Airbnb Enlists Jony Ive, Deana Lawson Wins the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Jony Ive. Image courtesy Bloomberg

Jony Ive’s newly launched design firm, LoveFrom, will start consulting for Airbnb.

Last year, Jony Ive exited Apple after 27 years. During his tenure, he rose to design director and left an indelible mark on the company’s entire identity: visuals, packaging, stores, advertising, and highly successful products including the iPod, iPhone, iMac, iPod, and more. Upon his departure, he also announced the launch of his own practice, called LoveFrom, with the influential designer Marc Newson. Though he continues to consult for Apple and has been quiet since setting out on his own, it now seems that LoveFrom has secured its first official public client: Airbnb

The news arrived in a letter from co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, who wrote that “Jony and his partners at LoveFrom will be engaging in a special collaboration with me and the Airbnb team. We’ve made the decision to work together through a multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services. Jony will also help us continue to develop our internal design team, which he believes to be one of the world’s best.” It’s a smart move for Airbnb, which suffered immense financial losses and laid off 25 percent of its staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, but still plan to go public this year. 

Marian Goodman Gallery will close in London to institute a nomadic exhibition model.

Marian Goodman Gallery is seeking a more flexible approach. The esteemed gallery recently announced the closure of its London outpost, which opened in 2014, to pursue a new exhibition model called Marian Goodman Projects. Instead of operating within one space, the gallery will exhibit artists from its roster, which includes Gerhard Richter and Danh Vo, at select locations around town chosen based on how they resonate with each artist. “The art world has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, and the current health crisis and Brexit have introduced even more uncertainty into the market,” says Goodman, who will continue operating spaces in New York and Paris. Details of Goodman’s first project under the new London model are forthcoming, though it’s slated for next fall to coincide with Frieze.

Samsung LivingColour paint

Samsung debuts LivingColour, a collection of six paints that complement its televisions.

Samsung is getting into the paint game. The electronics brand tapped British color expert Karen Haller to create LivingColour, a collection of six paints designed to provide harmonious backdrops to three of their television models: The Serif, The Sero, and The Frame. The complementary pairings intend to elicit a positive emotional response—a timely consideration as the pandemic is forcing more time spent indoors. “Color is an amazing phenomenon that can change how we feel, think, and behave in an instant,” says Haller. “It’s a universal language that we all speak. These color pairings were selected to match the personality and style of each TV, while also creating an environment that would be uplifting.” 

NYU Langone will remove the Sackler name from its Graduate Biomedical Institute.

New York University’s Langone Medical Center will remove the Sackler name from its Graduate Biomedical Institute. The decision follows years of pressure by students and the advocacy group Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN), which was founded by the artist Nan Goldin. “Given the Sackler family’s association with Purdue Pharma and its role in encouraging opioid overuse, we view continuing to use the Sackler name as inconsistent with our institution’s values and incompatible with our mission, which is dedicated to patient care, education, and research to improve human health,” said an NYU spokesperson. The move comes one day after Purdue Pharma, the company founded by Sackler family members, pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for exacerbating the opioid epidemic.

Deana Lawson. Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co

Deana Lawson is the first photographer to win the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize.

Deana Lawson has become the first photographer to receive the biennial Hugo Boss Prize, which ranks among the art world’s highest accolades and comes with a $100,000 honorarium and a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim in the spring. The New York photographer’s work centers Black men and women, often presenting them in carefully staged settings that appear highly naturalistic. In a statement, the prize jury commended Lawson for “brilliantly negotiating the legacies of vernacular, documentary, and conceptual photography to create indelible tableaux of Black colloquial life.” It’s a surprise move for the prize, which is often awarded to artists who create monumental sculptures or moving-image works.

Lawson’s star is on the rise. She recently joined the roster of David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, photographed Angela Davis for the digital cover of Vanity Fair’s September issue, and is preparing for her first-ever museum survey, a solo exhibition at ICA Boston in October 2021. The upcoming Bienal de São Paulo also commissioned her to create a new photo series focused on the African diaspora in Salvador, Brazil. “As we’re all aware, 2020 has been a trying year on so many fronts,” Lawson said in a statement. “It’s during this moment that I feel the most call to continue the work of image-making, understanding that photographers have immense power and reimagining new thresholds for evolution and liberation.”

The MTA rolls out a digital New York Subway map with real-time train locations.

Does the perfect subway map exist? Probably not, but we’re getting closer. This week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled a digital map for the New York Subway that’s designed to show service running in real time, helping riders navigate the labyrinthine network’s frequent disruptions. It’s a major leap forward for the antiquated system, which for decades has relied on shoddy signal equipment that dates back to World War II. Until now, information about service changes or disruptions was available via text alerts or posted on impossible-to-understand posters plastered around stations. Despite the win, the subway is still grappling with a major financial crisis, a pandemic that has disproportionately affected its workforce, and an uptick in violent crime amid drastically reduced ridership.

Harry Nuriev's Instagram filters for COS

Today’s attractive distractions:

Harry Nuriev teams with COS for a set of nature-inspired Instagram filters.

Using AR, KAWS brings his cartoonish sculptures to Gaudí’s Casa Batlló.

Olafur Eliasson’s latest artwork invites reflection from a glacial perspective.

A series of posters about the coronavirus pop up around Madrid’s city center.

All Stories