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Personalisation for the masses: Tom Dixon, Marcus Engman, Bethany Koby and Kirsty Emery discuss the future of design

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Kodak_ektra_scadebergs_list Sponsored / Sponsored Content "Never ending surprises and continuous exploration": Scandebergs hit London with Kodak's Ektra smartphone

It’s Nice That has teamed up with Kodak following the release of its Kodak Ektra Smartphone. The phone is named Ektra after Kodak’s famous 1940’s camera, but unlike its analogue ancestor, it operates on the Android operating system and offers a camera with DSLR functionality, a 21MP camera, 4K video capture, RAW shooting mode and a DSLR style scene selection dial. In line with Kodak’s manifesto, headed: “If the world can see. The world can change,” we handed the phone over to two London-based photographers and asked them to show us the world through their eyes.

Ikea_itsnicethat_future_of_design_personalisation_for_the_masses_tom_dixon_marcus_engman_bethany_koby_kirsty_emery Features / Sponsored Content Personalisation for the masses: Tom Dixon, Marcus Engman, Bethany Koby and Kirsty Emery discuss the future of design

We’re living in a culture where everything we consume and interact with can be tailored to our personal needs, and this expectation for the customisation of our lives and surroundings has – in recent years – found its way to our possessions. But what does the rise of personalisation mean for design? How does it change our products and the design process behind them? Last night It’s Nice That and IKEA hosted The Future of Design: How Personalisation is on the rise for the mass audience, a panel discussion exploring the topic, featuring four experts in the field: Marcus Engman, Head of Design for IKEA; designer Tom Dixon; Technology Will Save Us co-founder Bethany Koby; and Unmade co-founder Kirsty Emery. Each has expertise from sectors spanning toys, fashion, furniture and product design, and exciting insights to share on where this rapidly changing market might be taking us next.

Itsnicethat_kontrast_timokuilder Work / Illustration Timo Kuilder launches Kontrast, an illustrated mobile puzzle game

Illustrator Timo Kuilder has launched Kontrast, an illustrated puzzle game for mobile that invites interaction with his works and “blurs the lines between game and illustration” he says. Featuring his signature clean-cut lines and block colours, the monochromatic artwork animates through interaction as the player navigates the maze of seven illustrations. The game was conceived by the Amsterdam-based illustrator with interaction design and coding by his brother Jurre Kuilder, developed independently as a side project by the duo, with sound design by Ambrose Yu.

Keith_haring_60th_birthday_celebration_art_itsnicethat Features / Art Celebrating the life, work and enduring legacy of Keith Haring on his 60th birthday

Keith Haring’s life, and New York’s Downtown Scene, and perhaps culture as a whole changed in 1980 when Andy Warhol and the art dealer Tony Shafrazi strolled into the basement of Club 57, which neither had ever stepped foot into before, and which Haring had filled with hundreds of drawings in gold and silver magic marker. It was the night of his opening. “We were all buzzing,” recalls Kim Hastreiter, who would soon afterwards found Paper magazine, “‘UH OH,’ ‘What are THEY doing here?’ We were suspicious and in a sense excited and sad at the same time – because that night it felt like our amazing secret world Downtown was being invaded and discovered and wouldn’t be the same again.” In many ways she was right. But first of all, Haring would be catapulted into the limelight.Warhol invited him to his Factory for lunch and they soon became good friends; Haring kept Warhol up to date with 80s youth culture, and Warhol in turn introduced him to the glittering world of celebrity and success. In 1982, Haring had his breakthrough solo show at Tony Shafrazi’s illustrious gallery on Mercer Street. The following year, he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren on their autumn/winter 1983 Witches collection, and Madonna wearing a leather jacket he hand-painted to perform Like a Virgin on Top of the Pops. In 1985, he drew graffiti all over Grace Jones’ naked body for her live shows at Paradise Garage. He was at the heart of both modern art and pop culture, which is exactly where he wanted to be. Had he not passed away of AIDS-related complications in 1990, aged 31, Keith Haring would be celebrating his 60th birthday today – which makes this a good moment to consider his life and his legacy.“I arrived in New York at a time when the most beautiful paintings being shown in the city were on wheels, on trains,” he once said, remembering coming to the city in 1978, “paintings that travelled to you instead of vice versa.” But rather than copying the Wild Style graffiti artists, Haring found a different way of working underground. Noticing one day that unsold advertising spaces on the New York City subway were filled with plain black paper, he ran up the stairs to Times Square, bought some white chalk, ran back underground and began drawing in his trademark language of comic figures and squiggles. Before long, he had made thousands of drawings – up to 40 a day – as he rode the subways across the five boroughs, to and from school, work, clubs, parties and cruising spots. His works would be seen by a colossal number of people every day, and because they were so often replaced, he had to keep coming up with fresh new ideas continually.Haring loved the subway, with all its advertising posters, painted trains and flows of people, and also loved the secret Downtown, the hidden world of metropolitan fucking and clubbing. He loved dancing the night away at now legendary dives like Club 57, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club, or cruising public bathhouses, or the backrooms of S/M orgy clubs like the Anvil, for the kind of sex that wasn’t so readily available back home in rural Pennsylvania. “He suddenly popped out like a flower, like a seed in that cauldron of energy: New York City,” Timothy Leary once said about Haring, “and he put all his remarkable energy together – the wall, the easel, the canvas, the pigment… it’s a dance!” The city’s nightlife, with all its joie de vivre, its shuddering, intertwined bodies and explosions of colour, was where he found his inspiration but also, in those hardcore early years, before the dangers of AIDs became so well known, and before he became such a prominent advocate of safe sex, that Haring contracted the HIV that would eventually lead to his death. In a classical tragic trajectory, New York is what made Keith Haring and also what killed him, all in the space of just over a decade.His deep love for nightclubs, and for black and Latino culture, and everything around them, was also a huge inspiration for Haring. In that sense, his legacy can be seen in the practices of younger artists like Eddie Peake: who makes bright, graffiti-inspired work, and takes much of his inspiration from gay culture, black culture, club culture and pirate radio culture, and who strips his performers naked and covers them in paint, like Haring and Grace Jones. But of course he’s just one of many artists continuing Haring’s legacy in their own way.

Annamarchinicamia-inthelandofshitandsugar-publication-itsnicethat-13list Work / Publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar: an all-you-can-eat menu of cheesy hotdogs and marshmallow paste

“I’ve been collecting all kinds of weirdly-designed food packaging over the years and I always intended to do something with it but, for a long time, I couldn’t figure out exactly what,” Anna Marchini Camia tells It’s Nice That. Anna is a Zurich-based illustrator and graphic designer whose route into the creative industry was, she says, as conventional as it gets. After completing her design foundation year in Lucerne, Anna went on to study style and design — a form of concept design — at ZHdK. During her undergraduate, she met four other students — cultural journalist Mona Altheimer, digital artist Corinne Hepting, design manager Elena Frischknecht and photographer Céline Lütolf — and, together, they conceptualised and created food design-based publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar.

Usage-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Meet Usage – the slick, glossy magazine injecting creativity into the beauty industry

“Today’s beauty industry is losing its creativity whilst climbing a commercial escalator,” explain Stanislas Nommick and Guillaume Lauruol of Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, Atrois. Having started working together in 2015, the pair have a love of minimalism, typography, grid construction and photography (particularly still life) and wanted to channel these interests into a magazine that challenges this “commercial escalator”.

List8 Work / Photograhy “I’ve tried to prove that being a woman doesn’t mean weakness”: Fatemeh Behboudi on photographing Iran

“Documentary photography is very young in Iran,” Tehran-based photographer Fatemeh Behboudi tells It’s Nice That as we chat about her decade capturing Iranian life and culture over email. “Art, especially photography, has a weak position in Iran and documentary photographers work without any support and with extensive restrictions and therefore, we’re lagging behind. But in recent years, a large number of people have shown interest in documentary photography in Iran, which can be a good opportunity if proper grounds are provided for it.”

Kajlehmann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-6list Work / Graphic Design Designer Kaj Lehmann on his clean and satisfying portfolio of work

A clean, neat and slick portfolio of work is what you can expect from ECAL’s type design master’s student Kaj Lehmann. With projects ranging from custom letterings to visual identities, Kaj has accumulated a huge amount of experience under his belt over the past five years. “I remember seeing posters of Lukas Zimmermann posted across Zurich. They left a strong impression on me. These posters were what motivated me to experiment with tools other than the computer. It was probably these experiments that got me into art school,” Kaj tells It’s Nice That. 


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