I am always impressed by destination branding done right. It seems like a lot of tourism logos get lost in a sea of meaningless swirls, suns and flags. To capture the true essence of what makes a place special and do it in a unique and conceptually rich way is quite tricky. Below are a few of my favorite that seem to have done it right.
IDEO has launched their semi-annual design review, Designs On—. This issue focuses on packaging, and past topics have included birth, global warming, and time. While the work is theoretical, it is free to explore the topics that concern us most with simple, clever, and thought provoking solutions— design at its most “human”. The chopsticks packaging design featured above, was developed by Gregory Perez and Guoning Hu as a reminder of the environmental effects of the 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks consumed in China every year.
We are lucky enough to be located next door to a couple of photographer & graffiti artist JR’s iconic pieces. Starting out in the grimier side of Paris, his work focuses on the cracks in society and giving a face to the people and issues that can be easy to ignore. The physical scale of each piece is dramatic and unexpected, but always compellingly human. He’s taken on a much larger global ambitions, supported by TED— bringing identity to major social issues in Haiti, Tunisia, North Dakota, and beyond… Catch this documentary on his work on HBO.
One of most influential of all the rock-subgenres, Punk’s DIY ethics, deconstructed instrumentation, and often maliciously vulgar lyrics sewed the seeds for countless styles of music since mid 70′s. Opened this past weekend at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, PUNK: Chaos to Couture showcases a collection of Punk-inspired high fashion from famed design houses such as Versace, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen.
Museum patrons looking into the exhibit online will most likely find negative reviews. The standard critique seems to be the exhibit’s inability to truly infuse the DIY aesthetic, working class roots, and anti-establishment values into such an elitist and unobtainable art form such as high fashion.
I was able to visit the exhibit this weekend and I can truly say that I don’t find fault with the concept. I feel that the strangest, most jarring mergers of aesthetics and values can yield some of the most inspired and original work, whether it being music, fashion, or design.
However, walking in with more knowledge of Punk bands than I do of fashion, I was let down with the exhibit’s failure to truly portray the history of Punk through its supporting visuals or any kind of music. Even while the opening room was dedicated to showcasing “real” Punk fashion, true historical examples were condemned to dark corners and reproductions of famous locales (most notably CBGB’s bathroom) were suspiciously clean. While each subsequent room was dedicated and inspired by a different punk aesthetic, none of them truly captured the filth, vandalism, and general disregard that Punk domains became famous for.
Authenticity aside, I was taken back by how extravagant and well crafted the garments were. Even breastplates made of broken dishes, and gowns constructed of Tyvek shipping wrap were welded, sewn, and fused with the greatest of detail. Dresses made of garbage bags and their contents exploited the textures of found materials. Explosions of color, safety pins, and studs highlighted DIY inspired details.
Overall, I thought the exhibit succeeded as an exercise in fantasy and should be a good introduction to those unfamiliar with Punk. The attire on exhibit was exciting and thought provoking, even if the Punk inspirations were vague and at times, cliché. If you wish to dive a bit deeper into Punk, I would highly recommend a trip downtown to the East Village and stop in the crust infested bars, clothing shops, and record stores. It may have cleaned up since its heyday, but a good eye and some research will reveal a fantastic story. If you can’t make the trip, you should check out Beardwood&Co.’s work with CBGB found here: Featured Work
Finally, check out the exhibit here:
PUNK: Chaos to Couture
Jonathan Adler inspired the audience at FUSE 2013 by structuring his talk around a virtual tour of the house he and husband, Simon Doonan, designed and built for themselves on Block Island. His signature style and intimate descriptions of personal tchotchkes and design choices opened a window into the mind of this design juggernaut.
However, it was Jonathan’s inspirations that we’re most interesting and revealing. When designing the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, he created a fictitious muse, Mrs. Parker, to inspire and guide his choices. Instead of focusing on what the client or future guest would find appealing, Mr. Adler chose an aspirational, eccentric and extravagant character to guide his design decisions. Read More…
A few weeks ago, Sarah Williams visited the Corita Kent exhibit at Skimore College, in Saratoga NY. The exhibit, Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, is the first full-scale survey of more than thirty years of work by Corita Kent (1918–1986). Corita Kent was one of the most popular American graphic artists of the 1960s and ’70s. She is commonly known for her experimentation with printmaking and her vibrant, Pop-Art inspired messages that influenced many. Corita kent is an artist, an educator, and an activist. Read More…
I have a new toy – the kind that makes it hard to concentrate because all I want to do is play. It’s a camera! Not a shiny SLR or point-and-shoot with web access. It’s a plastic, completely manual camera of the kind that was invented in the 60s as a cheap novelty and should be entirely obsolete to the high-tech smartphone in my pocket… but is not. Read More…
This is cool! Recently I was traveling in through Charlotte NC and saw this forward thinking idea.
For our annual Beardwood&Co. holiday party this year, we wanted to go someplace special. We contacted home/made in Red Hook, Brooklyn to see if they’d be able to host us so soon after Hurricane Sandy devastated the restaurant. Red Hook was one of the hardest hit areas, with water reaching chest high and wiping out utilities, equipment, and merchandise in the small independently owned stores that line the low-lying streets.