Here’s your chance to get the scoop on the graduate program that we can’t stop talking about and meet the legendary Milton Glaser (you know you ♥ him!). On Saturday, November 17, the School of Visual Arts’ Design Criticism department will host an afternoon of presentations and informal discussion about its MFA in Design Criticism, better known by its rapper name, D-Crit. Students past and present will talk about their experiences, delightful D-Crit chairperson Alice Twemlow will provide a program overview, and faculty members Adam Harrison Levy (BBC documentary producer) and Karrie Jacobs (Metropolis columnist) will discuss the courses they teach. Stick around to hear the man, the myth, the Glaser reflect on the nature and role of design criticism. We hear that coffee, mimosas, and donuts will be yours for the taking, and if you ask nicely, they might let you peruse the twelve-volume reprint set of Domus that we spied in one of the D-Crit classrooms on a recent visit. Register here. And read on for a look at the department’s stellar fall lecture series. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Milton Glaser’
With a clever wink and a nod to its ultra-timeliness during this election year, “Where the Truth Lies: A Symposium on Propaganda Today” is an all-day conference on February 15 at the City University of New York. Organized by Steven Heller, Stuart Ewen and Mary Jeys, “Lies” will examine where the truth ends and where the spin begins.
Renowned food critic Milton Glaser delivers the keynote for a fun-filled lineup moderated by David Brancaccio of the PBS show “NOW,” and throughout the day there will also be propaganda films curated by Jeys. And how about that poster design, by Michael J. Walsh, Brian E. Smith, with photography by Harry Zernike? We feel ourselves sweating and blinking nervously just looking at it.
When Ratatouille received an Oscar nomination for best animated picture this morning, we remembered an interesting yet unconfirmed rumor embedded very deep in our brains. We heard that when the Pixar animators needed inspiration for the film’s legendary food critic Anton Ego, they looked to none other than legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. Laugh if you must, but contrast how Ego (voiced by Peter O’Toole) talks cooking, above, with how Glaser talks about designing, below (in the Hillman Curtis film). Wikipedia says Ego’s likeness was modeled on French actor Louis Jouvet, but note Ego’s distinctive cadence, that ever-present scarf, and those large, graceful hands. Hmmm…
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…
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.
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.
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.
It must be some kind of record: 70% of the speakers at the one-day AIGA NY conference Cause/Effect brought us to the brink of tears. But until the end, we really weren’t sure why.
We even found ourselves pretty much speechless at one point. The presentation that went beyond words, meaning a blog post really couldn’t do it justice, was Alan Jacobson’s powerful work on a memorial in Rwanda as part of the Barefoot Artists program. Read up on the project on their site and don’t miss a chance to catch Jacobson present in person.
Although we missed Steven Heller‘s propaganda parade, Seymour Chwast‘s poster-rama and Mark Randall discussing the Urban Forest Project (catch coverage over at Core77), we have more detailed reports about Carin Goldberg, Bobby Martin, Frank Baseman, Phil Patton, Nicholas Blechman, Marc Alt, Scott Stowell, and Chris Hacker, who were truly all great.
All the young designers were stars. Seth Labenz and Roy Rub presented the fascinating results of their experiment “Uniting.” And the final panel of the day, a three-fer of social entrepreneurship had the always delightful Randy Hunt and his Amazing Project, and two extremely eloquent show-stoppers: Kristin Johnson‘s Practical Small Projects, bringing solar energy to Mali, and Lara McCormick‘s Stop and Start Over (another Sappi grant winner!), an addiction recovery site and community that’s designed to appeal more to the young audience looking for help.
The only minor disappointment was the One Laptop Per Child presentation by Lisa Strausfeld. Cute as they may be, we got little, if any, insight into how the laptops really work, and we’re still not sure why the beautiful interface is appropriate for kids who have never used a computer, especially since a CBS News story showed kids easily using regular laptops. Also puzzling was that they did no testing of the interface with African kids. They had just gotten their shipment of laptops that day, so maybe they need to play around with them some more before presenting again.
But overall, the day was expertly assembled and orchestrated by chairs Mike Essl (who doubled as an on-stage tech guy) and Emma Presler (wearing a tres snazzy scarf). We noticed a similar thread running through both Cause/Effect and Designism 2.0 (without the “banal-retentive,” of course): The most striking projects were really not about design in the traditional sense, echoing Milton Glaser‘s sentiments at Designism about the dissemination being more important than the device. In fact, we thought, these people didn’t really act like designers at all. More like MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients, Nobel Prize winners, UN ambassadors. And that realization was simply overwhelming.
Designism 2.0 Recap: Michael Wolff Devours Panel, Glaser Eloquently Defends Design, Dove Real Beauties Not Ugly Enough
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.”
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.
In an effort to blow our frequent flier miles through the roof, this third of UnBeige will be embarking on one last trip of 2007: To help moderate Designism 2.0 on Thursday, December 13 at the Art Directors Club in New York City. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, we suggest doing that now, before it sells out.
This year’s Designism, the sequel to the very popular 2006 event, will play out in two panels, followed by a real-life call-to-action. While the latter panel of the evening needs no introduction–Milton Glaser, Steven Heller, Tony Hendra, Vanity Fair’s Michael Wolff, Elizabeth Resnick of the Graphic Imperative (on view at the ADC) and Ogilvy’s Janet Kestin–we encourage you to bag work and head over early for our 4:45pm panel. After an opening by Kay Sloan of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, we’ll hear from three of the brightest young thangs in design we’ve come across this year.
Ji Lee, the man behind The Bubble Project (and sometimes behind an Elvis costume), who also works at genre-bending ad agency droga5.
We assure you that after seeing these three speakers, and experiencing the sheer passion that keeps them motivated, you’ll feel pretty darn good about the future of design. Oh yeah, and afterwards? Sapporos for everyone, on us. See you there.
It’s getting to be that season again when all the naughties and nices you’ve accumulated during the last 12 months start to count towards your end-of-year rewards. And if you’ve found yourself a little heavy on the naughty, there is a chance to redeem yourself before it’s too late. Actually, two. If you’re in New York between December 13 and 15 you could attend two big-name events focused on socially-responsible design. After immersing yourself in so much do-gooding, maybe you’ll even get moved to the nice list.
Designism 2.0, December 13: The second go-round of this now-annual event at the ADC features three sessions. First, SEE, a survey of young’uns making a difference: Ellen Sitkin, Andrew Sloat and Ji Lee, moderated by yours truly. Then, TALK, the panel of masters including Milton Glaser, Janet Kestin, Elizabeth Resnick, Tony Hendra, and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff, moderated by Steven Heller. And finally, ACT, a real-life call to action by Idealist.org to start work on immediately. All details here (scroll down).
Cause/Effect, December 15: This full-day student-oriented conference orchestrated by AIGA NY brings together a dozen voices explaining the effects of their design in action. Lisa Strausfeld, Phil Patton, Chris Hacker, Seymour Chwast are among the luminaries, and Steven Heller will moderate this one, too (the man is a machine). Registration is only open for students (AIGA members or not) at the moment, but will open to AIGA members on 11/26. All details here (including those nice illustrations by Brian Rea).
The world’s most prolific design writer, recently-named Design Observer, and subject of much obsession here on the old UnBeige, Steven Heller will be honored with SVA’s Masters Series Award, including an exhibition and catalog of his work that sounds like quite the spectacle:
Curated and designed by Kevin O’Callaghan, chair of 3D Design at SVA, the exhibition highlights the inspiration and collaboration behind Heller’s many achievements as a writer and art director. On view will be over 100 covers of The New York Times Book Review that Heller art directed and a visual anthology of his major publications, with select volumes available to peruse…Nearby, visitors will be able to browse Heller’s many contributions to American and foreign periodicals at a full-scale replica of a New York City newsstand. The centerpiece of the multimedia display will be a larger-than-life photo montage of Heller’s library with recorded commentary about his collection of design ephemera and its role in his research and writing. In a series of video podcasts specially commissioned for the exhibition, Heller will discuss design in the context of popular culture, politics and history.
Whew! Heller joins SVA’s long list of luminaries that includes people named things like Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, George Lois, Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, and Paula Scher, who coined the phrase we want made into t-shirts: “Steven Heller has been graphic design’s biggest fan.”
As Glen Falls quietly organizes their first design conference, headlined by Milton Glaser, LA-based Quixo has decided to take another publicly embarrasing design matter into their own hands. The Donald T. Sterling Graphic Design Foundation hopes to persuade the real estate king and Clippers owner to stop the horrific full-page ads he runs in the LA Times:
This is not meant as an indictment of Mr. Sterling’s secretary, nephew, intern or whoever produces these ads. They’re doing the best they can without professional design software or training. But just placing one of these ads in the Times costs more than my annual salary. Donald T. Sterling Corporation can certainly afford to hire a professional to design them.
If you’ve got the chills already, sign the petition, or you could do what we plan to do to avoid ever encountering these ads: Not read the LA Times. Oh wait, we already do that.
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