From ORG #4877, i discovered the typographic genius of Jeremy Pettis... and his zoological MIAD Senior Exhibition: Twenty Six Types of Animals, and i am obsessed with them. Brilliant fonts each reflecting the letter and characteristics of the animals. All bound into a gorgeous book with behind the scenes of the typography. And check out that carpet he took the pics on?
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While i tend to stay out of politics, and do keep it off this site... (although we did mention that Barack Obama started his own social network my.barackobama.com earlier - because it is interesting to see a candidate jump into the myspace/facebook realm)... i am impressed with the 008 The Movement campaign visuals: the nicely designed buttons, stickers, and shirts. Is Barack Obama trying to appeal to the designer set? Or does he really appreciate the importance of design? Anyhow, just wanted to show you some pics of the cool schwag.
Currently at the Messe Frankfurt, Stylepark curated a show called "The Design Annual". This year's theme is "Private Identity". We, 2x4, were asked to showcase our work in one of various "special booths" on the site. Instead, we opted to adapt the theme "Private Identity" and created a pop-up t-shirt store: the t-shirt as a sort of schizophrenic proclamation of identity, somewhere between brand and person. To lend the credibility to this concept, we created a series of 500 unique shirts that go into the store, offering 500 unique identities to the avid shopper. As soon as a shirt is bought, we take a picture of that person and file it back were the shirt used to be -- the shop slowly evolves into a catalogue of 500 individuals.
"Generation Praktikum", or "Generation Internship" is a fake "brand" that we invented for this purpose. It derives from a very famous German term, referring to the younger generation there, that, by loosing their job (prospects), also lost part of their identity.
On mysterious emails (leading to images and next to no info) too good to resist... here's the latest, apparently Generation Praktikum has a pop up exhibition over at the Frankfurt Fair "Design Annual" that is happening as i write this. All i know? It is brought to you by the brilliant NY based 2x4, and there are some very fun simple vacuum packed yellow tshirts and great portraits of people holding them behind this link. Will keep you posted as i find out more.
When is a store not a store? When the opening is a group of scenesters milling about in the street outside a 6x10 "come in we're CLOSED" store, as black dunhills and CC Tobias Wong limited edition (of 2500) matchbooks and mini cups of RUSSIAN water* (dispensed out of pumps in pockets) are for the taking from the kids wandering around with trays... The Wrong Store, as only artist-designer Tobias Wong and Gregory Krum, retail director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, could imagine it. As NYMag says, "the Wrong Store blurs design/fashion/art works by Richard Prince, Marcel Wanders, Herzog & de Meuron, Rodarte, Douglas Coupland, Maison Martin Margiela, Hella Jongerius, and others." Pics below of the odd experience you need to see to understand.
*russian water = Stoli vodka/gin... served permitless on the street.
Esque Studio - Mind-blowingly beautiful booth and blown glass, especially made me think of mr. chompers, and how he's growing out of his current home, and when time for a new terrarium Shade Elaine definitely needs one of these. This Portland based, eco friendly company (see time magazine blurb from their Style and Design 100 List) - creates some stunning works that embody such a fluid look... from terrariums, to hanging pieces, and even black glass skulls! More images below.
"esque is the leading american company in producing hand made, functional modern glass ware + accessories. the name esque refers to the suffix, + is a nod to the acknowledgement of outside influence + inspiration. esque evolved through the partnering of justin parker + andi kovel in 1996."
Since i was unable to attend Brooklyn Designs, luckily Sanam Petri had a chance to go and check out all the fantastic designs shown there earlier this week. Of them, she wrote me about "The Weirdest Exhibit: The guys at SSD (Site-Specific Design) have started a project that focuses on childhood memories, and features these giant, surreal bug-lamps. They’re supposed to be “whimsical,” but they really just creep me out."
These fascinating Bugs as well as their series of Tops, actually quite amused me, and did in fact bring out the childhood memories i've had with my sister spending hours playing with spinning tops and collecting and inspecting many an insect. Gorgeous how they've managed to streamline those themes into such a clean aesthetic while keeping it so playful. Looking forward to seeing more of their work at ICFF.
HEIRLOOM IS THE NEXT DISPOSABLE. MOSS ON A ROCK IS THE NEXT BOX OF GRASS. PLUG-INS ARE THE NEXT SCENTED CANDLES. GRAY IS THE NEXT CHOCOLATE BROWN. SMEG IS THE NEXT SUB-ZERO. LAVENDER IS THE NEXT HOT PINK. VELCRO IS THE NEXT MAGNET. FURNITURE IS THE NEXT KNITTING. Do you believe it? I'm not sure, but they are kind of funny to me right now. Fun images too in this New York Magazine slide show on the Next Everything.
Lower Hater - sometimes the simplest things can be endlessly inspiring and amusing... yesterday it was the Lower Hater gallery/store in - yup - Lower Haight, that opened in late Nov 06 and is on the corner of Haight and Steiner (if you've been down here, you've probably noticed the great window displays). Something about the smoking pigeon brings a smile to my face, and enamel pins with animal logos seems to work well (particularly in lower haight, remember the Doe Pin?)... adorable gallery, and some really fun art - currently they have quite a few pieces from NOTCOT favorite: Ben Collison!
Mrzyk & Moriceau have an incredible show on at the max lang gallery in NY - "A View To Kill" runs from April 26 - June 1, and they were kind enough to send some incredible pictures over to show you what you're missing. But first a quick note: on top of the many reasons (i.e. black and white, great dark/witty imagery like Penguins with Guns, great use of white walls and gallery spaces, that they send me mysterious emails) i already love this dynamic duo... they name most of their solo shows after bond films. (i played through every bond film in order in the background when crunching for my master's thesis project...)
"A View To Kill" features new works and a large-scale installation that will incorporate pieces by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, among others... so click on and see just how breathtaking it is.
Rich Tuzon - yes my latest obsession from the Samurai vs Cowboy theme (after a bit of argument, the consensus seems to be that samurais without ninjas would totally lose to the gun toting cowboys... beg to differ?)... Anyhow, a quick glance at his blog, and found that this pasadena artist has some great Zorro pieces. "These were done with the amazing Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes...It can load such a ginormous amount of liqiud and yet give such a consistent tip, that I feel I can extend a line for miles...and miles...and miles."
Gallery 1988's SF space just opened tonight, in time with APE, and The Indie was an incredible show. Honestly what i'd hoped I Am 8-bit would be more like. The art was amazing, and if i had to pick one piece that has been stuck in my head since, its Rich Tuzon's "Samurai vs. Cowboy"... as well as his other cowboy themed pieces... They feel like the manlier version of Audrey Kawasaki's pieces in a way... (and the other one up there is Graham Annable's "Space Saddness"). Incredible selection of artwork, you can see more of them at the 1988 The Indie page, and pictures from the opening in Gallery NOTCOT... and a few more below.
I Am 8-Bit @ Gallery 1988 - So i made it afterall - quick one night trip to LA, figured i'd stop by. Gut reaction from the show? Overhyped. And i haven't seen a line like that for a gallery in... forever? It felt like a hipsterfest line up for an amusement park ride or something, absolute madness. And it is a Tues night! Amusing to see the GameJew wandering around in his shirtless mario overalls... mtv took over a corner in the tiny gallery... g4 was interviewing artists on the sidewalk... and the line practically went around the block... not to mention the insane packed party out back with giant gaming going on.
Oh... and there was art too. Some great pieces from our faves like Stella Im Hultberg, Amy Sol, Luke Chueh, and so many more... and a surprisingly large number of rather dreary mario scenes... a giant snake sculpture... window full of pixelblocks... Might need to go back when the crowds settle... it was a strange mix, as colin pointed out to me, you heard a lot more "omg, thats donkey kong/super mario/[insert game name here]" than "wow, thats an incredible painting". To see my mass of unedited images from the night see I Am 8-Bit in Gallery NOTCOT.
Ink on paper. Hand drawn typography turning intricate messages into incredible images... smitten by the work of Fiodor Sumkin. And the story of this artist is quite a fascinating read as well... starting as "I was born in a Byelorussian family of artists. As a child I loved drawing and painting from an early age. I left school at the age of 16...." and continuing to draft dodging to Moscow, showing in Milan and Rome, Paris living, and now an illustrator based in Amsterdam... "For the last three years I've been living without a passport. I've been using my girlfriend's credit cards and can actually travel freely because there is not much passport control within Europe." More of his incredible works below... these are my favorites.
Today was one of those sundays, the ones where you get a big burst of inspiration from so many new places... spent far too much time wandering about in the sun, people watching on haight, climbing up to the top of a park and staring out at the city... and then finding a treasure trove of designers, artists, and portfolios online that i'd never noticed before. Basically hours have passed and there is too much i'm dying to post ~
On fun simple gorgeous portfolio interfaces, i'm loving the simplicity of Soren Hald's photography portfolio, the subtle rollovers (and frames), the way the whole strip recenters as you click... and the way it fits nicely regardless of width. Not to mention the stunningly playful images presented. (This and many other paths of inspiration today via Andrei Robu)
It's no secret, i'm a huge fan of Hulger - design, concepts, graphics, the people! So excited to share with you their latest launches for Milan Design week ~ since they have so much great info in their latest email, pasting the details below with more images of the two gorgeous new phones they've done for Spazio Rossana Orlandi - the ASTOR & SOPHIA (that's Sohpia up there). These bluetooth headsets are more gorgeous than any other you will find... until their next, and i hear there are some reaaaaaaaally great ones launching soon as well.
On exciting gallery news ~ two big announcements from Gallery 1988. 1) it is time for gamer inspired art again with "i am 8-bit" - seriously one of the best group shows every year. Opening is on April 17th. 2) they are opening a San Francisco gallery! Grand opening with "The Indie: an art show celebrating alternative press artists" - including some of our long time favorites like Jason Sho Green. Opening is on April 21st.
While i can't personally make the LA opening this year (if someone is going, want to cover it and take some pics for us?) ~ Shade Elaine and i will be at the SF opening for sure, so feel free to let us know if you'll be there!
Büro North, a design studio based in Australia and founded by Soren Luckins in 2004, does it all. While their print work is impressive, what really interested me are their environmental designs and sculptures. Pictured above is the cover and sleeve design for Inside Magazine which illustrates their "belief that creativity is not dictated by your surroundings." So true. How many designers do you know who are working out of their homes or a less than stellar office setting? A lot of amazing work is being created outside of what many of us would consider dream studios which I think is pretty amazing in itself (but I'm still dreaming of that future super studio..!). Check out a larger image from Inside Magazine and more of Büro North's work after the jump!
Here at NOTCOT, a picture is worth more than any words could ever say ~ and following that perfectly, i got a mysterious email from Moriceau Mrzyk with a subject line saying "we love notcot!" and no body, just 4 images... 4 images that i can't stop staring at... breathtakingly playful and black and white, pushing the way you view frames and murals and sculpture, see more below. I can only guess this email is from the dynamic duo Petra Mrzyk & Jean-Francois Moriceau which we posted about previously here... Anyhow, i felt the need to share these while they were still mysterious to me before i wrote back to find out more.
Ahhhh Chipotle, how we love thee. Yes, we have a bit of a Chipotle addiction going over at NOTCOT... we jest that there is crack in the rice (don't worry, to the best of our knowledge there isn't, just some sugar and cilantro) because since the college days in SD we keep coming back for more... even if it is efficiently run by the mcdonalds folks... Not to mention they have just great graphic design, and playful marketing.
I've always been amused by knock offs, especially the ones that change the name of the brand slightly. The founders of The Museum Plagiarius in Germany, however, don't share my view. The museum displays about 300 products along with their rip-off counterparts in the hopes of bringing to the public's attention how harmful this practice is for small designers. From BusinessWeek.com:
For 30 years, the museum's co-founder, Rido Busse, has given the annual Plagiarius award to a handful of unscrupulous product rip-offs. Busse, a design professor, created the award in 1977 when he discovered that a Japanese company had copied a set of scales he had made for the German interior design company Soehnle Waagen. He decided to publicly shame the Japanese outfit by symbolically awarding them a prize--a black garden gnome with a golden nose--which he handed out at the Hanover Fair in the presence of the only journalist who decided to turn up. (Naturally, the counterfeiter didn't show up to accept the award; it's safe to say that was one bizarre ceremony.)
Aktion Plagiarius, the non-profit group that runs the museum, also offers legal advice and workshops to designers to help fight counterfeiters. Definitely check out the slideshow on businessweek.com. The knock off of Alfi called "Albi" cracks me up.
Also from the brilliant folks at Every Space Design ~ and continuing on the CA Boom trend of living art/furniture... here is Arrange ~ a cute little bamboo shelf, with a grid of test tubes for you to arrange flowers, etc in accordingly... as the shelf to put your keys in, i know i'd probably have a pen and pencil taking up a tube or two in no time! Also fun was their booth itself, which went for the ultimate in simplicity using sharpies on butcher paper to label each piece (more images below).
Possibly my favorite piece i stumbled upon at CA Boom ~ Every Space Design's solution to keep pigeons off window sills, etc... and no its NOT EDIBLE... it just *looks* like frosting. Another picture close up below of #21... and its only 10$ for each piece!
CA Boom 4 started today ~ and i must admit, a bit small, and quite an odd assortment of goods... standouts were the new section dedicated to toddler/baby goods and some incredible living art (i feel a new obsession with aerial plants coming on).
Fell in love with the work of Venice based Carolyn Mendoza ~ particularly her mixed patina techniques/metalwork/aerial plant pieces... absolutely stunning, mesmerizing, and easy to take care of! (they just need to be misted regularly)... see some pics of her booth below, as well as a unique corner sink unit she created in collaboration with Advanced Concrete Enhancement. Thing to watch out for? She tipped us off that she's working on a large movable wall (yes, picture a large scale of one of these incredible living artworks in your loft or patio!)... should be ready in a month or so, can't wait to see them!