On interesting presskit/packaging/art pieces that just came through - here’s the Nike Flyknit Puzzle Box by Ryan Gander in collaboration with The THING Quarterly! This is something little kid me would have totally geeked out about: wooden puzzles + puzzle boxes + the fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5,…)? I loved (and still love!) all of those things. Mix in geometric patterns as inspired by the Nike Flyknit -even better! A mix of walnut, cherry, elm, and birch wood show the “mathematically precise, non-geometric marquetry.” There are only 144 of these boxes in existence - and they chose an edition of 144 “based on the Fibonacci Sequence, representing the first perfect square,” that occurs in the sequence. I love the concept - though to be completely honest, i wish it was harder and the puzzle/sequence reference had a bit more depth! That being said, it’s a truly unique shoebox surrounded by lovely packaging and holding black and white flyknits I’m adoring the design of. It’s a fun way of getting people to think about the patterns that exist everywhere! Check out the details on the next page!
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The “spiritual home” of the London Design Festival, the Victoria and Albert Museum is always filled with fun contrasts between classical masterpieces and modern design interventions. This year was no exception, with some fascinating installations throughout the museum. Here are just a few of our favorite pieces, from the mesmerizing Candela by Felix de Pass, Michael Montgomery and Ian McIntyre to Disobedient Objects, a new exhibit exploring the role of objects in activism, to Precision & Poetry in Motion, a kinetic sculpture created by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby with BMW that rotates and reflects within the Raphael Gallery, and more…
This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way! I know, i’m jumping around a little, but with so many pictures and experiences to share with you guys from this Alberta adventure, i’m working through it bit by bit!
The most inspiring things to me have always been exploring nature and art+tech+design. So while exploring all that Alberta has to offer (or what is possible in a mere week with such a HUGE province)… when we were heading out of the Alberta National Parks to Calgary, I heard about Beakerhead, a “smash up of art, science, and engineering”… which is right up our alley! They describe it as when Calgary turns into a hands on laboratory - “it’s a time and place where engineers show their creative sides, and artists get technical, where science hits the street, and everyone gets ingenious.” Throughout the week, there were workshops for kids and adults, engaging talks and performances, and it sounds like all around playful inspiration! They even had “Canada’s first sustainable energy ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room. The 16-bucket wheel gently rotates while diners are treated to a multi-course molecular gastronomy meal created by esteemed Calgary chef Nicole Gomes, a contestant on Top Chef Canada,” called the Periodic Table - unfortunately all the tickets were sold out!
We managed to get back to Calgary just in time to see the displays at Little Big Street and Beakernight. They felt a bit like a mini Makerfaire/Burning Man/Design week combo of sorts with a Calgary flair. Even The Uncommons (which we just featured) had a pop up shop in a Pod shipping container! There was a huge discoball on a crane, a structure made of sticks, an inflatable living room, interactive/3D printed Absolut installations, a rideable hippo, a flame shooting octopus and more… take a peek at what we found on the next page!
Another of my highlights from the Design Interactions program was Endless Forms/Endless Species: Explorations in an Evolutionary Development Park by Kathryn Fleming. I loved her combination of imaginary creatures alongside taxidermy and beautifully illustrated field guides. The almost Seussical creations are the charming inhabitants of a fantastical Regent’s Park. We’d love to find wild High Wire Herbivores, Ground Working Insectivores and Retro Reflective Carnivores! See it all up close 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!
Wow. Here is the unboxing of the first edition of CONTAINER from ARTOMATIC. “A new publication about the nature and culture of objects — a magazine that takes the idea of varying content from different contributors beyond the standard format of a printed book.” This first issue , #1: Hot&Cold is a fascinatingly fun theme, and all the artists/contributors took varying twists on the theme in a variety of mediums! The result has been my desk covered in fascinating objects that i seem to notice new details in every time i poke at them further… and all encased in… a CONTAINER, in this case, a styrofoam mini ice chest of goodies (how appropriate?)
This first edition of CONTAINER is limited to 200, and each is individually numbered and signed by each contributor. While i’ve been fascinated by this collection for some time now, the hardest part about writing this post is how much there is in here! Truly this new publication has held my interest (and helped inspire me) far longer than most print mags which i often read through in a few minutes. And beyond what is in the box itself, the digital side is equally fascinating - there is a whole CONTAINER development tumblr, which is an AMAZING look at the random thoughts, design details, and prototypes that lead to the objects in the box now, as well as the CONTAINER blog, with even more stories! The truth is, seeing, feeling, playing with the objects is only the tip of the iceberg to these though provoking pieces. This one contains objects from Accept & Proceed, James Bridle, Daniel Eatock, Malcolm Garrett, David Hieatt, Leila Johnston, Mother, Rebecca and Mike, Nic Roope & Violetta Boxill, John V Willshire, and each piece is manufactured in the UK exclusively for this edition of CONTAINER. The unboxing definitely had that magical Christmas morning feeling, of endless wonders to unwrap, so go take a peek at the unboxing on the next page, with the assistance of the (not so small) puppy!
Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she visits the London graduate showcases!
I popped over to the Central Saint Martins 2013 Degree Shows after a day at the Horniman Museum & Gardens and was delighted and surprised to see some of my beloved Natural History specimens within the show, through the illustrations of Gabriela Tomczyk. Natural history museums and art are a natural pairing, and this hasn’t been the first museum/grad show crossover, but it was fantastic to see some of my favorite specimens illustrated so beautifully!
Gabriela’s “London’s Natural Curiosities” took the form of a multi-fold brochure-like series of illustrations and featured some of my favorite London treasures, not only my beloved Horniman Museum & Gardens, but also the Grant Museum of Zoology (see our earlier post on the museum here) and Hunterian Museum. Her sketched pages look like a much friendlier and thoughtful guide to treasures in London and really communicate time taken to enjoy the details and a real appreciation for these museums (and their specimens) and the piece was titled I love that she included specimen numbers too as I recognized specimens like familiar friends! More photos on the next page and on Gabriela Tomczyk’s website and behance.
Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she visits the London graduate showcases!
Wandering through the halls of the Battersea campus during press day at Show RCA 2013, I turned the corner to find a beautiful table filled with iridescent natural history curios. I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous glass domes housing beautifully arranged butterfly wings, stunning pieces by Anabela Chan. Chan is a student in Goldsmithing and Metalwork and the intricate sculptures made from butterfly wings are part of her Beauty & The Beast Collection, which she has photographed beautifully. The artist even blew the glass domes herself! The stunning pieces are showcased alongside her jewellery range that also incorporate beautiful, iridescent natural history objects like parrot feathers, beetles and of course, minerals! More photos on the next page.
Parlour Lighting from Donna Bates. This playful series of lamps was inspired by the designer’s early years growing up on a farmyard near Ballyronan, Co. Derry. They look rather industrial and reminded me initially of lab glassware, but actually trace their origins to the milking parlor! The shape of the lamps is taken from the forms of receiving jars which are used to collect milk in the dairy. I love the rural, yet industrial inspiration! More photos on the next page.
This year Jaguar UK teamed up with RCA to create a design challenge for students of both the RCA’s automobile and textiles courses. Of the 9 group entries, the winning design on show in the Farmiloe building alongside the new F-TYPE comes from RCA students, Ewan Gallimore and Claire Miller. There’s some making imagery over at Carscoops. See more pictures of their sculpture at Clerkenwell on the next page!
I couldn’t help but stop as I caught a glimpse of the Cloud Leopard hanging through the open doorway of Craft Central at Clerkenwell Design Week. The stunning installation was cut by hand over five months by Nahoko Kojima of Solo Kojima and actually created right in Clerkenwell! Since it’s creation, the piece was unveiled at the Saatchi Gallery and has travelled extensively with Arte&Arte’s Miniartextil. More photos of this incredible piece on the next page.
Fun way to celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day, the artists over at Wieden & Kennedy are busy illustrating advice from moms for P&G’s Thank You, Mom. campaign and posting them up on their pinterest (there are 59 so far!)
To join in the fun ~ “What’s the best advice your mom gave you? Mothers give us the gift of wisdom through life lessons they pass down to their children. This Mother’s Day, P&G is honoring moms by creating a gallery of these beautiful bits of knowledge. Share yours using #momswisdom or on our Facebook page and it may be added to our gallery.” Fun idea, beautiful typography, and lots of sound (and some interesting) advice! Take a peek at some of my favorites so far on the next page…
Remember the upcoming Squadt Assembly show at Rotofugi I told you about earlier? Well, while i couldn’t make it out to Chicago for it… got lucky with the online lottery and got to build my own! Also Ferg posted a bunch of amazing pictures of the show! So take a peek on the next page of my unboxing of my latest Squadt and his arsenal… as well as the incredible show at Rotofugi!
In between Final Four games this weekend, we did a bit of exploring in Atlanta… running all over Buckhead, Midtown, 4th Ward, Inman Park, Decatur, Downtown, and more… and one thing i couldn’t help snapping pics of all over was the street art! From the fox chasing rabbits down the wall… to the huge NEVER GIVE UP under an overpass made up of XOs, to the Silhouette building that really has a huge on on it, to the massive basketball hoop billboard AT&T popped up by Georgia Dome, to the “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell —- Satan” billboard, ATL shaped playground for kids… and so much more… it was awesome inspiration! Check out what we found on the next page…
p.s. Didn’t bring a real camera with me this trip, so all things Atlanta are coming from the HTC One i’m currently playing with…
Wow. Tonight Emilio Garcia presented ARThropod Brain by Tokyoplastic at the Toy Art Gallery… and it is spectacular. Brains + bugs + 3D printing + hand painted high gloss metallics + skull faces + giant jumping brains and so much more… and a chance to meet the artists who have inspired NOTCOT for years now in person! It’s crazy to see that after 8 years of NOTCOTness, and over 53,000 posts that have made the front page of NOTCOT.org over the years, we’ve been writing about Tokyoplastic since the first thousand posts! (Their geisha drum machine flash piece is a classic, and we still reference it regularly) There has also been much love for Emilio Garcia’s Jumping Brains on NOTCOT for years, and they adorn the walls and shelves in NOTlabs too! Fanboying aside - these guys have been great inspiration over the years, and meeting them in person, and seeing this latest collection of work was incredible!
So back to the ARThropod Brain opening tonight is not only a beautiful collection of work, but technologically, it was great to hear that this collaboration came together through their digital models (where you can easily see Emilio’s brain motifs merging with the anatomically precise anthropods of Tokyoplastic) ~ which were then 3D printed by Shapeways, and then hand painted to have their metallic sheens. A nice example of taking 3D printing to the next level to create beautiful works of art - and digital collaboration from across countries! Take a peek at the show details on the next page, as well as Emilio’s new Skull Brains, and some huge jumping brains too!
Tonight’s graphic design lust object ~ Spencer Charles’ Map Of The Known Universe which he designed as an intern for the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. in Seattle, WA (part of the 826 National family) 30” wide x 20” tall map. Double-sided, four-color offset print on fine 85-lb. paper sealed with a matte fingerprint-resistant finish. Flat, for easy framing… check it out on the next page!
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!
Last night I got a sneak preview of this year’s Kinetica Art Fair, celebrating the intersection of science and design and an incredible showcase of innovative sculptures and installations. More photos of the vast array of some of the optical illusions and playful kinetic sculptures that toy with light and design on the next page!
There is an amazing Gorilla that appears to be leaning on an ad/bench at Pacific and Brooks in Venice that i drive by every few days and have been meaning to stop and take a pic of for ages! To my delight, today on Yo! Venice!, they have shared the new mural above that just popped up on Abbot Kinney on the side of Topo Ranch… and even better, it brought me to the world of Isabelle Alford-Lago’s amazing gorillas! This Santa Cruz native went to USC, and currently works and lives right here in Venice, CA ~ which explains why so many of her gorilla murals have been popping up nearby. Take a peek at some of my favorites on the next page!
This post is presented by Virgin Atlantic ~ Clubhouse [kluhb-hous] (v): The art of enjoying one’s time before a journey in an exquisite manner unique to Virgin Atlantic. How do you Clubhouse? Send us a picture of you enjoying your favorite Clubhouse experience on Twitter or Instagram, using the #HowIClubhouse. Well, to see how WE clubhouse, Virgin Atlantic invited us to check out their latest lounge in EWR (Newark, NJ).
It seemed only appropriate that with all of this twitter/instagram fun around #HowIClubhouse, that we share our adventure lounging at the brand new Virgin Atlantic Newark Clubhouse through Instagram photos! From the fun decor (tons of designer seating, lighting, and more) - to the beautiful mirrored, geometric bar (and delicious drinks) ~ to the screening room ~ to the Mirror Cube of infinite instagram mirrored madness of an installation we built right here in our NOTlabs… We hear that this lounge is so coveted that the British Airways passengers in the lounge next door often try to buy their way into the Clubhouse because, “every night seems like a party.” Rumor has it that with two flights a day at 8am and 8pm, people come straight from work to have a few drinks before their flight, as well as dinner (or breakfast if you’re there for the 8am)! It’s a beautiful space to relax and unwind pre-flight, and there are so many fun design details… take a peek at how our friend and photographer Jessica clubhoused for us on the next page!
Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.
We’ve been watching the installation in Canary Wharf’s Middle Dock coming together from their beginnings as just a single strand of floating paper boats to their current complete form. The installation is titled Voyage and is the work of Aether & Hemera. The boats house individually programmable RGB LEDs controlled by a system including an Arduino, a Rasperry Pi as DHCP and Web server, a wireless access point, bespoke DMX circuitry and and software that lets visitors change the patterns and colors of the lights by connecting to the specialized local wireless network and visiting voyage.co.uk (see videos later in the post!).
I love the way the boats play off the reflections in the water of themselves, the passing DLR and skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. They’re beautiful, making the most of the long winter nights. The installation will remain in the wharf until Friday, February 15, 2013.