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Archives: July 2010

New York Names Jennifer Miller Director of Photography

jul_19_nymag.jpgJennifer Miller is going from Cosmopolitan to metropolitan as the new photography editor of New York. The appointment was announced today by editor-in-chief Adam Moss. Miller has served as photography director at Cosmo since last year and previously spent seven years as photo director at Jane. Her experience also includes stints at George, Tar, and Magnum Photos, as well as producing a swell look book for Rag & Bone and teaching photography at Parsons. “Jennifer’s background is gloriously eclectic. She brings experience navigating all points on the art/commerce continuum,” said Moss in a statement. “I think her impact here will be pretty immediate.” Miller will soon begin consulting on fall projects and will officially join the New York staff after Labor Day. She replaces Jody Quon, who was snapped up by Stefano Tonchi to become creative director at W.

A Quick Check-In on World Trade Center Progress

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It’s been months since we checked in with the progress on the World Trade Center building efforts, so why not do that now? At last we left things, 60 Minutes was calling the number of delays over the years “a national disgrace.” The New Yorker‘s Paul Goldberger got into that discussion too. The only positive note around that time was finally seeing a working test of Michael Arad‘s “Reflecting Absence” memorial. So what’s happening now that we’re in the thick of summer, inching ever more quickly to the 10 year anniversary? John Hill‘s always excellent A Daily Dose of Architecture has checked in on the site again via an aerial photo taken by Daniel Acker for Bloomberg. He follows this up with a great rundown on what exactly we’re looking at, where there’s been progress made (which is mostly just a bit more of the Freedom Tower). It’s a short and sweet update, and well-worth checking out if you’re curious to see how far along everything is.

The Royal Institute of British Architects Elects Its First Irish President

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Still basking in the attention of last week’s release of its shortlist for the Stirling Prize, the Royal Institute of British Architects has made some more news for itself with their announcement that they’ve selected a new president. While they elect a new one every two years and have had 73 since their founding, what makes this unique is that Angela Brady, who will take over in September of next year, is Irish. It’s the first time the RIBA has elected their top official from Ireland, and only the second woman to have held the position (the other, Ruth Reed, is the current president). Brady is a founding partner at the firm Brady Mallalieu Architects, spent time working with universities, various workshops, and architecture-based aid groups, as well as having appeared a number of times hosting British and Irish television specials about her industry. Here’s a bit from her statement about what she has planned for the RIBA during her tenure:

“As RIBA President, my priorities will be to ensure the RIBA remains as relevant to its members as possible and to encourage all members to act as advocates for the benefits good design can bring to buildings, communities and the environment. There is a real challenge for us to position architecture and architects as offering real value for money to society — well designed buildings improve peoples’ health, wealth and happiness and that is the message I will be championing during my term in office. I will continue to stress the importance of sustainability in design as well as press for more diversity in the profession. I also aim to increase national and international links within the construction industry, so that we can work collectively to combat some of the environmental and economic problems we all face.

AngryPaulRand Belligerently Conquers the Internet

Exploding all over the design-y corners of the internet at the same speed Unhappy Hipsters managed back in late-January (remember that brief phenomenon?), is the Twittering of AngryPaulRand. Launched on July 16th, the particularly angry version of perhaps the most loved graphic designer of all time has already racked up thousands of followers. And if you work anywhere even remotely connected to design of any kind, you’ve likely had it passed to you at least four times by this point. With choice Tweets like “I had to use poisonous sh*t: lead type, spray adhesive, etc. And you f*&king pu*&ies worry about scratching your wrists on a MacBook Pro” and ” About time you listened to me instead of that wackjob Sagmeister. I made words out of f*%king bananas too. When I was 6,” it’s easy to see why it’s become an instant hit. He’s also spawned AngryRandPaul, so now there’s even something for the political set.

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Inside Electronic Arts’ New Video Game Studio

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(Photos: EA and CLC Associates)

Even video game designers have to toil in the non-virtual world, and Electronic Arts (EA) has just cut the ribbon on a 20,000-square-foot game design studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon hearing from EA that the space was “specifically designed to promote the creation of innovative video game content,” we were curious to see what that looked like, exactly. Paul Hirshi, architectural manager at CLC Associates, opted for a mountain theme. In the hopes of encouraging collaboration among the 100 EA employees who will work in the new studio, the floor plan has few fixed walls, with team spaces given prime views of Utah’s mountains (real ones), cityscape, and parks. The new offices also feature a variety of lighting elements suspended from high ceilings, illuminating metal wave structures that give the illusion of flow and movement. The effect is invigorating if mildly mall-ish: think New York Times building-meets-carnival Matterhorn ride—and we dare anyone to doze off in the bright yellow conference room. Among the first orders of business for the team-friendly space is developing Monopoly Streets. Slated for release later this year, the game will present the 75-year-old board game as a street-level tour of Mr. Monopoly’s fully animated world. How a giant thimble will fit in is still anybody’s guess, although Claes Oldenburg might have some ideas.

Run Away (from Unemployment) and Join the (Mediabistro Career) Circus

vintage circus.jpgWhat’s better than a great conference? A great conference that gives us an excuse to use vintage circus graphics! Back by popular demand is the Mediabistro Career Circus. The second annual confab on how to build a career in the shape-shifting, possibly imploding world of media and beyond is set for next Wednesday, August 4 at Comix in New York City. Repress the urge to perform your stand-up set (or at least keep it to your routine on new media business models—that’s bound to kill with this crowd) and settle in for “an immersive day of expert career guidance, peer support, and techniques for managing your career, whether you’re currently employed or hot on the job search.” Click here for all of the details and then mentally prepare yourself by perusing circusmuseum.nl, our favorite online collection of vintage circus posters.

Electric Windows: Street Artists to Breathe New Life into Vacant Buildings

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Installing the work created during the inaugural “Electric Windows” event in 2008

With our penchant for minimalist sculpture and born-again Nabisco factories, we already have plenty of reasons to visit the the historic river city of Beacon, New York. But should you require an extra nudge, there is “Electric Windows,” a public art event and outdoor exhibition that kicks off at noon this Saturday, July 31. Local art and design purveyors Open Space and Burlock Home have invited 30 street artists to create original, large-scale works that will be permanently installed on the exteriors of vacant 19th-century buildings, including the former electric blanket factory that is the event’s namesake. Among the artists who will fill the giant industrial window frames are Ron English (whose tangy illustrations punched up the flavors in Morgan Spurlock‘s Super Size Me), Logan Hicks, Big Foot, Chor Boogie, and Paper Monster. The organizers expect approximately 5,000 people to come for the art and stay for the live music, dancing, screen printing (courtesy of Buxtonia’s Alison and Garrison Buxton), and after-party at Open Space, where you can admire more works by the participating artists in a companion exhibition called “Electric Walls.” Can’t make it to Beacon on Saturday? Not to worry. Electric Windows will remain on view year-round as a permanent public art destination—consider making it a maximalist pit stop after you’ve had your fill of the the local Lewitts.

Houston Museum Prepares for Life After ‘Lois’ the Now-Bloomed Corpse Flower

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Following up on last week’s most exciting museum story, the blooming of “Lois” the Corpse Flower at the Houston Museum of Natural Science finally took place over the weekend, releasing its terrible stench upon the excited visitors and staff who had been waiting for the moment for the past three weeks. But as quickly as it bloomed, it has already begun its slow, exhausted decline. While the museum’s big burst of enthusiasm (and likely a nice burst of extra revenue) is now over, the Houston Chronicle reports that they plan to leave Lois on display for a while before she’s put in more stable, quiet keeping:

She’ll eventually be unearthed, weighed and dusted with powdered sulfur to prevent damage. When Lois dries off, she’ll be repotted in fresh soil and kept dry until next spring, at which time experts hope she will produce a leaf.

It could take years for Lois to recuperate enough mass to bloom again, experts said, adding that they hope the next time her tuber is bigger and that she’ll be able to produce fruit.

The paper also hints that another rush of publicity with news that “The museum has another corpse flower in the greenhouse that could flower sometime in the future.”

New York‘s Odd James Franco Profile (with Accompanying Synopsis)

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We regularly enjoy New York‘s lengthy stories, particularly their profiles on the interesting and/or famous. And as editors of a site who have written a piece or two about the recent phenomenon of actor James Franco-turned-artist, we were jazzed to read the cover story about him in their latest issue. And while a captivating, though perhaps too lengthy a read, the piece at times gets a little bizarre, particularly when its writer, Sam Anderson, inserts himself into the story. Granted, it’s a first-person profile sort of thing, so he’s supposed to do that, but when Anderson goes on about how crazy it is that Franco wants to continue talking to him while he uses the restroom to the writer suddenly losing his access to the actor/artist, it gets weird. What’s more, it’s difficult to tell whose weirdness it is, Franco’s or Anderson’s. Fortunately, we have ArtInfo‘s Emma Allen, who breaks down the nearly 6,500 words in the piece into this easily digestible, two-page chunk. Although it doesn’t clear up any of the strange, it should serve nicely as a CliffsNotes-esque companion for after you read the original and are likely left more than a bit bewildered.

Frank Gehry Tries His Hand at Curating a Ceramics Exhibition

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Outside of architecture, Frank Gehry has occasionally dabbled in other things, like designing chairs, making jewelry for Tiffany’s, and acting as an unpaid spokesmodel for those “F*&k Frank Gehry” shirts from a few years back. Now he can add “curator” to his resume, as this weekend marked the opening of his exhibition, “Frank Gehry Selects: A Group Show of Ceramics” at the Frank Lloyd Gallery in Santa Barbara, California. Gehry’s interest in ceramics predates his focused involvement in architecture, starting when he took a class in college and his professor, the artist Glen Lukens, recognized his talent and enthusiasm for building and design. Since then, and in apparent honor of Lukens, Gehry has remained a collector and champion of ceramics, some of his collection (and pieces of his own work) now finding its way into this exhibition that will run until August 21st. Here’s a bit:

This exhibition grew out of a conversation between Frank Lloyd and Frank Gehry. It started as a casual idea, and grew into an exhibition — works chosen by Gehry, by people that he knows and respects. It marks an opportunity to see a variety of approaches to ceramic art, in a selection by a world-class architect. The exhibit also demonstrates, once again, the integration of the ceramic arts into the larger world of Southern California art and architecture.

For more reading, here’s the LA Times talking to both Lloyd and Gehry about the exhibition.

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