Kitsch Kringle is coming to town. ‘Tis the season for John Waters to regale audiences with tales of twisted traditions and real-life holiday horror stories. The filmmaker, author, and hitchhiker is on the road with “A John Waters Christmas,” his one-man show of yuletide lunacy. This week Waters’ sleigh alights in New Orleans, Nashville, and Atlanta, before two weekend dates in New York City (at Stage 48). “There’s no way you can really avoid the steamroller of Christmas. But I do have advice for every kind of way it’s coming at you,” he told The New York Times recently. “I get into everything in the show, from Christmas music to Christmas movies to what you should give to how to deal with parents who are abusive at Christmas. I also tell the audience what I want.” Spoiler alert: A Myron Stout drawing, Visconti’s ascot, and Brigid Berlin‘s prescription bottle of Obetrol, the diet pills of Andy Warhol. We’re asking for a galley of Carsick, Waters’ upcoming book, slated for publication in June by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having signed up to twitter ourselves. Look to the official UnBeige Twitter feed, for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and free candy (OK, we’re still working on the physics of that last one). The mediabistro.com tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts (limited to 140 characters), but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering, and start twittering yourself at twitter.com.
Last fall, Silicon Valley powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers launched a number of initiatives to attract and develop design talent, and now they’ve recruited the ultimate design mind: John Maeda. The computer scientist, artist, author, designer, and overall shape shifter announced this week that he will leave his post as president of the Rhode Island School of Design at the end of the fall semester to become design partner at KPCB.
In his new role, Maeda will help KPCB’s entrepreneurs build design into their company cultures; he will also chair the eBay Design Advisory Board, working with the company to evolve design capabilities. “The courage, inspiration and rigor that RISD students show in their work and their choices to lead—why we say that RISD is the Reason I’m Sleep Deprived—is what inspired me to seize these opportunities,” Maeda notes in the video farewell (below) he sent earlier this week to the RISD community. “I am passionate about revealing art and design’s role in innovation, and this next step represented irresistible pathways to strengthen design’s place in the digital age.”
Everything’s coming up…purple. Today Pantone declared Radiant Orchid (18-3224 on your fandeck) the “expressive, exotic” Color of the Year. In the wake of 2013′s Emerald, it’s a return to the tropical shades favored by the color authority in recent years, such as Tangerine Tango, Honeysuckle, Turquoise, and Mimosa.
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love, and health,” said Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman in a statement announcing the pick. “It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” Those eager to embrace the “magical, enigmatic” hue can purchase a a Pantone USB drive in Radiant Orchid or start stocking up on Pantone paint in the color of 2014, but why not simply put your (emerald) green thumb to the test with an actual orchid?
Ursula von Rydingsvard in front of Ona, her 19-foot-high cast-bronze sculpture at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (Photo: Piotr Redlinski/The New York Times)
On a crisp October Monday in the year 2000, a persistent ringing shattered the predawn silence at the New York home that the scientist Paul Greengard shares with his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. “Paul muttered something like, ‘What jerk is calling at five in the morning?’” recalls von Rydingsvard with a gleam in her eye. Their daughter, staying in an adjoining bedroom, picked up the phone to drowsily greet a stranger with a Swedish accent—calling from the Nobel Prize Committee. Greengard was soon wide awake.
Later that day, the couple’s young grandson clutched a bouquet of yellow tulips and led a family procession through the gates of the Rockefeller University, where Greengard has been Vincent Astor Professor and headed the laboratory of molecular and cellular neuroscience since 1983, and onto a hastily planned university-wide celebration. It was during this happy walk to Caspari Hall that Greengard told von Rydingsvard of his idea to use his Nobel winnings—approximately $400,000—to create another prize, one that would recognize the accomplishments of women in science and be named in honor of his mother, Pearl Meister Greengard.
The Keith Haring Foundation is continuing its support of New York’s New Museum, pledging $500,000 to support and name the museum’s school, teen, and family programs. The gift follows the foundation’s 2008 grant of $1 million to establish a fund for school and youth programs at the New Museum and to name the Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement—a post currently held by Johanna Burton.
In other New Museum news, #ArtsTech Meetup founder Julia Kaganskiy has been named director of the institution’s new incubator for art, technology, and design. The initiative, slated to launch in summer 2014 in the building adjacent to the museum, will be a educational and professional workspace: “a dynamic 24/7 center where creative start-up entrepreneurs and artists will form a vibrant interdisciplinary community geared toward collaboration and innovation.”
“Macarons are the quintessential confectionery delight. In the macaron, the color, texture, and flavor become so much more than the sum of their parts. And since the flavors aren’t dictated by the cookies’ form, each one becomes a vessel of endless possibility for the most fantastic flavor imaginable.”
-Will Cotton, discussing his collaboration with Ladurée. The artist’s macaron flavor (think ginger-infused whipped cream) and box debuts this week in Miami at Art Basel Miami Beach.
As Miami heats up with art and design happenings, writer Nancy Lazarus looks to Art Basel’s home country for a look at how W Hotels is schussing into the ski resort market.
Ski-in and ski-out access is de rigueur among alpine enthusiasts, particularly those who trek to the vast, steep slopes of Switzerland. The new W Verbier and The Residences at W Verbier offer just the ticket for avid downhillers and après-ski fans, with a prime location at the base of the mountain’s Medran gondola. Though to get there they may have to navigate past St. Bernards, either via the St. Bernard Express regional train or the Great St. Bernard Pass mountain road.
The W brand’s first Swiss property covers all terrains, with state-of-the-art lodgings, spa, restaurant, bars, and cafe. Much like Verbier’s four valleys ski area, the W resort is laid out in a series of four chalet-style wooden buildings interconnected by glass atria that feature climbing walls. W’s parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, worked with Les Trios Rocs, the owners of the luxury development project.
“We wanted to bring the location to life in a W way,” said Ted Jacobs, W Hotels’ VP of global design, during a recent stateside press preview. The brand partnered with Dutch design agency Concrete Architectural Associates on the lodgings and with Spanish Michelin-star chef Sergi Arola on the cuisine.
This week, Pace University is hiring an art director, while Landor needs a 3D designer. Lagos is seeking an art director, and Brilliant Earth is on the hunt for a digital designer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.
- Art Director Pace University (New York, NY)
- 3D Designer Landor (Cincinnati, OH)
- Art Director Lagos (Philadelphia, PA)
- Digital Designer Brilliant Earth (San Francisco, CA)
- Freelance Photographer mediabistro.com (Las Vegas, NV)
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.
Give 2014 a retro twist with Poladarium, a tear-off calendar that offers a new Polaroid-snapped image every day. Flip over each page for the backstory: how the photo came about, what inspired it, and who the photographer is. The 365 Polaroids, printed with a glossy finish on special paper, were lovingly selected by the Karlsruhe, Germany-based Poladarium team from images submitted by photographers and friends of instant photography from around their world. Got Polaroids? They’re accepting entries for the 2015 calendar through December 19.