SITTING PRETTY: European fashion designers are taking matters sitting down. To mark the 50th anniversary of Danish designer Arne Jacobsen’s iconic butterfly chair (or the “series seven”), 13 fashion labels, including G-Star, Louis Vuitton, Diesel and Missoni, dreamed up their versions of Jacobsen’s hot seat. With coaching from the chair’s original producer, Allerød and Denmark-based Fritz Hansen, each fashion house was asked to come up with its own modern adaptation. G-Star, for example, molded a sheet of lead into the form of Jacobsen’s chair and engraved “Raw” on its back, while Louis Vuitton put its spin on the design by turning it into a swing. The chairs will be exhibited at London-based contemporary furniture store Aram from Nov. 11 to Nov. 26 before traveling to Milan, New York and Tokyo. Subsequently, they will be sold at an international auction in spring 2006, with proceeds going to the Danish AIDS Foundation.
— Emilie Marsh
WARE WITH ALL: Chris Ware’s career is moving on all cylinders. Fans of his weekly comic “The ACME Novelty Library” and his book “Jimmy Corrigan — the Smartest Kid on Earth” will surely find the way to the Adam Baumgold Gallery where “ACME Novelty Library #16,” his first solo show in New York, goes up today and folds Dec. 3. Gallery goers will also be able to pick up copies of his forthcoming book by the same name.
Adam Baumgold, owner of the gallery at 74 East 79th Street, chalked up the buzz around Ware partly to the fact that “Jimmy Corrigan has become this kind of cult-like thing. Graphically, his work is beautiful and his stories are interesting.”
His strips will also be featured later this month in “MASTERS of American Comics,” a joint exhibition at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art and UCLA’s Hammer Museum. That show starts Nov. 20 and closes March 12.
The Omaha native was schooled at the University of Texas at Austin, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He now calls Chicago home. “Building Stories,” his new weekly column, have given life and a shot of irreverence to The New York Times magazine.
— Rosemary Feitelberg
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM: The Philadelphia City Parks Association and the Van Halen Institute have put out an all-points bulletin for professional developers, landscape architects, architects, urban planners and academics to come up with a prize-winning plan for the city’s 40,000 vacant properties representing almost 1,000 acres.
Both agencies behind “Urban Voids International Design Ideas Competition” are calling on participants from around the globe to propose compelling ideas and long-term solutions for the vacant land. Entrants are encouraged to work in teams for what will be a two-part competition. Online registration is open until Nov. 14 and entries are due Jan. 6. Landscape architect Diana Balmori, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design’s James Corner, Harvard Design School’s Jerold Kayden, sculptor, photographer and environmental artist Mary Miss and MIT’s Anne Spirn will be among the jurors.
ALL ABOUT EVA: Crate & Barrel has recruited designer Eva Zeisel to stop by its Madison Avenue store in Manhattan on Nov. 10 for a book signing. Her book “Eva Zeisel on Design” and “Eva Zeisel” by Lucie Young are currently sold at the 141-store chain. Having shown her mid-century dinnerware in museums worldwide, Zeisel now has a handsome showing in Crate & Barrel’s Classic Century collection. She combined two of her creations from the Fifties.
Zeisel, winner of this year’s National Design Award, has faced substantial challenges in her 75-year career. Born in Hungary in 1906, Zeisel worked in Berlin and the Ukraine early in her career. In 1936, she was arrested and held in a Soviet prison for allegedly being part of a conspiracy to kill Josef Stalin. Sixteen months later she was released and took refuge in Vienna before relocating to New York. Long before Michael Graves ever teamed up with Target, Zeisel designed pieces for Sears Roebuck Co. and the Hall China Co. Her sensual and curvaceous lines have influenced scores of designers including Karim Rashid.