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Archives: August 2013

Quote of Note | Robert A.M. Stern


(Photo: Henry Gould Harvey IV for Bloomberg Businessweek)

“The computer makes it possible for us to talk to our clients and collaborators around the world. The computer’s also made it possible to invent or discover new shapes. And that’s tricky because, yes, it is possible virtually to represent any shape you want. Everybody says, ‘Oh, Stern, you’re just old-fashioned.’ Well, maybe I am, but I still like right angles.

I don’t use a computer. I get e-mail, and it gets printed out for me, and I read it as though it was a letter sent to me in the mail. I write the answer longhand, and I get it typed. I take pride in what it looks like. I must say, many people who send you e-mails either can’t or won’t spell.”

-Architect and Yale School of Architecture dean Robert A.M. Stern in an interview with Sam Grobart for Bloomberg Businessweek‘s “Ice Cream Break: Questions Over Cones” series. Stern opted for coffee-flavored ice cream.

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Wanted: Art and Photo Intern Who Gets Lucky

As those charming French robots have been reminding us lately, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are / So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars”—and our professional sights to the most shopping-obsessed corner of Planet Conde Nast. That would be Lucky, where newly installed editor-in-chief and “nail art” aficionado Eva Chen is all about a $250 holographic leather baseball cap for fall.

Whether you’re up all night to get some or just for good fun, the hunt is on for an art and photo intern who gets Lucky. The magazine about shopping is in the market for “a junior or senior at a U.S. college or university majoring in graphic design, photography, or studio art, with an interest in multimedia, fashion, current editorial and historical photography, and with strong communication and interpersonal skills.”

Learn more about this art and photo intern, Lucky job or view all of the current Mediabistro design, art, and photo jobs.

Green Is Good: Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park Opens in NYC

Watch out, High Line, there’s a new park in town. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand yesterday to unveil a 5.5-acre waterfront park and several roadways at the site of the Hunter’s Point South development in Queens. We dispatched writer Nancy Lazarus to assess the city’s newest green space.


The multi-use green oval at Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, which opened to the public yesterday. (All photos: Albert Vecerka/Esto)

Many New Yorkers know Long Island City from the Silvercup or Pepsi signs visible across the East River. Art enthusiasts associate LIC with galleries, studios, and MoMA’s PS1. With the opening of Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, locals now have recreational reasons to visit. So hop on the subway or East River Ferry and bring your cameras, bicycles, bathing suits, and dogs to NYC’s newest waterfront oasis.

Hunter’s Point South development, formerly known as “Queens West,” would have hosted an Olympic village if New York had won its 2012 bid. New York City Economic Development Corporation is overseeing the project, and Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi collaborated on Phase 1, the design of the park and open space, with ARUP acting as prime consultant and infrastructure designers. Affordable housing and a school are also being built.

During a recent press tour, Marion Weiss, Michael Manfredi, and Thomas Balsley described how they converted the former marshland and industrial area for leisure use. While the tour was on a bright sunny day, the area was designed to be sustainable and to withstand storms. According to Weiss, the park flooded briefly during storm Sandy, but the water quickly receded, thanks to their water runoff and conservation system. There’s more official interest now in addressing potential floods, Manfredi added.
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Farrow & Ball Crowdsources ‘Inspirational’ Paint Colors: Vote for Your Favorite

There is paint, and then there is Farrow & Ball, whose pigment-rich, tightly edited palette includes colors—make that colours—such as “Mouse’s Back,” “Dead Salmon,” “Arsenic,” and a creamy hue known simply as “Clunch.” On September 9, the company will reveal nine new paint colors, and in anticipation of the debut announced the “My Colour” competition: a chromatic crowdsourcing exercise that has since been narrowed down to 20 finalists.

Will the dusky blue of “Old Boat” best the fizzy grapefruit that is “Pink Paloma”? Can “Colonel’s Mustard” knock out (Mrs.) “Peacock Blue,” with the “Vintage Lantern” or a shot of “Absinthe”? Is one of our favorites, the dark blueish, greenish grey inspired by the United Nations charter too close, both in hue and peaceful spirit, to F&B’s existing “Hague Blue”? Hurry up and cast your vote–the winner will receive 10 gallons of their inspirational color, which may or may not end up in a future F&B palette. Voting closes at midnight, and the winner announced on Friday.
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Design Jobs: American Girl, Variety, NAPW

This week, American Girl is hiring a senior graphic designer for web, and Variety needs a senior graphic designer. Meanwhile, NAPW is seeking a graphic designer, and Here Media is on the hunt for an online photo/graphics editor. 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.

Jamie Isenstein Triumphs in Creative Time Sandcastle Contest


(Photo by Derek Schultz / Courtesy Creative Time)

Armed with bubbles, ice, and Sexy Sex Man, Jamie Isenstein emerged triumphant in Creative Time’s artist sandcastle competition, held earlier this month in Far Rockaway, Queens and judged by an esteemed panel that included Shelley Fox Aarons, Waris Ahluwalia, and Klaus Biesenbach. Isenstein’s “Disappearing Sculptures,” which positioned a live saxophonic nod to the world’s favorite careless whisperer and other ephemeral delights (bubbles, ice) atop three plinths of sand, bested the creations of competing artists such as David Brooks, Sebastian Errazuriz, Ghost of a Dream (Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom), and Natalie Jeremijenko to take home a “gold” shovel and $500. Rounding out the top three were Esperanza Mayobre, who hoisted the silver shovel for her sculpted raft (an oblique commentary on immigration), while Duke Riley bagged bronze for a replica of a White Castle drive-through that may have made it to the top of the list by virtue of the free White Castle burgers provided to hungry judges.
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Seven Questions for Vintage Magazine Founder Ivy Baer Sherman


The new issue of Vintage Magazine, with linoleum-inspired covers by Chip Kidd. Below, editor-in-chief Ivy Baer Sherman in a photo by Victoria Jackson.

Technically, Vintage Magazine is—you guessed it—a magazine, but the term fails to convey the visual and tactile pleasures contained within its covers, which for the fourth (“Quatrième”) issue are a multi-flap affair designed to evoke the look and feel of vintage linoleum. Inside is a cabinet of curiosities worth of architecture- and design-focused features that range from musings on the enduring legacy of Elsie de Wolfe to a glimpse inside the New York townhouse of Robert and Cortney Novogratz—in the form of a DIY pop-up created by paper engineer Shawn Sheehy. The woman behind this biannual celebration of design, culture, and the creative possibilities of print is Vintage‘s founding editor-in-chief and publisher Ivy Baer Sherman and as we pored over the new issue, she told us about the origins of Vintage, the challenges of producing each issue, and the importance of living with flair (and Flair).

What led you to create Vintage Magazine?
Several years ago I was introduced to Fleur CowlesFlair at a 2003 retrospective of the magazine, “Fleur on Flair,” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. I was struck, at first glance, by Flair’s beauty…and promptly judged the magazine, as we are taught to never ever do, by its exquisite cover. The distinguishing feature of a Flair cover was a die cut—which offered an artful glimpse onto the world within. Turning the cover revealed further delights—foldouts and fabulous illustrations—by Saul Steinberg, by fashion designer Rene Gruau; riveting writing—Salvador Dali on his search for a gypsy angel, Tallulah Bankhead on Louis Armstrong; short stories by Tennessee Williams. I left the show acutely attuned to the extraordinary physical draw of a magazine: the lure of stunning design, the striking sensation of ink on paper, the ravishing commingling of keenly-wrought words and fine art and editorial flair, the tactile quality of the read. I knew then and there that I wanted to create a magazine in the spirit of Flair for today’s audience. Voilà, Vintage Magazine.

How do you describe the editorial mission/philosophy?
Vintage Magazine aims to bring aspects of the past to the fore through a celebration of design and the creative possibilities of print—writers and artists are invited to survey the historical impact of art, music, fashion, food, and travel on today’s culture. With naysayers focusing on the demise of print these days, what better time to take the art of the magazine to new heights; to create a truly vintage publication, if you will—one that informs, inspires, surprises and delights.

Tell us about the amazing cover of the Quatrième issue and how it came to be.
What an honor to work with Chip Kidd—legendary graphic artist/cover designer. I wanted to do a Vintage version of an architecture and design issue. I talked this over with Chip at our first meeting, my only stipulation being that his cover design allow for the magazine’s signature open spine. Chip said that that he’d wanted to try something multi-layered and suggested the resulting homage to vintage linoleum.

Each layer of the cover reveals another pattern of linoleum—the construction is reminiscent of those sample rings of clacking linoleum chips that one finds in flooring showrooms; the paper stock has been selected to evoke a linoleum feel. The printer and binder worked to ensure that the integrity of the cover design would be maintained without compromising the magazine’s structural stability.
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Stylish Sleeping Bags for Urban Overnighters

Just in time for Labor Day weekend voyages, writer Nancy Lazarus surveyed the market for sleeping bags and got a sneak peek at the back-to-nature themes, trends, and colors that will be setting up camp come 2015.


Spoon-shaped sleeping bags from Dover, New Hampshire-based NEMO.

From the American Museum of Natural History’s Night at the Museum-fueled all-nighters to the recent “Citi Field Sleepover,” where 400 fans plopped down their tents and sleeping bags to watch a jumbotron broadcast of a New York Mets’ road-game, the sleepover isn’t just for middle schoolers anymore. Soon the age-old question of what to wear will be replaced by what sleeping bag to bring, so UnBeige went on a hunt for suitable choices.

While sleeping bag options for children abound, stylish adult sleeping bags for urban use are in short supply. Adult sleeping bags have mainly been designed for serious camping excursions. More innovations have been introduced in shapes and materials than in colors and technology, as detailed below. We’ve added a few suggestions regarding upcoming colors and patterns based on StyleSight’s spring and summer 2015 preview, to give enterprising designers something to sleep on.
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Quote of Note | Diana Vreeland

“I have astigmatism, like El Greco. I’m not comparing myself with El Greco for a minute, except that we both have the same physical disability. Partly because of his disability he saw things that most people don’t see. I see all sorts of things that you don’t see. I see girls and I see the way their feet fall off the sidewalk when they’re getting ready to cross the street but they’re waiting for the light, with their marvelous hair blowing in the wind and their fatigued eyes….”

-Diana Vreeland, quoted in Amanda Mackenzie Stuart‘s Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland (Harper)

Hello, Fada: Le Corbusier’s Radiant Rooftop Revealed

Nearly 50 years after his death, Le Corbusier is the man of the moment. The Swiss-born French multitasker is the subject of an exhibition (on view through September 23) at the Museum of Modern Art and the creator of a lamp that inspired Kanye West‘s latest album, while across the pond, Corbu’s modernist housing complex has been reborn at the hands of a self-described “icon­o­­clas­tic artist,” aged 36. We sent our man in Marseille Marc Kristal up on the roof.


(Photo: Olivier Amsellem)

It’s been a big year for architecture in Marseille. As part of the city’s designation as 2013’s European Capital of Culture, fifteen major projects, including new construction and renovations, have been created in the city and Provence region—everything from Rudy Ricciotti’s magisterial Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean on Marseille’s J4 waterfront esplanade to the resurrection of the Eden Cinéma, the world’s first movie house, in La Ciotat (opening in October) to groundbreaking on Fondation Vasarély, set to open in 2014-15 in Aix-en-Provence.

But while benefiting from le hubbub surrounding the culture capital festivities, one of the year’s most exciting projects is an unaffiliated private undertaking with a major public component: the restoration and reopening of the rooftop gymnasium/solarium of Le Corbusier’s enormously influential 1952 housing complex, Cité Radieuse.

Despite its international reputation, Corbu’s original “Unité d’Habitation” is known locally as “La Maison du Fada”—Provençal for “The Crazy Person’s House”—as the people of Marseille responded less than enthusiastically when the Brutalist “vertical village,” with its 337 cleverly configured apartments, hotel, restaurant, shops, and school, was completed. The roof, which had been altered in ways that contravened Corbu’s intentions and fell into disrepair, was put up for sale in 2010 and quickly snapped up by the polymath French architect/designer Ito Morabito—known commonly by his nom de design Ora-Ïto—who has impeccably restored the interior and exterior spaces and transformed them into an art center he calls Marseille Modulor (in honor of Corbu’s human-scaled system of measurement) or MAMO (a playful tweaking of New York’s MoMA) for short.
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