As editorial director at AIGA, I keep tabs on all the design news (so you don’t have to) and bring you only the best bits. Behold: my weekly hit list of the most interesting things I’ve and seen, read, and watched this week. Follow along all day every day on Instagram @AIGAdesign and Twitter @AIGAdesign.
This week I…
…rest easy now that we’ve finally solved the mystery of who designed the classic ’90s pattern, “Jazz.” Jazz, oh dear, sweet Jazz, how I clutched your teal and purple zigzags each summer as you sweated with condensation from my childhood milkshake addiction. Now I finally get to meet your mom.
…congratulate bio engineers Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute on winning the Design Museum’s 2015 Design of the Year Award for their Human Organs-on-Chips, incredible little devices that carry “living human cells that mimic the complex tissue structures, functions, and mechanical motions of whole organs,” and which Paola Antonelli, who nominated the project, considers “the epitome of design innovation—elegantly beautiful form, arresting concept, and pioneering application.”
…will probably never realize my dream of converting the pedal power from my winter-time indoor bike sessions into something more useful than just burning my own energy—like, say, creating it. Turns out the pedal-powered devices are pretty much not useful at all. Even Olympic cyclist Robert Förstemann, who has the most massive thighs I have ever seen, can’t even bike fast enough to toast a piece of bread in a basic toaster.
…don’t exactly keep my praise for Shantell Martin’s signature black-and-white “stream of consciousness” illustrations a secret, so I was pretty excited to see her latest project with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and furniture company Room&Board, who donated one of their lovely leather loungers for her to draw all over. It’s being auctioned off on Artsy now to help raise awareness and find a cure for HIV/AIDS, and you’ve still got a couple of days left to get in your bid.
…dig the new logo MINI debuted this week, though remain doubtful of the company’s new “Airbnb-style” sharing economy model. If I had a fancy little MINI I’m not sure I’d let total strangers drive it when I wasn’t. Just sayin’.
…wish I was back in Berlin this weekend for the Miss Read art book fair—logo designed by none other than Lawrence Weiner.
…might give Twitter a second chance if Project Lightning happens, which will apparently make your feed easier to manage with filters that allow you to cut through the noise and surface the tweets you actually want to read, meaning you may never have to look at another TwitPic of someone’s brunch ever again.
…get the itch to take another crosscountry roadtrip after seeing some of the really excellent work commissioned for the “Manifest Destiny Billboard Project,” a two-year, 100-billboard journey along Interstate 10, curated by public-art nonprofit Los Angeles Nomadic Division. There’s big typography in Las Cruces, New Mexico by Daniel R. Small, a John Baldessari collage in San Antonio, Texas, and 98 other surprises in the sky along the roughly 3,000-mile trip.
…love the work the young Paris firm Moreau Kusunoki Architectes submitted in the Guggenheim’s design competition for its Helsinki location. The winning proposal includes “a campus of charred cedar–clad pavilions linked by walkways… and a monolithic tower rising above nine low-slung structures” that play nicely with the city’s waterway and surrounding environment. Consider this yet another reason to visit.
…applaud RISD for getting self-described “filth elder” John Waters to give the 2015 commencement speech to its graduates, whom he ushered along their journey from “juvenile delinquency” to “adult disobedience” with this piece of advice: “A career in the arts is like a hitchiking trip. All you need is for one person to say ‘Get in,’ and off you go.” And “So what if you have talent? Then what? You have to figure out how to work your way inside.”
…unsure of some of the analogies made about what good design is in The School of Life’s latest video on “Why Design Matters,” though I can get behind the assertion that “good design helps us to be the best versions of ourselves.” Amen to that.