Saul Bass. Before I ever met him, before we worked together, he was a legend in my eyes. His designs, for film titles and company logos and record albums and posters, defined an era. In essence, they found and distilled the poetry of the modern, industrialized world. They gave us a series of crystallized images, expressions of who and where we were and of the future ahead of us. They were images you could dream on. They still are.
Architecture of Fear is the title and subject of an intriguing new exhibit at Z33, a contemporary art space in Hasselt, Belgium—fear now being something we’ve politicized and commodified and generally made into a global way of life. The show’s goal is to explore the “emotional, social and spatial mechanisms” of our collective terror.
Obscura Digital, the creative tech agency behind this crazy live-action data visualization and this (even crazier) animated building facade, has unveiled surprisingly un-crazy headquarters in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.
“Pharma,” an exhibition of pharmaceutical-focused graphic design that opened at the Herb Lubalin Study Center at Cooper Union on November 1, traces this evolution of visual trends using more than 60 pieces, some from as far back as 1898 and as recent as this year. But the bulk of the material comes from the fertile period of experimentation (in design, not drugs) between 1940s and 1960s.
What is good design? It’s a question that comes up regularly, either implicitly or overtly, when assessing an object. By and large, we look for examples of function and beauty. (If we considered criteria like sustainability and long life, the iPhone wouldn’t make the cut, would it?) But regardless of how well designed they are, few objects are so groundbreaking that they upend the way we organize our lives. In a recent exhibition, the Paris-based designer Robert Stadler challenges the very notions of how we perceive and arrange the furniture in our homes.
For the 175th anniversary of the Bristol Zoo, 60 artists were commissioned to create life-size gorilla sculptures that were installed around the English city this past summer. For one of them, the Bristol-based design studio 375 came up with a concept that referenced how butchers sometimes display the different cuts of meat available on cows or pigs. But instead of “brisket,” “sirloin,” and “chuck” labels, 375 creative director Harvey Whiteside asked local designer Tom Lane to draw hand-lettered facts about the illegal bushmeat trade.