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Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Andersen’

Michael Bierut Roasted; We’ve Got the Charred Bits

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Why we are not invited to such things, we do not know. But when we hear things like “Michael Bierut is being roasted at an exclusive benefit held at the Architectural League,” we think, well, good thing we have the spies. Well-dressed spies, who drink far too much and only remember the good parts. Spies who supply us with choice information like this about our favorite 50-year-old.

Kurt Andersen served as emcee/host/moderator and Massimo Vignelli said Bierut was the best designer he’s ever employed.

Jim Biber and Bierut were sitting in the exit row of a flight about to take off from La Guardia when they had to evacuate the plane on the runway. Back in the airport reeling from their emergency efforts, Bierut looked at his watch and said, “I think we could still make the 12:10 flight.” They did, and made it to Seattle where they nailed a job. Paula Scher, however, just had to recount the one job Bierut didn’t get.

Steven Heller read a mock obituary that had the crowd roaring. Writer Suzanne Stephens performed what was described to us as a “burlesque dance.” And Dorothy Bierut told a story about her fine husband strolling out of the gym…without his pants.

And the photo above? We don’t know what he’s doing there. But we honestly can’t tell if he has pants on there, either.

79 Short Essays Gets Very Short Listed, But They Still Want Michael Bierut to be the Capital of Lebanon

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We were jazzed to see one of our favorite books skyrocket to the top of the VSL charts. But even here, in this online world founded by peeps who we assume actually know and like the Man With the Most Chronically Misspelled Name in Design—Kurt Andersen, Simon Dumenco, Emily Oberman, and Bonnie Siegler—they can’t make it through the entire entry without spelling his name wrong at least once.

All together now: B-I-E-R-U-T

AIGA’s NEXT Conference Promises Big Names, Beer and Drama

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Lots going on at the Organization Formerly Known as the American Institude of Graphic Arts that we need to catch you up on. The site has just launched for AIGA’s national design conference, NEXT, which is taking place this October 11-14 in Denver. Kurt Andersen, Marian Bantjes, Janine Benyus, Paul Budnitz, Katherine & Michael McCoy and Christoph Niemann will all be hitting the mainstage, and you can look for us poisoning young minds once again. Tickets to the concurrent Great American Beer Festival are sold separately, but the $15 designated driver ticket could come in very handy for either event, depending on your idea of “design thinking.”

Secondly, they’ve just announced the component of the conference we’re looking forward to the most, Command X, an onstage reality show/design contest that will unfold in real time throughout the three days–get it, Command X? We’d say it’s like “Top Design” but we’d rather say it’s like “Project Runway” because that show was better.

Contestants get to attend the conference for free; the winner will get $1000 and other prizes. You must be 26 or younger and an AIGA member to apply, deadline is June 30, details are here, and anyone who makes it up there better make it interesting for us–we are creating an entry for “Hysterical Designer Threatens Peers With X-Acto Knife” right now.

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.

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