1. New York Design Week’s Exponential Growth
Now stretching across almost the entire month of May, New York Design “Week” has positioned NYC in the global design circuit with force. As Artsy notes, “By the 24th of this month, more than 500 design-related events will take place across New York City—and that’s just the official NYCxDesign calendar.” Design Week has long been centered around the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), but many other smaller fairs—Collective (3-7 May), Wanted Design (17–23 May), OFFSITE show (19–22 May) and more—extend the calendar’s reach across the city. Why the growth? Artsy believes it pertains to an “increasing appetite for design from the general cultural community, thanks in part to the popularization by online publications and tastemakers.”
2. Clever Innovations Taking on Climate Change
From large-scale solar (an industry that now employs twice the number of people than coal mining), to low-carbon concrete and beyond, there are countless impressive and important innovations being made and updated to tackle climate change. Not just energy-focused though, there are plenty of other clever ideas to do with food: there’s Beyond Meat, Gardein and the Impossible Burger—which is fake meat that “bleeds” like the real deal. Head over to The Guardian to read Oliver Milman’s round-up of incredible alternative solutions.
3. Difficult or Dangerous to Play Albums
For eight years now, music label Auris Apothecary has released albums that are difficult—and even dangerous—to play as a commentary on the ease of access digital technology provides. Some are more manageable, like a (sold-out) tape by the band Unholy Triforce which came in kit form that required assembling. Others produced by label founder Dante Augustus Scarlatti are absurdist and impossible—for example an Elmer’s “glue record” imprint of another record. Scarlatti explains to Noisey that they do want consumers to figure out how to make the “anti-releases” work, but more importantly, he’s sending a message about the obstacles he believes should stand between listeners and the music they want.
4. Porsche’s One-Millionth 911 is a Beauty
Iconic car-maker Porsche has just hit a significant milestone: the German brand has just rolled out its one-millionth 911 model. The very first 911 was manufactured over 50 years ago, and its design has managed to stand the test of time. An homage to the car’s early days, the one-millionth model is Irish Green and its interior is “wood, leather, and old-school black-and-white checkerboard inserts.” Of course there’s a plaque commemorating the car’s significance and it’s not for sale—rather it’ll be going on a tour across Europe and the USA.
5. The Porn Cameos of a Famous Chaise Lounge
Including over 800 photographic examples, the book “We Don’t Embroider Cushions Here” documents the many cameos the LC4 chaise lounge makes in pornographic films. The iconic chair—designed back in 1928—was the collaborative work of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand. Authors (and artists) Augustine and Josephine Rockebrune paid an internet workforce based in India to sort through hundreds of pornos—from 2005’s “Slut Puppies” to 2009’s “Feeding Frenzy 9” and beyond. They found substantial evidence that people are actually making use of the LC4 for what it was intended: pleasure. There’s more in the book than just scintillating imagery, though. Read more at Hyperallergic.
6. Cooper Hewitt’s 2017 National Design Award Winners
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced their 18th annual design award winners—those who embody excellence and innovation in 11 design categories. “In an era of tumultuous change, design is asking deep questions about its purpose and contributions to a better society,” explains Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. Among this year’s winners, internationally acclaimed industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger has been honored with a lifetime achievement award, SF-based Jennifer Morla was acknowledged for Communication Design and New Yorker Joe Doucet for product design. Explore their work, and that of the other winners, at Cooper Hewitt’s site.
7. Prefer, the Professional Referral App
Chances are if you have a need for a service professional, someone in your network has already had that need and may have advice. Whether you’re looking for a dog walker or a lawyer, Prefer aims to offer assistance by delivering peer reviews of professionals in numerous fields. The difference here, however, is that Prefer looks after its network of independent service professionals. As Prefer notes, “many [feel] marginalized and commoditized by ‘on-demand’ platforms.” The app guarantees these vendors their rates, in essence locking in and supporting their talent. Whether it’s shrinks, massage therapists or trainers, this is a place to find one that’s come recommended by someone you trust.
8. Artists Aid the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis
With a resolution to the Syrian humanitarian crisis still far afield, resources for refugees—financial, medical and more—constantly need replenishment. Charity organization Gotham Cares debuted last night with an inaugural gathering, and thanks to contributions from artists like Andre Saraiva, Lucien Smith, and photographer Ben Watts, money was raised for both Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and the International Rescue Committee—and the thousands of people they employ in Syria and at its borders. According to Gotham Cares’ statistics, over 6.3 million people are displaced and 13.5 million need emergency assistance in region. To help, or inquire about remaining art auction items, contact Gotham Cares.