April 25, 2011
Since I first started going to Milano in the mid 1970’s, I’ve always wanted to be there for the April furniture fair. The definitive event for modern furniture and accessories design. So the Salone di Mobile’s 50th anniversary was to be the year (plus – I wanted to make sure my son was still making it to class in Florence).
I have a family of special friends in Milano who I’ve known for over 30 years now. And one, Giovanna, conveniently works for MDF Italia, one of the strongest contemporary furniture lines going in Milano. She held my hand into the enormous venue complex and wound me up for a smart day of touring. What a phenomenon. The exhibit grounds alone takes you aback. It said to me, “You have entered design mecca. You may be advancing out there wherever you live…but you’re only toying with Milano.”
I started the day full of energy and amazement. Five buildings later (there are over 20), I was crawling…and wondering if the world still needed yet another chair design. And did they need my designs. But that’s why it’s in Milano. A city where it’s about what’s next, trend-creation, homage to craftsmanship, tradition and tradition-busting.
What goes on outside the exposition grounds in Milan center city (called Fuori Salone) is as exciting if not more so. One of the most inspired collections of inventive pieces was at Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Rossana is an long-time Milano design trend follower and retailer with an impeccable eye. A store only possible here in mecca.
January 25, 2011
While visiting my family in Houston over the holidays I came across these stencils by local graffiti artists Coolidge and Walrus. These artists were clearly influenced by the great Banksy who is and has been making great strides to legitimize street art around the world.
It was fun finding these little pieces of art on abandoned, dilapidated buildings in less developed parts of the city. It’s nice to see the street art culture in Houston bring awareness to these inner-city areas with a light-hearted and playful message.
- Lauren English
January 13, 2011
The San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) will host Volume 10 of Pecha Kucha Night on Thursday, January 20 at Quality Social, featuring some of the most influential design minds of San Diego, including our very own Ron Miriello.
Ron will discuss his upcoming 100 Worlds Project exhibition, and talk about his process of developing his sculptures, how the project evolved, and how the show has come to represent the creativity generated from collaboration and community.
December 1, 2010
I’ve always enjoyed making objects since I was a kid. I learned how to be patient, letting the glue dry on my model cars. Making models, also taught me about working with a plan, craftsmanship and how to tweek and change parts to make things more cool and custom. My Minor in sculpture taught me about materials, and how to work from a sketch to a finished piece. So when I first read about CO2 laser cutting technology in products like the Epilog Laser, I needed to get my hands on one and try to tap into some of it’s potential. A CO2 laser is like a flat bed printer, but instead of a pen plotter, there’s a cutting laser tip, which cut through many types of materials with great accuracy. If the laser power is strong enough, it can even cut through metal and glass.
We’ve had an Epilog Helix 24 laser here at Miriello Grafico for about six months now. And it’s amazing. It allows you to go from a line file to prototype of short run production, all in your own space and with a level of dexterity never before imagined. As much as it is a new tool, it presents the potential for a new way of doing business – empowering efficiency in limited runs of custom products.
We’ve been experimenting with it to explore how we can expand our offerings for the clients we work with. And it’s been a big part of the 100 Worlds Project sculpture show (one of the 100 worlds in in the photo above) and we’re continually prototyping new ideas on the Epilog. It’s another big jump that can move the business of art and design forward- like scanners, design software, or the digital camera. Check out this video we shot.
June 3, 2010
I’ve always liked the way Marty Neumeier thinks. For decades I can say that. He thinks first – designs second. The way it should be. Now he’s got a better way to disseminate his ideas- and even encourage us to “Steal This Idea”. I completely agree with his take on the power of making/ prototyping- ” Through the act of prototyping—using sketches, models, maps, mockups, simulations—the “making” step puts options on the table that weren’t there before.” And one reason we just installed an Epilog Helix 24″ CO2 laser cutter here at The Logan. A phenomenal prototyping tool. Can’t wait to see wait comes out of that magic box.
You can progress faster, accommodate new ideas- and reshape possibilities in your thinking- when you’re able to make stuff. To manifest. Not just work virtually in the digital box- but sampling it in the real world. I also feel that knowing what goes into “making” increases our appreciation for the efforts and value of the things that surround us. We become better smarter consumers too.
My son can’t change the tire on his bike. Can he appreciate and know the object as much as someone who grew up tearing it down and rebuilding it each month? Sure, he can probably build a better bike virtually in a modeling program. That’s very cool. Combined with the ability – to make - it’s an even more powerful combination. Dirty hands = faster learning.
I find Marty’s feed a definite RRS save and always a great thinking-improver. – RM
March 8, 2010
BARRIO LOGAN DESCUBIERTO is a visual celebration of the working waterfront Hispanic neighborhood in San Diego, called Barrio Logan. The 88 page book is a graphic expose of the visual richness and unique creative energy of the community, featuring details of murals, typography, sign painters, activists art and general community visual richness.
The book is designed by the team here at MG, led by Lauren English, many who have been active in the promotion and celebration of the community and it’s passionate and active creative members. The book contains a listing our neighborhood discoveries of cool, including artists, restaurants, activists, cafes, place we as designers have discovered and wanted to turn others onto.
While many work so feverishly to be wealthy, then build a fence around the property and never come in contact with the real world, the Barrio stands for the opposite. It’s a place where people share their feelings, their color, and eccentricities. The pathway to riches very much depends on how you define the riches. – RM
Preview the complete book at http://www.miriellografico.com/mg/barriobook/. The book is available from that link for about $68. That’s the publishers price, but they do a decent job. (We’ll even customize it with tipped-in found objects from the streets if you want to bring it in.)
December 18, 2009
Instead of having the circus come to town once a year, what if it was a monthly deal in the backyard of an old house- showing the bizarre instead of the banal? That’s what’s been happening at Bruce Cartier’s Technomania Circus a few blocks from Miriello Grafico, here in Barrio Logan.
Here’s what Cartier says about it, “Technomania Circus is difficult to explain, but easy to enjoy. You never know what you’ll find happening in the Blackyard: blacklight illusion, performance art, dance, puppetry, music, and more. Whatever you find, it’s never ordinary. From our inception in North Park’s Xanth Club in 1999, to a several-year stint in the Bay Area, to the current location at the Center for Amusing Arts in Barrio Logan, we’ve been breaking down the barriers between performer and audience, between culture and crudity, and changing everything you thought you knew about theater in the process. We strive to remain all-inclusive yet retain our edgy and experimental nature.”
I’m making it part of my 2010 entertainment plan. Gotta love the grassroots, underground energy behind it all. And besides I seemed to have outgrown the Barnum’s thing a while back.- RM
December 5, 2009
My friend Sean Kelley let me in on his fondness for the story of Yvon Chouinard, the man behind Patagonia. Over our fruit-plate lunches at Patty’s here in the Barrio, he shared with me the background of the soon-to-be-released movie called 180° SOUTH, that retraces Chouinard’s road trip to South America and Patagonia in the 60’s. I particularly like the line in the trailer “It’s not an adventure til something goes wrong.”
Talk about a story that has stayed true to the brand, Patagonia is more a brand that has stayed true to “The man”, Chouniard himself.
180° SOUTH is the story of one of the most unique and prolific environmentalists of our time -Yvon Chouinard. Rather than re-living Yvon’s story through old photos and his life’s work with pie charts, 180° SOUTH weaves Chouinard’s tale through a modern day expedition. This expedition was inspired by the rumor of a legendary trip in 1968 and the proof that came with it when the lost cans of film that documented the trip were recently discovered. The old footage captures Chouinard and best friend Doug Tompkins in 1968 as they explore untouched mountain ranges and un-surfed coastline on a 5000 mile expedition from California to deep Patagonia. For the two men, the original ‘68 adventure still stands as “the trip of our lives.”
August 4, 2009
It can be refreshing when a business is flat-out honest about it’s limitations and what it can and can’t do well. Especially when being frank and honest helps make that business wildly successful when most everyone else around them is floundering or bankrupt.
Michael O’Leary President of RyanAir, the European low price air carrier, doesn’t hold back or play nice with his customers, quite the contrary actually. He has made a brand personality out of delivering on the bare minimum people want from air travel; cheap, on-time and no lost luggage. Expect to get lip or up-charged for just about anything else you ask for, including using their in-air bathroom.
Here’s a complete article from the New York Times on what makes the RyanAir brand tick. And it’s not their customer service, attention to detail, or added value. It’s their no frills, bare minimum basics at a cheap price that seem to be the mantra of the current economy. Stay tuned.
April 6, 2009
After finishing our BLURB book on Barrio Logan a few months, tracking self-publishing has been on my radar. While “vanity press” was once the last resort for struggling writers, it seems like it could become the new “test ground” for print publishers. With the publishing model under financial strain (what other business model allows retailers to send back their unsold units for refund and destruction) they can now cherry pick the selected “draft” publications with the potential for a more mass distribution, without having to pre-fund traditional royalties, production costs, etc.
My friend Troy Viss just sent me to Magcloud.com , an on-line self-publishing magazine site. I just ordered a sample copy of a cool design form the Philippines. If the quality is decent we’ll experiment with the model. At .20 a pages it’s affordable and a new tool that when matched with quality creative can help move opinion and spawn ideas. All part of the “Creativity is the New Currency” mantra we’re chanting here at MG.- Ron
The images above are pages from a few Magcloud magazines.