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

big bow

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).

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!

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.

New Museum Offers Gift That Keeps On Giving: Tattoos by Amanda Wachob

amandaGive ’til it hurts this holiday season, by bestowing the gift of a tattoo session with Amanda Wachob. The Brooklyn-based artist (pictured at left, inflicting ink upon an unsuspecting orange) has partnered with New York’s New Museum to offer a dozen tattoo sessions as part of her “Skin Art” project. For $500 ($400 for museum members), Wachob will tattoo the human canvas of your choice with one of 23 unique designs chosen from a menu of colorful abstract squiggles and brushstrokes she created exclusively for the museum. The experience will be made all the more indelible by a special edition of prints, 20 per session, that visualize the tattoo process: Wachob has worked with neuroscientist Maxwell Bertolero of UC Berkeley to develop colorful ways of capturing the unique time course and voltage levels of her tattoo machine as it inks. We hear sessions are going fast, so e-mail store [at] newmuseum.org to reserve a session.

‘From a Spoon to a Monastery,’ John Pawson on Design, Stuff, and Photography as Therapy

John Pawson designs more than buildings. “We’ve done bridges and boats and books and ballet sets,” notes the simplicity-loving Brit. And that’s just the things that start with “b”! Pawson is down in Miami Beach to fete his clean-lined contribution (read: stunning condos) to the latest EDITION hotel, the Ian Schrager-meets-Marriott venture that timed its opening to coincide with the Art Basel craze, and stopped in to chat with Nick Knight‘s Showstudio about his views on design, minimalism (a “handy pigeonhole” of a term), the virtues of unadorned space, the therapeutic benefits of photography, and Schrager. “He’s so passionate about getting things right,” says Pawson of the famed hotelier. “Interestingly, considering what he’s done in the past…he does like what I do…and he will fight to make it happen.”

Studio Job, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Manuel Ameztoy to Debut Works in Miami

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Gonzalo Fuenmayor, The Unexpected Guest, 2014 (Photo: Collection of Alan Faena and Ximena Caminos)

The Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed Faena Forum doesn’t open ’til the next edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, but that won’t stop it from being the talk of this go-round. The building-in-progress, slated to be the 50,000-square-foot centerpiece of Alan Faena‘s Miami Beach mixed-use wonderland at 33rd and Collins, is making a splash with the newly opened Faena Collaboratory.

Designed with Koolhaas and Atelier Marko Brajovic, the pop-up pavilion provides a window into the creative process behind the Faena Forum through an installation of models, drawings, notes, and research and will also serve as the temporary home for site-specific commissions by Studio Job (we hear the Antwerp-based design collective is riffing on the Fountain of Youth) and Colombian-born, Miami-based artist Gonzalo Fuenmayor, who is promising nothing short of “Eden”: an outdoor installation of tropical-themed, trans-American opulence.
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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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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

dustin hoffman

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.

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