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.
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It’s pretty mind blowing what some artists manage to do with nothing but a pile of red bull cans! I know i’ve been a bit slow in updating the tags recently ~ time flies! So i’m super excited that NOTCOT Advertiser, Red Bull, was game to let me showcase my favorites from the previous Red Bull: Art of the Can winners in the tags for a few weeks! Also, entries are now open for the next round of the Red Bull: Art of the Can contest, so if you think you have what it takes, definitely get chugging the red bulls and designing/building away, then enter! Now for a bit more inspiration, look at a few close up detail shots of some of my favorites on the next page… i can’t even imagine how they did some of these!
This post is the last in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Syfy’s Caprica focused on Future Technologies. As usual, our fun advertisers enable us do our thing around a theme by trusting us when it comes to content! OH! and it starts tonight! (I’m excited!)
So on future possibilities ~ perusing DesignBoom this morning, i became totally fascinated by the possibility of living in a turbine… or vacation in one… as a floating island… just imagine the views! And the bizarre potential of such a structure? On Office has been researching and visually exploring the potential of Turbine City to perhaps live off the coast of Stavanger, Norway. Apaprently Norway has the best conditions in the world for utilizing offshore wind power with its longest windiest coast! Don’t mock, but this world feels very Waterworld meets scandinavian design meets dubai architecture at the moment… See more images on the next page!
Leave it to Belkin to understand me well enough to be the ultimate tease and torture me just enough. I always love their booths, the design is above and beyond ~ becoming this fabulous, beautiful experience, with such fun logical user flows as you navigate it… this year, no booth, but they emailed saying that there is a suite, and invited me to come check it out. BUT, they aren’t inviting media in. AND the majority of the products won’t be launched until spring 2010, so no writing about those, yet. BUT, they trust me, so i can take pics to my heart’s content ~ and then stare at them. In my computer. For months. So now i’m finding ways to share the really cool displays and carpet and paths and installations… cropping strategically not to give anything away that i’m not allowed to. SO, here is one post filled with everything BUT products (except a few! which are out ~ and quite awesome!)… so take a peek at the very fun subway map themed suite of Belkin at CES 2010! It’s a beautiful room ~ they really did a number on it to make it feel more like an awesome science museum exhibit instead of the big box of a hotel suite it is. You have to see the way the paths flow from hardwood to carpet and up the walls so nicely. So take a peek inside at this collaboration between the Belkin team and Commonwealth… a few products to share… and many more to come (2010 has some REALLY fun stuff coming from Belkin. AGH. The agony. I promise i’ll show you more when i can.)
Another friend of NOTCOT and fellow socal native (although she’s in NY now, her mom/biz partner/designer of this awesome new canvas duck bag is still in La Jolla) ~ Emily of Baggu shares the story of how she and her mom came to start this stylishly simple reusable bag line… as well as showcase their latest foray out of ripstop nylon and into the classic canvas bag: the Baggu Duck Bag! I must say i wasn’t sure from the photos at first, but once i played with it in person, i’m smitten. It’s so soft, yet strong ~ just wide enough on the bottom ~ perfect length ~ and LOVE how it looks when you button it and hide the shoulder strap! Anyhow ~ see their story on the next page… and they too have been super generous with a big Baggu giveaway!
Giveaway! It’s a Baggufest ~ you can win one green duck bag, a set of green Baggu X3, 2 Baby Baggus, one small and one large produce baggu, one BIG baggu, and two patterned baggus. Giveaway details on the next page!
Previously i showed you PACT Yves Behar designed undies for a cause... and the packaging was the biggest mystery, with the packaging/labels that biodegrade in 45 days, and the little pouches that each underwear comes in... well it arrived! So take a peek... honestly i dont know that it *looked* the price it cost the way it arrived... BUT they feel amazing, and look great on. The little pouches look a lot like a Baggu pouch (only made of matching print cloth).
Take a peek at the close ups of the packaging and product on the next page!
I never thought i'd wake up this morning, and end up buying Yves Behar designed underwear... but i'm too curious. And the photography is just so adorably happy. And a portion goes to a good cause (or three!)... freshly launched today is PACT - the brain child of entrepreneurs, Jason Kibbey & Jeff Denby. Also, i doesn't hurt that for the most part i like how clean and refreshing their site is! As for the options: three colors, three causes, and three cuts for men and women... whether you want solids or the adorable patterns... you can pick to support 826 International, ForestEthics, or Oceana. All great causes, and all patterns/colors/fits look great.
The part i'm most curious about right now? PACKAGING! "Each pair of underwear is packed in its own reusable fabric bag." and "PACT's unique bright green shipping package is made from a special material that is 100% compostable. It can go straight into your green bin for commercial composting. Even the shipping label and the adhesive used to affix the label are compostable." ~ so perhaps more pics to come once mine arrive... but for now take a peek at how fun the imagery and designs are on the next page...
I always look forward to goodies from Artecnica ~ so much good stuff ~ and good for the world too! As part of their Design w/ Conscience initiative ~ TBWA (yes the advertising agency massive) approached them to help recycle their billboards... their solution? these adorably inspired Stretch Bags! I have written about a LOT of recycled bags over the years ~ everything from truck tarps to windbreakers to fire hoses to gymnastics horses... but it's been a while since one has been innovative enough to grab my attention like this one!
The Artecnica TBWA Recycled Billboard Stretch Bag is debuting this month and is part of the newest 2009 collection - "A single cut, without glue or a stitch, 100% billboard bag lies flat and weightless but transforms into a shoulder Stretch bag, that can carry up to 33lbs. Perfect for the beach, the gym or market." See more pics on the next page!
SurfMonk ~ i wrote about these comfy cozy looking surf coverups and blankets over a year ago, but only just caught up and checked them out in person. As you can see, i couldn't resist, and brought some home! These are the types of things you definitely need to check out in person, or at least have someone you trust check it out ~ but they feel AMAZING. My car is always ready for the beach, and this just made the cut, it is such an incredible (super secret special blend) bamboo/cotton terry used, that once you feel it, you will want the whole line. SurfMonk opened up a showroom/store in Malibu this May, so in yesterdays gorgeous socal beach weather i cruised up PCH to check it out, and lucked out ~ and designer/owner, Claudia Taylor, was in! It's so nice to meet people who are incredibly passionate about their lives and business ~ and it's clear that she cares about every aspect of SurfMonk ~ from the great tagline sewn into every hood "We are all islands, oceans connect us." to the luscious custom materials locally made here in LA to the simplicity and comfort of the pieces. The classic pieces are large monk like robes large enough for surfers to both change underneath and curl up in. (Really, slanket lovers would just adore these)...
my favorites though ~ are the blankets! It's so hard to find the perfect beach blanket, and this is my new fave. Also the strap she has designed for them are incredibly simple, versatile and functional ~ nothing a little tension can't take care of? With cozy terry shoulder pads, cotton/hemp straps, and brass clips ~ loop it around just about anything, clip it together, and you're good to go! Also the wrap skirts! And the kids robes are adorable! Take a peek at details of the newly opened store and details on the next page!
i always hated that phrase "No man is an island" - much prefer "We are all islands, oceans connect us."
Found these adorable wooden kids pull toys the other day, and the simplicity of the design, and the appeal of the adorable glossy turtles. From Maya Organic Toys in India ~ made from a sustainable wood source and hand crafted with natural dyes, it even has nice simple eco-friendly recyclable packaging! My favorite part are the details like... it looks as if they lacquered the whole sphere, THEN cut the stripes into them... and they spin simply from the friction of the little sphere "legs" rolling along! Check out the video and more close ups on the next page!
The one thing that i couldn't get out of my head after leaving Dwell On Design - Woolly Pocket Gardening Company, and they adorably cool recycled plastic felty living walls/vertical gardens and planter pockets! It's a brilliant concept that really softens up a space, and such a fun subtle texture to add both indoors and out. These pockets are ready for planting, come in a variety of sizes... and can be both lined on the interior base (so they wont leak onto your walls/etc) or unlined for outdoor use. "Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. They`come in two styles: those designed to be placed on horizontal surfaces, and those designed to be hung on walls for vertical gardening. You can use Woolly Pockets both indoors and out; they have built-in moisture barriers to help protect furniture, and they're equally at home outside in the elements"
Also - how adorable is that logo and tag??? Their website + blog have adorable photography as well ~ but for some first hand looks at them, check out more pics on the next page of the various setups and colors all over the Dwell show ~ not only at their booth, but also found at the VIP section and throughout the Outdoor section. I have so many ideas for movable gardens in my patio as well as covering some walls now! See the pics...
How perfect would the small table top ones be for fun succulent filled gifts???
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!
First spotted at the Areaware booth at ICFF, then again at the Designboom Local show ~ how adorable are these nesting "Step Stools" tables by Paul Loebach? The design is so perfectly cute, and the color palette really makes it pop! ... in a refreshingly green playful minimal sort of way. "Hard Maple, Birch Plywood - Inspired by the simple versatility of American Shaker furniture, these nesting stools pull out to make a set of steps." See more images of it from both shows on the next page!
There are some things you can read about and only when you play with it and get to take it apart in person do you fully understand how awesome it is. It also doesn't hurt to first see it in an awesomely large grouping arranged like a sculpture on the 3rd floor deck of the The Standard, New York with all of NYC as the backdrop... and then again back down on the ground in a shipping container both intact and taken apart...
Of course i'm talking about Artek's 10 Unit System by Shigeru Ban! Both Artek and Shigeru Ban are known for their love of beautiful simplicity, functionality, and sustainability ~ so it's no surprise that this 10 Unit System emobodies all of those qualities wonderfully. "Systematizing, Standardizing, Making It Accessible." This is the chair who's motto is boldly "One chair is enough"... and being constructed of 10 identical L shaped pieces, one can create chairs of varying designs, stools, coffee tables, and even combine them for benches and more. When feel like a quick change, simply rearrange the pieces! These are made from ProFi, an environmentally friendly wood-plastic composite - non-toxic, sustainable, and recyclable, it utilizes the surplus materials from the label stock production of UPM. (Artek also used this material for the Artek Pavillion that was sold by Sotheby's as well as floor tiles.)
Take a look on the next page for images from the The Standard, New York deck ~ in the Playful New Finnish Design 09 shipping container ~ up close ~ press photos ~ and even the really fun propoganda cut/paste/photocopy zine looking booklet!
I'm extra giddy about this one ~ my old grad school friends from the Domus/Milan days ~ Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales ~ you may remember them as Toronto based Hero Design Lab which did the playful NotConcept series with NOTCOT a while back... have their first series of products Hero 365 showing at ICFF 09!!! Their first two products are the RC-1 Rain Collector and the DR-1 Clothes Dryer. With these "Extraordinary resource saving objects for everyday life" ~ they have taken simple ways to save energy and water, revamped some traditional concept, and made them beautifully functional. Take a look at more pics of these pieces on the next page!
And on living vicariously ~ having never had a booth of my own, it's been so fun to share in their excitement watching people react to their products after seeing sketches and the progress on these pieces over the last few months ~ hearing their stories of the drive to NY from Toronto with their booth components ~ and seeing how beautifully it all came together! Also ~ because of them, i got to meet Dan Funderburgh!!! (He stopped by and was chatting with them about the product while i was there! And i got all excited!)
So many puns. Must resist the puns. Let's just say its been a sucky day and leave it at that? Soooooo anyhow, on friday inspirations/distractions/obsessions... finally made it over to Rolling Greens Nursery in culver city, and it is TRULY mind blowing. So much beautiful stuff ~ not to mention the layout of the 4 tiered huge sections set into this pretty steep hillside ~ and the big sale (50% 1000$ pots and such)... i was like a kid in a candy store, oooohing and ahhhhhing over all the incredible plants, and then gave in and bought a bunch of succulents that i couldn't take my eyes off of... and before i planted them (slowly working on the back yard now) took a bunch of pics. The details are just so fascinating!!! Also found a really cool flower you'll see at the end of the pics on the next page as well...
HAPPY EARTH DAY! And good morning! Apparently i'm judging this latest Mimoco Contest ~ along with Cool Hunting and Inhabitat! Firstly what is GURPing (GURP = GreenBot USB flash drive Recycling Program)? Well apparently it is the Mimoco program to recycle all those unwanted flashdrives you've been accumulating (every few months they just get BIGGER, BETTER, and Cheaper!) In the last year they've already received hundreds!
So what's the deal? VIDEO CONTEST!!! From Earth Day until Mother's Day (May 10th), you can enter by making a video that promotes recycling via GURP.
"For every video entry received, Mimoco will contribute to save 1,000 square feet of rain forest through the Arbor Day Foundation's Rain Forest Rescue program. Mimoco, and their media partner judges at Cool Hunting, NOTCOT, and Inhabitat, will choose up to 100 entrants to receive limited edition, organic cotton MIMOBOT GURP t-shirts. The grand prize winner will receive two 8GB MIMOBOT flash drives of their choice. An Audience Choice winner, chosen by the Mimoco community, will win an 8GB drive of their choice, and four runner ups will each receive 4GB MIMOBOT drives." Read more about GURP and enter here.
you can watch the GURP instructional video on the next page!
I first met the adorable brothers Salm (Isaac, the numbers guy and Jaime, the design guy) of MIO on my press trip to Philadelphia a few years back ~ and their passion for sustainability, the history of philly as a manufacturing resource, and their love of design (as well as the way the PR girls swooned over them) were hard to miss. It's thrilling to see that they are one of the latest to be tapped by Target. It's a playful eco-friendly collection to help make "going green" even easier, claim the press release...
In the collection are: A set of gardening tools, solar garden lights, portable hammock, watering can, herbs, and a composter. Of them all, i'm most intrigued in the composter! After much hunting, there doesn't seem to be much in the realm of attractive composting hardware out there ~ this bright green piece is so playful and refreshing! Check out the full collection larger and the full press release on the next page! The collection will be available starting April 12th.
Continuing the obsession with solar powered playfully designed lighting... Remember that post last week about the new ones from IKEA? Well, i couldn't help myself and went and tracked them down, took a bunch of pics at the store, AND bought quite a few too! The real question really was, what is the quality like, how long do they last, etc... and bottom line, i'm LOVING the mini lanterns and the pod on a stick looking one the best! Also some pretty smart design choices on the lantern, but its not nearly as bright as i'd hoped... more pics of all the details on the next page!
Solar Birdhouse!!! Finally! Well, kind of. Here's the latest from Oooms ~ they describe their Solar BIrdhouse: "Why would only humans make use of eco-friendly technology? Studio OOOMS designed a birdhouse with a solar panel on it's roof. During the day sunlight feeds the solar panel, charging a small battery inside. At nighttime the transparent stick will light up and shed a tiny light on your garden. This light attracts an easy nighttime snack for the bird; all she has to do is stick her beak out of the hole and wait for the buzz."
As a slight side note ~ firstly, i'm super excited to hear this idea in production ~ i've been doodling and ranting with friends about the possibilities with solar power and bird feeders for some time now ~ my idea was more 24-hour-diner of feeders (less house like) ~ where in the day birds could get their usual munchies taken care of, and at night the light would attract bugs... but then most discussions got shot down by some of our resident biologists saying how it may turn into more of a bat feeder at night since they'd be the nocturnal residents most interested in the bugs... but that could also be pretty interesting! I also played with the ideas of bird feeders by day, lanterns at night... it would be so fun to have a playful project seeing what fun, functional, unexpected uses for solar energy in small scale products we could come up with!
Been obsessively shopping for solar lighting far too much the last few months ~ first as xmas gifts, and now for my patio space... so many look the same, and i was surprised how few clean modern options there were out there ~ also pricing was all over. Just noticed at MoCoLoCo that the new IKEA Summer 09 collection is on its way~ and after some IKEA site searching found all the new summer pieces here and all of the solar lights here! One nice thing about the IKEA selections, they all run on replaceable rechargeable batteries and use LEDs! Take a look at all of the fun designs on the next page ~ i can't wait to play with some when they get into the stores!
Oooh don't forget your green this St Paddy's Day ~ just saw these refreshing on Tcritic from Haha Press. From Haha's founder, Ian Law, there is the 4 Leaf Clover Patch ~ where there may or may not be a 4 leaf clover mixed in there! From Soko, there is a gorgeous Kiss Me Clover tee that applies "a typographic treatment to class-up the classic St. Pat's saying "Kiss Me I'm Irish." See close ups on the next page! And if you want one, shop quick! Both are in limited runs of 50!
Wishbone Bike from Skip Hop ~ with thoughtful, beautiful design for such playful, fun kids products, Skip Hop has yet to disappoint! Their latest addition is gaining distribution rights to New Zealand designed: Wishbone Bike, a 3 in 1 starter bike that grows with kids... from the stable lightweight tricycle, to pedal-less running bike, to normal bike for kids up to 5! It is also environmentally sustainable design and a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association 2008 Innovation Award Winner! See more pics on the next page!
Few can say they took packaging design cues from fast food burger containers... although Miniwiz's Solarbulb has been making the rounds this week due to their CES presence, and the very interesting concept of a solar powered light that can screw on to your standard plastic water bottles, or on their POLLI-brick bottles that are interlockable to build larger structures... not nearly enough attention has been paid to their packaging prototypes and iconography on them! Basically these solar/wind powered portable device designers make incredible use of cardboard! Also noteworthy is their miniNOTE ~ a cardboard mailer/postcard with a solar panel and battery built in for your recipient to charge and use instantly! Such a beautiful gesture ~ can you imagine sending "power" to a bunch of your friends? Take a peek at close up pics of their designs and CES booth display on the next page!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ telling us about your favorite green thing! ENTER BY 12/19. WINNER: Tom in Sunset, UT!
Hey ~ sorry ~ today kind of escaped me between the new toy and a bunch of businessy/ad related work/panic that kind of took over my day ~ the kind of takeover where you suddenly realize its midnight and you're still working... Anyhow! To catch up we're going to do two giveaways today! So first up is the 30th NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway (can you believe it's been 30?!?!?!) ~ from our eco-friendly friends at Branch Home ~ they are literally going green with this giveaway, having given us 4 pairs of these gorgeous Felt Swallows! So 4 light green and 4 dark green, and they hang on a simple, shiny, satin ribbon ~ made of 100% eco-certified felted wool in Germany, these birds are about 6" and ready for anything from decorating your tree, to hanging in your car, adding to a present's wrapping, or even letting the kids customize with their names, glitter, and more!
So to win this bundle of eco-friendly felty birdies, leave me a comment with your favorite green thing. (Yes, that is intentionally vague, anything green, from kermit to your recycling bin...) and don't forget the coupon from branch on the next page!