Mpdclick has noticed a new wave of design clubs in America, indicating a marked shift in American design culture. A move on from the rise in community spirit and handcrafts, the emergence of these clubs in the US reflect a social change towards the creation of a new design scene that is as vibrant and well supported as that of Europe.
Whilst artists and designers in the states have little government support due to design not being categorised within the science or the humanities as it is in Europe, this may all be set to change. Three independent design clubs fronting the shift include the American Design Club in New York, JOIN: Design Seattle in Seattle and the Object Design League in Chicago. Each of these associations are not only challenging the existing framework of the US’ design scene by incorporating business acumen with community participation, but are building a new, lasting infrastructure for the new generation of artists.
With simple but pronounced objective such as American Design Club’s three step ‘create exhibition opportunities, create sales opportunities and build community,’ young designers are given not just an audience, but a platform for business too. Instead of struggling with obstacles on their own designers are enabled to share knowledge, experience and tackle problems collectively. While it is not the first time that designers have joined forces, it is the clubs’ determined focus on functioning as coalitions and their outward thinking that really sets them out from the norm. It also links to the notion of collectivism, which features heavily in Mpdclick’s future autumn/winter 11/12 trend.
(Image source: Flickr/Join Design Seattle)
Liberty, London’s prestigious department store and stockists of their eponymous prints, is renowned for their traditional as well as wonderfully wacky designs. This autumn they have excelled themselves by collaborating with six unique artists to create ‘The Art Collection.’
The British designers include Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, Mike McInnerney, Michael Angove, Ani Smith and West Coast artist Simon Hart. Liberty’s own design studio fused their innovative ideas with these artists to produce fourteen exclusive prints to become part of the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection. The original works will be the main feature in the exhibition ‘Prints Charming’ launched last week by Grayson’s alter ego Claire, dressed in a Liberty print baby doll dress. Alongside this an archive of diverse print collaborations that Liberty fabrics have featured in. The collection has undercurrent themes of childhood memories and subverting traditions but, these are presented subtly in the prints encouraging the viewer to look closely at the imagery used.
Everyone can have a piece of Liberty heritage, a range of merchandise featuring cushions, stationary, wash bags will be available.
Grid Index by Carsten Nicolai has been cited as a visual dictionary on dimensional grids and patterns that underpin all of the key systematic elements within all aspects of design work that form an array of compositions from art, architecture and science. Nicolai, a former gardener who studied landscape design claims his background provided him with the inspiration to create Grid Index. He says “many more complex patterns are in life organizations or inside the organization of life forms; they are part of the foundation of our life. Mathematics is basically a part of nature.”
The book, an essential resource for designers, architects and mathematicians, also comprises of a CD-ROM with fully editable vector graphic files. This resource holds a wealth of potential to map out the underlying grids of any single image or form while demonstrating recurring geometrical grids that lays crucial foundations for technical graphic design.
Grid Index is sold at all good book stores, so get your copy now!
After intense competition, MTV has landed the rights to develop a U.S. version of the award-winning U.K. phenomenon “Skins,” it was announced today by Liz Gateley, Senior Vice President, MTV Series Development. Created by father and son team, Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, the E4 and Channel 4 series is about a group of British teenagers who are trying to grow up and find love and happiness. Brian Elsley will be writing and executive producing the U.S. version.
In an effort to maintain the original production’s successful model wherein all the stories were written by a group of British teenagers, MTV will similarly join together unknown teenagers to write and star in the series. The producers intend to set the show in Baltimore, Maryland.
“‘Skins’ is one of those rare shows that cuts through to its core audience with unusually authentic stories due to the unique writing and casting process that Bryan pioneered. Having personally pursued the U.K. project for almost two years, I am beyond thrilled to bring it to MTV in the U.S. We intend to preserve the authenticity of the British version and are excited to collaborate with the original team to develop stories that will speak to American youth,” said Liz Gateley, Senior Vice President, MTV Series Development.
“We are delighted to be making ‘Skins’ for the U.S. and in particular, for MTV who have embraced the show and its ambitions and unusual production process. We are looking forward to talking to teenagers across the U.S. and making a show that reflects their lives in every aspect,” said Charlie Pattinson, CEO, Company Pictures.
“Skins” instantly became a critical and commercial hit in the U.K. especially among young adults as it was the third highest-rated show of the year on E4 reaching 1.2 million P2+ viewers and achieved a massive 61% of 16-34 year olds. The series won a 2009 BAFTA Audience Award, which was voted on by the public, and Best Drama Series at the 2008 Broadcast Awards.
The Opening Gala show for the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival opened its doors for the first time last Monday 17th; the new festival designed to bring fashion to the masses, as opposed to Australia Fashion Week which is typically for industry invitees only. Most of the collections showcased this week are about to hit the stores, making the perfect opportunity for the non-industry fashionista to buy tickets to all the shows and see what they will be buying off the rack in a few weeks time. The show was held in a marquee erected in Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District – the main runway destination for the remainder of the week.
Designer – amongst many other talents – Jayson Brunsdon opened the festival with a collection of designs inspired by Audrey Hepburn – in a tribute to her 80th anniversary. The collection was full of contemporary classic silhouettes that exuded simple elegance in an array of neutral toned pinks, champagne and mint green with luxurious silk being the optimum fabric choice. The models sashayed down the catwalk with footage of Audrey Hepburn playing on screens at the head of the runway.
Image source: smh.com.au
The clinical and precise nature of science may not immediately inspire in most people the idea of beauty, artistic expression or photographic masterpieces, but a trend in science inspired art looks set to rise.
Students from the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University have proved that there is mind-boggling beauty to be found in engineering with their sixth annual competition, sponsored by Nokia.
The photography competition saw students pushing the boundaries with stunning images ranging from icebergs in Argentina to micrographs of biological cells taken under a powerful microscope. The winning entry showed the ethereal scene of a diver guiding a deep sea photography vessel. Other highlights included the vibrant colours that form from liquid crystals and carbon nanotubes.
Meanwhile CG illustrator Macoto Murayama challenges the organic form of flowers by magnifying their geometric and mechanical structures in his captivating images. Delicate and intriguing, these illustrations display vivid colours and the fragile beauty of the organic forms.
Another example of beauty found through science is the work of artist Nick Veasey. He utilizes the x-ray technique to give a unique view of everyday objects and a mesmerizing insight into what can be seen under the surface. He estimates to have x-rayed over 4000 objects in the past decade including flowers, football players and tractors. To create his fascinating works, Veasey uses industrial x-ray machines usually used in art restoration, electronic manufacture and by the military.
Image source: www.pinktentacle.com/2009/08/inorganic-flora/
Streetwear company Freshjive has just announced that not only will it be going logoless for the forseeable future, but that it is also making a brave move towards being completely brandless as well. As one of the most recognisable logos of the 90’s, the move, which remarkably will be one of the world’s first anti-branding campaigns, may come as a bit of a shock to its fans and competitors. Its owner and designer Rick Klotz explains that the stripping of the logo from both the outside of the garment and inside of the labels is a direct response to his disillusionment with the world of branding and marketing, as much as a desire to return to the essence of the design practice. He does not want his consumers to wear the Freshjive logo to be in a particular ‘tribe’ or ‘gang’, but to have an individual style. It is also possible that the appropriation of popular streetwear brand images to sell counterfeit goods was another possible reason for the move. What’s certain is that this is a considered project and one that makes a clear comment on the state of the commercial market today (notably the Freshjive website opens with the titles of its current collections: Propagandist/the world’s got problems)
Whilst the company will continue to be called Freshjive and be sold at the same retail outlets they are being sold in today, the logo will be removed from all garments and the Freshjive website. Indeed its minimalist all black labels are certainly becoming iconic in their own right, and may become Freshjive’s unintended new logo. Only time will tell the success of this decision and whether or not other labels will take this brave but revolutionary step away from branding.
(Image source: thehundreds.com)
The Nike Hyperdunk, Nike Zoom Victory Spike and Nike Zoom Victory + are all revolutionary sport shoes that were launched last year specifically for the Beijing Olympics. As London 2012 draws ever nearer, the possibilities of what new technologies the major sports brands will bring to the event are expanding.
At the end of last year the Nike Zoom Kobe IV was unveiled by its namesake, NBA star Kobe Bryant. The low-top basketball shoe has three revolutionary components; Flywire, LunarLite and Nike Zoom making it the newest innovation in performance footwear, as well as the lightest, weighing in at just 11.6 ounces (328.8g).
Flywire technology was created by Nikes Innovation Director, Jay Meschter. His concept was to create a structure from strategically placed high-strength threads to provide support in the style of a suspension bridge, specifically where the foot requires it, instead of the original method of adding more material to provide the necessary strength to support the foot. This results in the foot having all the necessary support it needs without the added weight of more material.
LunarLite was invented at Nike to replace standard Phylon foam. The original product weighs 30% less than its predecessor, whilst still providing ultra-lightweight, supple cushioning for the foot to distribute impact force evenly and help reduce pain in the pressure points of the foot. Nike Zoom is a very thin, lightweight, performance cushioning system that allows the foot to be closer to the ground, whilst providing optimum response to pressure. With all three systems in one shoe, it is clear to see how new technologies can create such a diverse sportswear products. And with all this already available and with three years still to go, the athletes in London are set to be faster than ever.
Take three ingredients. Great design, good quality and a passion for protecting our planet. Mix them up and what do you get? Kite Kids. A cool and contemporary range of childrenswear made with every consideration for the planet.
Using certified organic cotton and ‘green’ polyester (partly recycled out of old water bottles), the result is a beautiful mix and match collection of the most planet-friendly, yet hip, clothing for children aged 2-11 years.
Kite Kids offers a truly credible fashion choice, especially for all of those increasingly discerning 5-11 year olds. You know the ones … “I’m not wearing that mum” came the fatal cry! Well, amongst the Kite team we have 4 children that fall in to that bracket, so we know what it takes to satisfy both parent and child and it is our mission to do just that.
This Autumn sees the launch of yummy heathland tones of heather, cherry, mocha and mink for girls. The fabulous boys collection combines classic colours like navy with chocolate, mink and light blue.
To find out more log on to about us at www.kite-kids.co.uk or please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 733222
Scientists at Imperial College London have embarked on a £1million project, in an attempt to create a clean energy source using an ‘artificial leaf’. Leaves provide the energy that fuels almost every living being on earth. Now here’s the science bit; leaves use the light from the sun to carry out specific chemical reactions to create useful molecules such as sugars. This process, which is called photosynthesis, involves the leaf using the sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The leaf then releases the oxygen into the atmosphere and uses the hydrogen with the carbon dioxide in the air to create sugars to aid its growth.
Scientists are aiming to imitate the cycle by learning precisely how leaves carry out the process of photosynthesis and then create an artificial leaf that will use the hydrogen in fuel cells to create electricity or combine the hydrogen that is created with CO2 to create fuels such as methanol, which could be used in car engines to supply a carbon-neutral power source.
The US and Dutch governments are also spending millions of US Dollars/Euros in attempts to be the first nation to create a fully functioning artificial leaf. So fingers crossed that by the year 2050, when the worlds need for energy is predicted to double, that we will have a totally new method of creating a totally clean energy source.
Image source: flickr / axel