Delight & inform

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

100 Years of History at Grand Central

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A new beautifully designed website commemorates 100 years of rich history at Grand Central Station in New York City. Created in partnership with the New York Transit Museum, the website explores the engineering, design, and “decline & renewal” of one of the country’s largest and busiest public travel hubs. Videos, stories, historical documents and photographs take the user on a journey from the station’s early days of steam fueled travel to its central role today as a travel, cultural, and culinary destination. In addition, the resource offers insight into the iconic depot’s future with plans, maps, and images of the new train station being dug beneath Manhattan at this very moment.

Image via mkfeeney

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

Design Indaba Film Festival

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Premiering February 21, Design Indaba FilmFest 2014 will present an array of films devoted to creativity in its countless forms. With feature-length films on urban design, street and performance art, photography, architecture, motion graphics and more, it will be sure to delight design fans of all types. Not only is the event’s content unique- the moving-going experience sets itself apart with a selection of films being screened at an old drive-in at Maiden’s Cove, Clifton and the rest projected at South Africa’s oldest surviving building The Castle of Good Hope. Never-before seen in South Africa, the films ruminate on inspiration, human nature, and the urban condition, undoubtedly leaving the viewer with a lasting impression.

Herbert Bayer’s Werbegrafik

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The Bauhaus Archive Berlin’s current exhibit Mein Reklame-Fegefeuer. Herbert Bayer. Werbegrafik 1928-1938 offers a view of the iconic graphic designer’s commercial work during the tumultuous years of transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. Bayer is best known for the geometric sans-serif typeface he designed in 1925 for the Bauhaus school’s communications. After leaving the Bauhaus Dessau in 1928, Bayer moved to Berlin and applied his radical principles of modern graphic art in designs for hundreds of posters, book covers, advertisements, and brochures for both the private and public sector. The show illustrates Bayer’s controversial post-Bauhaus output with 200 works that are on display until February 24.

Image via Cea.

Sustainable Sculptures

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Discarded rubber flip flops wash ashore in Kenya at an alarming rate littering the beaches and harming wildlife. Ocean Sole, a community-driven marine conservation organization, set out to recycle the detritus in creative ways while providing jobs for locals. The results are vibrant and colorful rubber sculptures of elephants, lions, giraffes and a variety of other animals. Ocean Sole plans to recycle 400,000 flip flops a year and currently recycles 220 pounds of sandals a week. The sculptures are sold to zoos and museums around the world and a percentage of profits go to marine conservation and adult education.

Image via inhabitat

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

library

Unit Edition’s new monograph FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer seeks to elevate the identity of the often overlooked but prolific German designer who was contemporaries of Paul Rand, Saul Bass, and Otl Aicher. Relocating to Britain at the onset of World War II, Henrion was briefly detained by English forces as an ‘enemy alien’ before making a name for himself designing propaganda posters for the British and American forces. He went on to become “the founding father of modern corporate identity in Europe” producing celebrated identities for KLM Airlines and retailer C&A. A notable thinker and speaker, he taught design around the world. This new 500+ page publication will ensure that Henrion’s colorful and remarkably modern work will educate and enlighten a new era of design talent.

Enchanting Embroidery

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A Japanese woman recently photographed nearly 500 Temari spheres her 88-year-old grandmother embroidered over the last 20+ years. Originally crafted in China, the intricately embroidered folk art made its way to Japan in the 7th century. The thread of old kimonos is commonly used to construct the colorful spheres, which are often made by parents and grandparents and given to children on New Year’s day. Inside the balls, a child might find a bell or a note written to them by a relative.

Images via NanaAkua

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

libray_lounge

Interiors have been an area of focus in the Wert offices this December. And what better way to spend the holidays than browsing beautiful coffee table books by a cozy fire. Rizzoli has recently released a trio of enchanting monographs that showcase magical interiors. Photographer Francois Halard’s self-titled volume includes images from one of his first assignments, photographing a 20-something Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisian abode. With an old-world eye and a bohemian spirit, Halard captured images of the homes of revered tastemakers including Coco Chanel, Richard Avedon, and Schiaparelli. An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce showcases interior designer Timothy Corrigan’s lovely decorated and restored chateau in France’s Loire Valley. Offering both advice and insight into the art of French living, Corrigan reveals the secret to dwelling in a historic residence with modern flair. Lastly, Stephen Sills: Decoration documents Sills’s visionary old-meets-new interior style. Karl Lagerfeld once claimed the decorator’s country home in Bedford, NY to be “the chicest house in America.”

Immaterial Blooms

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Flowers that don’t necessitate water or sunlight? Digital artist and interaction designer, Daniel Brown, grows flowers from bundles of code. His roses, orchids, and immaterial blooms are computer-crafted creations generated by the manipulation of digital plant genomes. These fantastical flowers grow on screen in real-time, documented by a camera run via matrix manipulation. Brown’s visionary designs have been commissioned by Art Fund’s RENEW program at the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum and the BBC Climate Change website.

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