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off topic

‘Tis The Season… For Getting Advice, Redux

We’d just finished trolling through the Architect’s Newspaper’s gift guide when we came across Metropolis’ foray into the more generous spirit. In a total twist of reality that we’re still getting our head around, though, the Metropolis list comes from design blogs. It’s just. so. meta.

GeodesicCurtainHannahAllijn.jpgIdeas include a bamboo bike (from Treehugger), a geometric curtain (from design*sponge), and bitchin’ gadgets like this crazy new thing called the iPod (from Gizmodo.)

We’re bustedly broke — no holiday gifts from us. But we’re accepting just about anything. So long as it’s hot.

‘Tis The Season… For Getting Advice

book_12.jpgWe’ve always tried to boycott the giving of Christmas (sorry, holiday) presents, and more often than not it works. This year, though, we’re trying to usher in a new era. A more sensitive, thoughtful, considerate one. Which is why we read the Architect’s Newspaper’s gift-giving guide, which includes spectacularities like the solar backpack, the Corb plans, and… Humble Masterpieces.

Because nothing says I love you like a story about a slinky.

Does That Mean This Is Going To Make Us Famous Too?

What publicity WetLogo small.jpg

Yesterday we posted a long letter from Design Maven that pretty much hated on our interpretation of a logo design. Which is fair. We like to give voice to our readers, give the other side a shot. All in the spirit of good, er, “journalism,” good faith, and inconsistent content. So we were in no small way disappointed to read this morning that it was nothing but a publicity stunt and we so the most totally fell for it:

Many thanks for uploading my communication. Whether you are aware of it or not. You’re making me more Famous than I already am.

I couldn’t pay for such Publicity. I have several emails from Prominent Publications to Feature me in an Article. All are aware of my True Identity and had my contact information. I’ve turned them down before. Now I’ll way [sic] my many options.

Again, many thanks. Truth is Stranger than Fiction.


Frank C. Briggs


Well. Our fame’s probably in the mail.

Designer/Bloggers To More Rescue

We’ve been cobbling together resources for displaced designers and artists here and there but Design Observer’s beaten us to the comprehensive punch with a fairly complete listing of designers and design firms offering to employ, donate, etc. Offers include work at Jessica Helfand’s firm, grants from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, housing courtesy of Arts United for Hurricane Relief, and more.

Oh, and requisite Kanye West shout-out (thanks to Gawker) here.

Maybe Architects Aren’t Heartless After All

We realize this is a little bit off topic, but it’s hard to avoid the situation down south. We learned last night about the Red Cross’ iTunes donation program, but today we heard from our friends at the AIA, who’ve taken on a three-way (!) approach to help. According to their most recent missive:

1. Fundraising: Obviously coping with a disaster of this scale and magnitude surpasses the capacity of public sector assistance and will take an outpouring of voluntary relief support. Funds will be needed for medium term organizing and long term reconstruction as well as short term relief. Use of funds should focus on things we emphasize housing and community rebuilding rather than humanitarian aid, which is being covered by others.

2. Organization: We are preparing to organize– once direction is defined by local and national officials. Through our Disaster Preparedness Task Force (an outgrowth of the Tsunami Task Force) we will coordinate efforts of various AIANY committees (housing, transportation and infrastructure, planning and urban design, emerging architects, etc) as well as coordination with other AIA chapters and other civic/ professional organizations in the city, region and nation such as the American Planning Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Royal Institute of British Architects/ USA.

3. Direct Action: Specific projects or programs will be extremely important they can provide hands-on implementation and make possible monitoring of results. You may want to help as an individual; we may want to help as an organization. We are in contact with groups such as Architecture for Humanity which is organized to respond to events such as this with direct action projects.

We’re gonna have to go ahead and send a buck or two. Pledges should be sent to Annie Kurtin ( and checks sent to Katrina Relief, Center for Architecture Foundation, 536 LaGuardia Place, NY, NY 10012.

Bye Bye For Now


There’s no easy way to say this, so we’ll just write it. We’re going to a place without internets. For a week. We planned it before this whole blog thing happened, before our world shifted, our priorities changed. We hope you understand. You’ll be in good hands in our short absence, but we’ll be jonesing as hard for you as you, in an ideal world, might be for us. See you on the flipside on the first.

A Dirty Printed Matter Shame


We’re still trying to figure out what exactly happened to us last night, but we’re pretty sure the downhill direction started with the passing-around of auteur (we ARE writers!) director John Waters’ “Being a member of Printed Matter is really sweet” letter. We have the hottest PDF ever on our computer, but it seems that the blogosphere just can’t handle the truth. Thankfully for you, we’re feeling fastidious and learned in architecture school that we really like typing:

Dear Friend of Printed Matter,

Printed Matter
is, of course, not just a bookstore–it’s a way of life and I urge you to join the cult.

Ever since Printed Matter opened, I have been an eager customer, an enthusiastic audience at their book launches, and a repeat visitor to the gallery shows. In fact, I daily resist the urge to carve the initials “P.M.” into my forehead with a red hot poker.

You, too, can be a member of this cutting edge organization. Be well read, cruise cute people in the store, and discover new artists that will make your jaw drop. Join up today or I’ll have you killed.

John Waters


So Wrong It’s Right


And now for something a little awesome, kinda fun, and just a touch sordid. We’ve had a trying weekend, discovered some, um, “entanglements” and as of now, we’re just working through it, the only way we can. Real time, on the interwebs. Today we bring you the So Wrong It’s Right edition, full of comical mismatches, questionable ideas, and perfect atrocities. HTML cures.

Bruni on Florent


Frank Bruni reviews my beloved Florent in today’s New York Times, which is vexing because I’ve been trying to get over there for a burger for more than a week and now if I do go it’s bound to be swamped with foodie tourists looking for that genuine authentic NYC experience amongst those who “lingered in a happy crowd of young revelers, straight and gay, who canoodled in corners and tried to make the night last just a little longer.” Here’s an excerpt from Bruni’s review:

The secret to Florent’s enduring success is its integrity, which has now brought it full circle. After years when it was a naughty urban adventure and years when it felt like a tired cliche, it is once again what it was always meant to be: a simultaneously sensible and kooky bistro with onion soup and escargots, boudin noir and burgers, creme caramel and chocolate mousse, at reasonable prices that underscore its welcoming way. Florent is open to all and it is open all the time.

(via a very amusing Gawker item.)

Completely Off Topic…

and yet I can’t resist. Dana Vachon has an interview in Salon today with the US of A’s newest figure skating sensation, Johnny Weir. A sampling:

You have a real interest in fashion. Who are some of your favorite designers? Did you watch “Project Runway”?

I don’t watch TV. I just tune in for “The Simple Life.” Have you seen it yet, with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie?