Just in over at DWR is the Vitra Toolbox by Arik Levy! Too cute - wandering over to Vitra, i found even cuter pictures (and more colors) of the super simple, functional, injection molded plastic tool box/desk organizer… I think we need some of these in NOTlabs to get all the hacked apart electronics and knives and tools and more organized (and easy to move from desk to desk!) - see more pics on the next page!
This week’s roundup from NOTCOT.org includes microscopic photography, a flying gyroscope, a mine detonating ball and more. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
They’re here!!! For those following on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing peeks of NOTlabs turning into a laser cutting puzzle factory… cutting 50 limited edition Chris Yates Studios’ Bafflers in the first CLEAR editions! The first 25 will be kept in “Total Clarity” and the second 25 will be hand painted on both sides for the “First Frost” versions… with his signature hand sprayed paint splatter (only in a translucent and opaque mix this time!) on both sides, each “First Frost” will be truly unique.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chris Yates’ puzzles, the name “Bafflers” makes complete sense as soon as you dump the pieces out and start to try to reassemble. Each and every insane (sometimes multilayer) puzzle is hand cut out of wood on a scroll saw, hand painted, and “made to last generations”… they are truly maddening works of art. (See his traditional creation process here.) Turning these into clear acrylic has in no way made his Bafflers any easier… having accidentally dumped out the clear puzzle while first working on the prototype, it certainly took a bit of time (but not TOO much) to get it back together… and perhaps the most mind twisting part of cutting the batch of 50 has been transferring the cut pieces from the laser bed to the stacks of finished puzzles, and every time they come apart slightly, if a piece flips over, etc., it takes a few to piece them all back together! We’ve cut and inspected each and every puzzle, and are so excited to help Chris bring these “Aperture” limited edition clear Bafflers into the world! Take a peek at more details and a peek at the making of on the next page!
The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
The latest book from Tim Flach has the loaded title “More Than Human” and is based on the artist’s photo series that explores the relationship between humans and animals. The book is a beautiful collection of hundreds of stunning images of a wide range of incredible creatures. In addition to the book, Flach’s ‘More Than Human’ series will also be the basis of a new show at the Osborne Samuel gallery this December and we were invited to his East London studio for a launch to celebrate the new book!
I actually discovered this amazing project through my work at the aquarium at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in London, as some of the aquarium’s jellyfish feature in the series! Here are a few photos of the photographer at work behind the scenes at the Horniman aquarium (and the stunning images he captured!). More highlights from the launch, images from the book and behind the scenes photos on the next page!
The shoot sounds like an incredible experience, bringing snakes, bats and other creatures to Flach’s Shoreditch studio as well as shooting on location at nearby sites like the Horniman as well as a wide range of locations internationally. The resulting photo series captures the beauty and individuality of its subjects and draws your eye into the beauty in the detail and structure of the individual. More highlights from the launch and photo series on the next page!
We’ve been tracking shipping container architecture for years now, and it has become more prevalent than ever… you can even get doll house versions now! These Model Container Homes at Module R are such detailed examples of designer modern living down to the art, tvs, plants, furniture and more! See more details on the next page!
Oakley Airwave Goggles with built in Heads Up Display are launching on Halloween! And we had the pleasure of trying them out when we were in SF… i kid you not, the heads up display is gorgeous! Watching full color video in the little prism screen to the bottom right of your periphery was better than you’d expect. And i’m sure in due time, you stop finding yourself tilting your head down and to the right, as if you’d get a better view of it as i did… especially when you have stunning slopes filled with powder visible through the rest of your goggles!
As for what you can control and see in the Heads Up Display - there is everything from GPS/Navigation (routes for a lot of the best slopes around the globe are pre-programmed in), Buddy tracking (you can even find your friends who don’t have goggles, so long as they have the app), Music controls, Speed, Jump Analytics, and more! Of course, via bluetooth you can also pair it with your smartphone and view incoming calls and texts and access your playlists… all controlled by glove friendly wrist remote. The HUD itself comes from Recon Instruments, using “innovative prism technology to display information perceived by the wearer to be the size of a 14-inch screen that is five feet away, so refocusing the eye is not necessary.” And it really is surprisingly good in person. The accompanying app will be available on both Android and iOS, and no worries, even when your phone isn’t connected (or the battery dies) the goggles have built in GPS, Accelerometer, etc so all your data is stored locally until you connect to your phone.
For the best explanation of how it all works - take a look at the video on the next page! And for now, i’ll just keep dreaming about when Oakley takes this further and integrates the fun HUD into more products for every day life!
p.s. It’s worth noting that there’s a HUD SDK available - so if you can dream it, you can make it happen!
We just spent the last week playing with the Mercedes-Benz 2013 GL450 - fully loaded with designo package and all the tech add ons! I must say, after driving it (and the other cars all stayed in the garage - all week!), it’s no surprise that it just won Motor Trend’s SUV of the year… having grown up in/driving SUVs for most of my life, i must say this beast of a car handles amazingly, and is surprisingly comfortable as a passenger (in any of the seats) And the new Active Curve System is magical - “to help control body lean during cornering maneuvers, electrohydraullically variable stabilizer bars for the front and rear axies increase roll stiffness based on driving speed and lateral acceleration, as well as the Adaptive Damping System’s Sport Mode.” Oh, and Sport Mode is a must when not off roading…
But the one detail that blew me away (and that i miss now that the car is gone) - the Surround View System. Anytime you are driving below a certain speed (maybe around 15mph?) you can click into the 360 Camera in the System menu and see the views around the WHOLE car - in various merged super views as well as seeing what each camera (one below the front mercedes logo, one on the bottom of each side mirror, and one that pops down above the license plate in the back) is seeing… while i’d like to think i’m pretty good with the parallel parking and lining up nicely between the lines… there is no question here when you can pop the camera on and see EXACTLY where those lines are. Also as you turn the steering, lines appear showing exactly where your car will go. It is a nicely implemented feature, and beyond pictures, we made some videos for you to see it in action on the next page!
p.s. Now, if only someone could hack it so you could record video out of them…
This week’s roundup from NotVentures includes Kalahari speed, scenic marathons and stunning vistas. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.
Perhaps perfect for halloween workouts - “The new Nike Women’s Exclusive Print tight is a performance based pant for the athlete unafraid to make a statement. On the outside, she might be the girl next door, but on the inside, her body has survived grueling workouts, often pushing through pain, broken bones, pulled muscles and harsh tears. With images of X-Ray bones digitally printed on the outside, the exclusive print tight gives a glimpse of her inner toughness.” says the press release. Even crazier is that it says, “The print on the front looks like a normal X-ray, but the one on the back reveals broken bones, screws and hip replacements, providing a glimpse of the athlete’s inner toughness in the face of grueling workouts and pain,” on the Nike Pro Printed Skeleton Tights product page. Sounds a bit more horrifying for those who see you going rather than coming at them…
On curious new hipster hotels to pop up ~ first glance at the website and gallery, i couldn’t help but think - new Joie De Vivre updated motel or new Ace Hotel (based on the lobby/decor)? Turns out the Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe neither, but is definitely targeting a similar clientele. The prices sound quite reasonable (in the under 200$ a night for a king room range) and it is full of character with all the vintage, woody, designer looks - Tolix stools, Emeco Navy chairs, wall art in the rooms and more! How fun is the room with a tent in it for the bed… and fake fire with the woodsy wallpaper? Take a peek at the playful site design by Bucktrout, and inside Basecamp Hotel through the stunning pictures from Eva Kolenko on the next page!
Chinese artist, Liu Bolin, made quite the stir in the art/internet world with his “Camouflage” series of photographs where he painted people to be completely disappeared into urban backgrounds… Now, Ford has tapped him to create their latest print ad campaign to “Prove How All-New 2013 Ford Fusion ‘Stands Out’ in Competitive Midsize Car Segment”, as their press release says, “New Fusion makes other cars on the road ‘disappear’.”
Last month, we were invited to join them on the set out in Rancho Cucamonga and see how the disappearing of the cars happens… check it out on the next page! (And a time lapsed video of the few day shoot too!)
Since my first visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, i’ve been hearing about the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center that is nearby in Irvine… we finally made it over there yesterday, getting a peek not only at the pristinely restored cars both on display and for sale in the lobby, as well as a look at what’s waiting in line in the garage and what is currently being worked on in the workshop… and WOW. It is beyond breathtaking. The curves. The colors. The multiple generations of history all in the same room… and to see the wealth of knowledge and incredible attention to detail, as the technicians and engineers inspect not only every part of the car, but also the vehicle’s legitimacy - from verifying its history, and tracking down exact paint colors down to the original chemical mixtures used, to spending years reviving barn finds into “authentic, as-new” conditions. With a small team of around 21 men, it was great to hear that the Irvine Mercedes-Benz Classic Center is a mix of seasoned Mercedes-Benz technicians as well as a few newer apprentices, coming from McPherson College’s Auto Restoration Degree (which is the first degree program in the world available in auto restoration founded in the 70s, and Mercedes-Benz has been a big supporter of it over the years.)
On the next page, take a walk through the garage as well as the incredible Classic Center Workshop and get a peek at what is currently being worked on or in line to be next!
Here’s the latest from our NOTlabs Director and car lover, Shawn Sims. This post is brought to you by Volkswagen. It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them. Read our stories or share your own at whyvw.com.
Early morning. Malibu canyon. Incredible S curves. Stunning views of the ocean and mountains. And over 2 dozen GTIs. I kid you not. So when Volkswagen reached out to NOTCOT to share our VW story, Jean pulled up my instagram pictures and insisted i share this Malibu adventure with you. First things first, let’s backtrack a few steps…
I love my 2012 GTI. It’s like a fast little go cart - handles great, has great balance, and from an engineering/design perspective, the build quality of the car is top notch. (And after endless test driving, Jean gave this one her approval as she fell for all the design details too.) As a car lover since before I even started driving at 15, you’d never believe that life lead me to do a few years in London and New York — carless! And it wouldn’t be until i moved to LA that i’d buy my first new car.
Moving to LA a car is a must-have. I was told make sure you get something you will enjoy, can be comfortable in, and be fun to drive because you will be in it more than you think. So when heading to LA after grad school in Pittsburgh, before even looking for an apartment, the perfect car had to be found… white 2 door with a manual transmission and sunroof. Not as easy as expected! But along the way, many dealers were called, arrangements were made, and paperwork was signed before I even landed in LA. My GTI agonizingly waited across the country in a lot for me until I got there. The day before new years eve, I hopped on an evening flight to LAX, and the next morning I had the keys to my new VW GTI!
Adjusting to life in LA, Jean and I frequently took our cars out to Malibu to play in the canyons. Having the VW GTI as my newest gadget, naturally internet research took me all over, learning about possible tunes, tweaks, upgrades and more… even stumbling upon various GTI communities (Apparently a lot of the vocal owners online are architects, engineers, designers, etc. Who knew?) So when a GTI meetup through the Malibu Canyons popped up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to meet some new LA folks and find out more about what others were doing to the cars in person, and regardless of how it was, it was guaranteed to be a fun drive!
I have gone to plenty of car meets and seen car clubs caravanning around LA, but I was not expecting to find more than 2 dozen GTIs in a parking lot at 8:30AM. First, the casual meet and greet over coffee as we huddled up to go over the proposed route. We were set to cruise Stunt Rd, Mulholland Hwy, Malibu Canyon Rd, Piuma Rd, PCH, and whatever fun roads we could find in between. The plan was one canyon run, usually 20-40 min and then find a spot to regroup and snap a few photos. There were 3 generations of GTIs there, some untouched and others heavily modified. While at one of the lookouts along the way an automotive journalist even pulled up reviewing the new Golf R. The huge group of GTIs made him do a double take, much like the new Golf R turned the heads of the GTI drivers. As quickly as people came together, the group drifted back to their respective parts of socal… but for those few hours of blissful canyon driving as a pack of GTIs, i certainly learned a ton about what my GTI could do (and become).
The pack of GTIs (and the view!) was quite the sight, as you can see in the pictures on the next page… If I was driving by the group, I know my curiosity would have the best of me and it would have been hard not to stop too!
Here’s the latest from our London based editor, Justine Aw.
A little red cottage has sprung up in the middle of Old Truman Brewery in East London. This unexpected iconic little cottage is a portal to Sweden for just three days to celebrate Sweden and offer us a taste of what Sweden has to offer, showcasing the regions of Skåne, West Sweden and Luleå. The use of the space within Old Truman Brewery is fantastic, complete with a moose head and reindeer and transforming the space into a fabulous dining room that manages to be decadent yet cozy and putting a beautiful emphasis on the kitchen too.
Tonight we were lucky enough to enjoy a taste of the Luleå region of Swedish Lapland with chef Richard Karlsson. And if our dinner was anything to go by, Luleå is delicious! Our evening opened with an unusual, but rather tasty birch sap wine, followed by three courses of delicacies including Kalix Löjrom (a delicious caviar collected only for a few short weeks each year), succulent grilled reindeer and a fantastic pie made from the gorgeous subarctic marsh growing cloudberry. More photos of our fantastic dinner on the next page!