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Quote of Note | Marc Newson on Carlo Mollino

mollino bisiluro 1955

“I discovered the work of Carlo Mollino at the beginning of my career, about twenty-five years ago. The piece that really got me excited was the ‘Bisiluro’ (pictured), which was essentially a racing car that looked like a four-wheeled motorcycle, like two motorcycles bolted together. It was a fantastically brilliant thing: two pontoons joined by a metallic membrane. He raced them. They were his obsession, though he designed them not merely to look cool, but also to be functional and aerodynamic. What subsequently attracted me to his work, more than the furniture, was his general multitasking ability. Aviation, architecture, automotives, photography, furniture—he created all of those things, and he practiced across several disciplines at a time when not many other people were doing that. He eluded any job description.”

-Multitasking designer Marc Newson in the fifth (fall/winter 2014) issue of CR Fashion Book

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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!

Studios Kabako Wins Curry Stone Design Prize

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Studios Kabako performing more more more…future, set to the poems of political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. (Photo: Agathe Poupeney)

The Congolese performance and theater studio Studios Kabako is the winner of the $120,000 Curry Stone Design Prize, established in 2008 to recognize those using design to address critical issues ranging from post-conflict development and peacekeeping to clean water access and healthcare. Past winners of the award, selected by a design star-heavy jury, include artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, Boston-based MASS Design, Architecture for Humanity, architect Antonio Scarponi, and Brooklyn’s Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula created Studios Kabako in 2001 to address social memory, fear, and hope in the aftermath of civil war. The organization is based in Kisangani, the third largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Faustin Linyekula manifests how art should be the first design component in building a better society,” said prize founders Clifford Curry and Delight Stone in a statement issued this morning announcing the winner. “Studios Kabako’s performances expose on an international platform the devastating effects of local conflicts, while in Kisangani they are assembling daily the building blocks for envisioning a sustainable future.”
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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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Quote of Note | Neville Brody

neville brody“To me, the most inspiring kind of design comes from people who are not professional designers. Things like seven-inch reggae album art from the ’70s and ’80s. These people had cheap printing and bad technology, but still made impactful work. There’s something inspiring in that innocence—raw, direct, and unafraid to make mistakes.”

-Graphic designer Neville Brody in the fifth (fall/winter 2014) issue of CR Fashion Book

On the Colorful Chemistry of Fall Leaves

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The leaves they are a-changing, and there’s more to it than less chlorophyll. Study up on autumnal chemistry with this handy infographic from the better-living-through-chemistry types at Compound Interest, helmed by design-savvy chemistry teacher Andy Brunning. Once you’ve boned up on carotenoids and flavonoids, check out more instructive infographics that demystify the chemistry of everyday life.

Quote of Note | Marc Jacobs

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“…Jamie [Bochert, fit model and muse] comes in with jet black hair and traipses in some old Victorian dress in the middle of summer. And you know what? She looks cool. So you sort of say, ‘Why not?’ We started looking at things that are Victorian. It really started with a pair of surf shorts and a Victorian blouse….There were a list of reasons: the final scene of Pippin. This book of women in Tahiti wearing Victorian blouses and making these tropical print quilts. Maybe a bit of what Prada’s men’s show was. Maybe a lot of things I’ve taken in. Then Jamie walks in with this dress and all of a sudden you’re adding things up, and somehow I make a logical connection between those things. There is no right or wrong.”

-Marc Jacobs discussing the origins of his spring 2014 Marc Jacobs collection (pictured) in an interview with Bridget Foley in WWD Collections

Chinese Artists Will Transform Your Instagrams into Oil Paintings

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Watch your back, Richard Estes. A photo and, at right, the resulting Pixelist painting.

Make 2014 the year that your Instagram masterworks break free of their pixellated prisons and start a new life as…photorealist oil paintings! That’s the transformative promise of Pixelist. The startup offers handmade oil paintings of any image you can capture or create, with “commissions” starting at $150. How? A bunch of willing and able Chinese painters sourced by founder Will Freeman, an Emory grad now based in Hong Kong. He made time to answer a few questions about the burgeoning business.

pixelist exampleHow did you get the idea to start Pixelist?
Pixelist came from a love of all things custom and creative. We’ve spent years designing our own clothes, shoes, furniture, and art and hunting for the best craftspeople to bring them to life. So we were naturally attracted to the idea of harnessing the popularity of Instagram to revive commissioned painting.

That part really describes me and my years in China and Hong Kong. But my business partner, Conor Colwell, originally came up with the idea. Conor and I used to work together and would always bat around startup ideas on our lunch break. I took him to visit one of China’s “art villages” in Shenzhen and he was hugely impressed by the painting quality. Conor has always been into Instagram, so he thought it would be a great way to immortalize photos people already loved. I loved the idea because I was already deeply into getting things custom made.
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Quote of Note | James Dyson

“You learn from [negative feedback]. Often it starts a line of development: Well, yes, that person said they want a light vacuum, which is impossible, because motors are very heavy. So you say, ‘We might develop light electric motors—no one’s ever done it before; we must do it.’ About eighteen years ago, we set off on that journey. It took us fifteen years before we launched a revolutionary small, light motor. Negative feedback is really interesting. I enjoy it in a masochistic way.”

-James Dyson, in Bloomberg Businessweek

Illustration of James Dyson and his trusty Air Multiplier by Adrian Tomine for The New Yorker.

Quote of Note | Miuccia Prada

look36“Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people. You know, this might have been a scandal in fashion but in other fields of art it is common: in painting and in movies, it was so common to see ugliness. But, yet, it was not used in fashion and I was very much criticized for inventing the trashy and the ugly.”

-Designer Miuccia Prada, in an interview with Andrew O’Hagan for T: The New York Times Style Magazine

Pictured: A look from the spring 2014 Prada collection

Multifesto, Because Design Is a Verb

sample multifesto

What do you get when you cross a haiku with a manifesto and multiply it by the power of the web? Multifesto, a communal design manifesto created by New York-based design consultancy 2×4. Have your say by adding a three-word call to arms in the form of a verb, preposition and noun. Then tell your creative friends to do the same. “Multifesto is born of the idea that design is a verb, not a product, and a collaborative endeavor, not the mark of an individual,” says the team at 2×4. “We welcome contributions by designers everywhere and from every discipline.”

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