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Archives: August 2006

What To Buy While Waiting for Your Cloud House to be Finished

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This week, the anniversary of a disaster that wasn’t so much about a hurricane, but everything to do with faulty planning, Inhabitat has a great bit of information up about the “amphibious architecture” of the Dutch firm Waterstudio. Some really terrific images too. There’s a nice collection of links therein and its well worth your time, particularly if you a) like things that kinda look like a floating van der Rohe building or b) you live near coastal waters and are scared out of your mind. Here’s some:

In the months following Katrina, one of the most interesting design solutions we found for dealing with rising water levels was the amphibious architecture of Dutch firm Waterstudio. Architect Koen Olthius specializes in a unique technology that allows land-based buildings to detach from the ground and float under rising water conditions. Olthius’ claim to fame is that he focuses exclusively on aqueous design — design for building in, on and at the water — in a country where water dominates the landscape.

Armin’s Map Through the Urban Forest

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If you’ve been in Times Square recently, you’ve likely noticed the many banners adorning various poles. There are those with clever writing, those with extra fancy design, a few are just plain brilliant, and there are some that are, well, just plain. As reported earlier, that’s the Urban Forest Project, which started up recently. Contributor to the event, Armin Vit, has just written up his thought about the whole thing over at his very own, Speak-Up. It’s a terrific read, with photos, of course, talking about the laziness of repeating your own work for this, and answering a lot of the questions we had, like “How in the world is anyone going to see these in Times Square?!” to which he answered:

When I first pictured the project in its setting I imagined an imposing and unavoidable presence of tree banners lining the streets but when I finally saw them in person on a cloudy day, they undeniably chameleonized into the texture of Times Square. No matter how clever the concept or how tight the typography, the banners can not stand a chance against the massive LEDs, billboards, storefronts and foot-traffic that are Times Square’s raison d’etre. Those that look hard (and high) enough will be rewarded with one of the profession’s few self-initiated onslaughts of public design.

Know Your Weapons of Mass Destruction

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From this side of the pond, anti-liquid security seems slightly more serious, mainly because of the constant, gentle reminder of the 7/7 bombings (just last summer) and the recent turmoil in Turkey. Yet we still can’t get over the bizarre warnings posted in British airports.

There’s the danger of mascara.

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Food stuffs.

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And, of course, hairspray.

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UnBeige Asks: Yes, It Took Us All Weekend to Tabulate The Results

As summer comes to an official close, we closed the voting in our first poll. The designers who will never eat brunch in this town again took an early lead, and kept it:

Congratulations Michael Rock, Susan Sellars, Georgianna Stout, Paula Scher and Stefan Sagmeister, who will each receive a bottle of the coveted UnBeige Sunscreen For Design Newsmaker Hotness (SPF 45).

Thanks to all who voted, and don’t forget to vote in our current poll, about how bloggers should reappropriate photos for their posts.

Happy Birthday, Louie!

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When we first saw this logo, we thought, “Wow. Louis Sullivan’s 150 years old. How did we miss this considering that 116-year-old woman who died the other day made news?” We automatically pictured a bowed over Louie, a little beaten by life, parked in front of a television set watching “American Idol” in a bleak nursing home somewhere in the U.S. Then we realized that Louis Sullivan At 150 is really about celebrating more than a century and a half of the famed architect’s legacy, beginning with his birth on Sept. 3, 1856. (He died April 14, 1924.) Which bring us to the onslaught of events tied to this famous date in history beginning with a tour of the Charnley-Persky house, which he designed. We’d like to tell you it’s all cake and lots of candles on Louie’s birthday on the 3rd, but there’s just a Sullivan’s Autobiography of an Idea Bus Tour on that day. No food. Darn!

Ahem, Um, You Know…

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Twiddle thumbs. Glance downward.
Shuffle feet once more. Clear the throat.
It’s come to our attention that bloggers are notorious for grabbing images and photos from web sites without asking for permission from the site’s owner or webmaster. Those bloggers include us, of course. Yes, we’re known to pull photos and cute images from other sites for our blog entries. We want to look good. We want our entries to look, well, photogenic. But you in the design community may feel differently about this. Perhaps you’ve had your work stolen from a web site, only to be uploaded at a URL completely unknown to you.

Since we take what we do seriously and we don’t want to offend anyone (and we certainly don’t want anyone to take legal action). We want your opinion on how this matter should be handled.

Ok, straighten out the tie. Look up. Make eye contact. What do you think? Take our poll, please:

A Brand Is A Brand Is A Brand Is A…

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There’s a lot of talking about branding these days. And becoming a brand. It’s almost like you’re not a celebrity if you’re not a brand. Elle MacPherson is a brand with her line of lingerie, Elizabeth Hurley‘s hawking her bikinis, and who’d thunk that women would snap up Carlos Santana‘s shoes? But it’s 21st century and this is what people do now – they buy an entire wardrobe designed by Hollywood stars. Eventually the abovementioned folk are going to have to rebrand so that people will buy more of their stuff. So it’s only natural that there’s a global competition for this kind of thing. The deadline for the 2007 Rebrand 100 entries is Sept. 27. It’s open to any rebrand launch between January 2004 and September 2006. We think it’s a fine idea. We’re hoping that Ernest Hemingway‘s offspring will enter the contest now the Hemingway the writer has become a brand with a line of furnishings no less.

Captain D Takes It To Another Level!

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Okay, away from the celebrities for a bit, but please, let’s stay with the silly for just this moment (we promise to return to the somber news-gathering organization you depend on us to be starting first thing tomorrow). By way of Chris Glass, we learned that Captain D’s, a Red Lobster-like restaurant chain, has just announced that they’re changing their logo. The fun thing is that it just went from bland to, well, actually somewhat better. The colors aren’t as sullen, the fish does look happy with its “Est. 1969″ tattoo, and even the new typeface is fun. Here’s some from the press release:

“We believe our new logo represents our seafood expertise, fun and authentic, underpinned by high quality and value,” said Bob Kendzior, Captain D’s chief marketing officer. “The unique logo colors communicate tradition, freshness and warmth. The phrase ‘seafood kitchen’ is noteworthy as well — supporting our goal to be a welcoming kitchen where an evolving, contemporary menu keeps delighting our customers.”

Just a quick aside. We know that all press releases sound like this, but if you’re at all familiar with Nation’s Restaurant News, a magazine about the industry, you’ll kind of recognize that extra weird way that restaurant people talk. It’s just like taking that very bland, buzzword-centric corporate-speak and bumping it up a notch. Maybe it’s just us, but we enjoy it.

Eminem Knows That Kicks Are For Kids

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Let’s stay on the celebrities a minute longer for this, a slow Tuesday morning. Like Scarlett Johansson before him, Eminem announced this week that he’s going to be designing a collection of Nike tennis shoes. But, unlike Scarlett, this actually makes more sense, given how predominant a subject sneakers are in hip hop. Plus, he’s doing it for a good cause, giving some of the proceeds to charity. Here’s some:

The Grammy-winning rapper designed uppers for eight shoes in the series, including the Air Max ’87 and the most recent Air Max 360. His reinterpretation of the upper has been laid onto the original blueprints for each of the Air Max shoes to create a unique set of designs.

Eight sets of the footwear — a total of 64 pairs — will be produced for the auction. Proceeds will benefit Eminem’s Marshall Mathers Foundation, which provides funds for organizations working with troubled youth in southeast Michigan, and ninemillion.org, a global campaign to bring education and sports programs to children in refugee camps across the globe.

Ivana Wanna Swim in Beirut

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When we were watching and listening and reading about all this trouble between Israel and Lebanon, we know we were just like you in thinking, “Oh man, what is this going to do to Ivana Trump?” Because, as you should be aware, Ivana has signed on to “help design” a $150 million dollar residential building right smack dab in the middle of Beirut. Using United Arab Emirates money, and aparently capitalizing on what a gigantic celebrity Ivana is, not to mention her keen sense of design, this was probably the most exciting architectural development since…nope, since nothing, it’s the most exciting thing. And how important will her involvement be? Well, judging from this story over at Bloomberg, wherein her name is mentioned in both the headline and a very tiny sentence thereafter, we’re imagining that she’ll be laying out the blueprints herself. If, sure, the thing ever gets off the ground from here.

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