Hi there. I know i went a bit quiet here the last week or so… it started with some serious jetlag/exhaustion combo after the 4000 mile roadtrip north and the Tokyo trip, but somewhere between there… I think some serious soul searching was in order. The kind that kind of just grabs you and forces you to finally deal with it, versus just deciding to take off and sit quietly and figure things out. So instead of pushing out posts daily that i wasn’t truly giddily excited about, i’ve been taking the time to reflect, talk to people (amazed how many people i’ve heard stories of burn out and life transitions from!), read a bunch of books, and just stepped back for a moment… and just take a deep breath and look back at ~10 years of NOTCOT.
And amongst all of that - i’ve had so many things i want to say, that i am not even sure how to say yet, to you, amazing readers! The biggest one is a THANK YOU for supporting this adventure that has been NOTCOT the last decade - especially for being such an inspiration over the years!
So, instead of filling your internet with all the things running through my head as i sort a few things out, or just sharing more products and projects i’m not sure fully deserve your attention… i’m trying to just take things a little slower, move a bit more deliberately, and when i’m giddily passionate about things - you’ll know! We’ve also been doing more and more projects and explorations through NOTlabs - part design studio + consultancy + experimental lab! But anyhow i’m around - the day to day silliness will still pop up on NOTCOT.org, NOTlabs Instagram, and Twitter - so let’s chat!
For those who love fun surprises in the mail - you’ll love The Original Grab Bag. They just sent a fun box filled with goodies I both knew about (but hadn’t yet indulged myself with) and things i’ve never seen! Which is basically the perfect combo of surprise gifting… I believe the perfect gift to be things that the recipient wants (or will want) but wouldn’t buy themselves. Also fun, i totally forget what options i checked when they asked what i was interested in, although i have a suspicion that they know more about what i’m into than most having reached out as NOTCOT fans…
None the less - the box is filled with awesomeness… from Omnivore Salt that i’ve been dying to try, to Herb Lester awesomeness… a map of how to find old LA (where i was surprised how many of our usual favorites are listed) to Secret Audio Club Wax Packs and more! Take a peek inside this super curated grab bag on the next page.
The 17th edition of Designersblock as part of this year’s London Design Festival at the The Old Sessions House, an 18th-century courthouse on Clerkenwell Green. The best use of the space was the Glowing Oak from Plumen found on the top of four flights of stairs! They transplanted a whole oak up there magically illuminated… breath taking! And on the way there, of course the courthouse was filled with quite the contrast of stunning, playful modern designs inspiring us throughout… see all the beautiful details on the next page!
So much fun, playful wooden design shown at 100% Norway by the Bergen Academy of Art and Design at Tent London this year! Everything from an adorable elephant stool/sorting system to a collapsible playhouse, beautiful stool, canned hiking happiness, and more. See my favorites on the next page!
The London Design Festival provided some great opportunities to see some of the great designs we’ve heard about! I was thrilled to find Poligon exhibiting at Designjunction and have a chance to see their incredible flat-sheet foldable metal sculptures in person and to meet RCA grads Rodrigo Solorzano/N&R Foldings and Matthew White. The first series included a gorilla, elephant, whale and penguin. In addition to those, they were showing off the new insect series following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Production is currently underway for supporters and will hopefully be available to the wider public soon!
How easy is assembly? “The metal sculptures arrive in flat sheet form. The individual components are chemically etched to produce perfectly cut parts. We have also etched in fold lines which makes it very easy to fold and to achieve great results. Magnets are already fixed onto the sheet so that the individual elements of the sculpture are rapidly assembled into the final piece. We have developed the process into something that can be achieved by hand, with no additional tools.” Take a look at the details (pre and post assembly) as well as a video on the next page.
Just home and jetlagging after my first completely work free vacation in some time to Tokyo! Arrived to this adorable orange wooden mini crate from Nomadix, a local Southern California based startup that has created the ultimate versatile, stylish pack towel that can be used for everything from camping to yoga to beach adventures and more! I’m used to the usual boring single color pack towels - lightweight, absorbent, quick drying towels for camping/backpacking… i even used to leave one in the car for beach and other spontaneous adventures. The dimensions however were never quite right to lay out on. So far, beyond the stylish designs (even the bottom has a lovely print!) these Nomadix towels are 100% recycled and rigorously tested to hold up for years. Love their motto - “Own less. Do More. Buy one towel that does it all, instead of three that don’t.” They had a successful Kickstarter funding, and now you can purchase Nomadix Towels on Indigogo! Take a peek at details of the unboxing on the next page, and you can be assured that this towel will be packed for our NOTFZJ80 adventures!
Hi! Been a bit quiet here because Shawn and i are currently in TOKYO! Running around, getting inspired by as much randomness as we can find and experience. For a peek in real time - join me on Instagram!
This post is in partnership with Cadillac. A few weeks ago, they invited us out to Atlanta to participate in Road to Table: A Cadillac Culinary Experience in partnership with Saveur Magazine. I’m excited to share our awesome experience test driving the CTS-V to the acclaimed Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch.
On my first trip to Atlanta last year for the Final Four, we were starving and flew in pretty late. Hunting for a great restaurant, we happened upon Holeman & Finch Public House - it was a beautiful gastropub of sorts with delicious craft cocktails and even more delicious gastropubby southern comfort foods. So when I got the invitation to head out to Atlanta to join Road to Table with Cadillac, and saw that the chef was Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch - I was ecstatic. When we stumbled in that first time - we thought we’d just gotten lucky with such a delicious spot. Turns out Chef Linton Hopkins behind it all is a James Beard winner and multi-time nominee, a Food & Wine Magazine ‘Best New Chef’, and his restaurants make many national restaurant lists… it all started to come together. And on top of that, getting a chance to test drive and experience the new Cadillac CTSs and Escalades… we hopped right on the plane! See the details of our adventure on the next page!
What a busy few weeks it has been! Shawn, Bucky, and I have been all over the US and Canada road tripping and Justine has been running around London Design Week… and in between so much other goodness has been inspiring us on NOTCOT.org and Tasteologie and the rest of the sites! For a taste of what’s been getting us excited, click the pics above to find out more!
On interesting presskit/packaging/art pieces that just came through - here’s the Nike Flyknit Puzzle Box by Ryan Gander in collaboration with The THING Quarterly! This is something little kid me would have totally geeked out about: wooden puzzles + puzzle boxes + the fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5,…)? I loved (and still love!) all of those things. Mix in geometric patterns as inspired by the Nike Flyknit -even better! A mix of walnut, cherry, elm, and birch wood show the “mathematically precise, non-geometric marquetry.” There are only 144 of these boxes in existence - and they chose an edition of 144 “based on the Fibonacci Sequence, representing the first perfect square,” that occurs in the sequence. I love the concept - though to be completely honest, i wish it was harder and the puzzle/sequence reference had a bit more depth! That being said, it’s a truly unique shoebox surrounded by lovely packaging and holding black and white flyknits I’m adoring the design of. It’s a fun way of getting people to think about the patterns that exist everywhere! Check out the details on the next page!
The “spiritual home” of the London Design Festival, the Victoria and Albert Museum is always filled with fun contrasts between classical masterpieces and modern design interventions. This year was no exception, with some fascinating installations throughout the museum. Here are just a few of our favorite pieces, from the mesmerizing Candela by Felix de Pass, Michael Montgomery and Ian McIntyre to Disobedient Objects, a new exhibit exploring the role of objects in activism, to Precision & Poetry in Motion, a kinetic sculpture created by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby with BMW that rotates and reflects within the Raphael Gallery, and more…
Bucky is now 2! Here’s hoping that everyone’s right that 2 is the magic number where labs chill out a bit. Then again, the 2.5 week road trip all over the US and Canada seems to have helped him learn a lot and relax a bit too. Lucky dog just came home to some surprises, including the hardcore, super stealthy Otis Dog Collar from the nice folks at Defy Bags based and made in Chicago, IL. Throughout their bags and accessories, their signature is definitely the AustriAlpin Cobra Load Bearing Quick-Release Buckle, “which can support 2,000 lbs. These are the same solid steel & brass imported buckles used by U.S. Special Forces. There is no finer buckle on earth,” says the tag. Excessive for a dog collar? Most definitely. Awesome looking and feeling? Indeed. As they say, “Life’s too short for cheap buckles.” Ready to see the details? (I’m also a fan of their branding and tape!) To the next page…
4,000 miles and 2.5 weeks later - we are HOME! From LA up to Alberta and back… the first part took us from LA to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the second part was 8 days exploring as much of Alberta, Canada as possible, and this final part is the journey home! To get home we crossed over to British Columbia and crossed the border into Idaho through Spokane, WA over to the Oregon Coast and followed the ocean down to San Francisco then dropped back down central California home to Los Angeles! I’m still amazed (and exhausted) reliving how much we’ve seen and done the last few days as i put this post together! Take a peek at the journey and discoveries on the next page - from the “world’s largest truck” to a few breweries to spontaneous forest (and redwood) hikes to a cheese factory to driving the NOTFZJ80 on the beach to 3 dozen elk and mini deer to finding a whole new level of “dog-friendly accomodations” and the pushed up ocean floor at the Stornetta Public Lands… phew what an adventure! Though it is good to be home, even for a few quick days!