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Stephanie Murg

Frieze Taps Barber and Osgerby’s Universal Design Studio to Design London Fair

frieze art fairNow in its eleventh year, Frieze London is getting a new look. This year’s fair, which runs October 15-18 in leafy Regent’s Park, will be designed by Universal Design Studio. The creative consultancy, founded in 2011 by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby to focus on architecture and interiors, takes over from fellow Londoners Carmody Groarke, who handled the fair’s architectural aspects (read: supercool megatent) for the last three years. Frieze has previously employed Caruso St John (2008-2010), Jamie Fobert (2006–2007) and David Adjaye (2003-2005).

“The architecture and design of the fair have always been an important part of our identity,” say Frieze founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. “This year we were drawn to Universal in particular due to their work on interiors and focus on materials. As some of the best designers working in this area, their lateral thinking has been demonstrated by some of their great furniture and even their design for the Olympic torch. We’re really looking forward to them bringing this sensibility to Frieze.” Among Universal’s recent projects are Google Web Lab at London’s Science Museum, exhibition design for Vitra’s Vitrahaus exhibition, and both the interior and exterior of the London outpost of the Ace Hotel.

Last Chance: Apply to SVA’s MA in Design Research

sva new

It was the great design scholar Ferris Bueller who once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” New York’s School of Visual Arts is heeding the need for speed and the importance of looking around with a one-year MA in design research, writing, and criticism. The new graduate program, which launches this fall, is an evolution of D-Crit (the two-year MA program in design criticism that has been sharpening design minds since 2008) streamlined into two semesters and eight months of studying images, objects, and environments, and learning ways to construct multi-format narratives that bring them to life from a faculty that includes Steven Heller, MoMA’s Paola Antonelli, and Murray Moss. “The program’s curriculum charts the cutting edge of design practice and is responsive to exciting developments in the media landscape,” says Alice Twemlow, the program’s founding chair. And there’s still time to apply (Psst: we hear significant scholarships are available): get your application in no later than Monday, and tell ‘em UnBeige sent you.

Seven Questions for Chester Jenkins, Designer of New Cooper Hewitt Typeface

(Kirstin McKee)
(Photo: Kirstin McKee)

Come December, the renovated and expanded Cooper Hewitt will welcome back visitors with a bold new look. The tricky task of reimagining the graphic identity of the Smithsonian Design Museum was taken on by Pentagram’s Eddie Opara, who tapped Chester Jenkins to work his typographical magic. Jenkins, co-founder of Brooklyn-based Village, created a custom typeface—Cooper Hewitt—that the museum has released into the digital wild: the bold sans serif can be downloaded free of charge as installable fonts, Web font files, and open-source code. Having taken the recent press preview of the museum as an excuse to follow Jenkins around and ask him his views on the various typefaces that were revealed by the painstaking restoration of the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, we agreed to relent if he would answer just seven more questions. He graciously agreed.

c h logotypeWhat three words best describe the Cooper Hewitt typeface?
Objective. Accessible. Spirited.

How does Cooper Hewitt differ from your Polaris Condensed?
The width of Cooper Hewitt is based on the Semicondensed version of Polaris, which only exists as beta fonts on the computers at Pentagram and UFOs on my hard drive. When I drew the Cooper Hewitt types, I didn’t recycle the outlines of Polaris, but instead drew everything from scratch, referring to Polaris Semicondensed, not simply tweaking it.

The range of weights is greater in Cooper Hewitt; while a couple of the master weights were based on Polaris, the family of fonts has a different internal structure. A significant stylistic difference is in the hewing to horizontal and vertical stroke endings, as opposed to the angled terminal strokes which are a touchstone of Polaris. Then there are the “plateaus”—or “plateaux” for the linguistic sticklers—within most of the curves in round glyphs. You can’t really see them at anything less than a million points, but they separate the two designs. And the numerals and currency glyphs depart significantly from Polaris.

Village is a type co-op—what is that exactly and who are the members?
Village is a group of a dozen small foundries from around the world. While not technically organized as a co-operative, our model was the first of its kind in the digital era, as far as we are aware. We contact our members to discuss important decisions, such as adding new members to the group. The members sometimes collaborate with each other, and often pass along custom projects where one member is more suited than another. We also avoid stepping on each others’ toes; one member will not publish a design if it’s stylistically close to another member’s design. We distribute the work of our members: A2-Type, Blackletra, Feliciano Type Foundry, Klim, LuxTypo., MCKL, Schwartzco, Type Supply, and Urtd. We publish work through two foundries: Constellation and Incubator.
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Quote of Note | Alice Rawsthorn

ANTE VJONOVIC

“There are toxic words in every field and, when it comes to design, two of the most ominous are ‘sculptural’ and ‘artistic’. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with design projects exhibiting either quality, but those that are described as doing so seldom do. Instead, they are very likely to be any or all of the following: bland, silly, blingy, pretentious, shoddy, derivative, ugly, ridiculous, or unjustifiably expensive. Check out the dodgier booths at a ‘design-art’ fair to see what I mean.”

-Alice Rawsthorn writing on the difference between art and design in the latest issue of Frieze

Chicago Getting Its Own Architecture Biennial

chicago archWatch out, Venezia. The Windy City is getting a biennial of its own. Announced this week, the Chicago Architecture Biennial—billed as the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America—is set to open October 1, 2015 in and around the Chicago Cultural Center. The three-month-long event, presented by the City of Chicago and the Graham Foundation, will be funded through private donations (BP has already chipped in $2.5 million).

“Chicago is the birthplace of modernism in architecture and every architect in the world knows our city’s history of innovation in the field through the work of architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe,” says Graham Foundation director Sarah Herda, who will serve as artistic director of the Biennial with architect, writer, and curator Joseph Grima. “The Biennial will place Chicago, once again, at the forefront of the architectural imagination.”
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Watch: Packing Tips from Casey Neistat

Spend even a few action-packed moments with the invigorating YouTube channel of Casey Neistat and you’ll soon be yearning for an adventuresome escape from the screen: isn’t it about time you grabbed your passport and hopped on a plane, and then a skateboard, bicycle, motorcycle, and surfboard—or at least climbed behind the wheel of a Jeep after a monster downpour? The intrepid filmmaker has followed up his J. Crew-sponsored guide to stylish travel with a characteristically DIY approach to luggage for himself and his bright pink penny skateboard.

Anonymous Tips: Because Sharing Is Caring

who could it be now.jpgIf we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy murder plot, thanks to our “Anonymous Tips” box, which the Mediabistro tech wizards have placed at the top right of this page. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Type in your news—design happenings, gossip, movements of the Revolving Door, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “send.” We’ll get the news, you’ll retain your air of mystery.

Gehry-Designed Fondation Louis Vuitton Set for October Opening

1-Fondation Louis Vuitton @ Iwan Baan, 2014
(Photo: Iwan Baan)

Once upon a time, LVMH honcho Bernard Arnault announced his grand plan for a Frank Gehry-designed home for the Fondation Louis Vuitton: it would hover over a 2.5-acre swath of Paris’s Bois de Boulogne like a contemporary art-filled cloud of glass, it would cost around $127 million, it would be open by…2010. No word on the final budget, but opening day is finally in sight: October 27, 2014 will mark the public debut of the 12,600-square-foot building, according to a statement released today by LVMH.

Gehry looked to the lightness of late 19th-century glass and garden architecture in designing the structure, which is perched like an articulated nimbostratus in the leafy Jardin d’Acclimatation. Comprised of a dozen glass “sails,” it is covered in 3,600 panes of glass. The eleven galleries it contains will be dedicated to the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and artists’ commissions. Among the opening exhibitions will be one showcasing Gehry’s architectural project for the foundation and timed to coincide with the architect’s first European retrospective, which goes on view in October at the Centre Pompidou.

Quote of Note | Thomas Tait

T_tait fw14
All in a Delaunay’s work. Looks from the fall 2014 colllection of Thomas Tait, winner of the inaugural LVMH Young Designer Prize.

“It seems fashion may be having a renaissance, where understanding the fragility of creative people in such a high pressure industry is vital to success. Having met some of the strongest designers in the industry through the prize, it’s inspiring and reassuring to see such an impressive assembly of successful creatives. Phoebe Philo who can direct a french fashion house via London whilst raising a young family, or Raf Simons who manages his own brand successfully whilst restoring the house of Christian Dior. To me these are just a couple of the inspiring people who have managed to find a balance at the big breaking point.”

-Fashion designer Thomas Tait in an editorial published this week in the Financial Times

‘Detroit—Bruce Weber’ Exhibition Debuts at Detroit Institute of Arts

(bruce weber)The Detroit Institute of Arts has been busy lining up pledges—$26 million from Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and General Motors Foundation; $10 million from the Mellon Foundation; $3 million from the J. Paul Getty Trust—toward its goal to raise $100 million as part of a “grand bargain” that will help the City of Detroit emerge from bankruptcy, support city pensioners, and protect the museum’s art collection for the public. An exhibition that opens today should bolster hometown pride. The DIA has partnered with Condé Nast to present “Detroit—Bruce Weber,” an exhibition of approximately 80 photographs by the celebrated fashion photographer, filmmaker, and golden retriever enthusiast. Weber began photographing the city and its citizens in 2006, and the images range from portraits of famous locals such as Aretha Franklin and Patti Smith to legendary locales such as Belle Isle, where he came upon a wedding and captured a poignant image of the flower girl. “Detroit—Bruce Weber” is on view through Sept 7 at the DIA.

Pictured: Christopher Gardner, Artist, and Von Jour Reece, Fashion Designer, at Bert’s Marketplace, Detroit, Michigan, 2006, gelatin silver print. © Bruce Weber

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