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Hello, Aquilops! Paleontologists Discover Wee Dinosaur with Face of Eagle, Heart of Gold

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Aquilops_headThe Triceratops, with its cranial ornamentation and herbivorous habits, has long outshone the other -topses and -sauruses that make up the family commonly known as horned dinosaurs. That’s all set to change with the discovery of the 108-million-year-old skull of an Aquilops. With a freshly coined name that conjures a fossil-heavy water park, this creature was the stocking stuffer of dinosaurs: roughly the size of a small cat, Aquilops is estimated to have been two feet long and to have weighed a mere three pounds. The name is a reference to its eagle-like face (“aquila” is Latin for eagle, “ops” is Greek for face), distinguished by spike-like cheekbones and a distinct upper beak bone. An artist’s rendering suggests a certain resemblance to former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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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!

Pantone Declares ‘Marsala’ Color of 2015

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Think wine, not veal. Redder than russet, browner than carmine, more mischievous than maroon. Today Pantone declares Marsala (18-1438 on your fandeck) the “hearty, yet stylish” Color of the Year. In the wake of picks including Radiant Orchid, Honeysuckle, Turquoise, and Mimosa, it would seem that 21st-century color trends are defined by a box of Crayola “bold colors” markers.

“Marsala enriches our mind, body, and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Pantone Color Institute directrice Leatrice Eiseman. “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.” Those eager to embrace the “naturally robust and earthy wine red” can purchase a a Pantone USB drive in Marsala or start stocking up on Pantone paint in the color of 2015, and Amazon sells the real stuff by the jug.

Duncan Campbell Wins Turner Prize

duncanportraitArt Basel Miami Beach week kicks off with some breaking news from across the pond: Duncan Campbell is the winner of this year’s Turner Prize. The Dublin-born, Glasgow-based artist is known for his films about controversial figures such as Irish political activist Bernadette Devlin and automotive superstar/conman John DeLorean.

In accepting the £25,000 prize (approximately $40,000 at current exchange) from presenter Chiwetel Ejiofor (star of 1999 Turner Prize winner Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave) this evening at a ceremony at Tate Britain, Campbell bested the rest of the shortlist: Ciara Phillips, James Richards, and Tris Vonna-Michell. Here’s an excerpt from the winning work, If for Others (2013), a response to Statues Also Die, a 1953 film essay by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais about historical African art and colonialism. Made for the Scottish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, Campbell’s film includes archival footage and photos, reenactments and monologues, as well as new work by choreographer Michael Clark.
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Ralph Rucci Departs Namesake Fashion House

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Looks from the spring 2015 Ralph Rucci collection.

Last week’s sudden cancellation of a planned lecture and workshop by Ralph Rucci at the Cooper Hewitt suggested that all was not well in the house of the National Design Award winner. In fact, things could not be worse: Rucci has exited his namesake label. The shocking move, announced late yesterday by WWD, follows a period of positive momentum for the uncompromising and long underappreciated couturier, who has always lacked for a Pierre Bergé or Robert Duffy to take financial and operational matters off his own list of daily concerns.

A post-recession turnaround funded by investors Nancy and Howard Marks and executed by former CEO Jeffry Aronsson saw Rucci’s house, born in 1994 as Chado Ralph Rucci, launch Steven Meisel-lensed ad campaigns in fashion glossies including Vogue, whose editor-in-chief has long maintained something of a no-Rucci policy in her editorial pages, and a furniture line with Holly Hunt as expansion plans–there was talk of a retail rollout and a broadened customer base–were hatched. But Aronsson departed in October 2013 and was replaced in June by Joey Laurenti, who has continued to run his contemporary showroom, Goods and Services, while helming Rucci’s house. It was not a good match, as indicated by the company’s delusional plan to name a new creative director of Ralph Rucci by the end of the year.

For Picasso’s Birthday, a Guernica Made of Legos

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Picasso’s Guernica made of Lego bricks by Veronica Watson. (Photo: Legoland Discovery Center Westchester)

Today marks the 133rd anniversary of Picasso‘s birth, and while some will celebrate by taking in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spellbinding show of Leonard Lauder‘s Cubist collection, others will admire the artist’s famous Guernica—recreated in Legos in Yonkers. The blocky birthday tribute is the work of Veronica Watson, a master model builder at Legoland Discovery Center Westchester. It took her a couple of days and 800 Legos to create the replica, which is seven inches tall and just under fifteen inches wide, but little convincing: Guernica is one of her favorite Picasso works. “The style used to represent the chaotic subject matter of the Spanish Civil War makes it an incredibly powerful piece in 1937 and in 2014,” Watson told us, before answering a few of our questions about her Lego homage.

What was the most challenging aspect of making a Lego version of Guernica?
The most difficult aspect of making the Lego version was deciding how much detail to include. There is a lot going on in the painting. Rather then explicitly recreating every detail, I worked at suggesting the right forms so that the painting would be instantly recognizable.
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In Brief: RIP Oscar de la Renta, Banksy Riffs on Vermeer, Istanbul Design Biennial Update

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• Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died last night after a long battle with cancer. The bon vivant, whose fashion house announced last week the appointment of Nina Ricci veteran Peter Copping as creative director, was 82.

Banksy is back. His latest work, painted on a building in his hometown of Bristol, is a pierced-eardrum riff on Vermeer‘s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

• It’s all systems go for the second Istanbul Design Biennial, which kicks off November 1. Curated by Zoë Ryan and associate curator Meredith Carruthers, the biennial will host 53 projects created around the theme “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be.” The list of participating designers, announced this week, includes Elena Manferdini of Atelier Manferdini, Sissel Tolaas, Beth Schechter and Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, and Atelier Bow-Wow’s Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima.

• The Museum at FIT holds its fourteenth fashion symposium—Dance & Fashion—this Thursday and Friday. Speakers including Wendy Whelan, Narciso Rodriguez, and Valerie Steele will explore topics ranging from tutus and ballet shoes to African-American dance and the trend of tapping fashion designers to create dance costumes. Don’t miss the wrap-up session: a tango performance that will inevitably evoke the dearly departed Mr. de la Renta. Register for free here.
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Holy Philately! USPS Debuts Batman Stamps in Gotham City

batman stampsBatman turns 75 this year (and yet, riddle us this, Adam West just turned 86), and the U.S. Postal Service is celebrating with—you guessed it—stamps! The collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment debuted last week in Gotham City at the Batcave-like Javits Center, where legions of Batfans had conveniently already gathered for Comic Con. There was no mention of Robin. The stamps, a limited-edition Forever affair (which only sounds oxymoronic) now available at a post office near you and on the USPS website, follow the Caped Crusader and his trusty Bat emblem, through four eras of comic book history.

Pass the Mvstard: New Design Marketplace Debuts

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Between Quirky and Kickstarter comes Mvstard, which aims to offer a new way to discover, shop for, and support design. Launched last month to coincide with London Design Week, the web-based platform was born out of a frustration with the current process for getting product to market. “We found it difficult to introduce new products at a sensible cost without scale, and tough to get scale without big investment,” says founder James Coombes. “We believed there was a better way.” Sign up to help solve the chicken-and-egg scale issue and directly support designers by committing to pre-purchase products you love. The opening selection includes an iPhone-charging desk lamp, a mobile made of varnished leaves, and a nifty cast-aluminum stool.

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Parsons Adds Industrial Design MFA Program

(Alessio D' Aniello)Would-be undergraduates aren’t the only ones with innovative new educational opportunities at Parsons The New School for Design. There’s also a new Master of Fine Arts program in the works. Slated to launch in the fall of 2015, Parsons’ full-time Industrial Design MFA is geared to professionals who want to further develop their industrial design practice as well as those who are new to the field. As for the curriculum, developed by Rama Chorpash, expect well-crafted opportunities “to employ advanced making skills and critical inquiry to design products at various scales of production, from low- to high-volume, and from desktop manufacturing to systems involving global supply chains.” Students will cap off their two years of study with a thesis project “that develops innovative or provocative designs carrying forward or challenging industrial design theory and practice.” Excited? The program’s official kickoff will take the form of “Product City: Shortening the Supply Chain,” an October 30 panel discussion featuring Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez (founders of Makers Row) and Stephanie Schacht (head of responsible growth at Etsy), with Chorpash and Victoria Hattam (professor of politics at The New School for Social Research) moderating.

The New School, Parsons Launch Journalism + Design Program

logo_horiz_sm2-300x46The goal? “To build a community of students and practitioners dedicated to building a future for journalism that isn’t dictated by corporate PR, wealthy individuals, or government spin.” The means? An interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program at The New School in Manhattan that merges design thinking with traditional journalistic principles. The catalyst? A $250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will fund the pilot initiative along with a journalist-in-residence program to bring in practitioners and thought leaders as well as social media editors, technologists, and data reporters. “The Journalism + Design program recognizes the critical and growing role design plays in the creation, consumption and experience of media,” said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons The New School for Design, in a statement issued recently by the Knight Foundation. “It creates an exciting new space to explore emergent methods and channels for relaying information that will transform the media industry of the 21st century.”

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