Say “Tim Gunn” to ten people and nine of them well immediately reply, “I love Tim Gunn!” (The tenth doesn’t watch television or read style manuals). The debonair and decanal Project Runway mentor, who has a vivid childhood memory of touring FBI headquarters and seeing J. Edgar Hoover dressed as Vivian Vance, is bringing his sharp eye and make-it-work mantra to Quirky. Gunn will visit the NYC offices of the social media-meets-product development company this evening to help evaluate products. Tune in here at 7 p.m. EST to watch the live webcast, during which Gunn will weigh on in on more than a dozen potential app-enabled products for the home that Quirky will develop in partnership with GE.
A gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition is inspired by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and their Seditionaries boutique at 430 King’s Road in London. (Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art)
“I was about 36 when punk happened and I was upset about what was going on in the world. It was the hippies who taught my generation about politics, and that’s what I cared about–the world being so corrupt and mismanaged, people suffering, wars, all these terrible things–while Malcolm [McLaren] hated the older generation as a result of his background; he hated any authority. Malcolm was a great talent, but he was not true to himself or to his talent because he was not really interested in trying to understand the world. Therefore he didn’t learn, and I lost interest in his ideas. And I blamed the older generation for what was going on too, so we wouldn’t even accept their taboos. That’s how the swastika symbols came to be used in punk.”
-Fashion designer Vivenne Westwood in Harper’s Bazaar
“I’m just so fascinated with what the approach to theme will be–is it about a punk attitude? Is it about the specific time period referred to as punk? I think there are a lot of mysteries to be unveiled. And we can use it as an excuse to spit inside the museum…just inside a cistern of some sort, any old Greek cisterns we might find.”
-The delightful Lena Dunham on her expectations for last night’s punk-themed Met Gala. She attended with Erdem Moralioglu, who designed her dress, complete with upper back-bearing “tattoo window.” The two had a transatlantic fitting via iPad. Added Dunham, “My dog ate a safety pin during the fitting, which is punk.”
Paola Antonelli, charmer of Stephen Colbert and the most curious of octopuses, will be honored this evening in New York by the MEDIUM Group. The art and commerce go-between is presenting Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design and director of research and development at the Museum of Modern Art, with an award in recognition of her curatorial achievements and contribution to contemporary culture. Hosting the “Cocktails and Curators” bash, a kind of Frieze kickoff, are Hannah Bronfman, Amani Olu, and Larry Ossei-Mensah. We’re not sure what the award consists of (perhaps a lifetime supply of Beefeater 24 Gin, the evening’s sponsor?), but might be suggest forgoing a traditional trophy in favor of a carbon-fiber “robo-fly”? “Hello, world’s smallest flying robot!” Antonelli tweeted recently of the insect-scale innovation, the subject of a newly published Science paper. “Where have you been all my life?”
(Photo: Richard Patterson for Design Miami)
The countdown to Basel is on, and this year Design Miami/Basel moves to a Herzog & de Meuron-designed home in the new permanent exhibition hall. The eighth edition of the Basel fair is also shaping up to be the biggest yet. “We’ll have about fifty percent more galleries than last year,” Design Miami director Marianne Goebl told us during a recent trip to New York. “And we’re expanding our geographical reach. For the first time in Basel we’ll have a gallery from South Africa, Southern Guild. We’ll also have a first-time participant from Beirut, Carwan Gallery, which will present the work of India Mahdavi.”
A Vitra veteran who took over from founding director Ambra Medda in February 2011, Goebl has succeeded in freshening up Design Miami for an audience that ranges from die-hard design fans to newcomers who strolled over from the neighboring art megafair. “I have this very naïve mission of wanting to communicate to a large audience that design matters,” she says. “Everybody lives with design, whether they want to or not. Not everyone can make choices, but to a certain degree a lot of people can make choices and I think that not enough people do it…until now.” We asked Goebl about how she became interested in design, what’s in store for Basel, and if she believes the 3D printing hype.
How did you become interested in design?
I thought I would end up in the arts, so growing up in Vienna and already when I was a teenager and during my studies [in economics], I always worked in galleries and museums. I interned at the Museum for Applied Arts, worked for an art gallery for three years, and really felt like I wanted this to be part of my life, but then designer friends of mine took me to Milan [Salone Internazionale del Mobile] when I was maybe 22. This whole new world opened up and I realized that in design I could find…conceptual thinking, but also something beyond that, which is tangible and really part of everyday life. And I felt that this is what I wanted to be part of.
Since taking over as director in 2011, what have you found particularly surprising about your job or the fair itself?
What I’ve really learned over the last two years–and what I hope to continue in the future–is that Design Miami can speak to different types of people. First there’s an audience of general enthusiasts, people who are just really interested in design. They may not be interested in buying something, but it doesn’t matter. They can just come [to the fair], get all of the information, ask all of their questions, see the material, interact, use it as a forum. And on the other end of the spectrum, we can reach an audience that can actually help fuel the market and help designers to continue their research and to tell their stories. I don’t want to call it two levels, because it’s not necessarily two different levels, but it’s a broad spectrum of audience, and that wasn’t clear to me before I joined Design Miami.
Tell us about Design Miami’s new location for Basel in June.
In Basel this will be Design Miami’s fourth location. It’s like an itinerant fair! It brings a lot of opportunities, because first, it’s a brand new hall with great architecture. It’s part of the fairground of the Basel convention center. They built a bridge across two buildings on a public plaza. There’s a skylight. It’s in the middle of activities. And then the fair will unfold in the bridge. And there’s moments when you can overlook the square, so it’s nice to communicate with the outside world. I would say it is sophisticated, industrial, not at like a sleek, carpeted convention center.
And Design Miami will also have another space, in addition to the main fair?
We’ll have an additional space that we did not have before in Basel, on the ground floor, where we’ll be able to stage a design performance. We’re working with a German designer who collaborates with dancers. It will be about the relationship between the maker and the object. It will be an ongoing thing, so that every time you come something else will be happening.
The awards-gala season is in full swing, and Creative Time is cooking up a night to remember at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory. The arts organization, which recently trotted out Nick Cave‘s soundsuited steeds in Grand Central terminal, will cap off the month with an April 30 benefit to honor the multitalented Julian Schnabel. Mario Batali is handling the food, daughter Lola is crafting the playlist, and the likes of Laurie Anderson and Al Pacino are lining up to praise the man of the moment in charming yet succinct video tributes. As you prepare to fetch your credit card to buy a ticket (after all, gala proceeds provide nearly a third of Creative Time’s annual budget), watch Anderson’s salute to Schnabel:
Two of of the seven 2013 Time 100 covers, which feature portraits by Mark Seliger.
Today Time revealed its annual selection of the 100 most influential people in the world, and while we remain suspicious of any list that includes both Christina Aguilera and Elena Kagan, it’s difficult not to enjoy the logistical wonder that is the Time 100 issue. On newsstands tomorrow, the massive editorial effort commissions a diverse group of notable figures—many of them Time 100 alumna—to write a paragraph or two about the chosen influencers. And so this year we get Richard “I know a thing or two about building spaceships” Branson on SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, Claire Danes‘s clear-eyed look at the uniquely vanity-free and shameless Lena Dunham, and Michael Bloomberg‘s cliché-ridden paen to Jay-Z, who emerges as a 21st century Gatsby that gets the girl–she also made the Time 100–and the American Dream.
Art and design stars that made it onto this year’s Time 100 include Apple’s Jony Ive, Michael Kors, who joins the likes of Uniqlo honcho Tadashi Yanai and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg in the “Titans” category; artist Ed Ruscha, who Richard Lacayo likens here to “a SoCal Magritte;” 2012 Pritzker laureate Wang Shu; and Jenna Lyons, executive creative director of J. Crew. “She has made fashion relatable,” writes fashion designer Prabal Gurung of Lyons. “Being fashionable doesn’t mean being trendy; it means having a sense of style. Jenna has made J. Crew more than a brand or a company–it’s a philosophy that believes in style.”
“It all began at Graham Hill Elementary School in southeast Seattle, when my third-grade teacher, Ms. Horita, told my parents at a parent-teacher conference that I was good at two things: math and art. My father, a Japanese immigrant, owned and operated a tofu store for 27 years in the Chinatown International District. The day after the meeting, he proudly announced to one of his tofu customers: ‘John is good at math.’
At the time, it signaled something to me that he left out the art part; I just didn’t know what. In hindsight, it was my first experience of the prejudices that cling to accomplishments in the arts, and a catalyst for me to push for the power of interdisciplinary thinking.”
-Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda, writing in his recent Seattle Times op-ed on the RISD-led “STEM to STEAM” initiative to add Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research in America. Maeda and the initiative will be honored next Friday in NYC with a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award.
Break out the champagne and the ampersands, design fans, because there’s a rebranding afoot at the legendary brand design firm of Chermayeff & Geismar, the creative brains behind identities for the likes of National Geographic, the Smithsonian, NBC, and Chase. For the first time in 56 years, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar have company on the masthead–in the form of partner Sagi Haviv, who has been with the firm since 2003 (the same year that he graduated from Cooper Union). The firm will now be known as Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.
“In the last ten years, Sagi has proved to us time and time again that not only had he absorbed our design philosophy, but had contributed to it and enhanced it with awareness, energy, and talent,” said Chermayeff in a statement announcing the change. “Tom and I felt that the firm had reached a point where credit going forward into our common future should be shared equally amongst us.” For a taste of Haviv’s absorption and enhancement skills, treat yourself to “Logomotion” (below, created in 2008), his award-winning animated tribute to the firm’s famous trademarks.
From STEM to STEAM to…Psy? Worlds will collide on April 26, when NYU’s Stern School of Business plays host to a ceremony and luncheon for the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards. Presented annually by the Tribeca Film Festival in association with the Disruptor Foundation and Mr. Disruptive Innovation himself, Clay Christensen, the awards showcase applications of and advancements in disruptive innovation theory–how simpler, cheaper technologies, products, and services can decimate industry leaders–that have spread beyond the original technological and industrial sweetspots.
Joining past honorees such as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, the Guggenheim’s YouTube Play, and Kickstarter are 2013 disrupters including RISD President John Maeda‘s STEM to STEAM initiative, which adds art and design into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) quartet; fashion designer and wellness advocate Norma Kamali; K-Pop sensation Psy; and Twyla Tharp, who will receive the lifetime achievement award. Here’s hoping that those four hit and off and get to work on an even more disruptive collaborative project. The full list of honorees is below. Each will take home Disruptor Award statuettes known as “Maslow’s Silver Hammer,” in honor of psychologist Abe “Hierarchy of Needs” Maslow, who once said, “When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail.”
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