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Posts Tagged ‘William Drenttel’

Design Observer Adds Contributors Andrew Blauvelt and…Rick Poynor?

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The fact that Design Observer has expanded its stable of writers yet again is no surprise; on the blogging panel we shared with William Drenttel in Denver he said he wanted to bring in several more contributors. Today’s add of the Walker Art Center’s Andrew Blauvelt to their ranks is a great choice, but the second “new” writer confuses us. Just a few months after the back and forth with Speak Up where he highlighted the shortcomings of the quality of writing on blogs, what compelled Rick Poynor to return to blogging?

We do have this curious sentence, from a response to his original essay about blogging on Print’s site: “…I have nothing against blogs in general and if they paid, I would probably continue blogging.” Last we checked, though, DO doesn’t pay. To what does the blogosphere owe this honor, then? We deserve to know.

Maybe he just really, really missed us.

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Stephen Doyle, Design Poet

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Maybe it’s because we all make at least some of our livings as writers, but we sure are smitten with William Drenttel‘s illustrated love letter to his former partner Stephen Doyle.

A Few Words” is full of the witty wordsmithing that we spend our days dreaming about within these Movably-Typed walls. A 27-image slideshow recounts Doyle’s talent for transforming op-eds into icons, finding hidden messages within a handful of letters, and rendering words into gigantic, complex art installations. The “Arts & Crafts” piece somehow assured us that everything is right with the world.

Design Observer Pandering With Alcohol

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Don’t be surprised if Design Observer rockets to the top of the Cooper-Hewitt’s People’s Design Award tomorrow. They’re handing out free drink tickets for their party tonight to everyone who promises to vote for them. William Drenttel swears to us that it’s just so those pesky espadrilles don’t win, but unfortunately it will take more than one drink to convince us of that.

All AIGA NEXT coverage here.

Four or Five Things You Need to Know About the AIGA NEXT Conference

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In a few weeks we’ll be maneuvering the ole UnBeige wagon over the Rocky Mountains and into Denver, Colorado, home of AIGA’s NEXT Conference. There’s still time to register, although at this point if you haven’t convinced your boss you’re worth the $1050 ($850 for members) there’s not much time left for your door-to-door “Dimes for Denver” campaign.

Seeing as we will be there, and seeing as we seem to know a few things about the innerworkings of AIGA, here’s a few things you should look for when you’re there. Or when you’re sitting at home reading about them here.

· The seven young designers picked to participate in Command X, a live graphic design reality show unfolding in real time and hosted by Michael Bierut are Mike Burton, Elaine Chernov, Kelly Dorsey, Scott Gundersen, Matthew Muñoz, Nichelle Narcisi and, our favorite, Ryan Smoker.

· We’ll be making sure no one scares the students, yakkin’ about this here blog and–are you sick of us yet?–discussing design writing.

· Should you be awake, you can also gather ’round a table with one-half of UnBeige on Friday morning at the unseemly hour of 7:45am.

· There will be a gigantic party Friday night hosted by Design Observer, featuring a triumphant return to the dance floor by William Drenttel.

· If you get bored, there’s plenty of beer right around the corner.

2007 Winterhouse Writing Awards Announced

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Perhaps our heads were in the sand for this announcement, but the winners of the 2007 Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing and Criticism have been announced and we’ve just got to rave a bit. Jade Chang, West Coast editor for Metropolis, has won the grand $5K prize; and the not-too-shabby $1K educational award goes to Erica Nooney, who just embarked upon a Ph.D in cultural studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Winterhouse’s William Drenttel chaired the panel of judges–which included Allison Arieff, Melissa Harris and Bruce Sterling–and had this to say about the 2007 winners:

The jury was impressed with the energy of the writing–and the range of approaches to design and approaches to writing. Furthermore, we were surprised by the technical quality of the writing, the maturity of prose and style in so many of the entries. The recipients, Jade and Erica, were selected unequivocally by this year’s panel, and we feel that both of these young writers hold great promise to grow as essayists and critics.

The winners will be honored at the Design Legends Gala next week.

Observing the Design Observers

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The Designer As Author MFAs at SVA have their next podcast up and this time it’s a two-parter with Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel of Design Observer, Winterhouse and the New Yorker website redesign. Indulge this Friday afternoon with some witty repartee from this rooster comb-devouring husband-and-wife design team.

Winterhouse Design Writing Awards Part Deux

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It’s that time again…AIGA and Winterhouse are currently looking for the next American Idol of design writing and it just might just be you! The Winterhouse Design Writing Awards will be judged by Allison Arieff, William Drenttel, Aperture editor Melissa Harris, and Bruce Sterling. Deadline is May 31, all details here.

Besides the cash prizes, this is a great way to catapult your name even further towards global recognition. Why just look how last year’s winners fared: Katherine Feo reviews books for Eye, and Thomas de Monchaux was published on Design Observer.

You Say You Want a Rem-olution?

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In William Drenttel‘s current article on Design Observer, he criticizes Rem Koolhaas‘ bad decisions in his most recent project, the Central Chinese Television Headquarters. But during a two-night speaking stand in LA and San Francisco last month, Koolhaas had a surprising message for the design masses: Starchitects (himself included) are too busy trying to win contests with individualistic, extravagant work to devote serious thought to the true impact of their projects. You can watch Koolhaas’ appearance at USC (click lecture series), or read the reviews: John King from the San Francisco Chronicle covered the SF appearance and Rob Forbes was there, too, but more in awe of Koolhaas’ koolness. It’s almost as if Koolhaas has been rehearsing for the inevitable attacks against him.

Apparently, Koolhaas has also been rehearsing his dead-on impersonation of Nosferatu.

Being Design Observed

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We would love to write something, anything about Hugh Dubberly‘s presentation about service-craft taking place right now at the Schools of Thoughts conference.

But Design Observer founders William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand and Lorraine Wild are all right behind us–right behind us–and we’re suffering from a massive case of blogophobia. More when we’re not crippled by our own insecurities.

Looking Closer Closes Its Eyes

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The powers that be have informed us that the 5th volume of Looking Closer, out this month, will be the last. Published since 1994, the essays in the Looking Closer series were basically the precursors of the design blogs we know and love today–a sturdy, highly-influential collection of critical writings on graphic design. But not too serious; some of the pieces were pretty damn hilarious, too. The editors throughout the years–Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Steven Heller, DK Holland, Jessica Helfand, Rick Poynor–drew a hearty list of famous contributors, and launched the writing careers of many others. Looking Closer, we’ll miss you.