Sometimes you need a place to truly relax, hide away, and gather your thoughts. Since we were in Guatemala for Jackson’s wedding, we decided to add on a few days to do just that… and Shawn found the eco-luxury 6 room resort and nature reserve, The Laguna Lodge at Lake Atitlan - the perfect getaway add-on to our Antigua plans. Since the lodge is in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, on the western highlands of Sololá, you take a car to Panajachel and then hop on a boat for about 10 minutes. To get anywhere from the lodge you can either hop on another boat, or walk along the pathways along the lakeshore. Though, I honestly can’t tell you much about waving down the boats to hop from town to town, since once we were situated, we realized the ultimate break was really to just hide out at the lodge, explore the 100 acres of nature reserve, delicious locally grown, organic, vegetarian fare, and watch the sunsets over the volcanoes and the lake! Of the 6 suites, the majority of couples we met did seem to be American 20-30 somethings as well - but this was the part of our trip that was more about a stunning oasis tucked away from the chaos of everyday life. Two nights at the Laguna Lodge, and we were feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and ready to get back to reality! Take a look at the stunning space on the next page.
Entries tagged with: green
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Inspiration comes from the randomest of places… including turning on the garden hose and finding this amazing little ring of lush mossiness! I’ve been fascinated at staring at its growth… curious to see how it decides to spread. I suppose it helps me remember that slowing down… incredible surprises can pop up.
Things have been quieter here as we’re working on some design/development upgrades (SO exciting to bring some features to all of you that we’ve previously had only in our editor’s view) and toying with a lot of secret material experiments and design projects I can’t wait to share with you too! (Hint: Lasers! Leather! Reflectiveness!) Realizing and remembering that real world design, development, prototyping, etc is far slower than the jetset ‘see - shoot - share’ pace of digital. And it feels great to take the time to iterate over the little details and obsess over finding the best solutions along the way. So more to come on all of that shortly… but for now - how awesome is this mossy ring? See more pics on the next page.
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!
Earlier this evening, I headed to the previously featured urban food hub, FARM:shop Dalston for a preview of “Sunday lunch in 2063, an exploration into the sustainability of food and drink in the luxury sector”, part of Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge which will be part of the Brighton Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and London Cocktail Week later in the year. The lectures will be presented jointly by mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr. Lyan), Shay Ola (Rebel Dining Society) and Duncan McRae (Hendrick’s British Ambassador) and our taster was hosted by the menu’s creators. Intrigued by sustainable luxury and “edible curiosities made from insects”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. More photos and a look at the menu on the next page!
IKEA has expanded their Solvinden spring/summer collection of solar lights (can you believe we’ve been writing about these since 2009?!?!) to now include not only solar but WIND powered lighting!!! It’s a fun idea ~ and designer, David Wahl, tells us more about them (and shows them in action) in the video on the next page! These were apparently “Inspired by the playfulness and movement of amusement park lamps” and “The designers and product developers worked closely with the supplier - even driving around holding a prototype out the window - to test the wind-power until everything worked.” Fun! Can’t wait to try these out in person… take a peek at the video and more pics on the next page!
Shopping for a car in the mall. Pick up a pair of shoes, grab a bite in the food court, then saunter in to a store to build your car on an iPad and email it to yourself, then hop down into the parking garage for a quick test drive?
Tomorrow, LA based tech startup/car company, CODA, officially opens their first store in Century City ~ perhaps store isn’t even the right word ~ it’s an “experience center/meeting place” in which shoppers can learn about electric vehicles (EVs). Completely green ~ the facade and ceiling are made of reclaimed wood, the plywood is all formaldehyde free, even their wall graphics and pamphlets use eco friendly printing and materials. With a car parked outside, you can’t miss it’s location near the movie theater and food court, and even if you don’t peek in, the window inspires you with “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And when you’re ready for a test drive (or while looking for a parking space) ~ you can’t miss the special CODA section in the parking garage directly below the store with CODA’s waiting for you to give them a spin.
I love this trend of stores that are focused on the lifestyle and experience of a space versus simply selling their product. The theme of creating inviting spaces to engage buyers and could be buyers in a relaxed setting ~ and bringing the products and stores to where people already congregate (versus the usual destination streets filled with car dealerships.) is very Apple store like ~ and in fact Tesla brought on the man who helped create the first few to do theirs… and the team at CODA admitted Apple inspired their as well, and even strategically placed their first store near an apple store (across the way and down a few doors!) to attract people who like such experiential spaces. Will we be seeing more of these? I wonder which other genres will be next ~ is this going to continue to be an EV trend?
But first ~ take a peek into the beautifully designed CODA space in Century City as well as their test drive area in the parking garage on the next page!
Another London discovery from Justine!
An unexpected discovery on the way to FARM:shop, the Dalton Eastern Curve Garden looked irresistibly welcoming. The unexpected wildlife friendly garden is a beautiful sanctuary from the busy streets, like a big communal backyard complete with butterflies and bees drifting from flower to flower, children playing and locals relaxing in the sunshine as the pizza oven was being fired up.
The garden is situated on the abandoned Eastern Curve railway line. The area was transformed into a green space by the Design for London initiative Making Space in Dalston. The collaborative EXYZT built the ‘Dalston Mill’ for three weeks as part of The Barbican Centre’s ‘Radical Nature’ exhibition and returned to create the pavilion in 2010. The gardens opened just over a year ago in July 2010.
“A meeting place for people and plants”, the garden hosts courses, events, workshops and all sorts of activities for children and adults, it is a wonderful space and perfect way to escape for a few hours. More photos of this spectacular urban garden and pavilion on the next page.
Composting offers a great way to turn your kitchen waste into something useful. Depending on your setup it can even be easier than doing the dishes. There are a number of strategies for working it into your life even for those without a lot of time or space. Today we decided to round up some of the interesting composting techniques and options we have today ~ from giant rollers, to worms doing the job for you, to magical Bokashi cultures, and the gorgeous little incognito kitchen counter contraptions you can use… see it all on the next page!
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
I never knew i could do strawberries upside down! Justine’s pics of this display have me inspired to try it… they have some impressive yield even! And get so lovely and bushy looking! Love this display of Boskke Sky Planters in the House of Detention, an installation from Theo, the re-branded retail/online side of Thorsten van Elten at Clerkenwell Design Week. Take a peek at close ups… and views UP into the strawberries on the next page!
It’s begun! My Mushroom Kit is growing! Last night there was nothing (visible to the naked eye) ~ this morning? Shroom cluster popped out… somewhere between fascinated and having a hard time imagining these as food… had to get up close with it and share the beginnings with you… there’s even a second lower cluster starting too… take a peek at day one of mushroom madness on the next page.
p.s. and if you need a reminder of how this coffee ground brick in a cardboard box began…
The gardening bug seems to be going around as of late. Especially the trend in edible gardens at home! Regardless of whether you’re in a small apartment or a huge estate, we’ve been seeing windowbox gardens, herbs along the kitchen counter, upside down hanging tomato plants, rooftop gardens, guerilla gardens, community gardens, and full blown vegetable gardens fit to rival a farm. The daunting part perhaps is starting one…so Tasteologie Editor, Jackson, took on the task a few months ago in addition to working with friends on a few other vegetable gardens! On the next page you can see fun seedling growing options, and how they evolve into a full on vegetable garden!
Seed Pills! It seems like such a natural fit ~ everyone should be prescribed some seed pills to do their part and add a little more green to our world! Another project we encountered as part of the Selfridges’ GROW Concept Store and Guerilla Gardening Windows - Vanessa Harden’s seed pills. In addition to these clear pill capsules filled with seeds (which are purchasable in store), she has designed a series of “Subversive Gardener” concepts to do everything from launch the seeds from an umbrella’s top (as seen in her window display) or a bag to drill holes into the ground or a camera to launch seeds… as well as a “Horticulturalist Series” with seeds shooting out of a gun, or a walking stick… and more! Gel capsules with tiny seeds - melting down dispersed throughout the world, the idea of prescribing more green is just what some of us need! Take a peek on the next page…
Happy Earth Day! It’s been fun watching the evolution and growing trend of seedbombing - our latest find, Seedboms from Kabloom which are featured in the Selfridges’ Guerrilla Gardening display in their windows and Wonder Room. The little grenades are only available in the UK for now, as they feature four mixes of native species (Sunflower Incredible, Nasturtium Peach Melba, Cornfield Annual Mix and Native Wildflower Mix). However, other EU mixes are under development! Their design, display, and packaging were too irresistible to pass up, so we picked up a few while there… they are now in 4 packs and singles (and the 4 packs can even be split up, complete with to:/from: tag, for sharing!) Check them out close up on the next page!
It’s hard not to be drawn in glass bubblers, plants, and large canisters mysteriously hooked up… spotted out in Ventura Lambrate in Milan, this is the Compost Distiller by Lisa Johansson from the Royal College of Art. The unit is no ordinary compost bin. The beautiful system turns plant-based waste into biofuel, soil nutrients and compost. Unlike your typical composter, the unit includes subsections for both fermentation and distillation processes between the bin and garden composter, allowing you to harness more energy and nutrients in the waste before it becomes soil. See more about how this contraption works as well as close ups on the next page!
We love living walls (and the many options available!) ~ found a gorgeous entry way of easily DIYable felt pouches housing strawberries and herbs at Ortofabbrica in Zona Tortona today! Gorgeous and simple, you can sew your own pocket panels with two sheets of felt, make grids across them… and slit them and pop your plants in! See the full installation on the next page!
From surreal bent wood cocoons, to augmented reality projections on the screens outside the pod windows showing you real time views of the Eiffel Tower… even though you are UNDERGROUND… to a stunning living wall… the Six Senses Spa Paris is transformative on so many levels. Oh! And it even has its own secret elevator from the Westin, Place Vendome, for tose who wish to drop down to their subterranean oasis without stepping foot outside. The interior is designed by French architect Pierre David, integrating the elements of light, wood, stone and earth. The vertical garden that greets you as you enter from street level is created by landscape artist Patrick Blanc. The combination of greenery, gorgeous eco-centric design, and technology had me visually inspired as it was… combine one of the most diving massages, and it was hard to leave the cocooned underground haven… if only there were bird’s eye view looks at the Eiffel Tower projected BELOW your head when face down looking through the massage table hole… i kept being tempted to peek to stare at the projected views outside my pod window! See pictures of this Six Senses oasis on the next page!
London always has the best windows! And Justine just did a little exploring and came back with great pics!
Here’s a look at Gorgeous Guerrilla Gardening window series at Selfridges’ Orchard Street side, which launched March 4th. They are filled with gardening goodness, from NOTCOT favorites like seed bombs and the Carrie bike basket, to floral grenades, seeds that burst from umbrellas, old bikes upcycled into transport contraptions, and more! To find out more check out Selfridge’s own press release for the new Spring 2011 windows and the Wonder Windows page at Guerrilla Gardening. Check out the amazing windows on the next page!
There is a trend of impressive projection advertising going on in Germany ~ through both Mercedes-Benz and BMW. I love that both are not simply about being larger than life, but about eco-friendliness (in the case of BMW, the projections are mainly powered by wind energy) and environmentally aware (the Mercedes one helps you SEE through walls, at bikers, skateboards, and unexpected things coming around the corner) ~ both make fascinating and beautiful uses of the spaces around them. AND! Of course, videos of each on the next page to see them in action!
Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… Today, we’re going GREEN at home, in gorgeous and unexpected ways as sponsored by Starbucks who is celebrating their 12 Days of Sharing with us, all around NOTCOT.org! Ready for the green gift guide? Check out the next page!
Hybrid concepts for future sports cars are inescapable ~ remember the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG E-Cell? Well here is the stunning Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid concept car with plug in hybrid that launched in Geneva i’ve been obsessively looking at pics of lately. Look at those wheels in particular! And the aggressively sleek exterior? Stats: “An emission level of just 70 grams CO2 per kilometer on fuel consumption of three liters/100 kilometers (equal to 94 mpg imp) outstanding even for an ultra-compact city car. 0 to 100 km/h in just under 3.2 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph). Body shell made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) with appropriate use of magnesium and aluminum to reduce weight to less than 1,490 kg or 3,285 lb and provide stiffness.” Although just a concept, they said it would be put into production if 1000 people were serious about it… and it looks like it might be happening! Take a peek at the gorgeous promo video and close up pics on the next page.
On products that got me all excited at CES back in January that i couldn’t write about until now… the Belkin Conserve Valet!!! A “Smart USB Charging Station ~ Save Energy, Reduce Clutter”… as you know, chargers left plugged in can still be power vampires, but it’s not always easy when you’re in a rush to remember to unplug them all! I’m guilty of “docking” (aka plugging my phones/laptop/etc in) right next to my bed when i crash, then grabbing them and heading out in the mornings… leaving the chargers hanging… with the Belkin Conserve Valet, i can do that, and not waste energy! Since it will auto shut off and draws ZERO power when its not in use! It’s also nice that its so pretty and simple ~ with a nice matte black grippy surface, cord management, and more… perfect for cell phones, bluetooth headsets, ps3 controllers and more! (Perhaps it needs an add on stand to dock my iPad too?) The nice Belkin-ers sent me some early samples to poke at, so you can see an unboxing and some close up pics on the next page!
p.s. Not available till Mid July ~ but available for pre-order on Amazon.
How exciting is this prototype as far as greener sports cars go? But calm down a bit, unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell gullwing isn’t scheduled until sometime in 2013… 526 horsepower, 649-pound-feet of torque, 0 to 60 in 4 seconds… just a smidge slower than its gas powered counterpart. As for this paint color… wow. It is apparently called “AMG lumilectric magno” paint. For more technical details check out the piece by Automobile Mag, for more lustworthy images ~ including a look at the intriguingly simple dashboard and carbon fiber center console, see the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT
I’m loving all of these more luxurious Freitag bags, fun to see them evolving and growing up so much from when i first became obsessed with them in high school… With a title like: DAS MAGAZIN X FREITAG - A FREITAG BAG LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN. ~ how can one not be intrigued? R099 WYSS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH PENS AND NOTEBOOKS. ~ Apparently its for people like us! If you interpret notebook to mean not only paper notebooks but digital ones as well… Their inspiration? “Laure Wyss was the journalist that founded one of Switzerland’s first (and best) weekly supplements, «DAS MAGAZIN» in 1970. And the new R099 is called WYSS because it was a journalist from «DAS MAGAZIN» who approached FREITAG asking for a special bag to meet his demands. The result is the «DAS MAGAZIN» special edition. A bag like you’ve never seen one by FREITAG. Made from vintage, unicolored truck tarpoulins, toting metal buckles and a totally new, antiquated appeal.” The design of the bag has evolved the recycled materials to no longer be the focal point of the design, so much as another material being used in a stunningly detailed bag, with metal buckles and a vintage inspired design ~ that will soften and age beautifully with use… see more pics of the new design on the next page!
It’s that time of year again ~ IKEA’s spring/summer goodies are out, and i’m once again fascinated by what they are doing design wise for low cost outdoor solar lighting. Here’s what they had going last year ~ and to be honest, and an upclose look at them unboxed… and a year later, the ones in my patio, some are holding up ok, some really just dont last long lighting the world up at night anymore. Perhaps i need to swap some new rechargable AA’s in. I’m intrigued by the new additions this year though ~ from floor lamps and desk lamps to pendant lamps and even snake like lighting tubes… do you use them indoors? but in strategic locations that get lots of light? They are apparently approved for outdoors, so it could make for a cute little patio set up… and it looks like you might even be able to turn the table and desk lamps on and off… so charge them up and only pull the switch when you need it outside? (Will this make the battery last longer?)… take a peek at some larger pics on the next page!
Packaging based impulse buy at Whole Foods when i got home… “Clean Air Tree” ~ a biodegradable potato waste pod containing spruce tree seeds in a soiless growing pellet in a biodegradable growing pot… complete with an FSC paper booklet printed with veg based ink… sealed in a compostable corn starch sleeve… super green packaging? And apparently when you plant/buy one, they do too… but unfortunately their website seems a bit broken, so i couldn’t register my pod yet… See the next page for the unboxing… start at planting… and lets hop there are sprouts soon! And someday perhaps a tree…
Ok, i kind of freaked out a little when i saw the new Freitag Reference collection Limited Editions over at 10 Corso Como, and instantly needed the laptop sleeve. This feels like a classier more refined Freitag than what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. I had a Freitag wallet that was worn pretty thin through high school, and let’s just say that was about a decade ago… The messenger bags were usually pretty heavy and not so lined… still truck tarps though! These SILVER limited editions pulled me right over… and they are lighter and lined with a nice light yet sturdy canvas. The Laptop sleeve also fits my requirement of no zippers… and has a magnetic clasp! Also the metal logo is darling… So it turns out that this is part of a limited edition series, 34 numbered silver pieces for 10 Corso Como, and gold pieces for Colette. How i never heard about them till now, is honestly, a little embarrassing. Apparently they dropped mid January… But better late than never? And i’m grinning and playing with the sleeve as i write this! Also incredibly tempted by the overnighter bag… and i’ve been scouring the net to find more pics to see what else is in the collection, and came across HopeHope’s post mentions that this is a sneak preview of the collection to appear in Fall 2010. In addition to the laptop sleeve and overnight bag, i saw a larger tote, two wallets, and two ipad sized handbags… from the HopeHope pics it looks like there are messenger bags, vertical totes with pockets, and more. See closeups of the laptop sleeve and a peek at the overnighter… the details are stunning.