One of the most influential art books ever written gets a 21st century update thanks to Yale University Press, which has released an iPad app version of Josef Albers‘s Interaction of Color. First published fifty years ago, the classic tome is an essential guide to thinking creatively about color. The app includes the full text along with more than 125 of the original color studies, including the “flaps” and moving pieces that have made them so captivating to generations of students. After experimenting with color and finding solutions to Albers’s famous problems, you can play with the new color palette tool and watch interviews with leading designers and artists explaining how they use color in their work.
Among the most well-known images in the history of photography is “The Open Door” (pictured), in which William Henry Fox Talbot used his pioneering calotype process to preserve forever the scene of a broom leaning at a jaunty angle on the threshold of Lacock Abbey. Talbot’s 1844 tableau is among the approximately 4,600 high-resolution digital images from the J. Paul Getty Museum that are now free use, modify, and publish for any purpose thanks to an open door policy announced today by The Getty.
“As of today, the Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose,” said Getty president and CEO Jim Cuno in a statement announcing the Open Content program, which aligns the institution with similar programs at the Walters Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Harvard University. Images were previously available upon request, for a fee, and permissions were granted for specific uses only.
Admit it: Your seven-year-old nephew could out-HTML tag you any day and you think that a Cascading Style Sheet is something with a thread count. That’s where the Mediabistro mothership comes in. They’ve asked us to tell you about the upcoming online course in HTML. Over four fun-filled weeks, web design design guru Laura Galbraith will guide you through a variety of web page production techniques, from column-based layouts and search engine optimization to semantic markup and advanced CSS styles. The online learning fun begins August 20, and within a few weeks, you’ll have brought a pre-designed webpage to life through the magic of HTML. Preview the course syllabus and register here.
The September issues are beginning to roll in, and Wallpaper* is celebrating the month that Candy Pratts Price describes as “the January in fashion” with a top-to-bottom redesign across its print and digital platforms. The layouts have “a new, fresh, sophisticated, modern elegance” according to editor-in-chief Tony Chambers, and the pages, now printed on higher-quality stock, are sprinkled with custom typefaces (type families “Portrait” and “Darby,” pictured above and designed by Berton Hasebe and Dan Milne, respectively) from Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type. The magazine also has a new tagline–”The stuff that refines you”–and an overhauled iPad edition, reimagined by Nicolas Roope of Poke London and Marc Kremers, which ensures that the September features, on topics such as “the fashion world’s top ten go-to architects” (we’re looking at you, Pedro), the bags-to-riches story of Loewe, and Paul Smith, look just as vibrant on the screen as on the page.
(Image courtesy EarthCam)
Raise your Warhol-themed bottle of Perrier, because Andy would have turned 85 today. We think the artist would have gotten a kick out of one morbid, panoptical take on a birthday party: live-streaming footage from his elaborately landscaped Pittsburgh gravesite. The footage–which is also available in high-definition 16-megapixel and pop art-style formats–is a collaboration among EarthCam, the Andy Warhol Museum, and St. John Chrystostom Byzantine Catholic Church (home to a temporary “ChurchCam” in honor of the birthday boy, who was baptized there). “I think my uncle would have been jealous. He would have said, ‘I should have been at Marilyn’s gravesite filming everything,’” said Donald Warhola, Warhol’s nephew, in a statement announcing the birthday grave webcam. “It pays homage to one of his most famous and controversial projects, the ‘Death and Disaster’ series.”
For the past two and a half years, Designers & Books has been offering illuminating glimpses into the bookshelves and reading lives of designers ranging from David Adjaye to Eva Zeisel. The website that launched many a book-buying binge has just unveiled a redesign by Studio Kudos, with a host of new ways to browse and view the 170 lists and 1,700 listed books (and counting!), more frequent infusions of fresh editorial content (in partnership with Superscript), and even bigger plans for the future.
“One of the main things the site now stands for is the immense generosity of the design community,” founder and editor-in-chief Steve Kroeter tells us. “We ask world-renowned designers to take time out from their impossible schedules to talk to us about books—and they do it. Amazing!” Among the lists to watch for in the weeks to come are those of Anna Sui, Phyllis Lambert, Andre Leon Talley, and Michael Rock. In the meantime, we asked Kroeter to tell us more about the origins of Designers & Books, what’s next for the site, and of course, what’s on his reading list.
What led you to create Designers & Books?
Over the years I’ve visited many design studios, and one thing I’ve noticed about them all—whether it was an architect’s office or that of a fashion designer or graphic designer—is that books are always everywhere. Whether neatly shelved or scattered about randomly, books are everywhere. When you ask why, you find that designers look to books as sources of inspiration. Books to designers are fuel for creativity, innovation, and invention.
Given the widespread interest these days in creativity, it occurred to me that if I could get well known and respected designers to share the list of books that had inspired them, then there might be an idea in that, that could be developed. Books as a reliable and powerful source of inspiration for creativity—for the design community, yes. But also for everyone in general.
What are some of your favorite elements of the redesigned site?
When we started the site in 2011 just about all we did was book lists. Pretty quickly, though, we began to add many other features—which on the one hand was great, but it also made it increasingly difficult for site visitors to easily see what was new. Our updated design highlights what’s new in a clean, easy way and also neatly shows the full range of what we now offer.
In terms of specific features, we’ve launched what we believe is the first-ever best-seller list for design books—based on sales from 10 top design booksellers (with more to be added soon). We are also working with Debbie Millman on a special series of Design Matters podcasts with authors of design books. The first four of the series are now featured on the new site.
The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture and The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture are inspiring sourcebooks for the ages, but as with many authoritative, lushly illustrated volumes, it is impossible to fit them in one’s pocket, unless one has very special pants. Fear not, culture-conscious traveler, because Phaidon has just released The Phaidon Architecture Travel Guide App, an iPhone- or iPad-ready resource that’s yours for $3.99 from the iTunes store. With some 1,500 projects from 840 architectural practices (cherrypicked from both atlases), the app can be browsed by location, project, practice, and building type. Plus, the bookmarking options make it easy to create a “To See” list of architecture marvels around the globe. And travelers, take heart: no Wi-Fi or 3G is required to run the app.
Got an app we should know about? Drop us a line at unbeige [at] mediabistro.com
The artist with a study model of the Marina Abramović Institute. (Courtesy OMA)
“In the life of an artist, it’s very important to think of the future,” Marina Abramović has said. “When you die, you can’t leave anything physical—that doesn’t make any sense—but a good idea can last a long, long time.” Her good idea? Purchase a crumbling old theater in Hudson, New York (check!), get Rem Koolhaas and OMA on board for a gut reno (done!), and channel 40 years worth of pioneering performance art into the Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation for Performance Art, a living archive-cum-laboratory that will explore “time-based and immaterial art,” including performance, dance, theater, film, video, opera, and music. To help achieve that last part, the artist has launched a Kickstarter campaign, where her goal is to raise $600,000 by August 25.
“I feel like I’ve become a brand, like Coca-Cola,” said Abramović of her decision to name the institute after herself. “When you hear ‘Marina Abramović,’ you know it’s not about painting. It’s about performing art, and it’s about hardcore performing art.” Hardcore donors to her Kickstarter effort (those who pledge $500 or more) can receive thank-you gifts such as a tour of the MAI and OMA offices, an eye-gazing experience via webcam, and lunch with the artist, but there’s something for everyone, including an 8-bit Pippin Barr video game version of the institute ($5 donation) and access to live-stream demos of Abramović Method exercises ($25). Our favorite performative bonus is reserved for those who pony up $10,000 or more. They’ll be treated to a life event called “Nothing”: “Marina will do nothing. You will do nothing,” notes the website. “You will not be publicly acknowledged.”
We first encountered Byron Kalet several years ago as the design- and music-savvy mind behind the Journal of Popular Noise, an experimental audio magazine (published from 2007 to 2010) that took the form of a twice-yearly trio of seven-inch vinyl records tucked inside letterpress-printed, hand-folded packaging. Now the Brooklyn-based designer, art director, and musician—who once described Seattle band Foscil, featured in JPN, as “the Dick Avedon to my Alexey Brodovitch“—is looking to launch a print magazine, Popular Noise.
The new quarterly will be about “everything but the music—life and style, places, people, and moments. All the things that go into a life worth making music about, and an exploration of how one gets from here (life) to there (music),” says Kalet, who has lined up contributing photographers including Chito Yoshida, Spencer Higgins, and Hannah Whitaker to help create “the new blueprint for how music should look.”
The debut “New York/Art”-themed issue will include some never-before-seen Avedon outtakes, a visit to Richard Phillips‘s Chelsea studio (“to find out what’s on the play list while he’s working and why”), and a lesson on the world of Black Metal academia (we have no idea what that is but are game to learn). Kalet is seeking backers for Popular Noise on Kickstarter, and t-shirts and tote bags are up for grabs along with copies of issue #1, which is slated for publication in September. Read more
History will not be kind to patchwork leather and purple paisley velvet, but the oxymoronic notion of “hippie fashion” makes for a groovy exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. [Cut to footage of crowds digging granny dresses, kooky tunics, and platform shoes to the tune of "Sugar Magnolia" and "Purple Haze."] Later today, a couple of vintage VW buses will be stationed at the museum’s Huntington Avenue entrance for social media photo ops, and those far from the Hub can feel the love anytime with “Hippie Chic: Remix,” an online app that debuted this week.
Doff your blue feathered Yves Saint Laurent chubby and spend a few minutes choosing among 54 ensembles inspired by the fashion revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s as well as trippy options involving faces borrowed from the MFA collection (George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, Dante Gabriel Rossetti‘s Pre-Raphaelite flower child) or an uploaded visage. The result of the not-so-long, strange, online trip is a psychedelic album cover designed for sharing with far-out followers.