Clients loved this designer’s work. Turns out, he was an AI

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A Russian design firm passed off computer-generated work as human, and it’s a peek at things to come. His name was Nikolay Ironov, and for a year, he designed logos for influencers, restaurants, apps, and new products. As a critical member of Russian design firm Art. Lebedev Studio, his clients were happy with his work. And they should have been! Looking through Ironov’s public portfolio , the brand work is full of quirky, bold identities—with an undefinable whimsy that you might even call soul . Read Full Story

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Jony Ive is now consulting for Airbnb

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LoveFrom, the design firm Jony Ive opened after leaving Apple last year, has a new client. And it’s a big one. In 2019, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive announced that he was leaving the company to start his own design firm alongside longtime friend Marc Newson. His new design firm was called LoveFrom , a nod to a philosophy Ive learned from Steve Jobs . Read Full Story

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Are serial entrepreneurs really smarter—or just lucky?

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Venture capital firms now fund serial entrepreneurs at greater rates than novices. Are they right to do so? In February of 1999, Elon Musk received $22 million when Compaq acquired his first company. Certainly he could have taken his millions and retired, or cut back to volunteer work on weekday afternoons, but instead he went on to cofound X.com, which merged with PayPal and netted him $165 million when it was acquired three years later. Next up? He launched SpaceX and Tesla. Read Full Story

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CB2 brings back pieces by ‘Mad Men’-era designer Paul McCobb

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Paul McCobb shaped the modern American aesthetic. For the first time in 50 years, his work will be mass-produced in the United States—and the pieces are surprisingly affordable. Even if you don’t know the midcentury American designer Paul McCobb, you may still find his furniture familiar. He specialized in simple, minimal wood and metal pieces that defined the Mad Men era of American design. Read Full Story

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Can modern art heal? This children’s hospital is betting on it

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Work from the great Bauhaus artists Josef and Anni Albers informs the design of a children’s intensive care unit in London. Cue lots of yellow. In 1810, the German Romantic poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe published his definitive “Theory of Color,” in which he claimed that “We [experience] a very warm and cozy impression with yellow. Thus, in painting, too, it belongs among the luminous and active colors . . . The eye is gladdened, the heart expands, the feelings are cheered, an immediate warmth seems to waft toward us.” This text would ultimately influence the young German-born artist Josef Albers’s understanding of color and how he used it in his work; in a 1968 interview, he said he was “in the yellow period,” which would extend itself through many of his greatest-known works. Read Full Story

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‘Rational Simplicity’: A new book celebrates an unsung hero of American Modernism

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Four major works prove Rudolph de Harak’s place in the design canon, as told by the author behind the new monograph Rational Simplicity. Between 1971 and 1997, a tubular, electric blue tunnel led to an elevator bay at 127 John Street, an office building in Lower Manhattan. The corridor’s rounded rectangular shape and vibrating neon color looked like the future. In a way, it was for designer Richard Poulin. When Poulin was about 12 years old, he walked through the tunnel to meet his mother, who was a legal secretary in the building, for lunch. Though Poulin didn’t realize it at the time, the tunnel and an oversize exterior clock were designed by mid-century modern designer Rudolph de Harak. Poulin would go on to work at de Harak’s studio for nine years. Now, he’s writing the book on him. Read Full Story

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Breaking: Ideo is laying off 8% of its global workforce

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The storied design firm is facing the effect of a COVID-19 downturn. Ideo is one of the most famous global design agencies in the world. Founded in 1991, it is celebrated for popularizing the modern corporate mantra of design thinking . It’s also known for a top-tier client list including companies such as Coca-Cola, Disney, and Apple, with estimated annual revenues of more than $100 million. Read Full Story

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