Just noticed these cute DWR exclusives, Moderne Wood Animals, designed by Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham. The description reads, “The founders of the Chicago design firm called Uusi, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham are graphic artists who have produced work for Herman Miller®, Sharpie and Prismacolor. Their Moderne Wood Animals (2011) are crafted from American black walnut and white oak veneer that’s finished with nontoxic, odorless mineral oil. The designers selected these woods for their beautiful grain and because they are materials that have a rich history in the production of American-made objects. A lot of attention goes into how the direction of the wood grain falls across the form of each animal, making each sculpture a unique piece. The Bear, Bull and Horse were inspired by the Chauvet Cave paintings discovered in France and believed to be artwork from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. Each animal is packed in a box featuring an illustration of what’s inside. Very simple assembly required; the animals are comprised of a few pieces that need to be slotted together. Made in U.S.A.” ~ I love the shapes! It’s like the simplified/modernized version of those old wood toy skeletons of dinosaurs and such that you’d pop apart and slot together! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
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Catch up with the latest from London with our UK-based editor Justine Aw.
You may noticed the little spectacled cormorant in our post on the Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition. The cormorant is part of the visual identity of the exhibition, created by Peter Hodgson of Goodpilot. Having a strong visual identity throughout the show really helps tie all of the diverse pieces together. Here is a closer look at the visual identity work from the show, including the lovely logo and series of ghost stories and other materials. Read more about the stories behind the posters here.
Here’s the latest from our London-based editor Justine Aw
Naturalists and art lovers are in for a treat with the stunning exhibition Ghosts of Gone Birds. Ghosts is the brainchild of filmmaker Ceri Levy and Chris Aldhouse of Goodpilot and an exhibition which captures and celebrates extinct bird species and raises awareness and funds for conservation. The show includes over 300 pieces created by an army of 120 artists, writers and musicians (see the full list here and all proceeds from the show will aid conservation through Bird Life International.
Those who can’t catch the show in London can still purchase some of the gorgeous prints through the online shop, but I would strongly recommend heading down to see this amazing show in person if you can. The exhibition runs until November 23rd at the Rochelle School in Shoreditch, full details here. In the meantime, take a look at the show through our eyes with our photo gallery of personal highlights and Ghost’s facebook page.
Tattoos & Tentacles is a book by photographer Julian Murray… and it is precisely what it sounds like (though the octopi don’t seem to be alive)… and it might be NSFW, but there’s a SFW peek inside the book on the next page!
Wow. SO CUTE. The various species of boobies (red-footed, brown, etc) and sharp coastline are amazing! These are also in from my dad’s adventures in Christmas Island (which according to wikipedia - The mountain was originally a volcano, and some basalt is exposed in places such as The Dales and Dolly Beach, but most of the surface rock is limestone accumulated from the growth of coral over millions of years. “The summit of this mountain peak is formed of a succession of tertiary limestones ranging in age from the Eocene (or Oligocene) up to recent reef-deposits, with intercalations in the older beds of volcanic rocks.”)… so far you’ve seen the insane crabs… see the rest of the bird and jagged coastline pics on the next page!
Freshly returned from his latest adventure, my dad just sent over pictures of some of the amazing robber crabs, red crabs, and other random crabs he found in Christmas Island. They are HUGE! And gorgeous! And amazing! Take a look on the next page!
Last night, popped by the latest show of Peter Gronquist, The Evolution Will Be Fabulous at Gallery 1988 in Venice. It’s AMAZING, definitely something worth checking out in person, because the mix of gilded luxe brands, weaponry, skeletons and taxidermy are just something you can’t completely comprehend through pictures… the shear scale of things is pretty mesmerizing in real life. But for now, take a peek at some pics and details on the next page!
One of my highlights of this year’s 100% Design event would have to be finally seeing the amazing animal chairs from Maximo Riera in person! You may remember his octopus chair which we previously featured here and more recent rhino and walrus additions. These beautiful throne-like pieces of furniture are even more amazing to behold in person. The detailing on the animals is exquisite and incredibly realistic. Another feature that is evident upon seeing the chairs is their enormous size! Like the animals they are designed to reflect, these pieces are truly colossal. More photos of the beautiful walrus, rhino and octopus chairs on the next page!
While Nalden and I were cruising to the Monaco helipad to catch our ride back to Nice airport this morning, there was a loop of an intersection that confused me far too much, and this bizarre concrete truck/cow thing on a building nearby… so, luckily the quick snapshots came out so i can show you what i’m talking about! I only found two other pics online. Any one know what the story is?
On great escapes, the Orient Express (and their Journey Like No Other) seems to know how to do it ~ this week in particular we’ve been hiding out at La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca, Spain in between trips (See the madness surrounding this escape and a peek at the views at night). I can guarantee your stress levels will drop ten fold even from the drive in from Palma (or via private jet)… the softly twisting roads bring you deeper into the island’s canyons and terraced lush green hillsides. The hotel and surrounding town have apparently changed little over the last few decades, and before joining the Orient Express family in 2002 was owned by Richard Branson since the late 80s, and a favorite escape for many high profile clients over the years. Luxurious accommodations, great service, and breath taking views… not to mention divine tapas… while you have multiple pools, tennis, spa and lots of hiking, sailing, and more available, it’s hard to beat taking a few hours curled up on the patio of our suite staring out at the mountains and ocean… so take a peek inside the Alfabia suite, our ridiculously large bathroom, luscious four poster bed (with tv that pops out from the foot of the bed)… in addition to a few other fun details ~ from the call buttons that are poolside… to the various donkeys, sheep, and olive groves around the property (which they make their own olive oil from!) as well as an organic garden next to the spa!
p.s. You have to see the amazing little cove that is a quick walk/hike down into the canyons to the water…
Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!
20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!
A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!
Staying at a friend’s in Dogpatch, San Francisco ~ we wandered over to Serpentine for brunch today, and of course ended up next door at NOTCOT favorite, Triple Aught Design’s store/studio! In addition to checking out all their new wares, i love that they have made a morale patch for the area. “The origins of morale patches trace back to the fighter plane nose art of World War I. During the VIetnam War, units often created ironic, humorous morale patches.” This one is their homage to their Dogpatch location. Take a peek at both the Dogpatch patch, as well as the Ranger Eyes (mini, rubber, and glow in the dark) on the next page.
Teaser from the Keystone Design Union just came through with these awesome designs featuring iconic creatures of the pacific northwest for K2 Snowboards’ 25 Year Anniversary Collection. I’m already lusting after all of the stickers and shirts ~ everything from owls and beavers ~ bears and deer ~ to bigfoot! Nice black and white, fun “Don’t Mess With The North West” slogan, and illustrations that just scream ROAR. Take a look at more graphics on the next page!
Last night we stayed at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz, and from the balcony there was an amazing view of the wharf, boardwalk, and the bay… and all night we heard a mix of waves crashing, fog horn going, and what sounded like tons of sea lions barking… but we never saw them! When i asked about the upon check out ~ i didn’t believe the woman that they were all tucked away on the pylons beneath the wharf… so, first stop was the wharf! And she wasn’t kidding… you have to see it for yourself ~ they balance and nap beneath the wharf on the thin pylons. They even leap up on to them (sometimes after many tries and much splashing) ~ and you can get closer to all of them than at a zoo, etc. It’s fascinating. They are SO loud with the echo created under the wharf. You can peek at them at a few spots ~ under the wharf, on the floating barge near the boat launch, and through various areas in the center of the wharf near the far end… Endlessly amusing, and a gorgeously sunny day in Santa Cruz ~ take a peek at our post-car-weekend adventure on the next page…
More fun from Gallery 1988 Melrose’s opening tonight… remember the tiny dino herds i got a few months back? Well Jay Ryan has even more fun migration paintings in this show! Adorable rhinos, mammoths, bison, and brontos… check them out on the next page, or see them in person at the opening tonight!
On fun emails ~ my dad just got back from Sitka and sent over some adorable Brown Bear pics. Turns out they are from one of his favorite non-profits that he visits a few times a year ~ Fortress of the Bear… “a 501 (c)3 non-profit education and rescue center with an exquisite three-quarter acre habitat for orphaned Brown Bear cubs complete with covered viewing areas.” Mind blowing that the tiny cubs he saw in the years past are now 300-600lbs cubs! And apparently these Sitka Browns “represent a distinct population, genetically dissimilar from any other bear. Research suggests these bears are remnants of a Polar bear population stranded in Southeast Alaska following the last ice age.” Interesting, right? Rumor has it they may have started as browns that turned white to adapt (and into polar bears of the region) only to evolve back to browns to adapt again… Regardless, it sounds like a beautiful, playful, peaceful space for orphaned cubs to call home, and definitely a better alternative to the usual reaction of shooting them! Some grow up to move to zoos around the country, others live out their days there… and all get delicious salmon and food from local fisherman, restaurants, and more! So, if you’re ever in Sitka, Alaska go visit (and support!) Fortress of the Bear! Take a peek at more of the pics he sent over on the next page.
Popped by Dwell on Design in LA today ~ highlight? CHICKENS! Particularly mod wooden chicken coops by 100xBTR and Chicken Co-op. Fun, playful, and perfect for your modern rooftops and yards ~ i love the seeing designs that enable more and more folks to expand their sustainable hyper-local/home grown possibilities… (without sacrificing their innovative design loving tendencies). Read to see the chickens and more of the fun little details (and full views) of these pre-fab chicken estates? To the next page!
Justine went to check out the incredible RCA 2011 Graduate show! Here’s a peek at what she found…
One highlight for me was the work of Jack Smith! My favorite of his pieces was the Birdbox, a flat packable birdhouse composed of two flat plywood pieces that assembles easily to form a cozy birdhouse. So beautiful in its simplicity, you simply must check out its pieces and how it comes together! See it all on the next page!
Justine was sharing this incredibly intriguing project she found happening in the UK… supposedly its like Farmville, but in real life… while still online… anyhow, take a peek below at what she has to share about it!
Last month, the National Trust launched the MyFarm project, which creates and bridges digital communities with the daily realities of farming. Although the project was heralded by the BBC and others as “FarmVille meets reality”, those behind the project are clear to stress that this is not a game. Instead, the community of 10,000 online Farmers have a direct impact on the workings of the farm at National Trust’s Wimpole Estate and are effectively working with farm manager Richard Morris to decide how it should be run. The first MyFarm vote took place last month, with internet farmers voting to grow wheat and that decision is already being implemented!
The project is a fascinating mix of real and virtual worlds and demonstrates a great use of digital and social media to raise awareness about the National Trust and British farmers. It also provides unrivaled access to a working farm. No matter where you are, you can follow the estate on twitter (@WimpoleEstateNT) as well as farm manager, Richard Morris (@farmermorris) as he goes on his rounds to check on the farm and reports on the many new arrivals (the last few days have seen many new piglets and calves!). They team have also just set up a dedicated MyFarm twitter account (@MYFarmNT) and an account for Emma who looks after the Shire horses (@EmmaMyFarm). The Shires are one to watch at the moment, with a new streaming cam for MyFarmers to be able to watch the pregnant Queenie and hopefully witness the birth of a Shire foal live in the next week or so!
In addition to being a fascinating project, the Wimpole Estate is an incredible place to visit. Located just outside Cambridge, it is one of my favorite escapes, with a beautiful stately home and gardens as well as the farm. It is also home to many of my favorite rare breeds. The home farm is a Rare Breeds Survival Trust approved farm park, home to a number of rare breed livestock including horses, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. The estate also runs a great events/courses series. I recently learned to hand shear some rare breed sheep and may be back soon to try my hand at hedgelaying, blacksmithing or ferretting. The next MyFarm vote is coming up soon and is about a subject near and dear to me, SHEEP! So let’s get voting to save native breeds!
I love Helmut Lang. And i couldn’t help but share the ornithological aspect of their Resort 2012 collection when i was checking it out at Style.com. The imagery resembles X-Rays of the birds in flight ~ in a nice stark white on black… other pieces add a subtle touch of black feathers on their simple, architectural dresses. Visually mesmerizing, no idea how they’ll seem in person, but make for interesting pics. See close ups on the next page.
P.s. The model freaks me out a little, but when i tried to crop her head out it was even worse.
Baby turtles!!!! Our good friend and zoologist colleague Dr. Rob Holbrook sent me some amazing photos of his recent adventures in Sri Lanka. Despite traveling for pleasure rather than a zoological field trip, he managed to encounter some amazing animals! Of course he returned with awesome pictures ~ these are from the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project and the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. See all the pics on the next page!
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When American Express Membership Rewards approached us about sponsoring content around dream things we’ve been wanting to do ~ first thing to come to mind was GIRAFFE MANOR! Not sure why, but giraffes keep coming up lately (i blame the Petite Lap Giraffes) ~ and then the idea of hanging out in Nairobi… in a manor… where giraffes just pop their heads in? Fascinating, right?
When I first heard of Giraffe Manor, I wasn’t sure whether this giraffe lovers paradise could be real. The picturesque 1930’s manor house where you can get up close and personal with a herd of Rothschild Giraffe. The giraffes don’t just wander through the gardens, the may join you for breakfast or even visit your bedroom window like the opening scenes of the children’s cartoon 64 Zoo lane. Set within 12 acres of private land, Giraffe Manor is surprisingly easy to get to, only 20 km from the city of Nairobi. The hotel looks too amazing to describe in words, so check out more pictures on the next page (and the vintage archive pics are pretty amazing too!)
Seriously, did you just think of the Petite Lap Giraffes? They are everywhere, right?
Well, kicking off this Saturday, April 30th, Thinkspace Gallery is showcasing ‘Elements and Oddities’ from Jacub Gagnon and Yosuke Ueno. And i’ve just fallen for these dark detailed animal meet objecty paintings of Jacub Gagnon. Beautiful! Can’t wait to see them in person ~ check out a preview of some of my favorites on the next page!
So you’ve seen how beautiful my dad’s window seat views flying in to Christmas Island were… well i just raided his SD card full of Christmas Island adventures, and there were so many inspiring nature pics, i had to share them with you! It’s amazing to see how crisp and clear the water is… Take a peek at everything from octopi and shrimp, to sharks and mantas, to frigates and puffers… and more on the next page!
From the Royal College of Art, The Devil’s Pet candle by Thorunn Arnadottir… melt the adorable pink polygon cat to reveal its rather more sinister skeleton beneath… it’s eerie, a bit creepy, and i couldn’t stop staring. Close ups on the next page!