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Flos USA 800.939.3567


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Photo Michel Gibert Special thanks: Changha Hwang wall picture Gilles Cenazandotti sculpture - Ozone


Rythme modular sofa / design Studio Les Contemporains Collection

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Expressing your interior world


issue 34 | art movement

contributors it... links

14 16 136

FASHION la môme colorblind in black and light

70-79 80-89 90-101

EDITORIAL beauty by design man power lustworthy down the rabbit hole pair of aces new world order quantum speed sensory overdrive altered assemblage gelman + byars water fall downtown girl a beautiful mind floating fantasy without borders mad max cosmic creations double trouble good karma fashion alchemy new kid on the block make mine a mclaren object of my obsession the good life frontal illusionist twisted traditions a cool new leaf retro active culture king designer driven four keeps norwegian word day dreamer athenaeum

18 20-21 22 24 26-29 30-33 34-35 36-37 38-39 40-47 48-49 50-51 52-55 56-57 58-59 60-61 62-63 64-65 66-67 68-69 102-103 104 105 106-107 108-109 110-112 114-115 116-119 120-121 122-123 124-125 126-127 128-131 132-135

COVER WRAP ART

by Maarten Baas Mr. Baas’s “Clay Furniture” is made of synthetic clay, with a metal “skeleton” inside to reinforce the structure. All pieces are modeled by hand. No moulds are used in the production, making each piece unique. The “Clay” series comes in eight standard colors: are black, white, brown, red, yellow, blue, orange and green. ©2009 Maarten Baas. All Rights Reserved. COVER ART

photographer / emin stylist / emma pritchard makeup / azra red / dior makeup hair stylist / lacy redway / artmix model / madeleine / marilyn retouching / helios photographic tights / jean paul gaultier jacket / jean paul gaultier

SPECIAL THANKS TO Mom, all sisters and the whole clear team. I know my Dad’s watching over the project. | 10 |

This page: Chess Table for Moooi by Front; detail from Untitled 1978 (photomontage on paper) by Linder; each courtesy of the artist.

for the latest fashion, design, architecture, and art news, visit clearmag.com


issue 34 | art movement can’t get enough clear? check out our archives at clearmag.com

editor anna carnick anna@clearmag.com production director ara kazanjian ara@clearmag.com design mauricio guillen mauricio@clearmag.com movement editor george damon levy george@clearmag.com creative advisor tom weisz tom.weisz@bunkspeed.com online editor daina yelda daina@clearmag.com proofreaders mary hern, esther allweiss ingber, melanie madden research meriem kadi marketing intern: chelsea gibson graphic interns: carla butwin, elsida konakciu editorial interns: jane frances hewitt, lynsey major

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subscription inquiries 877 257 3734 or subscribe@clearmag.com. US rates are $38/year, Canada $55usd/year, foreign $105usd/year. to subscribe, send mailing info with check, money order, or credit card information (Visa, MC only) to: clear magazine 433 n. washington royal oak mi, 48067. clear welcomes all editorial contributions made to above address or to submissions@clearmag.com. ISSN 1534-5661 issue 34 clear magazine is printed in the united states and published four times a year. clear publications llc. 433 n. washington royal oak, mi 48067. (known office of publication) 433 n. washington royal oak, mi 48067. Š 2009 clear publications llc all rights reserved. reproduction without permission is prohibited. postmaster: send address changes to clear magazine 433 n. washington royal oak, mi 48067. | 12 |

This page: Poliform Venus chair by Marcel Wanders studio; Y water bottles courtesy of Y Water Inc.

PUBLISHING / EDITORIAL publisher & creative director emin kadi emin@clearmag.com


Nooka Fragrance The Future Distilled™


issue 34 | art movement check out clearmag.com for the newest video art!

| 14 |

Belgium-based writer and photographer javier barcala

uted to BlackBook Magazine, Anthem Magazine and

matthew perpetua is a New York City based writer.

has been a regular contributor to lifestyle and avant-

Swindle. She is also an award-winning fiction writer at

In addition to founding the mp3 blog Fluxblog, he

garde media for more than a decade. He is co-founder

work on her first novel, in between her photography

has written for Pitchfork, New York Magazine, Public

and creative director of Designers Against AIDS, an

projects and exploration of all new forms of innova-

Radio International, Spin and the Associated Press. He

international project that brings together well-known

tion.

graduated with a degree in photography from Parsons

artists to produce relevant creations to encourage and

Media artist alexander gelman (also known as Gelman

School of Design in 2002.

promote safe sex. He’s also intimately involved with

or Glmn) has offices in New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam

Despite, or perhaps because of, growing up on an

H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS collections, launched

and Rio de Janeiro. His work is included in collections

island off the West Coast of Canada, terri peters

worldwide in 2008 and again last May. Since 2008,

from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to the

enjoys exploring new cities, having lived and worked in

most of his visual works have emerged from his pro-

Bibliothèque National de France in Paris. Challenging

Tokyo, Paris, London, and now Copenhagen, Denmark.

duction house, La Fortuna, which surveys the collision

the boundaries between art, science, politics and

An architect slash writer, she writes about architecture,

of art, fashion and performance.

popular culture, his signature is simplicity and starkness

exhibitions, art, technology and design for more than

michael barthel is a freelance writer currently pursu-

that’s rich in conceptual complexity. His bestselling

20 publications, including Frame, Mark, Azure, Archinect,

ing his PhD in Communications at the University of

book, Subtraction: Aspects of Essential Design, has been

Sleeper and Metropolis.

Washington. He was previously on staff at the music

called a “modern-day classic.”

Photographer

blog Idolator and has written for such publications as

herring & herring is a collaboration between dimi-

Carcassonne, France in 1986. He grew up in Spain, and

The Village Voice, Stylus, Under the Radar and Flagpole.

tri scheblanov (Russia/USA) and jesper carlsen

began his photographic career with Spanish magazines.

Professor mel byars is creative director of MechoShade

(Denmark/USA), engaging in fashion photography

Jonathan currently lives in Paris, and also works in Milan,

Systems, the innovative WindowManagement™ man-

and art direction. The team’s photographic approach

London and New York.

ufacturer. He also writes and speaks about industrial

is based upon concept rather than a singular style.

Native Angeleno steve siler is a freelance journalist

design, and has published more than a dozen books

They aim to continuously push the idea of storytelling

with 15 years’ experience writing and speaking about

and numerous essays on the subject. Byars is best

through an ever-expanding visual vernacular.

automobiles. His work has appeared in dozens of

known for The Design Encyclopedia, published by the

Design journalist and prop stylist katharina horst-

luxury, lifestyle and automotive magazines, including

Museum of Modern Art.

mann works on a freelance basis for publications

Automobile Magazine, Robb Report and Edmunds.com.

Born in South Korea and currently residing in L.A.,

such as Interni, Flair and Elle Decoration, among others.

He currently serves as the west coast bureau for one

kee chang is the contributing editor of Anthem

She studied interior design in Milan and New York

of the car industry’s most esteemed online publications:

Magazine. When he’s not holed up in the office writing,

and contemporary design curation in London. She’s

CarAndDriver.com.

mooching off free press screenings in Hollywood, or

worked for architect Piero Lissoni and art consultancy

Harlem resident cator sparks is a longtime Clear con-

moonlighting as a nightlife correspondent for SOMA

Brunswick Arts, and co-curated design duo El Ultimo

tributor. Besides prodding into the depths of design for

Magazine, you’ll most likely find him preparing for

Grito’s exhibition, Make Believe. Katharina currently

us, he is continually on a global hunt for the newest

the launch of Trifecta, a boutique design studio set to

works and lives in Berlin and Milan.

in men’s fashion and travel to cover for the likes of T

debut in early 2010.

Senior editor of Anthem Magazine, scott indrisek’s

Magazine, Style.com, City, Out and WeAr Magazine.

Over the past 10 years, larry cornwell has writ-

musings have also appeared in The Believer, Radar, Time

rima suqi covers design, fashion, interiors, liquor/spirits

ten and photographed features for several U.S. and

Out New York, Dazed & Confused and other publica-

and travel. Her writing has appeared in The New York

international publications. He has also been a co-host

tions. He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the tap

Times, New York Magazine, Departures, Town & Country,

on radio, co-produced television programming and

water has extra creativity in it, and everyone is best

Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home and others. She is a con-

served as on-air talent. He is a graduate of the Jim Hall

friends with TV on the Radio. He is at work on a novel,

tributing writer for Organic Spa Magazine.

Karting School and the Skip Barber Racing School. He

tentatively entitled Sung Mass.

Since 2008, david van der leer has served as assistant

test-drove the Porsche Panamera for our latest issue.

Raised in California, marisa katz is a New York-based

curator of Architecture and Design at the Guggenheim

giovanna dunmall is a journalist who writes about

writer. She has written on such topics as politics,

Museum. Prior to this, he held editorial and curatorial

design, architecture and travel for magazines in the

culture and art for the Financial Times, Wallpaper, The

positions at Rotterdam’s 010 Publishers and the Office

U.S., U.K. and Australia. Half Italian and half English,

New York Times and The New Republic, among others.

for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) under Rem

Giovanna currently resides in London, where the

Artist and writer cheong kwon originally hails from

Koolhaas. He has lectured internationally on architec-

weather is far less clement than in Italy but the vibe

Seoul, Korea. Now based in New York, she has exhib-

tural theory and is a regular contributor to several

is really exciting: “Anything could happen here, and

ited at the Centre d’art en île in Genève, Kunstraum

publications, including Domus, The Architect’s Newspaper

often it does.”

Walchturm in Zurich, Switzerland, and Universal Cube

and PIN-UP.

rachel felder writes about style and travel for many

in Leipzig, Germany. She is a contributing editor for

Motor City native tamara warren is a New York-based

outlets, including: New York Daily News, Observer

daté.es, the Swiss contemporary art review.

writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 75

Playground, Manhattan, AOL and more. She is the

Graphic designer filip matejicek shared his Hypertype

publications covering pop culture, cars, music, the arts

author of Manic Pop Thrill, a book that examines the

typeface—part of an experimental typography proj-

and social issues. She has written for Rolling Stone,

link between fashion, music and popular culture, and

ect—with us for some of the story titles this issue.

Vibe, Stuff, Shop Etc., Spa, AutoWeek, Juxtapoz,Venus and

collaborated with Coach’s Reed Krakoff on the book

He’s presently studying graphic design at the Pilsen

Remix. She pens a weekly blog for Coolhunting.com and

Fighter: The Fighters of the UFC.

Institute of Art and Design. Filip keeps busy with a

is a founding editor of the online lifestyle car magazine

Brooklyn-based lori fredrickson is an editor at Popular

combination of self-initiated projects, freelance work

Gotryke.com.

Photography and a freelance writer who has contrib-

and educational assignments.

jonathan

segade

was

born

in


issue 34 | art movement letter from the editor

Art in Motion A lifetime is made up of moments. Most pass by unnoticed, quickly forgotten. A few stand out, though, and we carry these with us for years and years, as clear and rich in the mind’s eye today as they were in that very first instance. In contemplating the idea of “art movement,” this notion of moments–some fleeting, some captured, but all part of time’s unstoppable beat–came front of mind again and again. The creative process itself–the fluid path from conception to physical realization –presents countless opportunities for such memorable moments. They are born in the minutes, hours, days, months, and even years that mark the development of a creative work and an artist’s personal exploration. Before an audience sees a painting hung in a gallery, a dress on the runway, a building erected, or a product in a store, the idea itself must take hold, a paintbrush must stroke canvas, a needle meet thread and far too many late nights be illuminated by the light of a computer screen. These are the moments that shape the artist and the art. They are driven by the need to bring what is perfect in one’s mind to life: to share a vision, grow as an artist, and create work that moves. And that relationship between creator and observer–the exchange of ideas and passions–is the culmination of art in motion. Ideally, all of us–not just artists–both draw inspiration from the surrounding world and contribute something valuable back to it. That reciprocal relationship–the give and the take–can lead to unforgettable moments. We can move one another. A performance can take us away to other worlds, an environment can take away one’s breath, a painting may seem to stop time, and a color can evoke powerful emotions from within. This is the creative cycle: one person’s inspiration and curiosity create work that motivates another–and it’s each of our responsibilities to continue that movement by contributing our best. Though we may be miles apart, we find ourselves connected. We take and we give, and we hope we’re better today than we were yesterday, and that the work we do today will make for a better tomorrow. Thanks to the generosity of a slew of talented artists, through conversation and exposition, this issue celebrates such exceptional moments. The artists and designers within are scaling the walls that once separated genres, putting forth the best that they have, and leading the way for art’s future movements. Yes, life is a series of moments, and if we’re lucky, we encounter work that yields unforgettable instances of passion, awakening, and growth. Anna Carnick, Editor

| 16 |


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B E AU T Y B Y D E S I G N A Q&A with Clear’s newest cover model

Name: Madeleine Blomberg Hometown: Halmstad, Sweden Represented by: Marilyn Agency, NY How long have you been modeling? Eight years Career highlights: Traveling to places such as Australia, Japan, India, etc. Also, when I first started modeling, I was exclusive for the Prada show. Role Models: I have always loved Daria Werbowy. I think she has an amazing face, she is down to earth and she has lots of charisma.

Last book you read: Discover Your Destiny by Robin S. Sharma Your favorite album right now: Snow Patrol’s “A Hundred Million Suns” All-time favorite film? “Dead Poets Society” Hobbies: I love horseback riding. I flew my Swedish Warmblood horse over from Sweden to New Jersey a year and a half ago. I am also studying to become a professional dog trainer. I absolutely love dogs and have always felt a strong connection to dogs since I was a little kid. Now to the Clear theme at hand ... | 18 |

Photo by Emin

Your favorite place in the world? I love Africa! The country itself is interesting, but what I love most about it is the countryside and the wildlife. Last time I was there, my family and I went on a safari for two weeks through Tanzania, and it was a dream come true. Can’t wait to go back. I also liked Tokyo, Japan. I had so much fun when I was there a couple of years ago working. Would love to go back. And as I am a huge sushi lover, it is definitely the right place for me! Who are your favorite fashion designer(s)? I love Marc by Marc Jacobs. He is a great designer. I like his clothes because they are very chic and sort of girly but in a very nice way. Also, they are sort of playful, and I like how he mixes the colors, layers, etc. You can wear them anytime—parties, street wear or just a casual, everyday look. The most iconic fashion designer of all time? Valentino Your favorite architect? Frank Lloyd Wright. He promoted organic architecture, and I am all about organic. I especially love Falling Water. I also like Colombian architect Simón Vélez. He uses natural building materials such as bamboo for his structures.

Favorite photographer? I love Alessio Bolzoni. I worked with him for Flair magazine less than a year ago. First of all, he is a really nice person. And his photos have a very interesting touch to them. There is so much feeling to them. I don’t know how many clients have stopped going through my book at castings to ask, “Who shot this story?” His photos are definitely something unique. An exhibit or show from the last year that moved you: The Wild Horses of Sable Island show by Roberto Dutesco in Manhattan was absolutely extraordinary. I walked in and got tears in my eyes. I love horses in general, but when I saw the photos they moved me in a way I didn’t think was possible.


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MAN POWER Hypebeast.com: A survival guide for the modern man words: michael barthel

Staying up-to-date on street fashion by hanging out on the street is so 20th century. After all, the street isn’t even the street anymore: it’s the Internet. If you want to find trendsetters showing off and are looking for the next new thing, hitting the Web will let you get beyond your personal locale to see what people are doing in Tokyo, Berlin, Vancouver and everywhere in between. A major standout on our list of fashion info go-to’s: Hypebeast.com.

The site is structured in a way that allows for both editorial content and blogs from notable figures. Editorially, you’ve got an exhaustively updated news feed alongside interviews with people like Paul Rodriguez and Pharrell Williams. The blog section, meanwhile, showcases a rotating cast of guest-posters that’s remarkably broad in scope, with everyone from designers (Michael Akira West of 686 Technical Apparel) to artists (Singaporean pop painter Jahan Loh) to musicians (DJ Neil Armstrong). And the design is fresh and fast, letting you ingest content at a furious rate. Hypebeast moves at the speed of 21st-century style; if you don’t want to be left behind, you’d better read up.

| 20 |

Image courtesy of Hypebeast.

Founded in 2005, Hypebeast began as a sneaker blog, catering to the rabid masses of shoe enthusiasts. It has since expanded under the leadership of editor Kevin Ma to embrace other elements of street fashion and even music. On a typical visit to Hypebeast, you’re likely to find everything from reports about the latest A Bathing Ape products to tour reports from Jay-Z’s DJ to interviews with up-andcoming artists.


SHOOTING STARS: IMAN, MARKUS KLINKO AND INDRANI, AND SPLASHLIGHT.

Studios • Equipment Rental • CGI for Print + Animation • Retouching • Digital Capture • Retail + E-Commerce Photography New York + Miami • 212-268-7247 • splashlight.com + splashlightcreative.com • Photo: Markus Klinko and Indrani. Styling: GK Reid.


The season’s most coveted indulgences. SKY Dupont Phone French luxury brand S.T. Dupont, famous for high-end lighters and writing instruments, has joined forces with Pantech, Korea’s third largest phone maker, to create the SKY Dupont luxury mobile phone. The sleek new handset features 18K gold-plate edges, additional gold decorative accents, a 3-inch touchscreen, GPS, mobile TV, a music player, a 3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and email. Its luxurious design was inspired by Dupont’s signature lighter, even incorporating a push-up button to recreate the “cling” sound associated with opening the lighter’s cover. Weighing in at 90 grams (3.15 ounces), the SKY Dupont IM-U510LE measures 106.8 X 50.8 X 11.15 mm, and is available for about $830 a pop through SK Telecom in Korea.

Le Rituel Just in time for the holidays, shoe designer Christian Louboutin and Champagne Piper-Heidsieck introduce Le Rituel. This champagne gift set inspired by scandalous scenes from 1880s Russian ballets, wherein adoring gentlemen toasted ballerinas post performance with champagne-filled slippers. The black stiletto-shaped champagne flute and red-labeled Brut come in a luxurious, shoebox-like case. As one tips the shoe to serve his or her partner (who drinks from the heel), champagne bubbles run down the translucent red sole. Combining Piper-Heidsieck’s iconic label with Louboutin’s famously red shoe soles, Le Rituel embodies the pair’s predilections for all things rich and red. Priced at around $500, Le Rituel is available at select Neiman Marcus locations and online at www.le-rituel.com.

| 22 |

Top image courtesy of Pantech; bottom by Peter Lippmann for Piper-Heidsieck.

LUSTWOR THY


His first collection, Purest Form, was launched in early 2009 and named after writers who have inspired him, such as Orwell and Fitzgerald, and quickly became available in the cult fashion-only department store Dover Street Market and on the cool menswear Web site Oki-ni. The super-smart shoes in the current SS10 collection—Hot Steppers (launched at Paris Menswear in September 2009)—are named after “dancehall generals” such as Cachao, King Tubby and Jerry Lee Lewis, and range from sandals and half-suede, half-leather toe-cap shoes to sneakers and tasseled slip-ons, all in tan, coffee, white and cream hues. As Mr. Hare (real name Marc Hare) points out, he is all about “black” shoes, not in color but “black” in all-important attitude. And for Mr. Hare that means making a shoe you can “attach some romance to,” a shoe that creates emotion, a sense of adventure and that elevates the soul—a slightly rebellious shoe made of the finest materials and craftsmanship available. Understandably, Mr. Hare has had less time to write on his blog lately, but he is not about to give it up. It’s where it all started, he says, and its “do anything, see-anything nature is what makes it so thrilling and essential.” | 24 |

RABBIT

HOLE Mr. Hare creates nothing less than romance in the men’s shoes words : giovanna dunmall

Imges courtesy of Mr. Hare.

“Traditional shoemakers just aren’t down with what I am down with,” declares designer Mr. Hare. I first heard about Mr. Hare via his eponymous shoe blog, a place where he muses wittily and articulately on life, love and the latest in foot wares. Armed with an eclectic but firm background in fashion (marketing consultant for brands like Adidas, Caterpillar, Reebok and Levi’s, running a short-lived but high-concept fashion boutique in Notting Hill and being a part of London’s legendary “only ever real surf shop,” Low Pressure), he decided to launch his own shoe range. He had designed clothes before, but found this a dissatisfactory undertaking for typically Hare-ian reasons. “When you take [clothes] off, they just crumple up in a heap on the floor. Unrecognizable. Shoes sit there ready to go. Keen to get their swerve on. I look for similar qualities in my friends, so I guess shoes were my kind of product.”

DOWN THE


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PA I R O F A C E S PearsonLloyd emphasizes functionality in multi-use designs. words : lori fredrickson

| 26 |


If British design studio PearsonLloyd could be summed up in a single phrase, cofounder Luke Pearson says, it might be this: “Simplicity is a complex process.”

in furniture but frustrated by being locked in by craft processes. As I was running away from the superficiality of design, Tom was running toward the possibilities of it.”

“It sounds like an oxymoron,” Pearson says, “but it’s actually very straightforward. Simplicity of design requires a complex process, because you have to cover so many bases to make sure you’re getting it right.”

Early on, they found that their different backgrounds and combined interests complemented one another, making way for a design studio that would essentially be a hybrid of the two fields. “Industrial design is heading toward new possibilities in design but doesn’t have any depth, whereas though furniture materials have changed, its design has basically remained the same,” Pearson says. “We were interested in the wonders of the industrial age versus the reality of archetypes, how to not change but improve them.”

And though the products that PearsonLloyd creates are in fact diverse—the firm, headed up by Pearson and Tom Lloyd since 1997, is lauded for object and furniture design as much as it is for less common design products, such as health care equipment and first-class airline seating—they share a very simple objective: functionality. Be it an office chair or a shelf system, it will work in the best way to fit the space or needs of the user—and the aesthetic, which never comes last, usually fits like the final piece of a puzzle. The design firm owes its success in part to the unique partners at its helm. Having met at the Royal College of Art in the early 1990s—Lloyd, an industrial design student, and Pearson, a furniture design student at the time—they were later brought together out of an increasing dissatisfaction with the limitations of their chosen fields. “I’ve always been fascinated by innovation, but when I started my degree, I found that for the main part, industrial design was about creating a style envelope around the things that are technologically forward,” Pearson explains. Lloyd, on the other hand, “was interested

Within just a few years of starting up, PearsonLloyd had gained the interest of such leading clients as Walter Knoll and Artemide. By 2004, they’d graduated beyond just furniture to designing a multiaward-winning airline seat for Virgin Atlantic. Upcoming projects, along with high-end furniture, now include another airline project and a commission to do furniture design for the historic British city of Bath. “We’ve developed a reputation for synthesis between high-tech and super simplicity,” Pearson says. “We tailor the project to the client’s needs. And we’ll start by playing a verbal ping-pong about a project; we won’t even put a pen to paper because that stamps the project too early on with a visual. Talking it out keeps it fluid and ambiguous.”

This page: Turtle Chair (2004) for Walter Knoll Opposite (from top): Upper Class for Virgin Atlantic Airways (2006) and Peggy (2009) for SCP | 27 |


This abstract approach has allowed the partners to focus their designs on being purposeful as well as versatile. For example, the Peggy table series has a flexibility and streamlined aesthetic applicable for both residential or commercial use. The Cobi chair for Steelcase, an office chair that uses a unique mechanism to make it more lightweight and mobile than most office chairs, does so without detracting from its durability. It’s also brought them into much more diverse fields than just furniture. “One of our more recent projects was with the Design Council and the National Health Service in the UK,” Pearson says. The objects were far from glamorous: a commode and a patient chair. “It’s a new area and a challenge for us,” he says, and

Cobi (2009) for Steelcase

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PARCS (2009) for Bene

stresses that health care is a valuable field that has remained largely untouched by design influence. “Design is one of the last things that comes to peoples’ minds when they think of health care equipment, but it should be one of the first things. It makes a patient feel valued to know that some care has gone into these devices.” On top of a number of new furniture pieces due to launch in the spring, PearsonLloyd has recently been approached for projects such as glass objects and the design of an opera. Pearson attributes this largely to the fact that, unlike many designers and artists, they’ve shied away from branding themselves with any one style—and instead focused on each project as its own unit.

“Design is one of the last things that comes to peoples’ minds when they think of health care equipment, but it should be one of the first things. It makes a patient feel valued to know that some care has gone into these devices.” –Luke Pearson

“The last thing we set out to do is produce something fashionable, though we’re delighted if it becomes fashionable,” Pearson says. “We’re more interested in discovering what the future might be rather than in changing the status quo.”

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NEW WORLD ORDER Oppenheim Architecture+Design embraces natural solutions. interview : scott indrisek

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Miami architect Chad Oppenheim has made his mark with projects that celebrate the natural environment. Oppenheim’s philosophy is refreshingly modest: A building’s shape is determined by what’s appropriate, not by what flatters his ego. His work thus far has been alternately experimental or refined. His design for the Campus Center for Miami Dade College melded two tower forms into an iconoclastic shape with a pedestrian green in the center. On the other hand, the Presidente Vargas building in Rio adds dashes of Richard Meier’s white to a traditional rectangular form, and the Enea headquarters in Switzerland hugs the ground, unassuming and reserved. Environmental concerns are always paramount; his firm is also behind the transparent, foliage-focused design for 1, a sustainable hotel in Washington, D.C. Oppenheim himself is contagiously enthusiastic about what he does, and approaches his craft from a decidedly holistic perspective. (The language the firm uses to talk about its mission is irresistible—who can deny an “ethereal botanical wonderland”?) We spoke with the architect about designing ecosystems, maximizing pleasure and learning from the ancients. This concept of pleasure—is this a primary goal when you’re creating a building? If I boil it down to that, it probably is. I definitely feel that too often architecture is somewhat arbitrary. Pleasure is multi-faceted: that would be a sense of drama, a sense of romance, delight, of unexpected surprise. I’ve always been fascinated by the sound, the smell, almost even the taste of architecture.

You said a lot of architecture is ‘arbitrary.’ What does that mean? Oftentimes the forms are driving the architecture. The form and the vision of that idea come first, and then you sort of back in the architecture to fit within that formal expression. Any time we do a form or a shape, it’s always based on some sort of logic and functional quality that makes it less arbitrary. You stress the general idea of simplicity in design. Is there a particular project that comes to mind where you had an obstacle to work around and you found a very simple solution? That idea of simplicity—it comes down to, I wouldn’t say being lazy in a way, but the idea of doing as little as possible and accomplishing as much as possible. That really has come down to our experience building in Miami—trying to elevate a very kind of banal, typical architecture to a level of higher artistry. The challenge has always been: how do you do that within the simplest means possible? Miami’s sort of in the worst of both worlds. You pay a lot and you get very little. In terms of unbuilt work, there’s a project in Costa Rica, a resort. The whole idea behind the project was to make it disappear, to cloak [it] within its natural environment. Costa Rica is not a place where you go to be immersed in the built environment. You go there to be immersed in nature. The strategy of this project was: How do you savor—how do you save—the beautiful, natural feel of the site, but also insert a manmade element that

Rendering of The Vault, an art storage facility in Miami, by Luxigon; all images courtesy of Oppenheim Architecture+Design

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“I find myself getting more and more close to the ways that primitive cultures built.” –Chad Oppenheim

will heighten your appreciation of the natural beauty around you? We came back to the idea of really looking at the way primitive man had built using local materials and limited amounts of movement in terms of land. We built within the natural typography and used the natural ebb and flow of the land to generate the layout. It wasn’t arbitrary, but more informed by the site. The idea was it disappeared—literally? It’s a mesa that juts out off of some cliffs, so the project is built below the top of the mesa. Eighty-five percent of the resort is built into the natural formation of the land. Everything unfolds as you go down the hill. In a way, it was inspired by the way primitive cultures had worked with natural land formations, whether it be the terracing of rice paddies in Asia, or the integration within natural land formations of the Anastasi Indians. Set in the U.A.E., your Marina + Beach Towers project seems to lack —in a very refreshing way—that ‘monumental spaceship’ look. In going there and understanding what’s being built and what’s being planned—it was absolutely insane. It was all this sort of gymnastics, almost architectural self-pleasuring. Really, this idea of who can twist more, turn and torque and do any of a million different things, but only for the sake of making it eye-catching. We wanted to … find a solution that was actually quite simple, but very interesting. It’s on the water on both sides. Our original idea was: How do you [give] every building an unobstructed view of the water, whether it be the bay or the beach? Another thing would be creating a public space of the project that is sheltered from the sun. By making the tower peeled apart, we were able to create this wonderful experience inside that would be sheltered from the sun. We call it the bio-dune, this amazing landscape that goes from one side of the project to the other.

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Marina + Beach Towers; rendering by Dbox. Above and right: Campus Center for Miami Dade College; rendering by Dbox and Olalekan Jeyifous


What you did for Enea—you referred to it as exercising ‘architectural sobriety.’ It seems the polar extreme to that would be the Campus Center—it’s a pretty grand gesture, dramatic and flashy. How do you gauge which is appropriate? It’s really a matter of going to the place and absorbing, trying to understand what is needed in a particular environment. [With] the Campus Center project, we didn’t set out to make a landmark building, but the program of that building was so diverse and so large. I don’t think there was an element of the built world that wasn’t in that building. The idea was to figure out the most simple way to engage all those diverse programmatic elements. A project like the Enea Headquarters—that was in this very rural, very pristine environment. We felt that the building should once again almost be invisible and kind of nondescript and blend as much as possible. Enea’s going to be doing wonderful gardens, a tree museum. He had worked on that for over a year or two with eight different, very renowned architects from around Europe, and at the end everyone was trying to do all this amazing architecture. I came to him and said, ‘It’s not about the architecture; it’s about the landscape, the garden, the trees, the water, the sky and the lake.’ I feel that I’m almost more interested about providing opportunities for nature and the organic elements of life to set things going. Not just doing architecture, not just doing planning—but actually creating entire environments, habitats, ecosystems, from the natural to the supernatural.

What would be supernatural? There’s a highly confidential project that we’re working on where we’ve accelerated the processes of nature, rebuilding ecosystems that were in a particular place, but which died out because of neglect or poor construction. Are you a believer in what might be called utopian architecture? Most definitely. [But] I think the word ‘architecture’ is perhaps limiting. That’s why the realm we’re working in today encompasses planning, architecture, landscape, biodiversity, science and other things. Part of that ecosystem is the human being, the built environment of that. We’re only one part of that. It sounds very New Age, but it’s not. If nature is flourishing, we will flourish within nature.

“That idea of simplicity—it comes down to … the idea of doing as little as possible and accomplishing as much as possible.” –Chad Oppenheim What’s inspiring you right now, architecturally or otherwise? Is there any particular place you’re at now that’s exciting you? I find myself getting more and more close to the ways that primitive cultures built: where they aligned things with the movements of the celestial bodies, orientated things to sun and moon and the rising of those elements. Not copy nature, but work with nature, working with the natural environment using local materials, using the simplest resources and still get something very powerful and very dramatic. It reminds me of Machu Picchu. That was definitely one of the things I’m talking about. [But] we’re not building Mayan pyramids or Peruvian hillside towns! There’s a book an artist turned me onto: Architecture Without Architects. I find that is almost where we’re heading for. It’s not about theory. It’s not about convoluted solutions.

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QUANTUM

SPEED words : tamara warren

On a straight stretch of concrete at the nearly 4,000-acre Michigan Proving Ground in Romeo—home to the brand-new Aston Martin Performance Driving Course—the 2010 Aston Martin DBS barely stutters at a whopping 165 miles per hour. “It’s not about speed,” Aston Martin instructor Kevin Markham insists. “It’s more about finesse.” The U.S. program opened to the public in July, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the sweeping capabilities of the Aston Martin lineup, including the V8 Vantage, DB9 and DBS. The program’s goals are twofold: to teach drivers how to truly appreciate Aston Martin from the driver’s seat, and to show off their handcrafted details. All Aston Martins are hand-built in Gaydon, England, using top-quality materials that include carbon fiber, aluminum and the finest woods and leathers. And each of these superior sports cars offers its own advantages, from the sheer aggressive power of the DB9’s 5.9-liter W12 engine, to the lean, sculpted architecture of the V8 Vantage, to the majestic materials of the flagship DBS. While Aston Martin has gone through a change of ownership since being sold by the Ford Motor Company in 2007, Ford still has a stake in the British automaker. This means shared technology and an

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Aston Martin’s 2010 Performance Driving: A report from the driver’s seat


opportunity for the Aston Martin to demonstrate its superior handling at the Ford-operated proving ground in southeast Michigan. Combining the best of Ford’s racing science and painstaking design detail, these luxury vehicles perform as well as they look. Participants have the option of driving each of the vehicles or of focusing specifically on one. The day begins with a morning briefing. Then, in a series of exercises, participants demonstrate the reliability of the anti-lock braking (ABS) systems, which prevent common mistakes such as oversteer and understeer from prompting a collision. Braking tests set the tone for the day on a 2.5-mile straightaway. The object is to bring the car up to 120 mph, and then stop abruptly. Each Aston Martin halts with a quick, assertive squeeze of the brakes, and the DBS’s carbon fiber brakes flawlessly execute the maneuver. Then it’s on to twisty roads to demonstrate ride and handling. A slick skid pad allows the drivers to test such functions as dynamic stability control. In each section of the course, real-world driving situations are simulated for potential owners.

Combining the best of Ford’s racing science and painstaking design detail, these luxury vehicles perform as well as they look. After lunch, it’s onto the fantasy portion of the day—the hill route, where participants get to experience a Formula 1 moment with their Aston Martin of choice. As participants gain speed and confidence with every turn and acceleration point, a sense of euphoria prevails. The final section is the most thrilling—a five-lane oval—and Aston Martin easily breaks the track speed limit, climbing near the car’s threshold (almost 200 mph, for the gutsy participants). And while drivers might not operate their vehicles at high speeds in everyday situations, as one instructor pointed out, there’s no law about how fast to drive at the Ground. Aston Martin also offers instruction courses at the Lommel Proving Ground in Limburg, Belgium, and at its Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, England. The program costs $2,500 for the entire day—a small price to pay for those who invest in a bespoke Aston Martin. Driving is believing.

Images courtesy of Aston Martin

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In most arenas, those who effectively break the rules must first demonstrate a mastery of them. With his first U.S. solo show, this winter’s Decisive Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, Konstantin Grcic proves an undeniable command of the language of design.

The German designer has made a career of subverting and reinterpreting familiar social and cultural references in such a way as to make them strangely, fascinatingly unfamiliar. His minimalistic work sharpens the senses, making us question common objects we so often take for granted, and how they define the spaces in which we move. Chairs, desks, lamps, kitchen equipment—you name it—all just different enough to raise our antennae, but still recognizably approachable. Take, for example, Grcic’s Mayday Lamp. Produced for Flos, these cheeky little lamps were inspired by the industrial lamps used in auto mechanic shops; Grcic playfully appropriated them for the domestic setting. Or the Myto Chair, designed for Plank: Grcic found inspiration for this cantilevered chair in the Mito motorbike made by Cagiva. Its low-slung thrust was made possible through the use of advanced plastic polymer. | 36 |

Konstantin Grcic’s Decisive Design at the AIC words : anna carnick

Opposite page (top left): Myto Chair (2008), manufactured by Plank with BASF; image courtesy of Plank.

This page: Konstantin Grcic’s Mayday Lamp (1999); manufactured by Flos; courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

SENSORY OV E R D R I V E


“He’s a very fearless designer.” -Zoë Ryan, Curator of Design, AIC

But Grcic’s experimentation is firmly rooted in years of experience. Originally trained as a carpenter and cabinetmaker at Britain’s Parnham College, Grcic went on to earn a master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art in London. He even worked beside design great Jasper Morrison prior to launching his own studio in 1991. Since then, Grcic’s designs have won several international awards, including the Blueprint Award: Best Interior Product, 100% Design London Awards, the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, the iF Gold Award and the Compasso d’Oro in Italy. Zoë Ryan, Neville Bryan Curator of Design in the AIC’s Department of Architecture and Design, describes Grcic’s approach this way: “He’s a very fearless designer. He does not expect a positive response … He just wants to provoke a reaction, often by lacing [his designs] with a very wry humor and a subtle irony … He wants to test people’s interactions with objects.” He’s demonstrated a passion for the design process in and of itself —embracing new materials and technologies in the pursuit of creative innovation. Says Ryan, “This isn’t about a laborious process to make everything new … It is very much a process of investigation. He always has to push his projects so they take him one step further.” Decisive Design captures all these artist elements in a unique and thoughtfully organized presentation, one meant to clarify the design process—from concept to realization—for museum-goers. Grcic and Ryan collaborated on the exhibit’s design, and chose to organize it into two complementary sections. The first, set in the perimeter, presents a studio-like atmosphere, with completed works set alongside prototypes, models, sketches and large format photography of Grcic’s studio and of work being made.

As visitors move deeper into the exhibit, they enter a second, central zone outfitted like a mini racetrack (a design that reflects Grcic’s long-standing interest in Formula 1 racing), surrounded by stacked tires-turned-seating that also double as light poles for Grcic’s Mayday Lamps. Here, in the racetrack’s center, visitors can try out some of his award-winning designs for themselves, including the Myto cantilevered chair and the Landen (built to seat four!), as well as some of Grcic’s newer works. This interactive approach is almost necessary for appreciating a designer like Grcic. It’s one thing to talk about materiality and design; it’s another to experience it. Take, for example, his 360° Chair: designed for Magis, its quirky, slightly awkward form rethinks the traditional office chair. However, “unless you actually get to try that piece out yourself,” says Ryan, “it’s very difficult to understand, because it is such a radical reinvention of what we typically think of as a standard work chair … It’s perched. It was made for casual sitting … for people working in studios like Konstantin. Or, say, for hairdressers, etc., for people who are constantly in a dynamic environment where they are moving around.” The exhibit’s hands-on element was incredibly important to both Grcic and Ryan, allowing for a fuller appreciation and more in-depth discussion of Grcic’s work, but also, on a larger scale, feeding into the expanding public interest in design itself. Ryan concludes, “Konstantin will only commit to a project if he thinks it will provide a new angle on his work or push his work into a new terrain. Therefore, from the beginning I was confident that we would be able to produce an exhibition that would be a valuable addition to not only the museum’s program, but also the larger field of critical dialogue in design.” Decisive Design runs through January 24, 2010.

Tip Bucket (2003), manufactured by Authentics; right: 360˚ Chair (2009), manufactured by Magis; images courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago | 37 |


A LT E R E D A S S E M B L AG E Linder Sterling assembles modern art. words: lori fredrickson

This page, clockwise from top: details of Untitled 1979, collage on paper; Untitled 1977, collage; Untitled 1978, photomontage; Golden Jewel 2007, collage on LP album cover; flower from Super Star 2006, collage. All images courtesy of Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London.

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This page: left: detail from Untitled 1977, collage on paper; right: detail from Untitled 1978, photomontage

“I’m as intrigued and excited by the gaps between sounds, images [and] characters as I am in the actual sounds, images and characters themselves.” –Linder Sterling Of the Manchester post-punk artists only recently getting their due, Linder Sterling may be one of the most enduring. Her trademark collage work of photographs of nude models plastered with cut-outs of household appliances—most famously seen in fanzines and on Buzzcocks album singles—made an impact not just in the arts but in feminist and cultural studies. And if Sterling’s name slipped slightly under the radar in the 1980s and ’90s, retrospective and contemporary works have earned her critical acclaim over the last several years. As a result, her pieces have been featured in multiple group and solo shows, including the MCA Chicago, Institute of Public Arts in London and Cornerhouse in Manchester, among others. As a visual and performance artist in the late ’70s and founding member of the post-punk band Ludus, Sterling’s feminist and anticonsumerist works were little less than confrontational: shocking audiences by whipping out a dildo onstage, or handing out packages of meat at concert tables. Though Ludus disbanded in 1983, Sterling’s work as an artist continued to evolve. She now holds a monograph to her name, Linder Works 1976-2006, with contributions by friends Jon Savage and Morrissey. A 2007 P.S. 1 exhibit displayed

both her ongoing Pretty Girl series and the more recent Star series, which replaces the appliances with flowers. Thirty years out of the Manchester scene, her performance pieces are being seen at the Tate Triennial. And it’s given her a new sense of focus. “In 1977, it felt as if we were holding up a mirror to the world that we saw around us,” Sterling explains. “Then, knowledge and ‘newness’ were quite hard to find. We rarely even had phones in our home. But looking back, the irregularity of communication helped create gaps and spaces for meaning, where secrets survived—in contemporary life, there is so much of everything all the time. Now I’m as intrigued and excited by the gaps between sounds, images [and] characters as I am in the actual sounds, images and characters themselves.” Partly for this reason, she’s turned to mythology and folklore for inspiration. A recent performance piece—held at Tate St. Ives for Halloween as part of the Dark Monarch exhibit—focuses on mysticism in British Art. And in April 2010, she’ll be performing at the Glasgow International Festival. “This will be my most ambitious performance piece,” Sterling asserts. In collaboration with long-

time friend and muse Stuart McCallum, with music that “sounds like a 16th century witch on acid,” the piece is derived from satirist Ben Jonson’s “The Masque of Queens Celebrated from the House of Fame,” written for Queen Anne in 1609. “She scandalized her court by painting herself black for the starring role—similar to British culture through to 1978, when the BBC still showed ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show,’” Sterling says. More recently, she explains, she’s been focused not just on what is portrayed in the media, but what isn’t. “It feels odd that you rarely catch images of women of 50,” Sterling says. “It’s like looking in the media mirror and there’s nothing there.” In the modern day—the “one-touch world” of cell phones and music-on-the-go—it’s not about holding up mirrors. Mirrors are everywhere. Now, for Sterling, it’s about finding a new focal point. “There are still discrete gaps in communication and culture that offer opportunities for true change. Still, we miss them all the time,” Sterling says. “How to make the absent present? I’m still working on that one.”

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Tofu is an off-white, cube-shaped food with a spongy, cheese-like appearance that is very popular in Japan. The description of how tofu is made is not appetizing. A chemical coagulate such as salt, diluted acid, or enzyme is added to soybean milk (also known as soymilk or soy juice). The additive coagulates the soybean milk into curds and whey (or cottage cheese), like those of “Little Miss Muffit” nursery rhyme fame. After the liquid is pressed out, the curds are cut into cubes. Tofu can be included in practically any meal because it is almost flavorless and odorless. It contains very little fat and a large amount of iron. The word—anglicized as “tofu,” “doufu,” or “toufu”—is Chinese in origin (not Japanese as some claim). It possibly first appeared in a poem by Su Ping called “Ode to Tofu,” around A.D. 1500. But tofu (the food) is more than two millennia old. Kento priests brought tofu to Japan sometime between A.D. 710 and 790 as part of their diet, which was vegetarian. Eventually samurai and the Japanese noble class began eating it, and then sometime after about 1600, tofu became a popular food among ordinary people. The spread of tofu to the rest of the world was possibly concurrent with the spread of Buddhism and the Buddhist-associated vegetarian diet, but it only became commercially produced in the U.S. beginning in 1928. A rather colorful character named Theodore Ananias Van Gundy (1874-1935) of La Sierra Industries in California became interested in soy food at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, which featured Asian exhibitions. His range of soy products became extensive, including bacon-flavored powder, canned beans, canned milk, canned tofu, flour, roasted flour, coffee substitute, oil-roasted nuts, butter, cereal and numerous other soybean derivatives. Tofu is also the name of a computer application that makes it possible to place text in columns. Narrow columns make text easier to read, and Tofu also prevents the lines from jumping around when you change the window size. And then there’s TOFU, a new, furry robot developed by the Personal Robotics Groups of the M.I.T. Media Lab. —Mel Byars

Tofu


The original matchbox—a precursor to the matchbook—held wooden matches, which had a small amount of phosphorous connected to the tips with gelatin. When rubbed or “struck” (a misnomer) against the blackroughen side of the box or similar rough surface, the phosphorous ignites due to heat friction. The match’s association with the control of fire by humans began about 400,000 years ago. However, only recently did fire become truly controllable: John Walker, an English chemist, invented the first useful matches—friction matches, also known as “Lucifers”—in 1827. But they smelled bad. Frenchman Charles Sauria solved the problem in 1830 by adding white phosphorous, but those involved in the manufacturing became sick from the chemical production, and Sauria’s matches were banned as a result. Well, as you might surmise, matches were eventually perfected, although they remain dangerous. Because matches were not sold individually, a container was needed—and the matchbox was born. In the 1890s, American inventor and lawyer Joshua Pusey (1842–c. 1906) patented the matchbook. Following the matchbox, the book is a folded paper container with paper matches and a black striking surface on the front side. (For safety, the striking surface was later moved to the backside.) Pusey’s patent was bought by Diamond Match Company, a firm founded in 1881, which quickly became the largest manufacturer of both matchboxes and matchbooks in the U.S. Today, the word “matchbox” is primarily associated with the firm, which produces miniature die-cast automobiles, sold in packages about the size and shape of matchboxes. Matchbox is also the name for an Open Source base environment for the X Window System running on non-desktop-embedded computer platforms such as kiosks, set-top boxes, handhelds and anything limited in screen space, input mechanisms or system resources. Yes, this is all computer speak. And it’s even the name of the band Matchbox (The Rockabilly Rebels), a British poetry magazine, a 1956 rock-and-roll song written and performed by Carl Perkins and a doubtless plethora of other things. They all represent the purloining of the word “matchbox,” which was merely and originally a box for holding matches. —Mel Byars

Matchbox


Everyone knows what a drawer is. And, no, it’s not a single piece of underwear—“drawers” is always plural. A drawer is the most important functional component in a piece of furniture or other storage object. It is usually a box-like container with an open top. But on the walls of Shaker interiors, drawers are built-in elements—no cabinet necessary. Although rare today, drawers of the past exhibit the craftsman’s art. The drawer faces might have been finely carved, solid tropical wood or veneered with intricate, tiny inlays. Even though the sides and bottom were normally of a lesser-quality wood, the hand-sawn corners were dovetail cut. Quality of the craftsmanship varied widely. If the drawer and side glides are metal, like some are today, the last few inches are pulled in without external force, as if by magic. If the glides are wood on old or new furniture, they need paraffin-wax application from time to time. Soap works as well. Some glides purposefully prevent a drawer from being completely pulled out. Drawer pulls include knobs or handles. A cabinet by Pallucco Italia, designed a few years ago, features metal-face drawers that are pulled open by magnetized drawer knobs, which can be entirely removed or placed anywhere on the face. An 18th-century Philadelphia highboy or tallboy—a very high chest expertly carved by the best cabinetmakers of the day—can sell for $250,000 or more. Even as a child, the late designer Shiro Kuramata (1934–1991) loved drawers: “Full of toys and spinning tops and colored cards … untidy drawers.” One of his many chests of drawers, the “Furniture in Irregular Forms Side 2” chest (1970), may have the most intricately formed drawers ever. There are 18 of them, stacked one on top of the other, and almost none like the other. —Mel Byars

Drawer


A case, box or enclosure for storing cigars, cigarettes and tobacco at an ideal and consistent level of humidity is called a humidor. Obviously, the name has been derived from “humidity,” and the most desirable humidity is 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18–21 C). “Humidor” is of a fairly recent coinage: 1903. Spanish cedar is supposedly best for lining humidors because the smell permeates cigars and is desirable for warding off insects. For example, teeny, tiny tobacco beetles, whose larvae eat tobacco, are repelled by cedar. Mahogany is also used as a liner. There is more to maintaining a desktop humidor than you might think. You should not simply buy one for the man in your life (or for yourself) and immediately dump cigars into it. First, you must de-dust the interior with a damp cloth, though some experts eschew the practice if the lining is cedar. You then place a small glass of water inside, leaving it there with the lid closed for 12 hours. Afterward, if the water has entirely or almost evaporated, fill up the glass again and leave it inside with the lid closed for 24 more hours. Use distilled water. These are instructions for maintaining a table humidor, whose case might be wooden, glass, plastic, marble, leather-covered or some other material. Some are cabinet furniture with legs. Then there are personal humidors, which hold from 30 to 100 cigars, travel humidors that hold 10 to 40 cigars, and humidity-controlled rooms in restaurants or stores. Humidor brands include Andre Garcia, Zino Davidoff, Manning, Gerl, Dunhill and Elle Bleu. Some cost as little as $35. An Elle Bleu model with a cedar interior, sycamore exterior, eight coats of varnish and accommodation for 110 cigars is more than $3,000. Will cigar smoking damage your health? Maybe the movie actor George Burns, who played God and lived to be 100 years old, isn’t a good example. He smoked from 10 to 15 cigars per day for 70 years. To repeat, maybe he isn’t a good example. —Mel Byars

Humidor


WATERFA L L Y Water takes Manhattan words : anna carnick

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When great design inspires healthy living, there’s not much more we can ask for. Y Water’s perfect union combines a cool and kid-friendly, 100% recyclable bottle with removable, biodegradable labeling and a flavored, vitamin- and mineral-rich, low-sugar, organic beverage. Once empty, the container becomes a toy that kids can link to other bottles through biodegradable, connectable rubber “Y knots,” letting them create spaceships, animals, robots, or whatever else their imaginations can dream up. When all is said and done, parents can log onto www.ywater.us and receive a free mailer to send the bottle back for recycling. The cheery Y-shape inspired the drink’s name, a playful riff on two of the most commonly asked kiddie questions: “Why?” and “Why not?” As Y-Water designer Yves Béhar says, “The brand, the bottle, the graphics, the name … everything is one, connected by the idea of giving a smarter, healthier and much more fun experience. The category is so bland, so un-original … but kids are open-minded to new and creative things, and that is what we wanted to give them.” Introduced just over a year ago, Y Water is the passion project of Thomas Arndt, former brand manager of Carpe Diem (the parent company of Red Bull energy drink). Frustrated by the lack of healthy beverage options in the market for his own two sons, Arndt decided

to create his own. He quit his job, risked his savings, and submerged himself completely in the Y Water world. Arndt partnered with Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour of Cornell Institute of Food Science to come up with the perfect drink, and brought in Béhar and his celebrated fuseproject studio to brand and design the product. Several months later, the gamble appears to have paid off, with honors from the likes of ID Magazine, Spark and the Global Water Innovation Awards, plus a permanent spot in the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection. And Y Water has found homes not just on supermarket shelves, but also in toy stores. Its most important target—kids and parents—seem to agree as well. This fall, Y Water joined forces with the New York City LAB Middle School in Chelsea, collaborating on a new pilot nutrition program —the first of its kind between a New York City school and a corporate partner. The goal: To educate parents, teachers and students on how to make positive choices and incorporate healthier foods in their lives. Says Arndt, “The opportunity to … raise awareness about healthy choices has been my mission for Y Water from the beginning.” Only time will tell, but for now, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Y Water’s kid-, environment- and design junky-friendly style floats inside and out.

All images courtesy of Y Water; Immune Water® (white), Muscle Water® (red), Bone Water® (orange) and Brain Water® (yellow); ©Y Water Inc. | 49 |


GIRL

An interview with fashion ringmaster Anna Sui interview: cheong kwon

From 1980 onward, Anna Sui’s downtown New York style and original, youthful fashions have carved out a loyal customer base, which has since transformed into a fashion empire worth over $400 million. This summer, she was presented with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, joining the ranks of such illustrious designers as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Bill Blass. Even so, the Detroit-born Fashion Avenue fixture has never lost sight of what made it all possible, launching an impassioned campaign to “Save the Garment Center.” Clear recently sat down with Ms. Sui to discuss her latest psychedelic collection, staying connected and keeping it real. This last collection has some nods to the Pop ’60s. Who or what were your specific references? I’m totally in love with the 1967 version of the adorable children’s film, “Doctor | 50 |

Dolittle.” I love the art direction in the circus scenes from the beginning of the movie—the charming Victorian circus, as seen filtered through the sensibility of 1960s pop. I love the way the men in the movie dressed, with their smocked and pin-tucked neon Liberty-print shirts, worn with shrunken suits—very 1830s mod! My color palette comes directly from the psychedelic world of illustrator Peter Max. It’s full of shimmery pop shades of purple, fuchsia, yellow, royal, turquoise and kelly. How would you describe the Anna Sui lifestyle? How do you keep it fresh? I’m a very realistic designer. I understand that there’s a big difference between a fashion show and the actual product that a consumer buys. In my own store, I see what women want. I hear what they’re asking for. On the runway, I’ll do theatrical styling and pile on the accessories, but there’s always a beautiful dress or a great shirt underneath. One of the biggest compliments is when

someone tells me, ‘I have a dress I bought from you 10 years ago, and every time I wear it my husband tells me I look beautiful.’ You can’t ask for more … There’s always a very sweet, feminine, girly aspect … a touch of nostalgia. There’s also the aspect of trendiness—the hipness I try to create by always adding a rock-and-roll coolness. There’s always that ambiguity—the Good Girl/Bad Girl thing … Every product I put my name on has to personify the ‘World of Anna Sui.’ When a customer buys a tube of lipstick, it should give them the same excitement as buying a dress from my collection. If it doesn’t, then I’m not really doing my job. You consistently capture the exuberance and the heartbeat of youth. What have you done over the years to cultivate this aesthetic? My personal life is so intricately intertwined with my work. I’m lucky that everything I’m currently interested in can serve as inspiration (films, exhibitions, music, books, travel,

Portrait of Anna Sui, courtesy of the designer. Anna Sui SS10 Collection photographed by Thomas Lau, also courtesy of Anna Sui.

DOWNTOWN


flea markets). I love doing research, learning about something new. I keep my eyes open. I trust my instincts. When I tell friends who are also in fashion about what I’ve been planning for a particular season, they often tell me that they were thinking of something similar. It’s funny that way. It’s usually about something in the air. In addition, living in New York can be very inspirational. Living here, you really feel that you are in the center everything. During a conversation with model Coco Rocha, she fondly mentioned that you were the first designer to give her a piece from a show and take her under your wing. Agyness Deyn is also reportedly a fan. And I understand that Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista were partly responsible for instigating your first runway show in 1991. How do your relationships with models energize and reveal themselves in your work? The support I receive from the models each season is a key element of my success. I am so lucky to have developed the reputation of highlighting the top models each season. This phenomenon stems from my very first show when the most popular models of the time—Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington—whom I knew socially, helped gather other big girls (Nadege,Yasmin Le Bon, Jasmin Gauri, Karen Mulder) to participate. The level was set very high. Many of the pieces from the Anna Sui for Target collection are already sold out in stores. How do you account for its success and appeal to the broad American public? It is an exciting challenge to try and interpret my aesthetic into a mass-produced product with a specific inspirational source as the focus. My designs are always infused with a devotion to rock-n-roll mixed with whatever is my current cultural obsession, and my Target collection is no different. It takes inspiration from the four female characters of the TV phenomenon, ‘Gossip Girl.’ I was really able to include all of these elements: glamour, punk, girly and bohemian. A certain vintage proprietor whose store you frequent said that you are one of the kindest and most down-to-earth designers. How do you stay level-headed in the fashion industry? Absolutely every day presents itself with a fresh set of obstacles. Throughout my whole career, I found it helpful to remain focused and to never give up. It’s very simple—I love what I do. Of course, I work very hard, but I believe that when you are passionate about your work, it’s more like a way of life, a true pleasure. | 51 |


a beautiful

mind Maarten Baas: Designer of the Year 2009 & Clear Issue 34 cover designer interview : katharina horstmann

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Maarten Baas belongs to a select group of young designers who have refused the modernist role of the designer as a problemsolver in favor of self-expression. At 31, the alumnus of The Design Academy in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, is the youngest designer receiving the Designer of the Year Award, initiated by Design Miami/, December’s limited edition design fair. The Dutch designer first made a name for himself as a pyromaniac with his 2002 graduation project, Smoke, in which he literally set fire to old chairs and tables before coating them in an epoxy resin to preserve the charred remains. By burning existing furniture and stripping away ornament, Baas diminished the hands-off preciousness of design, causing quite a stir in the design world. His collections Clay and Sculpt carry Smoke’s idea of functional imperfection further. The Clay pieces, for instance, are constructed by hand, without moulds, from industrial clay pressed around very simple metal armatures. They’re painted in bold colors, giving the impression of being the result of a playschool class, and, on a large scale, they look delusively unstable, yet are surprisingly solid. Sculpt furniture pieces are based on quick sketches, which were then enlarged and literally translated into finished items on a monumental yet cartoonish scale. The cupboard, for example, appears to be carved from solid lumber, but is actually made of steel that has been finished with walnut veneer, enabling people—like with most of Baas’ work—to decode its prehistory and how the piece was made simply by looking at its form.

This interest in play with preconceptions led Baas to his more recent project, Real Time, which he presented during this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. He made different movies dealing with the passing of time, creating 24 hours’ worth of high definition film that can function as a clock. Maarten Baas—Designer of the Year 2009—how does that feel? How have you been approached? It was in April or May when I called Ambra [Medda, director of Design Miami] for some reason and all of a sudden she started saying: ‘We think you mean a lot for designers, for young designers …’ and she went on and on and I thought: ‘This is a nice monologue to listen to’ [laughs]. And then she asked me: ‘Would you be interested in being the designer of the year?’ —and I replied: ‘Well, that’s not a question!’ But has it always been that easy? When you studied at The Design Academy in Eindhoven you were said to be given a hard time by your teachers? Or was it the other way around? Oh yeah, one or the other [laughs]. Indeed, I had some hard times at school. I think it mainly changed when I went to Milan for an exchange term. It was a kind of turning point. When I came back, I opened up my eyes a little bit more and started to believe more in what I was doing, independently from other opinions. Also, there was a kind of status quo with my teachers like, ‘Maarten is not changeable anymore, so leave him.’

Opposite: Maarten Baas portrait by Lisa Klappe. This page (from left): Sculpt Cupboard and chairs from the Clay series. All images courtesy of Maarten Baas.

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My graduation project, Smoke, was not supported that much by my teachers either. They let me pass the exams but in the process after that when selections were made for exhibitions, my teachers didn’t propose my pieces. They were not so keen on showing Smoke, but the director of the school, Li Edelkoort, was totally in love with it from the very beginning. She actually overruled them all. Considering Smoke and the following pieces Clay and Sculpt: On first sight it seems easy to make a connection between them … … and then it totally went wild [laughs]. There isn’t any connection. The first three collections have a kind of a clear line, that’s true. Actually I think that everything I make, the only connection they have, or at least one connection they have, is that they are all from me. They are all a kind of extension of my personality. I cannot really tell about myself and I think nobody can tell about himself. I mean, what kind of person are you? What did you want to say? The engine that keeps me going is my really strong will to make it. So it doesn’t really make sense to keep on being in one style. Then I wouldn’t feel the urge anymore to explore that field. Within my activities, I like to touch as much as I think is interesting. But indeed, looking back, in the beginning I thought it’s kind of a nice line—but I was never doing it consciously. You could say Smoke and Clay, they’re kind of the opposite. You could almost say that first you burn things that were already there, like burning a field to clean it | 54 |

and to plant something new. Then the collection Clay would be the new plant and Sculpt a kind of mature version. So, yes, I thought, that’s a funny line, but then there was The Chankley Bore and the Plastic Chair in Wood and they had [nothing] to do with each other. And then I gave up trying to find lines ... I never really went for a certain direction.

“Lately, I like the theatrical element of design.” –Maarten Baas Please tell us about your plans for Design Miami/. I want to present my previous work, and on top of that I will show new work. I’m working on a range of new cabinets right now, which will be roughly welded in steel. Lately, I like the theatrical element of design. I liked also very much the Telling Tales exhibition at the V&A. Its approach is really upto-date with what’s happening in design right now: Telling stories through an object and creating a kind of atmosphere. I also move with my clock pieces in a kind of theatre world. Have you seen my show in Milan? I worked with a live actor there. So what I want to do in Miami is to work with a live performance, so that if there are still people doubting whether or not I make design, especially those people will be confused: Is this theatre?


… or set design? I don’t do it on purpose, but I can be a pain in the ass for those people who categorize [laughs]. I don’t really want to give things a name, explanation or description. Could you tell us a bit more about the cabinet? It is an abstract object. There are a few legs on both sides, a leg here, and a leg there, and also on the back there is a kind of leg. So it’s a kind of creature, and you hardly see that it is a cabinet. There is no door handle or anything. You push the door and it clicks open. It’s just an absurd shape.

have something in common, then [it is] that they are all from me and that all of them carry a kind of curiosity within themselves – like the objects in Cabinets of Curiosity. When people [go] traveling, they [bring] all kind of objects back; the only link between them [is] that all of them [are] interesting items. I think this is a fitting approach to looking at my work, and I want to bring that element to the exhibition in Miami, creating a surreal atmosphere with live actors like I used for my clock project Real Time. A little bit of this, a little bit of that – together they create … … Maarten’s world? Yeah.

As I said before, it’s hard to find a line in my work. If my projects Opposite(from left): Smoke Cabinet, Clay Fan, Sculpt Dining Chair in stainless steel, Clay Bookshelf. This page: Sweeperclock, part of the Real Time series (2009), photograph by Ricardo sà da Costa. | 55 ||


F L OA T I NG FAN TAS Y Ferretti’s Riva & CRN team up for even grander luxury.

Seafarers and landlubbers alike can recall iconic images of Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg and Elizabeth Taylor all bubbly and bouncy on their classic Riva wooden boats. These sleek, chic vessels were status symbols and the epitome of the jet-set life along the French and Italian Rivieras. Today, the status symbol has hardly faded; rather, like most things, it’s grown bigger and more over-the-top. We see Roberto Cavalli popping champagne with Naomi Campbell, P. Diddy in his finest white suit, and even royalty floating their friends, families and egos on today’s mega-yachts. And now, a new collaboration between old-school elegance and new-school technology may just put the mega-yacht in a whole other realm. Announced at this fall’s Monaco Yacht Show, CRN (Costruzioni e Riparazioni Navali), one of the world’s principal luxury yacht builders, has joined forces with legendary Italian yacht-maker Riva to create a mega-yacht line of both impeccable design and top-notch performance. | 56 |

Until a few years ago, mega-yachts were primarily built in the Netherlands by such companies as Amels and Feadship. Thanks to CRN and Riva, however, the Italian style of mega-yacht is popular once again. As Ferretti Group co-founder Norberto Ferretti explains, “There are four important names in the luxury industry: Ferrari, Harley, Rolls and Riva. The Rolls is famous for its silence, but not for performance. Ferrari is known for performance, but not for comfort. Harley is not known for performance, but for a lot of chrome! So Riva brought all of this together–the most beautiful, best quality, best comfort and excellent performance.” Although established way back in 1842 by Pietro Riva, it wasn’t until Serafino Riva won the famous motor yacht competition, the PaviaVenice, in 1931 and 1932 that Riva was really put on the map. His son Carlo went on to create a range of masculine, mahogany yachts

Renderings courtesy of Officina Italiana Design.

words : cator sparks


deemed the “first luxurious water automobiles.” His innovation could not have been more timely: the post-WWII “Italian Holiday” was in full swing, and people were yearning for new ways to socialize, travel and relax. CRN shipyard, founded in Ancona in 1963, is one of the premier builders of luxury yachts in the world. They specialize in fashioning 54- to 85-meter (178- to 280-foot) yachts in steel and aluminum, as well as two lines of semi-custom vessels in composite at 40 and 43 meters (132 and 142 feet) in length. CRN yachts are recognizable for their characteristic bow, smooth lines and the luxurious “made in Italy” quality of the materials and furnishings. The relationship between Riva and CRN actually dates back almost 40 years to 1970, when Carlo Riva decided to annul an agreement with a Dutch shipyard in order to sign a partnership with CRN. This new collaboration would allow the Carlo Riva Yacht Division to have greater control over the mega-yacht creation process, while incorporating CRN’s top-quality naval technology. Five 23.5-meter (78-foot) motoryachts from the Marco Polo series and two Vespucci models measuring 27 and 30 meters (90 and 100 feet) were launched between 1970 and 1978. Since then, Riva has passed through many hands, so another collaboration was not possible until both manufacturers settled under the Ferretti umbrella. In 2000, Riva joined the Ferretti Group, a world leader in luxury yachting that includes several other iconic brands, such as Bertram, Pershing, Itama Cantieri and CRN (since 1999). According to Ferretti,

who has been in the business since 1968, “When we bought Riva, the company was not dead but in very bad condition. Mr. Riva had enormous satisfaction at the purchase and said to me, ‘I am now happy because Riva is in good hands and you will bring it back.’ We worked very hard to bring back the quality of the Riva of the past. Today, the image of Riva is very particular because we concentrate on technology and design. So why not make something different with CRN?”

“Some say history repeats itself; we say it evolves.” –Norberto Ferretti Currently in development phase under the direction of Mauro Micheli and Officina Italiana Design (the same team that has designed the entire Riva line), actual construction of the CRN-Riva series is expected to begin in a few years. The design team’s signatures are smooth lines, a rich mix of materials (such as sole leather and oak on the Riva Domino) and beautiful color combinations (such as gray and beige on the Domino, or white and dark brown on the Duchessa). The new line, which will consist of yachts measuring between 50 and 80 meters (164 and 262 feet) in length, melds Riva’s elegance with the naval design skill of CRN, drawing upon both companies’ balance of modern innovation and timeless design. Even if the CRN-Riva mega-yacht evokes some nostalgic feelings, don’t ever call this boat retro! As Ferretti explains, “We are not retro at Riva; we are contemporary. Some say history repeats itself; we say it evolves.”

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The changing face of sculpture words : kee chang

Sculpture is in a state of perpetual flux. Once conjuring images of representational statues characteristic of the 19th century or upright objects collecting dust on roped-off pedestals in museums and galleries, the medium as we know it now carries a far wider designation, including everything from interactive installations to mixed media. This inevitably leads one to pose an endless stream of open-ended questions. No longer circumscribed by a monumentalizing or classicizing ideal, where is sculpture headed in the 21st century? By the same token, where would we be without the indomitable pioneers who set out to react against outmoded notions of what sculpture should or should not include? Angela Bulloch, Rachel Harrison and Charles Long are the pied pipers of contemporary sculpture. These artists continually subvert the clichés governing their field by tearing down walls and exploiting other disciplines in an ongoing quest for new visual languages. Simply calling them anomalies would be fruitless, for they help to define the shape of things to come. They’re tomorrow’s sculptors, today. | 58 |

This page: Charles Long’s Untitled (2009), acrylic over steel, mixed media,100 X 58 X 27 inches, courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

W I T HO U T BOR D ERS


Angela Bulloch Angela Bulloch’s early experiments in interactive installations like Pushmepullme Drawing Machine (1991)—a plotting device that systematically charts the sounds and movements of hovering spectators with undulating lines on the gallery wall—perfectly encapsulates her longstanding approach to art.The Berlin-based artist employs sensoractivated videos, sounds and lights to create a space for discourse in which the viewers wield inconspicuous control.

Following up on her recent group shows at the 2009 Venice Biennial and Altermodern at the Tate Triennial 2009, Harrison’s solo exhibition Consider the Lobster is currently on view at the Hessel Museum of Art in New York. Charles Long Charles Long pushes the elastic boundaries of sculpture—sometimes to its breaking point—by feeding his ongoing love affair with music. In his interdisciplinary collaboration with British rock outfit Stereolab for the 1997 Whitney Biennial, a series of biomorphic sculptures littered the gallery space, prompting bug-eyed visitors to don headphones and literally plug into the malformed oddities for communal listening sessions. Tossing aside all notions that artists solely operate within the confines of their respective mediums, the 2008 Whitney Biennial saw Long return with an exuberant multimedia performance. A collaborative effort from his Curious Notch art collective—also including Loren Hartman, Carolyn Hiler, Rafe Mandel and Gene Jerskey-Long—the 45-minute show featured live music provided by indie rockers Wilderness set against ambient video projections dotting the museum’s grand staircase.

Angela Bulloch’s micro_world (2002), installation view at 1301 PE, Los Angeles, courtesy of 1301 PE.

Bolstered by her inclusion in Damien Hirst’s Freeze exhibition in the late ’80s and emerging as one of the “Young British Artists,” Bulloch’s mounting achievements peaked with a Turner Prize nomination in 1997. With the fruits of her recent exhibitions like micro_world and Trajectories & Other Lines—which saw the artist trying her hands at DMX modules and electroluminescent wires—Bulloch continues to leave a lasting mark on sculpture as an unrivaled connoisseur of technology.

Asked to give clues about his pending projects, Long comes right back to music. “What’s happening in the studio now has affinities with sound artists like Venetian Snares and Autechre,” the Angeleno reveals. “They’re radically abstract compositions that come about from seeing meanings as pure forms.” The new collection surfaces at Art Basel Miami Beach in December, soon trailed by The Armory Show in New York in 2010.

As for the future, the artist speaks candidly about a public art project: “I’ll be installing a zebra-crossing system—as devised and introduced to the UK by Lord Hore-Belisha during the 1930s—into a street in Nantes, a city in western France.” Rachel Harrison Rachel Harrison’s sculptures are an amalgamation of found objects— squeeze bottles, soda cans, celebrity magazines and wigs—meticulously pinned, strapped and/or glued onto crude lumps of polystyrene and cement. As such, the inclusive nature of her practice positions her work somewhere along the spectrum of the handmade and the readymade. For instance, in Alexander the Great (2007)—as seen in her traveling If I Did It exhibition—a caped mannequin is mounted on a mottled, cloud-like ceramic formation. Harrison is notorious for conflating artistic disciplines so far as to render boundaries utterly indecipherable. The oft eccentric couplings of mediums and materials at once depend on and stumble over each other to evoke complex ideas. As Greene Naftali gallerist Carol Greene rightfully points out, “Harrison’s formal intelligence, sense of humor, and of course, her extraordinarily rich sense of materiality are able to simultaneously engage the highest art historical discourses and address the lowest forms of culture and its detritus.”

Rachel Harrison’s Alexander the Great (2007); wood, chicken wire, polystyrene, cement, Parex, acrylic, mannequin, Jeff Gordon waste basket, plastic Abraham Lincoln mask, sunglasses, fabric, necklace, and two unidentified items; 87 x 91 x 40 inches; courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery, NY. | 59 || 59 |


MAD MAX

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests draw life from plastic tubes, soda bottles, ingenuity and the wind.

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words: scott indrisek

“I want to forget what I know about nature—I want to really make a new creation,” says Theo Jansen, Dutch creator of the Strandbeest. Certainly, Jansen’s “living” creations—comprised mainly of yellow electrical tubing and soda bottles—don’t resemble any sentient being on earth. Yet when unleashed on a windy beach in Holland, each Strandbeest is able to realize its kinetic potential, marching across the sand like beautiful sci-fi mutants. Jansen was inspired 19 years ago by Richard Dawkins’ book, The Blind Watchmaker. This led him to experiment with primitive digital simulations—“programs about life”—which eventually led to a real-world modeling experiment. Would it be possible to create an animal that could move on the beach, powered only by the wind? Jansen’s first prototype wasn’t exactly a success. “Too much flexibility in the joints,” he says. “It could move its legs while lying on its back. [But] even if it couldn’t stand on its feet, I really got a bit wiser.”

The artist-inventor returned to computer simulation once again, this time to conjure the most optimal “leg” system. A “genetic algorithm” crunched the data, determining the best lengths for the 12 walking limbs, all of which are powered by a single internal crankshaft (which is itself turned by windcatching wings). The 12 computer-generated lengths—Jansen’s “12 holy numbers”—form the basis of each Strandbeest. And for the most part, the Dutch electrical tubing has been the rudimentary “protein” and build-


ing block as well. “There’s been a period that I was not too faithful to the tubes—I used steel and polyester to make a very big animal, almost five meters high,” Jansen says, referring to his impressive Animaris Rhinoceros. “It weighed 3.2 tons, but it still walked very well on the wind. It walked even too fast—we started out on the runway of an airport, and it broke itself by running on the wind.” Later renditions of the creature are able to store wind in soda bottles—the “wind stomach,” in Jansen’s terminology. “It’s spare energy, which they need in case the wind falls away and the tide [comes] up,” he explains. “There’s still a little bit of energy in this wind stomach to reach the dunes and save their lives.” A “feeler” tube allows the animal to sense water, causing it to change course and retreat away from the ocean. Of course, some of the valve operations need a bit of a human hand—the Strandbeest hasn’t progressed to total self-sufficiency. “I still have to help them and to nurse them all the time right now. But I’m working

on it so that they can do that on their own— become autonomous. Hopefully the rest of my life will be enough time to do that.” So is the Strandbeest art, or science, or a bit of both? “For me, there is no difference,” explains Jansen. “In both disciplines you use your imagination. A lot of artists are much more scientists than they want to know, and also the other way around. It’s just a label people put on you. Just like an Eskimo when he makes a sculpture—he doesn’t know what art is. He does it because he likes it. I’m an Eskimo, I would say.”

The one thing the Strandbeest can’t do yet is reproduce—or can it? “These animals, they multiply very well on Youtube and the Internet,” says Jansen. “If you look on YouTube, [there are] about 700 videos of people who also make these leg systems. You could say they are multiplying quite well. They charm the people, using the people to reproduce.” Jansen is planning a book, a sort of D.I.Y. Strandbeest, and he assures us that with this information the average student group can create their own animal within two weeks. And while Jansen might not wear the artist’s mantle, his Strandbeests achieve a rare and accidental poetry in motion. “I don’t want to work on aesthetics or the beauty of the movement—I just try to be very functional. And it turns out that it doesn’t function always very well, but people see some beauty in it.” Just like life itself.

Strandbeest photographs and Theo Jansen portrait by Loek van der Klis; courtesy of the photographer.

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COSMIC CREATIONS Artist Mariko Mori simulates the sublime. words : michael barthel

This page: Mariko Mori’s Pratibimba III (1998), color photograph on glass with mirror finish, 121.9 cm diameter, 1 AP, Edition 1 of 6 + 1, Courtesy of Deitch Projects, NY and Shiraishi Contemporary Art, Inc., Tokyo. Opposite page: (left) Plant Opal (2009), Courtesy of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris and Mori Art Museum; photo credit: Watanabe Osamu. (right) Transcircle (2004), 1.1 meter; stone, corian, LED, Real Time Control System; Overall Dimensions: 3,360 mm diameter, (each stone: 1100 x 560 x 340 mm); Edition 1 of 3 + 1 AP; Courtesy of Shiraishi Contemporary Art, Inc., Tokyo; photo credit: Richard Learoyd.. | 62 |


“Science is a universal language, like art.” –Mariko Mori As a citizen of the world, you can’t help but be hit from time to time with a sense of inchoate wonder, but how do you express that transcendent feeling to other people? Science has studied and explained so much of the world by now that some might argue there’s no excuse for faith anymore. And if, by modern standards, aesthetics is subordinate to reason, what possible role can art have in explaining the unexplainable? Ask New York-based artist Mariko Mori, and she’ll tell you that art is more relevant than ever. Much of her recent work uses scientific discoveries to fuel amazement at a universe that has turned out to be weirder than we ever imagined. Tom Na H-iu (2006), for instance, is a 15-foot-tall glass monolith whose ever-shifting color is determined by a stream of scientific data. The sculpture takes a feed from the Super-Kamiokande observatory measuring the presence of neutrinos emitted from supernovas. Far from sullying the aesthetic nature of her work with hard numbers, Mori sees poetry in the data. “A supernova explosion is the end of the life cycle of a star, but it produces heavy atoms which were never produced in the Big Bang,”

she says. “Life on the Earth very much relies on supernova explosions. The death of a star signifies the beginning of new life.” Mori is interested in more local concerns, too. Her most recent work, Plant Opal (on permanent installation at Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills development), makes a statement about our disassociation from the natural world. Like Tom, it is a large glass sculpture that changes color based on data, but instead of relying on cosmic emissions, the piece takes its information from the temperature, wind speed and weather in the environment just outside the building. “Most people commute to the office in the morning and finish work really late,” Mori explains, “so they don’t feel the changes in weather or climate. This work is trying to introduce the idea of nature itself as a dominant aspect over human culture and society. The work wants to suggest that we are part of nature and remind you of that idea.” These works melding spirituality, technology and science are the natural outgrowth of Mori’s turn toward the transcendent in the latter half of the 1990s. For the 1996

video “Miko no Inori,” Mori suited herself in a streamlined, all-white outfit and fluidly manhandled a crystal ball while standing in the middle of the newly-built Osaka airport, a gesture that, like Plant Opal, placed a reminder of the sublime in the midst of the workaday world. And Dream Temple (1999), a full-size luminescent shrine filled with Mori’s sculpture, images and video, used fiber optics to put traditional spirituality in a modern context. Ultimately, Mori sees science and art not as incompatible, but rather as different sides of the same coin. “In human history, science has become a replacement [for] religious belief,” she explains. “Science, and also art, is contemporary religion, in a way. I use scientific language in my work because science is a universal language, like art. I can communicate without cultural boundaries and share information. Science has been completely successful at answering our questions, but our curiosity has been piqued by scientific research. This gives us a chance to rethink the reality that we think we know.”

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DOU B L E T RO U BL E Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida take the art world by storm with a forgotten great.

Andy Valmorbida (white shirt and tie) and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld (black buttondown); photo by Hank O’Neal. | 64 |

interview: rachel felder

This past fall, New York Fashion Week’s hottest party wasn’t (for once) the Marc Jacobs aftershow or a new designer store launch. This season, the week’s most coveted guest list was at an art opening in an apocalyptic space on a gritty street off the West Side Highway, nestled amongst industrial warehouses and loading docks. What drew everyone from Mary J. Blige to model Hilary Rhoda inside? The work of pop expressionist Richard Hambleton, along with the curatorial skills of Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida. The event’s glitz was in sharp contrast to Hambleton’s work: dark, foreboding, and as down to earth as the Lower East Side streets that inspired it. The show was mounted by the precocious young art dealers—old friends who are close enough to regularly finish each other’s sentences—with support from designer Giorgio Armani and the Woodward Gallery, which also works with Hambleton. Although Hambleton isn’t as well known as contemporaries like Keith Haring and Jean Michel Baquiat, the show quickly sold out, due in large part to the passion and fervor of its curators. (And if Restoin-Roitfeld’s last name sounds familiar, that’s because his mother is Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of French Vogue.)

Surrounded by Hambleton’s imposing Shadowman pieces in the show’s cavernous space, Restoin-Roitfeld and Valmorbida sat down to discuss the show, their unique partnership and upcoming plans.


Hambleton exhibition photo by Ian Clifford; all images © Woodward Gallery, NYC

How did you start working with Richard Hambleton? Andy: A friend of ours, an underground dealer, said that there was an artist in the early ’80s who was one of the most famous, greatest painters and he was still alive, but no one had heard of him for 25 years. This guy had access into his studio—he lives [and works] in this black world underground. We went there, and the second we saw his art and went into his studio … Vladimir: … we knew that this was going to be the show that could bring a lot of credibility to Andy and I in the art world. What does the “black world” he lives in look like? Andy: He rents a two-story building at the end of Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, near the FDR. He’s blacked it all out at the front—there are all black curtains—and he sleeps through the day and is up at night. He lives in a world that you’d never imagine. Vladimir: He rarely comes out—he just stays in his house every day painting. He hasn’t stopped working in 25 years, and he hasn’t had a show in all that time … but he kept on working. Why hasn’t his work been shown more since the 1980s? Vladimir: He was given all the opportunities to become one of the most successful artists of the time, but after being successful for just two or three years in Europe and the U.S., he was not really happy about the business influences in the United States, so he just stopped being part of it. Andy: Basquiat died, and then the ’80s art scene took a big plunge, and that was it. He became reclusive. All the big dealers were gone for him.

What a shame that someone this talented had that kind of experience. Vladimir: Yes, but that’s what makes him a serious artist in some way. You mentioned that this show could help you get credibility in the art world—is that a challenge, particularly with Vladimir’s famous last name? Vladimir: I didn’t want to do something too commercial—I wanted to kind of break away from all this, and I was looking for an amazing artist that would somehow give me credibility in this business, and I thought that Richard was the perfect guy. How did you start working together? Vladimir: We were looking for a project we could do together—we thought it would be fun. We found this project and we decided to give it a try. It’s been the best possible experience. What’s the working chemistry like? Vladimir: It’s hard to say who’s better at what. There’s a very good, complementary element between us. Andy: It just flows. Vladimir: We’re very real to one another. We’re very close. We’re not scared to say what we think. There are no lies; we just go in the same direction all the time. Why did you decide to open the show during New York Fashion Week? Vladimir: Because the guy hasn’t done a show in 25 years, we wanted to find a time when there would be a lot of people in town and it would be fun. We knew that the impact was going to be extremely strong for Richard if we did it during Fashion Week.

Richard Hambleton’ s Marlboro Man (1983)

We could touch the worlds of art, fashion and cinema—everyone comes to New York that time of year. I think that’s how the art world is changing these days; it’s not just one world separate from everything—it’s kind of fusing with the fashion world and the cinema world. What’s next for you both? Vladimir: We’re going to take this show to two other cities within the next 12 months. It will be two out of the three of Milan, London and Paris. The first show should come in March 2010. Andy: With every show we want to stand out and improve on the other show. Any predictions on how these shows will impact Hambleton’s career? Andy: With Richard, after what we created with this Fashion Week event and what we’re doing around the world, it’s only a matter of time until his art explodes like Haring or Basquiat. | 65 |


GOOD

KARMA

Henrik Fisker’s Karma optimizes plug-in hybrid technology to reshape the American luxury sedan. words : steve siler

Images courtesy of Fisker Automotive, Inc.

This car really shouldn’t look this good. That was my initial thought the first time I saw the 2010 Fisker Karma in the metal. With its crouching stance, exquisitely rendered head- and tail-lamps and seductive proportions—the likes of which we haven’t seen since the European GTs of the 1960s —the scintillating Karma is a true rolling sculpture. Man, no one will ever believe it’s a hybrid, let alone one that can get 100 miles per gallon! Then again, with a body like this, no one may care. Well, some will care. In fact, a lot of people will care. The world’s first production automobile capable of 100 mpg has long been considered the automobile world’s Holy Grail. It’s something that seemed all but impossible before the advent of plug-in hybrid technology, which, unlike all hybrids heretofore, allows a car to be driven for miles on battery power alone before a drop of gas is

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used. And Fisker Automotive, Inc., of Irvine, CA, ought to be proud that it is poised to be the first company to sell such a vehicle. But equally significant is the Karma’s design; given the collective dowdiness of today’s crop of eco-friendly cars, few among us would have predicted that when the 100-mpg car finally did arrive, that it would—or even could—look this good. Packaging plug-in technology: an unexpected design opportunity? Credit renowned automobile designer Henrik Fisker for exceeding expectations. As CEO of Fisker Automotive, Fisker brings an aesthetic sensibility rooted in his native Denmark but honed during his years of work in BMW’s California design studios and while leading Aston Martin’s design team earlier this decade. In his most famous designs, including the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, one can clearly observe Fisker’s mastery of eye-catching forms that are dramatically contoured yet delightfully free of gratuitous flourishes. With the Karma sedan, Fisker’s goal was “to project


timeless beauty and elegance with a futuristic appeal.” On top of that, as a plug-in hybrid, the Karma would have to make room for not one, but three motors. In the end, however, the very plug-in hybrid technology that makes Fisker’s seemingly incredulous 100-mpg claim possible is precisely what allows the Karma to look as it does. The key is its distribution of mass: instead of using one big engine, the Karma generates its 403 total system horsepower between a tidy, 260 hp turbocharged GM four-cylinder engine in front, and a pair of similarly impressive (150 kW each) electric motors in back that power the rear wheels. A 200kW battery pack with a mighty 22.6 kilowatt-hours of storage is nestled in the car’s center tunnel. In the Karma’s case, the gas engine needs no big, heavy transmission either. Its role is simply to generate enough power to keep the batteries in their optimal state of charge, leaving the electric motors to provide the actual propulsion. With its powertrain mechanicals spread relatively evenly throughout its supercar-style aluminum “space-frame” structure, and with enormous 22-inch wheels positioned way out at the corners, the Karma’s architecture allows the cabin to be set unusually deep within the body so as to allow a dramatically low, arching roof. The long, horizontal hood is scalloped in a way that would be virtually impossible to achieve with, say, a bulky V-8 under the hood. The rest of the Karma’s carefully sculpted skin is wrapped tightly around the chassis, concealing the car’s eye-popping 4,650 pounds of weight, roughly as much as the longer and taller 2010 BMW 750Li.

for up to 50 miles; Hybrid mode engages the engine intermittently depending on load conditions; and Sport mode engages even more in order to keep the batteries adequately juiced such that they can hustle the Karma to 60 in under six seconds, according to Fisker. Based on what Fisker considers normal use (under 50 miles per day, plugging in at night), the company calculates that the Karma will sip fuel to the tune of a gallon every 100 miles. Official figures from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) based on its calculations for plug-in-hybrids give the Karma a 67.2-mpg rating, but it’s worth noting that if the Karma is driven in Stealth mode and plugged in before exhausting its battery reserves, no fuel will be burned at all. So theoretically the Karma can go thousands of miles without burning a drop of fuel. Thus, Fisker is sticking with its 100-mpg message, even though it may indeed stretch a gallon even farther.

“EcoChic, party of four? Your cabin is ready.” Not surprisingly, the interior is snug, but what it lacks in stretch-out room it makes up in visual drama—a distinctly futuristic style that Fisker aptly describes as “EcoChic.” Decidedly upscale in specification, the hand-crafted cabin features a sleek dash, and tosses more than a few bones to the environment by incorporating leather “using a 100% sustainable manufacturing strategy” and wood from non-living, rescued trees. Optional is a full-length solar-panel roof to keep the cabin ventilated, which in turn reduces the need to blast the climate control after parking in the sun on a hot day (and the Karma’s low roof height means that anyone over, say, four-foot-six can admire the glistening solar cells as they approach).

Karma: elegant and enlightened A luxury car capable of triple-digit mpg is an achievement that, frankly, many of us alive today never though t we’d see, even if its $87,900 price will keep it rather exclusive after it goes on sale this fall as a 2010 model. Assuredly, several of the earliest examples will be gobbled up by many an image-conscious movie star willing to spend even twice that for a car with this much green cred, if only because it will finally allow them to dump that old lime-green Prius. Others may need every cent of the juicy tax credit that purchasing a Karma will earn—a rebate that, at the time of this writing, was a not-insignificant $7,500.

Three drive modes deliver the best of both worlds. While the Karma certainly looks fast, its actual performance characteristics at any given moment will depend on the driver’s choice between three operating modes, and/or the battery’s state of charge. Stealth mode delivers silent, low-load, battery-only operation

Whether or not one can afford the Karma, however, there is much to celebrate about its marriage of striking design and purposeful engineering. Not only is the Karma an aesthetic masterpiece, but it also makes a vivid and optimistic statement about the design possibilities that can be actualized in this new, electrified automotive landscape.

ECO-conscious Dealerships As a de facto extension of the Karma itself, Fisker retail showrooms will reflect the company’s concern for the environment and their vehicles’ emission-free capabilities. “They will be Eco-facilities, not Ego-facilities,” says Fisker Automotive board member Vic Doolan. Architectural guidelines recommend “natural and sustainable materials like wood and textiles,” with an abundance of windows to maximize daylight. Fisker is even calling upon retailers to install solarpowered carports to ensure that their demo vehicles remain fully charged and temperate, without relying on the local power grid.

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F A S H I ON A L C H E MY The Art of Fashion at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen words : javier barcala

Clockwise from top left: 1. Viktor & Rolf, Dress from Bedtime Story collection, Fall/Winter 2005/6, Centraal Museum, on loan from H+F Collection. Photo by Peter Stigter. 2. Naomi Filmer, Chocolate Mask, for Another Magazine 2001. Photo by Richard Burbridge. 3. Viktor & Rolf, Dress from The Fashion Show, Fall/Winter 2007/8, Centraal Museum, on loan from H+F Collection. Photo by Peter Stigter; model Maryna Linchuk. 4. Naomi Filmer, Orchid Neck Piece for Anne Valerie Hash, S/S 2009 Couture collection. 5. (center) Christophe Coppens (Sint-Niklaas, 1969), Deer Cape, Dream Your Dream collection, Winter 2005, Wool and Christal, 100 x 120 cm, Collection Christophe Coppens, Brussel. Photo by Marc Tops. | 68 |


she calls “fashion practice,” is a new way of creating visual context for fashion. Inspired by the universal tradition of mothers leaving their children’s bedrooms intact after they leave the nest, Ziesche used a replica of her own childhood bedroom as the backdrop for her performance. During the film, Ziesche wears costumes derived directly from the hand-knitted jumpers of her youth while narrating childhood memories and dreams.

Hussein Chalayan, 2009. Photo by Hans Wilschut.

Since the 1960s, an increasing number of fashion designers have consciously straddled the line between fashion and visual arts. The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions, which opened this autumn at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, seeks out the relationship between the two disciplines. Works by five internationally renowned designers—Viktor & Rolf, Hussein Chalayan, Walter Van Beirendonck, Anna-Nicole Ziesche and Naomi Filmer—were commissioned by the H+F Fashion on the Edge Foundation run by art collector and patron Han Nefkens, who has been supporting a growing number of avant-garde fashion designers working on the cutting edge of visual art for the past two decades. These five commissions constitute the centerpieces of the exhibition, which is surrounded by 50 artworks ranging from dresses and accessories by forward-thinking fashion designers like Maison Martin Margiela, Bless, Gareth Pugh, Dirk Van Saene and Comme des Garçons, to installations and sculptures by such contemporary artists as Nick Cave, Louise Bourgeois and Christophe Coppens. Through the various works on display, fashion becomes a performance, the medium to defend an idea that provokes a social impact, an excuse to explore different body parts, an object to indulge or the entrance to a creative mind’s particular imaginary world. Hussein Chalayan explores the experience of mobility through an experimental video of shifting dresses combined with some of his signature pieces, such as the mechanical Remote Control dress and the Airmail costume. Seduced by the quest for cultural identity, for Chalayan the fashion show is often more a performance, an installation or a way to introduce a concept or political idea. His film “Anaesthetics,” for example, considers the transition from violence to artistic ritual in various societies.

Inspired by art, music, sex and other cultural expressions, the designs of Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck are always colorful, humorous and theatrical. His show takes place at the entrance of the temple in which his own sarcophagus will be found 300 years after his death. The temple is decorated with elements inspired by African traditions and populated with recurrent motifs from Van Beirendonck’s collections. Jewelry designer–artist Naomi Filmer focuses on those parts of the body that are usually overlooked, uncelebrated and unexplored. For her series, Breathing Volumes, Filmer takes the act of breathing as her jumping-off point, describing the movement of volumes of breath through and beyond the body with actual sculptures. The Soundsuits by performance artist, dancer and designer Nick Cave could be interpreted as sculptures, costumes or installations. While the pieces themselves call to mind African ceremonial costumes as well as elements of haute couture, the title refers to the sounds they make when they’re worn. Historic preservation is an important theme in Maison Martin Margiela’s work. His visual language refers extensively to haute couture and the craft of tailoring, often recycling existing objects whose original form and function remain recognizable. For The Art of Fashion, he shares renowned pieces such as the Gilet en Porceleine made of 13 shards of porcelain. Rounding out the exhibition, remarkable pieces such as Gareth Pugh’s latex costume, Bless’ surrealist hairy brush and Christophe Coppens’ groundbreaking No References accessories collection are presented alongside sculptural wigs by French designer Charlie Le Mindu. The Art of Fashion is on display until January 10, 2010.

Fashion duo Viktor & Rolf showcase their “Alternative No. 1” perfume in a darkened room, offering their wayward reflection on the exuberant growth of the perfume industry in the fashion world. With black light, chroma-key backgrounds and models who wear the lighting and sound for the event right on their bodies, the Dutch designers have turned their shows into fascinating imaginary worlds that frequently comment on the larger fashion system. The clothing that Anna-Nicole Ziesche designs only truly functions within her performances and films. This conceptual approach, which

Christophe Coppens (Sint-Niklaas, 1969), No References, 2008. Photo by Hans Wilschut.

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photographer / jonathan segade garcia stylist / sara bascuùån and m.i.t me makeup / susana santos model / asia b / metropolitan models

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Opening spread: dress by maría freyre vintage tights shoes by robert clergerie This spread: skirt by phelia stylist’ wwws shirt shoes by robert clergerie belt by el caballo purse by escada


This page: coat by escada lingerie by wolford necklace by hoss intropia Opposite page: jacket and bra by eres pants by armand basi belt by uterq端e vintage earrings headband by hoss intropia


This spread: shirt by siempreesviernes vintage headband


dress by escada necklace by friis & company


images / herring & herring photographer / jesper carlsen art director / dimitri scheblanov stylist / katie collins hair & makeup / sam dogson model / brigid mcgaw / code

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Opening spread: vest by foley and corrina shorts by levis This page: dress by heartloom shoes by steve madden Opposite: jumpsuit by luca luca shoes by fornarina headpiece by ryan wilde Following spread: pants by diesel shoes by fornarina


Previous spread: bikini by tibi This page: dress by heartloom stylist’s hat Opposite page: vintage jumpsuit shoes by fornarina


IN BL ACK

AND LIGHT photogrpher / emin stylist / emma pritchard hair / lacy redway / artmix makeup / azra red / dior makeup model / madeleine / marilyn retouching / helios photographic illustration / carla butwin

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Opening spread: dress by louis vuitton glove by h&m This page: dress by toni maticevski ankle straps worn on wrists by dekkori Opposite page: jacket by jean paul gaultier tights by jean paul gaultier booties by madison harding


This page: coat by helen yarmak belt by helen yarmak underwear by calvin klein Opposite page: cardigan by helmut ang underwear by agent provocateur shorts by camilla and marc glove by h&m


This page: dress by louis vuitton glove by h&m Opposite page: top by iceberg body suit vintage eres shoes by christian louboutin


This page: cardigan by helmut lang underwear by agent provocateur shorts by camilla and marc glove by h&m Opposite page: top by rock and republic skirt by manish arora

dress by escada necklace by friis & company


This page: cardigan by helmut lang underwear by agent provocateur shorts by camilla and marc glove by h&m Opposite page: coat by helen yarmak belt by helen yarmak underwear by calvin klein


“Art is science made clear.” Jean Cocteau summed up the essence of the exotic coach-built automobile—a work of originality, drawing upon a storied bespoke tradition. Cocteau lived through the era when cars were expressionistic and authentic—the early half of the 20th century— and was an automobile lover. “A car can massage organs which no masseur can reach. It is the one remedy for the disorders of the great sympathetic nervous system,” he once declared. A new automaker, Rossi Motors, finds inspiration in the auto industry’s banner years. Its work is an homage to the glory years in Detroit, when companies like Fisher Body prevailed with unique craftsmanship. The 2010 Rossi Sixty Six, the company’s flagship vehicle, is one such ode to the elegance of yesteryear, and suggestive of the possible future direction of automotive design. And as a modern interpretation of the classic performance car, its capabilities are considerable. Built upon the chassis of the C-6 Corvette, Rossi Sixty Six is more than the sum of its parts, which are assembled by a collaborative team in what is proving to be an innovative approach to car manufacturing.

Using computerized technology produced by Bunkspeed, the Rossi Sixty Six can be perfectly rendered to customer specification. This approach is honed by Robison and his self-described “tribe of one,” a threesome working together as one, cooperatively engaged in the marriage of science and art. With partners Sam Ajluni and Tom Luke, the trio boasts decades of experience in the car industry as creative directors and brand strategists. “Cars have been in my life’s blood,” says Robison, a California native. “All I ever wanted to do was design cars.” His career dates back to the late ‘70s, starting with work as a design sculptor, and has touched on virtually every aspect of the design process. He has worked with Clenet, Toyota, Mazda, Opel, Saab and Ford. After several seasons spent overseas, he settled upon Detroit as his home base. “Detroit is where I wanted to go because that’s where cars are made, and I understand the language of the designer and the language of the engineer.”

The standard car is equipped with a V8 engine producing 430 hp, or customers can option for increased performance with Sport and Competition versions, including a GT2 racing class. The Rossi Sixty Six is laced with wide Michelin Tires and a host of other enhancements. “This car inspires passion whether you appreciate Corvettes or not,” says Rossi founder David Robison. “We’re bringing an environment that brings the hand-built element of fit and finish. We’re focusing on stance and agility, a look that is all Rossi.”

Rossi operates out of the Detroit-area, with plans to manufacture vehicles in the Midwest, using a top-tier supplier chain. “We said, ‘Let’s develop it in Detroit where we have the best mind and talent, and we can build it anywhere.’”

For its debut vehicle, Rossi revisits the iconic split window Corvette in its sculptural cues. The 1963 Corvette’s split window set the precedent for the ’66 model’s body styling. “It’s a modern reproduction, the essence of that period. Designs from ’63 to ’67 appeal to people’s emotions,” Robison explains.

While several details have yet to be revealed, the car will include a suede interior developed from eco-friendly, manmade materials. Luke says he’s currently developing a unique exhaust note for the vehicle—just one of the subtle touches that make the Rossi Sixty Six a game-changing vehicle—and the first of many such vehicles, if Rossi has anything to do with it.

As a unique work of futurism, in the tradition of painter Umberto Boccioni, the Rossi Sixty Six’s proportions are stunning, utilizing the tenements of a movement informed by dynamism, speed and technology. “By fusing old world methodology with new world technology, we have mas-

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tered the virtual design process, which potentially sets the stage for how cars will be designed in the future,” says Robison. He is also president of Blue Fusion, Rossi’s development arm and a longtime supplier to Ford Motor Company.

What also adds to the uniqueness of Rossi is the virtual dealer experience. The customer goes online to select model and specifications, and, upon completion, the car is delivered to the customer’s door. Rossi owners will be able to get their cars serviced at Cadillac dealerships.

“We’re taking art and bringing it to part,” Robison quips. Just one of his many mantras for the Rossi brand, which seeks a new business model based on a classical premise, where art and science intertwine.


NEW KID ON

THE BLOCK Combining classic style and modern technology, Rossi looks to change the game. words: tamara warren

Image courtesy of Rossi. | 103 || 103 |


Make Mine a McLaren:

MCLAREN

Images courtesy of McLaren and Venturi.

MP4 -12C

Everything on the McLaren MP4-12C is intentional—starting with its name. The fourth McLaren Project (MP4), it boasts an impressive 12 in performance index rating as well as the ultimate carbon fiber body structure, known as the Carbon MonoCell (12C). Here is a supercar with inspiring configurations in an ultra light structure from a major player in motor sports technology—the first in a series under Ron Dennis’ leadership—with the capacity to run 600 hp with relatively low carbon emissions. McLaren Automotive Design Director Frank Stephenson says the MP4-12C’s styling is designed to prescribe to the parables of maximum performance and lightweight execution. “The designer’s challenge is to then take that styling, purpose-driven by engineering aspirations, and add personality,” Stephenson adds. “That’s why the air scoops resemble the McLaren logo in form, as do other features around the car. Just two pure lines flow round the car, and when combined with the integration of several dramatic convex and concave surfaces, present a car that looks compact, low and well proportioned.” The 12C goes on sale in early 2011. -Tamara Warren

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The eye-catching curve of the Venturi Fétish’s wings suggests the power that lies beneath. But this is not the average gas-sipping sports car. On the contrary, the Venturi Fétish, produced in Monaco, is billed as the first electric sports car reaching 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. It was first shown at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, debuting in the French company’s 20th anniversary year, and has slinked into the marketplace, making its way around the globe. The rear-wheel drive roadster uses Polymere lithium batteries to produce power. The body is made entirely of carbon fiber, and Venturi has used technology influenced by the aeronautics industry to create an amazing car. “The bodywork of the Fétish serves as a backdrop for an exclusive single-unit carbon fiber chassis,” designer Sacha Lakic says. “It has been designed as a race-car chassis, both rigid and protective, but also to store a large volume of last-generation lithium batteries.” -T. W.

Object of My Obsession:

VENTURI FÉTISH

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THE GOOD LIFE

Gansevoort has a new baby on the way.

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This page: Gansevoort Park; Opposite: Gansevoort Hotel’s rooftop pool. All images courtesy of Gansevoort.


Gansevoort is the go-to spot for city explorers seeking a sophisticated home away from home and for hipster natives drawn to its rooftop bar and pool scene. Set in the oh-so-hip heart of New York’s Meatpacking District, since 2004, the Hotel Gansevoort has built a reputation as the go-to spot not just for city explorers seeking a sophisticated home away from home, but also for hipster natives magnetically drawn to Plunge, its rooftop bar and pool scene offering 360-degree views of the city. But there’s no resting on laurels here: this year the hotel has launched expanded spa offerings and a killer new restaurant and club, and, perhaps most excitingly, announced the summer 2010 arrival of the much anticipated new Park Avenue South location. Hotel Gansevoort’s urban retreat boasts a top ranking from TripAdvisor’s “World’s Top 10 Hippest Hotels,” and, wonderfully (let’s be honest—even surprisingly, given its chic rep), an attentive and laid-back staff throughout. Guestrooms have a calming color palette of neutrals with blackberry accents and feature cool city and river views—all just cobblestone steps from the likes of Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Catharine Malandrino’s flagship stores, and a mess of galleries, restaurants and boutiques. This summer, Exhale was introduced, a mind-body spa known for its Core Fusion® fitness program and luxury spa therapies. And in the fall, it replaced ONO restaurant with the playfully cool and truly delicious Tanuki Tavern, a multi-level, outdoor/indoor Japanese gastropub and sushi bar, inspired by the traditional Japanese izakaya (a pub serving classic

Japanese snacks, small plates and noodles). Provocateur, an adjoining nightclub and separate café designed with a woman’s taste in mind by Lionel Ohayon (Koi, W Hotels, Hyde), will debut this winter. Perhaps the most potent example of the Gansevoort’s forward momentum, however, is next summer’s new addition. Gansevoort Park will be the fourth Gansevoort location, joining the original Hotel Gansevoort, Miami’s Gansevoort South, and Gansevoort Turks and Caicos spots. Designed by architecture firm Stephen B. Jacobs Group, P.C. and Andi Pepper Interior Design (who also collaborated on Hotel Gansevoort), the new 19-story, 249-room glass and steel hotel will expand on earlier locations’ offerings, flaunting an even larger rooftop pool (this one totaling over 13,000 square feet, with a tri-level bar, dotted with fireplaces), because, as Jacobs says, “Rooftops are the most underutilized real estate in the city.” Park will also include an Exhale spa and another One Group restaurant —this one measuring 10,000 square feet—on its ground floor. Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home.” And there’s truth there still. But given Gansevoort’s luxury lodging, we bet you won’t be rushing back home so soon. -Clear | 107 || 107 |


FRONTAL ILLUSIONISTS

A female foursome obscures the boundary between real and imagined. words : katharina horstmann

A bending snake squeezes clay and creates a clothes hanger; a rat let loose on rolled-up wallpaper gnaws repetitive outlines, creating the final design; the motion-captured trajectory of a fly dancing around a lamp becomes the lampshade itself. The concept: wallpaper, hooks, lamps and other everyday objects designed by rats, dogs, snakes, rabbits and insects. And so, the creatures’ own patterns and shapes were incorporated into these ordinary furnishings, with a result that was even more beautiful than expected. “Actually, we had hoped that what the animals did would be really hideous,” admits Sofia Lagerkvist. “Sadly, however, all the things turned up to be quite nice.” Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren and Katja Sävström met as students at the Konstfack—University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Together, they form the design collective Front. Design by Animals, their first joint project after launching their design studio in 2003, became a hit the subsequent year at Salone Satellite, the showcase for young designers held at Milan’s furniture fair. Since then, the foursome has cultivated a true synergy, with each member involved in the design process from initial discussions and ideas to the final product. | 108 |

Like most of Front’s subsequent designs, the early Design by Animals series is rooted in an investigation of where the role of a designer starts and ends in the process of interpreting and manufacturing everyday objects—a process that is often influenced by random factors. Indeed, using wild animals to give form to their ideas was an attempt to enhance that randomness, and the question as to what represents a “good and useful” form was quickly turned upside down, demonstrating that the design process can be just as interesting as the final object itself. This ongoing investigation led to what some might consider their most significant and groundbreaking work to date, Sketch Furniture, which was shown for the first time at Design Miami/ 2005 with Barry Friedman Gallery, New York. The idea for this project began with the simple question, “Why start 2D sketches when designing 3D products?”, giving rise to a collection for which Front combined two digital techniques in order to materialize freehand sketches: Pen strokes in the air were recorded with motion capture and translated into 3D digital files, which by rapid prototyping were afterwards transformed into real pieces of furniture.


This approach to create illusions of magic by seemingly making use of illusionary techniques and the aesthetic language that comes with it also resulted in a collaboration with real magicians. Borrowing some of the technical insights of these experts, the foursome developed Magic Collection, a furniture series that consists of lampshades that appear to hover in the air, drawers that seem to fly away or cupboards that constantly change their surfaces. “Inspired by nature and endowed by a rich fantasy, Front’s use of latest technologies contains a persuasive potential for the future,” says Vitra Design Museum director Alexander von Vegesack. “With their designs, they present a fresh and exciting outlook on our daily world.” In keeping with this fresh, contemporary spirit, Front is moving with equal ease in both the art and design worlds. Their designs range from mass-produced objects for the home to one-off pieces aimed at galleries—an approach for which Front was awarded the Designer of the Future prize at Design Miami/ Basel 2007. Often even their most experimental and fantastic ideas result in the development of actual products, which they recently demonstrated on a larger scale. During this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, they

showcased six different projects, including new pieces for Moroso, Skitsch, Moooi, Porro, Veuve Clicquot and Established & Sons, creating mass-produced objects with relatively naive aesthetics, as though imagined rather than real. Established & Sons, for instance, presented an elaboration of Front’s Shade series, a project introduced a year prior at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan. Some might regard Shade as a progression of Sketch Furniture, as these objects, too, are materialized sketches. Shade Mirror, now in production, incorporates lines and shadings that appear handdrawn, although, in fact, they are applied using an etching technique. The idea for their new collection for Moroso is similar, but with a twist. Front created illusions of three-dimensional surfaces by printing furniture upholstery with photorealistic imagery. The result is a soft bench that appears wooden, a draped sofa whose surface is completely flat and a pile of cushions without any actual cushions. As Lagerkvist explains: “Design is produced more as an image than it is in reality. Objects you have never seen in real life you’ve seen so many times in magazines, but never for real. We’re interested in the part the image plays in the process of making the piece.”

Above: Front portrait. Opposite page, from left: Soft Wood Sofa for Moroso, part of Milan 2009 Moment Collection; detail from Randomly Crystallized for Swarovski Crystal Palace; Glass Table for Mooi; Changing Cupboard from Found Collection, Galerie Kreo; Animal Thing Collection for Moooi; Design by Animals Fly Lamp; Svarka from IKEA PS 2009 Collection; all images courtesy of Front. | 109 || 109 |


T WI S T E D T R A D I T I O NS Experiential and experimental highlights from London Design Festival 2009 words : katharina horstmann

Labware by Benjamin Hubert at 100% Design London | 110 |


Corn Craft photo by Tom Mannion

Historically, Britain has an eminent design tradition dating back to the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution. Since that period, the robust island country has produced and educated some of the world’s most brilliant creative minds. So it is not surprising that since its inception, the annual London Design Festival has been a premier showcase for emerging designers. And the British capital’s preeminent design exhibition shown brightly even this year, 12 months after the recession struck, between September 19 and 27. With over 150 fringe events scattered across the city, the festival persists as a platform for experimentation, showcasing projects that are not necessarily prototypes for large-scale production but rather personal statements, often traded in galleries. Alongside the 100% Design London furniture fair and Designersblock talent show in the Earls Court exhibition center, as well as the multi-faceted design event Tent London in the Truman Brewery in East London, a key location for the seventh edition of the festival was the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. In the courtyard garden of the museum, visitors were greeted by Wallpaper* magazine’s Chair Arch, designed by Londonbased Italian Martino Gamper, in association with British furniture manufacturer Ercol. This unusual project revived a long-forgotten tradition, in which towns would construct a commemorative arch from the products of local factories to celebrate a royal visit and other special occasions. Equally favoring historical references and connecting the past and present was the furniture collection Heritage Boy presented at The Future Gallery in Covent Garden. This third collection by Lee Broom draws on traditional British manufacturing techniques to create modern-day furniture. An example par excellence is his tile series, composed of

Wallpaper* Chair Arch by Martino Gamper

ornate, traditional, twice-fired tiles made by the same factories that produce tiles for the London Underground. Another designer who captures the lost crafts of Britain is Simon Hasan. Better known for gallery-pieces in boiled leather, the emerging designer continued his exploration into obscure crafts with new furniture prototypes intended for volume-production. They were on show for the first time in Craft Work at Portobello Dock in Notting Hill, a so-called emporium of creative talent instigated by Tom Dixon as part of London Design Festival. Consisting of stoneware vases, oak and steel

cabinets and oak stools, the range focuses on the gap between mass-produced industrial items and the cottage-industry techniques of small rural artisans. “There is no reason why the lost techniques from all over the UK can’t be updated to work in a more commercial setting, and with these prototypes, I hope to show this is possible,” says Hasan. A mutual interest in learning and developing traditional handicraft skills in order to interpret them in a contemporary way was also the starting point of Wool Works, two largescale hanging textile artworks made from natural wool and aluminum and presented at | 111 |


China Granite Project by Max Lamb, courtesy of Johnson Trading Gallery

the Exposure Gallery in London’s West End. “As everything is made by hand, the process bestows an individuality to each item, which would be lacking if we manufactured using machines,” explains the design duo Craftwork, founded by fashion designer Caroline Smithson and architect Mehrnoosh Khadivi. “We only produce very limited editions of each design so that we can continue expanding these ideas and techniques.” Not alone in its endeavors, Gallery FUMI celebrated the collaboration between people and workers, presenting the exhibition The Dignity of Labour with new objects by Paul Kelley. The British designer continued his breakdown of form, while still maintaining the functionality, craftsmanship and usage of high-quality materials such as copper and brass plate, plaster and LG Hi-Macs natural acrylic stones. Also on display were new projects by New York–based artist Marcus Tremonto, focusing on light as material and form. Tremonto’s Looplight, for example, uses electroluminescent electronic paper for its light source, and reinforces a certain illusionary quality by exploring the combination of perceived two-dimensional and actual volumetric form. If that’s not enough, Gallery FUMI opened its private residence in Hoxton Square to showcase Corn Craft, a contemporary installation created in collaboration with the creative consultancy Studio Toogood, which took inspiration from crafts found in traditional folk culture. On display were unique and one-off pieces by Nacho Carbonell, Raw Edges and Max Lamb based around sustainable and natural materials. Next door, New York’s Johnson Trading Gallery presented China Granite Project, more recent work by British designer Max Lamb. The exhibition exposed the natural beauty of Chinese granite, featuring a series of 15 furniture pieces designed by Lamb and created in col-

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Extrusion by Thomas Heatherwick, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

laboration with Chinese stone-yard workers during his two-week artist residency in the Hebei Province of China last April. Lamb drew guidelines on the boulders’ surfaces with wax crayon to capture the natural form and inherent characteristics of each individual stone before it was fastened onto the saw platform and cut, inch-by-inch, with a 2.5-meter-diameter diamond blade. After polishing each of the cut surfaces, the end product revealed a stark contrast between the boulder’s rough exterior and the smooth, crystalline structure of the interior granite. Thomas Heatherwick’s work pushed the envelope material-wise and took the design process to its broadest reaches in the exhibition Extrusions at Haunch of Venison in Burlington Gardens. Presenting the designer’s first limited-edition work, the show included six extruded, mirror polished, single-component aluminum benches without fixtures or fittings. Produced by the world’s largest extrusion machine, these graceful metal benches are mere prototypes for a 100-meter-long piece to be constructed and exhibited in 2010. Whether chair arches, corn products or boulder furniture, even in a time when the full force of recession continues, the London Design Festival seems to be less about demands of clients’ briefs, market requirements and bottom-line economics than a platform for experimentation. In many cases, the purpose of the objects at this year’s event is symbolic and reminiscent rather than utilitarian, slipping across an invisible line that separates design and art. However, they retain a connection to functionality and a focus on materiality, substance and techniques—usually in the spheres of the handmade or limited-edition, and often favoring historical references and, therefore, meaning.


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A COOL NEW LEAF The Bright Green Fashion challenge demonstrates the potential of green design. words : terri peters

An experimental event showcasing young fashion designers from Berlin and Copenhagen at this fall’s Copenhagen Design Week proved that sustainability and bold design should no longer be considered mutually exclusive. Earlier this year, designers from five fashion labels in Copenhagen traveled to Berlin to take part in the “Next Vision: Bright Green Fashion” challenge, which taught them and their German counterparts the skills necessary to make design sustainable. At Design Week, the 10 debuted capsule collections of sustainable fashion alongside their new collections, allowing a full house at the Copenhagen City Hall venue to view a vast range of design approaches that challenged the idea of a “sustainable” aesthetic. Project manager Wickie Meier explains that the clothing had to be more than just sustainable for sustainability’s sake. “We all agreed that it was important to create clothing that is both wearable and desirable.” To this end, the challenge encouraged Danish and Berlin designers—both newcomers and established labels—to exchange ideas and experiences in lectures, workshops and roundtable discussions at Berlin’s Esmod International Fashion School during their three-month sustainable design project. During the workshops, rules were set: All designs must use only natural or recycled materials, with no bleach or chemical treatments, and all must be locally produced or, at least, certified fair trade. But to those watching the Design Week catwalk show, where each designer presented 10 outfits—of which a

Above: image courtesy of Tarané Hoock. Opposite (from left): Bright Green Fashion by Fredericke von Wedel-Parlow, photo by Özgür Albayrak; fashion by Trine Wackerhausen, photo by Jan Rasmus Voss; fashions by Jean-Phillip Dyeremose, photo by Jan Rasmus Voss. | 114 |


minimum of three had to follow the sustainability rules—it was impossible to spot the “green” designs. Each of the designers presented pieces that were radical, youthful and textured. Does this point to a future where “green” is synonymous with “quality,” rather than presenting a series of limitations for designers? Could sustainable design ever be the norm? “I don’t want sustainability to be always obvious,” says Copenhagenbased Jean-Phillip Dyeremose. “I find it way more sexy not to know it, because often you can’t tell the difference.” Danish designer Trine Wackerhausen agrees. “To avoid ‘green washing,’ I prefer that sustainability is not used as a sales point, but rather as a natural ingredient in a collection.” Wackerhausen presented a collection of floaty, feminine forms with ruffled collars in contrasting peach tones with matte black and tie-dye. Her material choices incorporate sustainable silks and glittery Lurex—a combination she calls “a mix of no-no’s and good conscience.” Incorporating sustainable ideas into pieces without losing the design intent can be difficult. “Sustainability and fashion sometimes appear to be so opposite, and to get the two together is a challenge,” says Berlin-based Friederike von Wedel-Parlow. She admits she is often frustrated with the limitations. “With sustainable fabrics, the choice is limited, so you are forced to find other solutions as the fabrics are often so basic.” Still, the designer calls this sustainable capsule collection “a new start.” “At the moment, I am looking for more concentration, reduction and the essence of what I am up to— green fashion might be the answer,” she says. Wackerhausen doesn’t believe that sustainable design should come before creative expression. “I strongly feel this is the general position among my colleagues in the business. In a way, we’re all waiting

for the sustainable fabric manufacturers and agents to update their portfolios and make them more visible. As it is now, we have quite a hard time finding the right suppliers.” Material selection was also an issue for Dyeremose. His collection features asymmetrical designs, contrasting shiny and matte black with filmy, transparent fabrics. He laments, “I was not able to get the shiny material that I hold so dear,” but he is going to use it anyway, mixing other sustainable elements into his process. “I’m going to do what I can to make the fabrication and design processes sustainable, and that still means making a difference.” Beyond material, the fabrication process is often wasteful, and von Wedel-Parlow was one of the designers to address this in her collection. “In normal production, sometimes half of the fabric is just wasted,” she says. She chose to see this as a design challenge for her collection, cutting the fabric into strips and putting them together again, wrapping straight lines around the model’s shapely body. “I was playing with volume. The long dress looks like a ripped-off flag once you lay it on the floor or hang it in the wind, so the reduction of waste on the pattern side is quite strong.” In the creative industries—from architecture, to product design, to fashion design, to art—sustainability is going beyond a PR selling point or novelty. It’s actually pushing the boundaries of material, form and style, challenging designers and consumers to demand more, not less, from their designs. Under Meier’s leadership, Bright Green Fashion approaches sustainability as a creative opportunity, with designers learning more about their process and questioning their preconceptions. “[The project] may not be 100% perfect, but the world is not perfect,” she says. “It is a project in the making, and it is bright green.”

Does this point to a future where “green” is synonymous with “quality?”

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RETRO AC T I V E

Who is Jonathan Adler? It’s a good question. The Jonathan Adler of the mid-90s was a talent-industry survivor sitting at a pottery wheel in a small Soho studio in cut-offs and Birkenstocks, using clay as a distraction from unemployment, with NPR droning in the background. Flash forward 16 years, and the New Jersey native is married to Barneys creative director, style guru and author Simon Doonan, and has not just a pottery business but a furniture line, an interior design division and licensing agreements galore (most recently for Barbie). He was the lead judge on Bravo’s “Top Design” show. His cramped studio has been replaced with a lofty aerie, where young, groovy employees sit not at wheels but at computers listening to Pandora mixes, and he’s building a house in Shelter Island. It seems Jonathan Adler has grown up, but—thankfully—without losing his sense of humor or forgetting where he came from. | 116 |

How an unemployable twenty-something became a household name: Jonathan Adler dishes. interview : rima suqi


So, who backed your initial endeavor? To say I had no backing would be the understatement of the millennium. I was so stupid … I didn’t know what an invoice was. I didn’t know what terms of payment were. I was so dumb businesswise, it is hard to believe. And I would make, fire, glaze and even pack everything myself. It was grueling, backbreaking, repetitive and monotonous. I did that for four or five years. How did pottery evolve from a creative outlet or hobby to an actual career? I got fired from every job I ever had. I was a terrible employee for three reasons: I was really shy and nervous around my bosses; I misguidedly thought I knew more than they did; and, to top it all off, I was the office mattress—I was sleeping with everyone in the office. I was young; it was fun. It also was everything I hate in an employee today. If I employed me today, I would fire my ass so quickly! Anyway, I was unemployed, and it was the early ’90s and a recession. I had moved into a new apartment on 15th Street in Chelsea, and ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved pottery. So I took a class at a place called Mud, Sweat and Tears, and for six months I made pots. I showed some pots to Bill Sofield, who, at the time, was partners with Thomas O’Brien at Aero. Were you his mattress? [Laughs] No, I just knew him socially. Anyway, I got a show at Aero, and then I got the Barneys buyers to come to my apartment. From what I remember, Barneys was really supportive of young artists back then. They were, but I never considered myself an artist. I was still going on job interviews for various things and not getting hired. One night I was with my mom at a party, and someone asked me what I do. I said I was unemployed. My mom said, ‘You’re not unemployed; you’re a potter.’ And that’s when I realized I really was a potter and perhaps I should stop going on job interviews.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it again? Never in a million years. If I knew what I would have gone through, how broke I’d be, how often I’d be this close to going out of business, and how much more challenging it was than having a job, how burdened and tethered I would be! I also think it’s best that I went in with zero plan, zero expectations. Kids today come to me and have business plans, and I’m like, dude, just shut up and do your thing. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a unicorn, a mythological creature. There are so few people who are as lucky as I am. In order to have a successful creative business doing something, especially something as silly and quirky as pottery, is unbelievably lucky. Why didn’t you just give it up, call it a day or admit failure? There’s a lot to be said for sticking to something. Perseverance. Having your own business versus having a job … With a job you always feel like you have an out, and this never felt that way. It was good for me to learn early on that I was unemployable—I had to make it work, or else. And that is the truth. What do you think was your most innovative time? I hope it is today. I was talking to Simon, asking him if I was most creative when I was younger, and he said that when you’re young it’s all new, so it feels more creative. I am more prolific now, but it’s a more quotidian experience since I’ve done it so long. It’s second nature to design hundreds of millions of things all the time.

Opposite: Helix Rug, Jonathan Adler portrait by Dan Wilby and Meurice Chandelier. This page, from top: Facet Table and Templeton Sofa in artichoke. Images courtesy of Jonathan Adler. | 117 || 117 |


What’s your creative process? It’s actually very analytical. I always try to see things through the filter of the three spirits in my work: pop, organic and deluxe. Pop is about bright colors and mod statements. Deluxe is Palm Beach, WASP, a playful take on traditional. Organic is really about my potter’s roots, and about craft and honesty in materials and making s---. Everything I make can be seen through those three filters. For some reason I find that useful as a designer. I find inspiration in Capri. I am obsessed with it. It’s about the magic of surrealism and about being immoderate and making bold gestures and fantasy. The Muse Collection is about a sense of the fantastical. I go in the studio and start playing around and work on my team, and we sculpt the first samples of everything that’s pottery. All the other stuff is computer-y, but not the clay. We’re still getting our hands dirty, but I personally don’t get to spend that much time on the wheel. What replaced the wheel? 1stdibs.com and the Internet in general. It’s an unbelievable reference tool. When I first started, if I was interested in Lieberman I’d have to leave my studio, take the subway to the library, find a book in the stacks, leaf through it, ask someone to xerox a few pages. And a day later, I have four pages xeroxed. Now I ‘google image’—it has totally changed the creative process. Also, I waddle around the office and see what everyone is up to and critique it all day.

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It seems a lot of the items you used to make in Peru are now made in China. Well, I still do a collection called Moko that is hand-thrown in Peru. Although, in Peru ‘moko’ means ‘snot,’ so they get a giggle out of that. About China: It’s called ‘China’ for a reason. It’s the home of pottery and porcelain. I’m mystified by the bad rap China gets. The craftsmanship and quality of stuff I get made there is astounding. The idea that something made by an artist in his studio is better than something made by a Chinese craftsman is preposterous. I would kill to have the mad skills that our Chinese workshops have. In my heart of hearts, I find the anti-China thing mystifying. I can’t speak for the Walmarts of the world or people with a megabusiness—at that level you have more leverage and things could get ethically murky. I work with an agent where everything is carefully vetted for social conditions and everything. Have you visited the workshops you use there? No, I have not been there. You know why? I got carjacked at gunpoint in Peru. It was really scary, and since then I’ve been more first-world–oriented.

Like a professor? Yeah, pretty much, but no grades. My comments are very Paris Hilton-y, like ‘OMG’ or ‘Make that cuter.’

Do you feel you’re overexposed? No. Here’s the thing: I think that people who think about that or think that way have no understanding of the world and have an over-inflated sense of their role in the world. Ed Hardy might run the risk of overexposure.

So, now you’re a potter and a businessman with—hello—11 stores. I am so much more focused on the composition of a teapot than on the performance of a retail store. That is literally what occupies all of my waking thoughts and a bit of my sleep. I am way more focused on the giggly and maddening design process than on the business.

There are definitely people who would say I am overexposed. But they are probably the same who are in the blogosphere posting hater comments. In the real world, people have lives. They have their kids to get home to, and schoolwork to do and problems with their boss. There’s a minute percentage of the world sitting around thinking about me. Most people have no idea who I am.


I think we live in an incredibly crowded media world, where it is pretty challenging to be overexposed. You need to keep hammering out your message and trying to remind people you exist. My bigger worry is being underexposed. That’s a far bigger concern. My customers are people who love good design and have lives. How much of your stuff do you live with? A ton. I live with all my s---. It is constantly rotating, and I am always road-testing stuff—furniture, dinnerware, I test it all! I hate it when I see designers not wearing their own s---. If you’re going to make it, don’t front. I mean, don’t impose on other people if you don’t want it yourself. Is there anything you wouldn’t design? I probably wouldn’t design a tampon, but that might be it. Hmmm. Maybe I would—tampons have great shapes. How about a sex toy? Are there designer ones? Oh yeah. Marc Newson and Tom Dixon both did vibrators a few years ago. F--- me. Now I’m calling the person who does my licensing: Get me a vibrator license!

Get on that. In the meantime, talk to me about how you balance a clearly busy professional life with a personal life. [Laughs] I don’t think there’s any difference. It’s all seamless. Simon is always writing. I’m always yakking in his ear about some new thing we’re working on. I make s---, I eat, I watch s--- with my husband and I play ping-pong. We have a ping-pong table in the living room. The point is, I am a simpleton. With a live-in maid. Everybody needs a wife, and I have one. She’s the most genius cook on earth, and I don’t lift a finger, and it’s so civilized and fantastic. And I worked really hard and sold a lot of pots to get to that point. What’s up next? Designing more s---. It’s what I do. More stores, probably, although the economy is sub-optimal. I think having more stores means you need to be better. Two years ago anyone would buy anything. Now we have to be more rigorous, analytical and strategic. It’s challenging, but that’s good. It’s made me better as a designer. How? Everything I make needs to be irresistible. If it’s not irresistible, I won’t make it. That’s the good thing about a bad economy: You need to be at the top of your game. Our theme for Christmas is “Irresistible Giftables.” And I mean it.

“It was good for me to learn early on that I was unemployable— I had to make it work, or else. And that is the truth.”—Jonathan Adler

Opposite, from left: Lampert Daybed, Hans Hourglass Table and Rhinocerous. Above: Shelter Island Floor Lamp, Shelter Island Chair, Turquoise Pill Carafe, Okura Dessert Plate and Desmond Screen. | 119 || 119 |


C U LT U R E KING

Craig Robins on Miami’s design revolution

interview: marisa katz

When Craig Robins commits, whole neighborhoods are transformed. You can see these overhauls in Miami’s South Beach and Design District—which, after he waved his real estate developer’s wand, became critical cultural destinations, not just for the city but for the entire country. Despite global economic woes, Design Miami/ is gearing up to present its most extensive selection of exhibitors since its inauguration four years ago. This fall, Clear sat down with the Dacra CEO and Miami Design District savior to find out how he managed the storm and what we can expect next. How has the Miami art scene changed since the arrival of Art Basel? Art Basel was a catalyst to galvanizing a vibrant art community here and catapulting it onto an international stage. It was a very important opportunity because not only did Miami end up hosting indisputably the most important art show in the United States, but it also transformed the city. It was recognized as an incredibly fun and dynamic city, as well as a real city of cultural substance. Particularly because you are so integral to the Miami art and cultural scene, what role did you have in that transformation? Bringing Art Basel here was something that I supported. In many ways it was Sam Keller’s vision, who is not only one of my close friends, but also very respected in the art world. And as Sam was thinking about bringing [in] the fair, I felt it was important that Miami actually make a contribution that would be different to the whole international dialogue of art fairs, and do what would be much more of a cultural happening anchored by an art fair. That began a transformation that stylistically, from my point of view, was inspired by Salone in Milan. Because, for Salone, what I found most remarkable was that the whole city came together and celebrated design for that week. So the actual furniture fair in the case of Salone is much less important than what is | 120 |

Dacra office lobby; photo by Richard Patterson

Design Miami/ 2008; photo by James Harris


happening around it. A lot of times you can attend Salone and not even end up going to the furniture fair. It’s not relevant. Of course Art Basel is relevant, but the point is that this very different thing happened from the Basel experience, which is that the whole city was celebrating art—and ultimately art and design. At the start of last year’s Design Miami/ you held several talks with a select group of designers. It was during one such conversation that Tom Dixon essentially said we were all at the beginning of the end. Since then, how have you and your team reevaluated Design Miami/ and a very different climate? We had an unexpectedly positive experience this past Basel. In fact, we had our most successful show ever. Clearly the economy was still in a fairly high state of turmoil, but what has happened is design has grown at a faster pace than the declining economy. It was an incredibly vital and interesting show, which was extremely successful commercially for the dealers.

Left: Dacra office gallery; photo by Richard Patterson Above: Y-3 interior, courtesy of Bridge House Studio

and, I would say, if I were to [pick] one of the highest priorities [for visitors], that would probably be it. It is something that will just begin this year that no one has seen yet. That building is right in the heart of the design district. All of this makes for an incredible day.

“... design has grown at a faster pace than the declining economy.” –Craig Robins What are you working on at the moment? We are really focusing on expanding the Design District, bringing in a lot of interesting businesses and making it a more dynamic experience for those who are coming to the area. It continues to grow as Miami’s creative laboratory, so I am very focused on that.

What can we expect from this December’s event that is different from the past? In the Design District we are going to have an amazing Design Miami/ show as well as a lot of cultural activity around it. What is going to be really different and go beyond anything we have seen is that integrated into the event will be a lot of creative fashion experiences. We will have new boutique openings that are very special. For instance, Christian Louboutin will open. The design of his space is extraordinary. He will join Marni and Y-3. There is also a whole program that is going to be inaugurated simultaneously and run through the season called ‘Limited Edition Experiences;’ this will include all kinds of amazing fashion-oriented shows. Architecturally speaking, what are the buildings people need to see when they are in town for Art Basel Miami Beach? Right now there is a nice garage [attached to the new Miami Art Museum] being built by Herzog & de Meuron. Frank Gehry’s building for the New World Symphony is under construction, but sometimes it’s interesting to see those kinds of structures under way. There is a whole fascinating evolution of how they are getting built and how the architecture becomes transformative. The historical district in South Beach has beautiful art deco architecture. And then there is the Design District, [which] has a richness of contemporary art, architecture and design. The De La Cruz Collection will also be open

Craig Robins portrait by Martien Mulder

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DESIGNER DRIVEN Porsche Design Director Michael Mauer words : tamara warren

A pencil is never far from Porsche Design Director Michael Mauer’s hand. “Right now I’m sketching,” Mauer says, calling in from Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany. “Just to have a pencil move over the paper is a good feeling.” His skill is evident on the exterior nuances of the 2010 Porsche Panamera–Porsche’s first sedan to come to market. “This car didn’t have a predecessor, so there was a lot of freedom [in] creating unique layout and proportions.”

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It’s not a stretch to say that Mauer is responsible for many of the vehicles on the road. He joined Mercedes-Benz in 1989 and worked on the SLK, A and SL models, and in the company’s advanced design department. He was responsible for design at MCC Smart GmbH before moving on to Saab in 2000. At Saab, he helmed the design of the Saab 9-X, 9-3X, 9-3 Sport Hatch and later was in charge of the Advanced Concept Center for General Motors Europe. He joined Porsche in 2004. “The big difference at Porsche is that you can look at things and touch; clay models still exist in our process. In my position, being a designer, half the responsibility is that whatever we design has to complement the brand. Just say the name of the brand, and the product has to deliver.” With Porsche, that means sophistication, speed and superb response. The rearwheel drive Panamera S zooms from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds to a top speed of 175 mph. The all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo sets a zero to 60 mph time of 4 seconds flat and a top track speed of 188 mph. Speed is part of the attraction for the 47-yearold designer. He grew up in Höchenschwand, a

town in southwest Germany’s Black Forest, and credits his father for encouraging him to pursue car design. “The three things I loved growing up were cars, art and sports. I grew up with skis on my feet.” Mauer’s father recognized his affinity for art and cars and arranged for an internship in Mercedes-Benz’s design department. Mauer went on to study at the Polytechnic in Pforzheim, as one of its first design students, before Mercedes-Benz hired him. From his breadth of experience, Mauer has learned to balance innovation with the desires of the customer. “When you are creating something new, you are more open minded and you are more open to things happening around you.” Mauer pays close attention to emerging philosophies in product and furniture design. An avid cyclist, he collects bicycles utilizing the latest materials. At home, he has furniture designed from moon wood. As he explains, “The philosophy is that when you cut the tree in the right moment under a full moon or a new moon, you get all the energy that the tree collected over 200 years, and you participate in this energy.” Images courtesy of Porsche.

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Some see automobiles merely as machines, but when designed well, they can become so much more than a collection of nuts, bolts and plasma-welded panels. Like a provocative painting or sculpture, the well-designed automobile excites and inspires. And it must have more than just visual appeal; a superior tactile experience is requisite to superior automotive design.

KEEPS The 2010 Porsche Panamera words : larry cornwell

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The mechanical precision of the Panamera’s 400- and 500-horsepower V8s, smooth steering, seven-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive system and ceramiccomposite disc brakes are truly inspired. My first experience behind the wheel of the 2010 Porsche Panamera was at the four-mile, 14-turn Road America racecourse. As one might expect, acceleration for the turbo-charged, 500-horsepower version of the Panamera was absolutely thrilling; the normally aspirated, 400-horsepower V8 is also, notably, quick enough to put many coupes to shame.

All images courtesy of Porsche.

FOUR

The 2010 Panamera, Porsche’s first four-door luxury sedan, is a case in point. The primary design directive of the new Panamera is that it had to be instantly recognizable as a Porsche. And if you dissect the body of the Panamera, its Porsche DNA is obvious. Two primary areas visually link the Panamera to the iconic 911—the front clip and the back end. The headlights, lower air intake layout and teardrop rear deck look as if a 911 was cut in half, with the mid-section of a sedan spliced in. And like the legendary 959, 911 Turbo and Carrera GT, the Panamera is an engineering work of art.


The vehicle’s steering is ideally balanced, with enough weight to communicate what the front wheels are doing. This, in combination with the tight suspension, makes the Panamera feel like a much smaller car. In fact, it really feels and drives more like a two-door than a four-door automobile. The Panamera was impressive in dry conditions, and even more so in wet. Braking action was instant, firm and confident in subtracting digits from a 141-mph speed. In fact, there was only one moment when the Panamera got squirrelly under braking in the wet, and brake fade still wasn’t noticeable. Furthermore, the suspension provided a confident, controlled feel in wet corners at speeds of up to 132 mph. Similar to the layout of a two-door sports car, the driver and passengers sit low in the Panamera. Not only does this high belt line give everyone inside the impression that they are sitting in a sports car, but it also offers a sense of security. Unlike two-plus-two sports cars, however, Panamera’s rear passengers are pampered like those up front. They have their own climate units with separate temperature and fan controls, as well as heated seats and a center console. Meanwhile, the dash, doors, console and bucket seats feature a luxurious array of eye-catching elements and textures, with dozens of buttons, wood accents, polished chrome bright work and stitched leather throughout. Ultimately, while the Panamera marks Porsche’s foray into the fourdoor luxury market, the bigger accomplishment may lie in the fact that it does so without losing any of its Porsche-ness. Panamera delivers all the goodies we’ve come to expect: instantly recognizable Porsche style on the outside and Porsche performance by the seat of your pants.

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This page: top right image ©Iwan Baan; all others ©Steven Holl Architects.

NORWEGIAN WORD The literary inspiration behind Steven Holl’s Knut Hamsun Center words: david van der leer

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Whereas light and space create sensual experiences, it can occasionally be more telling to consider the more abstract cultural implications and possibilities of a project. At certain times, I find myself more interested in not so much what architecture is, but in what architecture may represent. Whereas light and space create sensual experiences —which are the key factors making or breaking a work of architecture—it can occasionally be more telling to consider the more abstract cultural implications and possibilities of a project. Without getting too far into the semiotics of space with the figurative aspects of buildings, I must admit that, much to my surprise, I am tempted to look at one of Steven Holl’s most recently completed projects, the Knut Hamsun Center, for its theoretical denotations. Located in the far north of Norway, above the Arctic Circle and hours from Oslo, in Hamarøy, the building provides the specific spatial experience that so often is a joy in Holl’s buildings: a careful play of light and a thoughtful organization of the program along the circulation. But more importantly, the architecture here commemorates and refer-

©Steven Holl Architects

ences culture by looking at one of Norway’s most significant authors of the 20th century —a character simultaneously much admired and despised. Knut Hamsun, a Nobel Prize–winning surrealist, spent many years in the U.S. before returning to Norway, where he wrote his most influential books, including Hunger and Mysteries. Many Norwegians remember him, though, for his flirtation with the Nazi regime during World War II. Holl did not see Hamsun’s Nazi sympathies as a mere impediment for the design of the building; rather, he considered this aspect an exciting challenge. In an interview, Holl stated, “I think that all those things, good and bad, can be shown in a museum dedicated to the life of one person. Life isn’t all clean. It has some messy corners.” For the design concept, Holl chose “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces.” This is reflected not only in the materiality of the small building but also in its more figura-

tive elements, which Holl found in Hamsun’s writings. While walking down in the building, visitors encounter an “empty violin case” deck and a yellow glass balcony jutting out of the dark wood façade that refers to the “girl with sleeves rolled up polishing yellow panes.” Although the design might risk too literally trying to translate concepts from Hamsun’s prose, I do appreciate the building for its sense of determination and absurdity. This quality of the design has only matured in the many years Holl had to wait to complete the project, which was designed in 1994. Now, 15 years later, the building has finally been built, despite many political hurdles, and it lightheartedly pokes fun at and criticizes not only Norwegian history and its occasional insularity, but more generally our Western societies, which are sometimes overly focused on the direct reflection of reality. Holl shows how a sense of wit that invites interpretation may shine a different light on the darker moments of the everyday.

©Iwan Baan

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DAY DREAMER

Marcel Wanders dazzles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art words : anna carnick

This page: Marcel Wanders portrait. Opposite: Personal Editions: Calvin lamp and Lucky One. All images courtesy of Marcel Wanders studio. | 128 |


Think of designer Marcel Wanders as the perfect host. From his Happy Hour Chandelier collaboration with award-winning choreographer and dancer Nanine Lining, a 20-minute performance piece in which a lovely “Dancing Angel,” encircled by a Wandersdesigned chandelier, hangs upside down from the ceiling pouring flutes of champagne for crowds below—to his interior design work for the likes of South Beach’s Mondrian Hotel, a dreamy atmosphere inspired by the moments just after “Sleeping Beauty” awakes—the Dutch creative has made a career out of whimsical, beautiful designs that elevate visitors’ spirits. Combining art and wit, he demonstrates design’s potential to impact, often creating specific, poetic moments in which all of us can play. His new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is no different. Marcel Wanders: Daydreams is a multimedia retrospective featuring Wanders’ favorite works from the last 20 years, hand-selected by the artist himself, covering a broad spectrum of clients and mediums. Wanders was determined that the exhibit be worth the trip for visitors, so, as usual, he’s put on a real show. Dramatized by shifting video images, light and sound, it includes prototypes, commercial products, personal editions, never-before-exhibited objects and brand new films offering insight into Wanders’ creative approach. And, oh yes, the opening night’s festivities kicked off with a dazzling Happy Hour Chandelier performance starring dancer Courtney Clarke.

As Wanders describes it, “[This] is not just a pile of objects; the exhibition itself is a new work … If we invite people to see our work, I would like them to be excited about it. I would like people to be overwhelmed by it. I would like to touch them.” Thus, Daydreams features crowd-pleasing, avant-garde favorites, such as the 11-footplus tall Calvin lamp (2007), alongside marriages of traditional handcraft and industrial design, such as Knotted Chair (1996), made from carbon and aramid fiber covered in epoxy resin with gold coating, and the airy-looking Crochet Chair (2006), crocheted fiber soaked in epoxy, then shaped. His new films are an important component, too. Adding another powerful sensory element to the overall experience, they reveal elements of Wanders’ philosophy and vision, with fanciful titles that include “The Magician and the Poet” and “Pirouette.” Simultaneously, they capture genres of Wanders’ work that otherwise would be very difficult to present in a traditional exhibit space, such as his recent interiors projects. Considering these spaces’ already grand theatrical senses, film seems the perfect expression for the likes of the aforementioned Mondrian Hotel, Casa son Vida in Mallorca, Villa Moda in Bahrain (UAE) and the new Kameha Grand hotel in Bonn, Germany. And while the films and the exhibit itself are new, of course, drama and romance have been integral to Wanders’ whole career. “For | 129 |


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This page: clockwise from top left: Flos Skygarden, Flos CAN CAN, Cappellini Knotted Chair and Habitat Matryoshka Boxes. Opposite: Happy Hour Chandelier.


me, it is strange that some designers want to be invisible. I don’t understand this. I would like to add more qualities to things, instead of [being] invisible ... Perhaps if you make, let’s say, a pacemaker or hammer, but if you want to make things that people are excited about, then you want to seduce people and [make them] feel happy ... I think it’s strange when designers are boring and it’s not interesting and it’s not new and it’s not beautiful. It is the whole idea behind why we have design, isn’t it?” Daydreams boasts an eclectic selection, to be sure, but Wanders has built a career as a master of elaborate yet elegant mixes and matches. Without fail, grand or small, his work evokes a balanced sense of play and purpose. As Daydreams curator Kathryn Hiesinger, PhD, says: “Like other art-designers of his generation, he embraces irony and playful humor in his work, often with an edge. However, what sets him apart is the way he infuses all of his projects with a narrative and an altruistic message—while fully recognizing that his work is still commercial. I think he has been able to create a vision for himself and others of the potential of design to change things, to enrich people’s lives.” To this end, when asked to describe his artistic development over the last 20 years (and what better opportunity to take stock than a retrospective?), Wanders responds, “The world of design has grown together with me. [Before], people on the street didn’t know what design was, and I didn’t know what design was when I started studying. More and more, design has been able to gain an audience because the subject is really different from what it was 20 years ago. [It] was an engineering profession, which was about functionality and making stuff and industrialization. More and more, it became a cre-

ative and poetic means, which is able to touch people in a subjective way. It became more personal, and that’s why it is more interesting to people.” Wanders goes on, “People still use objects without thinking, but designers are also able to make objects in such an interesting way that people do think about it. This is something that is kind of new to the world of design, and we were able to be part of that movement. We were able to add more communicational qualities to design. I think we created a romantic and humanistic side to design, which is truly interesting.“ Looking on his existing oeuvre, and what it may imply for the next 20 years, the sheer number of works is daunting—especially given Wanders’ total commitment to every project. With his new holiday home décor and tabletop collection for Target, he’ll be introduced to an even larger, mass audience. And beyond his own creative work, Wanders has created a coaching program for young designers, pairing up-and-coming creatives with accomplished designers for mentorship. (The cost for young talent? A commitment to give back as coaches themselves in the future.) But the balancing act doesn’t seem to bother him at all. “I’m not a fast train,” Wanders says. “I’m a diesel train. I never run, but I also never stop. I know where I’m going, and I push hard because I love pushing it.” He concludes, “I’m a designer. If I don’t do this, what am I doing? Of course it’s innovative. Of course it’s beautiful. Of course it creates fantasy. Of course it’s inspirational. That’s the whole idea, right?” Marcel Wanders: Daydreams runs through June 2010.

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ATHENAEUM Clear shines a spotlight on the season’s best creative media.

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty By Jessica Morgan and Leslie Jones Prestel Publishing $75 / 329 pages / 400 color illustrations Published in coordination with an exhibition of the same name organized by Tate Modern and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, John Baldessari: Pure Beauty is a retrospective look at one of contemporary art’s most conceptual artists. Fascinated by the connection between language and meaning, and the relationship between visuals and words, Baldessari’s work characteristically combines film, photography and painting. Over 130 works reveal his artistic evolution, beginning in the late ‘60s with photo-and-text pieces and moving on through his most recent works to date. –Anna Carnick Images from John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, ©Prestel 2009

Additional image credits for Nick Knight by Nick Knight, published by Collins Design, 2009. From left (cover): Devon Aoki, Devon, Alexander McQueen, Visonaire 20, 1997, © Nick Knight; right: Lily Donaldson, British Vogue, December 2008, ©Nick Knight. And for Dennis Hopper: Photographs: Bruce Conner (in tub), Toni Basil, Teri Garr and Ann Marshall, 1965, and cover; ©Dennis Hopper; courtesy of Taschen America.

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Nick Knight By Nick Knight Introduction by Charlotte Cotton Collins Design, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers $75 / 264 pages / 300+ photographs

Dennis Hopper: Photographs, 1961–1967 Edited by Tony Shafrazi, with contributions from Dennis Hopper, Walter Hopps and Jessica Hundley Taschen America $700 / 540 pages

This powerful mid-career retrospective showcases the range and vibrancy of photographer Nick Knight’s work. Overlapping the worlds of high fashion and art, Knight consistently challenges the standards of conventional beauty and pushes his own creative limits through edgy experimentation. The fruits of his labor are presented beautifully here, including: award-winning editorial, advertising series, natural world studies, one-of-a-kind collaborations with the likes of everyone from Hussein Chalayan and Gareth Pugh to Massive Attack and Björk, and samples of his film and performance work for SHOWstudio. com, Knight’s Web site committed to examining the ways in which the Internet might expand the world of modern fashion photography. It’s a gorgeous collection by one of today’s most talented photographers. –A.C.

In the years prior to his cinematic breakthrough as the director of “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper obsessively documented his life with photography. Of course, Hopper’s life as an artist and actor was far from ordinary, and his body of work from this period is a fascinating glimpse into 1960s Los Angeles from the point of view of a man with equal access to candid moments of Hollywood decadence, art world happenings, civil rights protests and the darker corners of urban sprawl. What is most immediately remarkable about this work is not simply Hopper’s knack for being in the right place at the right time, but his intuitive knowledge of how to frame situations and figures that would later become iconic. Hopper himself may be central to the mythology of the 1960s, but this collection of photographs makes a compelling case that he is also one of the chief architects of that very mythology. –Matthew Perpetua | 133 |


Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper Edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, B. Meyer Gestalten $65 / 256 pages / full color A playful and extensive survey of the innovative role of paper in the arts, Papercraft explores the medium’s seemingly limitless creative possibilities. From posters to large scale installations to fashion and costume; from simple folding, cutting and collage to embossing and laser cutting; from disciplines as varied as graphic character design, urban art and advertising; paper seems to go as far as we can imagine it. The book also includes a DVD of printable templates for creating paper characters and toys, along with a selection of top stop-motion animations. –A.C. Papercraft cover ©Gestalten 2009

Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting By Bob Nickas Phaidon Press $75 / 352 pages / 250 color illustrations Delving into the increasingly complex world of abstract painting, Painting Abstraction features the eclectic work of 80 leading contemporary painters. Nickas’ extensive background as critic and curator is evident in not just artist selection, but also in the six chapters focusing on key elements of the art form. An informative, introductory essay places the abstract painting arena in digestible, historical context. This is an excellent—and beautiful—resource that tackles an important and increasingly popular subject. –A.C. ©Phaidon 2009; cover and Camino by Bernard Frize (2008); images courtesy of Phaidon Press

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Louis Vuitton City Guide 2010 Louis Vuitton European Cities box set $130, individual city guides $34 With a look inspired by vintage Louis Vuitton trunk and luggage labels, these chic travel guides walk readers through 31 cities around the globe. In each, a different, unique character reveals favorite off-the-beaten-track addresses, including a combination of tried-and-tested and new contemporary luxury and charming hotels, gourmet restaurants, artists’ haunts, wine bars, galleries, spas and fashion boutiques, along with helpful schematic maps. The European Cities nine-piece box set includes 7,000 listings in 31 cities, with one guide dedicated entirely to Paris. Eight individual city guides–including Los Angeles, London, Rome, Paris, Miami, Mumbai, New York and Tokyo–are also available. –A.C. Images courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity By Leah Dickerman and Barry Bergdoll The Museum of Modern Art $75 / 328 pages / 510 color illustrations Walter Gropius’ massively influential Bauhaus school has been subject to a truly staggering amount of critical thought in the decades since its dissolution in 1933. Until now, however, the Museum of Modern Art had not given this vast body of work comprehensive consideration since its initial exhibition in 1938. This book, which accompanies a large scale retrospective exhibition at the museum, is overwhelming in its detail and breadth as it covers the full range of disciplines taught at the school. Much of the art and design associated with the Bauhaus has become familiar to anyone with an interest in Modernism and 20th century art. Here, MoMA curators Leah Dickerman and Barry Bergdoll successfully mix major works and common narrative threads with obscure pieces rarely seen outside of Germany and refreshing new takes on the institution’s legacy, informed by a shift in generational perspective. -M.P. ©Museum of Modern Art; cover and Schwarze Form (Black Form) by Vasily Kandinsky, (1923),
oil on canvas measuring 43 5/16 x 38 3/16,”
private collection, courtesy of Neue Galerie New York. Photo by Jeffrey Sturges
©2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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T H E L I S T PA G E Editorial: man power: hypebeast.com lustworthy: www.pantech.com www.st-dupont.com www.le-rituel.com www.christianlouboutin.com www.piper-heidsieck.com

double trouble: richardhambleton.com www.woodwardgallery.net

down the rabbit hole: www.mrhare.co.uk

good karma: www.fiskerautomotive.com

pair of aces: www.pearsonlloyd.com

fashion alchemy: www.boijmans.nl

new world order: www.oppenoffice.com

new kid on the block: www.purerossi.com

quantum speed: www.astonmartin.com

make mine a mclaren: www.mclarenautomotive.com

sensory overdrive: www.konstantin-grcic.com www.artic.edu/aic

object of my obsession: www.venturifetish.fr

altered assemblage: www.modernart.net gelman + byars: www.designmachine.net www.melbyars.com water fall: www.ywater.us www.fuseproject.com www.eastman.com downtown girl: www.annasui.com a beautiful mind: www.maartenbaas.com floating fantasy: www.ferrettigroup.com www.rivaboats.com www.crn-yacht.com without borders: www.1301pe.com www.greenenaftaligallery.com www.tanyabonakdargallery.com mad max: www.strandbeest.com www.loekvanderklis.com

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cosmic creations: www.mori.art.museum www.deitch.com www.scaithebathhouse.com www.galerieperrotin.com

the good life: www.hotelgansevoort.com frontal illusionist: www.frontdesign.se twisted traditions: www.londondesignfestival.com a cool new leaf: www.brightgreenfashion.com retro active: www.jonathanadler.com culture king: www.dacra.com www.designmiami.com designer driven: www.porsche.com four keeps: www.porsche.com norwegian wood: www.stevenholl.com day dreamer: www.marcelwanders.com www.philamuseum.org www.happyhourchandelier.com

athenaeum: www.prestel.com www.harpercollins.com www.taschen.com www.gestalten.com www.phaidon.com www.moma.org hypertpye typography: www.pestrographique.com Fashion: agent provocateur: www.agentprovocateur.com armand basi: www.armandbasi.com calvin klein: www.calvinklein.com camilla and marc: www.camillaandmarc.com christian louboutin: www.christianlouboutin.com dekkori: www.dekkori.com diesel: www.diesel.com el caballo: www.elcaballo.com eres: www.eresparis.com escada: www.escada.com etro: www.etro.com foley and corinna: www.foleyandcorinna.com fornarina: www.fornarina.com friis&co: www.friis-co.dk gar – de: www.gar-de.com h&m: www.hm.com heartloom: www.heartloom.com helen yarmak: www.helenyarmak.com helmut lang: www.helmutlang.com herring and herring: www.herringandherring.com hoss intropia: hossintropia.com jean paul gaultier: www.jeanpaulgaultier.com jeremy scott: www.jeremyscott.com jonathan segade: www.jonathansegade.com levis: us.levi.com louis vuitton: www.louisvuitton.com madison harding: www.madisonharding.com mango: www.mango.com manish arora: www.manisharora.ws maria freyre: www.nowbymariafreyre.com robert clergerie: www.robertclergerie.fr rock and republic: www.rockandrepublic.com ryan wilde: ryanwilde.com siempresviernes: www.siempreesviernes.com steve madden: www.stevemadden.com tibi: tibi.com tiret: www.tiretnewyork.com toni maticevski: www.tonimaticevski.com uterque: www.uterque.es wolfrod: www.wolford.nl


Max Lamb Carved Poly Chair, prior to casting in bronze

/1/2/3/4/5/ December 2009/Miami, Florida /1/ December 2009/ Collectors Preview & Vernissage, by invitation only.

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Clear Magazine Issue 34