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Mark Your Calendar: Beautiful Users

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The countdown continues to the December 12th reopening of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Among the exhibitions that will welcome visitors to the freshly renovated Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue, which has gained 60% more gallery space in the overhaul, is Beautiful Users. Located in the sparkling new first-floor “Design Process Galleries,” the show will explore the shift toward designs that are based on observations of human anatomy and behavior, from Henry Dreyfuss‘s “human factors” to hacking. Get a sneak peek on Friday, November 21, when curator Ellen Lupton visits New York’s 92nd Street Y (tickets here) to discuss the exhibition and how users are increasingly affecting the design of objects.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

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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.

Mark Your Calendar: Passport to the Arts

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An installation view of Master Slave System (afterglow), an exhibition of the work of German artist Klaus Merkel that is on view through December 7 at Joe Sheftel Gallery.

The New Yorker‘s Passport to the Arts is back. The venerable magazine and its promotions department have organized a gallery crawl, evening cocktail party, and silent auction (to benefit Creative Time) on Saturday, November 8. A $55 ticket gets you a “limited-edition passport” that each of the 25 SoHo and Lower East Side galleries and venues on the self-guided tour will stamp with a replica of a featured work of art. And with a list of participating galleries that includes Joe Sheftel, Laurel Gitlen, and Invisible-Exports, this year’s Passport to the Arts promises to be quite a trip.

Quote of Note | Marc Newson on Carlo Mollino

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“I discovered the work of Carlo Mollino at the beginning of my career, about twenty-five years ago. The piece that really got me excited was the ‘Bisiluro’ (pictured), which was essentially a racing car that looked like a four-wheeled motorcycle, like two motorcycles bolted together. It was a fantastically brilliant thing: two pontoons joined by a metallic membrane. He raced them. They were his obsession, though he designed them not merely to look cool, but also to be functional and aerodynamic. What subsequently attracted me to his work, more than the furniture, was his general multitasking ability. Aviation, architecture, automotives, photography, furniture—he created all of those things, and he practiced across several disciplines at a time when not many other people were doing that. He eluded any job description.”

-Multitasking designer Marc Newson in the fifth (fall/winter 2014) issue of CR Fashion Book

Editions/Artists’ Books Fair Returns

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As you bid Archtober adieu with a Halloween-themed candy binge weekend, ready your sturdiest tote bag and a swath of shelf space for New York’s Editions/Artists Books Fair. The extravaganza of contemporary art publishers and dealers gets underway Thursday evening with a festive preview (tickets here) and then runs through Sunday, November 9, at the newly-renovated Art Beam building in Chelsea. Back after a brief hiatus (see also: “Sandy, Hurricane”), this marks the sixteenth installment of the fair, which has lined up 44 exhibitors, from Michael Steinberg Fine Art and the paper maestros at Dieu Donné to Bartleby & Co. and Purgatory Pie Press (“a sanctuary for artists, designers and typographers who are seduced by the kiss of type and the touch of metal”), presenting works by hundreds of emerging and established artists. Speaking of the latter category, Enoc Perez has whipped up a limited-edition benefit print for the fair—Fontainebleau, Miami—that looks ahead to the next big event on the global art calendar: Art Basel Miami Beach.

Restoration of Alvar Aalto’s Viipuri Library Wins World Monuments Fund Modernism Prize

RUS-Viipuri-glass-facadeThe 21-year-long project to restore Alvar Aalto‘s Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia (né Viipuri, Finland, before Stalin and co. took a fancy to it) has clinched the 2014 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize, awarded biennially to an innovative architectural or design solution that has preserved or enhanced a modern landmark. The award will be made to the Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library with Vyborg’s Central City Alvar Aalto Library. Previous winners of the prize—$10,000 and a limited-edition Barcelona chair created by Knoll especially for the occasion—include an architectural consortium that restored typhoon-ravaged Hizuchi Elementary School on Japan’s Shikoku Island and the team effort of Bierman Henket Architecten and Wessel de Jonge Architects to restore the Zonnestraal Sanatorium in the Dutch town of Hilversum.

The Aalto-designed library was completed in 1935. “An icon of twentieth-century architecture—with its distinctive sky-lighted roof, undulating wood-slatted lecture hall ceiling, and glass façade-enclosed staircase—the library at Viipuri is one of Aalto’s most important buildings from the years in which he was adventurously exploring a new modernist vocabulary; indeed, photographs of the building soon made him known around the world,” said jury chairman and MoMA veteran Barry Bergdoll, professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, in a statement issued today by the WMF. “The restoration organized and executed an impressive international campaign that has ensured the survival and revival of Aalto’s masterpiece by restoring it to its original function as a vibrant municipal library.” The prize will be presented at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on December 1 followed by a free public lecture.

Walker Art Center Celebrates 75 Years in 150 Seconds

The Walker Art Center is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a series of exhibitions and programs that highlight the institution’s distinctively curious ways. In less than three minutes, the below video rounds up 75 such questions in evocative, inspiring fashion. Those seeking answers can head to the Walker’s mesmerizing 75th anniversary website or Minneapolis, where Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections, a special exhibition studded with greatest hits such as Edward Hopper’s Office at Night (1940), Franz Marc’s The Large Blue Horses (1911), Chuck Close’s Big Self Portrait (1967-68), and Yves Klein’s Mondo Cane Shroud (1961), is on view through September 11, 2016.

Inside New York Magazine’s Fashion Closet

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Cubes, the MediabistroTV series that takes you inside top media companies, got a tour of the venerable New York magazine recently. The chronicler of all things New York, which now boasts some of the top news, food, fashion and culture sites around, is nestled next to the Holland Tunnel. Stella Bugbee, editorial director of The Cut, shows you the wellness room, fashion closet, and an area affectionately called Scriberia.

Design Jobs: Jet.com, Forbes, Zinio

This week, Jet.com is hiring a visual designer, while Forbes is seeking an associate designer. Zinio needs a graphic designer, and MakerBot is on the hunt for a digital art 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.

Don’t Miss Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Irrelevant Yet Critical Halloween Party

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Costumes from Storefront’s 2013 “corporate avant-garde”-themed Critical Halloween included, from left: Christian Wasmmann as “The Idea Man,” and Hayes Slade and friends as “Jeff Koons Retrospective.” (Photos: Cameron Blaylock)

Mere days stand between you and Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Critical Halloween—do you know where your costume is? The theme of this year’s highly anticipated art and architecture costume party, set for Friday night at 80 Greenwich Street in downtown Manhattan, is irrelevance (but if you interpret it as “i-relevance,” you can totally shave your head, throw on a well-fitted t-shirt, and go as Jony Ive).

“Considering the dark powers of our increasingly digital world and an online culture that propels banality to stardom, this year’s event asks artists, architects, writers, and citizens to address the concepts of ‘irrelevance’ and ‘relevance’ within contemporary culture and contemporary digital platforms,” say the Storefront spooks, who have lined up live music by Hessismore, DJ sets by Sergio Rebelo and DJ N-Ron, and a photo booth for costumed critical thinkers.
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