert Wilson does not immediately ignite intense excitement in multiple regions of your cerebrum, stop reading this and go watch Absolute Wilson (yes, it’s on Netflix), Katharina Otto-Bernstein‘s smashing documentary-cum-archival footage deep-dive devoted to the indefatigable maestro of avant-garde theatre. Among the director, designer, and visual artist’s latest collaborators is illy, the Trieste-based espresso purveyor that has invited the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Marina Abramovic (a Wilson chum of longstanding) to reimagine its trademark white porcelain cup, originally designed by Matteo Thun.
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Moleskine Goes Red to Fight AIDS

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Your favorite ‘lil black notebooks are taking on accents of red this month with the debut of a partnership between Moleskine and (RED), the organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and people in the fight against AIDS. Introduced today, the (MOLESKINE)RED Special Edition #oneREDday collection consists of a classic hardcover Moleskine notebook, planner, pen, and luggage tag: 5% of the purchase price of each item will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. And more such collaborations are on the way. According to Moleskine, the (RED) initiative marks “the first of a series of special projects through early 2015 focused on inspiring Moleskine fans to tap their creative power to spur positive change.”

Visionaire Teams with John Baldessari, Samsung for ‘Celebrity Selfie’ Art Issue

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blue visionaire“I’ll probably be most remembered for putting dots over people’s faces, so its funny to do an issue devoted to the selfies of famous people,” says John Baldessari, who has applied his signature “color interventions” to a suite of celebrity self-portraits for the latest issue of Visionaire. The sixty-fourth incarnation of the shape-shifting publication, creating in partnership with Samsung, is now available in three editions—Red, Green, and Blue—each with a distinct set of portraits tucked in a canvas-clad portfolio that folds out to become a display case. After meeting with Baldessari in his Venice Beach studio, Visionaire founders Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos recruited the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Cameron Diaz, Miley Cyrus, Marina Abramovic, KAWS, Bill Cunningham, and Gisele Bündchen to contribute self-portraits that were printed in black and white and then altered with embossed shapes and colors created by Baldessari. The resulting images range from the exotic (as when a turbaned Lupita Nyong’o gains a second chapeau in a floating, noseless face) to the serene (the clasped hands of Ed Ruscha, amidst a yellow orb and swoosh of orange). “Now we live in an age of self-celebration and constant surveillance in which nearly everyone carries some form of camera,” notes Dean. “It seems ironic and hilarious that an artist so famous for putting dots over people’s faces would devote an issue to the technology that celebrates face-time.”
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TOMS to Collaborate with Target

toms for targetIn a stroke of good fortune for design-minded gift givers with a charitable bent, Target is linking up with TOMS for a holiday collection of home goods, apparel, and accessories for women, men, and children. All items, from a scented candle and wool blanket to a denim jacket and, of course, classic slip-ons, will be under $50 each. Los Angeles-based TOMS, a past winner of the Cooper Hewitt People’s Design Award, is adapting its buy-one-give-one model for the Minneapolis mega-retailer: for each item purchased from the collection, Target is donating a blanket, meals, or shoes in partnership with TOMS and American Red Cross Disaster Relief, Canadian Red Cross Disaster Relief, Feeding America, and Food Banks Canada. Target estimates that “TOMS for Target” has the potential to provide more than 11 million meals, blankets, and shoes to those in need. The collection is set to launch on November 16 at all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Target.com.

Vik Muniz Designs Perrier-Jouët Bottle

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From left, Perrier-Jouët’s Cellar Master Hervé Deschamps and Vik Muniz.

pj vm bottleVik Muniz has demonstrated his range with raw materials that range from diamonds and caviar to dust and recyclables plucked from the world’s largest garbage dump. The Brazilian artist’s latest project returned him to the luxe end of the spectrum, via Art Nouveau flourishes and blush-hued bubbles. Muniz designed the bottle for the 2005 vintage of Perrier-Jouët’s Cuvée Belle Epoque Rosé. The limited edition, released this month, began as a scene crafted from scraps of gold: a dreamy meeting of a gilded hummingbird and the Perrier-Jouët anemone that has graced every Belle Epoque bottle for more than a century. The scene was photographed and applied by Muniz to the Belle Epoque bottle via a gold plate on which the hummingbird—seemingly, depending on how much of the salmon-hued wine one has consumed to that point—flies toward the anemones in the foreground. Notes the artist, “Much as Perrier-Jouët has long embraced Art Nouveau’s love of nature and enchantment, I took the idea of captivation in a natural setting as the inspiration for this motif.”

Maptastic! NYPL Labs Partners with Electric Objects on Net Artist Residency


An 1870 map of Long Island and the southern part of Connecticut. (Photo: NYPL)

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of: unfettered access to a collection of more than 20,000 historical maps and atlases, oodles of urban data dating from the 19th century (think old NYC building footprints and the equivalent of ye olde white and yellow pages), and your own dedicated patch of the New York Public Library to make sense—and art—out of it all. Such is the premise and promise of the Net Artist Residency program dreamed up by NYPL Labs, the New York Public Library’s in-house digital innovation team, and Electric Objects, emerging maker of nifty computers-cum-digital canvases to display digital images on your walls. The residency, created to “explore the creative possibilities of historical collections and the potential of the EO platform,” is open for applications through August 20. Start thinking in 1080 x 1920 pixels (the slightly goofy extruded-portrait orientation that is the native resolution of the EO1 prototype frame) and browsing NYPL maps for inspiration.

Katz Marks the Spot: New Art Billboard to Welcome Whitney Downtown

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Alex Katz’s 2012 painting Katherine and Elizabeth (Photo courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise)

Worried that the spindly and shape-shifting “W” of the Whitney Museum’s fledgling graphic identity will be insufficient to guide visitors to the door of its new downtown home? Alex Katz to the rescue. The artist (and erstwhile J. Crew model)’s 2012 canvas, Katherine and Elizabeth, will welcome the museum to the Meatpacking District in the form of a 17-by-29-foot billboard on the facade of 95 Horatio Street, located directly across Gansevoort Street from the southern end of the High Line and the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney. Announced today, the public art installation will be the first in a planned five-year series organized in collaboration with real estate developer TF Cornerstone and High Line Art.

Put a Balloon Dog on It! H&M ‘Collaborates’ with Jeff Koons

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lisa perry koons“I have a little bit of the heebie-jeebies by ‘art inspired by fashion’—or art printed on fashion,” said designer Zac Posen during a recent on-stage conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Look no further than H&M’s new “fashion loves art collaboration” for an example of what Posen meant.

Last night the Swedish fast fashion juggernaut, the lead sponsor of the Whitney’s Jeff Koons-o-rama, inaugurated its new 57,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship by plastering the place with images of the artist’s monumental Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000). H&M has also printed an image of the celebrated Celebration series sculpture on a black leather handbag that it touts as “the ultimate art-meets-fashion statement from the ultimate post-pop artist.”
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Favorite Thing: MZ Wallace’s Artists for Haiti Tote Returns

mz wallaceArtist Raymond Pettibon‘s enchanting scrawl, a very good cause, and sequins: a more appealing trio of reasons to purchase a new tote bag we have not encountered. The accessories wizards over at MZ Wallace have gone into their capacious bag vault (which we imagine to be a milky white, high-ceilinged affair that smacks of Richard Gluckman) to reissue their Artists for Haiti tote, created in 2011 to raise funds for the nonprofit that supports education and health charities in Haiti. All proceeds from sales of the $175 nylon bag—originally in black and now in a creamy khaki dusted with bronze sequins and featuring Pettibon’s lettering on the leather handles—will benefit programs endowed by Artists for Haiti.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

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