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Design City: TAXI Loves New York Stars





Design City: TAXI Loves Fresh New Talents
Interview with Adam Chang



TAXI >>Yo Adam! Glad to have you here with us, could you share with us what projects are you currently in the midst of working on now?

Adam>>First off thanks for having me here it’s a real privilege. I recently just finished up some designs for a new playlisting feature over at mtvmusic.com so now users will be able to watch videos one right after another as well as share their playlist with others.

Also, I just did some pitch work for a major shoe brand as well as a micro site for another client that I can’t name at the moment but that is now in the hands of the developers. I’m also working on quite a few illustrations for a Facebook application to go with the micro site and trying to squeeze in some time for some personal work as well.

TAXI >>What do you love about the design scene in New York?

Adam>>The design scene in New York is incredible and that is the reason I moved up here. You can find inspiration from pretty much anything and anywhere and that is really helpful especially for this type of industry.

The design community here is pretty close everyone is pretty much acquainted with each other some how via friend, friend of a friend, etc. This city is just swarmed with great designers and artists and to have such great talent constantly around you is amazing.

You really have to push yourself hard to keep up with all the competition around here and that only makes you better.

TAXI >>Music inspires art, and art inspires music, so what sort of music inspires you while you work on your pieces? What are you listening to now?

Adam>>When I work I usually start off by listening to some mellow music at first just so I’m a bit calm and not too frantic but if I start to doze off I’ll switch it to something just a tad more upbeat.

Some of the bands I usually listen to include The National, Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, MGMT, The Shins, and Belle & Sebastian.

Currently I’m listening to the new Beirut album for the first time, it’s a little different from their previous one but still good.

TAXI >>Share with us your greatest artistic influences and why you admire them?

Adam>>This question is a hard one for me I can’t really narrow it down to a single or group of artists I like.

I get inspiration from many artists and designers both past and present, whether it’s a collection of work they have done in a lifetime or sometimes just a single piece of work they did that really stood out to me.

I also find inspiration through other creative fields that I can’t do such as Architecture, Fashion Design, Film, etc.

TAXI >>What do you think is the future of design, in 2020? And how do you think designers will be working then?

Adam>>Well, I’m not sure if I can foresee that far into the future, but according to multiple sources online and a movie that is coming out soon the world is suppose to end in 2012 haha.

On a serious note, I think the evolution of design from now until 2020 will be very interesting, things are already starting to shape up from the 1st animated magazine cover that Wired magazine released a while back to the hugely improved 3-D animated films in theaters and on tv lately.

I think technology is going to play the biggest part, designers will continue to create amazing things but it’s going to be technology that takes it from what a designer does to lets say some type of real life 3D cyber world with everything environmentally friendly and flying or floating around.

TAXI >>Lastly, is it really tough getting a taxi in the 'City that Never Sleeps'?

Adam>If the weather is nice outside, which is only for about 2-3 months here then it’s easy to grab a cab but if it’s raining or snowing then the chances of finding one decreases.

Just make sure to look for the cabs that have their numbers lighted up, those are the available ones. And if someone in front of you is trying to wave down a cab as well, just walk a couple feet in front of them as the cab will pick up whoever is the closes to them (kind of a jerk move but sometimes necessary).


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Design City:TAXI Loves New York Stars
Interview with Letha Wilson



TAXI >>Hey there Letha, glad to have you here with us, could you share with us what projects are you currently in the midst of working on now?

Letha>>I have a solo show coming up in Buffalo and towards that I'm working on a couple of new site-specific videos, and some new photo-sculptures as well.

I'm currently an artist-in-resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute, so its a great chance to get some uninterrupted studio time in, and to shoot video and film in a beautiful landscape.

TAXI >>What do you love about the design scene in New York?

Letha>>Well I think it is all encompassing - the visual arts and communication design co-mingle everywhere, and there is a constant flood of visual material and creative efforts in every media.

It can be a bit overwhelming, but thats why I live in Brooklyn where I can escape from Manhattan into a more 'local' art scene.

TAXI >>Music inspires art, and art inspires music, so what sort of music inspires you while you work on your pieces? What are you listening to now?

Letha>>I go through phases where I will listen to one album over and over again to the rate of obsession... at the moment it is Bon Iver's debut and Midlake's last album which I still enjoy. And I usually throw in some old country music such as Merle and Waylon for good measure.

TAXI >>Share with us your greatest artistic influences and why you admire them?

Letha>>The first artist who comes to mind and who is a big influence to many of my peers is Bruce Nauman whose work just amazing to me. What he made just in one decade in the 60s blows my mind and how it just simply made way for whole new ways of art-making.

But I am also really inspired by anyone who creates something and puts it out into the world - designers, musicians, artists - I think its courageous, no matter how successful it may be.

TAXI >>What do you think is the future of design, in 2020? And how do you think designers will be working then?

Letha>>Perhaps there will be a rejection of the pixel as designers take back the pencil and paper. Lately I've been printing my own color photographs in the darkroom, which I really enjoy, but it seems to be a dying art.

In my work I'm always going back and forth between digital and mechanical methods, I think they can inform each other.

TAXI >>Lastly, is it really tough getting a taxi in the 'City that Never Sleeps'?

Letha>>Well to be honest, I usually take the subway everywhere... the L train is like an old warm glove. Except for weekend service delays!


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Design City:TAXI Loves New York Stars
Interview with Martin Adolfsson



TAXI >>Hi Martin, glad to have you here with us, could you share with us what projects are you currently in the midst of working on now?

Martin>>Right now I'm working on my book project Suburbia gone wild. I explore the search for identity among the new middle class in the new economic regions around the world.

The website www.suburbiagonewild.com will hopefully be up and running by early march 09. Besides that I'm doing commissioned work for BMW and Monocle at the moment.

TAXI >>What do you love about the design scene in New York?

Martin>>Don't know, I think it looks the same where ever in the world you go. Black and white with a touch of grey.

TAXI >>Music inspires art, and art inspires music, so what sort of music inspires you while you work on your pieces? What are you listening to now?

Martin>>Today I've been listening to: Marvin Gaye, Benny Goodman, Antonio Carlos Jobim & ELis Regina, Horace Brown, Jade, Leroy Burgess, SWV, The Dells, Billy Stewart, Etta James, Raphael Saadiq

TAXI >>Share with us your greatest artistic influences and why you admire them?

Martin>>Right now I'm very inspired by 19th century Swedish painters like Nils Dardel, Isaac Grünewald and Leander Engström.

TAXI >>What do you think is the future of design, in 2020? And how do you think designers will be working then?

Martin>>More physical in terms of creating more work with your hands, prints, sculptures, paintings etc. I think people are sick and tired of spending so much time in front of their computer, at least I am.

TAXI >>Lastly, is it really tough getting a taxi in the 'City that Never Sleeps'?

Martin>>Yes, if you're going to Brooklyn.


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Design City:TAXI Loves New York Stars
Interview with Sara Blake



TAXI >>Hello Sara! Glad to have you here with us, could you share with us what projects are you currently in the midst of working on now?

Sara>>And so very glad to be here! I just teamed up with a talented photographer friend of mine Steve Prue (http://teamrockstarimages.com/) to make some beautiful limited release pin-up girl prints.

Steve shot an image of fetish superstar Mosh (http://www.themoshroom.com/) and then based on that image I did an illustration.

We should be doing some more pin up starlet collaborations soon; more details to come here: www.zsostudio.com/zslog. In general I'm always keeping busy with digital portraits. They're my favorite.

TAXI >>What do you love about the design scene in New York?

Sara>>I feel like the design scene is very close knit in NYC due to the combo of technology and the actual physical closeness of everything in a metropolis. I can usually keep up with with my Google Reader and Twitter alone.

New York is a small town. Six degrees of separation?—It's more like one or two here. Someone you know always knows someone else to keep you in the loop.

There is always some exciting design related event here just a train ride away: AIGA Smalltalks, Comic Con, Apple Store Events, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, and infinite gallery and museum openings to name a few.

A lot of of my friends are freelance, so when client work is all wrapped up, collaboration tends to happen naturally.

Mostly though I love being surrounded by people who love what they do. Passing up a more stable career with normal sleep cycles and a stable paycheck if not for love, then what for?

TAXI >>Music inspires art, and art inspires music, so what sort of music inspires you while you work on your pieces? What are you listening to now?

Sara>>Lately I've really been listening to a lot of metal and a lot of electronic—something with a pulse keeps me motivated with all those long hours at the computer.

A rhythm is essential when you have a long day at the office followed by a long night back at home with personal work.

Headphones are one of my most valuable tools! Some of my favorite music lately is: Anoraak , Digitalism , DNTL, Mogwai , Crystal Castles, Nine Inch Nails, Panda Bear, Brian Eno, Arovane, Apparat & Ellen Alien, B! Machine, Sasha, Ulrich Schnauss, Boards of Canada, Architecture in Helsinki, Rosetta, Isis, Battle of Mice

TAXI >>Share with us your greatest artistic influences and why you admire them?

Sara>>My favorite artists are split pretty evenly between artists who are very different from me and artists whose process is very similar.

The former tends to be artists whose final work is primarily purely digital or purely traditional (Alex Trochut, Guy Denning, Dan May, and Mijn Schatje).

I like to stay inspired by work that I could never dream of reproducing in the same way I am inspired by music or architecture.

It prevents me from falling in to the trap of imitation. At the same time, I stay motivated by artists and designers who work in my same process.

It's like "Hey, I can do that too!" The work that I feel I relate to more are people who combine digital and hand-made like Non-Format, Bison, KXX, Pomme Chan, Kozy & Dan, and Phil Dunne.

TAXI >>What do you think is the future of design, in 2020? And how do you think designers will be working then?

Sara>>I don't think it will be a lot different for print and fine artists. People have been saying print is dead for years, and maybe it is, there is always something special about holding the physical work in your hands.

The technology will get better of course, and I think it will make digital artists and designers a lot more efficient, but in terms of aesthetic, there is always going to be a place for the handmade, even if people are just scanning it in.

We're not robots—yet. People still need something they can relate to. I guess there's mounting nostalgic for more organic and handmade elements in the digital climate as things seem more and more ruled by computers.

In a decade the general public is going to be a lot smarter about reading and consuming design. Designers are going to have a lot more freedom with interactive design as technology improves and the audience gets more savvy about how to navigate interactive interfaces.

Sometimes too much freedom can be a bad thing too though. Looks, like we'll just have to wait and see.

TAXI >>Lastly, is it really tough getting a taxi in the 'City that Never Sleeps'?

Sara>>Nah, but why would you want to? You'll toss your cookies within 5 blocks. Stick to the train, I say. You guys should change your name to Design Subway.


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Design City:TAXI Loves New York Stars
Interview with Loren kulesus

TAXI >>Hi there Loren, glad to have you here with us, could you share with us what projects are you currently in the midst of working on now?

Loren>>Hello and thank you, I am glad to be here. As for what's fresh on my plate right now I have several projects I have been pumping my brain and heart into- I am developing an ergonomic double bass that I am going to prototype with some composite material.

I am also working on some crazy sneaker designs that might freak some people out. I have been also been working in a branding company in downtown Manhattan, doing some really cool stuff that I don't think I can talk about just yet.

TAXI >>What do you love about the design scene in New York?

Loren>>Wow- there is so much to love. Design is all over the place here- inside, outside, on the walls and concrete.

This is a place where people are always pushing the boundries, breaking categories and creating new ones.

Even if a single second any day here in NYC, was frozen in time and we with special magical privileges could roam about freely, just observing everything that exists as it does for that very second, you could write all sorts of books, create all sorts of artwork, and design all sorts of amazing things based on what you observed (not even including interaction, just observation alone.)

There would be enough inspiration in that single second to last you the rest of your lifetime.

And now unfreeze time and watch the city change so fast so constantly, interact with all the people that came here from all over Earth, and know that here is a place that is healthy with creatives that will never run out of ways to inspire. I love it here

TAXI >>Music inspires art, and art inspires music, so what sort of music inspires you while you work on your pieces? What are you listening to now?

Loren>>I go through all sorts of phases and moods but lately I have been really getting into alot of noise projects.

If I check my computer right now I bet it is stopped on a Lightning Bolt track because their music has been so inspiring to me lately.

I also regularly have been going to a place called "The Stone" here in the East Village that always has amazing, next level musicians performing.

Lately when I have been designing I listen to energy-charged noise bands but when that is too chaotic I go back to something very highly ordered and mathematical like Bach inventions and Goldberg variations.

TAXI >>Share with us your greatest artistic influences and why you admire them?

Loren>>I know lots of people have their own reasons for condemning them, but the Italian Futurists are a huge inspiration to me.

Their poetry, sculpture, manifesto, and forceful nature have always inspired me since I first had read about them.

They loved machines and glorified industrialization (I know there is always the less attractive side to these things) and I at one time committed their manifesto to memory because I was so entertained by their words.

Their irreverence and energy combined with some fanatical dedication to ideas is just so interesting to me.

I also really love David Cronenburg movies like Videodrome and Crash because the first time I saw them I was totally jolted and taken to places I had never imagined before.

I would say my father is probably my biggest personal influence, because he was always taking on personal projects that were really unique and required research and learning techniques (like restoring old oil paintings, creating mummy replicas)

TAXI >>What do you think is the future of design, in 2020? And how do you think designers will be working then?

Loren>>Besides having little robots that help us like a gang of personal assistants (maybe that is more like 2050 or so) I think that because the tools designers use are getting faster, more precise, and easier to use, design will reach its peak with the current philosophy (lots of meaningless slick shapes that house mechanicals) to having more narrative and personal meaning because that is what people deserve.

It is offensive when large companies output the most insipid products just because the consumers have no alternatives.

With mass rapid prototyping (or mass customization) maybe high-quality objects can be produced in short runs for less money than ever before, putting individual designers ahead of rearward thinking corporatoins.

What that means is Toyota may be able to appeal to the average single white female age 23-28 with little college debt and no dependants while a small company may appeal directly to Jebediah Whoolsey of Windsor, Ontario.

Jebediah is a real person, and single white female is an idea, so mass customization can really approach human beings with what they actually want instead of tricking them into buying something they 'should' like.

I hope designers in 2020 get food coupons too

TAXI >>Lastly, is it really tough getting a taxi in the 'City that Never Sleeps'?

Loren>>Last night I was at this noise show in Brooklyn and left at like 1:30 AM or so in an empty part of town.

I looked around and there was no one or nothing. I started walking towards a train station when within 30 seconds I saw a cab out of nowhere.

I guess I have had pretty good luck because even when I think I am completely alone in the world, I can usually find a cab hahaha.


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TRAVEL ALBUM: DESIGN CITY publishes the essential photography subjects of a city. As they say, architecture landmarks denote the progressing development of a city. Design in each and every city speaks in different languages and dances to different cultures. A lot of cities are growing in the design realm but no one would know about this development but the travelers and the locals themselves. Only. The exciting quirks and electrifying eccentricity of Everyday Product, Design Schools, Designers, Resources, Hotels/Buildings, Design Studios/Personalities, Local Galleries, Museums, etc, are found in both secret and obvious places of the city.

We miss out on these simple things during travel or simply during our busy lifestyle in our own city. So the next time you travel, think of TRAVEL ALBUM: DESIGN CITY.


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