Ready to take a deep dive into the history of decorative arts and design? Treat yourself to History of Design, new from Yale University Press. The doorstop of a volume spans six centuries of design (1400-2000) across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Islamic world. In addition to the usual suspects–interiors, furniture, textiles, product design–the book tackles graphics, exhibitions, landscape design, even theater and film design. It’s an essential addition to any design library.
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 jumped on the microblogging bandwagon. 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 tech wizards have added to the sidebar at right a handful of our most recent word bursts, but you can sign up to follow all of our twittering here.
Youngsters who want an inside edge on this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest can see how the pros do it as Time pays a visit to Google and meets the 10 artists and three full-time engineers dedicated to whipping up the beloved doodles—just in time for the special Valentine’s Day collaboration with This American Life‘s Ira Glass.
What’s your sign? That old astrological pick-up line is at the core of the project that emerged victorious in this year’s Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, co-hosted by Van Alen Institute. Brooklyn-based Young Projects bested fellow finalists Haiko Cornelissen Architecten, Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, Schaum/Shieh Architects, SOFTlab, and The Living with “Match-Maker” (pictured). The amorphous sculpture, on view in Father Duffy Square in Times Square through March 11, is a cosmic connector: “Guided by their zodiac sign, visitors arrange themselves at twelve points around the heart-shaped sculpture,” according to Young Projects, which worked with Kammetal on the construction. “Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer’s four most ideal astrological mates, offering potential novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers.”
Fab knows a thing or two about fresh starts. After a period of explosive growth fueled by hundreds of millions in funding, the design flash sale site imploded—itself. A massive restructuring that halved its employee count and winnowed down a product assortment that had ballooned to include pepperoni pizza t-shirts and Jesus kites has left the company leaner, meaner, and with a designer—Kiel Mead—in a leadership role. One of Mead’s first initiatives as executive vice president of Fab is “First Things First,” which invites designers across disciplines to submit ideas for “the first product that makes a house a home.” Selected items will be shown in New York in May, as part of Fab’s presence during NYCxDesign, and could eventually be put into production by the company. Submissions are due by March 21.
So many books, so little time. Designers & Books is there to help you keep up with the latest releases and burrow into the backlists for those life-changing titles that you may have missed. The site has looked back on 2013 and selected its first ever Design Book of the Year: Phyllis Lambert‘s Building Seagram (Yale University Press), a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of New York’s Seagram Building. The $1,500 honorarium will be split equally among the book’s author, editor, and designer.
This week, Amazon is hiring a senior visual UX designer for TenMarks, while YouBeauty needs an art assistant. Times Square Alliance is seeking a graphic designer, and Federated Media is on the hunt for an art/photo editor. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.
- Senior Visual UX Designer – TenMarks Amazon (Burlingame, CA)
- Art Assistant YouBeauty (New York, NY)
- Graphic Designer Times Square Alliance (New York, NY)
- Art/Photo Editor Federated Media (New York, NY)
- Interactive Designer Universal Music Group (New York, NY)
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.
The 2013 national Doodle 4 Google winner was 17-year-old Sabrina Brady from Wisconsin.
Put on your inventor’s helmets and break out the fancy Prismacolors, kids, because the Doodle 4 Google contest is back with a new doodling prompt: “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…” (Magical video glasses is probably too on the nose).
“Our theme this year is all about curiosity, possibility, and imagination,” notes Google, which has run the annual competition since 2008. Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in U.S. schools are invited to complete that sentence in the form of a redesign of the Google logo. The winning doodle will be animated and featured, for one glorious day, on the search giant’s homepage, and the lucky doodler receives a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school. Among this year’s illustrious guest judges are artist, designer, and author Christoph Niemann (pictured) and Rhode Island School of Design interim president Rosanne Somerson, who are joined by the likes of Lemony Snicket, LEGO robotics designer Lee Magpili, and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of The Lego Movie. Start dreaming and doodling now, because all entries must be received by March 20.
The dome that crowns Florence’s cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is six centuries old, stands 40 stories high, is made of more than four million bricks, and weighs about the same as a modern cruise ship, but how did the largest masonry dome on earth come to be? NOVA takes on the Renaissance marvel–and its maker, Filippo “Who needs buttresses?” Brunelleschi–in Great Cathedral Mystery, which premieres Wednesday night on PBS.
A stubborn Israeli landlord is partially to thank for a delightful new Tumblr. When that building owner refused to extend Avner Gicelter’s lease, he and his partner were forced to search for a new apartment in central Tel Aviv, which in 2003 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of more than 4,000 Bauhaus and International Style buildings. “That process awakened my dormant passion for Tel Aviv’s unique architecture, and I got more interested in the buildings than in the apartment we were looking for,” says Gicelter, a graphic designer. He decided to share his interest with the world through Tel Aviv Buildings, a site inspired in part by Jose Guizar’s Windows of New York. “I wanted to use this simple yet very honorable way of design to show my love for my hometown and its most beautiful buildings.” We asked Gicelter more about the project and some of his favorite Tel Aviv buildings.
How do you describe the architecture of Tel Aviv?
I don’t really have a professional way to describe Tel Aviv’s architecture, only a point of view as a designer—in Tel Aviv’s central area (where you can find most of my illustrated buildings) there are two major architecture styles: the eclectic style which was active during the 1920s and 30s, and the International Style which was the major architecture movement during the 1930-50s and led UNESCO to name Tel Aviv as a world heritage site for its International Style architecture. I think that the difference between these two styles creates an unique and very interesting dialogue throughout the street of the city. In my opinion this dialogue is the best way to describe Tel Aviv’s architecture.
How do you decide which buildings to illustrate?
I start by walking throughout the city’s old areas. During that I shoot photos of buildings I find interesting, whether it is their architectural style, the way the residents designed their balconies or the presence of the building in the street. After choosing and shooting the buildings, I illustrate them with the pictures as reference.