On so many levels, this was an incredible art installation ~ a GIANT screen of water that with rear projection, set up such that the dark night sky served as the perfect backdrop for the perfectly clear visualizations - but it's not just about watching, the group interaction element was there too: a series of microphones against the fence encourage the audience to participate by screaming into them in order to directly alter the visualizations. It was the only piece that truly sucked everyone into it, and kept them there for ages. Kids of all ages were absolutely mesmerized. And yes, i admit, it was one of the first things i was drawn to, even from up at the park - and i went back multiple times in that 12 hour window... and there were ALWAYS crowds at the piece... even at 5am. See images of Usman Haque's Primal Source from all angles on the next page ~ as well as a video to give you the full effect of how awesome this was to behold in person!
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I think i've waited 25 years for GLOW to happen - i love my beach towns, and Santa Monica is where i grew up, and the first ocean and beach i ever touched... and FINALLY, the City of Santa Monica let go of all their many rules for 12 precious hours (and we went, from 7pm to about 6:30am) - with an incredible first GLOW festival - the pier, with its new crazy uberbright-LED ferris wheel, the whole park overlooking PCH, the neighboring restaurants and shops, the beach, the work out rings and ropes - all packed with people of all sorts and all ages all night long... enjoying various music, techno/eco-art installations, and ultimately just each others company, and how nice it was to have all of this come together so beautifully and so playfully in Santa Monica. So before i get into the specific installations i have to show you video of... here's an overview post to give you a feel of what an incredibly nice 12 hours it was... highlights are definitely lying on the beach listening to pirate lullabies at 3am, the interactive projection on a HUGE water spray, the computer fan driven upcycled electronic organisms under the pier, and watching people from such varying walks of life coming together for this Santa Monica first. (Oh and for really odd things, in the midst of all of this, we even ended up at Google for drinks, since the bars were just maddness - which led to a finger rocket war through the cubicles.)
It's felt like Friday every day this week! No idea why, perhaps its the weather, or how productive we've been suddenly... today's been quiet because we've been busy playing with iphone apps, trying the rather hyped new Anisette Brasserie, finally seeing Wanted (LOVE it - but i'm a sucker for action), and checking out the launch of the new Indigo Farm Pop Up Shop at Fred Segal Man in Santa Monica.
Ok packaging fetish time: the denim in this beautiful 20 piece limited edition collection, and only 50 or 60 units per style, come in engraved wooden boxes. And to top those gorgeous boxes... "For the truly devoted collector, there are also three 3-piece sets of handmade denim luggage, each one including a steamer trunk lined in 100-year-old Asian woodblock printed poplin." See the close ups of the black and white woodblock print on the next page, i was absolutely taken by these woody/denim steamer trunks.
Next thing i gushed over: the space! "Warhol Factory X Levi's X Damien Hirst designer Adrian Nyman presents his second installation at Fred Segal Man in Santa Monica, a capsule collection with cult Hong Kong denim brand Indigo Farm, making its U.S. debut here exclusively from July 1st to August 14th." What does this mean? Much like those steamer trunks, the whole room was denim or wood, from floor to ceiling. The walls were all denim or stacked with firewood, creating a fabulous multifaceted effect. And to add to the ambiance, there was the tattooed rocker of a banjo player, Elijah Trotsky, which was quite mesmerizing. So take a look on the next page to catch up on tonight's scene...
Happy 4th of July ~ sorry posting went quiet, i popped down to Laguna Beach yesterday to see some old friends ~ and relaxing out at the beach house was perfect. BBQ, beers, and ironically playing rockband next to a wall of Rickenbackers, while watching all the beach goers frolic down below. So here are a few fun fireworks shots (some looking a bit more apocalyptic than festive!) to share!
Today is truly a beautiful, possibly cliche, Los Angeles beachy summer's day ~ and as i wandered the few blocks to pick things up for the party tomorrow... it was great to see the whole town (yes, Pacific Palisades, totally feels like a town!) out and about, setting up chairs on the sidewalk for tomorrow's parade, kids running around in packs and swinging in their yards, tons of dogs and strollers being walked... and then i checked my email and saw the preview for Edwin Ushiro's first solo show, "While Tides Guide You Back Home" ~ which so perfectly captures that glowingly carefree summer day moment, and his use of textures is just breathtaking!
"While Tides Guide You Back Home", will be opening at the Project:Gallery in Culver City on July 12th, and they were nice enough to let me share the show preview ~ so on the next page you can see some of my favorites! (If you're looking to purchase, act FAST, i hear many are sold or on hold already!)
A bit of background on Edwin Ushiro: "Aloha. My name is Edwin Ushiro. Transplanted from Maui to California, I attended the Art Center College of Design and attained a BFA in Illustration with Honors. Since then, I have been working in the amazing world of entertainment as a Cinematographer, Production Designer, Visual Consultant, Art Director, Storyboard Artist, and Concept Designer." This should come as no surprise once you see his works! Also, check out some of his corporate work on his site as well - beautiful! I can't wait to see what else he produces.
We can't go Whaleless! The Strychnin Gallery London will be opening the international group show, Whaleless, on July 11th! It contains a fun selection of pieces all reminding us how much we love whales, and that we need to help save them ~ a portion of the sales will be donated to Greenpeace. I've rounded up some of my favorites from the show on the next page for you to preview!
Before i talk about the subject of this post... how fun is that pic above? I think it's one of my favorites from ICFF this year ~ a kids perspective - laughing/clapping at bright red styrofoam feeling "expanded polypropelene" butts/crotches of ramon ubeda and otto canalda on a tord boontje/nani marquina rug with the jamie hayon showtime chair in the background... ahhhh, icff.
From the Conran Shop's ROJO party, so far i've shown you - Foosball Tables - TAST.ES Catering pieces - Luis Eslava's velcro pieces... well, since this was one of my favorite events while in NY, just wanted to give you a peek at some of the rest of the pics! So take a look on the next page to see what other red themed spanish designs were present!
Velcro. We've all used it, but have you ever thought about what you can build out of it? After getting settled from all the traveling, and finally having some time in the midst of this TasteSpotting situation (which i'm sorry i can't talk about yet, but will try to tell you what i can when possible)... i finally manage to wrangle my lost ICFF images out from Aperture (it kind of ate them in the midst of the madness) ~ so here i'll be catching up on some of the fun stuff i wanted to share from ICFF 08.
Back to velcro, though, when at the Conran Shop's ROJO Exhibition party curated by Nani Marquina and Luis Eslava ~ everything was red! And i was enamored by Luis Eslava's Face to Face lamp constructed of velcro strips ~ as well as his velcro space dividers which were used in both white and red throughout the exhibition. See more images from the exhibition as well as close ups of the velcro on the next page! I've been really curious to go buy velcro strips and have fun with them for new office dividers lately...
Oooooh on things to look forward to, the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City will be showing Carlos Ramos' "Natural History Museum Part I" with the opening on June 28th! It's his first solo show! I've been looking forward to this show for a while, and Boing Boing posted a link to the preview ~ so i had to share after gushing over them for a bit...
For those who don't know - he's a Burbank native with a character animation degree from California Institute of the Arts, and has worked with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Studios... he was even an art director for one of my favorite cartoons EVER - Dexter's Laboratory! Also worked on Chalkzone, Time Squad, and more... for the ultimate inspiration - check out his sketchbook on his site... on the next page are some of my favorites i'm looking forward to seeing at the show!
Highlight of the Dwell on Design LA exhibition... the STORE! Design superstore, A+R, and the best art+architecture bookstore, Hennessey + Ingalls, made up the Dwell on Design Store in front of the west hall of the LA convention center ~ and it made the trip worth it. While i spent about 5-10 minutes wandering the show floor, it was the store that really grabbed me... Andy forgot to tell me how many more of my favorite products were being added to the store (unfortunately not on the online store yet!) for this special pop up store! And Phillip of Citizen Citizen was here with more of his fabulous collection than is usually found in their stores as well!
As anyone who ran into me over there knows... i was like a kid in a candy store, oohing and ahhhing and dying to buy things i've been posting about, that A+R now has... so if you're in LA and bored tomorrow, perhaps pop by the pop up store in front of the exhibition... it's before you even have to register for the actual show (Free Ticket To the Dwell on Design Exhibition: BDODEC). Take a look at the pics of the store and a few of the hottest items available!
Freshly back from the Veuve Clicquot Los Angeles launch of the Globalight designed by Karim Rashid ~ and many a glass of bubbly later, i'm excited to share some fun pics of the Globalight up close and personal with you! As for the event ~ it was held at the W in Westwood, and it really brought me back to freshman year of college days... it was Thurs, so all the frat parties were in full swing, although driving over, it seems like one had a bit of a disaster quite early, with 3 fire engines and 4 cop cars and a sidewalks' worth of overdressed college kids anxiously waiting... and when we arrived at the party on the terrace of the W, it seems like much of the same crowd had overflowed... from the girl manning the door list to the many guests we asked about what they thought of the Globalight and the party... the crowd was a very clueless LA mix of so called actors, musicians, real estate agents, male models, and even biochem profs ~ all who seemed taken aback by being asked what they thought of the event, and quickly came to explain that a friend of a friend brought them or fwded them an invite... the best rumor of the night - (heard second/third hand) apparently word from the guy who represented the product - the Globalight will be produced with speakers built in soon, and a special stand, so you can simply tilt the Globalight itself to pour it... i guess we will wait and see!
Also, in the main bar downstairs, we saw a crew setting lights in the backroom in the lounge before popping up to the Veuve party... and stopping by on the way down, we found it was because Sunsilk was shooting a documentary on DJ Tatiana ~ a model turned international DJ, who not only is the music director for Bebe, but also runs her own music studio now...
See pics of all the maddness on the next page, including a youtube vid of DJ Tatiana and her Sunsilk winning vid...
Dwell on Design finally comes to LA! (Remember i told you it was on its way when it was announced at the FordBrady party?) Personally i'm thrilled that more design events are coming to LA ~ and the folks at Dwell were even kind enough to reach out and give you guys some free passes and discounts on the conference passes:
"The Dwell on Design Event runs June 5-8 at the LA Convention Center, and includes an Exhibition of 200 exhibitors, a Speakers Conference of 50 speakers, and full size Sustainable Pre-Fab Neighborhood built on site, as well as 16 Home Tours of private green residences and evening parties at the Dwell Ford Brady and the Museum of Contemporary Art."
I'll be back in socal on June 3rd... so, see you there!
What a day its been... my head is spinning, but in that good, dizzying, design is in the air kind of way. Up at 4am, to airport by 5, on a plane by 7, in NY by 3:30, doing biz calls in rush hour taxi ride, check in, grab a bite, jump in another cab, and we're at the first NY Design Week event already... Matter's VIP+Press Preview at their SoHo location! So, while i start to crash out now, confused as to whether its 22:33 or 1:33am... check out the pics on the next page for a peek into the madness...
p.s. it was awesome to see the conroy and wilcox thorn ring/cuff in person! So cute.
Level Vodka invited Hussein Chalayan to design The Level Tunnel... and it is now here! With a blog that even chronicles everything from the design and renders - to the building of - and the launch! Also incredible are the specially design blindfold/goggles for the experience, and the gorgeous press release complete with Bach in sheet music form!
"It all started back in 2006. Level Vodka invited star designer Hussein Chalayan to create a pioneering work of art with a focus on taste. He was given completely free rein. The result was The Level Tunnel - a 15 meter long, 5 meter high, traveling installation that captures the essence of Level Vodka. After a mind-blowing journey, the project is now nearing the finish line. The 6th of May 2008, the tunnel will have its world premiere in Mexico City. " See images of the process, press kit, and final product on the next page!
Ok, so you've now seen the pictures and heard Justine's adventures at the Banksy Cans Festival this week... and for those unable to be there - to stand in line to pay 3 pounds for an awesome official Cans Festival Program/Zine... she took the time to scan in each and every page for our viewing pleasure! (Thanks, Jus, you're the best sister to vicariously live through!) So check it all out on the next page, click each page to view it high res and read the manifestos and gawk at the gorgeous stenciling.
p.s. don't forget to take the Consumer Survey in there...
NOTCOT Note: Yes, Justine (aka RUGenius) was really there. And i'm envious. Although i did get to go to the incredible painted elephant LA Banksy-fest... this one looked like quite the mob scene in a london tunnel! About 30,000 people showed up over the 3 day period, and over 600 artist took part in covering the walls! Apologies for taking so long to sort through her hundreds of photos... SO, without further ado take a look at her MANY awesome pictures on the next page as well as in the Gallery, and here is Justine's account of the festivities:
Over 28 thousand people turned up to Leake Street, effectively an underpass within sight of the London Eye and moments away from Waterloo. And yes, I was among them. We all know I can't resist a good stencil. So how could I possibly miss a stencil only event, just a train hop away? Not to mention, the Cans Festival was the kind of event that brought in the A-list of street artists like Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier. Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot masters, Dan, Eelus and Banksy.
Starting with the art... The space within the tunnel was itself a hodgepodge of mock classical sculptures, trashed and stenciled cars, vans, even a playground. There were rugs, couches, and even a piano, all of course adorned with the patina only a tunnel could bestow. The combinations pushed the boundaries of the bizarre and the contrasting styles of the artists clashed as often as they complimented, yet somehow it all worked. It was as if everyone just suspended belief for a moment to soak it all in and it was particularly surreal as the sun was setting.
How very surreal tonight has been. After much hmmming and hawwwwing... i ended up at one of those LA massive clubs (Vanguard)... and it didn't really LOOK like clubbing in LA... it was a super techy/web 2.0 crowd having their incestuous circles and drama... supposedly for networking/matchmaking of every sort... yet you could barely talk to someone without screaming... it was cool to run into lots of random people and hide out at a dive bar after... there were some screens set up for sponsors to show off their companies... but they were impossible to get near and then understand what was going on... but that's ok, because there was massive twittering of who was where and waving to who and doing what constantly... and Perry Ferrell (of Jane's Addiction fame) was djing (see flickr VIDEO here)... and i get home and my mind/body is so confused... it was a night out in hollywood, yet it doesn't at ALL feel like a night out in hollywood. This was the scene that was the TechCrunch + PopSugar "cocktail party"...
So much tech. But i did get a few fun crazy colored pictures of the bizarre scene from the upstairs window by the room where engage was matchmaking... no, seriously. Stickers read - single, taken, matchmaker... and people were actually meeting potentials! Ok so super techy sidetrack over ~ ready to go back to more designy themed events! Few more pics after the jump!
Regardless of whether you did or did not attend TED this year, the TED BIG VIZ pdf book is a MUST download for anyone visually oriented looking for a burst of inspiration. What is it?
The BIGVIZ is an exploration in visualizing the Big Ideas presented on the TED mainstage. Two visual cartographers, David Sibbet and Kevin Richards, created over 700 spontaneous sketches of the presenters' ideas using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro software running on Wacom Cintiq tablets and rendered on a Perceptive Pixel multi-touch display. These tools illustrate the power of interactive visualization to present the big picture to foster insight and communicate ideas visually, central principles of design innovation.
I just went through all 200 pages (i even picked out a few of my favorites for you after the jump)... and its incredible, to see their sketches of the "big ideas" and things that grabbed their attention throughout the talks... seriously, the 700 "spontaneous sketches" are breathtaking. When you have a sec, the BIGVIZ movie is pretty sweet as well. Discovered this through the wonderful Information Aesthetics!
Polite In Public. The standard for photobooth/party photography has just been raised dramatically. Imagine this ~ you show up at a party, and in one section you see a crazy well lit open closet of sorts with people lined up... as you get closer you see that the "closet" is lined with white fur and has gold port holes in it, as well as a rack of clothes... and people are trying them on and striking poses within it! That was the scene at the Dussault party i went to back in November 07, and combined with having half of melrose closed off and covered in astroturf, with fake "snow" fluttering down on us, a wooden hottub and girls in leaderhosen dancing about, i didn't think twice about this set up at first. Until i got home and noticed the "Polite In Public" sticker in my purse with a url on it. That "closet" was apparently the new generation of photobooths, and the images were unlike any i'd seen. Flash forward a few months, and when my friend's pics from the Obama Rally for Super Tuesday had some more great Polite In Public shots, i had to take note.
Well, playing with ideas for perhaps the next blogfest or maybe a NOTCOT party, i finally gave them an email, and was surprised to find that Polite In Public is the brainchild of Joe Rubenstein and Joe Miller, two SCAD graduates. Joe R, 31, is a painting and film double major, and Joe M, 29, is a Graphic Design major and Computer Artist... and with backgrounds in lighting/cinematography and photography, it's no surprise that after trying out their photobooth concept at their own myspace publicized house party (early 2007), the idea spread fast throughout LA and before they knew it they were flying around the country going on tour and doing jobs for PlayBoy, Verizon, Svedka, Dussault, Mercedes, Burton Snowboards, The Obama Campaign, Universal Home Entertainment, 944 Magazine, and GenArt among others.... More info about how these are set up, and pictures behind the scenes after the jump!
NOTCOT Note: Where would i be without incredible readers like Gillian Benjamin, who emailed in an incredible post submission covering the Capetown Design Indaba that ran from Saturday 23 February to Friday 29 February? (I am extremely impressed, she even created all these beautiful images to go with the post without any prompting!) Read on to see what design finds she discovered...
Last week Cape Town was brimming with creative energy as the 5th annual Design Indaba Expo took place. Featuring everything from industrial design to quirky ceramic pieces and reinterpreted African curio kitsch, the Expo showcased the best homegrown talent to both local and international audiences. Each year the event seems to grow a little bigger - a sure sign of South Africa's blossoming creative talent. Following global trends, the focus on craft and the hand-made was definitely visible.
Freshly back from the IDS08 Opening Night Gala ~ and although i'm totally passing out, just wanted to give you guys a peek at some of the pics... there were singers, quartets, acrobats, women dressed up in crazy flowered dresses, the incredible Vertical Limit Veuve Clicquot/Porsche Design collab (1 of 15!), Dysons, Audis... and so much more... anyhow, see after the jump for a quick look!
On Thursday night i stopped by FORDBRADY's cocktail party for Dwell Magazine, "Los Angeles meet Dwell" where they announced the Dwell on Design Los Angeles Conference and Exhibition event in Los Angeles as well as launch the new look, "environmentally friendlier" Dwell magazine. On June 5th and 6th, it looks like Dwell is looking to start some friendly competition with CA Boom.
What was truly fascinating about the event was the incredible space that FORDBRADY occupies. Their downtown showroom (and home to Willard Ford, his fashion designer wife, Michelle Yu, and teenage son) is set in the historical Chinatown Kim Sing Theatre ~ which was built in 1926 as a vaudeville house, and served as a cinema from the 40's until '86 when it was abandoned... only over years of work, and with the help of Xten Architecture, they've turned it into an incredible loft/gallery space, with a gorgeous courtyard... really an unexpected modern oasis in Chinatown once you step under the original marquee and through the brilliantly orange entry tunnel. Check out their Interior Design Magazine feature for more details and images.
After the jump see many pictures of the incredible space as i viewed it at the party!
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.
Wow. So for those of you, who like me stayed at home and watched the macworld keynote and madness unfold across the internet through the eyes and ears of the crazy kids at Gizmodo and Engadget with their live blogging of the keynote, etc... here's a peek at what its like to REALLY be there ~ not as press, just as regular people trying to partake in the mac madness. So dan actually decided to go to the keynote this year (for "fun"), went and spent ages in line yesterday to get his pass, and then got in line at 6:30am this morning (and as you know from our sites, we aren't morning people, unless it's because i'm not sleeping till 6am) in the 40 degree weather... and didn't even make it into the keynote. But that aside, the madness continued as all those turned away tried to make a mad rush for food and warmth after only found themselves in MORE freezing lines, like a half hour just to get into Mel's diner (which is most certainly not really worth waiting in line for at any other given time)... Seems like apple needs to take care of its fans a bit more? Get a bigger venue? Be more realistic earlier on about who will get in? So although he didn't get any pics while in the freeeeeezing cold this morning, he did just send over a few quick pics of the rush and sea of mac fanboys running around... let's just say i'm glad to be home right now, and if he ever tries to do this again, and you guys want us to cover it, maybe i'll apply for a press pass? More pictures of the sea of humanity after the jump!