In theory

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

books

There’s a lot happening these days at Wert&Co.–reflected in six books we would like to share with you. We’ve been preparing for a few talks and seeking to understand ourselves and our work more deeply, finding inspiration from the self discovery of childhood to the wisdom (hopefully) gained over the years. This month we also mourned the loss of John Berger who’s seminal Ways of Seeing provided us not just with a tool to view art in a revolutionary way, but a tool to understand critically the images that surround us. Finally with data ruling the day, in both politics and our work, we’ve found ourselves recently in a deep dive on both the mechanics, design and ethics of this fascinating subject.

32 Days to the New Cooper Hewitt

cooperhewitt

“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.)

California Living

eames

Beginning March 29, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts will present California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way. More than 250 mid-century design artifacts, including furniture, textiles, fashion, and vehicles will immerse the viewer in the airy California style that Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and RM Schindler made iconic. The progressive designs are contextualized with information that reflects on the period’s social, cultural, and creative consciousness. The goal of these designers, according to the exhibition’s curator Barron Bailly, was “to make everyday life beautiful and comfortable.” The groundbreaking exhibition organized by the LACMA is the first major study of modern California design, and PEM is its only stop on the East Coast. Catch it before it closes July 6.

Image via PEM

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

books

Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring’s new book Decorate with Flowers offers practical advice on how to best select floral arrangements that compliment your home decor. Sharing tricks and fun ways to experiment with flowers, the book is a go-to source for the style-minded home entertainer. Our Time, a lovely thick monograph by Cat Garcia, chronicles creatives going about their daily lives — each image cloaking famed creators like Giles Deacon and Bella Freud in zen-like calm. In Golden Meaning: 55 Graphic Experiments, founders of GraphicDesign& Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright share the responses of 55 creatives who they challenged to a mathematical design problem: Euclid’s golden ratio.

Reinterpreting Italian Craft

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Fabrica, the illustrious Italian communications research center, recently opened Extra-Ordinary gallery, a collection of everyday objects that reinterpret Italian craft traditions. Employing traditional Italian materials like blown glass from Murano and marble from Canova, the minimal but luxurious items are all made by hand domestically. Paying tribute to daily rituals and life’s small pleasures, the collection features paperweights, bowls, vases, and wire baskets that epitomize the beauty of simplicity.

via Fabrica

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

yale

New book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential synthesizes six years of research on Nobel Prize winners, CEOs, politicians, and media personalities to get to the essence of what makes a winning personality: the combination of strength and warmth. Available for pre-order, an excellent design resource, Manuals 1 Design & Identity Guidelines, compiles the corporate identity manuals from the 1960s to early 1980s of household names like NASA, Lufthansa, and ABC. Extraordinary: From Everyday Objects to Art details the work of artists who delight in transforming household products like eggs, pencils or plastic cups into inspired art that transcend mere function.

Image by Nick Hollot

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

books

Generation Press releases a limited-edition rainbow hued catalog to accompany Barber Osgerby’s exhibition In the Making. The authors of Design Transitions: Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How Design is Changing traveled the world searching and speaking to design practitioners in hopes of answering the question “How are design practices changing?” Lidewij Edelkoort’s The Pop-Up Generation ruminates on the generation born behind a screen and looks at how their ability to fluidly move between digital and analog has created a whole new kind of hybrid art.

Image by jab5

Watson travels to Africa

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IBM is bringing super computer Watson to Africa to assist researchers in tackling pressing needs in the healthcare, sanitation, education, human mobility, and infrastructure sectors. “Project Lucy,” named after our earliest known human descendant, is IBM’s ten-year and 100 million dollar initiative that gives scientists the time and resources to utilize Watson’s computing abilities to help solve Africa’s most crucial challenges. The compilation and analysis of big data will assist experts in comprehending the obstacles that contribute to Africa’s stagnate economy and pervasive poverty. Food prices, GDP, and the size of diseased populations are just a few of the categories the project will seek to better understand through data compilation and the identification of emerging patterns.

Image via Freestock.ca

Empowering Europe’s Digital Economy

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The European Digital Forum, a new think tank dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs, has been established to help grow Europe’s digital economy. The program was announced by Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The venture plans to host an annual Digital Forum that will bring together entrepreneurs, political leaders, and policymakers creating an outlet for cross-continental discourse on startups and technological innovation. The day-to-day operations of the forum will rest in the hands of the Lisbon Council and Nesta, two esteemed innovation think tanks, and will have additional support from a coalition of influential companies and tech leaders.

Image via Eric Fischer

The Science of Visual Attraction

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Dutch designer Merel Bekking teamed up with scientists to explore what variables result in a “perfect” design. The researchers determined the “perfect” design by creating a method of testing peoples’ preferences to particular colors, shapes, and materials with an MRI scanner. The results were fascinating and revealed that our brains are most attracted to red, plastic, and closed organic shaped objects. Bekking found the results surprising because “they contradicted what individuals thought they liked” proving that peoples’ preferences are often driven by social factors. With the results in, Bekking set off to create a collection of “perfect everyday objects” that will be on view in Milan this April.

Image by Jochen Hartmann

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Attention book lovers! Inspired by words? Classics reimagined through poetry and tattoos! @litographs

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