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Michael Graves and Peter Eisenman Dazzle with Comedic Stylings, Incisive Critiques

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The dashing Peter Eisenman was the lone speaker at “Past as Prologue,” the Architectural League of New York symposium held Saturday in honor of Michael Graves’s fiftieth year in practice, to appear twice: first in the Paul Goldberger-moderated panel on architectural pedagogy and again for a day-capping conversation with Graves himself. Between the two appearances, Eisenman snuck away to watch the annual Harvard-Yale football game. As the Crimson was busy besting the Bulldogs 31-24, plenty of other longstanding rivalries simmered on stage, where even the conference venue (the recently constructed and steeply pitched Tishman Auditorium at the New School) was not immune to attack. The architectural symposium’s version of the Game’s last-minute 35-yard touchdown was what Eisenman, after initially professing that he felt like he had “gone to the wrong parade,” later described gamely as “The Michael Graves-Peter Eisenman Comedy Hour.” Here are some of the highlights.

On driving forces:
Michael Graves: Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas have their phones ringing all the time with “Would you do this for us?”
Peter Eisenman: For what reason?
MG: To keep ahead of Frank!

On form:
PE: What is it that makes your buildings look like they are?
MG: Architecture! I believe in architecture.
PE: So do I. How come they look different?
MG: It doesn’t matter that they look different. They don’t look like [the buildings of] those other people. That’s what’s important.
PE: That’s true.
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Watch: David Weeks Studio Celebrates a Year in Tribeca

A year has passed since David Weeks branched out from Brooklyn to Manhattan with a standalone atelier in Tribeca that is part design studio, part showspace for one-of-a-kind prototypes, collaborations, and work from other artists. The designer—of stunning lighting, fluidly formed furniture, and craggily adorable wooden creatures—is marking the one-year anniversary with this most delightful visit to the neighborhood, produced by Optic Films.


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Quote of Note | Johnny Pigozzi

pigozzi“Have you ever had the Heimlich maneuver? I’ve had it many times….Last time I was in London, about a year ago, and I had six mini-hamburgers and then I had a big glass of Coca-Cola and…[makes choking sounds] and a guy came and gave it to me and the thing jumped out of my throat. I said, ‘Where did you learn how to do that?’ He said, ‘I learned it by watching an episode of Friends.’”

-JeanJohnnyPigozzi while on a postprandial stroll with Brett Ratner in Budapest in an episode of My Friends Call Me Johnny, his Esquire TV docu-series

Watch: The Jonathan Ive Supercut

Earlier this month, amidst news of Apple’s Newsonian hire and breathless anticipation of streamlined, possibly wearable gizmos to come, Rob Walker had but one Cupertino-themed wish: “I didn’t want to guess what the company would release. New iPhone, iWatch, iEggBeater, who cares?” wrote the journalist in a Yahoo Tech column. “I just wanted Jony Ive—Apple’s staid, British design honcho—to tell me how amazingly magical it is.” He soon got his wish, as Ive waxed poetic about the “completely singular” Apple Watch in a launch video. And so Walker kept right on wishing, this time in the form of a tweet:

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Once again, the universe has answered, this time in the form of a video (below) created by the Dublin-based creative crew at Army of Id (“Saving the world one frame at a time”). “[It's] a short, supercut-style compilation of fourteen years of Jony Ive earnestly telling us the latest Apple iThing is ‘simple,’ ‘smaller,’ ‘intuitive,’ ‘powerful,’ over and over, in a series of v-neck tees,” Walker tells us. “I wonder if there is another designer who could inspire such a thing?”

Watch: Ai Weiwei Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

“Ah yes, the summer of 2014, I remember it well,” you’ll tell your robot grandchildren. “The world lost Elaine StritchRobin Williams—tragic! And everyone was dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.” The latest celebrity to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—the DIY dunk-tank-for-charity viral sensation that involves chilly water, a video camera, and the magic of social media—is Ai Weiwei. No word as to whether the Chinese artist made a donation, but he definitely got soaked. Two buckets were required. Watch the scene unfold in the courtyard of his Beijing HQ, much to the delight of onlooking studio assistants.

Quote of Note | Takashi Murakami

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“I have this idea for a sweet comedy about death. A middle-aged author of e-books, with middling sales, retreats deep into the mountains of Japan to build a grave for his recently deceased father. After getting scammed out of all of his money, he falls into despair, but for some unknown reason he is visited by a savior in the form of a middle-aged woman. And then his divorced wife from ten years ago appears unexplainably too. Then this young woman with whom he spent a single night in a club many years ago is being treated for an incurable disease in the mountainside sanatorium, and she comes to him for emotional support. I’d love to do that story.”

-Artist Takashi Murakami discussing his filmmaking aspirations in a recent interview. Also on his wishlist? “Some form of a collaboration with J.J. Abrams.”

Quote of Note | Wes Anderson

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“At one point my older brother and I decided we wanted to make an entrance to our house through the roof. So we cut a hole in the roof and went into the attic. We had a plan for the whole thing, and it took days. Then my father saw it, and I don’t ever remember seeing him like this. He couldn’t believe it. It was unthinkable. We’d cut a hole in the roof of our house! Now that I think of it, I realize how horrifying it would be.”

-Wes Anderson, in an interview that appears in the March 6 issue of Time Out New York

Watch: IKEA, the Final Frontier

In the deepest reaches of an IKEA superstore, no one can hear you scream. OK, so they can hear you, but they cannot be bothered to listen, because who can heed the anguished cries of others when attempting to decide between the Söderhamn (in Replösa? in Isefall?) and the Härnösand, or maybe the Tidafors, but what about the Strandmon (does that still come in Skiftebo)? Grab your morning course of meatballs, pull up an Esbjörn, and treat yourself to Daniel Hubbard‘s dramatic reenactment of the lost-in-IKEA-by-way-of-Alfonso-Cuaron‘s-Gravity experience. We think it’s out of this world.

Art Directors Club Convinces Milton Glaser, James Victore to Feed Their Art to Laser Cat

The feline world takeover continues apace, one adorable kitten Vine at a time. Cats have even infiltrated the highest reaches of the creative community, as evidenced by the Laser Cat that has been gobbling up the work of designers such as Stefan Sagmeister, Milton Glaser and Sue Walsh, Kevin O’Callaghan, and James Victore, with plans to project the artworks onto Miami’s Bass Museum of Art. Then it’s onto the moon. Say what?

Laser Cat is an art installation dreamed up by Barcelona-based Hungry Castle, also known as Dave Glass and Kill Cooper. The poptastic duo has joined forces with O’Callaghan, the original Mr. Big Stuff, to create a giant cat armed with powerful “laser” projectors that will be part of the Art Directors Club’s 93rd Annual Awards + Festival of Art and Craft in Advertising and Design, which takes April 7–9 2014 in Miami Beach. Still confused? Just watch these videos—pew, pew!


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Swiss Spritz! Helvetica the Perfume ‘Smells Like Nothing’

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Now that the literal feasting of Thanksgiving is over, the retail gluttony can begin. We have a feeling that you’re eschewing “doorbuster deals” in favor of web-surfing your way to elegant gifts (that don’t require resorting to fisticuffs or even leaving your home), but what do you get for the design-minded person who has everything? The answer, of course, is nothing—in the form of Helvetica the Perfume.

Technically, it is two ounces of distilled water, but to the typographically savvy, it is the olfactory equivalent of Max Miedlinger and Eduard Hoffmann‘s sans-serif marvel: pure, modern, neutral, and profoundly Swiss. Decanted into a glass bottle labeled in 24-karat gold Helevtica Bold and tucked into a letterpressed box, the limited-edition fragrance is yours for $62 from Guts & Glory.
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