Entries tagged with: studio

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Inside Autodesk Pier 9


There’s a magical place hidden in plain sight in San Francisco right on the water… between the Ferry Building and the Exploratorium, you will find Autodesk Pier 9. You’d never guess that half of this pier is filled with the ultimate creative workshop for design & fabrication - a dreamy, lust-worthy space filled with designers, engineers, artists, fabricators, and every machine they could need - from rooms filled with huge CNCs and water jet machines to 3D printers of every variety, sewing machines, photo studios, welding setups, test kitchen, electronics, industrial robot arms, and much much more. It’s also no surprise that this is where the Instructables team lives. Launched in 2013, it was designed as a state-of-the-art digital fabrication work shop to dissolve the boundaries between software and hardware while inspiring Autodesk to develop tools for the future of making! If you are interested in making something (anything!) odds are good that they will have what you need to make it from start to finish - on the pier!

Shawn and I were invited to review projects from the current group of Autodesk Pier 9 Artists-in-Residence (AIR). (Thanks, Madeline and Vanessa!) What started in Instructables, grew and evolved once they became part of the world of Autodesk. Today, every 4 months, 1-2 dozen artists, designers, engineers, scientists, etc. come to Pier 9 to bring their ideas to life. They get 24/7 pier access, $2000 monthly stipends and project supply budgets, and retain IP and physical work created during the residency… in exchange they must publish their work on Instructables and make a presentation at the end of the program. Not a bad deal, right? The current group will be presenting on November 12th. If you’re in SF, they will definitely be worth a peek - they actually shut down the workshops and present the pieces throughout (Yes, possibly even on or near the machines that made them!)

While there, we had a chance to tour the facility before the reviews, and it is pretty mind blowing. So as we walked and talked, i snapped iPhone pictures along the way for all of you to get a peek inside this wondrous place. Ready? Dive in to the pictures on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Making Cutting Boards with Oliver Apt

_cutting0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

I made a cutting board! On fun ways to explore a city and get to know the people and find out more about life - i’ve now learned that a workshop is incredible! Edmonton Tourism definitely knows how to appeal to our designer side by mixing in a special Oliver Apt Cutting Board Workshop into our itinerary. While at first glance i wasn’t sure how it fit in… after the fact? Genius move!

Firstly, the workshop is with Oliver Apt and the founder, 3rd generation carpenter, Landon Schedler, who beyond knowing just about everyone in the creative community, has a portfolio that nearly completely overlaps the Edmonton ‘must try’ lists! (i.e. Woodwork, Meat, Duchess Bake Shop) Also, how awesome is it to not only get to tour someone else’s studio, but to also try out their tools? Secondly, a magical thing happens when you have a physical goal/project in front of you. As much as all parties want to focus on the tour and interview or talk about their work… the common goal occupying your hands and mind - somehow makes the conversation far more fluid - and fun! I learned more about the local creative community and the inspiring people and culture of Edmonton in that few hours making a cutting board, than most of my trip!

And the bonus? Cutting board! Which will always make me think of my Alberta winter adventures! And it’s hand made by me… with the clear expertise of years of woodworking know how from Landon. While i definitely learned a lot about wood, tools, laminating, planing, and more… perhaps throwing a workshop is the ultimate humblebrag. It’s only when you TRY to do what experts do, that you realize just how amazing experts really are!

Ready for a peek into the Oliver Apt wood shop/studio and a step by step look at how to make your own faceted cutting board on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Inside ICON + TLC

icon0.jpg Ready for a peek inside the world of Jonathan Ward’s ICON and TLC? Well, we’ve been working with him on designs the last few months, and the passion at ICON is contagious, and constantly energizing and inspiring us at NOTlabs! So, we figured it was finally time to share some of the wonders inside the ICON and TLC garage!

ICON has been making stunning matte black retro BRs and FJs that no designer (no matter how uninterested in cars) could miss the last two decades… an upgrade would be an understatement, they build on the originals and improve every tiny detail to become a design masterpiece in both performance and style. The plastic is stripped out, grills are milled out of single pieces of aluminum, fonts are matched for updated logos… no detail is missed! More recently, you’ve probably seen the stunning ICON Thriftmaster truck, with a beautiful ash wood bed floor, as well as the ICON Electric Flyer bike. Additionally, if a sleeper of a vintage car, looking rusted and thoroughly aged, flies past you - you may have found one of the rare ICON Derelicts & Reformers. (Another example is the beast of an ICON Dodge D200 Truck he drove to the Hero’s Chest dinner.)

The other half of ICON is TLC, if you’re confused (like I may have been at first) it actually stands for Toyota Land Cruiser, not ‘tender loving care’. Since 1996, they have been the nation’s leading Land Cruiser Service center. As they say, “Though the Cruiser has evolved into today’s luxurious four-door powerhouse - it is the original adventure-seeking spirited classic Land Cruiser, with its worldwide following that lingers in our minds. That’s where we come in…TLC buys, restores, services, and sells Toyota Land Cruisers exclusively. We are dedicated to their preservation and restoration. Recycling a product that in many ways is simpler, stronger and safer than most produced today.” (I both blame + credit Jonathan Ward for helping Shawn convince me to impulse buy the NOTlabs FZJ80 just after this visit! But more on that shortly…) So take a peek inside the ICON and TLC garage on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Inside Wieden + Kennedy Portland

*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Inside the W+K Portland Garage...

*notcot in wearable - 1 Notes

Inside Parabellum, Hollywood, CA

parabellum0.jpg Parabellum. Wow. I’ve been thinking about how to write this post and streamline the wealth of photos, since i showed you the breath logos on the Oliver Peoples for Parabellum collaboration end of last week… and i’ve finally realized, there’s too much good stuff. So get ready for a visual adventure through the amazing workshop of Parabellum on the next page!

Tucked away in a prefab super-workshop behind a house in Hollywood, you will find a buffalo head looking down upon piles of luscious colorful buffalo leather, ceramic buckles and buttons, ball and claw feet in the making, racks of bags, wallets, and belts, a beautifully fluffy chow, sewing machine with dexter on it, a peek into their adventures with buffalo out on the plains, inspiration walls, a belt unboxing (out of the stunning wooden box!), kevlar lined belt details (with window!), a peek at how the incredible leather wears over time, and so much more. PHEW It is incredible!

Ultimately, the more i went through it all, the more i realized that the only way you can fully understand the passion the Parabellum team has for the unique, beautiful, extremely intentional and particular products that they create is to take it all in much like I did. A truly inspirational, sensory overload - and to top it off, every time i see/touch Shawn’s Parabellum Card Wallet i find myself imaging where it was made (all here in LA), the buffalo it came from, the stories of how it all came to be, and the subtle, intentional details worked into every corner…

So if you’re ready, dive in with me on the next page!

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*rugenius in design - 2 Notes

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios

cockpit-arts-9234.jpg Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.

Today I made my way to Holborn for the Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios. The open studios were my first introduction to Cockpit Arts, a creative-business incubator for designer-makers that supports craftspeople. The event lasts throughout the weekend at their Holborn site, Cockpit Yard and continues next weekend South of the river in Deptford (more details here). A great place to pick up beautiful, unique, last-minute Christmas gifts.

It was a bustling environment, filled with studios turned into shops, packed with goodies and the droolworthy scent of mulled wine, mince pies and other seasonal delights. As for the goods on offer, all sorts of crafted wonders, from jewellery to ceramics, knitwear to illustrations. Among our favorites were the always lovely Thornback & Peel and the beautiful works of Abigail Brown, whose work we also loved in Ghosts of Gone Birds last year. More photos on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Valentine's Day at W+K NYC

wkny0.jpg Happy Valentine’s Day! For some VDay inspiration, we popped in to Wieden + Kennedy NY to see the creativity and inspiration behind the ads we all love. So much creative energy and playfulness throughout the office! I love the staircase in the Wieden + Kennedy NY office! (So naturally the adorable animal caricatures of everyone in the office a few years back became the main picture!) It’s fun to get a peek behind the scenes of everything from Sportscenter ad spots in the making to crazy tech being schemed… giant Nike shoes looking for decorations… post it note maps of the US… color sorted bookshelves… and an amazing 3 floors of a huge Tribecca building… only two of which are filled with people and the third is used for everything from photoshoots to castings to artist experiments and shopping pop ups! There’s even a “red vein” flowing through each floor sometimes taking the form of couches, other times filing cabinets and meeting spots… and then there’s the adorably sweet Valentine’s present they gifted us too! Take a peek inside the world of W+K NY on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Inside Chandelier Creative

chand0.jpg Adventures in New York kicked off with visiting the ball pit/studio of Chandelier Creative (aka Awesomevile.com) at their SoHo penthouse! We shared the pop up book version of the penthouse a few years ago ~ as well as the honey from their surf shack… fun to see all the visual references from the pop up book in reality… from the enormous pink CNC’d doors, to the piano, ball pit, moooi horse lamp, studio dogs and more… take a peek at it all on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 3 Notes

Map of CA Car Design Studios

carstudios.jpg More fun that just came in via email from my Dad ~ this time after he checked out the Art Center Car Classic over the weekend… i loved this map visualizing where the many post WWII automotive design studios of southern california are. We definitely have no shortage! Take a peek at a bigger view on the next page.

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*rugenius in design - 2 Notes

Cut Laser Cut, Vauxhall, London

clc-main3.jpg Our London-based editor Justine catches up with the latest action from the London Design Festival!

Another fun discovery of this year’s London Design Festival was Vauxhall area laser cutting shop and studio Cut Laser Cut, who work with a wide range of clients and with many unexpected materials, creating laser masterpieces of all sorts and cutting and engraving materials from fabrics to foods! For this year’s design festival, Cut Laser Cut shared some selections from their client showcase. More photos of some of impressive laser creations and their shop/studio on the next page!

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*rugenius in design - 0 Notes

Nobrow Ltd, London

bookshopmainpic.jpg Our London-based editor Justine catches up with the latest action from the London Design Festival!

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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*rugenius in playful - 0 Notes

Visiting the Skip Hop Offices

skipmain.jpg Just in from the awesome Anna of Sub-Studio who was able to check out our favorite design baby brand, Skip Hop’s, design studio and preview! Check out what she saw and has to share with us below!

As a new mom, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff out there. Skip Hop is a favorite of mine for their refreshingly playful and modern designs, and for their affordable prices. I got to go to their offices to check out their Fall 2011 preview, where there were lots of new additions to the Skip Hop collection. I also got a behind the scenes look at Skip Hop’s design space, and met their lead designer (who is seven months pregnant!). Check out some photos from my visit on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Inside RPA

honda.jpg RPA: Rubin Postaer and Associates ~ ad agencies always seem to have so much FUN with their office spaces! Remember the Sainty + David Whittle at rp& (of RPA) post? With the amazing art adorning their walls? Well, here’s a peek at the rest of the RPA offices! My favorite part is definitely the adorable original Honda Civic ~ their first account back in ‘79! What’s especially fun, is to see so many props from their various adverts in real life! From the SoyJoy tree, to “I Pinch” Crab, and more honda campaigns i’m sure you’ll remember when seeing the pics! Also fun, they are full of passion and creativity ~ and character! My favorite tradition they shared ~ on “birthdays” (anniversaries of being at RPA!) everyone signs pieces of paper with drawn candles ~ you can see a picture of one showing Gerry Rubin’s in his office… awesome to see how many candles there are! Also worth a read ~ love this article in Smart Business from 2007 about Gerry Rubin’s philosophies on the importance of nurturing your corporate culture! Anyhow, take a little walk through some of the highlights of the world of RPA in Santa Monica, CA (including their Club RPA bar…) on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 3 Notes

Mercedes-Benz Design Studio Powerwall

mercedes_powerwall0.jpg As with most car design studios, Mercedes-Benz’ Stuttgart Design Studio has a room with huge lustworthy displays, their Powerwall ~ which allows for 1:1 scale high res imagery of car images and renders, video conferencing with their studios around the world, and more. The most unique and beautiful aspect of their setup is their custom physical interface for Autodesk Showcase, which allows you to control the 3D renders! A light table with objects each encoded on the bottom… you can swap cars on the table to change colors, spin the car to spin the model, zoom/pan/tilt, and even change the clear acrylic blocks to swap the scenery… amazingly fun and beautifully executed! See more images of it on the next page.

p.s. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed in the studio (yes. they took our phones and cameras!), but we did have one awesome photographer indulging even some of my randomest requests… So images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Sainty + David Whittle at rp& (of RPA)

rpaart0.jpg Had the pleasure of visiting ad agency, RPA, to see a friend today ~ and amidst the creative spaces, and many pics i couldn’t resist taking, firstly, i have to share their murals in the Acura team’s office that have inspired me to want to take a sharpie to my white walls… Jump over to the next page to see how beautiful these murals by Sainty and David Whittle are on the next page!!! Apparently they made these murals in the rp& offices (a division of RPA) while working with them on the insane Acura RDX advertisement where they spent 10 days on 1 wall with 17 painters and used 455 gallons of paint… to make a hand painted 30 second animated spot. WOW. So check out the close ups of the murals, as well as the actual ad spot and the making of! Beautiful stuff!

p.s. love that they are rp& ~ part of me wishes they were secretly behind The Ampersand blog! Or at least ON it more!

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*notcot in design - 8 Notes

Inside the Incase Studio

incasestud0.jpg While in SF, between the madness i simply had to make time to stop by and visit the folks behind the incredible products and packaging of Incase! If you haven't noticed over the years, i'm a bit of an Incase junkie ~ their design aesthetic, product concepts and details, and their understated hyper-functional stunning packaging skills are just irresistible. The user experience of their products from the time you see an image of them, or spot it on the street or in a store... to the time it's in your hands being unboxed and being put to good use ~ is just so well thought out. No wonder their tagline is "A better experience through good design."

Well, i'm honored they let me take a peek into their SF studio space, and it was just as inspiring and minimalist as you'd imagine. Clean black and whites ~ turn tables, couches, and a bathroom waiting for your doodles.... wiped clean weekly, and re/decorated by everyone that visits... check out some of their boxes i had yet to see in person... and the patterns that magically transform into those bags we love... and perhaps most interesting, what inspires THEM! A fantastic mix of goodies discovered while shopping in japan interspersed with their products greet you in their gallery space... on to the pics on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 11 Notes

Inside Shepard Fairey's Studio

shepf.jpgOk, so i am still kind of giddy from how awesome it was to meet Shepard Fairey and his studio pretty much blew my mind. To see what type of space other creatives work in is one thing... but to feel like you walked into a gallery filled with history and inspiration and visual food for thought in every detail, well that just floored me. I really need a larger space to spread out and fill the walls ~ how can you NOT be creative surrounded with all of that? For now, i share my wall of inspiration with you as NOTCOT.org, my portable digital version... you will enjoy exploring Shepard Fairey's studio through the pics on the next page, and since there is so much in the details, i left the high res version for you to click through to.

And for the record, he was one of the kindest, humblest, down to earth folks i've met in a while. It was great to see that he still has so much passion for what he does, and gets down right giddy when talking about his new projects (and politics). Also above is a new print that he is releasing on Thursday at noon, Duality of Humanity 3 - if you want one, these things disappear within minutes.

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*notcot in design - 5 Notes

Inside Obey Giant + Studio Number One

stud1.jpgInspiring spaces ~ call it studio envy, fascination with creative spaces, growing up seeing the work of Shepard Fairey and his crew on streets not walls... as promised, here's part 1 of 2 on the little tour of Obey Giant HQ, Studio Number One, and the Subliminal Projects Gallery while i was at Simple Pleasures 01 (Thank you, Yosi and Joycie!) So instead of flooding you with words, just browse through the pics on the next page for my visual tour of their inspiring spaces and things that caught my eye! (and check out the Studio Number One portfolio too!)

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