Eva Zeisel dies, age 105

Eva Zeisel, known for her playful and graceful ceramics, has died at the age of 105.

“She’s a conduit to pure things,” Mr. Klein said in 2007. He recalled that Ms. Zeisel, who had a strong appreciation of the history of decorative arts and a personal acquaintance with most of the modern design movements of the 20th century, told him never to try to create anything new. Asked how to make something beautiful, he said, she replied, “You just have to get out of the way.”

We have four or five of her pieces and they please me every time I see them.

12 Indicted On Hate Crimes Charges For Hair Cutting Assaults Led By Break-Off Amish Group

I think this is my favorite story of 2011.

Compleat — the paper cup with an integrated lid

Massachusetts architect Peter Herman spent two years designing a paper cup that eliminates the plastic lid.

The construction is simple: The body and two integrated flaps are composed of a single piece of paper; the body is glued to the circular base. Like similar cups on the market, the paper would be waterproofed, though ideally with cellulose-based plastic, so that it could be composted.

(thanks, Sarah)

Ice Cube Celebrates Charles and Ray Eames (and Los Angeles)

In a world full of McMansions where the structure takes up all the land, the Eames made structure and nature one.

(via @gary_hustwit)

good advice out of context

I like to urge designers to always ask themselves: “Does this logo look like a penis?” The answer has to be a resounding “No”. If there is just a slight hesitation, then it probably does look like a penis.

via Paul Kafasis

The Art of Not Drowning

We see a beautiful woman, with lush red hair, floating effortlessly, gazing ahead in an attitude of easeful melancholy. The airline artist has recruited Dante Rossetti’s 1877 Mary Magdalene, with perhaps an ironic nod to Botticelli’s Venus, as the heroine of our worst-case scenario. Thus the “fallen woman” motif is reimagined in the most urgent terms: this airline Magdalene is a woman who has quite literally fallen. And this is where we find her, floating in limbo, clutching a lily-white life preserver to her breast (instead of a vase, as in the 1877 portrait). Like Rossetti’s romantic Pre-Raphaelite Magdalene, this woman’s lowly state serves only to magnify her elemental beauty. Here she is, Our Lady of the Plane Crash. “I will make you fishers of men,” says the Christ. “We will rescue you in any corner of the globe,” says a Pan Am safety card. The fallen woman will not remain cast away forever—and, if we follow her lead, the artist assures us, neither will we. It is a pretty vision of earthly salvation.

(via The Hairpin)

photo out of context

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

(via It’s Nice That)

Icon4x4Design’s Ford Bronco

How do I feel about this car?

biblically inspired design

I am not a fan of all of it, but I love the concept.

The Vespa Quarantasei

It’s a concept vehicle, so it’s hard to tell how much of the design will make it to production, but the Vespa Quarantasei is lovely in its potential.

Legendary Cities

I absolutely love these. Atelier Olschinsky’s Legendary Cities.

Khoi Vinh on Grids

If you remove all the subjectivity then you get some essential truth.

An interview with Khoi Vinh at The Color Machine:

We sat down with Khoi Vinh, former Design Director of NYTimes.com to discuss the subject that has made his work most noteworthy: the grid. The result is an illuminating conversation about Khoi’s plans for the future, first interest in the field of design, and even the grid’s complex relationship with emotion.

Previously on clusterflock.

(via daring fireball)

EAMES: The Architect and The Painter

Finally, a documentary on Charles and Ray Eames.

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America’s most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mind-bending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life — from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age — has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.

Oh, boy!

(via stellar)

A Sexy Little Halloween

Grace and I have been discussing tentative Halloween plans the last few days and the concept of “sexy” Halloween costumes inevitably came up – not the plan to wear them per se, but their origins. Has this always been a thing?

That illustration is by Jillian Tamaki.

Book Cover Out of Context

Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book, but I have been on a bit of a bear kick lately.


The torch gives enough light to see a couple feet in front of you

Frank Chimero posted the talk he gave at the AIGA National Conference in Phoenix:

There is a reach to knowledge and skill. You know what you know, and through time and effort and diligent focus, you’ve also come to realize a few of the things that you don’t know. You begin to understand that those unknowns are within reach if you stretch a bit. That’s learning. And then the thought occurs to you that puts the fear of God in your bones: there are things out of your reach, (Important things! Crucial things!) that you will never know that you don’t know. It’s a darkness too dark to pierce.

Don’t worry, it’s hopeful too.

Unknowingly, I was probably always a designer, I just didn’t know what that was

A lovely interview at The Great Discontent with good friend of clusterflock, Chris Glass:

I completed the 4 year program at Ohio State and studied in Switzerland along the way. That time abroad really started to inform my minimalism. I’m a clean, simple designer. Some may see this as laziness. It goes back to that whole, what’s the least amount of work I can do? But ultimately, that’s the work I don’t hate. There’s a joke among friends that know me. When asked if I like something, I say it doesn’t displease me. So much of design displeases me, but if it’s clean, functional, and does its job, I’m happy.

You can find his site here, and Wire & Twine here.

Where we are today.

slow breaking news

Emily Roose’s thesis project, via Public School

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my current desktop

My favorite public bathroom

in Chicago is in IIT’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center, designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA. I’ve loitered in it twice within 24 hours — and I’m staying and working three miles north of IIT.

I think Deron wants to move in. Whether into the bathroom or the Center generally, I’m not sure.

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photo out of context

emigre font catalogs as downloadable PDFs

Emigre’s award winning type specimen catalogs are now available as downloadable PDF files. Many have been long out of print and some have reached collector item status. So if you haven’t received these in the past, or have lost your copy, here is your opportunity to receive these beautifully designed type catalogs delivered directly to your computer for immediate typographic perusal.

I’ve wanted the Cholla one for a long time.

Amazon and Boston Globe redesigns

Amazon and The Boston Globe have recently redesigned their sites, and while I haven’t thought about it long enough to make any substantial observations, I do see a similar openness and brightness in each of the new designs. Amy mentioned that Target recently went through a redesign as well, but their site appears to be down this morning, so I haven’t been able to see how it compares. Also, not everyone seems to be seeing the new Amazon design, so maybe they are rolling it out in phases.

Update: If you’re not seeing the redesigned Amazon, this is what it looks like.

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