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!
Entries tagged with: london
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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...
I love libraries, books, bookshelves, and since i was a little girl i've always wanted one of those massive libraries with a rolling ladder to climb and slide around on... maybe that's part of the inevitable draw i have to leaning bookshelves. Combine that with a sleek, slim, modular swedish design in stunning blacks and whites and you've got me. When i came across the Swedese Libri shelving unit at Tom Dixon's The Dock. Favorite aspects, they are slim, yet wide enough to stack my favorite bigger design books every which way interspersed with objects, and simple enough to fill a wall with half a dozen units and still have it look beautiful... or even attach them to each other for non-wall-leaning freestanding units. It's always bad news when you see, fall for, and already envision exactly how something would fit into your space. Take a peek at more pics of it in context, in real life at The Dock, and product shots ~ on the next page!
On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn't help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won't lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like "horny cow" and "knackered cow", lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots... of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)... and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well... Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!
So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!
Last year when i was in Paris, i fell in love with Penhaligon's Artemesia ~ and while in London this year i had to make a pit stop to check out their stores... always exquisite with their packaging, and perfume being a bit of a pain to travel with, i fell for the Penhaligon's Artemesia solid fragrance in the silver plated compact ~ perfect for my purse, and such a nice weight to it too... so on pretty packaging details, and a beautiful gift to keep in mind next time i'm stumped on gifting... take a look at the details on the next page. And it smells divine, and the solid fragrance has an ever so subtle shimmer to it as well...
On stunning bottles, i couldn't resist this G&J Greenall's Bloom Gin ~ beautiful color, gorgeous silhouette, particularly from the side! Found it at Liberty in London when we were late night wandering, while waiting for a table in Soho for dinner... The other random note ~ who knew! The bathroom in the St. James Hotel and Club would be so incredible for taking backlit snapshots of the bottle?!?! And slightly disappointing note on packaging, that nice black extruded part on the neck? Just a sticker... As for the taste, its quite refreshingly delicious - the Bloom Gin website describes it as "... a new romantic twist to the world of gin. With its ornate jewel-cut bottle, Bloom's fresh flavour offers a strikingly smooth, soft taste. This triple distilled gin uses demineralised fresh spring water and natural botanicals for its flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light, refreshing experience rounded with subtle notes of honey and orange. Bloom -- a new gin to be enjoyed by lovers of nature." Definitely yummy ~ and will look stunning on any shelf. Take a look at the details on the next page!
Troy Abbott's Nano Cage - "All digital beauty. No Mess or Mortality." Came across this piece at Tent Digital at Tent London 2009, and it was hard to ignore, adorable little digital finches living in gps sized screens inside colorful bird cages... my favorite is of course the Yoko which lives in the classic bird cage in a matte black. In fact, all of these are even available for purchase!
While i can't possibly imagine having one of these replacing the joy of having an adorable little bird accompanying you... it's an intriguing concept mixing nature and technology, and it's certainly fascinating to watch... so take a peek at more pics and a quick video i made while at the show on the next page!
Far more exciting than design week, everywhere i went i heard "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!"... which seemed bizarre until i found out about the Icecreamists, and now i must tell you, "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!" Before i get into the space and concept itself though, their The Infamous Sex Pistol Ice Cream deserved a post all on its own... "Natural stimulants & Absinthe Ice Cream. A classic Fior di Latte or Milk Ice Cream blended with Ginkgo Biloba, Arginine and Guarana for blood flow and energy. Scented with a gentle infusion of citrus zest. Topped with a shot of La Fee Absinthe. Strictly only one per person. Served with a complimentary Icecreamist badge." The London Paper deemed this the "Viagra Ice Cream"... but realizing that the absinthe was served out of an iv drip, i simply HAD to order it. Also, this ended up being breakfast with a friend, so a little pick me up didn't help before a full day of shopping in the saturday high street crowds. To take a look at the process and the cocktail itself, check out the pics on the next page! More to come on The Icecreamists soon!
and while i don't normally love absinthe, this was rather delicious...
Sometimes you find inspiration in the most random of places... like stuck on the side of a cross walk button machine with a cucumber on top of it. This graphic from Waste Yourself was too cool not to share... found out in the East end of London when checking out Tent Design and wandering about. See it bigger and a few other silly little discoveries as well on the next page...
On exciting finds at London Design Week ~ my favorite discovery at Designersblock is definitely Masako Sugar and her Mushroom Hooks! I feel like i've been hunting for years for the perfect coat rack or hallway hooks ~ in fact i had a big post during my hunt back in 2007! Well i wish these had existed back then! Even though i'm not exactly sure where they will go when i get home, i couldn't resist buying three of the red ones ~ made of silicon rubber, it is nice to your clothes, far softer aesthetically than many of the harsher powder coated steel options omnipresent these days, and they are all one of a kind mushrooms (slightly different in spots, etc) ~ not to mention they look absolutely adorable on the wall, and i love the packaging! Also brilliant is the simplicity of the metal mount, and you can simply slip the silicon shroom over... or perhaps someday she'll expand the line to different hooks you can swap in? But for now. LOVE the mushroom hooks, take a peek at close ups on the next page!