Earlier this decade, Frank Lantz helped pioneer the idea of “big games”—tech-driven multiplayer games that unfold in public space, like PacManhattan, an urban version of the classic arcade game invented by his students at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Area/code, the company he founded in 2005 with Kevin Slavin, has developed these kinds of games for clients ranging from Qwest Wireless to CBS, as well as online social games like the wildly popular Facebook game the company introduced last year to promote A&E’s reality series Parking Wars. Lantz just launched NYU’s Game Center, a game-focused program that will eventually become a degree-granting department.
TOY STORIES The brief was simple and open-ended: Offer an emotional design critique of an iconic toy. Most of the designers, creative directors, authors, educators, curators, and entrepreneurs we enlisted chose objects from their childhood, articulating the smart design thinking behind these timeless playthings while also recalling what their treasured toys meant to them personally. The result is a survey of approaches to designing for play that provides insights into how childhood fun informs adult design practice.
Just as it starts to hit the newsstands, the 2009 Annual Design Review exhibit has gone up at the Material ConneXion showroom in New York. Check out the panoramic video above for a peek at the space (sorry about the blurriness—we’re still getting the hang of our new iPhone). If you’re in town this summer, stop by to see the winners and judge them for yourself.
Annual Design Review Exhibit
Skateboarders are pros at repurposing urban detritus for their own ends. Left alone too long, empty pools, empty dumpsters, even empty movie theatres will get lip-slid into a skater’s playground. Skate Study House, a collaboration between designers Pierre Andre Senizergues and Gil Le Bon De LaPointe, (kick)flipped that script, turning the byproducts of skateboard manufacturing into furniture. In a new line called The Waste Is the Best, which debuted this month at Colette, wood scraps—like leftover dough after the cookies have been cut out—become bookshelves, a chair, and a coffee table. A bit chunky, sure, but what can you expect from the folks that brought us Jncos and Airwalks?
If you’ve poked your flat brim into a streetwear store lately you know that dad’s old boat shoes are now sharing shelves with dunks and chukkas. It’s about time the phenomenon—as all must these days—spawned a collaboration. And so in honor of the traditional Sebago Dockside’s 40th anniversary, Paris boutique Colette sprinkled the shoe with its trademark blue accents and then Jack Spade dipped the toes into bright orange paint, because why the hell not? Sure, they may look ruined to your dad, but tradition still holds: no socks! $240 www.colette.fr