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Jean Pigozzi Asks, ‘What’s Your Sign?’

Jean Pigozzi (pictured) is an eccentric millionaire with a sharp eye for contemporary art and a weakness for loudly patterned shirts. He needs your help. Pigozzi is expanding his wild and crazy menswear line, LimoLand, with a Zodiac-themed collection, and is looking for a few—OK, a dozen—out-of-this-world astrological designs. Submit your most “original, quirky, and colorful” concepts by the end of the month, and esteemed judges including Pigozzi and Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman will pick their favorites.

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World Monuments Fund Asks: ‘What Does Preservation Look Like to You?’

There’s a time and a place for ruin porn in the quest to preserve crumbling cultural landmarks, whether in Damascus or Detroit, but the World Monuments Fund is taking a more upbeat approach with its inaugural “Everyday Preservationist” photo contest. The New York-based organization has put out the call for “original, evocative digital images that advocate for historic sites by reflecting their aesthetic beauty and importance to the communities in which they are located.” Entries will be accepted through July 31 in five categories: appreciation, adaptive reuse, sensitive urban development, thoughtful tourism, and traditional building materials. Start scouring your digial folders immediately, because the public voting is now underway. Mark Robbins, executive director of the International Center of Photography, will have the final say in selecting the five winners in each category based on on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.

Rankin Partners with Heifer International for Global Hunger Photo Competition

Heifer International, the organization behind those buy-a-llama-oh-it’s-for-charity-they-don’t-really-send-you-a-llama catalogs, has teamed with photographer and publisher Rankin to spotlight world hunger and poverty with the launch of a worldwide photography competition. The just-launched contest is open to amateurs and pros alike. Rankin will select the winning photograph, which will be showcased at Fahey-Klein Gallery in Los Angeles and published in his biannual fashion and culture magazine, The Hunger. “We hope that vivid and unique photographs will encourage individuals to stop and contemplate the sharp inequalities that exist in our world,” said Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International, in a statement issued this week. Entries must be received by July 2, so start sourcing theoretical livestock now.

Parsons Students Repurpose Luxe Leather Scraps for ‘Wasteless’ Competition

Waste less, want more? That’s the thinking behind Wasteless, a sustainability-minded competition that challenged students at Parsons The New School for Design to transform Poltrona Frau‘s leather leftovers–freshly harvested from the floor of its factory in Tolentino, Italy–into luxe accessories and objects. Designer and Parsons faculty member Andrea Ruggiero led a group of 15 Parsons product design students in the seven-week project, and earlier this month they presented their projects to a panel of judges that included Massimo Vignelli, Metropolis editorial director Paul Makovsky, and Federico Materazzi of Poltrona Frau.

Jenny Hsu emerged on top with “Piqnique” (at left), a woven case for meals on the go that doubles as a leather placemat. Rounding out the top three were Yuna Kim‘s “Miovino” leather wine glass tags and the “Tuft” candle holders (at right) designed by Benjamin Billick. The three winning designers will head to Italy this summer to visit the Poltrona Frau factory and work with the company’s master craftsmen to fabricate prototypes. Check out all 15 of the student designs at Poltrona Frau’s Soho showroom, where they’re on view through Tuesday.

Seven Questions for Bradford Shellhammer, Fab’s Chief Design Officer

Fab made a splash in Milan with more than cushy Warhol Brillo boxes. The online retailer invited designers from around the world to pitch new products for the chance to have them produced and sold on Fab. More than 150 creative types from 30 countries turned out, and now it’s onto New York. In addition to showcasing its new private label alongside collaborations with the likes of the Albers Foundation and Blu Dot at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, which opens to the trade tomorrow, Fab is hosting another “Disrupting Design” competition.

The fearless leader of the judging panel will be Fab co-founder and chief design officer Bradford Shellhammer. “At Fab, we are constantly reinventing ourselves and rethinking what Fab can be,” he says. “By directly engaging with designers to find the best new work out there, we’re hoping to help even more of our members find things they love.” Today’s ever-changing offering ranges from a Louis Ghost Chair signed by Philippe Starck and vintage Kodak Brownies to a subscription to BirdWatching magazine and a pepperoni pizza t-shirt. Shellhammer paused in his booth preparations (find Fab at #1220 at ICFF) to answer our questions.

How did the Disrupting Design competition go in Milan last month?
We were overwhelmed by the response in Milan, which is why we’ve decided to do it again in New York during ICFF. We had so many great entries from all over the world when we did the call out in Milan. Initially we were planning on selecting three winning designs, but we couldn’t narrow it down so we ended up shortlisting twelve designs which we are working to put into production and sell on Fab–the revenue of which we of course share with the winning designers.

What advice would you give to those interested in presenting their designs to the Fab jury on Tuesday at ICFF?
Take a look at our site and keep the Fab viewpoint in mind when presenting. The winning designs from Milan all embody the Fab ethos–they tell great stories, utilize interesting materials, or have a sense of whimsy. We are looking for designs that will be appreciated by our global community of more than 12 million design lovers.

What are some qualities of a successful product on Fab?
Great products tell a story, elicit emotions, or solve problems. It’s that simple. It needs to check at least one of those boxes (hopefully all three). They can be in any category and at any price, as long as there’e something compelling.

What is a product that you’ve sold on Fab that has surprised you, in terms of expected versus actual interest from customers?
Yves Behar‘s medicine accessories for Sabi I thought may be targeted for a customer older than ours, but we sell a lot of them!
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In Brief: D&AD Judging Week, Six-Second Films, Remade Relaunch, Smart Textiles

Sagmeister & Walsh’s “Now is Better” project, seen here installed at the Jewish Museum, will be included in the 51st D&AD Annual and is up for a Yellow Pencil. (Photo: David Heald)

• On Monday a 192-member jury of leading creatives and designers began the business of judging the 51st D&AD Awards. As you await today’s installment of nominations and “in-books” in categories such as branding, graphic design, and art direction, page through the first five decades of excellence in visual thinking with D&AD 50, new from Taschen.

• The Tribeca Film Festival organizers recently announced its first six-second film competition, challenging amateur and pro filmmakers alike to make cinemagic with the bold, new, yet Super 8ish medium of Vine. The festival’s director of programming has narrowed down the approximately 400 entries to this shortlist. A jury consisting of director Penny Marshall, Vine-loving actor Adam Goldberg, and the team from 5 Second Films will have the final say on the winners, which will be announced next Friday.

• Transform the leather jacket languishing in the back of your closet into something that doesn’t scream “Wilsons Leather circa 1998″ with Remade USA, designer Shannon South‘s freshly relaunched custom service that repurposes individual vintage leather jackets into new one-of-a-kind handbags, through redesign and reconstruction.

• And speaking of textile innovation, on May 1, New York’s Eyebeam presents “Smart Textiles: Fashion That Responds,” a panel that will bring together a diverse group of designers and scientists working in cutting-edge textile research and production–think nanoparticles, circuit boards, and clothing that’s more responsive to changing needs and conditions.

In Brief: LACMA Plots MOCA Takeover, Imran Qureshi Bound for Met Rooftop, Adobe Awards

Imran Qureshi’s “Blessings Upon the Land of My Love” (2011), a site-specific installation commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. (Photo: Alfredo Rubio)

• The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a formal proposal to acquire the financially strapped Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Times.

• Next to tackle the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s summer rooftop commission is Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi. His site-specific work, to be unveiled in May, will be the first to be painted directly onto the surfaces of the roof garden, the museum announced yesterday.

• Adobe has put out the call for entries for the 13th annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, a global student design competition for individual and group projects produced with Adobe tools. Submissions will be accepted through June 21 in a dozen categories in three segments: traditional media, interactive experience, and motion and video.

• Can’t make it to Armory Week? Explore the main fair online, thanks to Artsy, and then consider how technology is transforming the practices of presenting and collecting art in this video of a recent discussion with Artsy co-founder Wendi Murdoch, artist Kenzo Digital, and Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu.

What Would Warhol Do…with 3D Printing?

We suspect it would involve desserts, skulls, or a delicious combination of the two, but the call is yours in a new contest from Materialise. The Belgian 3D printing (a.k.a. additive manufacturing) giant is challenging everyone and anyone to “design what you think Andy Warhol would have produced with 3D printing technology if he were alive today.” Five semifinalists will get their fifteen minutes of fame this June in Pittsburgh, as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers kicks off its 2013 RAPID prototyping fair with a bash at the Warhol Museum, where Murray Moss (who is among the contest judges) is cooking up a 3D-printed installation. The semifinalists’ designs will be 3D printed by Materialise and displayed at the museum during the event, when the grand prize winner will be announced–and will take home the 3D-printed version of his or her design. Fire up your “originality, inventiveness, and creativity” (the judging criteria), start thinking in paintable resin, and whip up something Warholian by March 15. Click here for complete contest details.

Hearst Plans Fashion Hackathon in NYC

The fashion world was rather slow to board the digital bandwagon, but we’ve come a long way from conversations about fashion and technology that began and ended with Hussein Chalayan‘s famous table skirt. Now anyone can purchase (and sometimes rent!) last season’s Naeem Khan at a hefty Gilt discount and pre-order next season’s Eddie Borgo baubles (from Moda Operandi), while emerging designers are flourishing everywhere from Etsy and ModCloth to Fab and AHAlife. With New York Fashion Week approaching, Hearst is seizing the app-frenzied moment for a Fashion Hackathon.

Beginning on the morning of Saturday, February 9, participating developers and designers (register here) will get to spend 24 hours coding away in the company’s breathtaking Norman Foster-designed midtown HQ to create “innovative fashion-focused apps and programs on API platforms from sponsors,” which include Hearst brands (your ELLE, your Harper’s Bazaar…), Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The grand prize winner, as determined by a judging panel of Hearst execs, tech industry gurus, and VCs will receive $10,000 and an internship opportunity. Surprise guest appearances–fingers crossed for that table skirt or better yet, a fresh-from-the-shows Glenda Bailey brandishing a tablet–are promised.

Electrolux Design Lab Gets Urban Twist

The Electrolux Design Lab competition is back for its eleventh go-round, and this year the theme–urbanization–invites a broader array of entries than ever before. Design students (undergraduate or graduate) from around the world have until March 15 to submit creative ideas for an innovative product, accessory, consumable, or service that “would be seen as a breakthrough within the sector of social cooking, natural air, or effortless cleaning.”

Flummoxed by the concept of social cooking, and fearful that it may involve having to share dessert, we consulted Electrolux and learned that for this category, the judges are looking for ideas that address city dwellers’ “shortage of entertaining space and preparation time, whilst allowing us to live a healthier lifestyle.” This sounds like a job for Jetsons-style food pellets–after all, last year’s first-prize winner was Jan Ankiersztajn‘s Aeroball, a constellation of luminescent, helium-infused balls that floatingly filter and fragrance the air in a room. Noble gases win again. Begin the brainstorming process (where can we get some delicious yet effortless neon?) by watching highlights from last year’s finals, held at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan.