By sheer luck and an unreliable sense of direction, I discovered Nobrow on Great Eastern Street, in East London. What a gem! Nobrow is part shop, part studio and part gallery. The folks at Nobrow run both a small press of beautifully tactile illustrated books as well as a screenprinting studio. Here’s a look inside the gorgeous shop, a peek at a few of their lovely books, and look at the Masks exhibition by Ben Newman!
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Beautifully refreshing, I was blown away by the setting of this wonderful showcase of Swedish Design. Hemma, which means ‘home’ in Swedish, is one of two exhibitions of Swedish Design Goes to London and is appropriately hosted in the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence, a beautiful 18th century house.
The beauty and elegance of the house works incredibly well with the clean, contemporary designs showcased in Hemma and the venue is a stunning and welcome addition to this year’s design festival. For example, love the contrast between the chandeliers and the vibrant purples of Sara Reinholtz’s Pixtel Shapes. More photos of this stunning exhibition on the next page.
I’m a huge fan of the work of Noma Bar, who does wonders with negative space and always achieves so much with clean lined minimalism. So I was very excited to hear about his project ‘Cut-it-Out’ at Outline Editions as part of this year’s London Design Festival, especially when I heard we would have the chance to take part and make our own cut outs with his incredible dog (and cat and rat) shaped cutting machine!
The image making machine is a a 2 m high die cutter that weighs over 750 kg and applies 4 tonnes of pressure when the joysticks (located in the dog’s mouth) and depressed. Visitors during workshops can create their own Noma Bar patterns by selecting an A3 sheet of paper (in any of 36 colors) and their favorite of 8 designs. The paper is then careful set between the die and board and swivels the dog’s head into cutting position. Then, a quick and steady push of the joysticks applies the pressure and cuts the image. Great fun and a beautiful way to create a stunning piece of art. More pics of Noma’s screenprints and cut outs, the stunning machine, and our own die cut experience 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.
Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!
20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!
A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!
A few weeks ago, Eric Yang of Gear Patrol, was nice enough to step in for me and go on a British adventure with Bentley on behalf of NOTCOT ~ of the MANY pictures he returned with, one of the first to catch my eye were these from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at the entrance to the First and Concorde Galleries lounges… Troika’s “All The Time In The World” from 2008 looks beautiful. This 22m long electroluminescent wall “extends the conventional notion of a world clock, which commonly concentrates on capital cities in different time zones, by linking real time to places with exciting and romantic associations like far-away places, exotic wonders and forgotten cultures.” The way the text is drippingly formed is fun to watch ~ take a peek at it i the video and pics in the next page.
On fun new features over at Tasteologie, our culinary editor, Jackson, has been out in London this week exploring the world of GIN! First up is a look inside the world of Beefeater Gin and how it comes to be… pics and video galore!
Ferrari parts, tiny abstract people, and architecture - how can you go wrong? Justine has found more window fun on London’s Regent Street. The display in the Ferrari store is my favorite of the Regent Street Windows Project, a collaboration between Regent Street retailers, the Royal Institute of British Architect’s, Elle and Regent Street.
The Ferrari display, “Cities of Tomorrow” showcase Ferrari-inspired urban environments of the future. The window designs are the work of Duggan Morris Architects in collaboration with Ferrari and Pipers. The displays are made of Ferrari memorabilia, original, unique and certified components from past and present of F1 and GT cars, which can be purchased from the Ferrari store. The Cities of Tomorrow windows will be on view at the Ferrari Store on Regent Street until Sunday 29 May 2011. Take a peek at the installations on the next page!
We’re not really sure what’s going on with these yet… but Justine found these Mr. Potato Head’s in the windows of Liberty in London. With a twist ~ paired with designer fashions…. there are literally bags of real potatoes… adorned with gold spray painted Mr. Potato Head parts! See more close ups of the bizarreness on the next page!
We’ve been busy here at NOTCOT tweaking and building and designing secret things we’re rolling out as they become ready ~ live testing and debugging ~ silly things like that… one of them you may have noticed over at Tasteologie - special featured* posts (which used to only link here to NOTCOT.com) may sometimes lead you to special posts within the various grid sites (Tasteologie is the first i’m experimenting with this on!)… so far you can see things like the heart shaped eggfruit, Top Chef Tiffany Derry’s dinner in St Croix, and even a video of drinking coconut water with a papaya straw! More to come, constant work in progress as always!
The latest? Justine went and checked out the adorable, hidden, Victorian Worship St Whistling Shop - tasting all kinds of delights, playing with the jasmine mist poured on oysters, exploded vodka martinis, jenga like stacks of hand cut chips, and more! The decor and settings are gorgeous as well! Love the lamp post INSIDE even!
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…
It seems i left london just a few days too early… luckily Justine was able to experience the wonka-esque waterfall of chocolate for us! Check out her adventures below…
Our friends Bompas & Parr are at it again, just in time for Easter. When I heard they were creating a five tonne chocolate waterfall in the middle of Whiteleys Shopping Centre in London, I had to check it out.
As I made my way to waterfall, I could smell the chocolate. It seemed surreal that what looked like a simple storefront could house a five tonne waterfall of chocolate, but the heady, overpowering scent of cocoa suggested we were in for a real treat… you won’t believe your eyes when you see the madness they set up (and the souvenir you get to bring home too!) ~ pictures and video on the next page!
London silliness - When browsing the produce section, spotted a strange item among the berries. Pineberries! They look like inverted strawberries and are known as pineberries (a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana). The original pineberry was a South American species which went extinct in the wild, but which has since been hybridized and cultivated in the Netherlands.
Although they debuted at Waitrose last year, the berries still seem hard to get a hold of and have just come back into season and we had to try them. Though they are meant to taste a bit like pineapple, ours were a bit more watery, with a texture similar to a strawberry. But our bunch may not have been fully ripe (some of their seeds were still green rather than red). Not sure they’ll make it into our basket again, but they definitely have the novelty factor and look like no other fruit! For more about how they taste, see the Guardian’s review and for more pics (including inside them! and the fun packaging!), check out the next page!
Photo credit: Tom Swain
On more awesome London window discoveries, Justine has been working on this post all week ~ but we got a bit distracted while running around in Paris!
“The craftsman’s heart rate will be monitored while he works and transferred to a computer, which will in turn convert the data into commands for a sewing machine.” Interactive installation art from Fendi over at Harrods! I spotted these gorgeous windows at Harrods and was intrigued by the intricate leatherwork and prominently featured machinery. While many of Harrods’ other windows are under construction, window number five features the work of British artist-designer Rowan Mersh and artisan Cyril Letellier. The collaborative performance and is a part of Fendi’s global project, ‘Fatto A Mano’, which translates to hand made. From leather to heart rate to machine to more machines… the out put is a fascinating sculptural form of sorts… see it all in action on the next page!
The Grant Museum of Zoology has always been one of my favorites. Tucked away on Gower Street (near Euston Square tube), the Grant Museum is open to the public on weekday afternoons. The eclectic zoological museum is part of University College London’s teaching collections and one of only a handful of university zoology museums.
I’d visited the museum before and was amazed by the hidden gem, packed full of spirit collections and skeletons. When they closed 8 months ago for refurbishment, I have to admit I was worried about what changes it would bring. I have a soft spot for the quirky, cluttered, Wunderkammer style it had embodied. So when I re-entered the newly refurbished museum today, I wasn’t sure what to expect; but as you can see from the photos, they’ve done a fabulous job of creating a great space that plays to the strengths of their weird and wonderful collection. Take a little tour through the fascinating collection and space on the next page!
Another fun discovery from Justine! How adorable are these paper birds?! These paper sculptures are part of a gorgeous window display at Liberty. The display was comissioned by The Crafts Council and designed and created by paper artist Andy Singleton to celebrate the opening of the Liberty Stationery Room on March 10th. See the full display and more 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!
Tanks of liquid nitrogen! Kitchen Aid Mixers! Swings! Lab coats! ICE CREAM! So many awesome elements come together at Chin Chin Labs, the new Nitro Ice-Cream Parlor in London. The combination sounded too fun not to send Justine and Charles to go check out, and they came back with lots of pics and stories of their adventures watching the spectacle unfold in the tiny shop. See all the pics and read more on the next page…
Dog lamps! And Doggie portraits! Justine just sent some awesome pics over of “A Shoe Is A Dog’s Best Friend” with assemblage dog lamps by James Plumb and photos of his dogs by Bruce Weber… as spotted in some London Selfridges windows! So bizarre, yet cute, this window is a must see! Check out some of the details on the next page…
p.s. find some awesome design details while running around? Feel like sharing them with the NOTCOT community? Drop us a line!
On fun unexpected inspiration ~ RUGenius sent over some pics of London department store, Harvey Nichols’, latest elaborate window display, ‘Everyday Things’, which certainly does not disappoint. The window series consists of everyday objects (pencils, clothespins, nails, cassette tapes and plastic toys) to create more elaborate sculptural pieces. Piano’s made of cassettes of all shapes and sizes, dresses of clothespins, cars of toys, men made of books, bikes made of tools, and more! Stunning! See the close ups on the next page!
Here’s a new Dear NOTCOT from Justine who popped by the Central St. Martin’s Pop Up Shop in London for us! Some fun finds, especially the lamp that goes skeletal when turned on! See all her pics on the next page!
On my way home on Friday, I dropped by Central St. Martin’s Pop Up Shop on Clerkenwell Road. It was buzzing with tutors DJing, students mingling and beers flowing. Lots of great pieces to snap up before Monday! The week-long pop up shop under the name ‘2060’ runs for one week (ending June 7th) and showcases work from second year graphic design students from the Saint Martins College of Art’s BA Graphic Design course. The shop is the final stage of a 6 week project, which looks at manufacturing as an integral part to the design process. Take a peek at a few quick snaps at some of the items that caught my eye on the next page!
Wow. What a few weeks/months/etc its been ~ but the last week in particular feels like the quietest i’ve been online in a LONG time! So before hopping back into the design chaos ~ after design week in NY, i popped across the pond to the english countryside to celebrate my little sister’s wedding. Who knew, even with wifi, it would actually keep me busy enough to stop working nearly completely! So here are a few pics of some of the random, prettiness encountered over the last few days on the next page…
Good morning 3am London ~ it’s been quite the evening with Nike Football/Soccer, running around and ending up on buses with ~400 international press folks ~ ending up at Battersea Power Station in the rain with its huge purple projections, only to delve deeper into what some felt was like a bat cave or villainous lair of lights and steps and shiny new products to tempt us with. But the main attraction announced tonight (with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo) ~ was what all this purple was about! And my favorite part of course is not only the new shoe, the Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II… but the magical glowingly purple glass/cement box that looked like an apple store in a shipping container. The purple dots on the glass became smaller and smaller until you could see the wall of shoes hung upon them… On the next page see pictures of the installation, the new Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II, the new Nike Football+ iphone app (with twitter/facebook integrations), design sketches… and the full press release!
On more things i’ve been meaning to post for a while. Here’s a brilliantly fun idea… how do you take a normally boring average looking bottled Magners Pear Cider and elevate (or catapult) its status instantly? Give the awesome Bungalow 8 in London an exclusive stunning bottle that is only available there, and only 500 bottles are produced. The new design was created for Magners by their brand entertainment agency, Cake. They were even kind enough to send one over so i could take a look at it in person - and its lovely! Its a sleek black bottle with 5 gloss silver sticker stripes wrapping the bottle and the Bungalow 8 ‘8’ etched in the silver pear. Honestly, it’s hard to look at the original bottle the same way after seeing and holding this. Actually, it’s hard to look at any cider or beer the same. Why don’t they all look this stunningly designed? See more pics on the next page…
On random sunday inspiration from the tons of photos from the last few weeks of travel, while wall stickers have been a bit overdone the last few years, and black on white vector motifs have been omnipresent more so than usual this design week. But what was surprisingly lovely was the juxtaposition of the gorgeous white house within The Dock, with beautiful ornate ceiling moldings and wrought iron staircases contrasted with these delicate 2D strands and clusters of black faux foliage and fauna draping on the bright white walls. A little cluttered, but nicely detailed and random ~ the concept has been stuck in my head and inspired so many ideas! Take a peek at more pics + close ups on the next page...