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Events

Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
September 12–December 12, 2014
With works as varied as a Vidal Sassoon Salon from 1968, the U.S. Expo Pavilion in Seville, Spain in 1992, and his steel houses, this exhibit will present an overview of almost fifty years of architecture. Barton Myers first attracted attention in the late 1960s for his civic buildings and urban projects in Canada. He returned to the United States in 1984 to open a Los Angeles office and became known for his performing arts centers, campus buildings, and steel houses among many projects. 

The Barton Myers papers were donated to the Architecture and Design Collection of the AD&A Museum, UC Santa Barbara in 2000.  The archive covers Myers’s work from 1968 through 2002 and includes sketches and computer drawings, watercolors, images by well-known photographers, detailed study models and models of blocks-long sections of cities, as well as research notes, correspondence, lectures, and writings.

The West Hollywood Design District Presents Decades of Design 1948–2014
November 19, 2014–February 2015
The first-ever retrospective exhibition uncovering, examining and celebrating six decades of rich design history in West Hollywood. The curated ­­gallery will showcase design pioneers and present tastemakers through bold graphics, photographs and original product.

Heath Ceramics Annual Sale
November 21–25, 2014
Heath's annual sale at their locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sausalito offer deals on merchandise along with special presentations.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

 

 

Competitions

Registration Opens: October 1
Breaking New Ground
The California Endowment

Deadlne: November 30
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship
Gensler

Deadline: December 15
2015 Preservation Awards
Santa Monica Conservancy 

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

Deadline: January 16
Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015
Ceramics of Italy 

Deadline: February 23
I Like Design
Interiors & Sources 

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Monday
Aug262013

Book Review: Looking at Books

By Michael Webb

The Book of Books: 500 Years of Graphic Innovation. Edited by Mathieu Lommen. Thames & Hudson, $65.

Too many obituaries for the printed word have appeared on-line, and most will vanish into the virtual wasteland that swallows most digital utterances. Print has survived for more than five centuries and it will take more than Twitter and blogs to render it obsolete. Rather, we seem to be returning to the Middle Ages, when a well-educated minority read books and everyone else relied on preachers and gossip. So, three cheers for Thames & Hudson, which continues to publish inspiring titles even as their competitors dumb down. 

This is an aesthetic history of the book, a celebration of typography and printed illustrations from their invention to the present day. It’s full of fascinating information. Movable type was first used by Gutenberg in Mainz in 1450; within 20 years there were dozens of print workshops all over Europe. Soon after, it became an industry employing a multitude of typefaces. Plantin, Bodoni and Baskerville designed fonts that are still in use. Contemporaries probably deplored printed books, simply illustrated with woodcuts and engravings, comparing them unfavorably to the hand-crafted beauty of illuminated manuscripts, though these were limited to a privileged few and were mostly devotional. In contrast, books rapidly embraced all of human knowledge and speculation. The Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493 attempted a history of the world on a monumental scale, and 400 of the original 1400 copies have survived. 

Printing was born in the early Renaissance, and it was the ideal medium for that age of scholarship and discovery, and the triumph of learning over obscurantism. Increasingly, books were published in the vernacular rather than Latin, and the best of them were created by master printers and artists of the caliber of Dürer and Leonardo. For a century, the Dutch dominated the book trade, and the classics illustrated here were selected from the University of Amsterdam’s Special Collections. In the 19th century, the introduction of electrotyping brought books to the masses and relegated letterpress to the collectors market. 

Browsing this extraordinary compendium, you are drawn into vanished worlds of artistry and invention, before turning the page to avant garde layouts conceived 90 years ago by Fernand Léger, El Lissitsky and Karel Teige, which are still startling. All too soon, we are in familiar territory. Monty Python is juxtaposed with Massimo Vignelli; the surprises never stop.

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