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Archives: April 2013

Departures Debuts ‘Home & Design’ Spin-off

Magazines gusty enough to enlist chairs as cover models are far too rare these days, and so it is with pleasure that we tell you about a brand new shelter magazine: Departures Home & Design. The stand-alone publication debuts just in time for ICFF and NYCxDESIGN with a May issue (pictured) fronted by Dror Benshetrit‘s Peacock chair, the feat of felt plumage he pulled off in 2009 for Cappellini.

This is the first brand extension for Departures, the magazine that mails to holders of platinum and centurion American Express cards, and comes packaged with the May issue of the flagship publication. “We’ve wanted to do a real home and design magazine that’s published for true luxurists, whose interests are global and whose style is not built solely around name-brand designers but created organically through their own sense of self, their particular passions and desires,” says Departures editor-in-chief Richard Story, who may have coined the term “luxurists.” Inside, alongside ads by the likes of B&B Italia, Roche Bobois, and Baccarat are features such as “The Master of Accumulation,” a look into the private quarters of W alum-turned-Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman; a celebration of midcentury Honolulu; and a feature on the Persian gardens of L.A.’s Nazarian family.

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Kodak Inks Debt-Settling Deal to Sell Camera Film, Document Imaging Businesses

More than a year after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Kodak has made a deal to sell the camera film business on which it was founded, among other assets. As part of a $2.8 billion settlement agreement with its largest creditor, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP), the company’s personalized imaging and document imaging businesses will be spun off under new ownership to KPP. The deal, announced today and subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, will also give Kodak $650 million to help it emerge from bankruptcy.

So what is actually set to be spun off? You may recall that Kodak recently sold its digital imaging patents for $525 million and then pulled a Polaroid by licensing the Kodak brand name to Los Angeles-based JK Imaging for consumer products such as digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and portable projectors (having shuttered the Kodak digital cameras business last year), as it moves to focus on B2B commercial imaging. The business units involved in the KPP deal are personalized imaging, which includes retail photo kiosks and dry lab systems, photographic paper and workflow solutions, still-camera film products, and “event imaging solutions,” which allows theme parks to sell garishly framed souvenir photos to queasy, fresh-off-the-rollercoaster types. The deal will also divest Kodak of its document imaging business, a line of scanners, software, and professional services.

Rem Koolhaas Wins Johannes Vermeer Award, Zaha Hadid Honored by Veuve Clicquot


(Photos from left: Fred Ernst and courtesy Veuve Clicquot)

April is not the cruellest month when you’ve got a Pritzker and projects in progress on most continents. It’s just one more month to collect commissions, continue the epic battle against jetlag, and receive awards. Two recent honors of note: Rem Koolhaas is this year’s recipient of the Dutch state prize for the arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award, while Zaha Hadid has been declared the the winner of the 41st Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, an honor that we hope comes with a lifetime supply of bubbly.

Koolhaas will receive the Johannes Vermeer Award, a €100,000 prize that is mainly to be used for the realization of a special project, at an October 21 ceremony at the recently reopened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Past winners of the award, established in 2008 to honor artists working in the Netherlands and across all disciplines, include photographer Erwin Olaf and artist Marlene Dumas.
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Quote of Note | Richard Misrach


Richard Misrach, “November 20, 2011, 3:36 PM” (2011). Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery.

“I grew up in L.A. and went to Berkeley from ’67 to ‘71. I started out as a math major and ended up in psychology, but that was also when Berkeley was just going insane. I didn’t take formal classes in photography at all. I started taking photographs of tear gassings on the Berkeley campus with my uncle’s camera….I was being exposed to Berkeley street riots and the politics of the time, which was very important to me, but I was also being exposed to the f/64 school of photography—Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange—and I was just falling in love with photography, so I found that that combination of social, political engagement along with my passion for the aesthetics of the medium of photography were coming together very fast and hard. For the last forty years I think my work has reflected those two polarities, and it’s been sort of interesting the way they have been pushed. They’ve never really reconciled—art and politics.”

-Richard Misrach today at Paris Photo Los Angeles, in an on-stage conversation with John Divola and curator Douglas Fogle. Misrach’s work is on view through June 16 at the Cantor Center at Stanford University. A exhibition of his new largescale photos opens next Saturday at Pace/McGill Gallery in New York.

In Brief: The Age of Image, Cooper Union’s Tuition Decision, Richard Prince Ruling

• “[S]tripped of most traditional linguistic elements, the short film has to move fast, but it must strive not to confuse the viewer with too many objects or jarring cuts,” writes Stephen Apkon in The Age of Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, new this month from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book inspired this short film (above) by Daniel Liss.

• And speaking of short films, the Tribeca Film Festival has selected the winners in its six-second film competition. Watch all of the jury’s top picks in under a minute here.

• It’s the end of an era for Cooper Union, which will begin charging undergraduates tuition beginning next fall.

• The design community and members of the general public are protesting MoMA’s decision to raze the building that Tod Williams Billie Tsien designed for the American Folk Art Museum. The Architectural League drafted this open letter requesting MoMA to provide “a compelling justification for the cultural and environmental waste of destroying this much-admired, highly distinctive twelve-year-old building.”

• All is fair (use) in love and appropriation? Artist Richard Prince emerged largely triumphant in yesterday’s appeals court ruling on the copyright case involving his 2008 “Canal Zone” series, which used portraits from Patrick Cariou‘s Yes, Rasta book.

Herman Miller to Buy Maharam for $156 Million


(Photo: Maharam)

After four generations of family ownership, Maharam is changing hands. The beloved New York City-based textiles firm, founded in 1902 by Louis Maharam, is being acquired by Herman Miller for $156 million, the company announced this week. “Much as we’ve struggled with this decision, our philosophical kinship with Herman Miller helped make this difficult step a far easier one,” said CEO Michael Maharam, who along with his brother, Stephen (who serves as COO), will remain active in the day-to-day management of the company for the next couple of years. “Herman Miller’s potential to provide the wherewithal to pursue important new initiatives, as well as an established reach into both retail and international markets and the greatest possible strength of association, offers a powerful lever in achieving our design-centered strategic vision.” Maharam is perhaps best known for its re-editions of iconic 20th century designs, including the work of Anni Albers, Charles and Ray Eames, and Alexander Girard. In recent years the company has developed textiles with collaborators such as Hella Jongerius, Paul Smith, Marian Bantjes, and Sarah Morris.

Pratt Honors Thom Browne with Fashion Visionary Award

Thom Browne is on a roll. Last fall he received the Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for fashion, and a few months later First Lady Michelle Obama sported his necktie-inspired navy silk coat to the inauguration. Now Pratt Institute is honoring the designer with its 2013 Fashion Visionary Award, which in previous years has been bestowed on fashion greats including Ralph Rucci, Diane von Furstenberg, and Fern Mallis.

Browne will receive the award this evening at the Pratt fashion show, an annual affair that showcases the reliably remarkable thesis collections of seniors in the school’s fashion design program. “No American sportswear designer better represents the aspirations of Pratt fashion than Thom Browne,” said Pratt fashion department chair Jennifer Minniti in a statement announcing the award. “His highly conceptual runway presentations and impeccable craftsmanship have set standards for excellence and originality that push forward and inspire our fashion students to do the same.”

Seven Questions for Design Miami Director Marianne Goebl


(Photo: Richard Patterson for Design Miami)

The countdown to Basel is on, and this year Design Miami/Basel moves to a Herzog & de Meuron-designed home in the new permanent exhibition hall. The eighth edition of the Basel fair is also shaping up to be the biggest yet. “We’ll have about fifty percent more galleries than last year,” Design Miami director Marianne Goebl told us during a recent trip to New York. “And we’re expanding our geographical reach. For the first time in Basel we’ll have a gallery from South Africa, Southern Guild. We’ll also have a first-time participant from Beirut, Carwan Gallery, which will present the work of India Mahdavi.”

A Vitra veteran who took over from founding director Ambra Medda in February 2011, Goebl has succeeded in freshening up Design Miami for an audience that ranges from die-hard design fans to newcomers who strolled over from the neighboring art megafair. “I have this very naïve mission of wanting to communicate to a large audience that design matters,” she says. “Everybody lives with design, whether they want to or not. Not everyone can make choices, but to a certain degree a lot of people can make choices and I think that not enough people do it…until now.” We asked Goebl about how she became interested in design, what’s in store for Basel, and if she believes the 3D printing hype.

How did you become interested in design?
I thought I would end up in the arts, so growing up in Vienna and already when I was a teenager and during my studies [in economics], I always worked in galleries and museums. I interned at the Museum for Applied Arts, worked for an art gallery for three years, and really felt like I wanted this to be part of my life, but then designer friends of mine took me to Milan [Salone Internazionale del Mobile] when I was maybe 22. This whole new world opened up and I realized that in design I could find…conceptual thinking, but also something beyond that, which is tangible and really part of everyday life. And I felt that this is what I wanted to be part of.

Since taking over as director in 2011, what have you found particularly surprising about your job or the fair itself?
What I’ve really learned over the last two years–and what I hope to continue in the future–is that Design Miami can speak to different types of people. First there’s an audience of general enthusiasts, people who are just really interested in design. They may not be interested in buying something, but it doesn’t matter. They can just come [to the fair], get all of the information, ask all of their questions, see the material, interact, use it as a forum. And on the other end of the spectrum, we can reach an audience that can actually help fuel the market and help designers to continue their research and to tell their stories. I don’t want to call it two levels, because it’s not necessarily two different levels, but it’s a broad spectrum of audience, and that wasn’t clear to me before I joined Design Miami.

Tell us about Design Miami’s new location for Basel in June.
In Basel this will be Design Miami’s fourth location. It’s like an itinerant fair! It brings a lot of opportunities, because first, it’s a brand new hall with great architecture. It’s part of the fairground of the Basel convention center. They built a bridge across two buildings on a public plaza. There’s a skylight. It’s in the middle of activities. And then the fair will unfold in the bridge. And there’s moments when you can overlook the square, so it’s nice to communicate with the outside world. I would say it is sophisticated, industrial, not at like a sleek, carpeted convention center.

And Design Miami will also have another space, in addition to the main fair?
We’ll have an additional space that we did not have before in Basel, on the ground floor, where we’ll be able to stage a design performance. We’re working with a German designer who collaborates with dancers. It will be about the relationship between the maker and the object. It will be an ongoing thing, so that every time you come something else will be happening.
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Design Jobs: Armani Exchange, UrbanDaddy, Hachette Book Group

This week, Armani Exchange is hiring a graphic designer for print, while UrbanDaddy needs a visual designer. Hachette Book Group is seeking an art director, and Break Media is on the hunt for a graphic designer. 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.

Let’s Play #ArchitectBandNames!

Crank up the LEED Zeppelin, design fans, because Twitter is abuzz with a most delightful hashtag: #ArchitectBandNames. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Edward Durell Stone Temple Pilots or jam out to Jeanne Gang Gang Dance? Enjoy some of our favorites from across the twitterverse:


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