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Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Becky

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Hope everyone’s having a merry and bright day. Happy holidays from all of us at Design Public!

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Great Exhibition: Paul Rand at MoDA

Becky

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Hey All! If any of you are in Atlanta between now and January 30 2013, I highly recommend swinging by the Paul Rand exhibition over at the Museum of Design Atlanta. It was very inspiring; I had no idea one man was behind so many amazing logos, book designs and graphic design principles. Unfortunately, trying to Google “Paul Rand” brings up some a lot of unrelated sites, so I’ve included the direct link to the exhibit at the end of this post.

MoDA is located right across Peachtree Street from the High Museum of Art in a very cool building that was redesigned/remodeled/given a green makeover by Perkins + Will. The MoDA space is on the first floor; its entrance is next to the entrance to the public library.

The lobby is filled with inspiring quotes from Rand, as well as an interactive exercise and a four-minute video.

Rand looked to so many different things for inspiration, including buoys:

The exhibition included a slew of amazing book cover designs by Rand.

His iconic UPS logo is one of his best known. What I enjoyed much was some of the original mock ups they have. The IBM rebus graphic below is just cut-up paper affixed with Scotch tape:

The resulting graphic:

The exhibition also included fabric he’d designed, his own chair designed by Alvar Aalto, and the plans for his and his wife’s modern home, which I would  love to learn more about as it looked like a very thoughtful mid-century mod abode with a cool courtyard. I’ll see what I can find and get back to you on that later.

Another highlight were these Rand-designed covers for Direction when he was in his 20s.

Alright, I’ll stop spoiling the entire show for you; click here to learn more about it and MoDA.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Favorite Design Books of 2013: The Bold

Becky

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Last week we showed you some of our favorite design books released in 2013, a group of five that focused on the beautiful – European antiques, flowers, gardens, marble floors, homes in the Hamptons, idyllic lakeside spots. Now we’d like to share some that feature the bold – international style, modern and contemporary, minimal and downright sublime  … here are five of our favorites from the past year. Note, these make great gifts for the architecture fans in your life; I’ve included the Amazon links for each book in case you’re interested in ordering.

Building Seagram by Phyllis Lambert. I’m not going to lie, ever since I took Richard Guy Wilson’s architectural history course, this has remained one of my top five favorite buildings. Lambert was there every step of the way, spearheaded the search for an architect that resulted in finding Mies, and her amazing tale will surprise you.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscape, published by MoMA. This is an absolute MUST HAVE for any architectural library, you cannot begin to understand the roots of International Style without understanding Corb, and this may just be the most comprehensive tome on the market. Plus, more shallowly, it’s got a really cool spine that will pop on your shelves.

The Houses of Louis Kahn by George H. Marcus and William Whitaker. You may know all about the library at Exeter or the Salk Institute, but this book is a collection of Kahn’s lesser-known work, his residential homes. Again, I must declare this an architecture library must-have.

Tadao Ando: Houses by Philip Jodidio. Ando took concrete, known primarily for heavy brutalist architecture, and created thoughtful and ethereal buildings with it. A master of proportion and light, these qualities can best be seen (IMHO) in his residential designs, which are the focus of this beautiful book.

Nelson Byrd Woltz: Garden, Park, Community, Farm by Warren T. Bird Jr., Thomas Woltz and Elizabeth Meyer. Full disclosure: I used to know all of these people ten years ago. Warren made us chase him on four hour plant walks with his long fast stride, while we furiously scribbled down Latin names for plants and tried to sketch them at the same time (sometimes while climbing up the Blue Ridge Mountains; the class was a better workout than Barry’s Boot Camp), I knew Thomas Woltz socially and Beth Meyer was a horrible person to have to turn in a paper to, because she’s probably the best at writing about landscape architecture and landscape theory (she doesn’t get mired down in all that nonsensical archi-speak that plagues so many academic design writers). Anyway, now that that’s out of the way — the work of this firm is wide-ranging and puts into practice all the elements you dream about putting into practice back when you’re a wide-eyed idealistic student.

Any books you’d recommend for 2013? Please share any that caught your attention in the comments section.

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Friday, December 6th, 2013

Favorite Design Books Published in 2013: The Beautiful

Becky

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What’s on your holiday book wishlist? To get you started, here are five notable design books that were published in 2013; I realized after selecting a few that with this list, I was going for the beautiful. I’ll be back with five more favorites next  week, perhaps the bold, or the gritty.

In the meantime, if you scooped up a favorite title this year, one that now has a permanent spot on your coffee table or nightstand or in your workspace for inspiration, please drop us a comment and let us know.

In With the Old by Jennifer Boles. I’ve enjoyed Jennifer’s blog, The Peak of Chic, for years, and this glossary of the elements of timeless design is a great and entertaining reference that should grace any design lover’s shelf.

Timeless Style by Suzanne Kasler. I love the way Kasler can use antiques and luxe fabrics, yet her clients are so airy and fresh. The latest volume does not disappoing (her Inspired Interiors is another one of my favorites).

Beauty at Home by Aerin Lauder. Yes, you kind of want to hate her because she’s beautiful, but this book is just so full of pretty rooms and vignettes that you can help but love it.

American Beauty by Thom Filicia. This book chronicles the former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s adventures in renovating his lake house. It even has an intro by Tina Fey.

Stephen Sills: Decoration by Stephen Sills. This man’s designs are so good, Karl Lagerfeld himself claims if he ever had a house in America, he’d hire Sills to decorate it for him.

So those are just a few of the wonderful books full of elegant style. Stay tuned for modern inspiration in a few days.

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Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

DesignPublic.com

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Well, nothing like waiting until the last minute, but on this Thanksgiving Eve, you may be so exhausted from cooking that you haven’t had a moment to put the table together. We’ve been scouring Pinterest to find some of our favorite Thanksgiving tablescape ideas to share with you.

These tall cylinders full of gourds work well with the long narrow table. They’ve also alternated vases with just a bloom or two in each with candlesticks. No time to forage at the grocery store for gourds? Go grab what’s left of the fall leaves off the ground and use those instead.

Clearly, you’re not going to have enough time to go saw down a tree, drill holes and fill them with tea lights. However, you can find a nice branch or two to run down the center of the table.

The prettyblog.com, photo by Q Avenue Photo

Yes, we love this rustic table and mix of glassware, but the best and easiest take-away is the thankful jar. All it requires is a jelly jar or mason jar, a tag and some twine or string. The way the kept the arrangements simple by sticking with sprigs of Eucalyptus. Just beware of how sticky your fingers will get when you handle them!

by Christiane Lemieux

DwellStudio’s founder, Christiane Lemieux set up this table several years ago, but it’s still one of our all-time favorites. It shows the way you can play with those vases you may have tucked all over the house and no flowers are required!

via Vitamin-Ha

So simple – Pillars, a few greens, cuties and pinecones. Easy-peasy. If you don’t have a mirror, use a simple runner or a few plain placemats butted together.

Even butcher paper can take on a chic placemat look when you pen a few words and lines down the side.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and wish you safe travels!

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