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Herman Miller to Acquire Design Within Reach for $154 Million

dwr chairs feat

Big news in designworld this summer Friday: Herman Miller has agreed to acquire Design Within Reach for $154 million in cash. That sum, enough to buy 26,602 of DWR’s new all-black Eames lounge-and-ottoman combos, will get Herman Miller an 84% interest in the Stamford, Connecticut-based company, which operates 38 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada along with its online and print catalogue presences. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month.

DWR CEO John Edelman and President John McPhee, who hold the remaining ownership stakes, are slated to stick around to run DWR as part of a newly formed consumer business unit of Herman Miller. DWR had revenues of approximately $218 million in 2013, while Herman Miller booked $1.8 billion in its 2013 fiscal year, during which it announced its purchase of Maharam for just a couple million more than the DWR pricetag.

Wanted: Designer to Blind Them with Science

man of science.jpgDo you excel at explaining phenomena ranging from plate tectonics to nuclear fission using only a pen and a dinner napkin? Doodle double helices—and their accompanying nucleotides? Then listen up, because the American Association for the Advancement of Science (or “triple-A S,” as the cool kids call it) is looking for a new visual Einstein to join the creative marketing team for its flagship journal, Science, at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. Need you be able to tell xylem from phloem, ventricles from atria, a chupacabra from an exasperated kangaroo? Probably not, but be ready to describe how your “strong communication skills and excellent type sensibility” will react with your “ability to create effective, visually exciting print and electronic media” to keep the visual standards of Science as high as its impact factor. And don’t forget to balance your equation.

Learn more about this junior graphic designer, American Association for the Advancement of Science job or view all of the current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.

Quote of Note | Robert Motherwell

(Arnold Newman)“My mother was very literary. Also she had one of the greatest collections in America of eighteenth-century French Provincial furniture. She used to haunt auction houses for this and as a boy I often used to go with her. And there was a time when I could date any piece of French furniture within two years. I think it was a marvelous training of the eye because, you know, in the end the difference is the exact undulation of the curve, the materials, and so on and all the rest of it. All my life I’ve used earth colors a lot, especially yellow ochre and raw umber and so on; and I wouldn’t be surprised that a lot of it comes from constantly looking at waxed fruitwood furniture. She didn’t like the chichi town kind, you know, with gilt and all that, but the beautiful waxed fruitwood country furniture.”

-Artist Robert Motherwell in a 1971 interview conducted by Paul Cummings for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art

Put a Balloon Dog on It! H&M ‘Collaborates’ with Jeff Koons

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lisa perry koons“I have a little bit of the heebie-jeebies by ‘art inspired by fashion’—or art printed on fashion,” said designer Zac Posen during a recent on-stage conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Look no further than H&M’s new “fashion loves art collaboration” for an example of what Posen meant.

Last night the Swedish fast fashion juggernaut, the lead sponsor of the Whitney’s Jeff Koons-o-rama, inaugurated its new Fifth Avenue flagship by plastering the place with images of the artist’s monumental Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000). H&M has also printed an image of the celebrated Celebration series sculpture on a black leather handbag that it touts as “the ultimate art-meets-fashion statement from the ultimate post-pop artist.”
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MoMA Names Martino Stierli Chief Curator of Architecture and Design

martinoThe nearly year-long parlor game of “Who will replace Barry Bergdoll at MoMA?” has, at long last, come to an end with today’s announcement that Martino Stierli has nabbed the plum role of Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. Stierli is the Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the Institute of Art History of the University of Zurich, where he teaches the history of modern architecture. Beginning in March 2015, he will oversee the MoMA department of architecture and design’s special exhibitions, installations from the collection, and acquisitions. Stierli has a tough act to follow in Bergdoll, who stepped down last summer in leave-’em-wanting-more fashion—and in the midst of a stellar Le Corbusier exhibition—to become Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University, although he remains a part-time curator at MoMA.
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Design Jobs: Time Out New York, Con Edison, Sasaki Associates

This week, Time Out New York is hiring a photo editor, while Con Edison needs a senior photographer. Sasaki Associates is seeking a graphic designer, and is on the hunt for a design director. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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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.

Sim Chi Yin Joins VII Photo Agency

(Sim Chi Yin)
A view of the Yangon River, March 23, 2012. From Sim Chi Yin’s “Burmese Spring” series.

Beijing-based photographer Sim Chi Yin is the newest member of VII, the photo agency founded in 2001 with the goal of “documenting conflict—environmental, social and political, both violent and non-violent—to produce an unflinching record of the injustices created and experienced by people caught up in the events they describe.” As the collectively owned agency’s nineteenth member, she joins an esteemed group that includes Ron Haviv, Stephanie Sinclair, Ed Kashi, and Marcus Bleasdale, who worked closely with Chi Yin in the VII Mentor Program.

In just a few years, Chi Yin has made a name for herself by tackling stories on migrant labor, income inequality, and urbanization in China. She also shoots regularly for The New York Times and has completed assignments for publications including The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times Magazine, and Le Monde. “I’ve been thrown into the assignment world rather quickly,” says Chi Yin, who became a freelance photographer in 2011. “And now, I would very much like to do more thoughtful, meaningful group projects on global issues, and work on more social/community engagement with photography-based work. VII is already well-known and respected for its ethos: socially-concerned photography, so that befits my personal direction.”

Rich Brilliant Willing Gets in the Summer Spirit with ‘Seasonal Logo’

RBWAside from prime time for Le Corbusier-inspired couture confections, the days bounded by July 4th and Labor Day are high summer, a time of sunshine and swimming pools, ice cream and reruns, flip-flops and the illusion that you will read—or at least lovingly stroke—that teetering stack of books that have been accumulating on and around your nightstand since Christmas. But while the December holidays are celebrated with a great decking of halls (as well as homes, trees, yards, websites, and social media platforms), summer is typically welcomed with little more than picnic-themed grocery store displays before it is ushered offstage in a blaze of back-to-school-themed commercials. Not so fast! The sunny design types at Rich Brilliant Willing are savoring the season with “an unofficial seasonal logo” (pictured), which transforms their minimalist monogrammed hexagon for something a little more playful. Need more help lightening up? We suggest RBW’s “space- and earth-friendly” Delta table lamp.

Favorite Thing: MZ Wallace’s Artists for Haiti Tote Returns

mz wallaceArtist Raymond Pettibon‘s enchanting scrawl, a very good cause, and sequins: a more appealing trio of reasons to purchase a new tote bag we have not encountered. The accessories wizards over at MZ Wallace have gone into their capacious bag vault (which we imagine to be a milky white, high-ceilinged affair that smacks of Richard Gluckman) to reissue their Artists for Haiti tote, created in 2011 to raise funds for the nonprofit that supports education and health charities in Haiti. All proceeds from sales of the $175 nylon bag—originally in black and now in a creamy khaki dusted with bronze sequins and featuring Pettibon’s lettering on the leather handles—will benefit programs endowed by Artists for Haiti.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

In Which We Seek Your Design News

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy task of plotting murder, thanks to our handy “Anonymous Tips” box nestled in the menu bar at right, below the search box. Simply type in your news—design happenings, movements of the Revolving Door, scandalous revelations, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “Send.” And for those not inclined to clandestine tipping, we’re still just an e-mail away.

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