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Archives: June 2007

Now We Know Why Those Asses Are Smiling


In one of our many roles here at UnBeige, we strive to provide you with the highest-level public service announcements which will ultimately improve your overall well-being. While we were busy making jokes about the grinning butts of the Toto Washlet ads, reader John Philips reminds us that it’s really no laughing matter:

Not sure about the ads, but what IS scary is that most Americans continue to use dry paper after toilet activity. It is impossible to clean with just paper. Paper leaves a residue that allows bacteria or fungus to flourish. This can result in undesired itching, odor and the possibility of inflammation or infection. Bottom line (pun intended) – water cleans – paper doesn’t.

And there you have it, friends. Design news at its best.

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Silas Rhodes, Founder of SVA, Dead at 91


Steven Heller alerts us to the death of New York icon Silas Rhodes, who founded the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, which became the School of Visual Arts. Heller’s personal recollections of Rhodes were posted today:

Mr. Rhodes took great personal pride in the fact that so many alumni returned to SVA, many from successful careers as artists, photographers, filmmakers. advertising people, and designers, to teach others – to continue the legacy. He glowed when relating the accomplishments of those who were molded by an entity that was more like laboratory than an institution – more than a school but a community.

More about Rhodes in his AIGA Medalist entry.

Shepard Fairey Appearing on Today’s “Design Matters” Live From His Hospital Bed


We were extremely concerned about recent Splasher Target Shepard Fairey earlier today when we heard he was in the hospital. Was the anti-street art pressure getting to him? Did the Splasher go too far?

Turns out, the Godfather of American Street Art went in for some emergency eye surgery last night, cancelling his appearance on “Design Matters” today. However, we just got word that Fairey was still a bit groggy when the powers that be made that decision, and as soon as he woke up, he demanded that he do the show. So, Fairey joins Debbie Millman today on the final “Design Matters” show of the year, live from his hospital bed. What a way to end the season!

Listen live from 3-4 EST, and remember, it’s a call-in show: 1.866.472.5790 There’s more info about today’s show (and all Design Matters shows) here.

Happy TGiPhone, Everyone


Apple stores on the East Coast are now closing to prepare for the evening’s push and suddenly the time between now and 6pm starts to feel like an eternity. So we turn to the two redheaded stepchildren of tech coverage, Engadget and Gizmodo for some full frontal iPhone release day porn.

Engadget’s got running multi-city tabs on the lines and tells us that even the mayor of Philadelphia has queued up. Meredith Vieira can’t figure it out (no surprise there) and Newsweek’s Steven Levy was almost relieved of his review phone on live TV. Gizmodo has a iPhone line photo gallery with shots from Santa Monica to Clarendon, Virginia and every sleepy hamlet with an AT&T store in between. And they also have another feature very near and dear to our sweaty hearts, a Greg the First iPhone Camper Photoshop contest, and this one has got to be our favorite.

The Red Dot Awards: A Product Design Hootenanny!


Red Dot has the whole scoop on their own awards ceremony for the Red Dot Awards, held this week at the Essen Aalto Theater in Germany. Sounds like it was a pretty great turnout for one of the biggest product design awards around, as they had more than a thousand in attendance. Though you’d kinda figure there would be a big crowd given that “of the submitted 2,548 products, 666 were distinguished,” which is sort of like that “give a role to almost everyone who auditions for the play, so more people will show up to watch it” kind of thing. But we’re definitely not knocking it, because we’re hoping the patent-pending product we developed together, “Froggles” (goggles for frogs), will earn a Red Dot next year.

Unesco Makes the Sydney Opera House More Special


A pretty big week for Sydney, Australia, as it was announced that the Sydney Opera House was just listed as a “site of international cultural heritage” by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, placing it alongside such things as the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids. Here’s a little:

The harbourside landmark, completed in 1973, is the youngest building on the list, and one of only 15 or so from the 20th century. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, said that the Opera House, with its distinctive sail-shaped roof, was “testament to the daring of architect Joern Utzon and to those who brought about his vision.”

Malcolm Turnbull, the Federal Environment Minister, said World Heritage listing was “not conferred lightly.” “When it was first designed by Joern Utzon in 1956 he entered his drawings for a building nobody knew how to build,” Mr Turnbull said. “The judges, when they courageously selected it as the winning entry, said this building could be one of the great buildings of the world. Now 51 years later it has proved to be exactly that.”

Another interesting, related story that popped up on our radar concerns the hopes that maybe now, after receiving the listing, the government will pony up the $700 million to completely gut and re-design the interior, which is substantially more than the building cost originally when “State MPs at the time were angered by the massive budget blowout from $7 million to $102 million and likened the design to copulating turtles.”

Bruce Nussbaum Says ‘We Don’t Know !#@*!’


Bruce Nussbaum offers up a whole slew of talk over at his BusinessWeek blog, giving the entire transcript of a speech he gave this week for Innovation Night at the Royal College of Art. The subject of the speech is about ignorant designers and ignorant CEOs (neither of whom are described as sucking). Well, yeah, that sounds a lot more harsh than it is, but he talks a lot about what’s getting lost in the shuffle, both at the top with executives not really understanding the importance of design and embracing changing marketplace, as well as with designers thinking about the same thing. And in between that bits of synopsis, he talks about nearly everything else in the world. The whole thing is a little tough to follow and we’re sure it was better in real life, but it’s worth a read, as there are some nice nuggets of info therein. Here’s a little bit right about when he really starts to get going:

Let’s get up to 30,000 feet for a bit to see what big forces at play around the world are shaping design. Let me begin by saying that we don’t know !#@*! I’m sorry but it is true. There are moments in history when the pace of change is so fast and the shape of the future so fuzzy that we live in a constant state of beta.

Splasher Suspect Arrested; Manifesto Appears at Another Fairey Show


The keen eyes of Spencer Cross spotted this story about the bust of the supposed Splasher (who was nabbed trying to stink up Shepard Fairey‘s show last week). Suspect James Cooper swears he didn’t do it, but two nights later, two people showed up to another Fairey event and distributed tabloids entitled “If we did it this is how it would’ve happened.” In it, they criticize Fairey, Swoon, Faile, Visual Resistance, and Marc and Sara Schiller at Wooster Collective, as well as claiming they were responsible for Banksy and Neckface splashings.

You can spend hours poring over the whole thing since the NY Times has posted the entire Splasher Manifesto online as PDFs, but after reading through most of it ourselves we’d recommend not wasting your time. Like most anonymous manifestos, it wanders, to say the least. And it’s just begging to be tacked up somewhere and splashed with paint.

They Really Did Invent Post-Its


In today’s Design Notebook in the NY Times, Penelope Green gives us a lesson in those sweet little sticky squares that surround us. In case you needed to be reminded, Post-its are quite simply a miracle of paper and glue. Headshot hottie Paola Antonelli even gets a shout out for including them in her Humble Masterpieces show at MoMA: “Hypertext on a refrigerator door,” Ms. Antonelli wrote, “the Post-it shook the world.”

The news hook is that Post-its will be starring in a “home collection,” with colors more suited to non-cubicle correspondence, so the article talks to regular folk about all the ways they use them. It’s an interesting everyday design story, and we did learn one thing:

Its beginnings were folkloric: 40 years ago, Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, discovered the imperfect adhesive that would adorn the Post-it; it took another six years for Art Fry, another 3M scientist, to find the application for this half glue, which came in a flash of inspiration after the bookmarks for his church hymnal kept falling out.

And we thought this whole time it was Romy.

Designers Honestly Can’t Tell If Jobs vs. Heller Interview Is Real


In an age of Fake Steve Jobs and fake iPhones, we understand not being able to separate the real Apple news from the hype. Really, we do.

But for the designers who couldn’t tell if Steven Heller‘s perfectly-executed interview with Steve Jobs was satire? Shame on you.