The plastic briefcases are based on a 1965 design by Pio Manzù, the man behind the Fiat 127. The briefcases were initially designed as a promotional material for Fiat sales reps, but has been redesigned by Giacomo Manzoni. The plastic briefcases are made from a single mold with a 95% polystyrene and comes in the black, white and red. They are available through the Made in Bergamo e-store. See more pictures (and the packaging!) on the next page…
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We love succulents here at NOTCOT ~ remember the amazing patterns and incredibly gummy looking ones? The geometry of the patterns they create and emerge in are just mesmerizing… not to mention the colors and flowers and how tiny they start out and how adorably they evolve! Anyhow… while driving back down the 1 from Monterey to LA, we got curious and started pulling off to see the main streets of the towns along the way, including Cambria! And my eyes did a double take when i saw a bright, playful sign reading “Rare and Unusual Succulents” ~ we HAD to stop! And it is amazing. First you go through a house of garden goods… through their large patio… then you see it. Another house! With another “Rare and Unusual Succulents” sign on top… and within the Grow Nursery is loads of air plants (even in bubble gum machines!)… and out to ANOTHER patio FILLED with truly rare & unusual specimens. It was like a succulent wonderland, and we met the lovely Jan Moon, who blew our mind with her knowledge of them, rattling off scientific names and families and lots of information on which were new hybrids, what to expect, how to water, and more!
So check out the adorable and amazing space of Grow Nursery’s Rare & Unusual Succulents as well as the assortment we gave in to on the next page!
New York Design week has just passed, and as always, design events and products took over the city… with emails and coverage and goodness appearing all over the internet, even though i didn’t make it to NY this week, i’ve been following along and here’s a roundup of designs that grabbed me! From wheelbarrow chairs and bot like modular lamps… beautiful tables made of stunning wood or grassy tops… lamps both generative and basketball inspired… and more! See it all on the next page!
The beautiful Blooming Spark I Chandelier was created exclusively for Vessel gallery by by Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa. This floral light is a mesmerizing mix of colors, uv/incandescent, and materials…
As described on the Vessel gallery blog, “Tsai and Yoshikawa come from textile and sculpture backgrounds respectively. Their joint practice has cumulated in some extraordinary pieces that marry unexpected materials such as neoprene, acrylics and UV paint with lighting and installation. Their bold use of colour and modern sensibility combine to produce joyful, imaginative work. The pieces are contradictory being synthetic, organic and hand made all at the same time. Well known for their public and private commissions, for Vessel Gallery they have produced a vibrant unique sculptural chandelier in acrylic that resembles a bouquet of alien botany launched at Superdesign 2011, London’s premier design and art exhibition. Blooming Spark I is made in an edition of 9 + 3AP. Price £11’250. Dimensions: Height 55cm x Diameter 100cm. Blossom Spark I consists of 4x lamps max 60W E27 and 9x UV lamps. It is wired as two separate circuits that can be controlled independently.” See more details of the Blooming Spark I in light and dark on the next page.
There’s something magical going on over at TBWA\Chiat\Day in LA ~ I’ve been following @LeeClowsBeard on twitter for years now… endless amusement, for a while it was unclear if it may be the advertising legend Lee himself… then word spread it was another “fake” twitter account… the type that people stop caring is fake because its so well written and amusing. But you always wonder who is behind this stuff, and whether their “inspiration” approves. Well, in the case of Copywriter, Jason Fox, in Dallas,TX… while he managed to last about a year before asking if Lee knew about this twitter, and whether he approved, it seems to have worked out like a dream. Lee not only approved, but now there is a BOOK and an iOS APP!
Here’s a look at Jason Fox’s digital reveal today ~ and it was amazing to get to join the team at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA for the launch of Let There Be Dragons (TBWA\Chiat\Day’s new content creation offshoot who is also responsible for the book!) as well as the @LeeClowsBeard Book! Take a peek on the next page to see the festivities (including real life Lee Clow with 2D Lee Clow and @LeeClowsBeard) and a peek inside the book!
The BIG Jambox from Jawbone is here! and much like its tinier predecessor, the Jambox, (which we unboxed poolside over a year ago) - if you order it from Jawbone themselves, the packaging is FAR more fun than what you’ll see in retail stores… playful graphics adorn the cardboard box vs the clear plastic cases that showcase the product in stores. So, what’s fun about the BIG Jambox vs the Jambox? As the name says, it’s bigger ~ but also has bass, 15 hours of battery life, play/pause/skip buttons, and their new LiveAudio. While we love having the little Jambox for running around and even in the bathroom to bluetooth music while in the shower… the BIG one, is perfect for the kitchen or outside in the yard… and they both make for the perfect conference call mic/speaker!
Head to the next page to see the full unboxing and a size comparison between the BIG and small!
Inspiration in the randomest of places ~ ART IS MEDICINE! I remember vaguely seeing pictures of these little Zee pill toys by swiss toy makers, URFabulous (whose website is sadly no longer up!) years and years ago, but only just ran into a case of them yesterday and couldn’t resist the adorable little blind boxes. The packaging and pharmaceutical-esque copy heavy “instructions” that accompany it are even crazier than most you will get with real medication! See more pics and a full unboxing on the next page!
Remember that stunning illustrated octopus skateboard a while back? Well illustrator Sara Blake (aka ZSO) has just sent over one of her stunning new SCARVES! The Tantrum Scarf is a limited edition of 50 100% silk twill, hand rolled hemmed, 35” x 35” scarves that just became available. And while i hate admitting to feeling a bit like the pouty faced grump in the Tantrum artwork, being sick in bed is making the graphic feel all too perfect at the moment! As Sara explains on her site, “This project has been over a year in the making, from initial illustrations, to sampling silks, to the photoshoot, to creating custom packaging and the printed lookbook. The launch of the Tantrum Scarf is what I hope to be the first of many more projects and products.” Take a look at the gorgeous details on the next page!
Renting a vacation home versus going to a hotel often means foregoing the convenience of room service… and if you were to pick a gorgeous remote spot, you may not be able to find all your gourmet favorites either! But this doesn’t necessarily mean giving them up, instead, when we day dream a NOTCOT team getaway somewhere like Big Sur, we think it would be the perfect excuse to try all kinds of packable gourmet treats and condiments and other experiments on vacation! See some of the fun we’d love to play with on the next page!
New show just went up at Gallery 1988 Melrose: MEMES! Yes, all the ridiculous internet silliness inspiring art! My favorite… Leontine Greenberg’s two pieces, Oh Noes and They be stealin’ my bucket”, inspired by the LOLrus and Bucket meme… see the original on the next page… and the full show here.
“Officine Autodromo was founded to recapture a romantic era of motoring. It was a time of Gran Turismo when driving from city to city wasn’t just a matter of hopping onto an expressway. It meant slipping on your driving gloves for a high speed jaunt through the great roads of Europe with a powerful, sweet-sounding engine propelling you into new adventure, and maybe even a little danger. Autodromo watches and accessories draw aesthetic inspiration from the world of mid-century auto racing. Our products have a vintage feel, alloyed with a clean, uncluttered modernist design philosophy. Each new product is conceived as an artifact that might have existed in the past, but is equally at home in the world of today.”
Autodromo’s newest timepiece, the Vallelunga, is a minimal chronograph inspired by 60’s and 70’s Italian Prototype and Grand Prix tachometers. Named after the challenging road circuit outside of Rome designed by Piero Taruffi, the Vallelunga offers a dual-hand timer offset from center and date just above 6’oclock. This would be even more awesome for recording times if you were driving this beautiful Alfa or Lotus Eleven through France like their photos. The optional black or white dial comes with a brushed steel case and a perforated black leather band reminiscent of a vintage Italian steering wheel. Take a look at the beautiful details and packaging on the next page…
On fun inspiration discovered at Adventure 16 ~ with a fun display with art and stickers and pins around a bunch of fun graphic tees, board shorts, hoodies and more… HIPPY TREE!!! And they are super local, right out of socal! Take a peek at more of the fun designs i love on the next page ~ i love their octopus! (And how cute are their sticker packs?)
p.s. Not sure if their webstore is having problems, but tried to place an order and it threw some errors… waiting to see if it gets sorted out!
There seems to be an endless assortment of water bottle designs… and while i’ve played with everything from traditional Nalgenes and Camelbaks to KORs and Bobbles… i’ve yet to find the right bottle… until perhaps this Stanley Nineteen13 1-Handed Water Bottle. The design details of the whole Stanley Nineteen13 Collection is a nice modern twist on sleek metallic containers and canisters. The 1-handed water bottle in particular has a simple push button spout which can be drunk from 360 degrees, a nice rubbery ring and loop to attach to a bag, etc ~ and it even fits in bike cages and car cup holders. Take a peek at the water bottle details on the next page!
The perfect camera bag is hard to find. I even have categories of them ~ functional for travel (hand carry and/or check in) ~ perfect incognito bag (usually a big purse!) Lately i’ve been needing a good solution for the travel/hand carry side of things. Something padded to carry my usual amount of tech and basic purse essentials when paired with a roller carry-on for quick (or efficiently packed) trips. Intrigued by the Incase Camera Collection, i was also overwhelmed and baffled by the sizing and options… when narrowing it down, most alluring were the DSLR Sling Pack and DSLR Pro Sling Pack. But was the Sling big enough? Was the Pro Sling too big? The pictures on the site were hard to decipher for sure… SO ~ the kind folks at Incase sent both over for me to compare and share! Take a peek at the sizes and how they seem as i cram things into them on the next page!
Tortex picks have been my favorite since long before i strummed a guitar. When the nice men at guitar stores would find me wandering around waiting for my dad and staring at all the picks and offer me one, i always picked Tortex. The turtle logo is just adorable! And that nice matte feel… and fun colors!
Well apparently Jim Dunlop Tortex Picks are turning 30 this year, and Lovely Package has some awesome picture of the new packaging that highlights the logo and turns it into a sticker! Take a peek at more pics on the next page as well as a fun “Tortex: More Than A Pick” video!
p.s. Have you see this packaging in person yet? I want to find some!
I have to admit it’s been a while since i’ve swung some golf clubs… but a recent turn of events seem to have me landing at the driving range/golf course more! As i catch up on what else is new in the golf world, naturally the design/technology advances have been catching my eye… TaylorMade just sent over their fully customizable R11S driver and hilariously named RocketBallz metal woods. Both clubs have a beautifully bright matte white club head, and with the provided torx key you can adjust the Loft (with Flight Control Tech), Face Angle (with Adjustable Sole Plate Tech), and Flight Path (with Movable Weight Tech) of the R11S driver. Take a peek at the design details (and the R11S’ little skull) as well as a video on the naming of Rocketballz on the next page!
I’ve been mesmerized by the pics of these new Nike Free Running Shoes since i saw them on Acquire… there’s something so… naturally inspired about them… and/or the way they are photographed… also glowing… i think they remind me of nudibranchs when they swim, it’s that shape and the colorful nature of them. (Can you imagine Nike Frees actually inspired them?) Anyhow ~ back to the DESIGN! I’ve been loving my grey/red Nike Free, so light, comfy, and packable (it’s fun watching shoe design evolve as everyone goes superlight lately!)… and the details of this latest edition of the Nike Free designs keep those, and take it even further. Take a look at the pictures on the next page as well as videos with their designer, Mike Miner, discussing the creative inspirations and process behind the latest!
On amazing packages that just take your breath away, Natalya Zahn’s book, Tropical Forest, just arrived in this stunningly illustrated mailer! How beautiful is that Takin? Natalya Zahn is a natural illustrator based out of Cambridge, MA and a selection of her work and other nature related discoveries are on her blog, i (heart) odd-toed ungulates… the book, Tropical Forest, contains text and illustration from her blog between 2010 and 2011. They look stunning printed in this Blurb book! Take a peek inside on the next page!
Random sunday spontaneous drive landed me heading south to the new(ish) OC Mart Mix, a fashion/interior/foodie variation of the nearby Lab and Camp. There’s a nice write up on it over at the LA Times blog. Although some of the tenants have been around for over a year, others are quite new, and as you wander through the mixed use space both indoors and out there are lots of empties as well as people painting and prepping the next boutique to move in! Beautifully done, and lots to see (but far more to come) it sounds like friday and saturday are the best days (as most are closed on mondays, and quite a few closed on sundays) ~ it’s like a mini oasis amidst a sprawling ring of larger interior design showrooms encircling a large parking lot with the Mix hidden in the center (and all right up against the 405!) Fun find of the day ~ Savory Spice Shop. Based in Denver, they have franchises starting to pop up across the country, and the amount of spices, exotic seeds and chocolate powders, shelf full of salt, endless rub and marinades were mind boggling… and the gift set displays and packaging were so fun i couldn’t resist! Take a peek on the next page ~ (and excuse the cell phone pics from this random little excursion!)
Newest experiment, we’re playing with the new Square One from Pear Sports. It’s been interesting to play with and track the increase of technology to track, motivate, and train us through workouts from systems like Nike+ and Adidas MiCoach, to the FitBits and UPs ~ should be interesting to see how things shift more in this space! Pear Sports puts a coach in your ear as you run with their Training Intelligence. And it’s all about listening… their coaches listen to your heart rate and speed/pacing/etc through the heart and foot monitors… and provide SMART biofeedback and motivation to train you to meet your goals.
Simply put: Plug in your music, start running, and they provide a super-smart coach to whisper (or shout) motivations in your ear! It can be everything from your couch-to-5k coach or your marathon coach depending on what goals you set. You do an initial 20 minute Heart Rate Zone Assessment, which helps the system set up your fitness zones to customize the workouts to your level. Take a peek on the next page at what’s in the box, and the web UI…
OVM Love is the stunning new store and jewelry line from artist, James Jean. As his introduction explains, “Unexpectedly, I also started developing a line of fine jewelry, scarves, and objects with support from my friends in Japan. I traveled to Tokyo 5 times in the past year, before and after the tsunami, to shepherd OVM into existence. As I explored this new medium, motifs in my work found new expression in precious metals and materials. Drawing inspiration from forms in nature, OVM is a place of luminous fantasy and dark decay. Four major series of fine jewelry will be released this next year, along with textiles and design objects.” The pieces, the photography, and the packaging is beautiful! I can’t seem to resist the liquid motion he captures in sterling silver (both light and black rhodium) sometimes with a dash of diamonds. Each piece is handcrafted in japan. Even the cases they come in are a work of art ~ with what looks like milled wood beautifully “dripping” in the lids… take a look at the pictures on the next page!
Logitech Cube. I couldn’t resist… when these two adorable black and white little cubes came, a smile just spread across my face. They are so cute! And the unboxing was fun, as things got exposed layer by layer. Adorable packaging and product design… it’s all about the details. As for the eraser sized little presentation mouse device itself, i am not sure if i have much use for it regularly… but it feels great in my hand and i can’t stop playing with it… plug the usb in, turn it on, and sliding it around on the desk its a mouse with scroll… picking it up you can start a presentation and flip/click/etc to change slides. Though the little case for it strangely reminds me of a finger brace… anyhow! Adorable black and white cubes, fun packaging details and more on the next page!
The latest from our London-based editor, Justine Aw.
This evening I had the pleasure of attending “A Culinary Odyssey” with Bompas & Parr and KitchenAid to celebrate the launch of the new KitchenAid 6.9L Artisan Stand Mixer. The event was filled with science fiction inspired cocktails from the Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC), Kubrick inspired sets created by designer and prop stylist Rhea Thierstein, a levitating food device from Poietic Studio and futuristic menu created by Andrew Stellitano. Bioluminescent lollipops, a rum cola cloud chamber and cricket pasta were only a few of the incredible offerings. See lots of photos on the next page!
Toys (specifically Lego, Lincoln Logs, Duplo, Fischertechnik, K’nex, Krinkles, Tinkerytoy, Zome, Zoob, Gears Gears Gears, etc) + 3D printer + Free Universal Construction Kit = MORE ways to play with your toys! Picture the crazy structures you (or your kid’s) wildest imagination can flourish in as every piece can connect to every other piece… or how many more toys you will need to buy to fully utilize the Free Universal Construction Kit’s capabilities…
While the monster of a Universal Adapter Brick was quietly launched at Golan Levin’s Eyecode solo show at UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology a few months ago, it’s exciting to see the rest of the kit finally available! So, freshly launched this morning from Golan Levin at F.A.T. Lab and our own head of NOTlabs, Shawn Sims comes the Free Universal Construction Kit. It is “a collection of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to mate with any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems — enabling radically hybrid Constructivist play and the creation of heretofore impossible designs.”
You can see the full chart of all pieces, download the full .stl pack, find just the piece you need on Thingiverse, and even watch the 80’s style advert for Free Universal Construction Kit on the next page!
Next… if you have a 3D printer, and have fun toys, AND print out some pieces… i’d love to see what you (and/or your kids) create with them!!! Please share pics!!!
I love art as objects… there’s something fun about paintings and photographs as transformed into large pillows you can hug and squeeze… the change in texture changes the way you relate to the pieces (like these i’ve long loved from click for art)… the latest find are these beautiful pillows from East Camp Home Pillows featuring the creature photography of Valerie Shaff. The two initial collections are Exotics (Tigers and Crocs and Peacocks and such) and Fable (Doves and Snakes and Hawks and such)… see the gorgeous pillows on the next page!