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Archives: May 2013

Star-Spangled Shopping: Mall of America Gets Brand Update from Duffy & Partners

We’ve never visited the Mall of America, but we know it’s home to an amusement park, an aquarium, a 34-foot-tall LEGO robot, and, until recently, a logo that suggested a high school show choir with a deep repertory of patriotic medleys (and hey, for all we know, such a bunch is permanently stationed between Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Lenscrafters). The 21-year-old Minnesota megaplex, which describes itself as “the Hollywood of the Midwest,” tapped Duffy & Partners for a fresh look–spanning brand language, logo, environment, promotional merchandise, website, social media pages and interior branding–that reflected its ever-changing assortment of outlets and attractions: today Mike & Ike and a new sea turtle, tomorrow Pinkberry and Cirque de Soleil. “For Mall of America, we knew we had to harness the dynamism of their unique experience, the equity found in their American ingenuity, and embrace all the ‘new’ that is their DNA,” says Joe Duffy. “The new identity system is a dynamic evolution that moves and morphs and wraps and celebrates and highlights.”
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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Seven Question for Rad and Hungry Founder Hen Chung

Hole reinforcers and pencils from Costa Rica, and Hen Chung in Istanbul.

Around the world in 80 writing utensils? That’s one way to describe Rad and Hungry, which aims to take lovers of interesting office supplies on a “world tour of limited-edition goods with lo-fi style, pushing design through travel and travel through design.” Founded by former graphic designer Hen Chung in collaboration with fellow globetrotters Sam Alston and Laura Dedon Oxford, the online shop assembles an ever-changing selection of country-themed kits stocked with imported pens, pencils, stationery, and other exotic desk goodies, all beautifully packaged. A Rad and Hungry subscription is the perfect gift for the design lover who has everything—except thumbtacks from Lisbon.

“We really try to make each kit speak to our travels in that country–the people we met, food we ate, design we saw,” Chung tells us. “As each layer is unwrapped, people share in our low-down travel. The whole experience transforms the lo-fi, often overlooked daily-diet goods into something sacred. Our ultimate goal is to connect far-flung groups of people who love style, design, and travel as much as we do.” She made time between scouting trips to answer our questions about creating the company, her favorite finds, and what’s currently on her desk.

What led you to create Rad and Hungry?
I was a graphic designer for ten years and it became time for me to move on. I knew I wanted to combine the things I love most—travel and design. One day I was sitting in my library room thinking about what my next move would be. I was staring at a section of shelves that store journals that I collected from my travels. They were all untouched–they were inexpensive journals I picked up in places such as corner shops and pharmacies. Didn’t matter that none of the pages contained any words or images, they were all so sacred to me because they reminded me of each country. And then it hit me—create a company that allows me to travel and share daily-diet design through office supplies.

You travel the globe hunting for new stuff to include in Rad and Hungry kits. What are some of your favorite finds of all time?
Probably my favorite item to date is the Soviet-era notebooks in the Latvia Kit. I love the yellowing pages, the faded mint covers, and the simple rubber-stamped logo. Close seconds are the copper-colored paper clips from our first Germany Kit and the flower-scented pencils from the Portugal Kit. I love the paper clips because they’re so opposite of what people expect of German goods—they’re delicate and not uniform in shape. And the pencils from Portugal are amazing. Their smell is unreal. Super fragrant but not in the cheap perfume sort of way. They’re made by an old pencil factory that’s still in business after all these years. I’m always stoked to discover a company with a lot of history ‘cause I’m a firm believer that old school is best!

You’re packing for a desert island and can only bring one writing utensil. What is it?
Hands down a goldenrod pencil. I figure I’ll be able to create a tool to sharpen it and find something to write on. But I don’t know what I’d do if I need a fire, hurting for wood and have to make the ultimate decision between fighting off the cold or having a trusty number 2 pencil.
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Design Jobs: Northeastern University, Cafe Mom, McMurry/TMG

This week, Northeastern University is hiring a design director, while Cafe Mom needs an interactive designer. McMurry/TMG is seeking a senior art director, and Publishers Clearing House is on the hunt for a senior web 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.

Can Yves Behar Lock Up the Market for Virtual Keys?

The only thing standing between you and your Yves Behar-designed pill cases, condoms, and personal fizzy-lifting-drink maker is your front door. Good news: Behar’s got an app for that, and it may make your keychain obsolete. The designer has teamed up with entrepreneur Jason Johnson on August Smart Lock, which debuted yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference (watch the demo below, in which the founders emerge on the stage to the strains of “Let My Love Open the Door”).

The system, which installs over an existing deadbolt and makes it possible to open doors with a smartphone, is the latest entry in a nascent smart lock market that includes Lockitron and Unikey. In developing August, which will begin shipping by the end of the year for $199, the goal was to “to make home entry magical, safer than keys or keypads, and something that makes our lives a little better,” according to Behar, who describes both the branding and the app’s user interface as “warm, friendly, and elegant.”
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With Christie’s Sale, Suzy Menkes Allows Her Clothes to ‘Walk out in the Sunshine’

(Photo: Zoe Hitchen for SHOWstudio)

Journalist Suzy Menkes, she of the distinctively quiffed coiff and ability to draw assured seasonal trendlines through the scatter plot of contemporary fashion, hasn’t thrown anything out of her wardrobe since 1964. Rather than await the crew from a ultrachic version of Hoarders, she’s decided to sell off some of her sartorial stash at Christie’s. “If I had a large open space in my home, I would dedicate it, like an art gallery, to my collection,” said Menkes in a statement announcing the sale. “But there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks. They need to live again and this auction provides the opportunity for them to walk out in the sunshine, to dance the night away, and to give someone else the joy they gave me.”

The online sale, which opens for bids on July 11, will consist of approximately 80 lots worth of dresses, coats, skirts, tops, jackets, and accessories. Estimates start at £200 (around $300 at current exchange), with most lots expected to fetch under £1,000 ($1,500). Highlights include Pucci ensembles from the 1960s, when Menkes was at Cambridge and chummy with the designer’s niece, and vibrantly printed Ossie Clark pieces from the ’70s. Menkes’ fondness for extravagant plumage takes a turn for the literal in a Bill Gibb suede coat–trimmed in fur and embroidered with large peacocks.
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At One with Crowdfunding, Smithsonian Seeks Backers for Yoga Exhibition

Detail from a work by Krishna Vishvarupa. ca. 1740. (Courtesy Freer|Sackler)

Open your wallet and say “Om.” That’s the mantra of the Smithsonian’s foray into crowdfunding. Today the institution launches its first major crowdfunding campaign to support “Yoga: The Art of Transformation,” an exhibition about yoga’s visual history that opens October 19 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. before traveling to traveling to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2014. The Smithsonian is looking to raise $125,000 by July 1 via Razoo, a crowdfunding-for-causes platform (think Kickstarter for nonprofits). Funds raised will cover exhibition production, web content, catalogue printing, and free public programs for adults and families.

“We’re trying a new (to us, at least!) and innovative fundraising approach worthy of a new and innovative exhibition,” wrote Miranda Gale, project manager of the campaign at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, in a recent blog post. “Since so many people practice and are enthusiastic about yoga, we’re choosing a format that allows everyone to get involved, not just those who have the means to make large donations.” Donors can contribute at a variety of levels, from “serenity” ($25 to help create tranquil galleries) to “flight” ($1,000 to transport yoginis across the world) and a sky’s-the-limit fill-in-the-blank amount that just might help you reach nirvana.

Quote of Note | Elsa Peretti

“When I started with Halston, it was go-go-go fantastic. He loved my pieces, and they loved his clothes. It was great when he used my big belts in his fashion shows. I worked my ass off with him. He was working day or night, coke or no coke. We were going to Studio 54, but he was impeccable in everything. Halston gave me the discipline. He also gave me advice: when I started doing jewels that I thought were great but too expensive, he said, ‘Make small, medium, and large.’ It may sound simple, but it was very useful, and I have never forgotten it.”

–Designer Elsa Peretti, in the spring 2013 issue of TIME Style & Design

Going with the Flow: David Rockwell Talks Tech, Travel, Theatre Design, and Treadmills

David Rockwell has parlayed a knack for creating “immersive environments” into a discipline-shattering firm that can move seamlessly from designing luxury hotels and the set for the Academy Awards to reinventing playgrounds and dreaming up some damn fine rugs. We asked writer Nancy Lazarus to immerse herself in all things Rockwell when the man himself took the stage last week as a keynoter at Internet Week New York.

Treading the boards, on treadmills. The “abstracted collage of a factory” created by Rockwell Group for the musical adaptation of the 2005 British film Kinky Boots.

David Rockwell gave a whirlwind tour of selected design projects during a session at Internet Week in New York. The Rockwell Group founder offered insight into how his firm’s interactive design LAB operates as they solve design dilemmas for clients in the worlds of hospitality, travel, and theatre. He also previewed pending assignments.

Rockwell observed that as his career progressed, technology has taken center stage. “The technology lab is embedded in my firm, and my work now with the lab is the most exciting. It engages technology to connect people more in real-time.” From the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas to the JetBlue terminal at New York’s JFK airport to the set design for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Rockwell has incorporated technology and choreography-focused designs. Below are his comments on selected projects.

On the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas:
“The promise of Las Vegas is of a place that reinvents itself, but in reality that’s not true, since visitors can’t move freely,” said Rockwell. “The hotel lobby was fourteen feet high and had massive Egyptian-style columns. Our designers worked to dematerialize the walls in an open-source way so people would have a different experience each time they entered. The casino, unlike others in Vegas, was vertical, so we blew a forty-square-foot hole through the podium.”

Rockwell Group used an “environmental choreography system and created a hall of images in the hotel lobby, to allow more personal interaction.” The effect has been “somewhat hypnotic”, though the hotel would prefer visitors to linger in the casino, he noted.
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Art Directors Club Initiative to Address Gender Imbalance in Design, Advertising

The Art Directors Club was founded in 1920–with a vision of “elevating and celebrating advertising and design with the same care and craftsmanship bestowed upon fine art”–but all of that elevating and celebrating was for men only until 1942, when the organization admitted its first female member. Seven decades later, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. The ADC is addressing the gender imbalance in the fields of creative communication with its new 50/50 initiative, which calls for an equal level of participation for both genders across award show juries, boards of directors, and events/speaker lineups.

“By increasing the number of qualified women in senior positions in all facets of the creative communications industry, we believe our industries will both flourish and lay a foundation for generations of female talent,” according to ADC leadership. “We call upon our community to help shed light on these amazing women, because they are out there.” In New York? Head to Thursday’s lunchtime photo shoot (think: massive class portrait of women in the advertising, design, and digital disciplines) with photographer Monte Isom that will kick off the initiative. Here’s ADC executive director Ignacio Oreamuno with more details on why now is the time to make the industry 50/50.

Wanted: Designer to Save the World

(Photo: David W. Oliver)

Warming oceans. Changing ecosystems. Pollution-busting innovations. Adorable turtles. It’s all in a day’s work at the Environmental Defense Fund. Lucky for you, the non-profit’s “passionate, pragmatic environmental advocates” are in want of a designer to join their New York-based creative team. Brush off your eye-popping portfolio of online design work and be ready to convey your interest in conveying ideas and inspiring action for this position, which involves “developing aesthetically engaging concepts, compositions, and campaigns for the EDF’s interactive experiences, brand communications, and digital media.”

Learn more about this designer, Environmental Defense Fund job or view all of the current design/art/photo jobs.