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Archives: February 2013

‘Paper-Punk-a-Thon’ Unfolds at TEDActive


(Photo courtesy Grace Hawthorne)

It’s TED time, and among the attractions at TEDActive, the parallel event taking place this week in Palm Springs, is “Paper-Punk-a-thon” (pictured), a 25-foot-long installation by Paper Punk founder Grace Hawthorne. We asked the ReadyMade veteran–an entrepreneur, artist, author, and educator who heads up the Creative Gym course at Stanford’s d.school–to tell us more about the interactive project as it unfolds.

What is a “Paper-Punk-a-Thon”?
An all-you-can-fold buffet of Paper Punk shapes. Attendees feast on a limitless assortment of shapes, patterns, and colors, and fold to their heart’s content.

What did you create for the installation?
I made three large anchor panels out of hollow paper blocks to kick things off. Attendees are populating the other nine smaller provided panels with paper block creation that expresses an assigned word.

How have TEDActive attendees responded to your installation?
Enthusiastically! They get to make something with their hands and share it with each other by putting it up on this progressive/collaborative wall. Some of their creations have blown me away.
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In Brief: Warhol Web Sale, Paste Goes Digital, Architecture on Screen, Puffier Play-Doh


Warhol’s “I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever,” a trial proof lithograph made in 1964

• Bidding has begun in the inaugural Andy Warhol @ Christie’s online auction. Estimates range from $600 to $70,000 for the 125 Warhol works being sold to benefit The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Among the lots up for grabs in the week-long sale is “Jam (Raspberry),” a Smuckers-smudged canvas from the early 1980s that is expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.

Paste magazine is going digital with Paste.com, a “members-only digital weekly” that will cater to those looking for longer reads, new music, and video-based amusement. Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman covers the first issue, which also includes a feature on Hans Zimmer and the ubiquitous Pharrell, who have joined forces on an app that promises to “bring the power of Hollywood studio music-scoring to mobile users.”

• In NYC? Don’t miss the fourth annual Architecture on Screen, a series of international productions on architecture selected from the 2012 Montreal International Festival of Films on Art. The cinematic fun begins tomorrow afternoon at the Center for Architecture.
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Jurgen Bey Gets Down to Business in ‘Fantasy’ Office

Rotterdam-based Studio Makkink & Bey, led by architect Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey, has long envisioned a progressive office in which the multitasking extends to the furnishings: a seat that doubles as a self-contained desk and cupboard, a flexible “WorkSofa,” a cozy chair that can be coupled up to create instant meeting space (the “EarChair,” pictured above). The studio is showcasing these designs and more as part of “Fantasy Room for Working,” an exhibition on view through Sunday within the Creative Lounge MOV, a huge shared office space in Tokyo. Earlier this week, among the KadE Chair, Vacuum Cleaner Chair, stools, and aprons, was Bey himself–he put his designs to the test by working from the flexible fantasy office for eight days. Studio Makkink & Bey’s Prooff (Progressive Office) “working and living landscape” interior was also recently acquired by Utrecht’s Centraal Museum, where parts of it are on view through May 25. Take note, Marissa Meyer.

Al Roker: My First Big Break

Al Roker, one of America’s favorite morning weathercasters, appears on NBC’s “Today” Show, has his own show “Wake Up with Al” on The Weather Channel, owns his own production company “Al Roker Entertainment,” has co-authored three mystery novels, written a couple of cookbooks, and a has penned a couple of New York Times Bestsellers.

So how did Roker go from being a flannel shirt and overall wearing student at SUNY Oswego to media kingpin? Al said his first big break came from being in the right place at the right time when someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Design Jobs: Meredith, TouchTunes, California Lawyer

This week, Meredith is hiring a senior graphic designer, as well as a producer of home design for Better Homes and Gardens. Meanwhile, TouchTunes needs a graphic designer, and California Lawyer is on the hunt for a design director. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great design jobs on the UnBeige job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented UnBeige pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Jonas Damon Reveals Frog Design’s Vision for NYC Payphones

Ring! ring! It’s the future calling. With NYC’s current payphone contracts set to expire in 2014, the city is scouting for ways to modernize payphone infrastructure across the five boroughs and put all of that public space to the best possible use. Hence Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s appearance (via video link) at a December meeting of the New York Tech Meetup, where he announced the “Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge,” a competition to rally urban designers, planners, technologists, and policy experts to create physical and virtual prototypes that imagine the future of NYC’s public pay telephones. Frog Design hopped to it, and while the list of semi-finalists who will present their concepts at next Tuesday’s Demo Day has yet to be announced, something tells us Frog will be among them. In a talk on Saturday at Parsons’ Aftertaste symposium, Frog creative director Jonas Damon offered a sneak peek at the firm’s vision for payphones of the future:

The Final Jeopardy! Category Is…MUSEUMS

In a recurring nightmare, the puckishly omnipotent Alex Trebek reveals a Final Jeopardy! category that makes us reach for the nearest Potent Potable: Football Greats, Entymology, Slovenia, or something even more inscrutable–a category distinguished by its use of scare quotes–Aesop’s “Cables” (say what?) or The Doctor is “Inn” (“the correct response will involve a physician and a hotel or boarding house”). If only we had been among the competitors during a recent Jeopardy! teen tournament game, when in the show’s waning minutes, Trebek pointed to a blue monitor and MUSEUMS flashed on the screen. See if you would have emerged a winner:


Ready for the answer?
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Seven Questions for Bill Gold, Master of the Movie Poster

If the Academy doled out little golden men in the category of Best Movie Poster, Bill Gold would have hundreds. The legendary graphic designer (and Pratt Institute alum), who turned 92 last month, created posters for films ranging from Yankee Doodle Dandy (1941) to J. Edgar (2011), which he came out of retirement to design at the request of his old friend Clint Eastwood. The posters for Casablanca, A Clockwork Orange, Alien, The Exorcist? All pure Gold. He recently did his part to celebrate the achievements of another notable nonagenarian: Warner Bros. As part of a 90th anniversary celebration that will span all of 2013, the studio invited Gold to create a poster of posters. You can find it, along with art cards featuring his movie poster designs, in two new megacollections of Warner Bros. films: 100 films on DVD and 50 films on Blu-ray. Gold recently made time between Oscar screeners (he’s a member of the Academy and has watched some sixty films since November) to discuss posters past and present, and some highlights of his seven-decade career.

1. One of your first assignments at Warner Bros. was designing the poster for Casablanca. How did you approach this project, and what did you seek to create/convey with the poster?
I approached this project like I would any other. I was a young art director that was given an assignment. This was one of my first posters. My initial thoughts were to put together a montage showing all the characters depicted in the film. They appeared to be an interesting ensemble of notable characters.

Something was missing, however. And I was asked to add some more ‘excitement’ to the scene. I added the gun in Bogart’s hand, and the poster suddenly came alive with intrigue.

2. If you had to choose a poster of which you are most proud, what would it be?
The Unforgiven teaser poster. Because of the simplicity of the. The setting was appropriately dark, and the image of the gun more than provocative. It wasn’t the typical image that you’d see on a poster.

3. Of the more than 2,000 posters you’ve worked on, which one would you describe as the most challenging to design?
Bird was one of the most challenging posters I worked on–mainly because I was told not to depict it as a “jazz” movie, but rather to emphasize the more human aspects of the life of a musician. The studio was trying to promote the film as more of a ‘family’ movie. So I worked on several comps of Charlie Parker and his wife, along with his kids. But I still felt the story was primarily about this wonderful jazz musician; so I did one comp of him alone playing his sax and we dramatized how he played his whole life in a very dramatic way. As soon as Clint [Eastwood] saw it, he said, “That’s the one!” It went on to win several awards, and is also one of my favorites.
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Quote of Note | Mary Katrantzou


Looks from the fall 2013 Mary Katrantzou collection, shown Sunday in London.

“All my prints are constructed through digital technology. Studying architecture made me very aware of the digital construction and technicality of engineering in design, which has really informed my design direction with prints. In my design and thought process, I’m constantly building from the foundations of my initial inspiration, and I often use architectural methods of accumulating designs at phase one. Engineering my prints is very mathematical and technical, and it allows me to envision a 3D shape around the body, sculpting a second skin for a woman. Digital print allows me to experiment with print in a way that fine art and other methods could not. It opens up a huge spectrum for possibility. I can create possibility out of impossibility, surrealism out of realism and vice versa for both.”

-Fashion designer Mary Katrantzou (who studied architecture at RISD before transferring to Central Saint Martins) in an interview with Nordstrom’s Qianna Smith

NYC by Design: City-Wide Event to Showcase, Promote Design


X marks the spot. The identity for the new event was created by Base New York.

The Bloomberg Administration has been busy pumping up the NYC tech scene and fashion industry, and now it’s focusing on design of all disciplines with NYCxDESIGN, a collaboration among the City Council, Mayor’s Office, City agencies, and a steering committee of 33 design stars ranging from MoMA’s Paola Antonelli to AIGA/NY President Willy Wong. The inaugural twelve-day event, smartly sandwiched between Frieze and ICFF, kicks off on May 10 with happenings that will showcase NYC designers and more, from design-centric institutions and retailers to curators and educators, with the goal of driving economic development.

According to the Center for an Urban Future, NYC is home to more design firms than any other city (L.A. comes in a rather distant second), and the May event will seek to attract even more designers and manufacturers to the city, generate new sales and export opportunities for local designers, and increase design-based tourism. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is setting her sights even higher. “NYCxDesign will help demonstrate that New York City is the design capital of the world,” she said in a statement. London, Milan, and Paris–consider yourself warned.

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