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Interior/Architectural Design

Making Kids Care About Architecture and History
Seattle Post Intelligencer    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
"How many people here know what architects do?" Phil Freelon asked the class. Only a few hands went up. The tall, elegant architect — possibly the most prominent African-American in that overwhelmingly white field — walked the middle-schoolers a history in architecture. So, how does an architect build a fan base? "Notice," Freelon said. "I have on a tie, and I'm neatly dressed. If your jeans are sagging, if you have tattoos all over your body, you're not going to get the job. And you have to communicate well, too. You can't say 'um' and 'er.' You can't pick your nose. You have to look people in the eye when you're talking to them. And you have to build a reputation for integrity. Do what you say. Be honest. Treat people they way you want to be treated." More

Lenny Kravitz, Lover of Louche, Decorates Like a Rock Star
Curbed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For rocker Lenny Kravitz, collaboration isn't limited to the recording studio. Since the late '90s, the musician has been buying and renovating properties around the globe with the help of well-known architects and interior designers. Kravitz's process is famously symbiotic, with the line where his input begins and the professional's work ends often blurred. Frequent project partner designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz once told the New York Times that "[Kravitz] knows styles and proportions and color." More

10 Home Trends for 2011
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on
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Ready for your home to look oh-so 2011? It shouldn't be too hard, because the on-the-horizon trends are all about making it more optimistic, functional and personal. More
Fashion/ Apparel Design

Why Fashion Keeps Tripping Over Race
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a presentation that had (philosophically) been about female power and (aesthetically) about layering, the final moments were punctuated by a group of black models all dressed in tropical fern prints. ... When the five models marched down the runway en masse, large sections of the audience broke into applause for the first and only time during the Paris fashion show. They were cheering the black women, but not because they had performed dramatic runway pyrotechnics. They were cheering the women for the great accomplishment of simply being black. More

Spike In Demand For RadElast S17B Spandex
Fibre2fashion    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Baby Boom generation, reportedly standing 76 million strong is the hot new consumer market for savvy marketers using lower price points and innovative body-shaping constructions to woo the 40-plus woman with a message that affordably priced stretch denim can strike a balance between matronly mom jeans and overly trendy styles aimed at hipsters. The leading secret weapon of the new breed of denim gurus is spandex. "Spandex is the new Botox," says RadiciSpandex Marketing Manager Kim Hall. More

Mirror, Mirror: Her Ebony Show Lifted Barrier to Haute Couture
Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on
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There was a time when most African-American women didn't know who Yves St. Laurent was, let alone believe they could ever own a crisp YSL pantsuit. But that was before Eunice W. Johnson. More

Graphic Design/Visual Communication

Meet African-American Disney Imagineer Michael Davie
EURweb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Michael Davie is an African-American Disney Imagineer for the Walt Disney Imagineering team — the design and development branch of The Walt Disney Company. The word itself comes from the marriage of imagination and engineering and has been used by Disney since the 1950s. The imagineering team, among other things, utilizes persons with multiple skill sets ranging from show writers to graphic designers to architects to engineers. More

Disney Opens Doors For Theme Park Designers of Tomorrow With Walt Disney Imagineering's 20th ImagiNations Competition

Finalist teams awarded all-expense-paid trips to Imagineering in Glendale, Calif.

Disney    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Walt Disney Imagineering has opened entry for its 20th ImagiNations competition, in which students from American universities and colleges can enter their designs for a uniquely diverse and creative Walt Disney theme park experience, while keeping in mind the desires and expectations of future guests. A position at Walt Disney Imagineering is often found on surveys of "dream occupations," and the company uses ImagiNations as a way to reach out to the widest possible talent pool for its future. The deadline for submission of entries is March 4. More

4 Rising African-American Stars in Social Media via Technorati    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Four social media up-and-comers are among TheGrio's 100 History Makers in the Making for 2011., owned by NBC Universal, is a news site devoted to the African-American community. More

Industrial/Product Design

DARPA's Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be
on the Market in 4 Years

Fast Company    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA's mind-controlled robotic arm. The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic. More

Looking For Love? Cupid's Got Apps For That
The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Smartphones and Facebook are giving way to new love-seeking technologies that go beyond the typical computer-assisted profile matchmaking. The most popular are apps that use Global Positioning System to find a date near your typical hangout spot. Skout, an app for iPhone and Android, claims three million active users, according to its founder and CEO, Christian Wiklund of San Francisco. With an average user age of 25, the free app is more youth friendly than sites like eHarmony and, Wiklund says. More

Announcements/Special Events

Design Faculty Positions at Northwestern University

1. Chair, Segal Design Institute

We seek an internationally recognized scholar who brings strong vision and leadership to the Segal Design Institute. The successful candidate will join a department within the McCormick School of Engineering as a tenured member of the faculty. Segal is a unit within McCormick that links all of the design activities at Northwestern and provides strong connections to the rich design community in the Chicago area. Segal offers a wide range of courses as well as certificate and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We expect the candidate to play an active role in growing Segal, especially from the standpoint of doctoral level research. Applicants are asked to electronically submit vita, teaching experience, vision, and contact information for three references at

2. Clinical Professor in Design and/or Engineering Education

We seek a non-tenure track professor who will teach engineering design, support educational enhancements, and perform some supervisory roles. A successful candidate will have a PhD in engineering and will have strong skills and interest in design engineering and engineering education. The candidate will mentor and support student design teams, teach hands-on design courses, and participate in research on engineering education and support imaginative enhancements of educational efforts by faculty across the engineering school.

For more information about these design faculty positions, visit: Applications should be submitted by Dec. 31, 2010 for full consideration. Northwestern University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and individuals in underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in United States.

OBD/DesigNation has launched DesignSpeak, an international speakers bureau featuring a broad diversity of designers, design educators, design managers and design theorists.

Speakers cover a range of design disciplines, including, architecture, interior, graphic, product and apparel design.

Topics range from innovations in animation to new design modalities, and emerging design infrastructures, to design entrepreneurism and critical directions in design education.

"DesignSpeak has reached out to a highly diverse, international pool of talent", says OBD/DesigNation chairman, David Rice. "Special effort has been made to include designers of color from around the globe — speakers who traditionally have not had a readily available forum to express their views and philosophies or to expose the products of their practice. We are especially interested in designers from the world's emerging economies."

For booking information and to register as a possible lecturer, please contact:
Charles Davis,
DesignSpeak Director
Office: 202-659-3918
Cell: 202-489-4822


Designed To Travel!

OBD has its own full-service travel site: It offers some of the best travel, vacation and rental car discounts anywhere -- plus a percentage of the revenue goes to OBD's scholarship fund.

Design USA:
Contemporary Innovation
National Design Museum

Design USA celebrates the accomplishments of the winners honored during the first 10 years of the prestigious National Design Awards. The exhibition features outstanding contemporary achievements in American architecture, landscape design, interior design, product design, communication design, corporate design, interaction design, and fashion. For more information click here.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Yvette Craig, Sr. Content Editor, 469.420.2641   Contribute news
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