*notcot - 03.19.08 , 21:10 - 17 Notes

Serero’s Eiffel Tower Observation Deck

eiffeltowernew.jpgI’ve been a bit baffled as to what to make of this 120th Anniversary Eiffel Tower Observation Deck designed by Serero that will go up next year as i came across images on all the blogs (i.e. Core77, Gizmodo, etc)… see my favorites of the architectural diagrams and renders after the jump. In celebration of the 120th birthday of the tower, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel decided to restructure the public reception and access areas of the tower, and the result will be a temporary horizontal extension of the 3rd floor of the tower. Serero’s design is built out of carbon kevlar, steel connectors, and metal mesh. What was most intriguing to me was Serero’s discussion of the generative design:

Generative Design: The design is based on a generative script, creating branches out of the primary structure of the tower. Inspired by the structural concept of Eiffel of three-dimensional cross bracing beams, the script unfolds along curved lines the “DNA” of the tower. The script used the existing structure at the top of the tower ( a 10 by 10 meters cube) to generate 3 structural weaves, which are interconnected. These layers are combined to create a woven complex, which is based on the redundancy and the non-repetition of patterns to increase its structural performance. In opposition with modern engineering (based on the concept of repetition and optimization), the project for the Eiffel tower extension is based on an alternative model of high performance.

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*notcot - 03.18.08 , 12:28 - 3 Notes

Sheffield Winter Gardens

sheffield1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another post from Justine (rugenius) ~ and her adventures in the UK!

Like Fru and Gu, Sheffield’s Winter Gardens are something I’d come across earlier in my tenure over here in England, but never had the chance to really explore. I came across them when staying at the Mercure hotel in Sheffield, which is itself indulgently modern. I admired them from the hotel, whose Champagne bar and restaurant flank the gardens, but never actually spent time in the space. On my recent return, the gardens themselves are more than noteworthy.

The Winter Garden is a temperate haven. With its high, sweeping wooden arches and use of natural light, it transforms what is an often gray and dreary South Yorkshire day into a world bathed in soft light. Unlike the heat and humidity we often associated with greenhouses, the interior is cool and dry (and I must admit, reminds me of home!). And the high ceilings provide excellent acoustics, creating a reverential atmosphere and sense of calm (thats right, no reverberating screams of children!). See many beautiful pictures of the interior of this incredible space after the jump!

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*Sub-Studio - 03.15.08 , 16:49 - 24 Notes

San Zhi

0315sanzhi1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

I came across a flickr set today with some amazing pictures of an abandoned housing complex called San Zhi outside of Taipei, Taiwan. A google search didn’t bring up much information, but from what I can gather, it was apparently built in the early 1980s as a series of vacation homes marketed towards affluent Taipei residents seeking to get out of the city.

The speculation about why the site was abandoned varies, with the most interesting being that a series of fatal accidents occurred during construction, causing locals to believe the site was haunted, and therefore instigating the developer’s decision to stop construction (and also putting a stop to any future redevelopment). A more mundane reason listed for the abandonment was the developer running out of money, but I’ll go with the first reason, thank you!

Architecturally speaking the houses are super cool, being very futuristic for the 80’s (even by today’s standards) with the cantilevered, modular pods houses (think Archigram). Check out more amazing photos from two flickr sets after the jump!

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*notcot - 01.31.08 , 09:27 - 14 Notes

Passport Card

passportcard.jpgPassport Cards ~ primarily for “border resident communities” since you can use it only for travel by land and sea between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda, according to the State Department. I guess this will be the new must-have for all the socal kids hopping down to TJ now. Applications for these cards start Feb 1 (tomorrow!). “The card will have the same validity period as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children. To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card will contain a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. This chip will link the card to a stored record in secure government databases. There will be no personal information written to the RFID chip itself.” I’m not sure how i feel about this… also note that the back of the card says “Your passport card should be kept in its protective sleeve when not in use.” So it doesn’t just go in your wallet? It has a special sleeve?

*notcot - 01.27.08 , 01:06 - 7 Notes

Louis Vuitton City Guides

lvguides1.jpgLouis Vuitton puts out an annual set of City Guides, this year it is saffron yellow - a rigid box set containing 9 soft back booklets printed on bible paper… they have been doing it since 1998, and somehow i have yet to actually flip through some! So after much unfruitful internet hunting, i’m turning to you, readers, to see if anyone has a set, and what you think of them… are they better than wallpaper guides? Are the illustrations by Ruber Toledo enough to justify the near 100$ price tag for the set? Closest i’ve found to images of the interior is a tiny picture on a japanese website (see after the jump!)… Thanks! [To find it on the Louis Vuitton site, just search for city guide when in the store.]

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*notcot - 01.19.08 , 22:35 - 0 Notes

tinlark gallery anniversary

tinlark.jpgTonight i was at the Crossroads of the World. And it was surreal. It’s on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood… google tells me that it is “L.A.’s first modern shopping mall”, built in 1936, and there is a replica of it at Walt Disney World Disney MGM Studios at the entrance of their faux Hollywood Blvd… additionally, the Tinlark gallery happens to live there, so i stopped by to check out their first year anniversary show, and it was incredible… honestly getting to see the Brooks Salzwedel pieces up close were well worth the trip (see the post dedicated to his solo show “By Fault of Its Own” here!)… seeing Diem Chau’s Crayons in person finally (I’ve updated the 2006 post with pictures from this show!) was so cool, and Yaya Chou’s Gummi Bear Rug looked strangely enticing (see a post dedicated to this and her other works). They really are as amazingly intricate as they look in the pics, if not more so. BUT, for this post ~ you need to see the Crossroads of the World and the placement of the gallery… the neon sign is classic.

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*notcot - 01.17.08 , 03:03 - 2 Notes

Party at the Smart House

smartbr2.jpgGood news, everyone! The Smart House has extended its stay in Venice beach till the end of February! (previously it was gone end of Jan). Now, i’ve told you about the Smart House before, as well as the Smart Balls (new ones after the jump!), but with every event the space looks so different, i had to share more images of it with you from tonight’s +Beryll event where i met Sigmar Berg who is not only the founder of this 10 year old line of sunglasses, jewelry, and vintage belt, but also an artist/designer/architect who created all of the photo-canvases covering the walls of the Smart House this evening! All three floors of this loft space were open - ground floor to explore the car, second floor to dine and dance, third floor had the dj and second balcony (with smart car on it!)… models wandered and danced around in black t-shirts bearing the Beryll ‘+’ and dark beryll shades, vintage belts, and the necklaces and jewelry… i also noticed more design details i loved about the Smart House this time, like this “open your mind” wall… So browse and experience the space through pictures after the jump!

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*notcot - 01.15.08 , 12:33 - 2 Notes

MacWorld a bad UX

macworld1.jpgWow. So for those of you, who like me stayed at home and watched the macworld keynote and madness unfold across the internet through the eyes and ears of the crazy kids at Gizmodo and Engadget with their live blogging of the keynote, etc… here’s a peek at what its like to REALLY be there ~ not as press, just as regular people trying to partake in the mac madness. So dan actually decided to go to the keynote this year (for “fun”), went and spent ages in line yesterday to get his pass, and then got in line at 6:30am this morning (and as you know from our sites, we aren’t morning people, unless it’s because i’m not sleeping till 6am) in the 40 degree weather… and didn’t even make it into the keynote. But that aside, the madness continued as all those turned away tried to make a mad rush for food and warmth after only found themselves in MORE freezing lines, like a half hour just to get into Mel’s diner (which is most certainly not really worth waiting in line for at any other given time)… Seems like apple needs to take care of its fans a bit more? Get a bigger venue? Be more realistic earlier on about who will get in? So although he didn’t get any pics while in the freeeeeezing cold this morning, he did just send over a few quick pics of the rush and sea of mac fanboys running around… let’s just say i’m glad to be home right now, and if he ever tries to do this again, and you guys want us to cover it, maybe i’ll apply for a press pass? More pictures of the sea of humanity after the jump!

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*notcot - 12.25.07 , 13:55 - 24 Notes

What to do in 2008?

notcot2008.jpg008 is upon us (nearly!), and i’m excited to say farewell to 007, particularly since this year was spent fairly grounded in california (bouncing between norcal and socal), with a few tiny quick excursions. I’m hoping to make 2008 a more normal jetsettery/nomadic year, and could really use some help! I’ve been trying to compile a list of major design events, and things to possibly try to make my way out to… as well as just general places to see, etc.

SO, take a look at the list below ~ help by suggesting more to add to it, or if you’re interested in sponsoring a trip in some way to make sure we cover it, let’s chat! I’m already playing with the idea of having our main NOTCOT homebases for 008 by LA and Paris, but details are in the works… *fingers crossed* ~ what do YOU want to see happening here in 008?

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*notcot - 12.14.07 , 22:28 - 0 Notes

Gift Guide Day 7

day7com.jpgGift Guide Day 7 is all about your SNOW DAYS! Being in socal, its currently *freezing* (for a socal girl anyhow) but no snow… i kind of feel like if its going to be this cold, we might as well have the pleasure of the excuse to use a snowball chuck… anyhow, for those lucky enough, here are some toys and gadgets to have some fun with that frosty weather.

p.s. and if you don’t like it one page at a time ~ see my favorite view with all the guides so far on one page.

*notcot - 12.13.07 , 01:26 - 0 Notes

Polo on Snow in St. Moritz

polo1.jpg“The 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow will take place from 24 to 27 January 2008. Year after year, the organizers manage to tempt the world’s very best polo players to St. Moritz. The Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow is part of the Polo World Tour, which includes the roughly thirty top tournaments that take place annually worldwide. This makes it the world’s most prestigious polo tournament on snow.” I just noticed this on Area Daily, and had to share it… and add it to the “things to see one day” list.

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*notcot - , 00:25 - 5 Notes

Arbor Skateboards

arborboards.jpgCan you ever be too old to learn to skateboard? Ok, wait. Don’t answer that? I grew up with a lot of friends and family heavy into the skate scene, and i was/am that girl that obsessed about the graphics and design of all the parts… but the combination of wood and gorgeous graphics on the decks at Arbor Sports just grabbed my attention tonight (while doing some sourcing for an upcoming awesome gift guide!) and the Koa Bug one has me totally smitten… and dying to get one and roll around the boardwalk or something. Funny thing is these guys are just a few minutes away in Venice Beach, and i’ve driven by them a million times going to the airport, and have still yet to stop in and check out the store… must do that soon, and get you some pics! Also with my new love, the vinyl cutter, would LOVE to get a woody board to do some stickering design of my own on! More breathtaking images below…

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*notcot - 12.07.07 , 00:53 - 0 Notes

Gift Guide Day 15

DAY15COM.jpgGift Guide Day 15 is for all those design loving Weekend Warriors who know their gear looking good on the shelf is JUST as important as how well it performs when needed to save your life, take on the great outdoors, etc… and that pic is of a magical swedish fire starter, but you already knew that.

*notcot - 12.03.07 , 23:39 - 0 Notes

Gift Guide Day 18

day18com.jpgGift Guide Day 18 is sponsored by WEJETSET ~ which I told you about earlier when they gave away a mercedes pre-launch… and now they have finally launched! Ready to take on the designer/luxury travel niche… regardless of whether you are continent hopping or just commuting to work ~ WEJETSET is just starting to build up their store to meet all your needs, and for all you east coasters keep an eye out for the brick and mortar store coming soon.

p.s. i just noticed that the links to the previous day’s gift guides at the bottom were broken, but now they are fixed!

*notcot - 11.22.07 , 02:05 - 0 Notes

Porsche Design Store - FRA

porschefra.jpgOn new excuses to travel ~ my latest is to go to Europe via Frankfurt airport, because they just got the largest Porsche Design airport store. This is the latest addition to their rapidly expanding line of airport franchises currently in airports such as Munich, Vienna, London, Moscow, Dubai and Hong Kong. In 2008, new stores are to be opened in Zurich, Copenhagen and Manchester. These are in addition to their retail stores which are currently in Hamburg, Tokyo, Berlin, London, and New York. It’s been fascinating to see how airports have quickly been evolving into high end malls of sorts, and how can we resist jetsetting to shop the airports as well as the cities? So next time you’re in FRA - look for the new Porsche Design Store, “the 145 square meter store is on the second level of Hall B, on the so-called “landing side” of the airport, the area that is generally accessible without security checks.”

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