Ok, this one is going to sound a bit weird, i probably should have looked things up on the internet before i scared myself at the Desert View Tower & Boulder Park... b/c now that i've had the time to sit and search i totally wish it hadn't been super windy and SUPER creepy when i stopped by... to be fair, we're cruising along the 8 in the middle of the desert, suddenly from sand dunes it turns to crazy mountains of boulders, and then i see a little castle tower, and we decide to pull off and go see what's up... pulling off, we head up what we're warned is a dead end (really early on!) but keep going to see what's up there, pass a creepy abandonedish feeling rusty trailer park, with an underpass with giant scarecrow like branches (think giant blair witch twigs) with hoodies and clothes on them blocking the way... then we see a very desolate tower with a few pretty old cars in the lot. Really it all looked super spooky! But according to the internet its a fun place where kids run around on boulders.... Anyhow, now that i've done my research i kind of want to go back... but with a large group of friends, since the place really gave me the chills! Check out the pics from the place and a few other random roadtripping pictures from Tuscon to San Diego on the 8 yesterday!
Entries tagged with: cars
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Stunning 2009 Ferarri California. Actually rather impressed with their site, and the videos and content provided ~ the "HEAR" section is my favorite so far. Few official pics on the next page, also check out the gallery at AutoBlog - they just saw it in Paris!
New NOTCOT Gallery Tags!!! If you peek to the left and right you'll see the work of Kimberly Wu ~ talented illustrator and art center transportation design grad, currently working for Honda Advanced Design studio in Pasadena, CA. I love how the internet works - I stumbled across Kimberly's Blog and was intrigued enough by the images of the grad show projects to post it to NOTCOT.org (but too shy to email her for more info at the time!), and got an incredible response from NOTCOT readers! Then she posted about being on org, and i had to comment, at which point she emailed me back so many emails filled with high res pics ~ and i only fell further in love with her unique and gorgeous blend of illustration styles and car design renders! Many emails back and forth later, a simple post wouldn't do her work with JOY justice, so here they are in the NOTCOT Gallery and Tags! View all of Kimberly Wu's JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery.
In her own words, here's what Kimberly had to say when i asked her about her background and the JOY Project: "To answer your questions, I was very interested in illustration, mainly doing a lot of figure and landscape painting, before deciding to go to Art Center for car design. It was a completely different route than I thought I would be taking, but I ended up using my illustration skills towards my style in designing cars. I think my goal was to try to separate myself from the typical way car designers sketch and design-I'm kind of obsessed with color and style in my work. What's next is to start working! I was lucky to land a position at the Honda Advanced Design studio in old town, Pasadena.
The Joy project was something I decided to do in my free time. I didn't have any constraints from school or instructors so I was free to do whatever I wanted. The project began in the Fall 2007, and it matured through each season until I finished in Summer 2008. The idea was to create a character vehicle, instead of just designing another car to be driven; I wanted the Joy to be like an animated toy almost. The colors all reflect the mood of each season, and are important in showing off Joy's attitude."
So, with that ~ click the tags to view all of Kimberly Wu's JOY in the NOTCOT Gallery... and if we're lucky we'll be seeing more of her illustrations (and maybe even driving one of her designs!) in the near future!
Porsche Design just launched quite a few new products for kids and the holidays, and they are adorable (and gorgeous)! Part of me is so glad i don't have kids to buy these for, and the other part of me wishes i were a kid, so i could properly enjoy some of these! This is a selection of my favorites ~ from the baby boxster (SO cute) to the 911 Pedal Car to the Bobsleigh and Sledge to the 911 GT3 RSR racetrack set... it all looks so fun. See close ups and more details on the next page!
Curious how the magic happens? I have always been mesmerized watching master marker renderers and sketch artists at work... While visiting Toyota Calty Design Research, i had a chance to see Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, show us how it's really done on a huge apple monitor and wacom tablet (he's old school, and likes having the tablet while seeing the screen, versus those who love the Cintiqs).
So you can see one of my little home videos (one of these days with some combination of time, energy, extra pair of hands, etc i will make proper videos with real editing and maybe even music?) ~ giving you a quick skip through the presentation ~ from initial stages, to some highlights, to a flip back and forth between finished and initial sketches, and the crucial signature!
But honestly, if you want to learn how to sketch cars properly, you should probably go take Ian's class at Art Center ~ after graduating Art Center, he got pulled right into Toyota and has been there for 11 years... while simultaneously teaching... keep an eye out for his latest exterior design, the 2009 Venza!
Yesterday Toyota (for the first time) opened up it's Calty Design Research doors to a tiny group of journalists (Core77, KCRW/NPR, Architect Magazine, Dwell, Inhabitat, DesignMom, Zaproot, and i was honored to be included in the group)... and as we all know, security and secrecy in the car industry is nearly impenetrable, with design secrets that manage to be kept under wraps for years before the public even gets wind of the concepts, it was an honor (and SO much fun) to get an inside look at Toyota's studios and their work flow... AND to be able to share it with you!
So first off, my favorite part ~ really it brought out the kindergartner in all of us, get handed a tool, and a HUGE (yes, life size car sized) piece of clay, and are told to go to it. And then sat down at a bench with mini's to carve away at your own car? Ok so perhaps that only slightly over simplifying it, but i'm sure you can imagine the delight of poking at clay... while assisted by some of the most talented car designer and modelers... who with a quick flip of their wrist and a few slashes with a pairing knife, off fly a few pieces of clay and you're staring at the dream sportscar you never knew you wanted. Then you see what my unplanned mohawked/finned masterpiece turns out like after more effort and less finesse. Let's just say we fully understand and were quickly humbled by how skilled these modelers and designer are...
So traveling Veuve Clicquot style is quite a trip, they started us out on the yacht, flew us around in the helicopter... and now here's the most impressive car... Who knew a 1960's yellow and purple Bentley S3 could be so appealing? I love fast cars, i love beautifully designed cars, and apparently i love the vintage woody not at all discreet Veuve Clicquot Yellow and Purple Bentley? I couldn't resist taking two rides in it with Stephane Gerschel as we drove around Reims... and every time i sat fascinated not only by the tiniest details (from the jeweled fuel light to the insane speed of the windows to the amusement of seeing a GPS in a car of that vintage)... You have to check out the rest of the pics!
You would never believe how hard it is to cull from the hundreds of pictures from each day to figure out what to post!
On random Sunday posts ~ just got back from tagging along with some friends test driving at O'Gara Coach - Lamborghini Beverly Hills to play with the Lamborghinis, Bugattis, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, etc - being such a warm gorgeous day out brought the camera, and some of the colors and details were far too inspiring not to share... so check out some of the imagery on the next page!
When an email comes that says "Think Issac Asimov meets the Jetsons" ~ you can't not click on it. And good thing i did, because the crew at AB5TRAX just sent over their brand new ad spot Hello George, an incredibly moving, beautiful, futuristic animation where George Jetson's car in a briefcase is... a Toyota Prius!
Here's what Hunter Woo mentioned in the email, "It was designed, conceived and created all inhouse, we built the 3D in Maya , and modeled the world from real pictures of the earth
from space... I thought it might be a fitting tribute / theme for the other posts dealing with views from space up now."
See still from the ad on the next page, and watch Hello George here in full sized mode!
Orbit Baby ~ if i were to have a kid (unlikely, anytime soon), i can't imagine having one without this system. In fact, my back, sanity, and kid's safety would demand it. This company is based right in east bay up in norcal and it's nice to see such a sweet group of Stanford product designers leave IDEO to pursue their dreams and apply their skills to something that really needed some updating (full story here)...
I encountered Orbit Baby while at CA Boom V... this and the Nomad Yurt were the two things i walked away raving about. The Orbit Baby system is so modular that you have one main soft handled baby carrier (good for the day you leave the hospital), which docks into the easy car seat base as well as the quick collapsing stroller... and also with the simple eames rocker matching rocker base. And as your child grows, you can upgrade to the toddler stroller seat (still works with your stroller and car seat). And for those who like basinets, you can also go for the basinet option which also docks into all the bases, and even comes in a new organic super soft 'green' edition.
I know it seems silly, that i'm raving about a kid system that i couldn't possibly have any use for, but the thought that went into every design detail and the incredible quality of the whole system were irresistible in person. I also even attempted my first vimeo video below from the show (vimeo, wow, sidetrack, but i'm loving their incredible user experience). As for design details worth noting... this system even comes with an easy adorable bag that stores nicely under the stroller! It has two cup holders (aka perfect cellphone holder?)... and the handles even adjust/rotate to your comfort position. Coolest thing of all... (other than making life easier on the parents) - "zoo viewing mode" since you can rotate any of these seats on the base... you can have a sideways facing stroller, which seems perfect for walking around a zoo/aquarium, and perfect for not taking up the whole aisle in a crowded restaurant like many new parents seem to.
Tons of pictures and a video after the jump!
Good news, everyone! The Smart House has extended its stay in Venice beach till the end of February! (previously it was gone end of Jan). Now, i've told you about the Smart House before, as well as the Smart Balls (new ones after the jump!), but with every event the space looks so different, i had to share more images of it with you from tonight's +Beryll event where i met Sigmar Berg who is not only the founder of this 10 year old line of sunglasses, jewelry, and vintage belt, but also an artist/designer/architect who created all of the photo-canvases covering the walls of the Smart House this evening! All three floors of this loft space were open - ground floor to explore the car, second floor to dine and dance, third floor had the dj and second balcony (with smart car on it!)... models wandered and danced around in black t-shirts bearing the Beryll '+' and dark beryll shades, vintage belts, and the necklaces and jewelry... i also noticed more design details i loved about the Smart House this time, like this "open your mind" wall... So browse and experience the space through pictures after the jump!
On unexpected discoveries at CES ~ i first got pulled right into Winplus' Yada's booth from its crazy giant white painted frames filling a wall... each filled with what turned out to be bluetooth headsets and holders! And their space was a bright glowingly white that draws you right into it, with playful lights hanging from a grid above... and an adorable Yada Mini Cooper in there as well. Naturally it was making it onto my favorite booth list, but what i didn't expect was to be completely intrigued with their affordable, nicely thought out design bluetooth headsets and accessories. The Yada YD-V1 ultra lightweight headset, universal phone holder, multiple car mounting options, car charger and home charger is only a mere $46 at amazon. Affordable and adorable, the thing i liked most was how compact their products were... and i kind of want the cupcake looking car adapter for my cup holder. Also look how sleek the car charger is? Why waste more space then necessary with cables? Same with their USB solution. Nice simple speakerphones as well. Anyhow, take a look at pics i took of the booth and products at CES... as for sound quality, i have no idea... but i'm curious enough at that price, to impulse buy one from amazon to find out.
On simple toys often being the best ~ To Be Us' A Matter Of Toys (what a company/product line name) cars are adorable. AND handmade... (pictures of the making of after the jump!)
From the To Be Us site:
"Handmade in Italy - To be Us is craftsmanlike product, entirely handmade. A one size block of wood, a single cut that shapes the sports car, the romantic one, the pick-up, the saloon , the security van. To be Us products are made of cedar of Lebanon: a dense, spicy and long-lasting wood. Its peculiar scent has a natural anti-moths effect. Wheels are made of mahogany: a hard, dense and yet easy to work wood showing also a very fine and precious grain. No paints are used on To be Us toys. To be Us products are designed by Matteo Ragni, Giulio Iacchetti and Odoardo Fioravanti. and handmade by Master Giovanni."
On new excuses to travel ~ my latest is to go to Europe via Frankfurt airport, because they just got the largest Porsche Design airport store. This is the latest addition to their rapidly expanding line of airport franchises currently in airports such as Munich, Vienna, London, Moscow, Dubai and Hong Kong. In 2008, new stores are to be opened in Zurich, Copenhagen and Manchester. These are in addition to their retail stores which are currently in Hamburg, Tokyo, Berlin, London, and New York. It's been fascinating to see how airports have quickly been evolving into high end malls of sorts, and how can we resist jetsetting to shop the airports as well as the cities? So next time you're in FRA - look for the new Porsche Design Store, "the 145 square meter store is on the second level of Hall B, on the so-called "landing side" of the airport, the area that is generally accessible without security checks."
On incredible temporary event spaces, the Smart House (home of the Smart Fortwo) is one of the coolest spaces around. Located on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, surrounded by some of the cutest boutiques, restaurants, and bars and only a few blocks from the beach, its a pity this loft will only be around till january. I was lucky enough to make it to the A+R launch dinner where we had dinner at the Smart House and cooked with Hans Rockenwagner and Wolfgang Gussmack of Rockenwagner - outdoor on the patio as a group we helped "cook" (aka stir) an unbelievably delicious pasta paella. Additionally when not housing special functions the ground floor is a showroom (cars ready to test drive out back) and a gallery space (i must admit i was pretty giddy to be having dinner with two Catalina Estrada paintings behind me) ~ while i was there the ROJO Magazine Collaboration with Smart's new Fortwo was up! "The new special issue is now ready. featuring a superb cover artwork by Catalina Estrada, plus 160 pages full of exclusive artwork by selected artists and inspired by the new smart fortwo. Artwork by: Catalina Estrada, MWM, Deanne Cheuk, Yoshi Sodeoka, Tofer, Alex Prager, Friends with You, Ben Summers, Dalek, Holly Stevenson, Chet Purtilar, Jemma Hostetler, Meomi, Yoshi Tajima, Evgeny Kiselev, Vanessa da Silva, Bruno 9li, Cristiano Trindade, Todd Tourso, Amir H. Fallah, Justine Ashbee, Sergei Sviatchenko."
While over at the Smart House (home of the Smart Car) on Abbot Kinney for the A+R dinner, i noticed they had these great little capsules of Smart Stuff. In fact they even had playful Smart Capsule dispensers on the wall that took Smart Tokens. They were so cute, here are some pics of it all (more below).
So, i was just gushing about the incredibly designed Porsche Design Edition 1 Cayman below, and as much as i love the car, i was incredibly curious what that accessories case is like... Just got this high res image from Porsche of the contents of that case. Close ups below. Although not as 007 as i'd imagined when you opened the case... those are some impressive black designer accessories in a zip leather briefcase... interesting how even your key comes in the case. Can't you just imagine a man in a dark suit and those dark glasses walking up and handing you this case as he nods his head towards the car parked across the street as he strolls away? Ok maybe now i'm just dreaming about great ways to have your Porsche Design Edition delivered to you.
Ever go to a site that leaves you wishing there were more hours in the day just so you could spend more time on it? want2bsquare.com is doing that for me right now. It's a site for the Toyota Scion xB which plays with the idea of turning all things boxy. They present you with a few different worlds to explore, and my favorite is Screen City. There's so much to look at and play with (videos and mini games), and I've barely even scratched the surface!
Every now and then a car comes along that makes you swoon a little. Last week that was Ray. I'm sure you've noticed me gushing about Radar recently as i get more hooked on taking more rather random cameraphone pics recently ~ but being visually driven like i am... i think they have some great branding... from their tshirts and stickers, to flyers and glasses! (yes, you heard me right, schwag shots below.) But most impressive really is this revamped 1965 Ford Econoline that they've named Ray, "he is not just a van, he's a member of our team" as the Radar Street Team Coordinator, he really is that extra something to grab peoples attention, or just bring a smile to everyone that sees him. Glossy chocolate brown on the outside, white and furry on the inside, and baby blue highlights all around - It's unique, playful, and from a design perspective, i cant get over how sweet the design of those lights and knobs and dials are. Classic and Iconic. More on the branding of Radar below...
This is the "Auto Bird Turd Emergency Kit" by Grumpy Girl. Let the name settle in for a moment, and then take in the great carrying case and graphics... then realize how much you want it. Ok, well i want it anyhow, when i have the energy, i am the kind of girl who could really use some de-pooping supplies in the car to keep it in good shape. With everything from waterbottle, windshield wiper fluid, shop towels, plastic baggies, cleaner wax (!), microfiber sponge and towel, and antibacterial wipes ~ its genius really. [via Outblush and NYT]