Madeline Albright being interviewed about her collection of pins, ie “talking pins.”
The film is a comprised of interviews with 15 designers/educators whose collaborative projects with student design teams at various (mostly architecture) schools won recognition in Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation design awards. Conversation footage is mixed with panning shots of still images, and while many interesting things come up during the film - an overall narrative structure is lacking and makes the effective retention of useful information problematic. The experience of watching Brilliant Simplicity is a bit like watching the pages of a magazine being flipped too fast - you get a title, a subtitle and a few block quotes to go with the glossy images, but aren’t able to absorb any of the information that makes the story relevant to a reader. Curious for a project centered around the concept of design research.
While so many of us have been bemoaning the supposed death of print, it seems Susan S. Szenasy (editor in chief of Metropolis Magazine) has become frustrated by the restrictions of her graphic page layout and has begun to explore the realm of the moving image as a means to share ideas, “bring to life” design and push the boundaries of design graphics without pushing the limits of her budget. Szenasy is very excited about this development, and who can blame her, the rest of the online community has taken to the moving image in a big way. However the proliferation of the digital video format has meant that the bar has been raised, as viewers we expect beautiful cinemagraphics from the DIY production team, we demand a clear and informative narrative arc and the production quality is important. In short, our digital expectations have evolved a lot in the ten years since the Blair Witch Project.
The territory of the moving idea has huge potential as a medium for design thinkers trying to communicate the importance of their practice in a climate where foundational publications, such as ID Magazine, are crumbling. We as a profession seem to not be capable of expressing what we love about design - instead we deal in a shallow transaction of consumer trend and capitalistic aesthetics of mass. Digital is low cost, provides a digestible and common language through which ideas can be put forward in clear and meaningful ways. If we want a dialogue that goes beyond the latest trendy over priced (and advertizing supported) coffee table book, we as a community are going to need to learn to step-it-up on the quality. Didn’t we learn our lesson with the blogosphere?
Brilliant Simplicity could have been a tool to explore the value of research in design, but it stops short in the realm of teaser… too shallow for the practitioner to get much use from the information and too convoluted for the average viewer to come away with coherent understanding of what research means in design today. Yes, we understand that sustainability is good and that technology is here… but if we’re going to have anything important to say and engage our audiences in meaningful conversation, we as a community are going to have care a lot more about the details.
Anicka Yi & Maggie Peng
This is the first handcrafted scent by NY artist Anicka Yi and architect Maggie Peng. The fragrance is inspired by the Fusako Shigenobu, former leader of the Japanese Red Army, who was believed to be in exile in Lebanon for many years after orchestrating some of the group’s most political statements. Yi and Peng have chosen cedar wood as a central theme of this fragrance’s narrative, as cedar is highly regarded in Lebanon as a national emblem. The scent uses three different kinds of cedar wood as its base note, along with violet leaf and nutty heart notes, and top notes of yuzu, shiso leaf, and black pepper. The packaging for this hand-distilled fragrance is made of raw cedar wood, each bottle uniquely (and painstakingly) hand-cut by the creators in architectural geometry, encasing a 10ml glass bottle of liquid within. Shigenobu pics by Noah Sheldon!
via Ooga Booga
In a twist of fate news update: Ron Arad may actually make it into my thesis… never in a million years did I see that coming. I’m not a huge fan of post-modern design, but maybe you’ll be as shocked as I am to discover his recent design for Kenzo limited edition fragrance on that is said to mimic the scent of marble on a woman’s skin is a well-designed multi-sensory experience. Ron Arad, are you going subtle on us? I’m shocked.
Unidentified Fragrance Object for Kenzo, packaging by Ron Arad, fragrance by Aurélien Guichard.
East Village Pigeon Lady