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Archives: December 2006

UnBeige Looks Back: A 2006 Musical Review

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Sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne”

Well, Ze got cool and Yves more hot,
Bierut was on our mind.
How could old Gehry be forgot,
UnBeige loves all design!

Pasadena to Aspen, far and near,
Austin was the best time,
Through the Midwest, HOW and Y we jet,
We travel for design!

In soccer, hockey and basketball,
Ugly” vs. “Pretty” online,
Even by Prince Charles and Scarlett,
You can’t escape design!

And spec’s bad for design, as feared,
Or not, or maybe it’s fine,
Except for these guys, you all should get
Paid more when you design!

Does gender matter? Are women stars?
Did Laura Bush miss the NDA 5?
We loved when Nussbaum threw a fit,
Who says it’s quiet in design?

Vanity Fair got design this year,
Newsweek and Food+Wine,
We’ll take the press but don’t forget
To credit who did design.

Brad Pitt became our poster child,
Adnan Hajj‘s clones got denied,
Sexy Heller‘s millionth book was writ,
What a year for old design!

So thanks for tips and linkage, dears,
You helped us make this rhyme,
We’ll see you in the new year with
More ways to waste your time!

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Getting Graphic In Cincinnati

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Our sometime-Midwest stringer Emily Burton alerts us to “Graphic Content: Contemporary and Modern/Art and Design,” a huge show currently being mounted by the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati. Rotating galleries will devote serious space to Ohio-based midcentury designers and painters, contrasting them with works and installations by contemporary artists. The current show is apparently a winner: Charley Harper and Malcolm Grear vs. Ryan McGinness. Since you’ll remember Harper (above) for his collaboration with Todd Oldham (scroll down) for the textile patterns in Oldham’s signature La-Z Boy line, you’ll see it’s fitting, then, that Oldham designed the exhibition. The current combo’s up through February 26, 2007.

24 Great Music Videos Besides “That OK Go One”

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We know you’re not really at work this week–who are we kidding?–but if you were, here’s a great way to fritter away those final few hours before poppin’ the cork on 2007. Friend of the Un Randy J. Hunt pointed his mouse towards Pitchfork’s roundup of the Top 25 Music Videos of 2006.

Personally, we thought the year’s best moment in music videos was keyed in with the green screen of the Decemberists. But we also ‘specially love directing collective Pleix’s airborne pooches (who we picked up on earlier this year); and of course, we have a soft spot in our choreographic hearts for OK Go. Really, how could we forget?

Sam Hecht’s Quiet Brilliance

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BW’s Helen Walters covers the “holistic approach” to design for tiny UK shop Industrial Facility, which is best known as home to Sam Hecht, who is best known (to us at least) as the papa of Muji, designer-worthy wonderland of goods that can largely only be found in lands besides our own. Witty, sweet Hecht was one of the highlights of AIGA’s Gain Conference, where he showed the “balance of simplicity and impact” that makes for some of our favorite Muji-things.

Make Your Champagne Dreams and Caviar Wishes Come True

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After the last of the bubbly has been swilled, stash the cork, foil, cage and label from two of those Champagne bottles and twist up a chair fit for a very small king. Design Within Reach’s annual Champagne Chair Contest. The grand prize is a $1500 gift certificate from DWR (cool, you can buy the cushion for the Barcelona couch!) and notoriety among your peers. If this New Year finds you teetotaling, never fear, you can stop by your friendly neighborhood DWR and pick up a kit, courtesy of the fine folks at Veuve Clicquot. Check out last year’s finalists, winner Krista Charles is to the right. Entries are due January 15.

We’d actually like to see a slightly amended version of this contest, where you have to construct the chair immediately after consuming two bottles of Champagne.

Noah K. Moves From “That One Guy” To “Who Is That Guy?” In Under a Year

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By way of Waxy we found this story in the Washington Post about artist/photographer/internet celebrity, Noah Kalina, and his inclusion in the VH1 “Big in 06″ awards show. The producers of the program got in touch with him and asked, for interstitials for the show, if he would do something similar to the project that made him, his “Take a Picture of Myself Everyday for Six Years” experiment, except this time with celebrities coming off stage.

The concept was pretty straightforward. I would basically take my photo in the same fashion that I have done my everyday project, just with the celebrities in the frame. All of the photos would run as a time-lapse during the credits. I even sent them photos of my bedroom which they put as the background. I had a lot of creative control as to how it was to go down, so I was satisfied.

Frank Gehry on the Death of Frank Gehry

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A good read in the WSJ the other day, a very sobering interview with Frank Gehry about, largely, his own death. It’s grim, but typical of the famous architect, casual and confident:

Another aspect of Mr. Gehry’s old-fashioned virtue is his concern for what will happen to his employees once he dies. When I ask him if his age adds greater urgency to picking projects and finishing projects, Mr. Gehry says, “No. I am not that megalomaniac. No, I think the day will come and . . .”

Then apropos of very little in particular, he says, “What I am interested in is, since it’s 150 people here and a lot of people’s lives and futures depend on it, how do you create a succession?” Again Mr. Gehry sounds passionate. “There’s a way to leave it and pull the plug and I am fine and they”–referring to his employees–”lose.” As part of managing for his own death, Mr. Gehry has been trying to build the public personae of the people who work for him, trying to direct some of the limelight that seems always oriented towards him in their direction. In the catalogs and exhibits devoted to his work, he makes sure to mention the people who worked with him on his various projects.

Times Square One Big Target This New Year’s Eve

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Target takes on another New York icon, and this time, thousands of innocent bystanders will be unable to avert their eyes from the seductive red bull’s-eyes. NY Daily News reports that come Sunday, Times Square will be “Targetad” (we wish we had come up with that):

The retail giant will distribute 30,000 pairs of 3D glasses along Seventh Ave. and Broadway, between 43rd and 47th Sts., that will transform the extravaganza’s fireworks into glowing “Target bull’s-eyes.”

The glasses will also enable viewers to see Target’s logo coming out of the 1,070-pound ball as it drops on New Year’s Eve.

In an additional tie-in, Target designer Isaac Mizrahi will be gracefully suspended from a nearby building and gently squeeze the ball as it makes its descent.

A Peek Inside Cabinet

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Cabinet‘s one of those magazines which truly lives up to its name: Every time we open it, our curiosity is rewarded with oddities, keepsakes, treasures, and delightfully well-written junk. This tomato treatise, for example, was so compelling it just sent us into the kitchen craving some wayward ruby fruits.

Paul Laster conducts this interview with editor Sina Najafi about what makes Cabinet, and, more importantly, what makes Cabinet different.

The Few, The Proud, The Ones Who Are Interesting Enough to Meet

Just a heads up. If you think you can get off work for a year and do some high-profile learning, your application for the new class of W+K 12 is due on January 12th. The brief: “Make us want to meet you.” Even if you don’t think you’ve got what it takes, the site is loads of fun.

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