Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Farewell to two cultural pioneers, debunking myths about women's bodies, our co-founder at SXSW and more

Four New Statues of Women for NYC

While NYC is scattered with statues of notable men, there are very few of women—just five, in fact. She Built NYC is commissioning four new statues of historical and influential women: Billie Holiday, Dr Helen Rodríguez Trías, Elizabeth Jennings Graham and Katherine Walker. Each statue will be placed in the borough that each woman called home—from the Bronx to Staten Island. The project is ongoing, with She Built NYC (which is part of dedicated to increasing women’s representation in public art and monuments across the city. “We pledged to do better by the leaders, achievers and artists who have not gotten their due in the histories written by men,” Chirlane McCray, New York’s first lady, says. Read more at the New York Times.

Toyota’s Moon Rover

Traditionally limiting their endeavors to the Earth’s surface, Toyota now has plans to go to the moon. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency announced a partnership with the carmaker to place a self-driving rover on the moon in 2029. Using Toyota’s fuel-cell technology and solar power, the rover can transport two passengers over 10,000 kilometers. Though no astronauts will travel to the moon in the rover (it will travel independently and then rejoin the other ship on the surface), it will serve as a base and a mode of transportation once touched down. Read more at Engadget.

Transcend is LA’s Career Fair for the Transgender Community

Today, the Los Angeles Trade Center is playing host to Transcend—a career fair specifically for the transgender community. With 80+ employers taking part (from Paramount to UCLA), the event was organized by social worker and trans rights advocate Jason Hill. Transcend is a crucial initiative; the statistics surrounding transgender people at work are astounding—from the unemployment rates, to treatment in the workplace, to income and beyond. Hill says his position as “passing as a ‘well-spoken black male'” is much easier than many trans people’s experiences, and tells PAPER, “The purpose of this is also to create an environment where trans people don’t have to be wondering if their voice is too deep, too high… If they have facial hair, if they don’t have facial hair, whether or not they’ve completed facial feminization surgery, what clothes to wear to the interview. They should know when they show up to this event that the employers present want to diversify their workplaces and actually want to have trans people there.” Read more at PAPER.

Lynn Enright Destroys Myths About the Female Body

In her new book Vagina: A Re-Education, Lynn Enright (journalist and “accidental vagina specialist”) is debunking the myths, theories and lies that many women grew up believing. From gender bias in sex education to pain, pleasure, pregnancy and beyond, Enright explores the female body and the experience of living inside one—with many personal anecdotes. Enright spoke with Kelly Pigram about the book, which is fascinating reading for people of all genders. Read the full interview at Dazed.

Farewell to Influential Curator and Art Historian, Okwui Enwezor

An incredibly influential figure in the contemporary art world, Okwui Enwezor has passed away at just 55 years old. Not only a curator and art historian, Enwezor was a poet and critic whose astute way of thinking pushed for a more global view of art. Born in Awkuzu, Nigeria, he moved to the Bronx as a teenager, and over his career he was the artistic director at Munich’s Haus der Kunst, first non-European curator of Documenta, and the first African-born director of the Venice Biennale. He worked tirelessly to increase the visibility of non-white artists, saying, “We have reached a point where we cannot have one homogenized narrative, one view of the future, a singular idea of what constitutes the good life, even though we have inherited certain monolithic cultural, social, and political ways of thinking about the world. This monolithic narrative has become increasingly untenable and can no longer hold.” Read more at Artforum.

Farewell to Thrasher Editor and Skateboarding Legend, Jake Phelps

Skateboarding icon and longtime editor of Thrasher, Jake Phelps has passed away at 56. San Francisco-based Phelps started skating when he was 13 years old, and was a crucial player in the area’s scene—and that of the entire world of skate culture.  Phelps began at the publication in the ’80s, after co-founder Kevin Thatcher asked him to write product reviews and box merch. He’d go on to run Thrasher for 26 years. He told The Chronicle, “Thrasher lives at street level. If parents don’t complain about it, we’re doing something wrong. It’s the kind of thing you hide under your bed at night. It’s the recklessness of youth.”

Reprinting 1927’s The Bolted Book

Depero Futurista (oftentimes known as The Bolted Book) is a 1927 design book by Fortunato Depero—bound together by two aluminum bolts. A testament to ingenuity and creativity, the book was acclaimed and referenced for many years, but very few copies remain. A Kickstarter by Design & Books hopes to publish it once again. The bolts will bind it still—locking in the early 20th Century typographic displays and design inspiration that’s inside. Read more about the book, and how you can get your hands on one, at their Kickstarter.

ICON’s Reengineered 1966 Ford Bronco Up For Auction

With a percentage of the profits going to the Autotype Emerging Designer Scholarship Program, there’s a striking custom Autotype + Icon “Old School” BR #66 up for auction online now—and several auto design-related items for sale, too. As for the rebuild of the 1966 Ford Bronco (bright orange, of course), it’s impeccably executed, with a proprietary ICON Art Morrison chassis and coil-over suspension along with a removable full hard top. The auction ends this Friday, 15 March at 2:15PM PST. Take a look at Bring a Trailer to learn more now.

SpaceX and the New Aesthetics of Space Travel

Though the parameters of a trip into Earth’s orbit haven’t changed much since the dawn of our space travel days, the appearance has—whether it be the suits or the ships. On the next NASA trip, in a SpaceX-built capsule, the astronauts will be treated to sleek, modern interiors, cushy seats, touch-screens and wireless consoles. The look is a significant upgrade from previous designs—many of which were cramped and restricted. After receiving a billion dollar contract from NASA, SpaceX put the money to good use. Read more at The Atlantic.

Elizabeth Hargrave’s Surprisingly Successful Board Game

In the board-game world, where characters are often zombies and military figures, Elizabeth Hargrave’s Wingspan takes a different route. With scientifically accurate descriptions and depictions of birds, it’s a card-based game in which each player’s goal is to attract birds to their network of wildlife preserves. Players assign birds, outfitted with special powers and specific capabilities, to habitats and tally points based on whether or not they’re suited for the environment. Its thoughtful research (a spreadsheet filled with over 549 entries and 100+ characteristics) has already impressed bird- and game-enthusiasts, and seems to have appeal even further—with demand far exceeding supply on the first day of sales. In fact, they have already sold over 30,000 units. Read more at the New York Times.

COOL HUNTING’s Josh Rubin, A$AP Rocky and Gorden Wagener at SXSW

At SXSW, our founder and EIC Josh Rubin moderated a conversation between Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG’s chief design officer Gorden Wagener and hip-hop artist and fashion designer A$AP Rocky—who also has worked with MB. The three discussed cars, music, branding, culture and more—all through the lens of design. Referencing his most recent album, Testing, Rocky said, “People such as myself and other artists are like the crash test dummies for those to come. We test products, lanes, make sure that it’s safe.” Wagener followed up, “We do decisions in a small circle. Design is not democratic. Some people have to have a vision.” Design isn’t just about solving existing problems, but also about provocation, anticipation and evolution. Ultimately, Rocky gave advice to young designers, saying, “Stick to your guns. Don’t compromise at all because it’s not going to be easy.” Read more about the inspiring conversation at the Daily Texan.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.