Posts tagged with "graphic design":

On View> ‘CHGO DSGN’ probes the past and present of Chicago Design

It looks like design history is in the air here in Chicago. The Chicago Design Museum is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to launch an exhibition looking back at 100 years of graphic arts. Chicagoisms just opened at The Art Institute—a meditation on Chicago’s architectural history and mythology that builds off a previous exhibition of unbuilt work reviewed here. Now another exhibit glances at Chicago's design history to better assess its present and future. Chicago’s design history will be on the menu at a new exhibition, CHGO DSGN: Recent Object and Graphic Design, which opens at the Chicago Cultural Center on May 30, from 6:00–10:00p.m. The exhibition runs through November 2, 2014. “Chicago has long been regarded as an international center for design, and this retrospective celebrates the region’s creative and innovative spirit,” reads a press release for the show. Curator Rick Valicenti, who won Cooper Hewitt’s 2011 National Design Award for Communications Design, and display designer Tim Parsons said in a statement that they want to celebrate Chicago’s design history, from early print developments through international modernism, and probe its future with more than 200 works that range from functional objects to theoretical proposals. Among the pieces on display will be Ania Jaworska's 8-foot-tall architectural model, Monument for Them, and an 80-foot print by Chicago photographer Sandro that includes 115 of the exhibitors—an homage to Richard Avedon's famous portrait of the Chicago Seven.  

All The Museums Fit To Print: Artist Reduces Iconic Architecture Into Icons

That's not a line graph, its the Pompidou Center. Graphic designer Yoni Alter has stripped down a number of iconic museum exteriors to their core ingredients. The silhouettes are then swathed in a Miami-vice color scheme for a further dose of abstraction. Despite the neon paint-job, the scales are all accurate, with the Tate Modern and Guggenheim Bilbao looming largest. Signed copies of the print are available for $50 before shipping.

Koolhaas Flag Inspires Designer Skateboard Deck Pattern

Since 2011, skateboarders from all over Europe have flocked to a large concrete slab in OMA’s Museum Park in the city center of Rotterdam as a local spot for tricks and meetups. Nicknamed “Rem’s Flag,” the spot is painted with a massive 492-foot version of the EU Barcode, a multi-colored barcode design by architect Rem Koolhaas, conceived as an equal display of the flags of the European Union. Various objects have been “barcoded” with the Koolhaas flag. The most recent is a set of 80 limited edition skateboard decks, a collaboration between surf-inspired skateboard brand Dufarge and AMO, an OMA think tank, in honor of the Rem’s Flag skating experience. For skaters at Museum Park, the EU Barcode at Rem’s Flag is a challenge: only the best can land their tricks on its straight lines. Working with Generator, a Southern California–based custom skateboard company, Dufarge and OMA scaled the barcode to screenprint on each hand-numbered deck. Taking care to match the country-representative colors exactly, the high quality boards honor Koolhaas’ design and the OMA urban space that has become iconic in the skateboarding world.

NeoCon Taken by “Force”

Fabrikator

Wolf-Gordon’s “Force of Nature” spirals through Chicago’s Merchandise Mart during NeoCon 2013.

Based on the success of Wolf-Gordon’s inaugural NeoCon installation in 2012, chief creative officer Marybeth Shaw commissioned yet another show-stopping design piece for 2013. With the working title “Forces of Nature,” she turned once again to New York City–based design studio karlssonwilker and Brooklyn-based design-build collaborative The Guild to create a sculpture that would showcase the breadth of the company’s textiles and wall coverings. “The title ended up being quite appropriate to the final form, as the sculpture is a geometric construct with all of the resulting physical forces that might spin it out of the Mart’s ‘town square,’” Shaw recently told AN. Karlssonwilker initially conceived of a kinetic sculpture, but Shaw wanted a large installation—nearly 30 feet long and 14 feet wide. At that size, there was no room for movement within the given space, a double-height ceiling over an escalator that would carry 42,000 show attendees. “We wanted it to rotate like a rotisserie chicken, but we went for a larger form,” said Graham Kelman, creative manager for The Guild. Ultimately, the team decided on a static sculpture resembling a twisted spine that gives a sense of movement through color and form. “I lost sleep over whether it would fit because if there was flex in the spine, it wouldn’t work.”
  • Fabricators The Guild
  • Designers karlssonwilker, Marybeth Shaw, The Guild
  • Location Chicago
  • Date of Completion June 2013
  • Material wallcovering, textiles, Masonite, foam, aluminum, plywood, paint, screws
  • Process 3DS Max, SketchUp, CNC milling
The designers worked in SketchUp and 3DS Max to develop layered parameters for 68 slats—the vertebrae along the spine—that would showcase 136 of Wolf-Gordon’s products, one on each side. As visitors ascend the escalator, the slats appear above them like a twisting array of fanned-out cards. The products were arranged by color, forming a gradient that goes from white to orange to red on the way up the escalator and purple to brown on the way down. The edge of each slat slopes one degree, adding to the sculpture’s twisting vortex appearance. Since the sculpture hangs above show goers, realizing the piece with light materials was paramount. The slats are made from foam sandwiched between two sheets of Masonite. An aluminum channel along the perimeter of each slat provides rigidity. A plywood box connects and spaces each slat. The team used the software’s parametric capabilities to calculate where to place screw holes in the boxes and slats to create the twisting geometry. The Guild fabricated the 68 slats and plywood boxes in Brooklyn with a CNC mill, flat-packed for transport to Chicago, and installed at the Mart over a period of three days. “In terms of installation, it went well but it was a strange structure with torsional forces acting on it,” Kelman said. “As we built, the twist revealed itself.” Aircraft cable was fastened strategically along the spine, which was ultimately affixed to a 32-foot-long box trough, securely attached to beams of the ceiling. The final result was another eye-catching surprise during NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart. “Lots of things can go wrong with these projects,” said Shaw. “But if you’re on the same page and trust your collaborator’s intentions, you’ll always find your way to a solution.”

Designer Documenting the Windows of New York

nyc_windows_01 Graphic designer José Guizar is documenting the variety of windows to be found across New York City. His project, Windows of New York, adds a distinctive aperture each week rendered in stunning simplicity, reminding us of another ambitious graphic design project James Gulliver Hancock's All the Buildings of New York. According to Guizar, Windows of New York "is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up." [Via Swiss Miss.]

On View> Russian Posters–Rodchenko 120 in Indianapolis through August 24

Russian Posters – Rodchenko 120 Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis Herron School of Art and Design Marsh Gallery 735 West New York Street, Indianapolis, IN Through August 24 In recognition of the 120th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Rodchenko, Moscow Design Week organized a poster campaign honoring the Russian avant-garde artist, graphic designer, and photographer. Commissioning work from twenty prominent Russian poster artists, the campaign sought to create a dialogue between contemporary graphic designers and a master of the discipline. Sergei Serov, curator of the project, writes, “The posters are not only a tribute to the great artist, but a reflection on the historical destiny of graphic design.” The posters all bear Rodchenko’s influence in unique ways. Elements from some of his most notable designs are repurposed, utilizing Rodchenko’s own language of collage and geometric composition. These strict geometries inform Nikolai Shtok’s entry, above, where simple geometric forms are abstracted and composed as a Rodchenko-inspired typography.

Quick Clicks> Big Apple vs. City of Lights, Plastic into Oil, Seeing Double, Lights of Knowledge

  New York vs. Paris. It seems that the Big Apple and The City of Lights are forever battling over design, architecture, fashion, and film. A Parisian graphic designer decided to take matters into his own hands, creating a website to display his witty color-block graphics that juxtapose these iconic cities. Topics are eclectic, ranging from landmarks (the Empire Sate vs. the Eiffel Tower), to architecture (5th Avenue Apple Store vs. Musée du Louvre), to food (cupcakes vs. macarons), to even car parking styles (parking lot towers vs. double parked). More at the NY Times T Magazine. Oil from plastic. Energy company Vadxx has invented reactors that can transform plastic scraps that can’t be recycled into crude oil with the lowest sulfur content in the world, says Good Magazine. The first reactors are slated for a recycling plant in Akron, Ohio. However, this begs this question: will the amount of crude oil created offset the amount of energy needed for the conversion process? Basket lights. A New Zealand designer, David Trubridge, has infused his lighting with the spiritual--looking to a Maori creation myth for design inspiration, writes Contemporist. The Maori believed gods gave humans three baskets of knowledge. Trubiridge designed three corresponding teardrop ceiling “baskets”: the bamboo light represents knowledge of the natural world, the polycarbonate light symbolizes knowledge of the spiritual world, and the aluminum basket signifies knowledge of the rational world.

Neo Aztec Calendar

Detail of 2011 Neo Aztec calendar by Ricardo Cid
Ricardo Cid
While contemplating a World Cup soccer calendar last year, Mexican artist and designer Ricardo Cid was reminded of the ancient Aztec calendar in the shape of a circle. Cid had an epiphany: Why not create a new calendar form that is a mash-up of different ways of tracking the year? The result is his 2011 “Neo Aztec” calendar. It folds the linear Gregorian year we follow today into the circular format of the Mayan year adapted by the Aztecs. Cid’s diagram represents one earth year. Each numbered square equals one day and each color group one month, with dotted lines indicating a change in months. Mondays are outlined with black circles, demarcating the Gregorian week (and other colored dots reflect car-coding for congestion control in Mexico City), while black-filled circles with letters from A to S show the first day of each Mayan month (the Mayan “Mexica” New Year is on March 12). Ricardo Cid's New Aztec Calendar.
Detail of Ricardo Cid's Neo Aztec calendar. [Click to view the full 2011 calendar.]
Every grouping of blue, yellow, and green days adds up to a trimester, and the beginning of each season (winter, spring, summer, fall) is marked with a black square in each of the equinoxes (March 20, September 23) and solstices (June 21, December 22). As a whole the diagram evokes a molecular structure or—for fans of ‘80s video games—the tessellated screen of Q*bert. As you start hopping through 2011, be sure to note the dotted detour that loops back to capture an extra square for Leap Year. Got it.

Canvassing for Votes With NYC Construction Fence Finalists

If a whole flock of ghostly animals starts appearing in downtown New York this fall, don't panic. It’ll just mean that the public picked Chris Shelley’s design “…of special concern” as a winner in the Buildings and Cultural Affairs Departments' urbancanvas competition, which solicited ideas for decorating the construction fences, sidewalk sheds, scaffolding and cocoons that act as eyesores on seemingly every New York City street. From today through October 1, you can vote for your favorite of the eight finalist designs, whittled down by a professional jury from a starting pool of over 700 entries, with the most popular four selected to appear around the city later this fall. The range of design strategies is broad, with Jen Magathan’s trompe-l'oeuil sky in “My Urban Sky" making buildings disappear, and Mauricio Lopez and Jesse T. Ross’s kaleidoscopic "Color Mesh" making them jump out from the streetscape. Shelley’s design adds an unusual interactive component, pairing the silhouettes of five local endangered species with a bar-code panel on the corner of the screen. When a visitor scans the bar code with her iPhone, it will take her to a website with the full endangered species list. After voting closes, property owners, contractors and businesses will be allowed to select a design from the four winners and print it on any temporary protective structures installed on City-owned property. (They also have the option of printing their construction screens with an image of the project being built, but where’s the fun in that?)