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Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Libeskind’

Official UnBeige AIGA NEXT Roundup

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Even though we still can’t get that Command X theme music out of our head (damn you all, Open, Agoraphone and The Plasticines!), we’ve finally had a few days to contemplate the AIGA NEXT conference in its entirety. Although we had a slight peek at the innerworkings while serving on the planning committee, in the end we were just sitting there in the audience watching, as surprised (and/or delighted) as you were. Here are the highs and lows:

Command-ing the lead: We admit, we had our doubts about a “Project Runway” for graphic design. But not only was Command X the highlight of the conference, it gave great insight into how design actually works–and how fast, funny and brilliant designers are. Winner Nichelle Narcisi‘s incredible finale also ended the conference on the perfect teary, triumphant note.

Talkin’ ’bout my generation: Maybe it was simply in line with the theme (“Next”), but we can’t applaud this conference enough for shifting attention to the youngsters. The brilliant Command X forged seven new young superstars and the 20 one-minute presentations that opened the first night were all by up-and-comers (and better than we ever remembered). It was great to see the older and wiser take a backseat to youth for once.

Someone get this guy an agent: Drew Carey should not have gotten Bob Barker‘s gig on “The Price is Right.” That job should have gone to a man who is long overdue for his big showbiz debut, Michael Bierut.

Everything in moderation: Golden-voiced Kurt Andersen was the best moderator we’ve ever seen at one of these things. Witty, efficient and blissfully deadpan, Andersen asked incredibly intelligent questions tempered with just enough cynicism to keep things real.

Three people we’re running away with: Janine Benyus, Marian Bantjes and Alex Steffen wowed us with solutions that proved great design is natural, personal and sustainable, and, in the end, always–always–beautiful.

You can’t win ‘em all: Of course, there were a few duds. Momus‘ mainstage presentation was probably brilliant but unfocused to the point of befuddlement. Wrapping a design conference with an awesome visual application that doesn’t work on Macs was a big mistake. And even though it made good diversity efforts, the lineup was incredibly New York-centric. One might even argue specifically SVA-centric.

Worst information graphics: Upon entering the Denver Art Museum for the closing party, guests were handed a map which hinted at treasure troves of food and drink stashed in various corners of the galleries. Never mind that the Denver Art Museum is a perplexing heap of angular ADD (Daniel Libeskind must design like he talks), the ambiguous map forced us to mount great expeditions in search of circulating lamb lollipops and the elusive chicken potstickers. Luckily, the martini bar was in plain view.

Best party: Duh.

Best overheard quote in design history: When another designer worried that a former employee may have been bipolar, Dana Arnett brought perspective to the situation: “Bipolar can work, though. They present one idea, then they present another totally different idea. It’s great for clients.”

Sure to see traffic spikes this week: Design Observer lead with the most overall impressions, mentioned in many affinity sessions, at least seven times on the mainstage, and in all the conference materials as a sponsor. Second place goes to Very Short List, which got two plugs on the mainstage (Andersen is a founder, ahem).

Okay, we get it, you’re Democrats: We stopped counting the anti-Bush attacks after we hit the number of years he’s been in office. We know that designers are traditionally left-leaning. But any Republicans in the audience would have been pretty darn uncomfortable, and we’re not sure that’s altogether appropriate.

On the other hand…: There was something to the fact that the same day Al Gore won the Nobel Prize, one of our own jetted up there to work closely with him on his Alliance for Climate Protection. Or maybe that because of AIGA, people across the country will be be voting on redesigned ballots next election. Or maybe it was just AIGA president Sean AdamsJFK-like good looks. Whatever it was, we swore we felt a huge shift happening in the world of design, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

All UnBeige AIGA NEXT coverage.

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Daniel Libeskind’s Speed Reading All Makes Sense

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After burning through a stream of consciousness about graphic art, architectural models, Cranbrook, Kathy McCoy, sketches, mountains and the Denver Art Museum so fast our agile fingers can’t even process them, Daniel Libeskind‘s reason for rushing is revealed: He throws up a photo of a place in Berlin (didn’t catch it) and said his son is actually getting married there. Like tomorrow, and he’s got to catch a plane.

Nice of him to stop by, even if we can’t understand a word he’s saying.

Kurt Andersen says he talks that fast all the time.

All AIGA NEXT coverage here.

The Crystal Gets Shattered Again

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It’s been called an ocean liner and the ideal teardown, and now, Bloomberg’s James S. Russell unleashes his flurry of big words upon Libeskind‘s Crystal:

Haley Sharpe Design, the same exhibition-design team that perpetrated the reinstalled galleries, will produce the new displays. I suspect visitors will be little drawn to what’s on view. Instead the gaze will wander to Libeskind’s funhouse windows crisscrossed by supports as tangled as nerve endings.

In too many ways Libeskind has been allowed to run amok.

Although we’re sure this string of negativity is just rolling off Liebskind’s well-compensated back (look how big he’s smiling), one reader writes us that she’s concerned about Liebskind’s wife/life coach Nina, who she imagines reading these reviews with “firey eyes and steam coming out of her ears.”

The City of the Future (Alissa To Steve: It’s On)

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First, can we briefly give it up for the History Channel? They’ve managed to orchestrate a full-on design competition, on television, with national attention and big old sponsors like I to the B to the M. “The City of the Future” pits three cities, envisioned by three architects, against each other. Voting for one city over another seems like comparing apples and, um, watermelons, but the proposals are intriguing. Cast your vote for NY/ARO: Architecture Research Office, Chicago/Urban Lab, or LA/Eric Owen Moss Architects. Daniel Libeskind presides over the whole thing as a host/juror kind of thing.

Now, on behalf of the entire city of Los Angeles, a few words about LA:

Los Angeles, City of the Future. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It sounds good because it feels good. And it feels good because LA is already home to one city of the future. That city is called Tomorrowland. And since LA is already home to Tomorrowland, why shouldn’t LA be the home to all cities of the future? LA: Land of Tomorrow, City of the Future. Paid for by UnBeige Editors for Los Angeles, City of the Future.

Steve has been allotted equal time to argue for his fair city of Chicago. If someone would like to campaign for the obvious underdog, New York, UnBeige welcomes your counterpoint.