• Feb 14
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The Olympic City exhibit in Chicago

To coincide with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Chicago Loop Alliance presents Gary Hustwit and Jon Pack’s The Olympic City photographs as part of the Pop-Up Art Loop initiative. The exhibit features photographs from 13 former host cities taken between 2008 and 2013: Athens, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Helsinki, Lake Placid, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Montreal, Moscow, Rome and Sarajevo. Pack and Hustwit have photographed structures, streets, and ephemera in these cities but have also focused on the lives of the people who live in areas affected by Olympic development and the re-use of former venues.

The exhibit will remain free and open to the public at CLA’s Pop-Up Art Loop space at 29 W. Randolph Street (Block Thirty Seven), Monday-Friday from 12-7 p.m. through March 7, 2014. For more information and details on additional Pop-Up Art Loop spaces open in the Loop, please visit www.PopUpArtLoop.com.

The Olympic City
Photographs by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit
29 W. Randolph Street (Block Thirty Seven) Chicago
February 6th to March 7th
Opening reception February 6th, 5-9pm

Presented in association with the Chicago Loop Alliance, Block 37, Blu Dot, and Field Notes Brand.

Categories: Design News

  • Sep 19
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Helvetica/Objectified/Urbanized: The Complete Interviews

Greetings, friends. Over the past eight years I’ve had the pleasure of having conversations with an incredible group of designers for Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized. But while each conversation might last two hours or more, we only get to use maybe two minutes of it in the film. So if you’ve watched my three documentaries, you’ve actually only seen 3% of the conversations we recorded. That means there are almost 100 hours of amazing interviews that we weren’t able to show you. So we’re going to release the full text of these interviews in a book! And we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to make it happen. You can get all the details here.

The book will include in-depth discussions with designers and thinkers like Paola Antonelli, Alejandro Aravena, Chris Bangle, Michael Bierut, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Neville Brody, Tim Brown, David Carson, Matthew Carter, Candy Chang, Yung Ho Chang, Wim Crouwel, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Tobias Frere-Jones, Experimental Jetset, Dan Formosa, Sir Norman Foster, Naoto Fukasawa, Jan Gehl, Jonathan Hoefler, Jonathan Ive, Hella Jongerius, Bruce Katz, David Kelley, Rem Koolhaas, Rahul Mehrotra, Bill Moggridge, Marc Newson, Oscar Niemeyer, Enrique Penalosa, Michael C. Place, Rick Poynor, Dieter Rams, Karim Rashid, Alice Rawsthorn, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Erik Spiekerman, Davin Stowell, Jane Fulton Suri, Massimo Vignelli, Rob Walker, Hermann Zapf, and many more… over 75 of the world’s most creative and innovative people.

We want this book to be the most comprehensive design interview book ever published, an invaluable resource for designers, design educators, or anyone interested in the creative process. We’ve got lots of great rewards, so we hope you’ll back the project now and join us in making this happen.


Categories: Design News, Film News, Helvetica, Merchandise, Objectified

  • Jun 25
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The Olympic City book available now

Gary Hustwit and Jon Pack’s new photography book The Olympic City is now available to order online, through the project website or Amazon.

The Olympic City is an ongoing photography project by Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. Hosting the Olympics has become a way for a city to show itself off on an international stage and generate toursim dollars, and cities spend millions or billions for the privilege. But after the events are over, the medals have been handed out, and the torch is extinguished, what’s next? What happens to a city after the Olympics are gone?

This 240-page limited-edition hardcover book features approximately 200 photos from the project and a foreword by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, and is designed by award-winning graphic designer Paul Sahre. A special edition version that includes original photo prints, and an ebook version are also available.

The book is a limited-edition of 1,000 copies, and most of them are already sold. Get a copy now.

Categories: Design News, Merchandise

  • Mar 11
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Tell Me Something + Design Trilogy Box Sets

There’s a new Kickstarter project that launched yesterday that I think is fantastic: TELL ME SOMETHING, a book of photos and advice from fifty documentary filmmakers. This is a great project, and I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the fifty! There are some legendary filmmakers who are part of it, like DA Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Frederick Wiseman, and many more. It’s an honor for me to be included in this book.

To help the project reach their funding goal, I’ve donated five of my personal copies of the sold-out Design Trilogy Box Set to their campaign. So if you missed getting one when we did the Urbanized Kickstarter campaign, here’s your chance. And if you’ve already got a Trilogy box set, please back the project for the book, which is only $40. I think it’s going to be really special.

Categories: Film News

Update on “The Olympic City”

Greetings friends, here’s a quick update on The Olympic City, my photography collaboration with Jon Pack where we’re looking at former Olympic host cities around the world and documenting what happens once the Games are gone. Jon and I have visited 13 cities, culminating with my trip to Beijing in December (above) and Jon’s trip last week to London to document the transformation happening at the Olympic Park there. So we’ve finished photographing, and now the book is in the capable hands of our designer Paul Sahre. The book will be going to press in March, and shipping in April. If you didn’t reserve a copy through our Kickstarter campaign, the remaining 300 available copies of the book will be offered for pre-order in mid-February. I’ll post details here or on my Twitter feed.


Categories: Merchandise, Musings

  • Sep 12
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R.I.P. Bill Moggridge

Bill Moggridge, legendary designer of the first laptop computer, co-founder of design firm IDEO, and director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, passed away earlier this week after a battle with cancer. I had the honor of interviewing Bill at his home in California in 2008 for “Objectified”. He was a brilliant designer, educator, and all-around gentleman. He will be missed.

The Cooper-Hewitt has created a video tribute to Bill, and the folks at IDEO have made a website celebrating Bill’s memory. See some of the entires there or add your own.

And here’s a clip of Bill’s appearance in “Objectified”.

Bill Moggridge – clip from “Objectified” from gary hustwit on Vimeo.

Categories: Design News, Film News, Objectified

  • May 30
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A new project: The Olympic City

I’m excited to announce a new project: The Olympic City, a photo book I’m collaborating on with photographer Jon Pack that looks at the legacy of the Olympics Games in former host cities around the world. Hosting the Olympics has become a way for a city to show itself off on an international stage and generate toursim dollars, and cities spend millions or billions for the privilege. But after the events are over, the medals have been handed out, and the torch has been extinguished, what happens next?

In The Olympic City, we’re documenting the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and the ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. We’re interested in these disparate ideas — decay and rebirth — and how each site seems to have gone one way or the other, either by choice or circumstance. We’re equally interested in the lives of the people whose neighborhoods have been transformed by Olympic development.

A large-format hardcover book of the photographs will be published in March, 2013, in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. We’re excited the acclaimed graphic designer Paul Sahre is designing the book. There will also be an exhibition of the photos in New York City and other cities early next year, details TBA. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, you can back the project and receive copies of the book, a deleuxe version, original prints from the project, and more.

The role of the spectacle in urban design (sports stadiums, convention centers, etc.) was something our team discussed at length while making Urbanized but we didn’t end up having space to include that discussion in the film, so I’m excited to explore it in another media with this project. I hope you’ll follow along as we finish the book, it should yield some interesting discoveries.


Categories: Design News

  • May 23
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A Celebration of Hillman Curtis

Please join us for a celebration of the life and work of Hillman Curtis, hosted by his friends, colleagues, and the subjects of his films.

The Films of Hillman Curtis
With special guests Milton Glaser, Debbie Millman, Stefan Sagmeister, Paul Sahre, Paula Scher, James Victore, and more to be announced.

Thursday, June 21st, 7pm
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
Drinks reception: 7pm to 8pm
Film program: 8pm to 9:30pm

General admission: $20
Students: $15
VIP ticket with priority seating and after-party invite: $50
Tickets on sale now.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the PS29 Arts Fund, the Carroll Gardens elementary school attended by Jasper and Tess Curtis. This event was organized and curated by Gary Hustwit, Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Nabors, and Ben Wolf, with support from the School of Visual Arts.

Categories: Design News

  • Apr 26
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Design Trilogy Box Sets = Sold Out

The 1,000 copy limited-edition Design Trilogy Box Set is now officially sold out. Thanks to everyone who ordered one, especially our Kickstarter backers who ordered it last year and supported production of Urbanized. Hope you all enjoy it!

Categories: Film News, Merchandise

  • Apr 23
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Come on, get happy

Last Wednesday, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian debated USC professor Jonathan Taplin, director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and former tour manager of The Band (watch the video). The topic: antipiracy, SOPA, and the current state of the entertainment industry. Taplin asserted that music piracy has impacted the income of musicians like The Band’s Levon Helm (who passed away from cancer last Thursday, R.I.P.), forcing Helm to have to tour in order to support his family and pay his medical bills. Ohanian countered that crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter could enable fans to help artists like Helm by directly financing their projects.

Taplin replied:

“You want to give every great artist a virtual begging bowl with Kickstarter. But Levon never wanted the charity of the Reddit community or the Kickstarter community. He just wanted to earn an honest living off the great work of a lifetime.”

While I can agree with some of Taplin’s views on piracy and how it has influenced the situation of someone like Helm (though one might also need to look at how The Band’s record sales royalty percentages are structured, and Helm’s publishing splits), I don’t agree with his assertion that Kickstarter is “a virtual begging bowl” for creatives.

Kickstarter is not a begging bowl. It’s a happiness machine.

About eight years ago, my girlfriend at the time was in the process of starting a non-profit literary magazine. We happened to be at a friend’s wedding, and someone we met there was asking us about the project. “Why would someone want to give money to help start this magazine?” he asked. We launched into a long pitch about how they’d be helping champion new writers, that literature was important, that we were educating people, etc. etc.

He paused for a second, then said, “No, no, that’s not what you’re offering them. You know what you’re offering? Happiness. A lot of people want to get involved in creative projects, but for whatever reason they can’t. You’re offering them a way to do that, a way to be involved in something important and creative. So don’t think of it as asking them for money, you’re providing them with happiness.”

Those words have stuck with me, because they represent a shift in how we as artists think about raising money for our projects, whether it’s a $10 Kickstarter backer or a $100,000 investor in an indie film. It’s not charity. What Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo have done is provide a large audience with an easy way to become part of the creative process and feel good about it. And with many projects now raising millions through crowdfunding, there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be a bigger part of how we all work in the future.

Obviously we’re in the midst of a major shift in terms of how artists should and can be compensated for their work. My films are illegally downloaded constantly, and I’ve tried to combat that by making the films as easy as possible to legally access (like by renting or downloading Urbanized directly from this site). When I went on tour with my second film, Objectified, I asked audience members how many of them had seen my first film, Helvetica. Maybe half the audience would raise their hands. Then I asked, of the people who’d seen Helvetica, how many had watched a pirated copy? About half of the people who had just raised their hands usually kept them up. On one hand, you could argue that I’d lost money from those people not paying for the Helvetica downloads. But on the other hand, they’d all just paid $20 for a ticket to the Objectified event.

So in my case I believe that file sharing has opened up a larger audience for my films, especially internationally. And how I utilize that larger audience to make my future films possible, and pay the rent, will be the key to my continued sustainability as an independent filmmaker. I believe that having a direct relationship with the people who want to see my films made, and making it easy for them to be involved in that process, is the best way to achieve that. Everybody’s happy.


Categories: Musings

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The Deck

Urbanized is now available to rent or download on iTunes US, Canada, and UK. Watch it now.

Rent or download Objectified and Helvetica on iTunes now.