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Archives: April 2007

Lounge72 Delivers Two New People For You To Get To Know

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Sure to provide you with a good feeling all the way out into the weekend, Lounge72 has just recently posted a couple of new interviews in their long-running series of mighty swell ones. First up comes fantastic illustrator, Genevieve Gauckler, who says, among lots of interesting things, this about becoming a working designer:

Becoming an illustrator and a graphic designer took me a lot of time. When I left school, I would say it took me about 10 years to learn all the different aspects of my job. Art school helps but it’s obviously not enough. It gave me the opportunity to experience a lot of techniques (photography, silk screening, and typography) to kind of have a better idea of my skills. Having access to a very good library and meeting other students was also really helpful. And I’ll always remember my 2 Swiss typography teachers, Rudi Meyer and Peter Keller!

Second comes an interview with the Venezuela-based designer, MASA. In it, he talks about moving from a tiny group, into a slightly larger collective, then coming back to just him:

MASA started as a duo, then we grew up, and became 3, then 6 individuals. Since January 2005 I decided to move on: now MASA is just me I expand or contract MASA with the need of the projects. I do all the processes via e-mail, ichat and video chat. I only work for 2 clients in Venezuela…The rest of my clients and projects are located in Germany, L.A, Amsterdam, Brazil, NYC and Japan.

It’s Graduation Time at RISD and We’re All Invited

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From Mitch Goldstein we got a tip about the upcoming graduation ceremony at the Rhode Island School of Design on June 2nd. Here’s from Mitch:

I just wanted to give UnBeige a heads up about the commencement ceremony at RISD this year: the keynote will be author Gore Vidal, also Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Richard Leacock will be getting honorary degrees. The reason this may be relevant to post on the site is because the commencement ceremony is a first-come, first served seating, so really anyone can go. I am sure there are some huge Gore Vidal fans out there. Here a PDF with all the information.

Mitch, if we were going to be anywhere nearby, we’d be there in a heart beat. Instead, we’ll be here, hoping that some of our readers attend and send us some feedback.

Richard Meier Can’t Wait to Show You His Models

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It was revealed today that architect Richard Meier keeps a collection of models–some used, some unused–in a bare-bones, poorly-lit building in Long Island City. Apparently you can even visit with the models by making “appointments” on Fridays. Call (212)967-6060 for a good time.

We always knew that Meier was a sick, sick man.

Millenials Love Great Design and They’re Willing to Pay for It, Dammit

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We’re never sure exactly which generation we fit into–as cuspers, we float between Gen X and Gen Y depending on which song is playing on our iPod. But we’re always curious to know what those Millenials are up to, seeing as they’re young and hip and have the coolest name of all, unless you count the Greatest Generation.

According to this study by Kelton Research and commissioned by Autodesk, Millenials have made great design a priority, right down to their choice in video game equipment:

They are willing to pay more for an appealing product design, whether it’s a car (67 percent), furniture (60 percent) or a video game system (31 percent). They give serious thought to public spaces (66 percent), beauty and architecture (42 percent) when considering relocation to a new city. Nine in 10 Millennials also care more than any other age group about sustainable design of new buildings for well-being and resource efficiency.

Wow, these design-savvy Millenials are finally going to save America from its bad taste syndrome, you think. Think again. Here’s the most revealing finding from the study:

Three-quarters of those surveyed — and more, among 30- to 39-year-olds — said they have enjoyed a movie simply because of its visual effects, despite other flaws.

Madrid’s Subway A Mess, The People Blame Rafa Sanudo

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A good example of how one designer can create a whole bunch of commentary out of something as seemingly normal as a subway map, The Times reports on the bitterness the people of Madrid are feeling for Rafa Sanudo who was commissioned to redesign the map. Apparently, while it makes sense to visitors unfamiliar to the city, those who live there are infuriated that the whole system has been completely rearranged. Here’s some:

Stations that were on a straight line now appear divided by 90-degree turns. The geographical relationship between many well-known spots appears to have been reversed. Others complain that stations that appear to be linked on the map are in fact blocks apart — a complaint familiar to users of the London Underground.

Anden 1, a group of Madrid train enthusiasts, has attacked the new map as “confusing and illegible” and called for it to be withdrawn. “Even a schematic map should have some minimal relationship to the geography of the city,” it said.

Dwell Gets In Trouble With the Competition Police

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By way of Archinect, we learned of the hot water Dwell is in for their Infinity Design Challenge: San Francisco. The contest involves designers submitting ideas for the interiors of three floors of the Infinity building. And those who win, well, they get to put their designs into practice, getting budgets of $75,000. But, as the rules spell out extremely clearly, they definitely don’t get a piece of any of that money — they just get to do more work after the work they put into their entry. This isn’t sitting so well with people. Just browse through the comments section of The Bustler or in Archinect’s own new forum, “Dwell Competition to Exploit Young Designers for Free Work.” Just by that name, you get an idea of the reaction.

Mule Design Makes With the Funny

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Just a bit of fun to start the morning off right. From Mule Design‘s blog, they’ve got “Let’s Make Fun of Things,” which places two magazine covers together, stating that one is real while the other is fake. Then it clearly points out the one that’s real and how upsetting that is. Here’s some:

…a hint about magazine design: I’m sure that the Robert Scoble story about how a pudgy white male (full disclosure: I am a pudgy white male) made good even as all the odds were stacked against him is incredibly uplifting, but try not to bury your subjects at the bottom of the page. Especially when they’re looking a little creepy and holding cameras. See how the guy on the right is in a nice inspirational pose? He looks hot, right? People buy magazines because they’re aspirational.

Michael Bierut Ready to Shake Up the Shake Shack

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We have, at this very moment, been paid a visit by our friendly neighborhood UPS delivery man, who came bearing gifts in the form of the yellow beauty you see above: Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut. As far as we can tell, designer Abbott Miller set each of these 79 essays in a different typeface, so after you read the thing a whole other level of entertainment can be found by puzzling over why each one was chosen especially for that topic. We also were wondering how Bierut was going to handle including the hyperlinks from his adapted Design Observer essays, but there is a succinct little appendix in the back that includes background and links for each piece. It’s a nice touch.

And we absolutely love this news: The day the book is published, there will apparently be a party at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (just a hop, skip and a jump from Pentagram’s office, mind you). And get this: The Shack’s got a camera planted atop its delicious self so even those not in NYC can raise a Fluffer Nutter concrete along with the rest of the well-wishers. Stay tuned for details so you can tune in, too.

CalArts Posters Ready to Shake Up American Soil

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The CalArts exhibition “Earthquakes & Aftershocks” is finally returning home after an international tour: It recently showed at both the Galerie du Clontre at Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs at the Louvre Museum, thanks to CalArts alum and organizer Jerome Saint-Loubert Bie.

The 64 silkscreened posters by students in the graphic design program were created to promote the school’s endless stream of visiting artists and cultural events from the past two decades, including some pretty big names. View all the posters here or buy the exhibition catalog designed by Yasmin Khan and Jon Sueda, which is available from Amazon France, bien sur.

The exhibition can be viewed at LA’s Barnsdall Art Park from Friday, May 4, 2007 until Sunday, June 24, 2007 with an opening reception on Sunday, May 6 from 2 to 5pm.

David Rees’ Presentation Technique Is Unstoppable

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Being the somber, sullen dullards we are, it takes one heck of a wack from the humor stick to get us laughing over here at UnBeige. Now imagine us, with our perma-frowns, listening to this podcast from SVA’s MFA Designer as Author series featuring David Rees, the horrendously outrageous but blissfully honest comic artist. We were beyond laughing. We were literally crying.

As attested by his work, Rees pretty much sits at home and cracks himself up all day, and that’s what he does in this presentation, too. He uses an overhead projector to show his work (Wikipedia link for those born after 1987) and easily wins this week’s George Lois Award for Most Gratuitous Profanity.

But Rees also inflects some rather inspired comments about doing stuff that matters, namely by pointing out some stomach-churning ads produced after 9/11 and showing how he’s trying to agitate the political arena through his own work. In short, he’s simply fearless–proven without a doubt during the second part when he delivers six failed stand-up jokes that all incorporate the same very bad pun. He doesn’t care who laughs; he’s giggling so hard he can hardly get the words out.

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