Happenings

High Resolution Interview

Judy was delighted to be featured on the High Resolution video podcast series. Focused on Design Leadership, High Resolution is the passionate endeavor of Bobby Ghoshal and Jared Erondu, showcasing some highly inspired dialogues.

Our conversation ranged from Wert&Co.’s history recruiting creative leadership over the last two decades, to some of our behind the scenes insights and tools, and even our favorite children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon and how it can serve as a metaphor for mapping one’s own professional (and personal) journey.

Celebrating & Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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A day for reflection & dreaming & coming together in peace.

The power of a safety pin.

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Dear Data

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This beautiful, year-long collaboration between award-winning information designer Giorgia Lupi (an Italian NY transplant) and Stefanie Posavec (an American London transplant) was conceived as a “personal documentary” and demonstrates the power of connecting. The two (who had met only twice) engaged in a 52 week analog, hand-drawn, visualized, pen-pal relationship. “On the front of the postcard there would be a unique representation of our weekly data, and, on the other side (in addition to the necessary postage and address), we would squeeze in detailed keys to our drawings: the code to enable the recipient to decipher the picture, and to fantasize about what had happened” the week before.

Their new book on the project—Designing Data—will be released in September (available for pre-order now) and will include the postcards from the project, the duo’s thoughts on the process, and new illustrations. On their website, they are also inviting students, teachers and data pen-pals to participate in continuing the spirit of project.

How to Work Better

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Do one thing at a time. Know the problem. Learn to listen. Learn to ask questions. Distinguish sense from nonsense. Accept change as inevitable. Admit mistakes. Say it simple. Be calm.

Smile.

(Made large by Public Art Fund. From the exhibit Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better. Organized by Nancy Spector. On view until April 27th at the Guggenheim. Image: Copy of Jack Kerouac’s Typewriter.)

wonder.land (By Anna Gerber)

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Are you one of those people who hears the words “adapted from”, “inspired by”, “based on” or even “re-imagined” and your critical tentacles tense up? Do you find yourself thinking things like “I wonder how faithful this film is to the original novel?” or “What would the author think if she saw this dance adaptation?”. I know I certainly am, with my hand held high up in admission, head bowed down.

So when I walked into The National Theatre to watch wonder.land, the wild trippy musical “loosely based” on Alice in Wonderland (there it is, you see) I was full of that critical, snooty, cultural judgement. But just as easily, I transcended those misgivings and can tell you that, over two hours later, I left feeling surprised. More than surprised: inspired. I loved it.

Created by the almighty Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris, wonder.land highlights include the coolest, most glitchy, ravey, Gorillaz inspired rabbit you’ve ever seen; a broken-home Alice whose avatar is everything she isn’t (complete with sky high Alexander McQueen-esque platforms); the Cheshire Cat blown up so big on screen you just want to climb into that Bowie grin; a headmistress turned Queen of Spades that made me think of a hipsterfied Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull; and a Mad Hatter (Alice’s debt ridden father) who could be a cross between Albarn himself and Johnny Depp. What’s there not to love? There’s even a virtual reality music video-as-app which is like watching a whole sprawling mini-universe squeezed into the teeny screen of your mobile phone. And in all of this, there’s a mash up of familiar, clever cultural counter points. A constellation full of the world around us — it’s loud, it’s claustrophobic, it’s visually saturated. And utterly familiar.

Of course Albarn and team aren’t the first to tackle Alice in Wonderland: before wonder.land came Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland and then there was Tim Burton’s wild ride of a film (cue: Johnny Depp) and there was Penguin’s polka dotted Yayoi Kusama beauty of a book and then there was Alice for the iPad that blew our digital minds open so wide we thought we’d never come out.

So maybe the real testimony here is the story itself: a story so good it calls out to be revisited and made familiar again and again and again. And maybe it’s okay if this Alice is more about gaming and social media than it is the traditional Lewis Carroll narrative. One thing’s for sure, Alice 2.0 makes for a fabulously wild ride.

(Anna is guest blogging for us this month covering delightful new storytelling projects that have caught her eye. Anna is a Special Projects Creative Director who knows a thing or two about making stories, be they digital, on paper or brickwork as Founder of Visual Editions and Creative Director of Editions At Play.)

Everything is Design. Everything!

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Organized by curator Donald Albrecht the Museum of the City of New York has put together a show devoted to legendary designer Paul Rand. The exhibit, the New York Times described as “entertaining and enlightening” includes 150 pieces from over six decades shown in chronological order. There are also several related events, many co-sponsored by the AIGA, including Branding: Why Good Design is Good Business Wednesday, April 29

On view until July 19.

Universal Rational Form

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Innovative and renowned for its modern, functional design there are few companies with such a lasting and relevant design legacy as Braun. Curated by das programm, obsessive German sellers of Dieter Rams designs, Paris’s MODA will will be hosting an exhibition of posters by thirty-four leading graphic designers and studios challenged to respond to the iconic company’s systems design (classic 60s Braun designs are also on display).

Aisle one has a selection of images from the original 2013 exhibition in London.

(Moda, January 29th-February 27th)

32 Days to the New Cooper Hewitt

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“Renovation” does not do justice to the changes that have been made to this beloved institution. Re-opening in just 32 days, the completely face-lifted, sixty-four room, one hundred plus year old mansion (as well as the Arthur Ross Terrace + Garden and two townhouses on East 90th St.) seeks to redefine the museum experience. Even their font was transformed.

A team of leading design firms joined forces to realize the project. Gluckman Mayner developed the vision for the interiors collaborating with Beyer Blinder Belle. Hood Design tied the garden to neighboring Central Park. Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed exhibitions and a new retail space; Thinc Design conceived the Tools exhibit and Local Projects created interactive media including an Immersion Room where visitors select digital images of wallpapers – or sketch their own – and project them onto the walls.

(Too impatient to wait for the the opening? You can download your own 3D model museum, and engineer your own design.)

Milton Glaser: Design Icon

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Renowned graphic design icon Milton Glaser designed the new posters for Mad Men’s final season. The 84-year-old veteran worked in advertising during the 1960s, making him and the fictional Don Draper contemporaries. This season’s poster is a whirl of colorful shapes and curling lines, a hybrid of late 60s flower power and Art Nouveau flora. The poster’s blurry lines hints at the show’s constant play between fiction and reality, but in typical Mad Men style reveals nothing concrete.

Image via 50 Watts

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