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Archives: July 2013

In Brief: WeinSpitz Covers New York, Warhol Summer Continues, World’s Largest Building

• Shield your eyes and gird your loins from WeinSpitz, New York magazine’s latest coverbeast. The grimacing, ambitious creature-candidate is a composite of photographs of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer by R. Umar Abbasi and Mary Altaffer/AP, respectively, and is sure to haunt your dreams well past Election Day.

• The summer of Warhol doesn’t end with pop Perrier and silkscreened strollers. The Andy Warhol Museum tapped Marc USA for a seasonal ad campaign that celebrates the darker charms of Pittsburgh.

• The Chinese mega-city of Chengdu is now home to the world’s largest building, complete with beach resort, cinemas, shops, and a replica Mediterranean village.

• Buildings such as One World Trade Center, the Space Needle, and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa are spending the summer in Palm Beach, where Dan Parker has recreated them out of Legos. “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture” is on view through October 20 at the Norton Museum of Art.

Kanye West has teamed up with A.P.C.’s Jean Touitou for a capsule collection: A.P.C. Kanye.
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Quote of Note | Neil Kraft

“The most interesting stuff [in product, packaging, and communications] is coming out of the interactive world, because you can tell a much longer story. There is nothing wrong with print, but it’s going to be two-dimensional.

Interactive has gone from zero percent of our business to 70 percent. That being said, my aesthetic is modern and beautiful. People with an interactive background have absolutely no idea how to make anything look good. People who can make stuff look beautiful have no idea how to do interactive. That’s where the rubber hits the road—to find people who understand both. It doesn’t happen everyday. I wish it would happen more. It’s starting to.”

-Neil Kraft, president and CEO of KraftWorks, in an interview with Jenny B. Fine published in WWD Beauty

New Calatrava Book Comes with Sculptural Golden Dreambox

Santiago Calatrava is a whiz with bridges and transit hubs—his latest is Italy’s Stazione di Bologna e Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana, a high-speed train station that debuted last month and allows passengers to zip to Milano faster than you can say “Stazione di Bologna e Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana”—but did you know that he is also an accomplished painter, sculptor, and designer of things that cannot be categorized as infrastructure? The full, undulating, cantilevered spectrum of his talents will be revealed in the pages of Santiago Calatrava, coming this fall.

The new book is an Assouline production, which means that while there will be text (in this case, by Christina Carrillo de Albornoz Fisac, who will consider Calatrava’s references, influences, and inspirations) but it will only come into focus after you’ve spent hours ogling the lush, sure-to-be-full-bleed illustrations—all 180 of them. Of course, that’s even assuming that you can bring yourself to unwrap the hand-bound edition, which will come tucked inside a shiny box (pictured) designed by Calatrava himself.

Bose Corporation Founder Dies at 83

Amar Bose has gone to that big Wave Radio in the sky. The Philadelphia-born, MIT-educated founder of the Bose Corporation died Friday at his home Massachusetts. He was 83. “Dr. Bose founded Bose Corporation almost fifty years ago with a set of guiding principles centered on research and innovation. That focus has never changed, and never will,” said Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation, in a statement. “Bose Corporation will remain privately held, and stay true to Dr. Bose’s ideals. We are as committed to this as he was to us.”

A classical music buff, Bose founded his company in 1964 out of disappointment with a pricey stereo system he purchased while a student at MIT. His own acoustic engineering research was behind the first Bose sound system. He sought advice from one of his mentors at MIT, Y. W. Lee, on naming the company. “We were trying out various combinations with ‘acoustics’ and ‘electronics’ but couldn’t register any of them till Professor Lee gave me a few tips,” said Bose in a 2004 interview with India’s Economic Times. “He said the name shouldn’t be restrictive, since you never know what you’re going to be doing five years later, easy to pronounce in America, and short, so that the logo didn’t hog too much space.” In 2011, Bose gave to MIT the majority of the stock of Bose Corporation in the form of nonvoting shares.

Vintage French Carnival Rides Make Grand Entrance on Governors Island

Francophiles abound at UnBeige HQ, and with Bastille Day approaching, we’re stocking up on macarons and planning to sing La Marseillaise whilst astride a carousel horse that’s been around since the Third Republic. We sent writer Nancy Lazarus to preview the world’s first traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels as it makes its stateside debut.

Lady Liberty is green with envy. While the famous statue just reopened to the public, another French attraction, Fête Paradiso, makes its debut tomorrow on a neighboring isle in New York Harbor. The collection of late 19th and early 20th century carousels, swing sets, pipe organ, and games arrived here after six months of planning and a four-week installation period (by a French artisan family that rebuilt the rides on the island). The carnival rides will be open and operational during weekends through September 29.

“Governors Island is known for its fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty, and now we can further celebrate French-American relations,” said Leslie Koch, president of The Trust for Governors Island during a preview this week. She noted that the event’s exotic name derives from the film Cinema Paradiso, though “it’s hard to imagine it all here in the middle of New York City.”

“I’ve come to New York with my toys, after many years of dreaming about restoring this ménage,” explained Fête Paradiso’s creative director and carnival rides collector, Régis Masclet. “I’d been working alone on these French festivals, but after a wonderful encounter with fellow collector Roger Staub, I’ve been allowed to realize my dream.”
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Mark Your Calendar: IDSA’s Rule-Breaking International Conference

Ready your inner iconoclast for “Breaking the Rules,” the international conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Set for August 21-24 in Chicago, the megaconfab promises “an energizing, thought-provoking and potentially outburst-inducing three- day exploration of design, business, culture shifts and rule-breaking strategies that help you make the most of our evolving and often tumultuous economic climate,” according to conference chair Paul Hatch, president of TEAMS Design USA. Speakers include Dean Kamen (Deka Research & Development), Bruce Nussbaum (Parsons), and Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research). Regular registration rates end July 20, so act fast.

Ellsworth Kelly, George Lucas, Laurie Olin Among National Medal of Arts Recipients

President Obama welcomed the latest recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to the White House yesterday for a ceremony in the East Room. Among the honorees present to pick up their hardware was Ellsworth Kelly, who has had a banner ninetieth year, with solo shows at MoMA, the Phillips Collection, the Barnes Foundation, and Matthew Marks, to name a few. The citation read at the ceremony lauded the artist as “a careful observer of form, color, and the natural world [who] has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in American art.”

Other 2012 National Medal of the Arts recipients include philanthropist and arts education advocate Lin Arinson, landscape architect Laurie Olin, and George Lucas, who got a special shout-out from the President. “American philosopher Will Durant once wrote, ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ And that’s an extraordinary skill—to tell the untold stories of history, to reveal the sculpture that’s waiting there in a block of stone, to transform written music into song; to make it look like those planes in space are actually flying like they are,” said Obama during his remarks. “I remember when I first saw Star Wars. There’s a whole generation that thinks special effects always look like they do today. But it used to be you’d see the string on the little model spaceships.”

Watch: The Bouroullecs’ Quiet Motion

Surely one of the most mesmerizing installations at this year’s Salone del Mobile was Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec‘s “Quiet Motion,” a quartet of cork platforms that rotated, slowly and silently, in the cloister of a Milanese monastery. The installation, presented in partnership with BMWi, was designed “as an allegorical interpretation of movement and contemplation,” according to the brothers, who interpreted the concept of sustainable mobility with materials including fabrics made of the sustainable wool yarn that will be used in the electric car’s seat upholstery and lightweight carbon columns created using renewable energy sources. Here’s a cinematic souvenir of the project: the Quiet Motion film, directed by Juriaan Booij:

Misha Nonoo, Tim Coppens Among New Crop of CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have announced the new crop of finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative. Now in its tenth year, the program provides financial support and business mentorship for emerging designers. Among the past winners are Joseph Altuzarra, Alexander Wang,and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. The 2013 finalists are:
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, Public School
Jason Jones and Mike Feldman, Parabellum
Juan Carlos Obando, Juan Carlos Obando
Marc Alary, Marc Alary
Misha Nonoo, Nonoo
Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, TOME
Shimon Ovadia and Ariel Ovadia, Ovadia & Sons
Tim Coppens, Tim Coppens
Todd Snyder, Todd Snyder
Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, Veronica Beard

The finalists were selected by a committee of fashion power players that includes Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, whose tireless championing of the initiative has resulted in similar prizes across the globe, and CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg. Over the next few weeks, the group will meet with each of the finalists to review their current collections and conduct in-depth interviews (with $300,000 up for grabs, there’s no pressure) before embarking on site visits to their design studios (again, no pressure). A design project with Uniqlo is in the works, and a Fashion Fund Finalists’ fashion show is planned for October is Los Angeles. The winner(s) will be announced in New York City on November 11.

TypeEd Offers Type Classes for the Masses

Poor typeface selection, butchered executions of proper glyph handling, the ridiculous setting of justified copy: these are just some of the typographic tragedies that TypeEd aims to banish from the planet. “We exist to protect and serve the letterform, typesetting against the villains of bad design,” say Michael Stinson and Rachel Elnar, who founded the Los Angeles-based program of typography and typesetting courses last year in their design studio, Ramp Creative+Design. “Our mission is to educate designers, students, and practitioners on the fundamental skills of typography.” Among their latest offerings is “In the Loop,” a six-hour script letterform workshop taught by veteran creative director Leah Faust. We asked Stinson, a veteran designer/art director and TypeEd’s lead instructor, to tell us more about “typesetting for the jetsetting” and couldn’t resist the ‘ol desert island fonts question—read on for his top three typefaces.

What led you to create TypeEd?
Rachel went back to teach in the Cal State University system after an elevan-year hiatus, and noticed that with the overflow of computer-based classes into college curriculums, design fundamentals like typography were pushed to the wayside. So, she brought me in as guest speaker to give her interactive class a few typography tips. After seeing the enthusiasm, we eventually we decided to start an education program in our design studio.

What will “In the Loop” workshop participants learn?
In The Loop is an exploration of script-making and letterform crafting. The workshop will cover the history of iconic script signage in Los Angeles, and discuss how to make a script memorable and effective. Attendees will learn about the aspects of readability, angle, stroke variation, and how to translate scripts to digital form.

What is your greatest design pet peeve?
My greatest design pet peeve is the absence of thinking in design. When a designer chooses elements because of personal preference instead of being informed by research, history or concept, I feel that they’ve really missed a great opportunity. Designing without thinking is pure lack of consideration for the reader.
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