Pinned up in the bathroom of the log cabin... "the WHY CHEAP ART? manifesto" - from the Bread & Puppet Glover, Vermont in 1984... this nice little manifesto speaks for itself! I must say, parts of this remind me of the Target rants on design... and if this is the manifesto for cheap art, what would one for design look like? See a larger image on the next page...
Entries tagged with: travel
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Jackalope spotting! I was wandering into town (St. Johnsbury, VT) on Memorial Day, and thanks to a local town parade, i detoured across the river, around the town, across the tracks, and back again - to get to the one open diner to get some breakfast... upon doing so, i ran across Caplan's Army Store - where i couldn't resist popping in to see what they had (and i picked up a black machete, work shirt, socks - i was packed with mostly heels and dresses for NYC city life on this trip...) And low and behold, i found the CUTEST jackalope i've yet to lay eyes on ~ while it does suck that these cute little creatures died to make this... at least the poor little guy is memorialized forever?
For those who don't know about the legendary Jackalopes... crazy jack rabbits with antlers - rumors are that it is "a hybrid of the pygmy-deer and a species of "killer-rabbit""... basically it is the american version of a chimera or griffin... and thanks to taxidermy, photo manipulation, and photoshop - MANY variations of this critter can be found across the country... (read up on your Jackalope lore) I've seen quite a few as a kid, but they tended to lean towards the large and ferocious style... THIS however was the CUTEST woodland creature infant version of a Jackalope! See more pictures of the street, store, and wall mount of this little guy on the next page!
So, the rumors are true. NOTCOT has gone where no tech addict chooses to go... there is NO CELL RECEPTION and NO INTERNET. *gasp*. After much mocking about how i "probably can't remember the last time i've been off the grid" (and no, i can't remember)... today we semi-spontaneously checked out early from NYC, grabbed a rental car (4WD black 2007 rav4), and cruised up to Peacham, Vermont... to a log cabin dan's parents built back in the 70s, and no one has really lived there since (brief visits, but little more than that) - can you see it peeking out from between all the trees?
It's adorable, the surroundings breath-taking - who wouldn't be in love with that lush greenery and fast moving fish filled creek all around after the urban concrete/smells/sounds of NYC? The cabin is going to take a bit of work though, and after so much tech-tethered work, i guess a little manual labor and communing with nature can't be all bad. So if i get a bit quiet this week, you'll know where i disappeared to, and if i'm quiet longer than that... well, send a search party?
As for how i'm posting this? Well we've got to get the water running again, sort out some new furniture/matresses/etc, and hook up a phoneline (and yes, high speed dsl is on its way)... so, thanks to the kindness of friends, i'm getting a warm bed and my internet fix for the day. Few more sneak peeks on the next page - probably loads more to come as i wander and take more pics the next few days!
I couldn't help sharing... so i've spent the whole day in my room in a sea of press kits on my bed... trying to sort through all my notes and photos, trying to catch up... then i wandered into the bathroom, and the view out the window took my breath away. Silly ipod ad matching the sunset is a bit annoying though... but how gorgeous out is it? Click the pic for the full sized image... unphotoshopped, because i was too lazy (and saving photoshopping energy for the rest of the posts!)
With a billion things/people/places to see, and a seemingly endless events to attend... its been super fun, in that crazed hectic way, and now i've taken the day to enjoy my bed - that is literally COVERED in press kits and a desktop filled with hundreds of photos... its a work day! To catch up on some posts... and today, we'll start with the incredible Artek installation in Gansevoort Square.
The simple Artek Stool 60 has been an omnipresent design icon... from schools, jails, kids rooms, restaurants, you'll see them everywhere... but no where is it as amazing as walking into Gansevoort Square and seeing what from afar appeared to be a coliseum of them.
As the press release says... "The innovative and strong L-leg construction is based on the technique of bending solid wood that was invented and refined by Alvar Aalto and Artek from the 1930s onwards. The famous Stool 60 designed in 1933 is the archetype of functional furniture. In Gansevoort Square, New York, Artek celebrates the anniversary of the stool 60 by building an installation of hundreds of stools. The round tower invites people to use all their senses to experience the installation. The stools made of untreated birch bring the scent of pure forest in the middle of New York and people are free to feel the natural, refined surface and structure of the stools." Check out my pics on the next page for the full experience!
What a day its been... my head is spinning, but in that good, dizzying, design is in the air kind of way. Up at 4am, to airport by 5, on a plane by 7, in NY by 3:30, doing biz calls in rush hour taxi ride, check in, grab a bite, jump in another cab, and we're at the first NY Design Week event already... Matter's VIP+Press Preview at their SoHo location! So, while i start to crash out now, confused as to whether its 22:33 or 1:33am... check out the pics on the next page for a peek into the madness...
p.s. it was awesome to see the conroy and wilcox thorn ring/cuff in person! So cute.
ICFF is right around the corner as the last few posts have shown, and with so many things to see and do, its hard to know where to start... so here's a roundup of resources as well as my personal shortlist that i'm trying to pick between... all you need is on the next page! Perhaps i'll see you in NY!
p.s. there's no way i can probably hit everything i want to (especially Monday, since we're doing a little publishers meet up thing) ~ if you happen to go to some amazing parties/shows/etc, feel free to take incredible pics to share with the rest of us!
I received an email with the subject line: First Paperless Architecture Book EVER: Piel... and with such a bold claim i initially wrote it off... 'paperless' just sounded like a silly spin on 'digital'. Anyhow, as time permitted, i came back to it, and found that it has a pretty sweet interface and isn't 'just a digitized book' ~ sure, it has the flashy corner peels and page flips - but what is nice, is how it utilized the fact that this is an architecture book, and it built in links to google map views of each building featured!
Check out Piel.Skin - About skin: This book is the result of two years of architectural research. Dynamic facades, ventilated, high-tech or traditional composites with new features. This book shows that currently new skins not only act as an isolating element, besides interact with the environment, optimizing energy exchange with the outside. From Germany to Australia or Korea to Colombia, there are many examples that readers can visit with this publication. With international vocation due to bilingual English-Spanish text and a language away from technicalities, this paper aims to show as an "interactive toy" the evolving field of the facades in architecture.
Piel.Skin is an experimental web book aimed at architecture students. The book literally surfs on several projects, jumping from exceptional exteriors in Asia to intelligently optimized facades in Europe. The book allows playing a virtual tour dedicated to google-earth travellers: By means of clicking on the coordinates of each project begins a journey where you can jump directly to each site and visualize the project within its environment.
Level Vodka invited Hussein Chalayan to design The Level Tunnel... and it is now here! With a blog that even chronicles everything from the design and renders - to the building of - and the launch! Also incredible are the specially design blindfold/goggles for the experience, and the gorgeous press release complete with Bach in sheet music form!
"It all started back in 2006. Level Vodka invited star designer Hussein Chalayan to create a pioneering work of art with a focus on taste. He was given completely free rein. The result was The Level Tunnel - a 15 meter long, 5 meter high, traveling installation that captures the essence of Level Vodka. After a mind-blowing journey, the project is now nearing the finish line. The 6th of May 2008, the tunnel will have its world premiere in Mexico City. " See images of the process, press kit, and final product on the next page!
NOTCOT Note: Yes, Justine (aka RUGenius) was really there. And i'm envious. Although i did get to go to the incredible painted elephant LA Banksy-fest... this one looked like quite the mob scene in a london tunnel! About 30,000 people showed up over the 3 day period, and over 600 artist took part in covering the walls! Apologies for taking so long to sort through her hundreds of photos... SO, without further ado take a look at her MANY awesome pictures on the next page as well as in the Gallery, and here is Justine's account of the festivities:
Over 28 thousand people turned up to Leake Street, effectively an underpass within sight of the London Eye and moments away from Waterloo. And yes, I was among them. We all know I can't resist a good stencil. So how could I possibly miss a stencil only event, just a train hop away? Not to mention, the Cans Festival was the kind of event that brought in the A-list of street artists like Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier. Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot masters, Dan, Eelus and Banksy.
Starting with the art... The space within the tunnel was itself a hodgepodge of mock classical sculptures, trashed and stenciled cars, vans, even a playground. There were rugs, couches, and even a piano, all of course adorned with the patina only a tunnel could bestow. The combinations pushed the boundaries of the bizarre and the contrasting styles of the artists clashed as often as they complimented, yet somehow it all worked. It was as if everyone just suspended belief for a moment to soak it all in and it was particularly surreal as the sun was setting.
NOTCOT Note: Here is another post continuing on Justine's (aka RUGenius') adventures in Sheffield, it took a bit of researching, but she's come back to me with some MIND BLOWING infographics from Stephanie Posavec, you definitely need to click on the images after the jump to see them in full resolution where you can see what every curve and color represents. I kid you not, you will not see Kerouac's On The Road the same again...
During my recent trip up to Sheffield, I was fortunate enough to be staying next door to the Millennium Galleries, who hosted a portion of the citywide Art Sheffield event. Among the exhibits, was one called "On the Map" (more info here as well), which uses craft and design to understand the symbolic and representative nature of maps. Works included a dress made of maps, numerous old maps of London, a gorgeous Kerr | Noble representation of the River Thames through graphic design and the words of the John Banck's Description of London. Seen here:
However, the works that caught my eyes was that of Stefanie Posavec. Stefanie's maps capture something above and beyond that of the others. Rather than mapping physical geography, her maps capture regularities and patterns within a literary space. The pieces featured in On the Map focused on Kerouac's On the Road. The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac's literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec's approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor. And similarly, the act is near reverential in its approach and the results are stunning graphical displays of the nature of the subject. The literary organism, rhythm textures and sentence drawings are truly gorgeous pieces. It's not often that I am so thoroughly impressed by the depth of an artist's work, but somehow, for me, these pieces do it all. I know, who would've thought I'd have stumbled upon such incredible work in the gallery across from our hotel in Sheffield! It just goes to show the world is full of surprises.
High-res images below not to be missed!
As i'm sure you know by now, yesterday i disappeared to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on my spontaneous roadtrip up california. Normally i'd think on a weds/thurs this should be a breeze, avoiding the crowds, etc... but no. I seem to have overlooked that it is spring break week for most kids, and it was INSANE! None the less, we had a good time oooooohing and aaaaaaahing and remembering why i really need to take more random excursions and maybe get to some scuba diving all over the world again... (hey, i'm sure i can find inspiring things to post down there too!). Additionally Dan took over my Canon 40d and showed me how its really done (as you may have noticed, i'm more a shoot fast, photoshop later kind of girl, whereas he's more of a technical, play with settings, take your time kind of guy...) - so here's a post *mostly* of his incredible pics of the inspiring jellies (and some fish, and some crazy splashing, and a bit more).
But before we jump into the pics ~ anyone in the bay area (or california and neighboring states that can just pop over here) ~ you creatives HAVE to come check out the Jellies: Living Art exhibit... they put the jellyfish tanks in these overly ornate frames, and have them in the context of the works of calder, pollock, chihuly, and more. Its really fascinating - not to mention absolutely mesmerizing - i shot some video i'll add on when i have time... but for now... To the pics below!
Rumor has it i've been a bit of a workaholic the last few months, and lacking at indulging my inherent wanderlust... so today was supposed to be a quick drive up to SF from LA with dan, but one thing led to another and it became a spontaneous roadtrip/adventure - leading to everything from lunch in a danish town (solvang) - trying danish pancake balls (aebleskiver) - feeding ostriches and emus - a giant tree stump turned treehouse/pirateship on the side of the road in a tile/bricklaying yard - 1797 Mission San Miguel Arcangel - driving by Hearst Castle - seeing beaches filled with elephant seals - cruising up the coast through state parks on cliff hanging roads to big sur - stopping off to admire the view constantly - buying 99 cent chips for $1.79 (cliff view markup?) - seeing otters playing so far below they looked like tiny dots - sunset in Big Sur - martinis and dinner watching the sun fully disappear - and now i'm in Monterey Bay in a luscious king sized bed overlooking Cannery Row and the ocean as i try to get this post up as my photo excuse as to why the posting and editing was a bit quiet today.
Tomorrow ~ Monterey Bay Aquarium and then back to regularly scheduled working... but for now, catch up on the roadtrip in pics first (as well as a full map of where i've been and where i'm headed)?
I've been a bit baffled as to what to make of this 120th Anniversary Eiffel Tower Observation Deck designed by Serero that will go up next year as i came across images on all the blogs (i.e. Core77, Gizmodo, etc)... see my favorites of the architectural diagrams and renders after the jump. In celebration of the 120th birthday of the tower, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel decided to restructure the public reception and access areas of the tower, and the result will be a temporary horizontal extension of the 3rd floor of the tower. Serero's design is built out of carbon kevlar, steel connectors, and metal mesh. What was most intriguing to me was Serero's discussion of the generative design:
Generative Design: The design is based on a generative script, creating branches out of the primary structure of the tower. Inspired by the structural concept of Eiffel of three-dimensional cross bracing beams, the script unfolds along curved lines the “DNA” of the tower. The script used the existing structure at the top of the tower ( a 10 by 10 meters cube) to generate 3 structural weaves, which are interconnected. These layers are combined to create a woven complex, which is based on the redundancy and the non-repetition of patterns to increase its structural performance. In opposition with modern engineering (based on the concept of repetition and optimization), the project for the Eiffel tower extension is based on an alternative model of high performance.
NOTCOT Note: Here's another post from Justine (rugenius) ~ and her adventures in the UK!
Like Fru and Gu, Sheffield's Winter Gardens are something I'd come across earlier in my tenure over here in England, but never had the chance to really explore. I came across them when staying at the Mercure hotel in Sheffield, which is itself indulgently modern. I admired them from the hotel, whose Champagne bar and restaurant flank the gardens, but never actually spent time in the space. On my recent return, the gardens themselves are more than noteworthy.
The Winter Garden is a temperate haven. With its high, sweeping wooden arches and use of natural light, it transforms what is an often gray and dreary South Yorkshire day into a world bathed in soft light. Unlike the heat and humidity we often associated with greenhouses, the interior is cool and dry (and I must admit, reminds me of home!). And the high ceilings provide excellent acoustics, creating a reverential atmosphere and sense of calm (thats right, no reverberating screams of children!). See many beautiful pictures of the interior of this incredible space after the jump!
NOTCOT Note: Where would i be without incredible readers like Gillian Benjamin, who emailed in an incredible post submission covering the Capetown Design Indaba that ran from Saturday 23 February to Friday 29 February? (I am extremely impressed, she even created all these beautiful images to go with the post without any prompting!) Read on to see what design finds she discovered...
Last week Cape Town was brimming with creative energy as the 5th annual Design Indaba Expo took place. Featuring everything from industrial design to quirky ceramic pieces and reinterpreted African curio kitsch, the Expo showcased the best homegrown talent to both local and international audiences. Each year the event seems to grow a little bigger - a sure sign of South Africa's blossoming creative talent. Following global trends, the focus on craft and the hand-made was definitely visible.
Papabubble. I was just watching the CoolHunting video (embedded below for easy viewing!) interviewing the candy makers at the new NY store, and it was incredible. I feel like those kids in the candy store, face pressed against my monitor drooling over the incredible candy making process ~ turning a simple mixture of sugar, water, and glucose combined with flasks of coloring and flavoring ~ into what looks like delicious candies, and perhaps just as fun, the perfect medium for sculpting random dioramas out of (as well as classics like Gehry's cardboard wiggle chair)! Truly impressive is watching how all of the candy is made by hand, down to the mixing in of coloring and stretching to aerate until its more translucent. With stores in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the NY store is the first in the US.
Freshly back from the IDS08 Opening Night Gala ~ and although i'm totally passing out, just wanted to give you guys a peek at some of the pics... there were singers, quartets, acrobats, women dressed up in crazy flowered dresses, the incredible Vertical Limit Veuve Clicquot/Porsche Design collab (1 of 15!), Dysons, Audis... and so much more... anyhow, see after the jump for a quick look!
Passport Cards ~ primarily for "border resident communities" since you can use it only for travel by land and sea between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda, according to the State Department. I guess this will be the new must-have for all the socal kids hopping down to TJ now. Applications for these cards start Feb 1 (tomorrow!). "The card will have the same validity period as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children. To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card will contain a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. This chip will link the card to a stored record in secure government databases. There will be no personal information written to the RFID chip itself." I'm not sure how i feel about this... also note that the back of the card says "Your passport card should be kept in its protective sleeve when not in use." So it doesn't just go in your wallet? It has a special sleeve?
Louis Vuitton puts out an annual set of City Guides, this year it is saffron yellow - a rigid box set containing 9 soft back booklets printed on bible paper... they have been doing it since 1998, and somehow i have yet to actually flip through some! So after much unfruitful internet hunting, i'm turning to you, readers, to see if anyone has a set, and what you think of them... are they better than wallpaper guides? Are the illustrations by Ruber Toledo enough to justify the near 100$ price tag for the set? Closest i've found to images of the interior is a tiny picture on a japanese website (see after the jump!)... Thanks! [To find it on the Louis Vuitton site, just search for city guide when in the store.]
It's that time of year again. What other way to kick off a new year than the annual CES Vegas madness? I'm sure you feel the buzz of all the tech launches every 5 seconds burning up your RSS readers... Well i'm off at the crack of dawn for two days to wander through the mayhem, and this year dan is coming along as well! Seeing as you have all the tech sites live blogging the latest announcements, just like last year, i'll be showing you what is actually worthwhile in person, who has the most innovative and well designed booths and displays (the big companies don't hold back for this one, and last year Belkin blew me away), and which products we're dying to BUY. So please be patient if my blogging and editing is a bit slow while i'm caught up in the whirlwind for two days, you know i'll catch you up when i have time to process it all and clean up the pics!
*fingers crossed* its a good show this year ~ hopefully the front page of the CES page saying "Experience the Art of Technology" with their super colorful gadget paintings are a good sign!
Oh, and if you're there and/or have something we can't afford to miss, leave us a note!
On bizarre 4am spontaneous research projects... we just got inspired to learn far too much about Cup Noodle (or Cup O' Noodles). Best thing we found? Ok well there's a tie, but we'll show you the other part in the next post... there is a Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum! And in that museum that is in the factory in Osaka ~ you can make CUSTOM Cup Noodles, where you draw on the cup, fill it with your noodles, choose your toppings and flavors (including cheese, curry, corn, the usuals), seal it up, plastic wrap it... and then even put it in a crazy inflatable bag! Anyhow, watch the videos below to see the custom Cup Noodle Bar, as well as how those noodles came to be as kids work with the factory workers (think crazy happy ikea meets wonka factory look) to make the noodles from scratch!
On random holiday gifts ~ my father and sister just got back from the Amazon ~ and brought me a pile of amazonian craftiness. It's pretty incredible what they can carve into a brazil nut! (the snake, octopus, and ant)... and although these certainly aren't the same as getting to have their incredible adventures living on a boat ~ fishing and exploring the Amazon ~ wrestling caymans ~ capsizing dingies ~ following monkeys ~ playing football barefoot on the beach ~ and watching a million and one species of insects smack into the boats lights nightly... these are still pretty fascinating! Also check out the spear below that you tie a string to, mount on a bamboo stick, and use to fish the old fashioned way...
Gift Guide Day 7 is all about your SNOW DAYS! Being in socal, its currently *freezing* (for a socal girl anyhow) but no snow... i kind of feel like if its going to be this cold, we might as well have the pleasure of the excuse to use a snowball chuck... anyhow, for those lucky enough, here are some toys and gadgets to have some fun with that frosty weather.
p.s. and if you don't like it one page at a time ~ see my favorite view with all the guides so far on one page.
"The 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow will take place from 24 to 27 January 2008. Year after year, the organizers manage to tempt the world's very best polo players to St. Moritz. The Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow is part of the Polo World Tour, which includes the roughly thirty top tournaments that take place annually worldwide. This makes it the world's most prestigious polo tournament on snow." I just noticed this on Area Daily, and had to share it... and add it to the "things to see one day" list.