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Posts Tagged ‘Alice Rawsthorn’

T Magazine Site Chooses Style Over Substance

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The new T Magazine site launched today over at the World’s Greatest Building Which Is Also a Newspaper. The opening animation by Jennifer Steinkamp and Gail Swanlund got us all giddy and pumped, but when it came to the homepage, we were a little bummed. Okay, then we saw a supershiny Natalie Portman front and center and got excited again, but only for a second.

The fact that the articles are formatted like print magazine pages, with the text broken down into multiple Flash-y pages, is absolutely ridiculous. May we present Alice Rawsthorn‘s latest piece, which you have to click through three times to read. Actually we don’t know if it’s her latest piece because we have no real idea when any of the pieces were published; dates apparently don’t matter in this world of T. For some of the more visual stuff, like the product roundups, it works, so you can see lots of images and click for more information. A photo-driven profile of Julian Schnabel also uses its web-ability to its advantage, but it’s soooo hard to read.

Overall, the whole thing, while sleek and gorgeous and likely able to support lots and lots of big ads, is frustrating to us who were really looking forward to having all the Style content together in one place. The fact of the matter is now it’s more fragmented than ever. Luckily, the best thing about it is the blog, The Moment, where we can read at more than five sentences at once without getting dizzy or having to reach for the mouse. We’ll stay over there for now.

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McDonald’s Now Serving McDesign

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We give McDonald’s a lot of grief here on UnBeige. Other than their brilliant branding and discontinued coffee stirrers, we haven’t had much to rave about design-wise. Maybe that will change, we thought, when seeing Alice Rawsthorn‘s scoop on the new design formula found at a few London locations (above).

Or not. Tossing a few candy-colored Arne Jacobsen chairs under some Ikea-looking lights is hardly a step forward. (Note the existing tile pattern and weird abstract artwork you’ll find in every McDonald’s, neither of which they felt the need to replace.) Rawsthorn thinks it’s kind of a modernist, design-for-all effort, especially using Jacobsen’s chairs, which were made for public places. Not so, says one industrial designer who’s pissed that the Jacobsen Egg chairs got McMuffined:

Take Jasper Morrison, who describes it as “visual pollution” and “corporate marketing at its ugliest.

Maybe because they didn’t buy his chairs?

Rawsthorn says if the new design is embraced, it will roll out throughout Europe. But according to an article last month, it’s already working. Oh, those Europeans. Such suckers for Le Big Mac.

Three Cheers for Chairs (But Maybe Not For Long)

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Chairs do as much for our egos as they do our asses. True, they serve as place for us to lounge, yet they also offer a superb sense of superiority over anyone who doesn’t have as posh a perch as we do. And in her piece “Chairs sitting pretty as a design icon, but for how long?Alice Rawsthorn traces another role of of chairs: As our most celebrated design artifacts. She praises their importance as a “condensed history of design” but then asks if their heyday may be nearing an end:

Will the chair remain as important to design in the future? Probably not. That’s not because collectors will suddenly stop fighting over them at auctions, and design museums will start to de-accession them, but because other areas of design will be perceived as equally interesting and important, if not more so.

So what’s next? Rawsthorn suggests “elastic” design like the products of the MIT Media Lab. But then where will we sit and look cool?

T-minus Three Hours to Total Moss Overload

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How much more Moss coverage can we muster? As it turns out, a lot.

The LA Times has the first interior shot, as seen above, with a smiling Murray Moss sitting at a certain charred fireplace that will, in a few hours, be available for purchase. Did you know Moss used to be an actor? And met partner Franklin Getchell when he was also an actor? Says Moss, coyly, of his Hollywood-esque roots: “Ultimately, we’re theater people. That’s the company game here, right?”

We also love Alice Rawsthorn‘s article when she inquires about Moss and Getchell’s notorious nitpickiness:

He and Getchell are planning to spend eight days a month in Los Angeles, but how will such shameless control freaks cope with being thousands of miles away from either store? “We’ve had video cameras installed,” Moss explained triumphantly. “There’ll be a live feed, so I can zoom in, pick up the phone to the other store, and say: “Move that to the left, and blah, blah, blah.”

Niklaus Troxler Takes New York

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The much-anticipated AIGA NY event starring the quintessential jazz designer himself, Niklaus Troxler, is finally coming to the Cooper Union on June 28. An exhibition features 80 posters from Troxler’s career, while Troxler himself will describe his iconic process of marrying music and modernism, posters and passion. Appropriately, live music will twitter throughout, with Bob Stewart on tuba and Craig Harris on trombone.

Read Alice Rawsthorn‘s excellent essay about Troxler’s work, Michael Bierut‘s effusive ode to the man, including a nice curated gallery of Troxler’s posters, or buy the book, perhaps. And then throw on the Blue Note record of your choice and snag some tickets today. Dig?

Complete This Helvetica Statement

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From here, it certainly seems like Helvetica is going to change the world. We loved it. Alice Rawsthorn, CNN and the Boston Herald can’t be wrong. Most screenings so far have sold out. Tonight’s NY screening has been sold out for weeks. The LA screening sold out in one day. And everyone wants to put their personal spin on how important this movie is going to be:

Us, in January: “What if, like The Al Gore Show did for green, Helvetica does for design?”

Steven Heller, quoting Paola Antonelli: “Maybe Helvetica will be the next My Architect.

Michael Bierut today on Design Observer: “Hey, this might do for typography what Wordplay did for crossword puzzles.”

But in that same piece, thanks to Michael Bierut’s (non-designer) friend, we finally have some perspective: “Maybe it’ll do for typography,” he said, “what Capturing the Friedmans did for pedophilia.”