I “needed” a new hydration/trail pack. And while i’d been curious about ACRE (a special division of Mission Workshop) since they launched back in Fall ‘13… the website has such stunning images! But it wasn’t until i ran into the packs in person in Portland that i couldn’t get them out of my head. So i finally gave in and ordered The Hauser Weatherproof Hydration Pack 10L and couldn’t be happier! This biggest seller for me on this bag in person was the material - photos just don’t do it justice. The Dimension-Polyant 210d nylon VX ripstop with waterproof laminate has such subtle diamonds that add another dimension to the simplicity of the Hauser’s design - which is packed with such thoughtful, useful details… from the perforated padding to the tool roll, the multiple anchor points to the watertight zippers, the flap down to the rolltop option, and more! Check out the details up close on the next page!
The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap is here! The press release reads: “Mexico City, May 8th, 2014 - NESCAFÉ® embraces consumer maker technologies to quickly design and build 200 limited edition, 3D Printed, Arduino-based NESCAFÉ® Alarm Caps.” and I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am to show you our latest NOTlabs project. Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab brought us on to collaborate in bringing the NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap to life. The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap utilizes 7 different tones synchronized with light, which are scientifically proven to create a soft and natural awakening, ending when you open the cap to enjoy the delicious aroma of NESCAFÉ. So yes, you can literally wake up and smell the… NESCAFÉ!
As you’ve seen - we’ve been busy with quite a bit of 3D Printing and electronics overdosing the last few weeks, and this is what we’ve been up to! Currently making their way throughout the world are 200 limited edition NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap press kits to celebrate the new brand identity of NESCAFÉ! There are two cap design variations, the faceted cap and the accent cap. Each piece was hand-assembled in California, with the exteriors 3D printed in nylon (and dyed and polished) by Shapeways on an SLS printer, and the interiors 3D printed on our Makerbots. Along with the Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab , we worked with Eric Brockmeyer on the electronics and code, Charmaine Choi on the pattern illustrations, and The Lift for the video. Let’s get to the unboxing! See it all on the next page…
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!
Our highlight from Pulse this year was the “Made in Korea” stand showcasing a number of designers respresnted by NoTag that had lots of playful items including fold-your-own paper toys, a dog-shaped bookstand and more. Check it out on the next page!
Life is all about balance ~ and it should be no surprise that the more time we all spend glued to screens (yes, phones count), the more we need the great outdoors! As you may have heard, between our endless 3D printing/soldering/etc. recently, we impulse started the NOTFZJ80 Project. While Shawn has been sharing endless Overlanding videos, forum discussions, and most excitingly — the gear, i’ve been fascinated by creative design solutions we keep finding!
The world of Overlanding is all new to me. Wikipedia defines it as: Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries. I grew up with my first few cars being SUVs. When living in LA, SD, and SF, throwing everything in my car and spontaneously moving or roadtripping was never out of the question. I love the idea of your car being ready to handle anything and take you anywhere and back.
Overlanding fits nicely on the spectrum between luxury hotel jetsetting and backpacking around the world… in that spot that is more luxurious than camping, more self sufficient than glamping, as equipped as an RV, but everything is more efficiently packed, multifunctional, and far more capable to get you through just about anything… it’s the perfect combo of man/machine teaming up to explore the outdoors to reach amazing remote spots. What i didn’t expect was how many fascinating design solutions pop up around the basics of what you can fit in/on/around your 4x4 vehicle, and how much of a fun designer project the process can be! Take a peek on the next page at some of the fun gear/setup possibilities i’ve been learning about while we research it all…
I know it’s been a while since we’ve done some NOTCOT.org roundups ~ but i’m thinking about bringing them back… here’s a grid of 25 of my recent favorite inspirations! Click the pics to find out more!
Those following us on the NOTlabs Instagram, have seen that between other craziness we have taken on a project car: a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80! Between regular visits to ICON and seeing more of the TLC side of things… we caught the Land Cruiser bug. It’s no surprise that they just don’t build things like they used to… priorities have changed, and accessibility to grab a toolkit and access/fix just about anything on the go just isn’t quite the same. But while we wanted something fun to play with, we also wanted something safe, comfortable, and functional as well, that made sense for longer roadtrips before offroading/overlanding! So we settled on the ‘95-97 FZJ80, which has a/c, airbags, and other amenities but are some of the last years of solid axles, factory front/rear locking differentials and such. Also, when you see the modifications you can make and even build yourself… it’s like a designer’s dream! (but more on that to come…)
So between the soldering, electronics assembly, 3d prints and more on the _ project… we scoured craigslist and local listings and watched hours upon hours of overlanding youtube videos… and ended up popping down to Costa Mesa to see about a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80. With 160k miles on it, a single owner, clean title, locking diffs, and having never left southern california… we couldn’t resist! So the adventure begins… check out how it looks and where we’re at so far on the next page!
Ready for a peek inside the world of Jonathan Ward’s ICON and TLC? Well, we’ve been working with him on designs the last few months, and the passion at ICON is contagious, and constantly energizing and inspiring us at NOTlabs! So, we figured it was finally time to share some of the wonders inside the ICON and TLC garage!
ICON has been making stunning matte black retro BRs and FJs that no designer (no matter how uninterested in cars) could miss the last two decades… an upgrade would be an understatement, they build on the originals and improve every tiny detail to become a design masterpiece in both performance and style. The plastic is stripped out, grills are milled out of single pieces of aluminum, fonts are matched for updated logos… no detail is missed! More recently, you’ve probably seen the stunning ICON Thriftmaster truck, with a beautiful ash wood bed floor, as well as the ICON Electric Flyer bike. Additionally, if a sleeper of a vintage car, looking rusted and thoroughly aged, flies past you - you may have found one of the rare ICON Derelicts & Reformers. (Another example is the beast of an ICON Dodge D200 Truck he drove to the Hero’s Chest dinner.)
The other half of ICON is TLC, if you’re confused (like I may have been at first) it actually stands for Toyota Land Cruiser, not ‘tender loving care’. Since 1996, they have been the nation’s leading Land Cruiser Service center. As they say, “Though the Cruiser has evolved into today’s luxurious four-door powerhouse - it is the original adventure-seeking spirited classic Land Cruiser, with its worldwide following that lingers in our minds. That’s where we come in…TLC buys, restores, services, and sells Toyota Land Cruisers exclusively. We are dedicated to their preservation and restoration. Recycling a product that in many ways is simpler, stronger and safer than most produced today.” (I both blame + credit Jonathan Ward for helping Shawn convince me to impulse buy the NOTlabs FZJ80 just after this visit! But more on that shortly…) So take a peek inside the ICON and TLC garage on the next page!
An amazing surprise arrived today from Highland Park Whisky. Remember this Cynthia Rowley Flask Bangle that i posted on NOTCOT.org a while back? Well the awesome folks at Highland Park made a special version and sent one over! I can’t even begin to describe how curious i was when i started to open the box and saw the silver flask bangle with a subtle little H logo on it… and it’s a perfect fit. It even holds around 3 fluid ounces! Perhaps we WILL need to do a ladies’ Hero’s Chest Dinner yet… see all the details on the next page!
Growing up and living by the beach, my cars are never without a beach towel and flip flops. You never know when the mood might strike you! So i’ve been super intrigued by these Vertty Beach Towels since they surfaced on NOTCOT.org. Vertty just sent over a bright orange one today ~ and first impressions: awesome packaging, lightweight (1.5 lbs) , and love the unusual geometric shape with popping colors! They are “Dreamed in Australia, Born in Portugal” and handmade and eco friendly. It’s a thin 90% cotton with a terry cloth like feel that is quite nice to lay on and supposedly fast drying, and the waterproof zipper pocket is a nice detail! Take a peek at the full unboxing (and takeover by Bucky) on the next page… as well as a peek at their playful bus and business cards!
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen (short for Geländewagen aka cross country vehicle) is a design icon in its own right. Love it or hate it, that shape is unmistakeable, and has definitely has quite a history. It even has a fascinating Wikipedia page - apparently it was originally created as a military vehicle in the early 70s and the first civilian version emerged in 1979. And it’s the “longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history, with a span of 32 years. Only the UNIMOG beats it.” Amazing right? And unlike most other vehicles, the general body shape and style has changed minimally! And to take the G-Wagen to the next level?
The nice folks at Mercedes loaned us the stunningly powerful Mercedes-AMG G63 all murdered out in matte black down to the wheels… complete with a diamond quilted black leather interior. First things first - yes, the monstrous and powerful G63 is totally absurd… it’s faster than most sports cars, sounds like a beast (we scared many a mini), and it’s unlikely many will ever explore proper 4x4 terrains… BUT, that being said, it is so much fun. Take a peek at our adventures with the G63 as well as fun details with it on the next page… it’s one of the first press cars i’ve been missing since it got picked up!
When first approached about Kylie Minogue’s Sexercize, I was skeptical at best… as I learned about the special music video by Roman Coppola, Chandelier Creative, and Maserati… my curiosity got piqued. At first glance, this bizarre retro car porn of a film is just that… until you see the original it’s an homage to - the ‘65 piece ‘Kustom Kar Kommandos’ by Kenneth Anger… and to peel back the layers even further, Chandelier Creative and Maserati further indulged my curiosity with a loaner Maserati Ghibli S Q4 and a behind the scenes peek at how much they transformed the Ghibli for the video - and wow! What a process!
To be completely honest, the more i played with the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 all week, the more curious i got as to how they turned the car i was in into the stunner in the video! From the exterior, the front is reminiscent of the Maserati curves i love, and the rear is less recognizable without their iconic triton. As for what’s under the hood - it’s a cute “efficient 3 litre Twin Turbo V6 that delivers a peak of 410 horsepower.” Ultimately the Ghibli feels like your gateway Maserati which gives you a taste of the brand, while leaving you lusting for the roar of the Maserati Granturismo MC Stradale and its 4.7L V8. When you watch the Sexercize video, you can’t help but get pulled in by the mesmerizing wheels, the metallic paint job, dayglo lighting, and the muscle car styled blower coming through the hood… Take a peek on the next page to see the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 in real life and how it was transformed into the Sexercize muscle car!
In continuing this year’s trend of trying new things ~ for the last two weeks Shawn and I led a workshop with the 72U Winter Session 2014 class to create a Social Impact Project to make people smile. 72U is a special project inside global ad agency, 72andSunny, which takes place right in the middle of all the action in their Playa Vista office, which is housed in the old offices of Howard Hughes. Self-described as “an intensive one-of-a-kind learning experience designed to open people up to new ways of thinking, collaborating, and tackling modern communication problems,” 72U feels like a creative take on The Real World (yes, there’s even a 72U house), where around half a dozen chosen applicants from around the world, with a myriad of backgrounds, are fully immersed in the world of 72andSunny (assisting and learning on various accounts), inspirational guest speakers, workshops/projects, field trips, and more for 12 fast paced weeks! Even spending a mere 2 weeks with them, I’m amazed at the pace they are running at! It’s no surprise that the majority of participants who survive the program become a part of the 72andSunny family.
But back to the Social Impact Project NOTLabs just completed with 72U! The group was tasked to ‘engage people and make them smile’ - to ultimately create an object that can also be easily shipped and activated around the world. Of course the biggest challenge of all wasn’t concepting or creating, but being realistic about what is feasible in the short time frame to bring an idea to life ~ and they were armed with the new 72andSunny laser cutter! Keep in mind that beyond this project, they are simultaneously planning a HUGE mural, an art show, and assisting on various secret projects and more… So head to the next page to see what they came up with!
JBL was kind enough to surprise me with some JBL J46BT Bluetooth Headphones. I’ve been curious about Bluetooth earbuds for some time, but this is the first time test driving some in real life… perfect for workouts, running around the house/yard/after the dog untethered, and probably for airplanes so i don’t trip over the cord when getting in and out of the seat! First impressions ~ sound quality isn’t the greatest, it certainly lacks range. BUT i’m fascinated by some of their design details - especially the way it charges with a little clip to two contacts to the ear buds. See the full unboxing and details on the next page…
Epic. If you’re in the LA area, definitely check out Jeremy Fish’s Hunting Trophy show at the Mark Moore Gallery that just opened tonight. All the details and the feeling of walking into his “hunting lodge” like room ~ complete with mini woodland creatures painted into the faux log cabin walls are not to be missed. In classic Jeremy Fish style, the creatures take on surreal forms ~ sometimes unzipping like nested russian dolls, evolving into vehicles, or an interpretation of a bear skin rug, or some of his amazing creature/vehicles! So many tiny amazing details! The fish scales are little fish! Go peek inside the hunting lodge on the next page!