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robertogreco : deborahsussman   5

Design Masters — Deborah Sussman on Vimeo
[via: http://jarrettfuller.tumblr.com/post/149188719257/fast-company-has-a-nice-interview-and-video ]

[See also: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3059969/the-woman-who-made-the-1984-olympics-into-a-legendary-design-event ]

"Before the world confused fame for mastery.

Before young designers were lost in the black hole of on-line portfolios and a million design sites.

Before the number of clicks and followers determined your worth, we used to learn about masters of design through their work on the street, in stores or through a small number of carefully curated design magazines and annuals.

Today, almost all of those magazines and annuals are gone.

But those masters were — and continue to be — the ones we look to for inspiration. Not only because of their remarkable work or enormous talents, but because of their tenacity — and an endless desire to reinvent themselves. The word "retire" never even crossed their mind.

These two short films represent the first of a series of conversations with such masters.

These two masters never ran dry on ideas or patience. Despite insanely busy schedules, they never turned us down, the inheritors of their craft. And we continue to be inspired by them every day. Today, our own hope is to expand upon the vision they established.

We thank ADC Hall of Fame laureates Deborah Sussman and Seymour Chwast for allowing us to create these brief portraits.

With over a century of experience between them both, they never put fame before mastery.

And in these films, it shows."

[The other film: Design Masters — Seymour Chwast
https://vimeo.com/166094009 ]
deborahsussman  design  blackmountaincollege  bmc  eames  eamesoffice  experience  craft  making  seymourchwast 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Jamba Juice Just Got Some Serious Design Cred | Co.Design | business + design
"Along the main drag in Pasadena's historic downtown core, Jamba Juice has opened its newest store. When you step inside, the expansive space—with its terrazzo floor, sinuous oak bar, minimalist European furniture, and seafoam-green walls adorned with relief sculptures of fruit—looks more like a chic restaurant than its sterile brethren populating strip malls and food courts across the country. Designed by the prominent L.A. firm Bestor Architecture, the Innovation Bar, as it's known, represents Jamba Juice's first-ever concept store and a foray into design experimentation as a way to lure customers.

"All retail companies, especially brands that are 20 to 25 years old, have to find ways to stay relevant and keep from getting tired," says David Pace, Jamba Juice's CEO. "It's how do we go out there, try some things, experiment, and look at the business, design, and products differently. This was put into place to test current assumptions."

The past few years have been rocky for the smoothie brand, which has been shedding unprofitable stores and has switched to a franchise model to cut costs to stay financially healthy. Amid those changes has been an interest to stoke more consumer interest in the brand. After consulting with 2x4, a New York–based design studio, Jamba decided to build out a concept store.

"They wanted it to feel more like a part of the community rather than a mass experience that gets rolled out," says Georgianna Stout, a partner and creative director at 2x4. "What we've been seeing in all retail experiences—not just in food—is that it's such a competitive market now. If you think of Amazon, you can get anything in a day, from hardware to diapers to food. In general, people who are competitively part of those same markets are needing to rethink their retail spaces to differentiate them. How do you appeal to someone who's used to a mass experience? How do you get customers to come in and stay? We worked to think about the social experience in a store and to make the environment more appealing and comfortable."

Stout and Jamba Juice admired Barbara Bestor's ability to create environments that feel vibrant and fresh, but not in an artificial way—her most recognized work includes Intelligensia Coffee and the splashy headquarters of Beats by Dre. So they didn't give her a specific rubric for the space so much as a general sensibility. "If you walk in the door and say, 'Wow, I can't believe it's a Jamba Juice,' that was almost the brief," Stout says.

To Bestor, the challenge lay mixing local influences and the brand's core identity to create something that spoke to the notion of freshness, an important attribute considering that the store's main products are cold-pressed juice (not the sugar-laden smoothies for which Jamba has become known) and healthy meals.

"In the coffee world, there's a focus on using design as an expression of authenticity, caring for the customer, and adding some delight for them," Bestor says, noting that while ultra-fancy third-wave coffee shops have become the norm in many cities, juice is following suit. "As architects, it’s exciting to look at an established brand and be able to try out ideas to explore 'connoisseurship' of its product."

When Bestor began looking at the brand's current identity, she saw some similarities to the super-saturated oranges, magentas, and teals that L.A. designer Deborah Sussman used in the 1980s. "If you look at how Jamba shows themselves with color—which is embracing it—what would be a way to tune color to a newer palette? What says 'natural, fresh fruit' today?" To that end, she kept the palette vivid, but more organic: light greens, natural woods for the bar and furniture, and a floor made from river pebbles embedded in concrete.

The space is located on a historic street with a landmarked facade, and while there were no laws dictating what Bestor had to do inside—the exterior had to stay the same—she tried to pull some of the exterior influences indoors. The building was originally built as a drugstore in the 1940s, so she decided to incorporate a traditional tin ceiling and used deep moldings to adorn the walls.

The real showstoppers in the space are supergraphics of fresh fruit—which were designed by Bestor Architecture—that cover some of the walls and also cycle through digital screens. "It was about scale and making really big, visceral impressions," Bestor says. "It gets across the idea of naturalness and freshness but in a contemporary way."

When customers come in, they can order food from iPads in the front of the store, pick things from a grab-and-go shelf, or order from the cashier. One of the biggest differences in the customer experience is being able to sit in the store. To get people to linger, Bestor looked to the design of Viennese cafes from the 19th century. There are a handful of tables, bar stools, and a banquette upholstered in leather that offer places to sit. There's also Wi-Fi in the space.

"I call it 'slow casual,'" Bestor says.

On the menu, Jamba Juice is experimenting with different types of cold-pressed juice at a higher price than it typically sells its products (about $8 a bottle) and healthy complements, like quinoa salads. While the store is a one-off and Jamba doesn't have any plans to create more like it at the moment, it's using the space to test the idea of opening regionally inspired retail spaces, much like Starbucks did with its Reserve line. And some elements that do well in the Pasadena location, like menu items, could be rolled out nationally.

"When your designed space reinforces that you’re about customization and not 'one size fits all,' customers can say it’s kind of my local shop, it's different," Pace says. "But if you stamp out a New York City shop just like one in Albuquerque and there's no customization, there’s where people start to feel worried. Customers want to see convenience, personalization, and new taste profiles. . . . In this business, you always have to reinvent yourself.""
barbarabestor  jambajuice  design  interiors  via:jarrettfuller  deborahsussman  2016  murals  pasadena  architecture  fruit  graphicdesign  graphics  losangeles 
july 2016 by robertogreco
deborah sussman interview
"DB: please could you tell us about your background and how you became interested in design?

DS: I grew up in brooklyn where my parents exposed us to the arts from a young age: we had dance lessons, piano lessons, french lessons, trips to museums, performances and galleries. after high school I went to study painting and acting at bard college in new york, which was a very radical school at that time. in those days I thought I’d become an actress or an artist but then I heard about a school in chicago, the institute of design, ran by lászló moholy-nagy and I really wanted to go there and see what it was all about. I got transferred to chicago and design completely took over my life from then on.

one of my teachers in chicago was konrad wachsmann, who was friendly with charles and ray eames. in my first year there the eames came to give a talk at our school and also afterwards asked konrad to recommend them a student who could work with them for the summer, as a graphic designer. he suggested it should be me.

DB: how was it to work at the eames office?

DS: I was extremely happy. as a young designer in my early twenties there was nobody I would rather have worked for. it was a dream job. originally I was only supposed to work there that one summer and then go back to finish my studies in chicago. at the end of the summer I approached charles to say goodbye and he said ‘goodbye? why? where are you going?‘ I told him ‘I need to go back to school and finish my degree‘ he simply replied ‘I don’t have a degree. why do you need one? ray and I are going to europe for a few months, why don’t you stay in our house until we come back?‘. I didn’t need any more persuading than that!

DB: what did you work on while you were there?

DS: a bit of everything; photography, graphic design, illustration, ads for herman miller, sets for films. many, many different things. after working there for three years I applied for a fulbright scholarship to study at the hochschule für gestaltang in ulm, germany and a year later I got it. so I was there for four years in my first stint.

DB: have the eames been the biggest influence on your work?

DS: ray and charles along with alexander girard who worked with us were great mentors to me. another experience from those days that really shaped me a lot was my first trip to mexico. I went there in the early 1950s to take photos as part of the research for ‘the day of the dead’ film and was really taken-back by the place, the people, the culture. the vibrancy of color that I discovered there has always stayed with me, the bright yellow and magenta icing on the sugar skulls and sweet breads – amazing! it was the first time I had been to another country and I absolutely loved it. that really whetted my appetite to travel more and before I knew it I was off to germany.



DB: what eventually made you want to start your own company?

DS: in my second stint at eames I worked on mathematica, then I went to india to work on the exhibition ‘nehru: the man and his india’ and then ended up back in california. at that time people started asking me to work on things for them and I was using my desk at the eames office after-hours to get these side projects done. as the side projects became bigger and more frequent I became uncomfortable working on them at their office, I didn’t want to disrespect them in any way so decided I’d go it alone. frank gehry offered me a space at his office and I started working from there. I worked with him on some projects and also with other architects, advertising agencies, shops and slowly ended up needing my own space. over the years the office has grown and switched locations several times and in the middle of it all I met my husband, paul prejza and we work together with our team on an interesting blend of civic, cultural and commercial projects.

DB: how would you describe your style to someone who hasn’t seen your work before?

DS: exuberant and bold.

DB: what traps should a young designer avoid when working on an environmental design project?

DS: one of the most common traps is not understanding scale. you need to test your design with physical scale-models and if possible at full scale. that’s a very important exercise, you can’t always understand scale on on a computer screen.

DB: what are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization?

DS: I’m most certainly a generalist. I enjoy all the different arts too much to only do one thing all of the time.

DB: what are you passionate about apart from design?

DS: poetry. I would have said photography some years back but now it’s definitely poetry. I write free verse poetry, often about the way I see things and for the last few years myself and juan felipe herrera (poet laureate of california) have been writing poems back and forth to one another, that’s something I have a lot of fun with.

DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs?

DS: I do and it’s a bit silly but I’ll tell you! I think that whatever you do on new year’s day, you will do for the rest of the year… so it’s nice to drink plenty of champagne.

DB: what’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

DS: a couple of pieces of advice that I often remember are:
‘stick to the concept’ – charles eames
‘the best thing we can do for our clients is not obey them, but inspire them’ – alexander girard

DB: what’s the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?

several people have told me over the years ‘just give them what they want‘ with regards to clients, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have to inspire them and that can sometimes be a very dangerous attitude to have because you can loose yourself a lot of money!"
deborahsussman  2013  interviews  charleseames  eames  eamesstudio  design  education  losangeles  graphicdesign  graphics  konradwachsmann  illustration  alexandergirard  generalists  specialization  specialists  california 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The colorful world of Deborah Sussman | A Walker in LA
"The last story I wrote about Deborah was an as-told-to about the 84 Olympics published in Los Angeles Magazine’s 80s issue this summer. As soon as I heard we had lost Deborah, I decided to publish the entire interview here, not only because she tells some fabulous stories about the Olympics, but also because the whole conversation reveals so much about Deborah herself. Just as I was typing it all in here, I could feel her personality leaping off the screen.

I spent several hours at Deborah’s home, which is filled with colorful trinkets gathered from around the world (and Eames loungers, of course). She insisted on pouring us tall flutes of cava at 4 in the afternoon. “It’s much better than champagne,” she said as she set the bottle on the counter, definitively. I took a sip and held up the flute to the light. She was right. The bubbles were tinier and sparklier than any effervescent drink I’d ever had. How had I never noticed this? Of course Deborah had.

For those of us who were lucky enough to know her work—and her blue fur boas and her Rudi Gernreich dresses—you can see that it is that same attention to detail which drove all her creative decisions, from her adamant insistence to use native LA flowers for the athletes’ bouquets during the Olympics, to always selecting the perfect shade of hot pink.

When I wrote a story for New York Times about the opening of her retrospective, one thing she said still resonates with me:
“Isn’t this something?” Sussman remarked, her turquoise-lined eyes glittering behind purple-framed eyeglasses. “All my life, I was a hard worker, and I would add that much of the time, I loved what I was working on.”

I hope one day I can stand in a room looking back at my life like that and think the very same thing. I think she would really enjoy me sharing with you some of these never-before-heard tales about one of the things she loved working on the most."

[See also: http://blogs.kcrw.com/dna/deborah-sussman-passes-after-long-and-vivid-career
http://www.designboom.com/design/deborah-sussman-interview-12-11-2013/
http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/on-view-the-designer-who-helped-give-l-a-its-look/ ]
deborahsussman  2014  losangeles  design  interviews  eamesstudio  graphics  graphidesign  alissawalker  eames 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Deborah Sussman loves Los Angeles | A Walker in LA
"Sussman/Prejza along with the Jerde Partnership designed one of the most important things to ever happen to Los Angeles. Olympic games are legendary for going over budget and out of control, sometimes leaving cities in worse economic and infrastructural shape than they were before. The brilliance of the 1984 Olympics was that organizers vowed to stay fiscally responsible, electing not to build monumental new stadiums, for example, and use almost all existing structures as venues. The branding elements were made from inexpensive materials—inflatables, scaffolding, cardboard—which carried a huge visual impact with a light touch. A foundation was established with the profits that continues to support local athletic programs. It remains the only financially successful Olympics in history.

And the colors. OH THE COLORS. With shades drawn from Pacific Rim cultures in the Americas and Asia, the palette was amazingly prescient for its time. Just looking at that hot coral color reminds me of a certain new iPhone…

The Olympics are of course not the only project that Deborah and her team worked on—she started her career working under Charles and Ray Eames and has completed projects all over the world—but her legacy is best seen through the work she did right here in LA, in the shops, parks, museums, and many public spaces that built this colorful, contemporary city.

And that’s why I’m so excited that Woodbury University is mounting an exhibition to bring Deborah’s work to life for the next generation of Angelenos."

[See also:
http://observatory.designobserver.com/alexandralange/feature/la-loves-deborah-sussman/38169/
http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/making-la-deborah-sussman-loves-los-angeles.html ]
losangeles  2013  graphicdesign  deborahsussman  1984  olympics  alissawalker  graphics  design  typography  color  eames 
november 2013 by robertogreco

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