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Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Rosenwald’

“Design Matters” Season Five Schedule Announced

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Effervescent host (and quite the hostess as well) Debbie Millman has leaked the new season of “Design Matters” to UnBeige first, kicking off January 18 with our Man of the Year, Chip Kidd. Graphic designers, writers, illustrators, authors, scientists, editors, a Nobel Prize winner and many, many UnBeige favorites will be featured on the show, which, incidentally, was voted a “favorite podcast” on PSFK’s IF Marketing Podcast survey. Tune in every Friday at 3pm to hear these fine voices:

January 18: Chip Kidd
January 25: Eric Kandel
February 1: Kurt Andersen
February 8: Vaughan Oliver
February 15: Jonah Lehrer
February 22: Petrula Vrontikis
February 29: Stefan Bucher
March 7: Laurie Rosenwald
March 14: Jeffrey Zeldman
March 28: Abbott Miller
April 11: Robynne Raye
April 18: All Music Show with DJ and Designer Michael Hodgson
April 25: Lawrence Weiner

Full bios for each guest can be found below.

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New York Holiday Party Report

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Thanks for the invitations, New York design community (or in some cases, not having a list at the door). Here’s where we found ourselves drinking free toddies this week…

Rockwell Group
Address: Bowlmor Lanes
Crowd: Rockwell Group employees
Specialty Cocktail: Bullshot, served by “celebrity bartender” Laurie Rosenwald
Big Sightings: Maira Kalman, Tucker Viemeister wearing a Santa hat
Just Missed: Chee Pearlman
Highlight (pictured here): A video kaleidoscope created by James Tichenor and Joshua Walton that projected snowflakes cut by partygoers onto huge screens around the room. No word on how many Bullshots were served before bare butts were also projected around the room.

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Debbie Millman’s SVA Class
Address: Millman’s swank pad
Crowd: Students, former “Design Matters” guests
Specialty Cocktail: Champagne (for those of age), as double-fisted by Felix Sockwell
Big Sightings: Chip Kidd, James Victore, Tobias Frere-Jones
Just Missed: Joyce Rutter Kaye
Highlight: Millman giving signed copies of 100% Evil to her students, which were doodled on more by Christoph Niemann and Nicholas Blechman, both in attendance.

The Architect’s Newspaper
Address: The well-appointed loft of William Menking and Diana Darling
Crowd: Architects, writers, architect-writers
Specialty Cocktail: Real egg nog, with fresh grated nutmeg
Big Sightings: The lady design journalist power trio of Julie Lasky, Julie Iovine and Eve Kahn
Just Missed: Teddy Cruz
Highlight: The view.

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Good Design Party
Address: Good pop-up store
Crowd: Green design consultants, graphic designers, Mr. T fans
Specialty Cocktail: Organic wheat vodka with Izze sparkling clementine juice in biodegradable cups made from corn
Big Sightings: Emily Oberman, supercute young’un Jonathan Harris presenting the Whale Hunt
Just Missed: Bobby Martin giving his slam-dunk presentation again
Highlight: Mike Essl showing off his world’s largest Mr. T memorabilia collection, including a clip from VH1′s “Totally Obsessed” where he and his co-collector eat a 20-year-old box of Mr. T cereal.

Designism 2.0 Recap: Michael Wolff Devours Panel, Glaser Eloquently Defends Design, Dove Real Beauties Not Ugly Enough

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The one MILLION dollar question. Photo by Core77.

A Wolff In Designer Clothing
In a city of thousands and thousands of designers, Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff might want to look at hiring some protection for the next few weeks. In his role as the “media critic” at last night’s Designism 2.0 event, Wolff told fellow panelists (including Milton Glaser) that “no design” was a better solution than the “banal” work they produce. While his comments elicited anger from the crowd–and more than one Dr. Evil comparison–he injected some much-needed debate to an otherwise self-congratulatory night. As Brian Collins told us later, “That’s why I brought him here.”

Let’s back up a bit though. ihaveanidea liveblogged the evening, opening with crappy weather and an earlier panel we moderated starring Ellen Sitkin, Andrew Sloat, and Ji Lee (who were amazing, by the way, and we wish they could have taken the stage with Wolff at the end to show him some “banal”). Tony Hendra, wearing his WGA strike shirt, gave the annual manifesto with searing wit (a portion of which can be found on the Huffington Post). Then, with Steven Heller moderating, Elizabeth Resnick presented posters from the Graphic Imperative, Janet Kestin presented the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, and Glaser presented his Darfur campaign and new work for Iraq refugees.

Then It Got Ugly
All the panelists joined Wolff onstage as he line-item lambasted design. The world is full of design, he argued, and everyone is trying so hard to be disruptive that everything disruptive is boring. What’s more, “everyone can do design,” he said. “So everyone should stop it.” While abrasive, it was effective, says Core77′s Robert Blinn says in his review: “Wolff asked the question that none of the designers in the audience truly cared to address: ‘Could anything truly new be said, or were we simply barraging a saturated audience with information they already had?’” Glaser, a gentleman to the end, began his first rebuttal, “I have to respectfully disagree with you.” The crowds roared. Glaser explained, that as he now tries to design campaigns to help causes, it’s less about what it looks like and more about how to get the word out. That’s still “design.”

But as the conversation shifted to the effectiveness of design for social change, the topic became Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty (ironically spearheaded by Designism ringmaster Collins at BIG) and Kestin took some serious grilling by audience members Laurie Rosenwald and Debbie Millman for not having “ugly” enough girls in the ads talking about poor body image perception. (Later we sat between Rosenwald and Kestin at dinner…awk-ward!) The whole issue about whether or not it was authentic, or just another ad, or even appropriately executed, was battled out on and off stage. Although not exactly the most provocative topic to dwell upon, it did give us the best quote of the night, courtesy Wolff: “Well, I know a lot of ugly people who think they’re really good-looking.”

Moving On
The moment of irony that killed us, however, was when Heller asked Wolff what design was powerful to him. Wolff said that the only great moment for design were the posters of the 60′s and 70′s. This was as Glaser, creator of many of them, and founder of another design device during that period, a magazine, that has not only brought about real social change, but also pays at least some of Wolff’s salary, sat right beside him, having just explained work that was every bit as simple, driven and arresting as those posters, but used technology, storytelling and global partnerships. Great, it’s easy to say that “something” different needed to be done, but say that design has never been able to evolve past print work done 40 years ago? That’s ludicrous. We think Wolff should be commissioned to write a review of the upcoming MoMA show, Design and the Elastic Mind, which shows how cutting-edge design is used to bring abstract ideas into the public embrace.

However poorly he presented his case (“He was sloppy,” someone near us said) we can’t say we really disagreed with anything Wolff said (except, of course the “banal” part). Something different does need to happen. Afterwards, in the ACT portion, three groups commanded the mic to pitch their causes–Sappi Ideas that Matter, Corbis’s ADC Award and free images for pro bono projects, and idealist.org–and a new social networking site, Designism Social, will be launched. But were these pitches–sponsors, really–enough to launch anyone into action over the sushi and Sapporos afterwards? We weren’t sure. We guess we have to wait until Designism 3.0

But we did like Wolff’s alternative for blindly leaping into a cause. “Stay home, read a book. Read a lot of books. Then, when the urge becomes irresistible, then do something.” Even Dr. Evil was right sometimes.

More photos and coverage at Core77, Graphic Design Forum, Daily Heller, uncivilsociety.org, and ihaveanidea.

Dirty Dancing Observer Party

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Sometimes at these conference things it’s nice to escape the pristine white hallways for a hot, filthy little basement packed thick with grinding graphic designers. Where legends of print, stage, screen, the airwaves, and a movie about graphic design take the stage for guest DJ sets. Where you not only don’t know which body part is being violated by which person’s gyrating sweaty loins, you don’t care because Kevin Smith is playing Prince and you just gotta dance, dammit. Oh yes, this was the Design Observer party.

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Head DJ Smith with Debbie Millman, throwing out a little J-Lo.

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Laurie Rosenwald was anything but “tired”; Gary Hustwit, who spun his own real records, prepares to take the stage.

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Host Michael Bierut looking dapper, Bill Drenttel (we can call you Bill, right?) becomes possessed by the demons of the dance floor.

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Randy Hunt gets jiggy; Marian Bantjes‘ hot bow-topped boots.

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Dancemaster David Womack takes a break to compare tans with Nik Hafermaas; Eric Heiman can’t control himself.

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