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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Simmons’

Beleaguered Miss Teen South Carolina Reveals Career Aspirations; Design Community Mourns

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There’s really no need to rewatch the clip of the conversationally-challenged Miss Teen USA contestant that internet users chugged down like a cheap wine cooler. Aw, heck, let’s watch it again.

Amazingly, Lauren Caitlin Upton was given another chance to answer the question that brought her web notoriety, on the “Today Show” (live television no less), to an overly-sympathetic Ann Curry and Matt Lauer, who admitted he says stuff like that all the time. Uh, yeah.

But what will likely stun you more than Upton’s muddled original answer to why some Americans can’t find the US on map is her answer to this question: What’s next?

My goal is to attend Appalachian State University, major in graphic design. Once I graduate from there, go to LA and go to the International Academy of Design Technology, and major in special effects, and learn to design special effects for movies and television.

We personally believe that as a US American some people South Africa Iraq education over here design. Such as.

Thanks to Christopher Simmons.

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California Design Biennial: The Party

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Sure, it was tough to tear our eyes away from award-winning white walls of the Pasadena Museum of California Art, but it was a breezy Saturday night just begging for some alfresco design discourse. So after making careful note of the objects and the graphics of the California Design Biennial, we proceeded upstairs to the roof, which provides one of the best Stella Artois-drinking environments in Southern California.

Juror Michael Worthington held court with a bevy of CalArts faculty and grads, including Penny Pehl, James Moore, Caryn Aono and new Green Dragon Office hire Leslie Sun. On a more serious note, the salt-and-pepper-headed Sean Adams discussed hair styles with perpetual brunet Mr. Keedy.

A gang of our friends from the north (San Fran) were looking especially tanned and relaxed (no doubt due to an afternoon soaking up some much-needed sunshine). Eric Heiman and Adam Brodsley of Volume chatted with Jeremy Mende about dinner plans. Christopher Simmons and Stefan Bucher traded Y Conference notes at a nearby table.

Sadly, there was no sign of The Man With the Golden Curls in the house, but we did get to meet two of our local design heroes, the man behind the mighty mustache, Geoff McFetridge, and Atwater Pottery‘s Adam Silverman. Mine designer (and 2007 Project M participant) Tim Belonax had some hero-worship of his own going on, representing with a McFetridge “I’m rocking on your dime” tee. And to end the evening on a perfect Hollywood note, we met the delightful Constance Zimmer, aka Dana Gordon, Ari’s worthy foil on Entourage. What can we say? Nothing like great design to lure a crowd of the best California has to offer.

The Craft of the Design of the Craft

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We can’t be everywhere design happens but last night we dispatched our Bay Area emissary Christopher Simmons to absorb the “Convergence of Craft and Design” panel sponsored by the shiny new American Craft magazine.

Design and Craft converged and diverged again as American Craft editor Andrew Wagner unveiled the new design and editorial direction of the 66-year-old American Craft magazine Friday night (sneak peek at the new logo, courtesy of my crafty iPhone). While other institutions have recently shied away from the C-word (and others just got MAD), The former Dwell editor thinks that craft is about to come into its own (again). Panelists Shoshana Berger, Sam Grawe, Donald Fortescue and Laura Thomas agreed, as did, we assume, the standing room-only crowd that turned out to wish the magazine well.

American Craft relaunches in September.

No Matter What’s In That McDonald’s Wrapper, the Kids Are Lovin’ It

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Next time your tot’s not eating his taters, simply dump the dinner plate’s contents into a Big Mac wrapper–problem solved. According to this Stanford University study, kids like food more if its packaging says it’s from McDonald’s.

63 low-income children aged 3 to 5 were served McDonald’s fare as well as regular foods like carrots, juice and milk that were “branded” with McDonald’s wrappers or cups. They also got all the same items in plain unmarked packaging and were asked to name which foods tasted the best. The most popular trans-fat choice is no surprise:

McDonald’s-labeled samples were the clear favorites. French fries were the biggest winner; almost 77 percent said the labeled fries tasted best while only 13 percent preferred the others.

People are in uproar about the ethics of marketing unhealthy food to kids, but that’s only telling one side of the story. The way we see it, everyone working in branding for McDonald’s should get a big fat raise.

Thanks to Christopher Simmons.

Project M at the Rural Studio Heats Up

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Two planes and 30 degrees Fahrenheit away from our LA environs, we are coming to you live from Greensboro, Alabama, located in the now world-famous Hale County, home of the Rural Studio, and also this summer’s ground zero for the design-for-good program Project M. John Bielenberg (that’s him up there in the orange) and eight young designers have been cooking up ideas for making a difference here since June 1, with a steady stream of advisors shipped in regularly to invigorate and inspire.

Swiss designer Thomas Sevcik blew in for a day, Adam Brodsley was here a few weeks back, and his Volume partner Eric Heiman is here now, with Brian Collins rumored to be peeking his head in next week (en route to China, perhaps?). Erik Cox and Christopher Simmons are also headed this way, and we were thrilled to have Washington University architecture dean Bruce Lindsey here for the weekend, who was former head of the Rural Studio.

First, some shots from our orientation, including the HERO Knowledge Cafe (a housing resource center for the county) above, which is serving as M’s base of operations.

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Straight Talk and a Spirited Sermon Saturday Morning at the Y

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Depending on where your hotel room was situated at the Hotel Solamar your anticipated bedtime may have been delayed (windows facing the pool were treated to a fratty party scene of epic proportions). Luckily, there was somewhat of a wakeup call this morning at the Y Conference.

First, Christopher Simmons from MINE delivered a casual, no pretense heart-to-heart that was a pretty nice deviation from the canned presentation–and this is coming from a guy who made police tape that says EVERYTHING IS OK and puts it up in random places to see what people do. We like that. Simmons also gets bonus points for the Thomas Kinkade reference.

And when Hank Richardson from the Portfolio Center took the stage, the mood shifted yet again. Beginning with bashing the new branding direction for Uncle Ben’s as way of example (very frightening, check it out), Richardson ranted and raved about design ethics for the better part of an hour, even as the “time’s up” light flashed in vain. Soon the hot pink slides matched Richardson’s rosy cheeks and we felt like we were back in school–or church; this was design fire and brimstone! Richardson acknowledged that he always gets dragged off the stage, “I don’t even get warmed up in 35 minutes.” But the bottom line from Richardson’s presentation: When it comes to great design work, it’s ALL personal. And it was pretty obvious to everyone in attendance that this is one man who practices what he preaches.