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Archives: June 2013

Friday Photo: Goodnight Moon Green Room


(Photo: Jonathan Blanc)

It’s the summer of children’s books in New York. The Society of Illustrators is celebrating the creative legacy of Maurice Sendak with an exhibition of more than 200 Sendak originals, and his beloved wild things can also be found rumpusing at the New York Public Library as part of “The ABC of It,” a show that examines why children’s books are important, what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them. Among the books and objects on view through March 2014 is this recreation of the great green room of Margaret Wise Brown‘s Goodnight Moon, complete with a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon.

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IKEA Founder to Return to Sweden

Ingvar Kamprad put the “IK” in IKEA (the “E” and the “A” are for Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and a neighboring village, Agunnaryd), but he left Sweden in 1973 to escape the hefty taxes and settled in Switzerland. Now the 87-year-old IKEA founder, whose fortune is estimated at $51.7 billion (that’s enough to buy more than 8 million Billy bookcases), is coming home. “To move back to Sweden brings me closer to my family and my old friends,” Kamprad said in a statement. The country’s tax laws have softened since his departure, according to the Wall Street Journal. A wealth tax has been abolished and income taxes have been lowered. Kamprad recently stepped down from the board of IKEA’s parent company, Inter IKEA Group, which is now chaired by one of his three sons.

Quote of Note | Sports Illustrated’s Chris Hercik

“The previous covers that we’ve published of LeBron have tended to be more serious and introspective—so I knew this cover had to be lighter, both in tone and mood. This photo of LeBron that Jeffery Salter took shows that genuine moment of relief and enjoyment. Throughout the playoffs, you could see the intensity and the ‘weight of the world’ on LeBron’s face. This cover needed to be the opposite.

We had a several photos to choose from from this shoot. Normally eye contact with the reader is something you strive for. In this case, I purposely chose the one of him gazing at the trophy and not at the reader because this was the moment—what he has been working towards the entire year. It’s an amazing photo and an even better moment.”

-Sports Illustrated creative director Chris Hercik on LeBron James’s 20th cover appearance. The July 1 issue also has a regional cover featuring the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory.

Elizabeth Chu Richter Elected 2015 AIA President

The American Institute of Architects wrapped up its national convention last weekend in Denver, and along with a keynote address by Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair, delegates enjoyed an insider’s tour of the Daniel Libeskind- and Gio Ponti-designed buildings of the Denver Art Museum, got their copies of Combinatory Urbanism signed by Thom Mayne, and paused between sessions to enjoy scoops from Little Man Ice Cream, located inside a 28-foot steel replica of an old-fashioned milk can. There was also an election: Elizabeth Chu Richter, the CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi, Texas, emerged victorious in her bid for the 2015 presidency of AIA. “I’m hoping that my leadership will help bring the AIA into a more member-focused future, building greater public engagement and understanding, while also refining the Institute’s leadership structure and operation focus,” said Richter, a member of the AIA National Board of Directors representing Texas. She’ll begin her term as first vice-president/president-elect in 2014.

Behind the Lens: Michael Gross to Write Book on Fashion Photography

Having peeked behind the gates of trophy estates and triplex apartments on both coasts and revealed the “lust, lies, greed, and betrayals that made the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Michael Gross is returning to the fashion world he so astutely chronicled in Model, his 1995 tome. The author has inked a deal for Girls on Film, “a look at modern fashion photography from a different angle—behind the lens—focusing on the photographers, and the magazines and marketers who hire them to make images of beautiful girls (and some boys) to sell products and manipulate people,” according to a deal report from Publishers Marketplace. The book is slated for publication by Atria Books in 2015, but you don’t have to wait that long to get a fresh fix. Gross’s House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address is due out in March of next year. Fingers crossed for chapters on Bob Stern and the joys of limestone alongside scoops on residents such as Lloyd Blankfein and Sandy Weill.
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What’s the Opposite of Kickstarter?

Nope, not communism–it’s Kickstopper, a “website that raises funding to crush people’s dreams, at the exact moment when they need to be crushed.” The team from YouTube’s Universal Comedy channel imagines the anti-crowdfunding force with the help of a trio of floundering creative entrepreneurs: a guy who once yearned to make a semi-autobiographical film about his failed college romance (“set in the Jazz Age” and featuring “a wide variety of fedoras”), a young woman who looked to Kickstarter to make her glassblowing dreams come true, and an inventor of a killer smartphone accessory.

Tom Kundig Designs Funerary Urn

Design lovers have plenty of options when it comes to modern and contemporary cradles—David Netto, DucDuc, Oeuf—but the pickings are slim on the other, graver end of the human lifespan. Tom Kundig to the rescue. The architect has designed “The Final Turn,” a fresh take on a funerary urn, in collaboration with Seattle-based Greg Lundgren Monuments.

The urn, which could pass for a wee Anish Kapoor work rather than a cutting-edge ash keeper, consists of two deliberately askew halves of a blackened steel or bronze sphere that measures eight inches in diameter. “While the sphere implies perfection and eternity, the offset nature of the urn is inspired by the people left behind–the people whose lives are thrown off-kilter by the passing of their loved one,” says Kundig. A threaded cap on the lower half provides access to the receptacle for the remains, and mementos can be tucked inside a compartment in the top half.

Screen Test: Decorative Dividers That Dazzle

Architectural Digest recently took over the New York Design Center for “AD Loves,” a celebration of favorite finds from the 16-story, 500,000-square-foot to-the-trade design mecca. We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to scout the showrooms for some standout pieces.


Philip Nimmo’s Mattonella Fire Screen, available through Profiles at the New York Design Center.

Decorative screens provide high visual appeal and a measure of privacy in an era when the verb ‘screen’ is more commonly associated with preventing unwanted phone calls, emails, online, and TV ads. Whether one, two, or three panels, screens serve those living in tight spaces and others with open lofts to partition—and fireplaces aren’t required. At a recent event showcasing Architectural Digest’s favorite finds from the New York Design Center, we spotted a few notable screens perched in the showrooms.

Mattonella Fire Screen (Profiles showroom)
Philip Nimmo designed this single-panel fire screen that stands three feet high. Made of wrought iron with an array of optional finishes, it features a pomegranate-shaped design with tempered glass globs that resemble large seeds.


Philip Nimmo’s Goccia Fire Screen, available through Profiles at the New York Design Center.

Goccia Fire Screen (Profiles)
This double-panel fire screen is another Nimmo creation. The abstract design is highlighted with glass rondels in the shapes and colors of citrus fruits.
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Quote of Note | Zaha Hadid


(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

“I just think that at this stage, all form of travel should be slightly more advanced. The adverts should be nicer, the way you get to [airports] should be better, the way you check in, the people should be–well, they can’t change people, but, you know, they should wear better uniforms, they should give you better food, everything. I mean, you know, tragic, a salad on British Airways, it’s a killer. I don’t know where they found this petrified green…forgetting about the service, every time I take a British Airways flight, I lose my luggage.”

-Zaha Hadid in an interview with Fortune‘s Stephanie Mehta on Monday in London at the magazine’s Most Powerful Women conference.

Moss Bureau Launches Online Design Store

Murray Moss and Franklin Getchell shuttered their gallery-cum-emporium in February of last year, and the design world is still experiencing withdrawal symptoms–until now. Moss Bureau, the “design advisory services” company formed by the duo in the wake of the store closure, has sprouted a retail arm and launched an online design store. Meet mossPOP. “The name says it all,” says the team behind the new venture. “We’re exploding with gifts, broken into gender-appropriate lists, for every gender we could think of. Sales so sudden, even we don’t know when they’ll happen. And since we’re mobile-optimized for iPhone and Android, we’re popping up all over town.”

Pop on over for a selection of design objects (classic and contemporary), watches, jewelry, books, furniture, and lighting on pages sprinkled with designy quotes from everyone from Mies Van Der Rohe (“I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.”) to…uh, Nicole Richie (“I am extremely involved in the design process of both my brands.”). We suggest starting with the mossPOP Selects section, in which Murray himself opines on some of his favorite objects with the curatorial verve that made the catalogue for his October Phillips sale such a treat. Not in the market for a $65,000 beeswax amphora? Pop for a wearable souvenir of the original Moss: a t-shirt that reads “please do not touch.”

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