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Archives: January 2013

Design Museum Announces ‘Designs of the Year’ Shortlist


MOCA Cleveland, Konstantin Grcic’s Medici chair, and the 2012 Olympic Cauldron are among the Designs of the Year contenders.

Rare is the shortlist that includes the work of Renzo Piano, a zombie-apocalypse-themed smartphone app, and a non-stick ketchup bottle (straight out of MIT), but so it is with the 2013 Designs of the Year nominees, announced today by London’s Design Museum. The more than 90 contenders represent “the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months” across seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product, and transport. Among the notable nods are Farshid Moussavi‘s smart and shiny Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, the Wind Map created by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, Front’s bubble-blowing Surface Tension Lamp (which kept crowds mesmerized last month at Design Miami), the Dior ready-to-wear debut of Raf Simons, and Irma Boom‘s new identity for the soon-to-reopen Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. An exhibition opening March 20 at the Design Museum will bring together all of the nominated designs in advance of the award announcements in April. In the meantime, pick your favorites from the complete shortlist (below).
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Inside IDEO Founder David Kelley’s Ettore Sottsass-Designed Home

In a recent 60 Minutes segment, Charlie Rose and producer Katherine Davis profiled IDEO co-founder David Kelley (and revealed that even Steve Jobs himself struggled in getting AT&T to activate one of the first iPhones). This part of the piece, in which Rose pays a visit to Kelley’s Ettore Sottsass-designed home near Palo Alto, ended up on the cutting room floor, but CBS has released it as an online extra. “It’s supposed to be a humble, private house, where you don’t make a big deal out of it,” Kelley tells Rose. “That’s why it’s so plain on the front.” Sottsass studded the living room with bluish green boxes, to break up the space and make it more cozy. Here, Kelley reveals what’s inside them. Plus, his teenage daughter has an entire little (Monopoly-style) house to herself. Notes Kelley, “Ettore thought that if you were a kid you should have your own house rather than your own room.”


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Quote of Note | OK Go’s Tim Nordwind on 2013

“I want this year to be the year of the DIY gadget maker. People who have really good ideas should be able to find a way to fund them through Kickstarter and other sites. OK Go’s style is very DIY. We make our own videos; we make our own records. In the beginning, our videos were made for next to nothing, but we were able to put them out there and anyone with a computer and access to the Internet could watch them. I like that style of making–just having a good idea and letting people decide whether they like or not.”

-Tim Nordwind, bassist for OK Go and Pyramids, in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal

OK Go’s most recent video, “Needing/Getting”:

Wanted: Designer Who Lives on the Edge

The coast is clear for a designer who can create dynamic, fresh layouts and assign illustration for all sections of Coastal Living. With an easy, breezy approach to home design, decorating, food, entertaining, and travel, this Time Inc. lifestyle book is looking to add a detail-oriented, typography-savvy multitasker to its art department, in Birmingham, Alabama (where the skies are so blue). Those without expert knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Woodwing need not apply. And tablet design experience is “a huge plus.”

Click to apply for this Coastal Living designer job or view all of the latest Mediabistro design jobs.

F+W Media to Shutter Print’s NYC Operations

This just in: Print parent F+W Media is shuttering the magazine’s New York City office and laying off the New York-based team: executive editor Mason Currey, editor-in-chief Michael Silverberg, and art director Ben King. Current plans call for F+W to continue publishing Print out of the company’s corporate headquarters in Blue Ash, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. “We’re finishing up the April issue,” Silverberg told us today. “That will take us through early February, and then Print is moving to Cincinnati.”

According to a spokesperson for F+W Media, the Print editorial operation will be merged with that of HOW magazine. “Integrating our Design Community into a single dedicated team is designed to create more synergy between our brands and stronger collaboration between the e-media, e-commerce, events, magazines, and books teams that work on its many and varied products,” said Gary Lynch, group publisher. Former Print editor-in-chief Emily Gordon offered a more succinct assessment of the situation. “It’s the end of an era,” she told us.

Kodak Follows Polaroid into Licensing Fray

Still muddling through bankruptcy, Kodak announced late last month that it had inked a deal to sell its digital imaging patents for $525 million. Now comes word that the beleaguered company, which hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 focused on its commercial imaging business, is pulling a Polaroid and licensing the Kodak brand name to Los Angeles-based JK Imaging for consumer products such as digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and portable projectors. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “With more than a century of imaging firsts, there is great significance and value in the Kodak name,” said JK Imaging CEO Joe Atick in a statement issued earlier this week. The first licensed products will debut in the second quarter of this year.

Mark Your Calendar: NY Fashion Film Festival

New York Fashion Week is less than a month away, and the visual/sartorial savants over at the School of Visual Arts’ MPS Graduate Fashion Photography Department are busy putting the finishing touches on the line-up for the third annual New York Fashion Film Festival. Set for the evening of Thursday, January 31 at the School of Visual Arts Theater in NYC, the festival–free and open to the public–will feature a selection of the best fashion films of 2012 to be followed by a panel discussion on the genre and its reshaping of fashion imagery. Enjoy this gorgeous compilation of past featured films as we await details on this year’s films and panelists.

One Show Design: Be in It to Win It

one show goldpencil.jpgThe One Club for Art and Copy is once again gearing up for The One Show, the prestigious annual awards program that recognizes brilliant feats of creativity with coveted golden pencils. So where do you come in? One Show Design, the 12-year-old competition that recognizes excellence in design, from corporate identity and packaging to industrial design and typography. Competition categories range from posters and logo design to infographics and “design for the greater good.” Hope to pick up your gold, silver, or bronze pencil at the One Show Design gala come spring? You’ve got until January 31 to enter. Note the special reduced entry fees for freelance designers.

Marc Jacobs Reveals Favorite of His 33 Tattoos, Plans for 34th

Marc Jacobs is not perfect, but the word is etched–in a distinctly imperfect slant of capital letters–on his right wrist as a reminder of an acceptance mantra (“I’m a perfect being in a perfect world where everything that happens benefits me completely”) he learned in rehab. That’s just one of the fashion designer’s 33 tattoos, many of them inked by Scott Campbell, he told Fern Mallis during a wide-ranging conversation held last night at New York’s 92nd Street Y. As for his favorite, that would be the furniture. “A couch. A Jean-Michel Frank couch that is tattooed right here,” said Jacobs, patting his abdomen. “And ask me why a couch, because everybody does, and there’s no reason. That’s exactly the reason.”

The outline of a classic Frank three-seater is joined by a jubilant SpongeBob SquarePants, Oui magazine logos, a red M&M character, and the world “Shameless.” When Mallis asked about the proliferation of cartoon characters, including the Simpsons-ized likeness of the designer himself, he shrugged. “Well, kids on the beach like them. They’re colorful,” said Jacobs. “I think I see life in a kind of cartoony way, and I like colorful tattoos. I never saw tattoos as a dark thing, or ritualistic.” And he’s already thinking about his next one. “I was talking to my trainer today, and there’s this character on South Park called Manbearpig, and I think we might be fighting over which one of us going to get it.”

Todd Oldham Designs for Sundance Film Festival, from A to Z

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival gets underway next Thursday in Utah, and festivalgoers have Todd Oldham to thank for taking this year’s merchandise in a fresh new direction. The designer not only developed a line of ‘Todd Oldham for the Sundance Film Festival’ gear, including bags and wallets made from recycled festival banners, but also acted as curator for Sundance Film Festival Editions. For the new initiative, he invited Sundance alums such as Morgan Spurlock, Amy Sedaris, and Parker Posey to design a product–a button, a t-shirt, a tote. “It wasn’t hard to get them on board,” said Oldham in an interview with the Sundance Institute. “I did curate, but the art was really in asking the right person for the right task. And they are so talented–Mike White is a great graphic designer as well as filmmaker, Stacey Peralta is an artist, so I knew I had good, wildly creative people.” John Waters whipped up a subversive t-shirt (pictured).

In addition to whimsical apparel and recycled accessories, Oldham also brought his editorial expertise to the festival with a new book, Sundance Film Festival A to Z. He invited 26 illustrious illustrators–including Caitlin Heimerl, Chris Silas Neal, Michele Romero, and Yuko Shimizu–to have their way with one letter, with each letter representing festival films and artists (yup, “R” is for Redford). “We got very sophisticated, learned efforts. Some don’t tell the story at first glance. It’s super fun to try and decipher what the artist saw,” noted Oldham. “Illustrators have vivid imaginations and are usually forced into linear systems with tasked briefs. But we just let people do whatever they wanted and they were delighted to be unedited!” And if you detect a hint of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in the cover art, that’s because it’s the work of Wayne White.

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