*NOTCOT in nature - 03.26.08 -

Spontaneous Roadtrip

calicoast1.jpgRumor has it i’ve been a bit of a workaholic the last few months, and lacking at indulging my inherent wanderlust… so today was supposed to be a quick drive up to SF from LA with dan, but one thing led to another and it became a spontaneous roadtrip/adventure - leading to everything from lunch in a danish town (solvang) - trying danish pancake balls (aebleskiver) - feeding ostriches and emus - a giant tree stump turned treehouse/pirateship on the side of the road in a tile/bricklaying yard - 1797 Mission San Miguel Arcangel - driving by Hearst Castle - seeing beaches filled with elephant seals - cruising up the coast through state parks on cliff hanging roads to big sur - stopping off to admire the view constantly - buying 99 cent chips for $1.79 (cliff view markup?) - seeing otters playing so far below they looked like tiny dots - sunset in Big Sur - martinis and dinner watching the sun fully disappear - and now i’m in Monterey Bay in a luscious king sized bed overlooking Cannery Row and the ocean as i try to get this post up as my photo excuse as to why the posting and editing was a bit quiet today.

Tomorrow ~ Monterey Bay Aquarium and then back to regularly scheduled working… but for now, catch up on the roadtrip in pics first (as well as a full map of where i’ve been and where i’m headed)?

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*NOTCOT in design -

Outdoor Speakers (part 1) - NOTConcept 002

gnome-sketches.jpgNOTConcept 002: Outdoor Sound System - [1: Idea Sketching] [2: Concept Dev] [3: 3D Renders]

NOTCOT Note: This week has been a bit off… i’m still trying to catch up, but freshly in my inbox are the first rough sketches of NOTConcept 002! Jenny and Leo (of HERO Design Lab and i have been playing with ideas on what can be done to create more ambiance in our outdoor spaces. We played with discussions of solar power, lighting, music, projections, and just subtle objects that add character to our spaces. Ultimately we decided to head in the direction of outdoor speakers you least expect… creating a whole new way to achieve surround sound outdoors without needing to completely “hide” your speakers. As with NOTConcept 001 feel free to comment and brainstorm with us as we stretch our minds and play with new ideas.

First sketch above is the Gnome idea… Tapping into the kitchy world of garden ornaments - this media pod channels the essence of garden gnomes. You could have a clan of ‘gnomes’ that would generate your surround sound/light/projection/media experience.

See the sketches of the other 5 ideas after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in nature - 03.25.08 -

Tiger - Spy in the Jungle

elephrazzi1.jpgAre elephants the new steadycams? Or the new paparazzi? (elephrazzi?) Are spy cam technologies finally being put to good use to capture incredible new nature footage? Does a tree trunk rendition of R2D2 really slip under a tigers radar as it rolls around the jungle floor?

Apparently YES! A three-part BBC One series: Tiger - Spy in the Jungle, which is narrated by Sir David Attenborough is the latest creation of John Downer who has been recording footage over a period of 3 years in the Pench National Park in India… using some ingenious “trunk-cams”, which allowed the team to follow four newborn tiger cubs through adulthood. Although i’ve captured a bunch of screenshots after the jump (you never know when videos might disappear off the web and we have nothing to look back on!)… you MUST check out the videos over on the BBC page. For our lucky UK readers - the first programme of Tiger- Spy in the Jungle will be shown on BBC One on Sunday 30 March at 2000 GMT

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*NOTCOT in design -

Sam Flores and Munk One for Obama

munkfloresobama.jpg008 The Movement and Upper Playground strike again ~ for Obama! The artist collaborations they have been coordinating are incredible, regardless of whether you support Obama, it’s hard not to be in awe not only of the way that Obama’s campaign has been designed, but also how impeccably designed/inspired/executed the unofficial art that has come out to support him has been as well. Here are the latest limited edition posters (which you will probably be seeing popping up around soon as well) - from Munk One, and long time NOTCOT favorite, Sam Flores. If you’re looking to get one of these limited editions, move quickly, because the last ones from the MAC, the Date Farmers, and Obey/Shepard Fairey (and the shirts as well) have sold out nearly instantly. You can still get Shepard Fairey HOPE stickers here.

To side step slightly… did you hear that Obama wrote Shepard Fairey a thank you note? And that it might be sanctioning him to create street art on stop signs? Will this really become a free pass for street artists? (yes, a bit of reading between the lines by shep on this one, but i think its a nice move that Obama and his people acknowledge the influence of the medium.) And the unofficial artist posters in support of him have been so influential and successful, that Obama’s official campaign has even Artists for Obama gallery with limited edition prints, the first being a CHANGE version of the Shepard Fairey poster.

And as a special something for our NOTCOT/Obama supporters - i’ve also gotten my hands on a few of the Shepard Fairey HOPE posters and stickers, the MAC posters, and Date Farmers posters… i haven’t been sure how to give these away yet, but how about those interested in helping the cause - comment here with where you’d put them up and we can try to send some out to you in exchange for some pics of where they go?

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*NOTCOT in playful - 03.23.08 -

Orbit Baby Modular Stroller System

orbitbaby1.jpgOrbit Baby ~ if i were to have a kid (unlikely, anytime soon), i can’t imagine having one without this system. In fact, my back, sanity, and kid’s safety would demand it. This company is based right in east bay up in norcal and it’s nice to see such a sweet group of Stanford product designers leave IDEO to pursue their dreams and apply their skills to something that really needed some updating (full story here)…

I encountered Orbit Baby while at CA Boom V… this and the Nomad Yurt were the two things i walked away raving about. The Orbit Baby system is so modular that you have one main soft handled baby carrier (good for the day you leave the hospital), which docks into the easy car seat base as well as the quick collapsing stroller… and also with the simple eames rocker matching rocker base. And as your child grows, you can upgrade to the toddler stroller seat (still works with your stroller and car seat). And for those who like basinets, you can also go for the basinet option which also docks into all the bases, and even comes in a new organic super soft ‘green’ edition.

I know it seems silly, that i’m raving about a kid system that i couldn’t possibly have any use for, but the thought that went into every design detail and the incredible quality of the whole system were irresistible in person. I also even attempted my first vimeo video below from the show (vimeo, wow, sidetrack, but i’m loving their incredible user experience). As for design details worth noting… this system even comes with an easy adorable bag that stores nicely under the stroller! It has two cup holders (aka perfect cellphone holder?)… and the handles even adjust/rotate to your comfort position. Coolest thing of all… (other than making life easier on the parents) - “zoo viewing mode” since you can rotate any of these seats on the base… you can have a sideways facing stroller, which seems perfect for walking around a zoo/aquarium, and perfect for not taking up the whole aisle in a crowded restaurant like many new parents seem to.

Tons of pictures and a video after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Wool Teddy Bear Fetuses and Skulls

Teddy-Fetal-Development.jpg“Wow.” That’s pretty much the best i can come up with initially to describe Stephanie Metz’s incredible use of wool for her felted sculptures exambining the anatomy of of the fetal development of teddy bears, and their skulls… and that before you even see her large breasted cow, leggless lap chihuahua, adorable bull dog and rabbits… See more images below, as well as an excerpt on her process to develop these intriguing creatures! I saw these over at DesignBoom, which led me to sweetest blog i can’t believe its taken me this long to discover, Street Anatomy… anyhow, see after the jump for more pics of Metz’s felted creatures!

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*NOTCOT in me - 03.22.08 -

Roundup of Roundups!

notcotorg #9343 notcotorg #9344 notcotorg #9342 notcotorg #9346 notcotorg #9339 notcotorg #9360 notcotorg #9367 notcotorg #9358 notcotorg #9355 notcotorg #9386 notcotorg #9350 notcotorg #9366 notcotorg #9387 notcotorg #9341 notcotorg #9334 notcotorg #9374 notcotorg #9463 notcotorg #9376 notcotorg #9462 notcotorg #9383 notcotorg #9378 notcotorg #9385 notcotorg #9369 notcotorg #9418 notcotorg #9412Click the images to find out more! ~ and being a roundup of roundups, get your quick fix of this weeks fashion and food after the jump as well! (Courtesy of NotCouture and TasteSpotting) Fun to see that a lot of the most popular posts on .org this week seem to be some of the .com posts… and those terribly creeeeeeeeepy Pixeloo renders of Mario and Homer if they were real humans with their cartoon anatomy… freaky stuff! I am scared to see what they take on next…

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 03.20.08 -

60’s Danish Sleeper Sofa

sleepereames1.jpgI somehow wandered across the internet to Mid-Century Modernist where i encountered this crazy 1968 Danish Sleeper Sofa that lives on ebay… and its right in the LA area for pick up. Really as *just* a sofa, i’m not that floored, but the craziness by which it opens into a sleeper for two is interesting to take a look at. More images after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in design -

TED BIG VIZ

tedbook1.jpgRegardless of whether you did or did not attend TED this year, the TED BIG VIZ pdf book is a MUST download for anyone visually oriented looking for a burst of inspiration. What is it?

The BIGVIZ is an exploration in visualizing the Big Ideas presented on the TED mainstage. Two visual cartographers, David Sibbet and Kevin Richards, created over 700 spontaneous sketches of the presenters’ ideas using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro software running on Wacom Cintiq tablets and rendered on a Perceptive Pixel multi-touch display. These tools illustrate the power of interactive visualization to present the big picture to foster insight and communicate ideas visually, central principles of design innovation.

I just went through all 200 pages (i even picked out a few of my favorites for you after the jump)… and its incredible, to see their sketches of the “big ideas” and things that grabbed their attention throughout the talks… seriously, the 700 “spontaneous sketches” are breathtaking. When you have a sec, the BIGVIZ movie is pretty sweet as well. Discovered this through the wonderful Information Aesthetics!

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Mail Call: Diesel Jeans Chain

hangdiesel1.jpgThis has been a very strange day, and its only 11am. Yes, usually i’m still snoozing at this hour, but was up at 7am, stats broke one of our servers last night! Sorry about that, urgh, but thank goodness for the guys at wiredtree who take such good care of us…. and then had breakfast with Souris Hong-Porretta ~ the woman is incredibly inspiring, add her to the list of people to be like when “grown up”, and hearing about all dot com days reminiscing about things like ChickClick (i never knew Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks was THAT heidi), i can’t help but wish i were a tiny bit older to have been more conscious and active in all that was happening in the 90s… i’m rambling again, sorry, low on sleep, high on energy and ideas… and well, it’s fun to get some perspective and chat with people as buzzing about the intersection of tech/design/gaming/film/art/music/internet/etc.

Moving along, mail call! Came home to a fun surprise from the boys at Diesel’s Fuel For Life Fragrance department in paris… Remember what i thought was a bracelet? Well it turns out i was wrong. And they’ve proved me wrong by sending one over… its a big hefty shiny gold jean’s chain that holds a little vial of Diesel’s Fragrance, and it’s refillable! Also awesome are the giant playing card like info cards that come with a CD of press pics. Gotta love the packaging. Anyhow, lots of pics below to catch you up.

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Edible

0319edible1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

Sub-Studio reader Kariann sent me a link to Edible’s Aphrodisiac Pearl Chocolate Paste as a submission for February’s chocolate themed Idea’s column. Being that we were just switching over to a conceptual shoe column, I didn’t get a chance to include the link, but I fell in love with Edible while browsing their site. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m partially charmed by the exotic snacks that they carry, but beyond interesting items (chocolate covered scorpions, anyone?), their products are beautifully crafted and packaged. The Antlix Lollipop (below) is gorgeous - it looks like little black seeds frozen in ice. Check out more potentially tasty, pretty things after the jump. Oh - and if you aren’t from America, Edible’s wares aren’t ridiculously expensive.

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*NOTCOT in travel - 03.19.08 -

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 in design -

Paul Villinski Beer Can Butterflies

beercanbutt01.jpgWhile at CA Boom V, the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery had a booth with a mesmerizing series of Butterfly Installations by Paul Villinski. Apparently he is quite the recontextualist of found objects… transforming found gloves into dresses and comforters, wheelchairs and radio flyers into planes, and my favorite - beer cans into butterflies which when installed appear to be flying and fluttering with every breeze. Villinski’s site describes this collection: “These pieces explore themes of transformation and recovery through the metamorphosis of crushed beer cans from the streets of New York into flocks of realistically crafted butterflies.” See close ups of the CA Boom installation and others after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in design - 03.18.08 -

Wooster’s Mac Masthead

mastheadbyjamesselby.jpgAh, how i love Wooster Collective ~ getting me my daily dose of street art in all its glory. But tonight it wasn’t the art that grabbed me - i couldn’t help but giggle when i saw their latest masthead image… making the best use of a Mac OS X’s Dock icons… and the folder window… the file name seems to imply that it is made by a James Selby.

*NOTCOT in design -

The Ultimate Grill (Part 3) - NOTConcept 001

grillcloseup.jpgNOTConcept 001: The Ultimate Grill - [Research] [1: Idea Sketching] [2: Concept Dev] [3: 3D Renders]

Can you believe we’re already at the final installment of the first NOTConcept, a NOTCOT and HERO Design Lab collaboration? So, you’ve seen the research, the sketching/brainstorming, the concept development, and here is our final piece of NOTConcept 001 - the Ultimate Grill! Here are the 3D renders of the product, and some photomontages of the product in context. Lots to see after the jump ~ in particular, i love the details of how you can swap in different logos/symbols/anything really in the grill plate itself to mark the food differently (whether that is NOTCOT, or “medium rare” and “well done”, or a little veggies only symbol)… also its versatile enough to be hanging, or with a floor stand… anyhow see below and the details are outlined!

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