*Sub-Studio - 10.08.08 , 21:15 - 4 Notes

APAK

1008apak1.jpg I have long been a fan of APAK, the husband and wife team of Aaron and Ayumi K. Piland. They create fantastic, colorful worlds in their work, filled with little forest creatures and quiet narratives. They live in Portland now and in Japan in the past and I imagine that their environments and cultural heritage very much influence their work. APAK’s artist statement: “They create artwork together as a way exploring the beauty, mystery, and magic of life as well as expressing their love for life and each other. They are known in particular for creating rich and colorful gouache/acrylic paintings on wood featuring the utopian lives and adventures of curious little beings living in lush fantastic environments surrounded by friendly little animals, the landscapes are familiar yet surreal, hinting at a fantastic narrative while suggesting truths about the real world at the same time.” Their work can be found here, and purchased here.

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*notcot - 10.07.08 , 10:17 - 3 Notes

History of Labels: Veuve Clicquot

label2.jpgHere’s another one from the plethora of pics that have been waiting to become posts ~ while traveling with Veuve Clicquot in Reims, we had a special tour in the VCP Maison de Patrimoine (think: amazing archives of the history of Veuve since the 1800’s in one room) by Fabienne Huttaux, the Historical Resource Manager. And amongst the many things she showed us (like the originals of the first shipment ever made, which was to Venice, and the first invoice to the USA, including some as movie props…) ~ i was most fascinated by the evolution of the labels! With full white glove treatment, we were shown this little book that housed every label variation since the beginning, long before the signature yellow label was even yellow… personally my favorites are the oldest ones, with elephants from the trading company logos distributing them. In addition to label imagery, you can also get a peek at the shelves and shelves of resources, as well as closer looks at some of the documents i mentioned, the typography not only on the documents but the spines of the archives were stunning, and make me wish we were still trained as thoroughly to have perfect cursive handwriting.

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*notcot - 10.01.08 , 12:35 - 4 Notes

DWR Tools For Living Santa Monica

dwrtflmain.jpgDWR’s second Tools For Living store launches tomorrow, and i just popped into the Santa Monica store for a quick press preview… it is GORGEOUS. And in this heat wave, you won’t want to leave the lovely, spacious, air conditioned store filled with designer goodies that are fully functional in your everyday life!

While i can’t even imagine picking all of my favorites and temptations from the store quite yet (perhaps we’ll save that for the gift guide!) ~ i couldn’t help myself when taking pics, and ended up with about 30 on the next page to give you a feel for the store in person. There really is something so great about being able to spin around a store ooohing and ahhhhing about products i’ve only seen online, or have been unable to find in the US that i saw at foreign trade shows. So especially for those who aren’t close enough to pop into the DWR Tools For Living Santa Monica or SoHo stores, take a browse at the gallery on the next page! With holiday shopping around the corner, i can already tell this will be one of my new last minute gift stops…

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*notcot - 09.29.08 , 16:08 - 0 Notes

The Baek SeaTub Chair

seatub.jpgSeatub! 2008, A lounge chair made of Carbon fiber, High gloss lacquered, Chrome coated claw feet… by The Baek. This debuted at the Tent London show this month ~ and it looks gorgeous! Close up of the feet on the next page…

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*notcot - 09.28.08 , 21:15 - 2 Notes

Kimberly Wu - JOY

kimjoy.jpg New NOTCOT Gallery Tags!!! If you peek to the left and right you’ll see the work of Kimberly Wu ~ talented illustrator and art center transportation design grad, currently working for Honda Advanced Design studio in Pasadena, CA. I love how the internet works - I stumbled across Kimberly’s Blog and was intrigued enough by the images of the grad show projects to post it to NOTCOT.org (but too shy to email her for more info at the time!), and got an incredible response from NOTCOT readers! Then she posted about being on org, and i had to comment, at which point she emailed me back so many emails filled with high res pics ~ and i only fell further in love with her unique and gorgeous blend of illustration styles and car design renders! Many emails back and forth later, a simple post wouldn’t do her work with JOY justice, so here they are in the NOTCOT Gallery and Tags! View all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery.

In her own words, here’s what Kimberly had to say when i asked her about her background and the JOY Project: “To answer your questions, I was very interested in illustration, mainly doing a lot of figure and landscape painting, before deciding to go to Art Center for car design. It was a completely different route than I thought I would be taking, but I ended up using my illustration skills towards my style in designing cars. I think my goal was to try to separate myself from the typical way car designers sketch and design-I’m kind of obsessed with color and style in my work. What’s next is to start working! I was lucky to land a position at the Honda Advanced Design studio in old town, Pasadena.

The Joy project was something I decided to do in my free time. I didn’t have any constraints from school or instructors so I was free to do whatever I wanted. The project began in the Fall 2007, and it matured through each season until I finished in Summer 2008. The idea was to create a character vehicle, instead of just designing another car to be driven; I wanted the Joy to be like an animated toy almost. The colors all reflect the mood of each season, and are important in showing off Joy’s attitude.”

So, with that ~ click the tags to view all of Kimberly Wu’s JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery… and if we’re lucky we’ll be seeing more of her illustrations (and maybe even driving one of her designs!) in the near future!

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*notcot - 09.22.08 , 11:17 - 0 Notes

The Immaculate Threads by Dominic Wilcox

jobs4.jpgPerhaps one of the best parts INSIDE that Esquire 75th Anniversary E-ink covered magazine…. they commissioned a variety of artists to create the imagery to go with their 75 most important people pieces. And most eye catching… is certainly Dominic Wilcox’s “The Immaculate Threads” ~ which cheekily takes on Steve Jobs’ uniform of glasses, jeans, and black turtleneck… and places them in iPod like clear plastic containers, all perfectly lined up… It certainly reinforces the idea of Jobs as God (the god who gave us the jesus phone?). Can’t you just picture him getting his dry cleaning in these boxes, popping one open, and he’s ready to go for the day? See more images of the piece on the next page!

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*notcot - 09.18.08 , 14:46 - 0 Notes

The Invite: DWR Tools For Living

dwr1.jpgI love it when you’re excited about an event, but then the physical invite comes… and its JUST as fun - to the point where you want to pop it into a frame even! I’ve been pretty giddy about the idea of DWR branching into smaller gift/products, which they are appropriately calling “Tools For Living”. The Santa Monica store is opening October 2nd ~ and i can’t wait for the opening! Also, i think we can all agree that this will probably be a hit for holiday shopping -

The DWR: Tools for Living store is adjacent to Santa Monica’s DWR Studio, on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 4th Street, where Route 66 meets the ocean. Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is one of Southern California’s most bustling districts, the ideal setting for DWR’s first cash-and-carry concept. You’ll find well-designed items for travel, work, kitchen, outdoor and more. Plus, with free, custom gift wrapping, DWR: Tool for Living is the area’s best bet for the ideal gift for anyone who is design obsessed. Robert Rodriguez runs the store with his friendly staff.

So more to come on the launch… but for now, check out the full invite design on the next page! Love the silhouettes - black and the one red on a nice hefty cardboard…

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*notcot - 09.17.08 , 14:06 - 2 Notes

Toyota Calty Design: Sketch Demo

sketchdemo.jpgCurious how the magic happens? I have always been mesmerized watching master marker renderers and sketch artists at work… While visiting Toyota Calty Design Research, i had a chance to see Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, show us how it’s really done on a huge apple monitor and wacom tablet (he’s old school, and likes having the tablet while seeing the screen, versus those who love the Cintiqs).

So you can see one of my little home videos (one of these days with some combination of time, energy, extra pair of hands, etc i will make proper videos with real editing and maybe even music?) ~ giving you a quick skip through the presentation ~ from initial stages, to some highlights, to a flip back and forth between finished and initial sketches, and the crucial signature!

But honestly, if you want to learn how to sketch cars properly, you should probably go take Ian’s class at Art Center ~ after graduating Art Center, he got pulled right into Toyota and has been there for 11 years… while simultaneously teaching… keep an eye out for his latest exterior design, the 2009 Venza!

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*notcot - , 09:47 - 9 Notes

Toyota’s Calty Design: Clay Modelling

toyotaclay.jpgYesterday Toyota (for the first time) opened up it’s Calty Design Research doors to a tiny group of journalists (Core77, KCRW/NPR, Architect Magazine, Dwell, Inhabitat, DesignMom, Zaproot, and i was honored to be included in the group)… and as we all know, security and secrecy in the car industry is nearly impenetrable, with design secrets that manage to be kept under wraps for years before the public even gets wind of the concepts, it was an honor (and SO much fun) to get an inside look at Toyota’s studios and their work flow… AND to be able to share it with you!

So first off, my favorite part ~ really it brought out the kindergartner in all of us, get handed a tool, and a HUGE (yes, life size car sized) piece of clay, and are told to go to it. And then sat down at a bench with mini’s to carve away at your own car? Ok so perhaps that only slightly over simplifying it, but i’m sure you can imagine the delight of poking at clay… while assisted by some of the most talented car designer and modelers… who with a quick flip of their wrist and a few slashes with a pairing knife, off fly a few pieces of clay and you’re staring at the dream sportscar you never knew you wanted. Then you see what my unplanned mohawked/finned masterpiece turns out like after more effort and less finesse. Let’s just say we fully understand and were quickly humbled by how skilled these modelers and designer are…

So take a look inside the Toyota Calty Design Research modeling space on the next page, and our experience hands on with the clay!

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*Sub-Studio - 09.15.08 , 08:48 - 2 Notes

Target’s Bullseye Bodegas

target01.jpgNOTCOT Note: I’ve been so curious about the Target Bodega’s popping up in NYC, thankfully, Anna was able to stop by and take a few pics to share with us!

I stopped by Target’s Bullseye Bodega in Union Square this weekend - one of their four pop-up stores in Manhattan (open for only four days, today being the last). The store design plays on the classic New York bodega and is filled with exclusive Target home, fashion and beauty products from the likes of DwellStudio, Converse One Star, and Michael Graves to name a few. Besides products already in Target stores, the bodegas offered a preview sale of four new lines that aren’t yet in stores - Sigerson Morrison, Anya Hindmarch, John Derian, and Jonathan Saunders.

I preferred the design and concept behind the stores to the products themselves, and have a bunch of pictures on the next page showcasing the fun graphics and bodega-like installations in the stores.

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*notcot - , 07:45 - 0 Notes

M+O Simple 3/3: Slow Tech

slowtech0.jpgMerci beaucoup, Veuve Clicquot ~ who loves design as much as we do, and brought me to Paris to cover Maison et Objet 2008! More design discoveries to come… and i am just freshly back in LA… already!

Here is part 3 of 3 of the Maison et Object SIMPLE micro-exhibitions. 1. Farmlife 2. Les Métropuritains 3. Slow Tech

“Slow tech > hall 3 Conception: François Bernard. Less speed for better living. François Bernard suggests taking a break in a dematerialized world. Soft, fluid technologies revisit naturalness and a simplified life philosophy. Style is also inspired by the industrial aesthetics of last century’s designer-engineers. Heavy, peaceful forms cultivate a solid, reassuring elegance. The house is taking on depth and weight, worlds away from the ready-to-discard.”

See the next page for a visual walk through of the exhibition!

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*notcot - , 07:40 - 0 Notes

M+O Simple 2/3: Les Métropuritains

metrop.jpgMerci beaucoup, Veuve Clicquot ~ who loves design as much as we do, and brought me to Paris to cover Maison et Objet 2008! More design discoveries to come… and i am just freshly back in LA… already!

Here is part 2 of 3 of the Maison et Object SIMPLE micro-exhibitions. 1. Farmlife 2. Les Métropuritains 3. Slow Tech

“Les Métropuritains > hall 2 Conception: NellyRodi style agency. Get in line for eco-survival. The NellyRodi style agency reveals the Metropuritans’ new acts of resistance. Camouflaged in an apparently elegant starkness, these ecological urbanites proclaim a desire for asceticism and an almost military rigor. These militants of a healthy life ecology are activating utopias of survival and a frugality tinged with sensuality. A radically simple manifesto.”

See the images to walk you through the exhibition on the next page!

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*notcot - , 07:30 - 0 Notes

M+O Simple 1/3: Farmlife

farmlife.jpgMerci beaucoup, Veuve Clicquot ~ who loves design as much as we do, and brought me to Paris to cover Maison et Objet 2008! More design discoveries to come… and i am just freshly back in LA… already!

Here is part 1 of 3 of the Maison et Object SIMPLE micro-exhibitions. 1. Farmlife 2. Les Métropuritains 3. Slow Tech

“Farmlife > hall 1 Conception: Elizabeth Leriche. Back to solid ground. Elizabeth Leriche is preparing the soil for a new agri-culture. The simple pleasures of rural life are reviving a belief in local produce and setting down roots. In a period of galloping urbanization, a rustic style is becoming deeply rooted. People are discovering the animal and organic beauty of the agricultural world. Objects with roots cultivate the appealing authenticity of raw materials and craftsmanship.”

See the images to walk you through the exhibition on the next page!

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*notcot - , 07:16 - 1 Notes

Maison+Object Simple

SIMPLE.jpgMerci beaucoup, Veuve Clicquot ~ who loves design as much as we do, and brought me to Paris to cover Maison et Objet 2008! More design discoveries to come… and i am just freshly back in LA… already!

Ok one post series i’ve been needing to catch up on, but somehow hadn’t had time to get through cleaning up the many pictures… Maison et Objet: Simple! Incredible micro-exhibition spread between three even tinier exhibition spaces which were placed at the front of 3 of the 6 massive Maison et Object halls in Paris. Really the concept is fabulous because there is absolutely no way to cover every single booth of every single hall in such a monstrous convention center and stay sane ~ what they did were pick three curator/designers, each given a theme (overall theme SIMPLE, micro themes: Farmlife, Les Métropuritains, Slow Tech) ~ and give them a space to design around the theme and showcase the best products from the show with in them. The results were three engaging and unique browsing experiences that you really have to see the images to get a feel for. in the next three posts i’ll give you a look at each of them!

Descriptions of them from the Maison site on the next page! And you can view the pictures here: 1. Farmlife 2. Les Métropuritains 3. Slow Tech

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*notcot - 09.05.08 , 03:54 - 5 Notes

Stained Glass Product Placement

medveuve.jpgOn fascinating lore (surrounded by rumors and speculation) ~ in Notre Dame de Reims (where nearly all the kings of france have been crowned) in the stained glass windows of the south transcript… there are yellow labeled champagne bottles which we heard from someone who heard from someone that Veuve Clicquot played such a large role in the history of the region over the centuries that you even see it in the stained glass. Speculate as to whether its complete fabrication, conspiracies of the past, the first product placement, etc as you wish… i’m just showing you what we found in those windows, so you can join in on the fun too. See larger images of these wine making panels on the next page!

By the way, standing in such a large cathedral, late for the bus, trying to play the equivalent of ‘where’s waldo’ on a huge wall of stained glass is harder than expected…

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