Pattern recognition

SF MOMA

On our recent business trip to the left coast (after a pit stop for the fascinating Renaissance Weekend in Utah), we were finally able to visit the renovated SF MOMA. And while we don’t exit thru the gift shop, well, actually we did. And the bookstore left us with plenty of summer reading inspiration — from A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design (the classic had a new edition out last year — over 1,000 visual examples of humour, irony and playfulness in graphic design and branding over the last few decades) to the Little Book of Hygge (which just might make us look forward to the winter or at least a visit to Copenhagen!).

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.

Oh yes, the planet is sublime!

reader

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors.
I love
cups,
rings,
and bowls –
not to speak, of course,
of hats.
I love
all things,
not just
the grandest,
also
the
infinite-
ly
small–
thimbles,
spurs,
plates,
and flower vases.
Oh yes,
the planet
is sublime!

Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda
(photo by Daniel Wert)

 

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.

WhatWeDoCounts… Twenty Over Eighty

20over80

Featuring twenty architecture and design luminaries over the age of eighty, reading the conversations captured in Aileen Kwun and Bryn Smith’s new book Twenty Over Eighty is like attending one of the world’s greatest salons. Including Milton Glaser, Denise Scott Brown, Seymour Chwast, Richard Hollis, Ricardo Scofidio, Stanley Tigerman, Ralph Caplan, Bob Gill, Alessandro Mendini, Richard Sapper and Deborah Sussman (to name just a few) the authors capture the spirit, personality and collective wisdom of an important generation of luminaries with much still to give. A recently excerpted section on Ingo Maurer gives an early glimpse of the book which debuts today.

Available thru Princeton Architectural Press or here.

(Photo from Book: WhatWeDoCounts. Maurer with What We Do Counts, an LED­integrated lamp released in 2015. © Ingo Maurer GmbH, Munich)

Words Matter

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We had the pleasure of meeting Jason Bacher this week, cofounder with Brian Buirge of Good F*@! Design Advice, continuing our blog series on words.

The project, which began on a whim, has grown into a series of talks, workshops and goods aiming to encourage risk-taking and even failure. Their use of humor (and profanity) in their Classic Advice Print (family friendly version pictured above) has “grown to represent the passionate approach to being a creative that we often preach about and continue practice ourselves.”

Why? Design

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An idea at the heart of the work is the central thought around Why? a new design blog by Rob Duncan (full disclosure: the designer of our wonderful and now responsive wertco.com site in conjunction with wordpress.com (thank you Matt Mullenweg!) and design firm Mucho. Focusing on great ideas in design, contributed by top designers this new site features great projects they find inspiring. The blog is a simple beautiful showcase of conceptual work — perhaps an antidote to the current mood of instant critique.

Why? will also live off the page in a series of talks — coming soon.

New Year, New Beginnings

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No matter how you fill in the lines, Wert&Co. wishes you a colorful holiday season!

Timothy Goodman & Leah Schmidt Oreo Coloring Project)

See your designs in NODE

ArtistChrisHaughton

If you’ve ever dreamed about seeing your designs realized as a hand woven rug, the NODE project by illustrator Chris Haughton with entrepreneur Akshay Sthapit will be of interest. A non-profit, fair trade business the rugs are produced at the Kumbeshwar Technical School in Nepal which trains disadvantaged adults. While many well known designers such as Donna Wilson and Geoff McFetridge were commissioned by NODE and exhibited in the Design Museum in London in 2012 (with rugs still for sale in the shop), NODE facilitates the production of their beautiful woven pieces for any designer.

Piero Fornasetti: Practical Madness

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Painter, printer, film director, interior decorator and sculptor — Milanese artist and designer Piero Fornasetti’s prolific talent is currently on full display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The retrospective, which features over 1000 objects curated by his son Barnaba Fornasetti, features his prodigious output of artwork and applied arts including furniture, coasters, screens, umbrella stands, trays, cabinets, chairs and china. With the architect Gio Ponti, Fornasetti designed complete interiors for homes, ocean liners, casinos, and also designed several covers of Domus. With a whimsical, surrealist and poetic style he described himself as ‘a stickler for detail who loves uncertainty.’

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