The Female Design Council Is Giving Two Grants to Black Womxn Designers, and Other News

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The Female Design Council is offering two $2,500 grants to Black womxn designers

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The Female Design Council is offering two $2,500 grants to Black womxn designers.

Black designers are statistically underrepresented in the industry. This rings especially true for Black womxn designers—according to the 2019 AIGA Design Census, while 61 percent of working designers today are womxn, only three percent are Black. Seeking to create more space and support for this underrepresented group, the Female Design Council—a leadership organization offering support to womxn designers—is offering two $2,500 grants to Black womxn–led design studios who need assistance in bringing ideas into production.

“I decided to create the FDC grant series after digging in with our community during the height of the BLM reverberation,” Lora Appleton, founder of the Female Design Council and Kinder Modern, says of the initiative. “I felt that providing direct financial support for the creative ideas of Black womxn, who are often underrepresented in design, was a great way to engage more WOC in our field.” Applications will be accepted until December 31.

The Virgin Hyperloop hits a milestone by successfully completing its first passenger test.

Virgin Hyperloop is celebrating its first successful passenger test, which was conducted at the company’s DevLoop test site in the Nevada desert. “For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its groundbreaking technology into reality,” says Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “With today’s successful test, we have shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come.” Co-founder and CTO Josh Giegel and Sara Luchian, director of passenger experience, were the history-breaking riders inside the new Bjarke Ingels–designed XP-2 pods.

Poppin's New York City showroom

Kimball International acquires the fast-growing, millennial-friendly furniture brand Poppin.

The Indiana furniture conglomerate Kimball International has announced the acquisition of Poppin, a fast-growing digitally native furniture brand that caters to the commercial market. Poppin will join Kimball International’s portfolio of design-driven brands, which includes Kimball, Kimball Hospitality, and National Office Furniture. The acquisition “provides us with a meaningful growth engine that aligns with our long-term vision to create a leading omnichannel commercial furnishings design powerhouse by a robust manufacturing and source infrastructure,” says Kimball International CEO Kristie Juster, noting that the move will “greatly accelerate the development of [Kimball]’s eBusiness platform.” Poppin will operate as a separate business unit within Kimball International and will continue to be led by CEO and co-founder Randy Nicolau. The acquisition is scheduled to close by the end of 2020. 

End of an era? Brooklyn’s hedonistic House of Yes is facing an uncertain future.

Like many nightlife and hospitality institutions in New York, House of Yes, the influential “hippie-punk squat” club in Bushwick—known as a stalwart of the queer nightlife scene for its Cirque du Soleil meets Eyes Wide Shut atmosphere—might have seen its final hurrah. After closing in March due to COVID-19, the owners Kae Burke and Anya Sapozhnikova started a GoFundMe campaign to keep the staff—a group that includes pole dancers, aerialists, go-go dancers, fire breathers, stilt walkers, and clowns—on the payroll.

“Nightlife will survive,” Burke says, “but not all venues will, unfortunately, and that’s what hurts and feels very unfair.” A brief reopening in July was shut down in August because of violations to New York’s mandate that drinks be served with food. No matter what the fate of House of Yes is, Scott Dennis, who performs in drag as Madame Vivien V, says the club’s legacy will carry on. “The symbol of House of Yes as a place of radical expression and acceptance is going to endure,” Dennis says. “It’s still a space where everyone is accepted, and it’s still a space where creativity is the most valuable form of currency.”

Mississippi votes for a new state flag that trades Confederate symbolism for a magnolia.

The state flag of Mississippi has prominently featured the Confederate battle flag for more than a century, but the controversial design will soon change. This election cycle, voters approved a new flag design, called “The New Magnolia,” that features the state flower surrounded by the phrase “In God We Trust” and 20 stars. “Our flag should reflect the beauty and good in all of us. It should represent a state that deserves a positive image,” the Mississippi-based designer Rocky Vaughan says of the flag, which he designed with input from Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, Dominique Pugh, Clay Moss, and Micah Whitson.

The decision to proceed with The New Magnolia was, according to state representative Jeramey Anderson, “a bold, bipartisan step that shows the world Mississippi is finally ready to step out from under the cloud of slavery and Jim Crow, but it’s not the final step. Mississippi and the United States remains plagued by systemic racism that keeps people of color from being truly free and equal.” Though the state Legislature is expected to pass the new flag into law during its next regular session, in 2021, it’s already flying on state buildings. 

Förnuftig indoor air purifier by IKEA

Today’s attractive distractions:

Tesla surprise-released a tequila while election votes were being counted.

IKEA drops a barely-there indoor air purifier that eschews clunky hardware. 

Fulfill your dreams of human flight with BMW’s new electrified wingsuit.

Enjoy this maddeningly thorough deep dive into why we love Baby Yoda.

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