On fun discoveries over at Designercon today - there are some fun cards from The Birds & The Beasts. I love this Telekinesis Congrats card - and the adorable die cut I’m Sorry card on the next page. Apparently - “The Birds and the Beasts is a collaborative effort between illustrator/designer/toy collector Christopher Lee and writer /impulse baker/blog junkie Kristine Songco. When we’re not busy making cartoons (Kristine), drawing monsters (Chris), playing with our dog (both), or cleaning up Kristine’s messes (Chris [duh]), we make cards for all you lovely people!” Take a peek at my favorites on the next page!
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Incase just launched their new EO Travel Collection of carry-ons and it’s gorgeously functional! They aren’t kidding when they say it was designed for the “evolving traveler who relies on personal technology for business, pleasure and inspiration. Each EO Travel bag combines smart organization and dependable protection to make the travel experience easier, safer and more efficient.” I’m forever on my quest to perfect my carry-on packing and optimaize getting through security with each technology upgrade in my usual arsenal… the thoughtfulness of the details in the bags is enticing. I’ve been dying for an international sized polycarb roller that allows an easy unzip section to go through the scanner without needing to take the laptop out! (Also love that the hard shell roller expands!) And the duffel has an easy access, outside padded pocket ready for your 15” mbp.
Not having seen them in person yet, my two picks are definitely the hard shell roller and duffel. The flat polycarb of the hard shell seems to scream out for customization (so if you end up in the situation where everyone has one too…) you can easily sticker bomb it… or perhaps laser engrave on it? So many possibilities. Also love that the duffel is simple enough on the outside, you don’t scream “There’s a laptop in here” while traveling… Take a peek at the details and videos on the next page!
Just in over at DWR is the Vitra Toolbox by Arik Levy! Too cute - wandering over to Vitra, i found even cuter pictures (and more colors) of the super simple, functional, injection molded plastic tool box/desk organizer… I think we need some of these in NOTlabs to get all the hacked apart electronics and knives and tools and more organized (and easy to move from desk to desk!) - see more pics on the next page!
They’re here!!! For those following on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing peeks of NOTlabs turning into a laser cutting puzzle factory… cutting 50 limited edition Chris Yates Studios’ Bafflers in the first CLEAR editions! The first 25 will be kept in “Total Clarity” and the second 25 will be hand painted on both sides for the “First Frost” versions… with his signature hand sprayed paint splatter (only in a translucent and opaque mix this time!) on both sides, each “First Frost” will be truly unique.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chris Yates’ puzzles, the name “Bafflers” makes complete sense as soon as you dump the pieces out and start to try to reassemble. Each and every insane (sometimes multilayer) puzzle is hand cut out of wood on a scroll saw, hand painted, and “made to last generations”… they are truly maddening works of art. (See his traditional creation process here.) Turning these into clear acrylic has in no way made his Bafflers any easier… having accidentally dumped out the clear puzzle while first working on the prototype, it certainly took a bit of time (but not TOO much) to get it back together… and perhaps the most mind twisting part of cutting the batch of 50 has been transferring the cut pieces from the laser bed to the stacks of finished puzzles, and every time they come apart slightly, if a piece flips over, etc., it takes a few to piece them all back together! We’ve cut and inspected each and every puzzle, and are so excited to help Chris bring these “Aperture” limited edition clear Bafflers into the world! Take a peek at more details and a peek at the making of on the next page!
We’ve been tracking shipping container architecture for years now, and it has become more prevalent than ever… you can even get doll house versions now! These Model Container Homes at Module R are such detailed examples of designer modern living down to the art, tvs, plants, furniture and more! See more details on the next page!
On surprise packages that arrived while i was out of town… this amazing box came from Mark Hoppus ~ the play on his last name has created/enhanced his affinity for octopi, naturally having one as his personal logo. There’s not much to say here ~ the goodies pretty much speak for themselves… letterpressed. octopus. in a top hat! thats the coaster… and also some basic octopus logo stickers and a baseball cap. Check out the details on the next page! (Thanks, Mark!)
Going through pictures from London Design Week, concrete was definitely a stand out trend. There were the hungarian Ivanka Flaster Concrete Tiles, street art, Gray Concrete Duckies… and here are 22 Design Studio concrete goods ~ from rings and earrings to pens and clocks and even watches! Take a peek on the next page!
Adorable! Papafoxtrot Space Fleet! With gorgeous packaging too! Designed for Papafoxtrot by Postlerferguson - “We have selected the 5 most iconic unmanned spacecraft circling the earth and transformed them into Papafoxtrot`s iconic design language which we developed with our series of wooden cargo vessels a year ago. From an interplanetary garbage collection to a future commercial spacebus to Mars these amazing machines are making the world go round day and night. The satellites are made out of maple as well as laser etched stainless steel parts with polished natural wood, matte white and glossy red finish.” Take a peek at Spektr-R, GEOTAIL, Cygnus, Dragon, and ORS-1 on the next page…
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On fun and unexpected surprises, a Reebok FitList Box just arrived in the mail! For the launch of the Reebok FitList App on Spotify, the folks at DeepLocal created limited edition sneaker cases containing portable stereo speakers and sound reactive LED lights that glow in reaction to music, ambient sound, and even touch. (It’s oddly mesmerizing to tap the case and watch it light up and fade!) Most impressive is the fun video they created with athletes working out alongside a wall of these LED shoe boxes, and as they jump and run and work out. They’ve created 100 limited edition Reebok FitList boxes holding a pair of RealFlex Transition 2.0 shoes featuring an exclusive colorway (black with red soles!) just for the occasion. See the video, making of, and a peek inside the actual Reebok FitList Box and what powers it on the next page!
On amazing show previews that came through my inbox ~ i can’t stop staring at these animals stuck in boxes from Jeremy Fish’s latest mini show, Wild Kingdom at Rotofugi! They are amazing! And the totem pole like prints are also quite fun! Take a peek at my favorites on the next page!
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At NOTCOT, we often approach fashion no differently from anything else we write about ~ it’s all about great design and/or art/technology angles… we love beautifully intentional minimalism with incredible materials and added functionality that takes it over the top… So for this post, i had fun digging into our archives and beyond to round up some fun fashion that has a little extra something going on that you probably don’t expect at first glance! From the sleek jacket that will turn into a pouch (and pop up wrinkle-free in moments) to the tarp/blanket/jacket to the men’s dress jacket with secret reflective bits for biking in, to a sports bra that can monitor your heart rate and more! See it all on the next page…
You just have to try some things in person. I never thought the idea of a classic eames lounger molded in plastic would be as fun as it is in real life… There’s something about a certain type of molded plastic seating that will always remind me of little tikes. Rugged enough to take what a little kid can throw at it ~ easy enough to clean (aka pressure wash off) when left outdoors.
Here’s the Mal 1956 Lounger - “The 1956 is the first product of Mal, a young Eindhoven(NL) based label by Bob Copray and Niels Wildenberg. The Mal 1956 is a plastic (PE), rotational molded product, which is extremely suited for outdoor use. The chair has an ergonomic design. It is solid but it is very comfortable. It has been designed with a subtle drainage system to prevent stagnant water from collecting in the seat. The Mal 1956 can be cleaned using water along with common household cleaning products.” As described in the NYTimes - “Coyly called Mal 1956 — “mal” is the Dutch word for “mold,” and it also means “silly,” Mr. Wildenberg said — the chair and accompanying ottoman are made of polyethylene powder that has been heated and rotated in an aluminum mold.”
I must admit, i’m tempted. It could be far too fun to sit and spin around in it in the backyard! The pictures on the next page pretty much speak for themselves ~ see some fun press images and pics from Superbrands London!
It felt a bit silly when i experienced some de ja vu when i ran into the Ivanka Concrete Design booth at Tent London… drawn in by the colorful cement tiles with shapes and patterns that reminded me of a mix of french and morrocan tiles… the large, interactive, push button, converted TV of a display to play with patterns, and their adorable mini cement tile magnets they were giving out… All promoting their Flaster! “Flaster is a concrete floor and wall covering fostered from a traditional motive. Made from fiber reinforced high performance IVANKA concrete, these tiles are available both for exterior and interior usage. Flaster comes in three different thicknesses, therefore it can be applied for floors, walls or for heavy traffic.” Looking at the catalog ~ i realized i had just stumbled across their concrete tiles at Liberty of London the day before! Beautifully juxtaposed inlayed in the old wooden floors… take a peek at all the details on the next page!
The Danish designers of By Nord create stunning products “inspired by the diversity of the raw yet beautiful Nordic nature”. Their products are minimalist, yet capture the incredible detail of their subjects. By Nord’s new Autumn/Winter ‘12 line includes gorgeous new line of bedding, including king and queen sized duvet covers and a pretty line of bone china ornaments for Christmas including polar bears, reindeer and penguins!(yes, we know it’s only September, but they’re beautiful!). More photos of the new line (and a few old favorites) on the next page!
While exploring Tent London today ~ we were instantly smitten with Budapest designer, Molnár Réka’s Moringa line of fun nature inspired kitchen goods. First drawn in by the adorable Fox Tea Towel, which actually makes use of the way a tea towel naturally hangs… and then won over by the color changing mugs!!! The Mushrooms grow and the rain drops disappear when you add a hot drink! And the leaves and bushes disappear to reveal birds and bunnies and more!
Since we unfortunately couldn’t see these mugs in action while at the fair - we had to buy them and bring them home! And they are so amusingly magical in person, we made some videos (to go with the many other detail shots and booth shots!) for you to check out on the next page!
On fun an unexpected things to do with vintage golf clubs… i encountered the Rag and Bone Man at Tent London, turning them into hangers! Not much else to say here… but i was fascinated! Check out more pictures on the next page, including the “before” shot!
While at Selfridges early this week, we encountered these stunning limited edition Gordon’s Gin Ten Green Bottles designed by Conran ~ there will be 1 million bottles, available throughout the UK from October at the standard retail price and an additional 200 special edition bottles, presented in hand-stitched fabric wraps and presentation boxes along with an A3 print available exclusively at Selfridges. Then tonight, we found ourselves at the Conran Shop’s “village fête” of a celebration party for the collaboration - complete with a look behind the designs, fun silly games and activities set up throughout the store, and Gordon’s Gin cocktails of course! It’s fun to see that each of the 10 patterns (some more sneakily than others) incorporates it’s number into the design… take a peek on the next page at the event, the bottles, the inspiration… and more!
Spotted at 100% Design today, here’s the Console O, an elegant side table from London-based JiB design studio. It integrates mushroomed ceramic pots (the tops have a greater diameter than the base) sit loosely into the tray of a table with oak lids that match the structure of the table. They look adorable with plants, and are great knick-knack holders and work as a tea table with all the lids on! And you can mix and match what you use them for, and/or what you hide in them. See more photos on the next page.
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When San Pellegrino approached me about sponsoring a post capturing what to “Live in Italian” means to me~ I couldn’t help but reminisce about my amazing time in Milan for grad school… and how much I learned about passion, patience, living life to the fullest, and enjoying beautiful design, delicious food and drink, and stunning landscapes ~ from rolling lush mountains to lively seaside spots. And with the summer coming to a close around us, it seemed like the perfect time to indulge in some picnic getaways ~ no matter where you are! From the romantic bicycling picnic in the city ~ to the luxurious drive to a secluded picnic spot ~ to picnicking in the park with the kids ~ or even an evening camping picnic… take a peek on the next page at some of the perfect products to make it a special one!
The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
We love seeing the use of antiquarian-inspired images that reference natural history engravings; and pairing these designs with packaging seems to be on the rise (e.g. recent release of Zubrowka’s beautiful illustrated packaging). So we were very excited to see the latest from Stranger & Stranger, the team behind the recently featured wine packaging as they created this stunning packaging for The Entertainer, a limited edition blended Scotch whisky from Compass Box.
Taking inspiration (and flavor combinations) from the turn of the 20th century, the beautiful packaging created in collaboration with London artist Peter Blake, takes a similarly beautiful and quirky antiquarian approach and includes so many details we love. It’s got London architecture, complex geometry, and all sorts of wild creatures from moths and butterflies to lionfish and octopi! The limited edition packaging and whisky are extremely limited, but currently still available at Selfridges (and online here). More photos of this gorgeous packaging on the next page!
One of my favorite italian indulgences is the Ferrero Pocket Coffee! Delicious chocolatiness filled with espresso! And apparently they are only produced/available November through April? They are surprisingly hard to find in LA, but sometimes they are at Monsiuer Marcel. Well running around Italy the last few weeks ~ and happening upon these Pocket Espresso To GO packs while stopping at a gas station outside of Florence with Josh Rubin, and when grabbing a drink we also grabbed these! (Thanks, Josh!)
They are like SUPER MINI juice boxes for adults. Only instead of juice they are filled with a chocolatey espresso. And it’s complete with a super mini straw and a Pierce Here/Forare Qui spot! Ms Adventures In Italy points out that these are the SUMMER variation of the Pocket Coffees ~ i suppose it makes sense that with the chocolate mixed in, you don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat? Too adorable and quite delicious - take a peek at Pocket Espresso To GO up close on the next page!
Just arriving in London pre-design week, the last thing i expected fresh off the plane was to end up on a boat in a London canal exploring IKEA color sorted floating displays with actors lounging and cooking in them… IKEA turning a section of Regent’s Canal in Islington into a floating night market to launch their colorful new collection. The floating night market was inspired by the vibrant night markets of Asia. Upon arrival, we found ourselves in a black and white pavilion making fantastic use of patterned textiles and put our names down for a boat ride to visit the floating showcases and enjoying cocktails while awaiting our ride.
Once our boat was ready, we were gondolier-ed along the canal in a black and white boat (all IKEA fabrics and pillows) to visit moored boats housing color-themed selections from the new IKEA ranges and even got a taste of a Swedish crayfish party on board! The IKEA floating market is open to the public tonight for one night only (Friday, September 14th)! We hear general admission has sold out, but you can find out more from the event facebook page. See our boat ride photos of the floating market on the next page!
Leave it to our friends at Stranger & Stranger to take wine to a whole new level of elegant playfulness ~ making us lust after the life the bottle teases at before we even figure out what type of wine it is. Remember last Christmas’s No. 13 they sent out? It seems that the idea for this line of Truett Hurst wines for Safeway packaged by Stranger & Stranger took its inspiration from No. 13! Kevin Shaw, the founder and Creative Director, says “ The added real estate that the over sleeve gives us has allowed us to engage with people in a way that a tiny back label never can. Everyone just wants to pick up and read these packs.” Apparently “Stranger identified 22 niches and buying occasions that might benefit from enhanced packaging and developed a patented bottle sleeve that contains everything from quotes to recipes.” I had no idea you could patent the bottle sleeve resembling the brown paper bag look of the prohibition era ~ but it will be intriguing to see how this wine packaging shift infiltrates other packaging designs as we wander the aisles at the market! See more bottles and lots of close ups on the next page!
This post is part of a content series presented by smartwater… smartwater, good taste travels well. Click here to learn more. The opinions and content in this post are 100% NOTCOT, smartwater is supporting us to share what we love with you!
On travels, one of the hardest things is always to find souvenirs that are memorable but not too kitchsy. Something that will fit back in with your world at home or those you are gifting it to ~ but still stand out enough to bring back fond memories of a place. So i was thrilled when i just found this new line of Los Angeles Souvenirs, essentially for locals by locals, that are the prefect gift/reminder to visitors of how awesome the REAL Los Angeles can be! These glasses are by Sisters of Los Angeles, “a unique, Los Angeles-inspired gift and modern memorabilia collection that reflects all the best that the City of Los Angeles has to offer. ” Who does it come from? “SoLA is designed by celebrated Architect and Author of Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake, Barbara Bestor ; successful product development specialist and manufacturer’s rep Karen Alweil; and fashion/lifestyle publicist and marketing expert Sara Stein.” Now i’m just wishing they had Pacific Palisades glasses to go with their Hollywood, Beaches series, Canyon series, and freeway (10, 405, 110, 101) series! You can currently find some online at Ron Robinson… see more pictures of the tastefully fun travel souvenirs by Sisters of Los Angeles on the next page!
We have been smitten by the works of duo Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, aka Carnovsky, for years now (you can see them on NOTCOT.org) ~ from the wallpapers to the art pieces to the scarves and now STICKERS with Blik! [Side note: I feel so ridiculous that even when reading/writing about them for so long ~ it wasn’t until i ran into this picture of Sylvia and Francesco at the show opening in Portland that i realized i went to Domus Academy with them a few years back! What a small world!]
Anyhow, we’ve been lusting after their wallpapers filled with various plants and animals for some time, but have yet to figure out a wall to commit to it, so when the Blik stickers launched (and were teased at their 10th bday party!) we had to try it! Since the designs for the Rosone series of 4 designs were all symmetrical circular patterns, they reminded me of ceiling moldings around chandeliers or other pendant lighting… so, why not a fun artwork for the ceiling to go around the light? This also allows for the possibility to have color changing lightbulbs you can easily use to see the various RGB views of the artwork! Take a peek at unboxing of the new Blik x Carnovsky Rosone wall stickers, peeks through the 3 colored glasses they come with, and our application of it on the ceiling all on the next page!