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Twitter Along with UnBeige


Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having joined the tweeting masses. Look to the UnBeige Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and our exclusive photo of Rem Koolhaas in mid-ponder—it makes for smashing smartphone wallpaper.

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Happy Thanksgiving from UnBeige

(Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao)
Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, 2012,” now available to purchase from our friends at Aperture.

Thank you for joining us through another year of news, events, books, films, and curiosities in the world of design, art, and visual culture. May your Thanksgiving be restful, delicious, and well-designed.

Anonymous Tips: Because Sharing Is Caring

who could it be now.jpgIf we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy murder plot, thanks to our “Anonymous Tips” box, which the Mediabistro tech wizards have placed at the top right of this page. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Type in your news—design happenings, gossip, movements of the Revolving Door, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “send.” We’ll get the news, you’ll retain your air of mystery.

UnBeige Holiday Gift Guide: Call for Ideas

present.gifWhat do you get the designer or design buff who has everything? No, really, what do you get them? We’re asking because we’ve decided to assemble the first ever UnBeige Holiday Gift Guide, a round-up of design-minded gift ideas—or just plain nifty things. So what are you giving or hoping to get this Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and/or Voodoo Day? Let us know by e-mailing your ideas to unbeige AT with “gift guide” in the subject line. You’ve got until December 5, at which point we’ll be making our list, checking it twice—oh, you get the picture.

In Which We Seek Your Design News

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy task of plotting murder, thanks to our handy “Anonymous Tips” box nestled in the menu bar at right, below the search box. Simply type in your news—design happenings, movements of the Revolving Door, scandalous revelations, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “Send.” And for those not inclined to clandestine tipping, we’re still just an e-mail away.

Happy Labor Day from UnBeige

(Murat Gok)
Murat Gok, Border (Hammock), 2010

Après Labor Day, le déluge, a sunburnt French monarch once said. May your day off be festive, adventurous, restful, quiet, or productive, as you see fit. And in case you’ve already reached the bottom of your summer reading list, here are a few online morsels to peruse as you prepare for sweater weather.

•Yet to make a pilgrimage to Philip Johnson‘s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut? Pay a virtual visit, and start with the art (via VernissageTV and Vimeo).

Steven Heller remembers the colorful Deborah Sussman (via The Atlantic).

•Are these Eames-inspired Nikes the worst thing in the world? A point-counterpoint (via Fast Company).

•The reworked press photos now being discarded are unique objects and compellingly strange images. Rick Poynor takes a closer look at the accidental art of retouching (via Eye Magazine).

•The countdown to the reopening of Cooper Hewitt —née the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum —is on! Tide yourself over with the museum’s Object of the Day blog.

•Comedian and designer Jill Shargaa implores humanity to put the “awe” back in awesome (via

•Treat your iPad to 82 and Fifth, in which 100 curators from across the Museum talk about 100 works of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection—one work, one curator, two minutes at a time.

Happy Holidays from UnBeige

(Dan Flavin)
A Christmas card created by Dan Flavin and sent to artist Andrew Bucci in 1962. (Photo: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

The word from the FAA is that Santa’s sleigh has cleared American airspace, and so as design lovers of all ages get to the business of unwrapping their bottles of Helvetica perfume, radiant orchid plants and foodstuffs, pewter wishbones, cut-paper Shakespeare classics, and 2014 typography calendars, we at UnBeige HQ wish you the brightest of holidays.

Happy Fourth! Fun Design Facts to Ponder While You Wait for the Fireworks

Pill Flag,” artist Ray Geary’s prescription for patriotism. (Photo: Jordan Doner)

Happy birthday, USA—you don’t look a day over 200. Before heading out for a day of flag-themed frozen novelties, imported periodicals, and sparklers, lots and lots of sparklers, we assembled this list of a dozen fun facts—all gleaned from recent UnBeige stories—for you to muse upon during your own Fourth of July festivities. Enjoy the holiday!

• Designing brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana grew up in a house filled with crystals, plucked from farms in Brazil by their father, an agronomic engineer.

Kanye West‘s new album, Yeezus, was inspired by a Le Corbusier lamp.

• The Smithsonian’s first crowdfunding campaign is a success, having surpassed the $125,000 goal to back “Yoga: The Art of Transformation,” an upcoming exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. (You have until July 8 to donate.)

• You can spend eternity in a dwelling designed by Tom Kundig: the architect has designed a funerary urn.

• The Soviets made some swell notebooks. Rad and Hungry founder Hen Chung told us that Latvian composition books (with “yellowing pages, faded mint covers, and a simple rubber-stamped logo”) are her favorite of the items that have been included in her company’s country-themed cool-tools packs.
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Wanted: Your Design News

hungry for news.jpgAs you put the finishing touches on your Frank Gehry-inspired gingerbread house and continue to pretend to buy gifts for others while really shopping for yourself, we wanted to take this opportunity to ask you, dear UnBeige readers, to keep us updated with your design happenings now and well into 2013.

We’re always thrilled to receive reader tips (that’s us pictured at right, mulling over a recent e-mail with the help of our newly purchased “holiday fedoras”), whether about a Revolving Door item (who’s leaving? who has just arrived?), an event, a bit of gossip, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel. We’re just an e-mail away at unbeige AT mediabistro DOT com.

Happy Thanksgiving from UnBeige

“Pies,” a 1961 painting by Wayne Thiebaud.

Before we return to our seasonal mission of preparing pies to resemble this delicious Wayne Thiebaud canvas, we offer up a giant slice of banana-cream thanks to you, dear readers, for joining us through another year of news, events, books, films, and curiosities in the world of design, art, and visual culture. May your Thanksgiving be restful, well-designed, and full of pie. And while you go about your own holiday preparations–redoing the placecards that your well-meaning aunt chose to print in Comic Sans, switching out the pilgrim-themed Ziggy napkins, discussing why the term “doorbuster” is not to be uttered in your presence–be sure to keep one eye on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which this year debuts a balloon designed by KAWS.

Macy’s tapped the New Jersey-born artist, also known as Brian Donnelly, to create the new addition to its “Blue Sky Gallery” series that has sent aloft the work of artists such as Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Tom Otterness. Donnelly saw his “Companion” character, the first toy he ever made, as ripe for transformation into 40 feet of inflatable, urethane-coated nylon. “I like taking an image and reworking it and having it made in new ways and materials, and communicating in different ways,” he told us earlier this year. And Donnelly is already thinking about the bashful balloon’s future. “Macy’s archives all of the balloons. They have every one that they’ve made since the 1930s, at least those that haven’t totally deteriorated,” he said. “My hope is that in ten or fifteen years, they do something where they show all of the artists’ balloons together.”

(Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images North America)