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Posts Tagged ‘Allan Chochinov’

Compostmodern Kicks Off

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We were told there was no wireless here in Morgan Auditorium at the Academy of Art but it seems the sustainability gods are providing a miraculous mystery connection, at least for the moment. So, welcome, welcome to Compostmodern, a one-day conference on design and sustainability in San Francisco. That’s Laura Shore from Mohawk and AIGA’s national board talking about some of AIGA’s sustainable policies to open the show.

Already it feels a bit different—all the conference materials (corn and paper, mostly) are compostable, and advisers stationed at various recycling receptacles can counsel you on how to deconstruct the cafe-bought coffee cup you brought in. Also: no water bottles, no swag bags (yay!), and not even any name badges for the participants.

The conference–and a rather major announcement scheduled for this afternoon–has already garnered some buzz. We told you about Allison Arieff‘s post discussing the Designers Accord (the “Kyoto Treaty for design”), and Jessie Scanlon has written a great piece for BusinessWeek, “A New Model for Green Design” that talks to IDEO’s Valerie Casey, Allan Chochinov of Core77 and Ric Grefé from AIGA about why designers had to take charge.

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Scott Stowell Does Some Very Good Design

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We went to a party last night at Good’s pop-up store here in New York where we met editor Morgan Clendaniel, publisher Max Schorr, creative director Casey Caplowe and designer Tyler Lang. So it was only fitting that at today’s Cause/Effect we’d see Scott Stowell of Open, whose firm has been the driving creative force, along with Caplowe’s team, in cranking out this fine mag (which as you can see above, kinda, was shelved with the gun mags when the design issue featured an AK-47 on the cover).

The philosophy of Good’s design is “totally mainstream, to preach to the non-converted,” drawing from great old mags like Esquire, Colors, Time Out, and even some of the extinct features from Wired. Built into the magazine are all sorts of opportunities to work with illustrators and designers, on variety of visual devices–games, if you will–to let them play.

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This is how Good works for readers, Stowell says. They engage you with the form, give you content, and if you’re paying attention, you get rewarded with little visual details. Example: We love the icons that break down the content into categories, but had to admit we never really looked at them. Take a closer look next time you read the magazine, and you’ll see that icon for health, for example, is not what you’d expect.

They also work with readers, engaging them in the Good Projects, which are open-source creative projects that are found on the back page (they’re all still active, by the way). Check out the good design/bad design project.

Good is very design-savvy; they are the only mag we’ve ever heard of to actually print a typographic correction, stating that a word on the spine should have been in roman not italics.

In fact, Good is so design savvy, they’re having a design party with HauteGREEN at that pop-up store in New York on Tuesday night. If you’re in the hood, be sure to stop by. We hear Allan Chochinov will be presenting highlights from Core77′s gift guide. We hope the dolls are coming, too.

Coverage Elsewhere By Our Bloggy Brethren

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As we soak our carpal-tunneled wrists in a soothing tincture of epsom salts and the leftover champagne from last night’s booze crawl, let’s visit the sites of our other blog friends who were covering the AIGA NEXT conference:

Nate Voss (who we met, finally!) went BADG to TEH FUTUR, starting with Day One.

Randy Hunt got jiggy and also gets type-y on DESIGNY.

Our fellow blog panelist Allan Chochinov was tapping away at Core77.

Dori Tunstall looks like she had her laptop humming over at Dori’s Moblog.

We’ll post more as we find ‘em, or if you’ve got coverage, send it over.

All our AIGA NEXT coverage can be found right here.

Blog O’Fear: The Rules and Etiquette of Blogging (Featuring Us!)

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Bless that Liz Danzico for live-blogging this blogging panel while we were talking about blogging.

The panel, moderated and concepted by Steve Heller, no stranger to blogs as editor of AIGA Voice, writer for a daily design column in PRINT online, writer for Design Observer and A Brief Message and countless others, was to talk about blogs–their journalism aspect, their memoir form, and other forms they might take.

The all-star panel are luminaries in the design blog world:

  • Khoi Vinh, design director of NYTimes.com, and editor of Subtraction.com, which is seven years old, and A Brief Message, founded this year.
  • Bill Drenttel, co-founder of Design Observer, which just turned four years old.
  • Allan Chochinov, editor of Core 77 the industrial design supersite (not a portal), and also runs Coroflot.com, and Design Directory.com (“a blog negative”), for an amazing 13 years.
  • Alissa Walker, editor of UnBeige and, freelance writer. Her goal on UnBeige is to post “every 20 minutes or so.” She is proud that UnBeige is called the People of design blogs.
  • Tina Roth Eisenberg, author behind Swiss Miss, and responsible for too many “major credit card purchases.”

    If A Blog Falls in the Woods
    The panel started out on a pretty philosophical note, dissecting what having a “blog” really means. According to Eisenberg blogs are really just “sites with a content management system.” Vinh jumped in and immediately disagreed, pointing out that he thinks blogs are really a conversation between writer and audience in any more. Writers engaging with an audience; commenters engaging with other commenters; and traditional journalists with commeters. Walker, like Chochinov, uses the blog as a traffic driver. “The blog is just one ingredient,” he put out there.

    Read more

  • 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.

    Allan Chochinov and Peter Lunenfeld–From the Future!

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    The post-lunch spot of the Schools of Thoughts conference was occupied by the “pragmatic utopians” as foccacia bread chicken sandwiches settled in our bellies. Same deal as the Jens Gehlhaar-Somi Kim lineup. Two speakers, one question: Where is the discipline heading and in what contexts will graphic designers be working?

    Allan Chochinov, editor of Core77 started with a confession. He has an ambivalent relationship with product design and is afraid of the internet. We don’t know if that’s true; he seems obssessed–or at least highly amused–with viral phenoms like FRONT design furniture, Flickr Camera Toss, iPod toilets, Idealist, and how they get inserted into culture.

    Opening with a eulogy to Jean Baudrillard, Peter Lunenfeld talked about “bespoke futures,” tracing the roots of futuristic design. But what he doesn’t want to see is design students just getting trained to work for big global brands (“transnatcorp des-edu” as he calls it). Actually, he says, take on the future as a client and create bespoke solutions–handcrafted, custom futures.

    Chochinov and Lunenfeld are a perfect sci-fi pairing, and a real crowd pleaser. Whether it’s a “useful future” or not, points out Chochinov, this attitude is critical for design education. Although some audience members take issue with the word “bespoke” for its economic connotations, we’re gonna go with Lunenfeld’s lovable-nerd brilliance on this one. We want a book.

    Update: Ryan Gallagher writes to tell us about the Camera Toss blog, including the all-important “How To” which could also be named “How Not To Smash Your Camera.”

    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.