Posts Tagged ‘redesign’

I’m as patriotic as the next guy.  But this morning on the subway, I couldn’t help but feel a bit deflated by this:

Uncle Sam, how could you?!  Playing into our all-American desires to get rich quick and bling ourselves silly?

That’s why we at Studio 360 proposed a radical redesign of our nation’s spokesman.  We got dozens of submissions: from Sam recast as a wizened little old lady, to more overtly political stand-insYou can see all the submissions here.

Our favorite was Brendan Condit’s “What You Can Do” series.  Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Condit wanted to encourage Americans to find their own ways to contribute to the public good.  (Serve.gov is a real website managed by The Corporation for National and Community Service.)

This week on the show, Kurt and a team of experts deconstruct Uncle Sam – and consider if the National Anthem might need a make-over as well:

Thanks to everyone who submitted their designs.

Brendan Condit, we salute you.

– Jenny Lawton

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Sometimes we cling tightly to things we deem “traditional” without realizing they’re not as deeply entrenched in our history as we thought.

Take Uncle Sam: he hasn’t changed much since J. M. Flagg’s iconic World War I recruitment poster, in which he appeared as an older white man wearing a snazzy red, white, and blue outfit — these days, he seems to be busy selling air-conditioners at rock bottom prices.  Yet lost to time is his young, female compatriot Columbia, another once-beloved embodiment of our country who had her heyday in 19th-century political cartoons.  This all got us thinking that it’s time to challenge some of the symbols for American that we’ve come to take for granted.

In honor of our nation’s birthday, Studio 360 wants you to come up with a new take on Uncle Sam.  Here, Kurt outlines our challenge:


You can see all the entries and submit your own HERE.

"Kid America" by Flickr user nicoleyfun

nicoleyfun cast America as “a small child, jam-packed with pure potential, a good heart, a curious little mind, naïveté, fearlessness, and an unrelenting eagerness to please.”

The deadline to enter our challenge is this Sunday, June 20 at midnight.  We’ll reveal our favorites on the show broadcasting the weekend of July 4th.

– Becky Sullivan

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Studio 360 has a summer project in the works and we need your help:
we’re redesigning the Fourth of July.

Don’t worry, it’s not a complete gutting.  We’re keeping the red, white, and blue, the cookouts, and the fireworks.  But there are a couple of elements that we think can use some sprucing up.

Exhibit A: Uncle Sam

In this shot, he’s downright terrifying.  And when he’s not bullying and pointing, he seems to spend a lot of time selling used cars and air conditioners at low, low prices — hardly the sort of behavior we’d expect from our national icon.

The Challenge: We want you to come up with a better mascot for the United States of America. You can update Uncle Sam or completely replace him.  Post your design ideas here.


Exhibit B: The Star-Spangled Banner

[YouTube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXnT84Eu-oA%5D

When Portland Trailblazers coach Mo Cheeks steps in to help the situation, he just proves our point: while it’s certainly rousing and epic, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is notoriously difficult to sing, with lyrics most people can’t remember.

The Challenge: We want you to compose a completely new song — with original music and lyrics — for our national anthem. Post your songs here.


The fine print: Enter our challenge as many times as you like.  Submissions posted before midnight (ET) Sunday, June 20 will be eligible for mention on the show, airing Fourth of July weekend.

In you we trust.

– Michael Guerriero

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In this week’s show, Kurt says that we can find the Lincoln Memorial on the back of any old penny. Well, that old penny is getting a new backside. Last week, the United States Mint released a new one-cent coin, in honor of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. While it still features his head on one side, the memorial will no longer be engraved on the tail.

(courtesy of usmint.gov)

In its place is a union shield — with 13 vertical stripes, representing the states, joined by a bar inscribed with E Pluribus Unum, “out of many, one.” That shield has a special association with Lincoln. An artist commissioned to create work for the U.S. Capitol building during Lincoln’s presidency used the shield in frescoes that still hang on its walls. And the union shield is prominent in some Civil War memorabilia.

Feeling nostalgic for the Lincoln Memorial? Listen to our show about the American icon:

– Jess Jiang

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We got nearly 200 great entries to our redesign Valentine challenge. And on last week’s show, Elizabeth Gilbert picked the winning entry: a bouquet of rolled bacon strips that look like roses (only yummier!) by Sarah Tisdale. As Gilbert said so aptly, “Nothing can compete with a bacon bouquet.”

"Broquet" by Sarah Tisdale

It made me wonder why we don’t use food more often as an artistic material. Aside from the ice-swan centerpiece or the happy face of chocolate chips on your pancakes (if you’re very lucky), it’s just not done enough, in my book.

That’s why I was particularly blown away by the food sculptures on the site fabulously40.com (some of which are below).  These people are serious about playing with their food.

– Cary Barbor

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Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away – and we’re hoping that 2010 can be the year of the new-and-improved Valentine.  We’re thrilled that so many talented folks have submitted their ideas to “Be My Valentine: A Studio 360 Design Challenge.”

And doesn’t a competition merit a celebrity judge?  One who is familiar with the trials and triumphs of modern love?

We’re pleased to announce that best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, will review your entries and decide which Valentine makeover she [hearts] most. We’ve wrangled her for judging duties while on tour for her new book: Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. She’ll pick her fave listener design and tell us what it’s like to have Julia Roberts act out her life story. (The movie version of E,P,L comes out in August.)

Be sure to submit your redesigned Valentines by midnight Sunday February 7.

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Have you noticed how the rituals of Valentine’s Day seem to be designed for children? The red hearts, the overload of candy, and that weird baby Cupid. It’s all so bizarre, and may I say — nauseating?

We here at Studio 360 think the so-called holiday is due for a serious redesign. And we need your help.

On this week’s show, Kurt and design writer Alissa Walker explained why:

This is an initiative I can get behind.

I’ve never been a fan of V Day, but I decided to give it a shot last year. I was newlywed, so I figured: if not now, when?

I wanted a gift that was grown-up, but not too earnest. Modest, but not drugstore cheesy. So I arranged for my husband and me to take a tennis lesson together.

But about 10 minutes in, I realized this instructor wasn’t going to foster the loving-yet-sporting atmosphere I’d envisioned. Instead, she pitted us against one another. Then I made the mistake of telling her this was my Valentine’s Day gift to my husband, so she snarked about that for the rest of the hour. By the end of the lesson, an over-priced and mediocre prix fixe dinner was actually looking good.

I know we can do better to reinvent this horrid holiday. Now’s your chance to do your part to stop the flood of ugly cards and half-dead roses.

Submit your entrees HERE — we’ll feature the best entries on our show the weekend of Valentine’s Day.

– Cary Barbor

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When Studio 360 asked the New York-based design firm Worldstudio to give the gay pride flag a 21st century makeover, we had to leave a lot of great conversations out of the final story. Here’s a little bit more from the lively brainstorming session Worldstudio principle Mark Randall held with his team of designers, including Andrea Pellegrino, Nina Mettler, and Tom Koken.


Worldstudio designers present their research, and try to decide which colors and symbols represent today's gay movement

Check out the full flag redesign story and visit our website at studio360.org to listen to all archived segments and shows.

-Kelly Sullan

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