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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Eastman’

Design Miami: The Bad News

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Most of us were too busy slamming orange gin drinks, slumming in tattoo parlors and stalking San Francisco-based industrial designers to care anything about the real reason everyone had converged on Miami for this high-humidity gathering. So, like, did anyone, like, buy anything? The LAT’s Janet Eastman (who is delightful; we met her at Stefan Sagmeister‘s party) says, eh, not so much:

The frenzied buying that many have come to expect at Design Miami never materialized for some exhibitors. Was the downturn in the economy to blame? Have rising auction prices for collectible furniture led to unrealistic expectations here? Was there too much competition from what’s snidely called “artmageddon,” the two dozen other art and design shows, showroom events and museum exhibits within a five-mile radius? Or is the market just beginning to see how few people are willing to spring for a $450,000 Jean Prouve vault ladder?

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Not even Michael Ovitz, who was granted an exclusive audience with designer of the year Tokujin Yoshioka, bought anything. When the Big O doesn’t throw down the AmEx Black, we’re all in trouble, right? Not necessarily: Murray Moss sold two of his five pieces seen with him here, which just so happen to be named Robber Baron: Tales of Power, Corruption, Art and Industry.

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High Monkeys, Low Expectations at Stefan Sagmeister’s Wolfsonian Installation

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“Everyone Always Thinks They Are Right” declared the giant inflatable monkeys on the roof of the Wolfsonian, seven stories above Miami Beach (and fresh from Scotland as part of a world tour). Inside, approximately 2250 martini glasses filled with a surprisingly good orange gin concoction were arranged into the words “Low Expectations,” with custom swizzle sticks printed with “Are a Good Strategy.” And a loop of film showed the rest of the illustrated maxims from Stefan Sagmeister‘s book Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far.

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The only question we had for Sags was this: After going through the process of bringing so many things he had learned in his life to life, had he learned anything new? “I’ve learned that I still learn things, but at a much slower rate,” he laughed. He also said he gave his students the choice to skip their last assignment and make their own list of things they had learned.

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Of course our darling Yves Behar was there, and chatting with Eames Demetrios to boot. Jeffrey Deitch breezed through briefly but with purpose–another exhibition of Sagmeister’s work will open at Deitch Projects in NY in March. New Yorkers represented: Steven Heller (he curated the installation, but assures us he was not the mixologist), Lita Talarico, Deborah Buck of NY gallery Buck House and Janet Froelich, creative director of the New York Times Mag. Design journos represented, too: We chatted up Fast Company’s Linda Tischler, Janet Eastman of the LA Times and AIGA Voice managing editor Sue Apfelbaum. And Debbie Millman and Marian Bantjes (that’s her with Sagmeister) jetted in early before appearing in a “Design Matters” about the 2008 Publikum calendar at the Wolfsonian on Saturday.

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By the time we left, the ‘e’ and ‘x’ of ‘expectations’ had been gulped, but refills were quickly secured by martini shaker-wielding assistants nearby, and the crowd continued to swell. As guests exited, they were confronted with a parting message: “Material Luxuries Are Best Enjoyed in Small Doses,” as printed on a custom-made Kate Spade tote bag, so they could take a few words of Sagmeister’s wisdom home with them.

Rob Forbes Is Blogging Within Reach

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Every once in awhile we think about Rob Forbes, the man who left behind Design Within Reach for…well, we really don’t know what but he sends these nice essays about his travels. The latest of which came today and is all about patterns found in the wild. But besides these updates that come every week or so, we wonder: What is Forbes doing out there?

Well, the short answer, according to this LA Times piece is starting a new company with “unique products that reflect local culture…food, music, maybe even lamps.” That does not provide any new answers for our detail-starved brains, but writer Janet Eastman is much more worried about the fate of Forbes’ Design Notes newsletter (which goes to an astounding 400,000 people) so she gets really excited about his new Studio Forbes blog.

Great, it’s a very nice blog. But can someone tell us when are we going to be able to buy expensive Forbes-curated items we didn’t know we needed again? Please, help us.

Happy 97th Julius Shulman

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We don’t usually cover birthdays here on UnBeige (well, maybe sometimes) but we can’t let today go by without wishing a very happy birthday to one Julius Shulman, born on the magic longevity-blessed date of 10/10/10. The photo of him above was taken by an assistant in 1954 (and oddly, listed without credit on LATimes.com)

Lately it seems every October 10 is the official time to celebrate modernist architecture, Los Angeles and black and white photography, so this year Shulman’s cake will be served alongside an exhibition of photographs at the LA Public Library, “Shulman’s Los Angeles,” a birthday party at Pentagram next week, and a gigantic three-volume, 1008-page catalog by Taschen named Julius Shulman Modernism Rediscovered. Paul Makovsky of Metropolis visited Shulman in his studio recently, where our legendary national treasure is most certainly still snapping.

Lautner, Kappe & Koenig Headed to the Getty

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The files of John Lautner, Ray Kappe and Pierre Koenig are going to a temperature-controlled home at the Getty, according to Janet Eastman‘s article in the LA Times.

This beefs up the Getty’s architectural collection considerably since it lagged behind other cultural institutions until a little gift from Julius Shulman gave it some serious clout:

The centerpiece of the Getty’s Modernist collection arrived in 2005: photographer Julius Shulman’s archive consisting of 260,000 contact prints, negatives, transparencies and other images of more than 7,000 projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Schindler, Charles Eames, Koenig and Lautner.

“Once Shulman arrived, people contacted us and we contacted them,” says De Wit.

Eastman also points out how tricky it is to get other architects to donate their works to posterity:

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas turned down $1.3 million last year from the Netherlands Architecture Institute to wait for a better offer. And star architects such as Zaha Hadid have sold individual drawings on the art market as if they were by David Hockney.

Because it wouldn’t be the weekend without one final pick-on-the-starchitect-fest by the LA Times.