“It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying” Finds New Life as Designer Bags

An advertising billboard becomes a space for socially-conscious art and then transforms into sustainable bags and accessories.

This is the story of a three-way collaboration between Lamar Advertising Company, the largest out-of-home advertising company in the United States,RAREFORM, a Santa Monica-based producer of bags and accessories repurposed from billboards, and Milton Glaser, the legendary artist and designer famous for creating the I ❤ NY logo.

Last year, Glaser launched the “It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying” campaign to create new urgency around the issue of climate change and to shift the language and narrative away from benign terms like “global warming.”


This year, Lamar Advertising has provided a billboard in Los Angeles at Crenshaw Boulevard and West 59th Place to showcase Glaser’s “It’s Dying” campaign. The billboard with Glaser’s artwork will remain on display until the end of October. After the billboard comes down, RAREFORM will repurpose Glaser’s artwork into approximately 300 limited-edition backpacks and accessories.


Designers and artists like Glaser looking to make a statement about environmental sustainability have the challenge of walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Campaign collateral like buttons, stickers, posters, and billboards all require natural resources to produce and often turn into waste after they have served their purpose. This collaboration between Glaser, RAREFORM, and Lamar provides a system for the sustainable reuse of these materials.

For designers working to be more sustainable, the lesson here is to think beyond creating collections for a single season, and instead design systems for reuse and transformation across the lifecycle of a product.

At the end of November, RAREFORM will host a gallery show in Los Angeles. The exhibit will feature exclusive videos, photos, and products from the collaboration, as well as some of Glaser’s other work.

Learn more at igg.me/at/art-lives.

Farley’s and Hazel’s


Farley’s and Hazel’s Kitchen have become my usual San Francisco Sunday morning spot for a one-two punch of caffeine and breakfast burrito.  Farley’s is a coffee shop, and Hazel’s is a tiny deli/takeout joint.  They are located right next door to each other in in Potrero Hill.  You can order food to-go from Hazel’s and eat at Farley’s or when the weather is nice, they have tables outside on the street.  As a creature of habit, I always order the breakfast burrito with tofu at Hazel’s, so I can’t comment on the other food, but the other stuff looks good too.  Everything is fresh and homemade.  Farley’s is an shabby-chic anti-Starbucks, with hip and friendly baristas and an awesome selection of magazines for sale (including my favorite, Monocle).

1315 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Hazel’s Kitchen
1319 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107



I had dinner at Yamo, a hole-in-the-wall Burmese place in the Mission tonight.  When I say hole-in-the-wall, I really mean it, it’s just 10 seats along a long, narrow counter looking on to the kitchen area with three Cantonese ladies engaging in a frantic ballet of taking orders, cooking, pouring water and collecting money.  I had the fish chowder noodles (above), which consist of rice noodles in a velvety turmeric-spiced broth with shredded fish, and topped with crunchy fried lentils.  The noodles, like most of Yamo’s entrees, were only $5.25.  CASH ONLY!

I also recommend the fried rice.  They don’t serve alcohol, but if you want more than water, I suggest the fresh young coconut, which is literally a whole coconut that they cut open with a cleaver in front of you.

As far as Burmese food goes, Yamo is not as good as Mandalay in the Richmond, but it’s much closer to home and the prices can’t be beat.


3406 18th St
(between Mission St & San Carlos St)
San Francisco, CA 94110


Horatius: Portuguese Style Tuna Salad

Photo: Portuguese-style tuna salad ($11.50)
Line caught tuna conserva, new potatoes, garbanzo beans, kalamata olives, cage free egg, red onion and parsley dressed with Victor Guedes olive oil and red wine vinegar

I went to check out Horatius, a “market gallery, bistro, wine bar and event venue” at the base of Potrero Hill today.  The food is simple and flavorful California cuisine with strong Mediterranean and Portuguese influences, reflecting the founder and CEO Horacio Gomes’ Portuguese roots.  I had the Portuguese-style tuna salad, which resembles the classic French salade niçoise but with the addition of chickpeas and spinach.  A tasty and light lunch for a sunny Saturday in San Francisco.

350 Kansas Street
(between 16th and 17th Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Young Ivy Alumni Mixer and Cordon Bleu


After work on Friday, I headed to the University Club of San Francisco in Nob Hill for a Young Ivy Alumni Mixer.  It was my first time in Nob Hill, and it was cool to check out the neighborhood’s historic ritzy grandeur.  I’m glad the University Club of SF doesn’t have a strict dress code like the University Club of NYC (one of the venues for last summer’s HRW Council Summit), so I could just show up as my normal casual self (after living out of a suitcase for an entire summer, I’m almost ready to burn my wardrobe and start all over agin).  I enjoyed talking to other young alumni in the University Club’s gorgeous 4th floor lounge with sweeping views of downtown SF, and got to practice my Creative Commons talking points when addressing the inevitable question of  “what do you do?”.

I spotted this piece of decoration/obsolete technology (photo below) at the University Club.  Anybody have any idea what it is?  It resembles a faucet and sink, but with a wooden box with upholstery inside instead of a sink.  Weird.



After the mixer, I walked down California to my bus stop on Polk St.  I was feeling a bit peckish after three Sierra Nevadas and a bit of cheese an crackers, so I stopped into Cordon Bleu (a Vietnamese restaurant with a French name and Cantonese-speaking chef-servers) for dinner.  Cordon Bleu is the sort of the Vietnamese equivalent of a greasy spoon.  It’s a tiny restaurant with a counter around the open kitchen where two Cantonese/Vietnamese ladies cook your meal.  I had the “number 1,” which consisted of a few pieces of grilled pork, a fried imperial roll, cole-slaw like “house salad,” and “meat sauce” on rice.  The meat sauce closely resembled my aunt’s Taiwanese “spaghetti sauce,” a slightly sweet, perhaps ketchup-based bastardized (in the best sense of the word) Bolognese with meat and onions.  Perfect guilty pleasure gut bomb to cap off my Friday night.