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Archives: February 2007

Pecha Kucha Fever Sweeps the Nation

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We were first exposed to it at the office of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects in Seattle. The entire staff shuffled into a dark room mumbling “Pecha Kucha! Pecha Kucha!” We had a weird little Temple of Doom moment.

It turns out Pecha Kucha is actually an incredibly cool designer diversion that is practiced all over the world. Started by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo, the concept is simple: Each presenter gets 20 slides, with 20 seconds per slide. Your 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame are your chance to share whatever you want with the group, which in an audience of designers, usually emerges in the form of inspirational images, frightening obsessions, and side projects.

Anyway, the reason we speak of this today is that we noticed Steve Portigal has his recent 20 slides up (worth spending the 6:40 on), which he showed at the San Francisco Pecha Kucha night, and lo and behold, there’s a whole world of Pecha Kucha out there just waiting for you to join in. More on this by Momus.

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Eva Zeisel Still Out There Signing Books At 100

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Architectural Digest’s Home Show storms NY next weekend with plenty of design, decor and delight packed into March 9, 10 and 11. But here’s one don’t-miss-it moment that we’d recommend dropping everything for if you’re anywhere near the tri-state area:

On Friday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m., legendary designer Eva Zeisel, who celebrated her 100th birthday this November, will sign copies of Eva Zeisel On Design: The Magic Language of Things and Eva Zeisel: Compact Design Portfolio by Lucie Young.

Just the fact that she can sign her own name at 100 is something we’d line up to see in person. Give her a big kiss for us.

One More Round with the Infamous ADC Poster

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In case you missed it, the fellas over at Ideasonideas have put in their two cents over a story that was making waves last week, the new Art Director’s Club call for entries poster. The people on Be A Design Group went after it, and even Armin Vit spoke up (but in defense). So backing Vit up comes Ideasonideas in a piece entitled “In Defense of the ADC.” Here’s a touch, to get you started:

Some argue that this poster is in bad taste. I argue that these detractors are in fact less offended by the subject matter, and more so by its ambiguity. Responses such as, “I just don’t get it” evidenced how perplexed they were.

I have to wonder if these same critics ever watch South Park or the Daily Show. Are they familiar with such notions as farce and satire? What of the notable works of art that either critique or protest the state of affairs? Consider Francisco Goya‘s commentary in the brutal Disasters of War, the controversial satire of comic book artist R. Crumb, or the social protest in some of the work of Pieter Bruegel?

London’s Dome of Doom(ed)

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A really interesting story from a source usually full of them, Things Magazine, about something this writer hadn’t ever heard about. It’s the tragic tale of the Millennium Dome in London. The building, created by RRP, began in 1996. When they finally finished everything in 1999, they’d won a handful of awards, created all kinds of discussions in the media, both pro and con, and blew through millions of dollars. 2000 rolls around, goes past, and then…nothing. It just sits there. Here’s a bit from the end:

Although more than 6 million people visited the attraction during 2000, today it stands empty, its internal elements – which accounted for most of the total project cost – destroyed. There are plans to re-open the venue as a leisure complex.

There’s also a batch more links and discussion surrounding the whole thing over at Things, and we highly encourage you to visit.

The Gucci Ad Fiasco: Million of Models Slap Heads, Say “Damn! Why Did I Think of That?”

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Sure, it’s only the end of February, but we already have the best news story of the year. Coming out of Zurich, and found by way of AdFreak, it’s the coverage of the hopeful model who took a photo of himself, slapped on a Gucci perfume bottle and logo, and sent the two page ad to the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung, which published it. The going rate for a two-page spread?

Christoph Zimmer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the man asked for the 60,000-Swiss-franc (about $50,000) bill to be sent to Gucci.

“We’ve spoken to Gucci and apologized for the mistake,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to try and get the money back from this guy, but we don’t rate our chances.”

Read the whole story. It’s fantastic.

What Happens When Paula Scher Comes to Town

This is fun, by way of our friends over at Pentagram: “Paula Scher and her team visited Belgrade late last month for the launch of the Publikum calendar, with events at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade City Hall and the Belgrade Cultural Center. This montage demonstrates: <a Serbia knows how to welcome a designer!"

Yes, the New Yorker’s Having an Innovation Conference, and Yes, the Irony Is Killing Us

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Eustace Tilly might as well be getting LASIK. With a lineup that’s plucked from the design and technology conferences of the past year, the New Yorker Conference/2012: stories from the near future is rallying to be a heavyweight for those of the innovation persuasion:

“It’s the ultimate insider’s look at the works in progress that will shape our world, from boardrooms to courtrooms, from biology labs to design studios.”

Design studios indeed: Yves & Curls will be in attendance, as will be Miss Zaha, plus our interactive angels Will Wright and Craig Newmark. You even get to hang out at the IAC/InterActiveCorp building “designed by Frank Gehry.

And all this can be yours for the low price of $1200, but think about it this way: That’s $600 to hang out with David Remnick and $600 for Malcolm Gladwell. Not sold? Watch the video. They talk about Google!

Live From New York, It’s Core77

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Another blog goes audible on us: the first of the Core77 Broadcasts are now up. The “broadcasts” will be a combo of audio and video interviews, studio tours, and speakers from Core77 events. Already up are experience design guru Nathan Shedroff and Frank Luca from the Wolfsonian, with presentations from Core77′s Star Trek conference. Listen for the distinctive rockin’ intro–it easily crushes the sleepy-jazzy stuff that precedes most podcasts.

More Sagmeister from DB

Who can’t get enough Sagmeister? Apparently Designboom, that’s who. They’ve just put the video portion of their interview with him from last May, up on YouTube:

When Brands and Deities Collide

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Industrial Brand Creative, always a great source of terrific essays, has just put up a new one that’s apt to ruffle some feathers. It’s “The Church of Branding” and it’s a comparison of corporate branding and religion. But while it sounds a little like something that would follow a high school discussion that begins, “Do you, you know, think there’s a god or whatever?” because the initial connections are immediately made, IBC goes far beyond and the whole thing leads to a terrific read. Here’s a bit from the intro:

The comparison of brands and religion is not a new idea. In fact, the whole branding discussion may be a tired subject to some. But I’m not convinced there has been a close enough look at the parallels between brand loyalty and religious devotion. Perhaps there has been fear to compare the secular act of building brand allegiance with consumers to the seemingly more sacred topics. After all, Nike or Starbucks can’t save your soul, can they?

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