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Archives: July 2008

Prada and Koolhaas Get Together to Rebuild Hard Labor Fashion Camp


What happens when you get Prada together in the same room as Rem Koolhaas? ArtInfo has the info on their recent collaboration, a big update/redesign of the Prada Foundation’s headquarters, which already sort of looks something like a cross between a Soviet housing complex, a prison, and a midwestern factory of the future (Koolhaas’ plans bring out that look even more). We guess all of those things together equals fabulousness. Or maybe we just feel that way because the included image is rendered all in greys and is floating on an all-white background (though what sort of looks like a guard tower in the corner certainly doesn’t help anything — we’re guessing that’s where Miuccia‘s evil mind ray will be placed, maintaining fashionable order within the camp at all times). Here’s a bit:

An auditorium, a tower and an exhibition building will be added to the seven existing structures and courtyard, creating a total of 188,000 square feet of space for shows, including an innovative hybrid storage and display area.

So How Expensive Was the 02138 Redesign?


A few days back, we reported on the news that the Harvard/NYC-focused magazine 02138 was hiring two industry icons for a complete redesign, George Lois and Pentagram‘s Luke Hayman. Our old pal and former coworker Dylan Stableford got to thinking about said facelift and these major hires at the helm of the project and wondered just how much such an undertaking would cost. Would it be, he asked, “The Most Expensive Regional Redesign Ever?” Turns out, not many people wanted to answer that question, including 02138′s owners. However, never one to back down, the legendary Roger Black wasn’t afraid to guestimate, putting the whole redesign at around $120,000.

Friday Photo: Holy Interlocking Plastic Bricks, Batman!

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Photo: Tina Dupuy

Today’s Friday Photo is fresh from the jam-packed Comic-Con, which runs through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center, and comes to you courtesy of our left coast sister blog, FishbowlLA. Braving the ‘Con without a fanciful costume or a Y chromosome, FishbowlLA’s Tina Dupuy describes the sprawling event as “a slow slogging sea of sweaty fan boys rubbing up against one another.” On the bright side, there is no line for the women’s restroom, leaving her ample time to snap this photo of a Lego version of the caped crusader, who stubbornly refused to sign autographs.

Chip Kidd’s Artbreak to Play Joe’s Pub


The wait is almost over. Artbreak, the music project destined to make Chip Kidd a rock star as well as a graphic design star, is breaking out with its live full-set debut at Joe’s Pub in New York City on Monday, August 4. Backed by Artbreakers Mars Trillion, Paul Schellack, and Dylan Wissing, Kidd will croon such New Wavey original hits-to-be as the positively infectious “Filigree” (we’re considering getting the “Know it all / SuperBall / It’s no use…” lyric tastefully tatooed on our lower extremities) and debut the Gary Nadeau-directed video for “Asymmetrical Girl.” We’ve got our tickets (buy yours here), but they’re sure to go fast as today’s New York Post reminded readers of the origins of the band’s name: “our Aug. 27, 2006, headline, ‘Artbreaking’—about famed quadriplegic artist Chuck Close‘s battle with a condo project threatening to block his studio’s sunlight.” And speaking of sunlight, if you’re in San Diego at Comic-Con, visit Kidd at the Pantheon booth, where he’s promoting his imminent Bat-Manga! book, or at the DC booth, where he’s signing copies of his Final Crisis and Trinity logo designs. And tell him UnBeige sent you!

Ross Lovegrove Attempts to Predict the Future


Ross Lovegrove, he of the pointy grey goatee, has been chatted up by CNN for their feature “Just Imagine…What Will Life Be Like in 2020?” (we don’t really understand the reason for the ellipses either). In the interview, Lovegrove speculates on all sorts of things, from architecture to city life to what exactly “modern” will be after we’ve been in the “modern” age for almost hundred years already. Although he doesn’t predict a future filled with cyborg dragons and electric sno-cones like we’re really hoping for (hence Stephanie’s multiple tattoos which portray both in great detail), it’s still a pretty good conversation with a guy who will probably help deliver us whatever we’re into come 2020:

I have to think about the future because, not that I’m bored with it now, but I can’t live now, it’s not my place to live now. I’ve got to live ahead of myself. I think that’s a kind of beautiful thing and I often say everything that I visualize in here, everything that I could draw, or create to show people has been influenced by my life experiences, what I see, what I know, what I learn, everything.

Laurent Vernhes Believes the End is Near for Designer Hotels


For years it seems like we’ve been hearing about fancy new designer hotels, and have even reported on it from time to time, like with Philippe Starck‘s work coming and going to even Motel 6 deciding that it’s time to update their image. But what sort of seems like a good thing, hotels either embracing better design or at least updating their tired looks, Laurent Vernhes doesn’t necessarily agree in this post as a guest blogger over at the NY Times. Instead, he says, there has become a wave of hotels that have gone after “design” but never really stopping to figure out just what exactly “design” means, resulting in a whole slew of temporary residences that are difficult for guests to function inside of. What’s more, because of this “do it quick because everyone else is doing it!” trend, Vernhes forecasts that we’re nearing the end of the “designer” or “boutique” hotels. Only time will tell, we suppose. Having stayed in a few ourselves that certainly weren’t up to the standards they thought came with million dollar redesigns, instead looking like former roadside motels gussied up after a trip to Target, we certainly hope he’s onto something.

The Revolving Door: MoMA Hires Juliet Kinchin as New Design and Architecture Curator


It looks like Paola Antonelli is going to have a new pal around the office, as it’s been announced that Juliet Kinchin is moving from the Glasgow School of Art to become the MoMA‘s newest curator of the museum’s design and architecture department. But it looks like Antonelli doesn’t have to worry too much about her new employee sneaking up and stealing her gig as the senior curator, because while she focuses on the newer stuff, like the recent “Design and the Elastic Mind,” Kinchin’s specialty is apparently art and design from the past two centuries, which should now make the department a force to be reckoned with. Here’s some about her past:

Ms. Kinchin comes to MoMA from the Glasgow School of Art, where she was a senior lecturer of art and design. She has also taught at the Bard Graduate Center for Study in the Decorative Arts and was a curator of decorative arts in several Glasgow museums and art galleries and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Wanted: Photo Editor Who Can Cover All the Bases

ethused baseball.jpgHey photo researchers and editors, think you’re ready for the major leagues? Then bat around this opportunity: Major League Baseball is seeking a photo editor in its midtown Manhattan office. The all-star position, which we like to think involves hobknobbing with and photographing Mr. Met, in fact entails everything editing and identifying images submitted by photographers to serving as photo editor for all MLB publications. Bring your PhotoShop skills and “excellent knowledge of baseball,” but probably best to leave your trusty mitt (and performance-enhancing drugs) at home.

Learn more about and apply for this photo editor, Major League Basebell job or view all of the current design/art/photo jobs.

Back and Blue: Get a Sneak Preview of New Terminal 5

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Above: Rendering of JetBlue’s new Terminal 5 at JFK. Courtesy Gensler.

What do you get when you combine JetBlue, Eero Saarinen‘s landmark TWA flight center, and $750 million? Find out on Wednesday, July 30, when the Museum of the City of New York sponsors “Spotlight on Design: New York’s Airports,” a discussion that promises a sneak preview of JetBlue’s new terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport—and its dazzling incorporation into Saarinen’s landmark building—weeks before it opens to beleaguered air travelers. Hear about the challenges and creative potential for redesigning New York City’s airports from speakers Richard Smyth, vice president of JetBlue, who is in charge of the new JFK JetBlue terminal; David Z. Plavin, consultant and former president of Airports Council International-North America; William R. DeCota, director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and Jeff Zupan, a senior fellow for transportation at the Regional Plan Association. While we can’t promise that there will be blue tortilla chips, we can offer free admission to the event when you make advance reservations and mention UnBeige. To reserve your spot, call (212)534-1672, ext. 3395, or e-mail

iPhone, WWI Museum, Aerodynamic Golf Umbrella Among IDEA08 Winners


The iPhone continues its sweep of design laurels, adding a 2008 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) to its sleek, milky white trophy case. BusinessWeek and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) have announced the 34 other Gold award winners along with 77 Silver and 93 Bronze award winners chosen from 1,517 entries received. For the first time in the competition’s history, 389 finalists have been named in addition to the winners, and the esteemed jury named two designs “Best in Show”: the iPhone (natch) and SizeChina, a design research project that created the first-ever digital database of Chinese head and face shapes. Something tells us that a SizeChina iPhone application is in the works.

Other IDEA08 Gold winners include the National World War I Museum designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, noted by juror Barbara Flanagan for its use of “emotional drama—theatrical lighting, poignant artifacts, plenty of dirt—to elicit the ethical questions we keep forgetting to ask.” The sole Gold winner in the personal acccessories category was the SENZ XL storm umbrella, an asymmetrical golf umbrella that is windproof up to 70 MPH. Other Gold winners included a welding helmet that automatically darkens to protect the wearer’s eyes, the ingenious but difficult to describe EVA Solo trash bin, and the book Design for Democracy: Ballot + Election Design.

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