The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
Shaquille O’Neal signed his initial endorsement deal with Reebok in 1992, right before his rookie season. In the ensuing three decades, he emerged as a basketball powerhouse as Reebok weathered ups and downs, including a sale from Adidas to Authentic Brands Group. As the company reestablishes its foothold in the sports arena and shoots for $10 billion in sales by 2027, it appointed O’Neal to the new role of president of basketball. Allen Iverson, another player with longstanding ties to the brand, was named vice president of basketball. Both players will oversee the category, cultivate partnerships, and drive player recruitment. “There’s no one I’d rather work with to bring in a new generation of ballers to Reebok than him,” O’Neal told WWD about Iverson. “Shaq and Al back at it—feels good.” —Ryan Waddoups
Theaster Gates has been honored with the 2023 Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum in Washington. The award acknowledges the multifaceted artist and community activist’s groundbreaking contributions to cultural preservation, community building, and urban design. Gates, who is also a professor at the University of Chicago, founded the Rebuild Foundation, an organization that has transformed more than 40 abandoned properties on the South Side into cultural hubs and community gardens. The award ceremony on November 3 will feature a conversation between Gates, architect Germane Barnes, and Jessica Bell Brown from the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gates has previously received the 2023 Isamu Noguchi Award and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021.
Starting this week, the European Union is cracking down on the sale of loose plastic glitter as part of its broader ban on microplastics in cosmetics and household goods. The regulation is part of the European Green Deal’s aim to make the continent climate-neutral by 2050. While the ban has led to social media buzz, including TikTok videos lamenting the loss of glitter, it comes with specific transition periods for different cosmetic products. For instance, glitter in rinse-off cosmetics can be sold until 2027 and in leave-on cosmetics until 2029. Products with microplastics will require labels from 2031 to 2035. The ban doesn’t affect industrial uses or materials like glass and metal, and existing stocks of glitter products can continue to be sold.
The We Design Beirut festival, initially slated for October 27-30, has been rescheduled to 2024 due to the spillover of the Israel-Gaza conflict into Lebanon. Founded by Mariana Wehbe in partnership with Samer Alameen and Bananamonkey, the event was intended to mark Lebanon’s comeback to the design scene after a series of setbacks including economic crises, the pandemic, and the 2020 Beirut explosion. The festival’s program features designer showcases, installations, talks, and workshops and aims to engage established and emerging talents around themes of empowerment, preservation, and sustainability. The event will take place at significant sites in Lebanon, such as the renovated Oscar Niemeyer Fairgrounds in Tripoli and the 1960s Cinema Royal cultural center.
A recent study published in Antiquity has upended the traditional view that the Parthenon Marbles were colorless. Using advanced luminescent imaging, researchers found that these ancient Greek sculptures, currently a subject of restitution debate and housed in the British Museum, were originally adorned with vibrant colors like Egyptian blue, white, and purple. These colors had symbolic meanings, representing elements like water and snakeskin. The pigments were crafted from a mix of four elements, including bone ash and mineral gypsum. The study argues the color was “as visually important as the carving,” suggesting that the Parthenon itself may have been much more colorful than previously thought.
A new mural strongly resembling the work of street artist Banksy has appeared in London near the Edgware Road underground station. The artwork features three figures unplugging a giant robot arm and is accompanied by the words “another world is possible.” While Banksy has not confirmed the piece, the artist is known for politically charged art and recently had a $7.27 million work installed in a London exhibition. Last summer, Banksy held his first solo show in 14 years, “Cut & Run” in Glasgow, attracting more than 180,000 visitors and concluding with a public request for suggestions on where the exhibition should travel next.