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Archives: August 2005

We’ve Been To Heller And Back And We Liked What We Got So Much We’re Going To Have To Go Ahead And Share

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After bringing you the design stylings of Michael Bierut and Gregg Pasquarelli, we’re bringing you the next Unbeige Interview of The Every Week Or So, Although It Depends on Everyone’s Schedules And People Can Be Hard To Track Down. Steven Heller, graphic design enthusiast, chair of the SVA’s MFA program, editor of AIGA Voice, contributing editor to publications from Print to ID to Mother Jones, author of over 90 books on graphic design, and art director of the local paper’s book review, rocked one of our worlds when he took us to graphic design school for an hour, then rocked the other one even harder when he answered these questions. After the jump, Heller talks about subjectivity, his interest in dictatorships, and his tendency for wiggling around in a bag of cliches.

Unbeige: When did you first realize you were interested in design?

Steven Heller: I found I could make pages by putting type and image together, along with drawings I made. It was like doing jigsaw puzzles, which I liked to do. It also meant I could see the result of my labors at the end of every week since I worked for a weekly newspaper. To me, graphic design was my entry to DESIGN as a big D activity.

UB: Where do you think graphic design is headed, and are you excited?

SH: I’m not sure. Excitement is relative. I get off on seeing new illustrators doing work I’d never thought about. For instance, I’m a fan of vinyl toys and the entire illustrator’s toy movement. But I also get excited almost every time I see a drawing by Christoph Niemann–he’s just so damn smart. But as far as graphic design as thing, or as existential force, I have no idea.

The big type revolution is settling down to the day-to-day, so there’s nothing new there. I think motion is becoming more important to designers–telling stories with design as the frame is of interest. I’m not sure I’m all that keen on design as “art.” The days of Barbara Kruger–or at least when she was breaking new ground–are kind of over. Anyway, we’ll see what comes next as students graduate and do great things with their talents.

Read more

Summer Of The Stadia Shuffle

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Last week we were surprised to see that the Jets thing hadn’t slowed down or calmed down or stopped, but was instead actually going full-speed ahead, just like every single New York City planning project ever does! Curbed today points out that not everyone knows what’s going on there, not even the investigatory reporters charged with uncovering this oh-so-scintillating story. They say

The Daily News makes it sound like groundbreaking on an 80,000-seat playpen in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (on the former site of the World’s Fair Fountain of the Planets) is just a matter of formalities…

whereas even just Newsday’s title “Jets run Queens option” is far more diss-tastic.

If Matt Higgins would only love us like he used to, we’d have more inside. For now, we’ll take the bones we can get and throw them your way.

Looks Like Someone Else Decided To Get All Textual, As Well

Remind us to crack the whip more often, as we’re loving the results.

These logos below are giving us a little bit of a run for our critical money. On the one hand, they’re definitely designed. On the other hand, the cleverness is in the words. So where do these stand? Icon or catchphrase? Banner or wordplay? This has all just gone horribly awry.

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Making Money Must Be Nice

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In between chilling with his boy Brad, discussing biopics with his man Sydney, and firing the people who, arguably, made him what he is today, Frank Gehry designed a clock. Last time we looked at Fossil watches we were at that stage where dyeing your hair pink is hella rebellious instead of just par for the course, but the clock Frank did for them is very Gehry-ish. In that it’s got curves where everyone else has got straights. And with that, we’ve encapsulated his entire oeuvre.

Nothing Can Match The Thrill Of Seeing Your Name In Print

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The long hard road of our fledgling, um, career started with twenty minutes in the Princeton Architectural Press offices. The aftermath started out pissy; now we’re just grateful. Skin of our teeth and all. Still, we’ve been keeping an eye on what they’re up to, especially Pamphlet Architecture, the energizer bunny of the small-book scene, starting up again as we write. The competition typically gets won by on-the-cusp designers. LTL before Ini Ani. Steven Holl before porosity. Lebbeus Woods before tripping face.

Call for entries for PA 28 is up.

To promote and foster the development and circulation of architectural ideas, Pamphlet Architecture is again offering an opportunity for architects, designers, theorists, urbanists, and landscape architects to publish their designs, manifestos, ideas, theories, ruminations, hopes, and insights for the future of the designed and built world. With far-ranging topics including the alphabet, algorithms, machines, and music, each Pamphlet is unique to the individual or group that authors it. This call for ideas seeks projects that possess the rigor and excitement found throughout the rich history of Pamphlet Architecture.

Just trying to catch up to academia, one ruminated musical algorithm at a time.

Looks Like Someone Decided To Get All Textual Or Something

Soemtimes, all kids need is a little reprimanding . Two more logos we dragged ourselves home to:

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(unbeige is the new black….or is black the new unbeige?)

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(unbeige is the new black…or is black the new unbeige?…at any rate, it’s definitely not pink…yes, fuck pink)

Um, thank you?

The Cool Thing About The Internets Is Instant Publishing Capability

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This just in (via the second architecture gossip column) from the kids at TAN, the Architect’s Newspaper. We love them, we love it, and we love the internets.

The Architect’s Newspaper introduces news postings on our website. We will post breaking stories every week, along with our current issue feature and EavesDrop, the world’s first architecture gossip column.

They’re just so ON IT!

It’s Just So Heartwarming When You Remember Meeting Them And Then You See Their Furniture For Sale

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Earlier this year, someone, for some reason, paid us to go to a party and make nice with a bunch of Dutch kids from the Design Academy Eindhoven. We hadn’t really thought about them since then, except to fondly remember their sheer excitement at being in New York City, having a party thrown for them in a space that we heard had something, however vague, to do with Donna Karan. And then here we were today, drifting around the interwebs, when we came across (via Coolhunting) two of our very favorite pieces from the show. Which are now actually being manufactured. “How to Plant a Fence” by Joep Verhoeven, and “Industrialized Wood” by Jeroen (yes relation) Verhoeven. The first is a re-thinking of a chainlink fence, the wires pulled together, while the second is a table manufactured out of a ship-milling C+C machine, something we remember architects being obsessed with even back when we were just total pains in our studio professors’ realities.

For real, both of them are awesome because there’s absolutely no easy way (for us) to tell how they were made. Which for us, scientific-minded empiricists that we are, is more than enough to make us have to go for a walk.

Man, Are We Still Psyched!!!

Logo contest is still going on, kids, but the entries are slowing down a bit. Come on. Design. That’s what this is all about, after all. And, for real, since this is our wheelhouse, we’ll give you a secret. There’s nothing cooler for your resume than being the unbeige logo winner. Trust us.

In the meantime, here are two more for your viewing dis/pleasure.

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We Do Just Oh So Love The Theater, Don’t We Darling

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Certain of our critics have compared our latent Machiavellianism to Eve Harrington’s, so we were thrilled to discover that we might have more in common with her than a simple desire for complete usurpation. That, kids, is a keen interest in the theater. So we were (and this is a rarity) thrilled to discover that this week, as part of the New York International Fringe Festival (as a requisite shout-out it’s got nothing on Edmonton’s), four plays are being staged at the Center for Architecture. Yes, this is the second post about them today. No, we are not in their pockets. At least not any more than in anyone else’s. (Although we’re up for a chat should anyone be interested in purchasing our middling integrity).
But with no further ado about nothing on a midsummer day’s blog, here they are.

The Magnificent Hour (responsible for our tasty image)
In Search of Stanley Hammer
LOL
The Crazy Locomotive

It’s really too bad we get such bad cases of the sympathy nerves.

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