Opening day of the much anticipated Skirball Cultural Center’s Noah’s Ark Exhibit today, and i managed to stop by before drive up to SF. It is essentially an interactive, extremely hands on, low tech space filled with creatures made from more recycled goods than you can imagine… built to withstand anything kids can do to them. In essence, i haven’t quite felt like i was 5 in a long time (particularly when one of their edutainment ladies actually asked me in that kindergarten teacher voice “have you seen what happens when you spin the barrel?” and “did you find this giraffe’s partner yet?”). Three phases, in three rooms, you experience the loading of the ark and exploring the environment, the interior of the ark during the flood, and the rainbow that concludes the space. It’s a fascinating and playful space full of pulleys, wheels, sounds, textures, rock walls, and creatures that will truly be loved by kids of all ages. There are also “happenings” filled with musical instruments and stories for all to play and experience together.
Every have one of those days where the world (read: internet) is trying to send you a message? A message like “go workout”? Or maybe its just some of the great design i found over at the Brandon Blog this morning. He has these gorgeous ads from a Brazilian Gym. The copy says: 1) Give your slender body a chance to get rid of you 2) Find your slender body hidden somewhere in your scale 3) Get rid of your weight off your shoulders. And below i also have the Nike+ ad that i can’t stop laughing from… “I’m not a runner… i don’t enjoy breathing heavy like a pregnant walrus… how can anyone be addicted to this? There’s no way around it, running sucks. But you know what sucks more? MAN BOOBS.” So true.
What’s in your pockets? Face Your Pockets is a great scanner art project scanning the faces and pocket/purse contents of people… its one of those fascinatingly voyeuristic pieces that you can’t stop browsing through, and the style of the imagery takes the whole “what’s in your bag” themed photo groups to a whole new level. via Evasee.
You too can contribute your face and pockets: “The process. Place the objects on the scanner. Place your face/part of it on the scanner as well. Aaaaand scan it! Send us the picture you’ve got to: email@example.com — (Don’t forget to mention your name and occupation. Also the email should include the list of objects you’ve scanned - keys, granny’s photo, gum etc.) & Attention! During the scanning process it is recommended not to open your eyes. If you feel that you can handle it and open them, DO NOT follow the light on its move! The authors of this project didn’t find any side-effects on themselves. However, the authors do not bear the responsibilty for possible consequences. At your own risk :)”
From ORG #4877, i discovered the typographic genius of Jeremy Pettis… and his zoological MIAD Senior Exhibition: Twenty Six Types of Animals, and i am obsessed with them. Brilliant fonts each reflecting the letter and characteristics of the animals. All bound into a gorgeous book with behind the scenes of the typography. And check out that carpet he took the pics on?
While i tend to stay out of politics, and do keep it off this site… (although we did mention that Barack Obama started his own social network my.barackobama.com earlier - because it is interesting to see a candidate jump into the myspace/facebook realm)… i am impressed with the 008 The Movement campaign visuals: the nicely designed buttons, stickers, and shirts. Is Barack Obama trying to appeal to the designer set? Or does he really appreciate the importance of design? Anyhow, just wanted to show you some pics of the cool schwag.
Currently at the Messe Frankfurt, Stylepark curated a show called “The Design Annual”. This year’s theme is “Private Identity”. We, 2x4, were asked to showcase our work in one of various “special booths” on the site. Instead, we opted to adapt the theme “Private Identity” and created a pop-up t-shirt store: the t-shirt as a sort of schizophrenic proclamation of identity, somewhere between brand and person. To lend the credibility to this concept, we created a series of 500 unique shirts that go into the store, offering 500 unique identities to the avid shopper. As soon as a shirt is bought, we take a picture of that person and file it back were the shirt used to be — the shop slowly evolves into a catalogue of 500 individuals.
“Generation Praktikum”, or “Generation Internship” is a fake “brand” that we invented for this purpose. It derives from a very famous German term, referring to the younger generation there, that, by loosing their job (prospects), also lost part of their identity.
Venture Design Works - brilliant products, and great design story behind them. There’s no design story that grabs me quite like ones where products are being designed as a result of the passion (with a dash of brilliant design skills) versus the motivation of just getting a job done. Venture Design Works has a line of outdoor goods: “vDw also designs and markets innovative products for the many gear intensive activities the founders like to partake in such as cycling, running, skiing, climbing, kiteboarding, triathlon and backpacking.”
The results? The Press-Bot that turns your nalgene into a french press (the way you install and remove this easily is genius). The Gel-Bot that lets you one handedly drink both gels and liquids from the same bottle. Freehand lets you stash your cash, mp3, phone, etc and still have both hands to use. Soft Flask - think toothpaste tube for your liquids and gels making it easy to squeeze every last drop out.
Ever go to a site that leaves you wishing there were more hours in the day just so you could spend more time on it? want2bsquare.com is doing that for me right now. It’s a site for the Toyota Scion xB which plays with the idea of turning all things boxy. They present you with a few different worlds to explore, and my favorite is Screen City. There’s so much to look at and play with (videos and mini games), and I’ve barely even scratched the surface!
This sheep was drawing in crowds of all ages… the Danish Crafts booth at ICFF had quite a number of pieces which were playful enough to engage everyone from 2 to 80… and that sheep! adorable. I didn’t quite make sense of the neckLAdle, but it seemed like a fun gift for the tastespotters in your life. The light plumbing was fun as well… explore more Danish Crafts and designers on their site.
Czech Design Studio (& Store!) Qubus, had a great ICFF booth showcasing designs in glass and porcelain that change and twist your perceptions of the materials. Maxim Velcovsky founded Qubus design studio with fellow designer Jakub Berdych in 2002, and since then have been creating an incredible collection of pieces like the classic solo cups in glass (with stems!), doll head candle holders (the drips can be quite creepy), porcelain containers cast from coke bottles, and porcelain rainboots. Subversive. Playful. Poignant. Occasionally creepy? Always brilliant. I was mesmerized finally seeing their pieces all in person.
Also check out much of their line at Thorsten Van Elten.
DESIGNER STARTER BOX! Brilliant idea… why do we not have more of these, and what better way to get those friends and strangers who clearly lack some design in their lives up and going? This is an ideal set for college send offs, housewarmings, or just as a not so subtle hint?
This Starters Box by Droog is only 99 Euro, and will get someone started with their Do Frame Tape, Bowls plus, Salad Sunrise oil & vinegar set, Straps (to hold up anything and everything on your walls), Dishmop, Sucker (ultimate suction coat racks?), Sticky Lamp (brilliant!), and the Human Touch Catalog.
I want one. And i’d love to have 50 to distribute to people in need? What if we made our own sets… like the designer kitchen starter set. or 10”x10”x5” designer details for your bathroom (where everything you need is in a box that size). or a simplification through consumption set, where ironically we’d provide you with things to replace more complicated/unnecessary objects as well as a trashbag, etc to have the others disposed of or sent over in return. Ok, maybe i’m still buzzing a bit too fast in my head, but more gift sets like this Droog box have a lot of potential?
Earnest Cut & Sew Concept Store - you can customize any of their many jeans/skirts/etc… choosing the perfect buttons, rivets, pockets… combined with gorgeous wood installations… and classic bikes (Jorg & Olif Dutch Citybikes showcase!)…. and design mags. It was absolute heaven, so be prepared for many pictures below.
DISCLAIMER: i know, one shouldn’t drink and shoot… so please excuse the blurriness, but we went for drinks at the penthouse bar of Hotel Gansevoort, and i took shots of the Karim Rashid Veuve Clicquot Loveseat in the lobby last minute on the way out! That being said… i posted about this chair previously, and it was really fun to see and try it out in real life. It’s actually pretty fun to sit in, but completely impractical if you want to have a romantic loveseat - good for keeping a safe amount of distance though… and not place to really put your glasses, so its ideal for bottle chugging perhaps. Its as slippery as it looks, and you can surely slide about in it far too easily, and beware of sharper objects like jeans rivets, which would surely scratch it up pretty badly. Also funny is how they displayed it with a life-size image behind it… so taken right, you could have a picture of that guy looking down at YOU! Many more images of the chair and the view from the roof below.
Iceland Cometh - Icelandic Design Collective, Eve NYC Studio “Iceland Air presents a collective of Icelandic designers currently making their mark on the international landscape.” Iceland is huge this year. Especially at ICFF with Reyka Vodka and Iceland Air really getting out there, and strongly supporting all the design goodness in the Meat Packing District. Gorgeous space ~ more images below! Love the way the Butterfly pieces make use of both reflections and shadows, and the stances and silhouettes of the fashion pieces are just intimidatingly stunning. And the shadows created by the multilayered precisely cut wood flowers in the chair are incredible.
When is a store not a store? When the opening is a group of scenesters milling about in the street outside a 6x10 “come in we’re CLOSED” store, as black dunhills and CC Tobias Wong limited edition (of 2500) matchbooks and mini cups of RUSSIAN water* (dispensed out of pumps in pockets) are for the taking from the kids wandering around with trays… The Wrong Store, as only artist-designer Tobias Wong and Gregory Krum, retail director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, could imagine it. As NYMag says, “the Wrong Store blurs design/fashion/art works by Richard Prince, Marcel Wanders, Herzog & de Meuron, Rodarte, Douglas Coupland, Maison Martin Margiela, Hella Jongerius, and others.” Pics below of the odd experience you need to see to understand.
*russian water = Stoli vodka/gin… served permitless on the street.