October 2008 Archive

  • Oct 31
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Get Smart

A few stills from our filming at Smart Design, New York.

Dan Formosa and Davin Stowell with Smart Design’s Flip Mino video camera


Bicycle grip meets vegetable peeler… the inspiration for their OXO Good Grips designs


The Not-so-good Grips… dozens of trial designs

Categories: Production Stills

  • Oct 21
  • 1

I’m ready for my Screen Test

In non-Objectified news: I’m currently producing the first ever authorized DVD release of Andy Warhol’s films: 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. The DVD includes 13 of Warhol’s classic screen tests, including Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed, and more, paired with new soundtracks by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (the original screen tests are silent… you can watch them that way too). Warhol made over 500 of these four-minute screen test films, and I think they’re some of his most subtly brilliant work.

I’ve been collaborating with the folks at the Warhol Museum to produce the DVD, it’s been an amazing project to work on. I also did a little filming as part of it, interviewing Dean & Britta about the new soundtracks and shooting some behind the scenes stuff. That footage will be included in the DVD extras. And this Friday the screen tests will be projected with a live soundtrack by Dean & Britta at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh. They’ll be touring the live event across the US and Europe early next year.

Plexifilm has just made the DVDs available for pre-order, in a normal edition and a deluxe limited edition that includes a gelatin silver print of the screen test star of your choice. That’s Jane Holzer, above. I wonder what kind of toothbrush she’s using?


– Gary

ps – Watch the trailer.

Categories: Musings

  • Oct 20
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Design world notes:

Helvetica is still in the running for the People’s Design Award, please take a minute and vote!

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles Charles A. Harrison, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum this week.

Lots of events surrounding National Design Week across the country, find out what’s happening in your city

The Guardian reviews Design Museum London director Deyan Sudjic’s new book The Language of Things

Categories: Design News

  • Oct 15
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Noise annoys

It’s not enough to make a well-designed product. The product also has to make well-designed sounds. Science Daily looks at industrial designer Elif Özcan Vieira’s PhD thesis on the subject:

The auditory experience of product users is not just “a sensory response to an acoustical stimulus.” In fact, users contribute characteristics, such as trustworthiness or a high standard of quality, to products on the basis of the sounds they produce.

I’m a huge believer in this theory; there’s not enough thought put into how we interact with objects sonically. When we were filming Chris Bangle and got to drive around the new BMW X6, I actually commented on how beautiful its fasten-your-seatbelt alarm chime was. Yes, I know those alarm chimes are supposed to be annoying in order to force you to buckle up. But can’t they be pleasantly annoying?

Speaking of sound design, I’m obsessing over Bloom, Brian Eno’s new iPhone application. [Available in the iTunes App Store.] “Part instrument, part composition and part artwork,” Bloom is a generative ambient music synthesizer (you can make pretty sounds with it). It’s addictive, and it’s especially amazing when you plug your iPhone into your stereo system and crank it up. Best four bucks I’ve spent in a while.

[Thanks to Joshua Simmons for the Science Daily story.]

Categories: Design News, Musings

  • Oct 14
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There was plenty of chatter today surrounding Apple’s announcement of new MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, which feature a one-piece body carved from a single block of solid aluminum and sport multi-touch trackpads (sort of like the iPhone). John Gruber has several items on Daring Fireball, Engadget got one dirty, and Gizmodo did a side-by-side comparison with the previous incarnations.

Apple also released a video featuring design director and Objectified cast member Jonathan Ive explaining the new design, along with some nice footage of metal gettin’ cut up. And if you chug a beer every time someone says “fit and finish”, you’ll be slightly drunk.

Categories: Design News

  • Oct 10
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Sustainability isn’t just sort of a glamorous process of using recycled materials to design something that may or may not be the color green. It’s about redesigning every single aspect of a company’s process, from sourcing materials to designing to production to shipping, and then eventually designing a way for those products to be disposed of responsibly. That’s a mammoth task, so it’s no wonder that designers and manufacturers are finding it so difficult.

Categories: Quotes

Vote Helvetica!

Attention voters! A Helvetica fan has nominated the movie for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards People’s Design Award. So please take a minute and vote, the deadline is October 21st. Yes we can (beat Design Observer)!!!

Categories: Helvetica

Help wanted: German translator

Are you in New York City, and can you speak German (and English) fluently? We’re looking for a volunteer translator for a few days this month. If you can help out, or to get more information, please email: info (at) objectifiedfilm (dot) com.

Categories: Film News


Filming people buying “democratic design” is a tough job, especially on an indie film budget. That’s why Objectified DP Luke Geissbuhler swears by DØLLI, the ingenious DIY camera dolly that we improvised last week at Ikea and gave a suitably nonsensical faux-Swedish name. I mean, c’mon, who comes up with these product names anyway? [Try the Ikea Game and see if you can decipher them.]

Needless to say, our usual “stealth” mode of observational filming went out the window with this rig. And if you think Luke looks goofy using it, you should’ve seen when he was actually standing on it operating the camera while I was pushing the cart. But we ended up getting some surprisingly nice footage out of it. The shoot threatened to veer into Jackass territory when we got all wacky on lingonberry juice and started ramming furniture displays.

Back to the edit suite,

– Gary

Categories: Film News, Production Stills

It’s a MAD World

New name, new building, new identity. New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum) opened its doors this week, in Brad Cloepfil’s much talked about redesign of 2 Columbus Circle. Michael Bierut of Pentagram designed the museum’s new graphic identity, above. Check out his creative process.

Categories: Design News

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