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Posts Tagged ‘Alice Twemlow’

SVA Adds One-Year MA in Design Research, Writing, and Criticism

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It was the great design scholar Ferris Bueller who once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” New York’s School of Visual Arts is heeding the need for speed and the importance of looking around with a one-year MA in design research, writing, and criticism. The new graduate program, which launches this fall, is an evolution of D-Crit (the two-year MA program in design criticism that has been sharpening design minds since 2008) streamlined into two semesters and eight months of studying images, objects, and environments, and learning ways to construct multi-format narratives that bring them to life from a faculty that includes Steven Heller, MoMA’s Paola Antonelli, and Murray Moss. “The program’s curriculum charts the cutting edge of design practice and is responsive to exciting developments in the media landscape,” says Alice Twemlow, the program’s founding chair. Learn more at next Sunday’s open house and info session.

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From the Mouths of Legends: Quotes from Wim Crouwel and Massimo Vignelli

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We’re feeling especially quotable today, so in addition to the wise words uttered by Steven Heller, we’ve also got some sage wisdom from the Wim Crouwel/Massimo Vignelli AIGA NY talk last night, moderated by Alice Twemlow (who we hear was “fantastic”). Serifcan Ozcan and Scott Stowell, both of Open, compiled these memorable moments, which you can print out and put alongside those Heller ones you’ve already hung on your wall.

Crouwell: “The grid is like the lines on a football field. You can play a great game in the grid or a lousy game. But the goal is to play a really fine game.”

Vignelli: “Emigre is the worst thing that ever happened to this country. It’s unbelievable the damage they have done. A total disaster. [laughter] You laugh, but you should cry.”

Crouwel: “Neutrality has its own aesthetics.”

Crouwel: “Design is something to help society. You can build. You can add to it.”

Vignelli: “My desk is the only place where I’m happy. I hate vacations.”

Read more

Party on the Quad! Core77′s Headed Back to School

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Booooo, summer’s over! Ouch. That hurt so much to say, how about another one for good measure: Booooo!

Never fear the ebbing daylight and dropping temperatures; when it comes to resuming your scholarly pursuits, Core77 has got you covered. Their Hack-2-School Guide is a voluminous cache of advice, tips, lists and tricks for the bleary-eyed student. Especially valuable is the Represent section where you can learn the proper way to promote yourself to blogs and get your stuff in stores.

But what we really love are some of the longer, more provocative essays like Sam Montague’sDon’t Hang Out With Industrial Design Students,” Jessica Helfand‘s suggestion that you do something unspeakable to your computer and grab a pen (4th item down), Alice Twemlow‘s design writing overview and Steve Portigal‘s ideas for design research that’s fun. Heck, they even let us chime in with some networking tips that we can swear to you were field-tested over the course of many, many, many, many late nights spent at hotel bars during design conferences around the globe. Just promise us you’ll steer clear of the Jager Red Bulls.

Forget Good Design, How About “Design Good”?

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We were excited before about the highly-developed design sensibility of Good, the little magazine that has fully lodged itself into our temporal lobes. In this month’s issue–which just arrived for West Coast subscribers, a full week after those in NY, what is up with that?–the entire mag is not only filled with good design but is about good design, with cameos by Steven Heller, Luke Hayman, Tucker Viemeister, Jessica Helfand, a wonderful intro essay by Alice Twemlow, and many more familiar faces.

But it was the introduction to the feature well that really blew our UnBeige minds:

Over the past century, the word design has slowly assumed the role of a proper noun. Stores sell Design. Companies market luxurious lifestyles filled with Design. But the word is much more potent and exciting as a verb, the act of tackling real problems and finding elegant solutions.

Never before have we heard the difference between that design and that design so eloquently outlined. It’s as simple as nouns vs. verbs.

The U.S.’s First-Ever Design Criticism MFA Program Is Official

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We heard that SVA would be starting a design criticism program about six months ago and now we’ve got the official word: “The Master of Fine Arts in Design Criticism will prepare graduates for careers as design critics, journalists, curators, educators and design managers, by providing the intellectual tools for researching, analyzing, evaluating and chronicling all aspects of design.”

The program will be launched in Fall of 2008 and will be chaired by UnBeige fave Alice Twemlow, with a pretty exciting thesis plan: An annual public conference dedicated to design criticism (could it be the first ever, too?), to be inaugurated in the spring of 2009.

And would you look at this faculty? Kurt Andersen, Paola Antonelli, Michael Bierut, Ralph Caplan, Peter Hall, Jessica Helfand, Steven Heller, Karrie Jacobs, Julie Lasky, Cathy Leff, and Phil Patton. We’d say those MFA candidates are definitely getting the best in the business.

Paola Antonelli’s Not-So-Humble Masterpiece

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Following up on her coverage from “Design and its Publics,” Alice Twemlow directed us towards this interesting detail on the speaker bio pages. Paola Antonelli is looking way sexy in her new headshot. Why, she doesn’t even look like the same person. We’d even venture to say that we can’t see a lick of clothing in that photo. And we likey.

Curators, Critics and Historians Pack Lazor’s FlatPak Pad

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We couldn’t make the trip to the Great White North for the Design Institute’s “Design and its Publics: Curators, Critics and Historians” conference, but curator, critic and historian Alice Twemlow filed this report from the first evening’s party:

The highlight of the first day was definitely the evening spent at the home of Blu Dot founder Charlie Lazor. His stunning FlatPak house is the flagship for a series of prefabs in which the panels, based on a simple 8-foot-wide, 1-story-high wall panel are flat-packed and constructed on site. He and his ebullient wife Zelda welcomed some of the world’s best-revered architecture and design curators and critics into their home with grace and apparent nonchalance. Despite its outward perfection, inside the house feels lived in, with the scuffs and scratches you get when two kids are having fun. And, when Zelda retrieved some cigarettes, we were comforted to see that they even have one of those kitchen drawers into which, just before guests arrive, you sweep all your kipple. It was a great party. We got to hob-nob with MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, Henry Urbach who is the new curator of architecture and design at SF MoMA, and the recently appointed director of London’s Design Museum Deyan Sudjic–mainly because they were stranded in the leafy suburbs of Minneapolis and we were standing between them and the dessert table, but hey, whatever it takes.

Print’s Party Was Packed, But Ours Had Craig Newmark

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Although we were nearly deterred by the swamplike streets of Little Italy (don’t tell us to get over it, we’re from Los Angeles), many braved the overflowing gutters to check out Print’s New Visual Artists last Thursday night in NY. The roster of 20 very international artists–all under 30–and hundreds of their new best friends packed into the superskinny Groupe space on Elizabeth Street and toasted each other with two flavors of vodka–huckleberry (pretty good) or peach caffeinated (dangerous).

Among the wet and well-dressed were Print editor Joyce Rutter Kaye looking glamorous in a blue silky top, Leif Parsons, looking tall, and bespectacled Debbie Millman (heading home to prep for her show with Barbara Kruger the next day). Print staffers Emily Gordon and Lindsay Ballant were both busy playing hostess. We congratulated 2007 inductee Kevin Smith and past honoree Rob Giampietro, who informed us that Rudy VanderLans was in town for a photo show at Park Avenue Armory.

Print contributors Alice Twemlow and David Womack nodded their heads to the strains of almost-too-old school hip hop, although, really, how can you go wrong with “Cool It Now“? We gazed at Jane art director Jeff Glendenning‘s t-shirt but couldn’t quite place it until he told us he used to work at the NYT Magazine…oh yeah, that one. Afterwards we ducked around the corner for fresh-n-fruity drinks at Cafe Habana with Khoi Vinh, Aviva Michaelov and Brian Rea, and we were later joined by the delightfully-bookish Rodrigo Corral.

It was much drier the next evening when we gathered around the koi ponds and cocaine-fabulous decor of Chinatown Brasserie (Seriously, mirrored club chairs? No.) for the mediabistro.com party, where more than a few mai tais were tossed back by familiar faces that included Adam Greenfield, Liz Danzico, Rachel Abrams, Sam Potts and Louise Ma (later we collected Allan Chochinov and Emma Presler). Man-of-the-hour was a toss up between a jovial Craig Newmark (of List fame) or Jesse Kirshbaum, who is now the proud owner of the first-ever UnBeige shirt. Even though he had absolutely no idea what we wrote about.

Meeting the Teachers

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After Peter Turchi‘s mind-mapping adventure, we followed the Schools of Thoughts luminaries to the speakers’ dinner. We found the unofficial design writers’ table where we enjoyed a seemingly endless stream of steaming Thai dishes and hot sake…also, fortunately, endless.

We were joined by mainstage speaker Allan Chochinov finally told us the story behind Core77‘s name, moderating duo Alice Twemlow and David Womack, conference organizer Louise Sandhaus (who confirmed, yes, her studio is named LSD) and Lorraine Wild, who’ll have to split for a bit Sunday to fulfill her Sister Corita duties.

New to UnBeige, although we’ve talked about her before, is Susan Yelavich, who we met for the first time at the perpetual feast. Her absolutely delightful article about the decorative implications of the paperweight can currently be found on the back page of I.D. Oh yeah, and she’s also a “South Park” fan.

Taking a Gamble

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Two architecture students from USC have the greatest dorm rooms in the greater Los Angeles area: They live in servants’ quarters of the 1908 Craftsman masterpiece the Gamble House in Pasadena. As you can imagine, competition is fierce.

We had never made the trip over the hill to see this Greene and Greene gem (even though we’d been enamored with it ever since it was featured as Dr. Emmett Brown’s house in Back to the Future), but we were lured over by visiting cool weather-dwellers David Womack and Alice Twemlow (plus our own visiting parents who were luckily fans of both Craftsman architecture and Christopher Lloyd).

One thing we were totally unprepared for: It’s dark in there. It’s so dark that the docent had to use a flashlight to point out the ornamental details in the woodwork. It’s so dark that when the Gamble family considered selling the house, a prospective buyer told his concerned wife, “Don’t worry, we can just paint all the woodwork white.” The house was taken off the market immediately.