Inspiration comes not only in all shapes and sizes, but from literally anywhere... and all of us at NOTCOT have a particular fascination with the inspiration from nature (ok some more than others, since Justine picks nature over design with her phd studies!)... So when we heard about the new deep sea species found in Antarctica, and then found these high res images and video of them, we swooned. And realized we HAD to post them. Here's what we found out from the Australian Antarctic Division: "The return of the last of three Antarctic marine science research vessels marks the culmination of one of Australia's most ambitious International Polar Year projects, a census of life in the icy Southern Ocean known as the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census (CEAMARC). Australia's Aurora Australis and collaborating vessels L'Astrolabe (France) and Umitaka Maru (Japan) have returned from the Southern Ocean, their decks overflowing with a vast array of ocean life including a number of previously unknown species collected from the cold waters near the East Antarctic land mass." Some of the shapes and curves of these are just incredible... don't those tunicates look like glassy hearts? Lots of imagery after the jump!
Entries tagged with: animals
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It's incredible what can be done with raw silkworm chrysalises. While at FORDBRADY last week for Dwell's cocktail party, i was immediately drawn to the work of Angus Hutcheson. He creates some breathtaking lighting pieces by wiring up hundreds of silk worm cocoons for wall, floor, ceiling, and table lamps, which come in both white and black, and the natural variation in the cocoons creates such a mesmerizing effect, particularly when casting fabulously dramatic shadows. The only thing that i couldn't help feeling was... what if they missed one! What if one of the moths was waiting to emerge... and found myself peering into all of the tiny chrysalises. Images below of the lamps, as well as a roundup of from Angus' collection.
As i'm sure most regular NOTCOT readers have noticed ~ my background and those of our few contributors is quite varied, but passion-filled! Justine and i grew up heavily inspired by both design and nature, and as a result i'm here doing NOTCOT, and she's helping out when not busy finishing up her PhD in Animal Behavior and fencing... we grew up surrounded by all types of creatures, so it should be no surprise that we're smitten with Life in Cold Blood, and i'm anxiously awaiting the DVDs... Here's what she has to say about Attenborough's latest:
Those of us lucky enough to be in the UK have caught our first look at the final installment in David Attenborough's "Life" series. And this final series is a group particularly near and dear to my heart, the herps! "Life in Cold Blood" takes a look at the world's diversity of reptiles and amphibians. The first episode: "The Cold-Blooded Truth" did not disappoint, packed full of gorgeous footage and remarkable creatures.
The making of ("Under the Skin") was equally exciting, including glimpses of Attenborough in the early days of his career. The man is, without question, a legend. As a zoologist in training, I think I can honestly say, his documentaries have been an inspiration. And the producers of the series may just have outdone themselves again. You owe it to yourself to check out the BBC Life in Cold Blood site in its entirety of clips and goodies, but here are couple shots to whet your appetite after the jump!
DVD and Book are at the BBC Shop... which all Planet Earth lovers simply must have.
This one goes out to all the carnivores, biologists, and butchers who read NOTCOT... i went by the opening at GR2 saturday night, and when i popped by the original Giant Robot store, i couldn't help it but i totally had to buy two of these silly Gotochi Dissection Animals... See? I buy things sometimes not because i need or want them, but because i just really want to take a bunch of pictures to share with you. So after the jump you can see my full coffee table photoshoot of a tiny bull and tuna showing what i imagine to be the different edible anatomical portions of both - check out images of the packaging, and fun closeups of both... as well as all the other models GR has in store.
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
On random holiday gifts ~ my father and sister just got back from the Amazon ~ and brought me a pile of amazonian craftiness. It's pretty incredible what they can carve into a brazil nut! (the snake, octopus, and ant)... and although these certainly aren't the same as getting to have their incredible adventures living on a boat ~ fishing and exploring the Amazon ~ wrestling caymans ~ capsizing dingies ~ following monkeys ~ playing football barefoot on the beach ~ and watching a million and one species of insects smack into the boats lights nightly... these are still pretty fascinating! Also check out the spear below that you tie a string to, mount on a bamboo stick, and use to fish the old fashioned way...
Creature by Andrew Zuckerman... i've been pretty obsessed with this book since the post, but been so slow and busy i hadn't gotten around to ordering it until making the gift guides (it showed up on Day 28 and Day 21)... at which point my mom apparently took the hint and ordered it. Well good news + bad news. The book is BREATHTAKING, even more so in person with the large coffee table format. I wish i could have ordered a copy for everyone i know... truly incredible. The bad news is... she happened to order it from Powell's (the largest independent bookstore!) instead of our usual Amazon since she had some credit to use up... and unfortunately the packing wasn't quite up to par and being the book/product junkie that i am, its driving me absolutely mad that the corners were all bashed up, and the bottom right corner of all of the pages are buckling a bit... enough to notice when flipping through such pristine white pages... oh, and somehow this copy has it looking like the cat on the cover is crying green... So, as my random Saturday night post, just wanted to vent slightly, and let you know i'm suddenly reminded why its more satisfying to buy things in person sometimes... in brick and mortar stores... or sticking to super huge giants who take too much care in packaging for survival during the holiday season! more images of some of the awesomeness within, as well as what's driving me crazy.
For Gift Guide Day 21, i teamed up with RUGenius to bring you some of our favorite nature inspired finds, this is only part one, since as far as flora and fauna go, we accidentally filled today with fauna... so part two focused on flora coming tomorrow! And as a side note, i'm a bit disappointed i can't REALLY buy a crocodile for $50, a sheep for $45, or a camel for $175... well i can, just not ship it to a friend as a surprise... loving the Oxfam America Unwrapped initiative though.
NOTCOT Note: Here's another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
I have long admired Eric Feng's (aka Feric) illustrations. His work is gorgeous - a mixture of real and imagined and of natural and mechanical. I love the fantastical, mechanical anatomies of his characters, and how you are given a peek at what is beneath through transparent layering.
Limited edition giclée prints of Feric's work are available at his online store. They are fairly pricey for a digital print, but I could almost be tempted because I love some of his pieces so much ("Roda. Continue" - I'm talking about you!). Worth checking out at the very least!
So continuing from where the last post lead us (from Triops and Sea Monkeys to venus fly traps and praying mantis to ant farms to gel antfarms and gel plant kits)... the gels. So as we began to read into the variations of these gel ant farms and also being able to watch seeds grow roots in this magical mystery gel, we got really curious and wanted to find just the gel (imagine what you could design with it). And along the way we remembered the plant water gel crystals that soak up tons of water that you can grow plants in. The only problem with those was can you crush them up, mix with warm water, and mold it to be smooth like jello? (we don't know, do you?) Then we also discovered jello pudding cup like 6 packs of root gel... and than i finally tracked down some manufacturers in china that actually sell the magical ant farm gel (and ant farms in hills and boots ~ see pictures below to make sense of that). Also did you know some people are using this same gel for dieting?!?!?! You eat it, then drink a ton of water which it will soak up, and it will make you feel full?
After finding this brilliantly packaged National Geographic Kids: Fossil Regeneration Unit on Cherryflava ~ it launched into what became quite a crazy thread of research and random toy discoveries... but before i head there...
I'm glad the Cherryflava folks were ignorant enough to call these Sea Monkeys, because it launched a bit of debate between some of us, and we were quite sure that the Triops they were growing were far larger and of a very different species (more like mini horseshoe crabs?). They do however sell kits that are quite similar to the Sea Monkey process, but none nearly as cool looking as this direct mailer kit the agency FoxP2 (check out their site, it is awesome the way they approach branding) created for National Geographic Kids.
From here we dug up videos of Sea Monkeys and Triops... and every Triop kit out there... and then every crazy insta-pet kit from our childhoods as well as what else is new out there! (i.e. venus fly traps and praying mantis to frogs to butterflies to ant farms to gel antfarms and gel plant kits) See more images below to follow along...
Not much to say here... but i'm not sure why the systematic destruction of chocolate bunnies to eerie music in their pastel worlds in three scenes is so satisfying this morning. Watch Sander Plug's Chocolade Haas - Commissioned by Cut-n-Paste for Grote Kunst voor Kleine Mensen (Big Art for Small People) In collaboration with: Lernert Engelberts.
Wow. I'm glad i don't have kids of my own this holiday season... because between these new Muji Woody nature inspired toys and the ikea ones i recently posted... they are so adorably well designs and well priced, my whole floor would be covered in these things! (Although, how fun would it be to run a preschool with only designer goods? It would be a fun way to set the standard extra high for all these kids from day one!). So here we have everything from wood DIY Dodos (my fav), blue whale, turtle, mammoth... a chalkboard globe! Woody hedgehogs... a zoo in a bag! (every executives desk clearly needs this)... and even an evolutionary puzzle to learn from. More images and more toys below.
Just noticed these new polystrene bird houses over at Design*Sponge this morning, and when i went to see more of Benjamin Hubert's work, just got giddy. These are some of his concept pieces made out of polystrene: HUG plant pots/ pot warmers that are both insulatory and encouraging as they "look after plants" with a hug shaped form (although to me they do look a wee bit pouty), and the Polynests, which are insulating bird houses with a twig for a perch! Also browsing through his older works, love the Crtl+Z eraser and the upside down umbrella fruitbowls (Yum Brella Bowls) which are below.
One of the most inspiring things is still nature, between all the jaw dropping art and design i see daily, sit me at the beach and i could watch the birds and ocean for ages... you know exactly what i mean (if not, go rent some Planet Earth in HD or something, and i feel very sad for you). Anyhow, that being said, and just to mix things up a little here to regain some perspective before we go back to traditional design content... a few weeks back when i was over at the Revl Industries showroom, i met Toni Gorog and learned about this interesting project she's working on in Indonesia and below are some images of the photography from the event as well:
June 2nd, the Revel Industries showroom in SF was hodge podge of Indonesian dangdut music, great Mondavi wines, margaritas by Angelita, and spicy Mexican snacks. The hip workspace/office—home of Headline Shirts, Gytha Mander, and Revl—was transformed into a classy photo gallery of pix by Erick Danzer featuring the faces of Indonesia and the biodiversity of the world's largest island archipelago. The benefit fundraiser was held to support the work of the non-profit Health In Harmony in rural Indonesia. HIH's mission is to improve both human and environmental health in West Kalimantan, one of the country's poorest provinces. Using health care discounts at their new medical clinic as an incentive, the 501(c)(3) works with communities around Gunung Palung National Park, a stronghold for one of the few remaining populations of orangutans, to protect the park from illegal logging. The NGO also offers local people ecologically-friendly work opportunities, such as organic farming and reforestation, to cover health care costs. See Health In Harmony for more information and keep your eyes open for future events at Revel to support Health In Harmony's medical/conservation program in Indonesia.
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.
It's not what you have, its how you use it. This Wall Invaders set by french design team Radi Designers, is perfect example of how else you can use a a dart gun, rubber stamps, and an ink pad... well, combined with a wall. Not much to say here really, but visually and conceptually this one made me giggle a little... also reminded me of the opening scene from A Scanner Darkly... imagine if he had been shooting the bugs he *saw* with this gun...
The aluminum monkeys of Markolijn Mandersloot decorate the Bredeschool Malburcht in Graslaan, Arnhem (2006). Breathtakingly taunting and playful, i wish i had these at my school as a kid! Although i would have probably spent most of the time doodling the monkeys outside my windows. Love her work, more images from this piece below.
On interesting trends ~ the bird/nature inspired trend doesn't seem to be fading anytime soon, and an interesting emerging trend are the use of feathers (to go with the many bird silhouettes we've been seeing the last man months?)... Turtle Dove Feather Headband at Free People. It adds an interesting texture to the look, so natural, yet so controlled, and a nice contrast in the black and white. They also have two peacock feather variations.