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Posts Tagged ‘Tucker Viemeister’

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.

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Forget Good Design, How About “Design Good”?

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We were excited before about the highly-developed design sensibility of Good, the little magazine that has fully lodged itself into our temporal lobes. In this month’s issue–which just arrived for West Coast subscribers, a full week after those in NY, what is up with that?–the entire mag is not only filled with good design but is about good design, with cameos by Steven Heller, Luke Hayman, Tucker Viemeister, Jessica Helfand, a wonderful intro essay by Alice Twemlow, and many more familiar faces.

But it was the introduction to the feature well that really blew our UnBeige minds:

Over the past century, the word design has slowly assumed the role of a proper noun. Stores sell Design. Companies market luxurious lifestyles filled with Design. But the word is much more potent and exciting as a verb, the act of tackling real problems and finding elegant solutions.

Never before have we heard the difference between that design and that design so eloquently outlined. It’s as simple as nouns vs. verbs.

Y Did It Have to End So Soon?

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Sure, we made it home safe, but we’re not happy about it. We wish the Y Conference in San Diego could have lasted a whole week. Now we’ve heaped praise upon these stars to the south before, and it’s not really news that this little regional conference is no longer little or regional. What Y is, however, is small enough for even the lowliest student to hobnob with the biggest of big-time speakers. The conference fee is relatively cheap. And we don’t think we have to mention the beyond-perfect climate (72 and sunny; okay, make that very sunny).

As we smooched old friends goodbye at the Red Circle Cafe Saturday night, realized that were it not for Y regulars Stefan Bucher and Petrula Vrontikis, we’d have never known about the wonder of Y. We thanked Terry “Stampy” McCaffrey for changing the way we think about those little perforated stickers. And we praised conference chair Adam Rowe, who has been doing this for an incredible seven years, although we’d like to offer one popular thought to mull over for the next year: 12 white guys and only two women?

On our way out we were busy describing the plot of Idiocracy to Tucker Viemeister when his eyes drifted towards the ceiling. “It’s a shame we can’t get these guys some lightbulbs,” he said, as we followed his gaze to two burnt-out lights over the bar. Ah, the curse of the man who can do everything. Next to him was Mirko Ilic, forever cursed as the only man confident (European? crazy?) enough to take his shirt completely off while sunbathing in the lawn of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. We may have missed hearing Ilic speak, but it didn’t matter; he was pretty much presenting all weekend.

Finally, we got totally busted by our newest best friend Stefan Sagmeister who promised to bore us again and again with his deja vu-inducing presentation. We turned bright red and said that we didn’t think everyone felt that way, it was just that we happened to be at every single conference. “But so am I!” he laughed. Man, that Stefan Sagmeister is downright impossible not to look up to–and not just because he’s like seven feet tall.

So if Y was the question, what was the answer, you ask? Probably the most important thing we learned that when you Ask a Ninja (and believe us, we did), the answer is most likely going to be “Thomas Kinkade.” See you next year.

More Y Conference coverage.

Starbucks Global CD Stanley Hainsworth Says He Hasn’t Seen the Starbucks In Idiocracy

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At the final session of the Y Conference, it was a Best Hair showdown: Tucker Viemeister vs. Stanley Hainsworth. We dunno but we’re gonna give it to Hainsworth for his rad super spiky ‘do (twice as long as the photo to the right). You can tell he works at Starbucks just by looking at him. His hair just had a double espresso.

Global Creative Director Hainsworth talked about Starbucks culture, branding and projects like their tie-in with the film Akeelah and the Bee. And he did it all through the voices and opinions of Starbucks fan sites, reviews (good and bad) and pop culture references. He even cut a reel together of Starbucks as seen in movies. But one thing he didn’t mention was the Starbucks portrayal in our favorite future brand experience, Idiocracy, so we asked him about it during the Q&A. He claimed he had never seen it, and that he doubted Starbucks had enough power to get the movie yanked from theaters (that was the rumors we heard). We offered to show it to him, we even had Armin’s article cued up on our trusty laptop. But he said he’d look at it later.

Tucker Viemeister Covers Everything

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Apparently Tucker Viemeister has been stricken with a terrible affliction: The Curse of Being Able to do Everything. His dad, legendary industrial designer Read Viemeister could also do anything (“And not just because he’s my dad,” he said). And yes, Tucker is named after the car–which his dad worked on. No pressure, right?

At his latest gig at Studio Red at the Rockwell Group (named for the soda, not that other RED) they’re working on everything from a frightening-sounding Coca-Cola Wellness Center to the Coke Cruiser, which is like an ice cream truck on a Segway. He says working at the Rockwell Group is like being in the Village People. We bet David Rockwell is the cop.

But back to being cursed. Le Corbusier was cursed. Da Vinci was cursed. Hitler was especially cursed, says Viemeister–he was a brilliant designer of SS uniforms, a Volkswagen, imposing architecture, and of course that pretty effective logo–but he was also cursed in a different way.

Viemiester himself has been single-handedly cursed by literally “good design”: he did the OXO Good Grips and can’t live it down. So what does a cursed man do? Choose “multi” over “total”. Take chances, for more choices. Cross-pollinate. And so, from the man who can do everything, a really good new idea:

We don’t have any good rituals for Martin Luther King Day, he says. So on January 15, eat lunch with someone from another race. The civil rights movement was all about integrating lunch counters and lunch with anyone is a good thing.

Viemeister also wins Best Designed Presentation for the conference, with slides that zipped by with continuity that made us feel like we were swooping through an IMAX-sized screen. He’s currently tied with Stanley Hainsworth for Best Hair.