It’s 3:30am, so please forgive the random nature of the images for this post, but wanted to give you a peek from tonight’s launch before i went to bed… Here’s a look at the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG in addition to the new Ducati Diavel ~ and during the press event, Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati came on stage together with Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, they announced their new partnership to be working closely together! From AMG becoming one of the Moto GP team sponsors to starting to include Ducati bikes at AMG events and vice versa. It was interesting to see both machines in matte finishes, the CLS 63 in a matte grey, and the Diavel in a matte black/matte carbon fiber… both having such strong lines, the curves definitely stood out well in the lighting…
Ok, seriously, have to get some sleep before ending up at the press conferences in four or five hours, so sweet dreams, and there are lots of random picture details to feast upon on the next page!
Freshly launched, an adorable series of prints ~ Amanda Visell’s Posters for Girls… while my natural inclination towards things too girl focused is that it’s reverse sexist against boys… (and really, i’m just not that girly pink kind of girl)… i do find myself wanting to gift these prints to a bunch of my friends who are new moms with adorable baby girls. Seriously, what girl doesn’t need the poster of the knight? To grow up remembering the importance of having the ability of self-saving (also dragon-friend-making is key!) - granted whether/when you USE that ability is a whole other lesson. I look at the maverick one, and i just think of poor goose. and iceman… but she is looking pretty bad ass with the parachute and aviators. And the captain is pretty cute too ~ though, the wild bigfoot beast frightens me a tiny bit, but the trees are so happy! See them all on the next page!
There are some fascinating design shifts happening at Mercedes-Benz ~ from the design studio in Sindelfingen to Como to Tokyo to Carlsbad, the message was clear - the hunt is on for “Perfect Aesthetics” and in doing so, they are aggressively pushing their designs to be more fresh, young, emotional, and sexy ~ phrases like “enjoyment of innovation” + “inspire our customers” + “sensuality and joy” + “importance of perception” kept recurring in addition to talk of the future and fascination and playfulness. It was most definitely a buzzwordfest, but the excitement and passion of the design teams was impossible to ignore. There was an inescapable giddiness throughout the week around where the future may take us, and a need to think far beyond their more traditional production vehicles. Steffen Kohl’s gung ho push from the design side to gain the freedom to explore the insane ideas are guaranteed to frighten corporate types a bit. It’s inspiring to see his team indulge in the ideas designers dream about as students ~ you know, that awesomely idealistic time when you believe absolutely anything is possible?
A big part of this is the fight to create more artistic explorations through sculpture to push abstract concepts. The idea of art being key to Mercedes-Benz design strategies as well as a beautiful way to tease designs earlier in the year is intriguing. And i love these form studies of Oliver Samson, Thomas Stopka,Yves Renaud, and Sylvain Wehnert from Karim Habib’s team. Exploring lightweight forms to play with strength, perspective, and transparency, the results resemble polygons, honeycombs (all sharing one central perspective point), string art, and woven chaos. See them all on the next page!
Prefabs, packaging and puppies, this week’s NOTCOT.org roundup has it all. To find out more about each post, click on its image.
Smart Fashion! Inevitable pun I suppose, but it’s both intelligent, and Smart - like the car. On unexpected design surprises, the last thing i expected when literally popping into Japan for an afternoon to visit Mercedes-Benz’s Tokyo studio, was to be drawn to the FASHION. The functional details worked into these two outfits are too fun not to focus on ~ and they are in fact, accessories to further flesh out the lifestyle they imagine along with the Smart escooter and concepts. Noteworthy details? The woman’s leather jacket has a button on back protector while riding… and when unbuttoned it also doubles as a clutch! Protective AND hands free? The designs on the dress are all made of reflective ribbon ~ perfect to keep you safer en route, yet also playful in a club. The skirt can be shorted with a quick tug to create cute rippled accents and bring it to a perfectly short length ~ but if that length may show a little too much when you hop on the scooter ~ easily lengthen it while riding! The men’s jacket has nice cuff details to protect your knuckles, yet is still sleek and doesn’t scream riding gear.
Random fun fact for design kids ~ the Mercedes Benz design team embraces “Cross Over Designers” (i.e. non-traditional automotive designers) and allows their designers to really focus on their strengths… There are 8-10 designers that focus on light design! They brought on an ex-Adidas shoe designer to focus on fun details because they loved his sketching style. One of their material & trim folks is a fashion designer… so maybe its no wonder that these “cross over designers” can add fresh perspectives and more well rounded concepts like these! There’s a certain thoughtfulness and completeness to the concept being taken so far as to include lifestyle accessories that strike a functionally chic balance in the Smart’s scooter fashion… take a peek at the details on the next page!
Here’s the fourth post in our Inspiration series! Sponsored by Veer.com ~ we get to have some fun and go image researching across the internet around random themes inspiring us at the moment.. and share what we find! This time i got lost exploring the Totems and Tikis i found in Veer.com! There’s something so inspiring and calming about these icons and creatures ~ Check it out on the next page!
Today Mercedes-Benz unveiled its 1:1 scale model of the Biome concept car ~ their entry into this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge: 1000 pound car designed in their Carlsbad studio. Honestly, it’s one thing to dream up the future on paper/screens, another to make scale models… but to see the life size version today was spectacular! This sleek futuristic model plays with the notion that from the DNA of Mercedes, an organic skeletal structure can literally be grown into a beautiful minimalist bio-futuristic car, with a fierce almost plane like nose, wheels that are reminiscent of plane turbines, and a tron like glow… The interior skeletal structure even allows passengers to comfortably sit as if lounging together, a layout resembling seeds in a pod, with their heads coming together in the center of the car! The last few days has resulted in some incredible design inspiration, forward looking design trends, and so many intriguing details to get lost in… so let’s kick things off with tons of pics of the new life size models of the Biome on the next page! (as well as a peek at the model making and the adorable mini model they gifted us!)
I just went literally around the world in 4 days! And for all who agreed it sounded both awesome and horrifying all at once… Mercedes-Benz managed to make it impressively painless, luxuriously comfortable even ~ i actually may have both seen more and slept far more than usual ~ as i was catapulted between time zones so quickly, my body had yet to completely notice before ending up right back here in LA! So forgive me for going quiet the last few days… i honestly can’t recall the last time i’ve actually had so little internet (and barely enough time to even panic about it!) I’ve just touched back down to LA, though currently in Laguna Beach for a bit before LA Auto Week kicks off. The gist of the trip is “Timeless Design” where we visit 4 of Mercedes’ six global design studios, one after the other! So on weds night i left LA, ended up in Stuttgart Thurs night (via Munich) to see the Sindelfingen studio on Friday, then quickly to a private jet to Milan, where we drive to see the Como studio - spend the night in Milan (next to the duomo!) - saturday morning we take the jet to Frankfurt to hop on the beautiful A380 to Tokyo - pop into the Tokyo hotel for and hour and a half to freshen up before heading to the Tokyo studio - and then hop on another jumbo jet right back to LA… and here i am in Laguna Beach SUNDAY AFTERNOON! …with an hour before the meeting with the futurist, a million pictures to sort out… and we’ve yet to visit the Carlsbad studio, or play with the cars, or see the auto show. So, here’s some quick NotVentures/Operation Window Seating literally around the world on the next page to inspire you… the globe has never felt quite so small or diverse as it does right now, my head is still spinning trying to keep track of all the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen in such a tiny amount of time… surreal to say the least! While this is certainly not everything, and a bunch of flights were in the dark… see some of the most inspiring views i found!
p.s. As for the actual design inspiration and incredible studio peeks… coming soon. Somewhere between catching up on all the pics and making sense of a bigger story as the trip comes to a close!
When the world is your oyster, it can be hard to decide what to do and where to go next. Here are just a few inspirations from Notventures for your next escape.
About to start some serious time zone hopping over the next few days with Mercedes to visit all of their global design studios (Stuttgart, Como, Tokyo, Carlsbad) in a whirlwind 4 days… so while i sit in the airport lounge before the madness begins, wanted to share some of the incredibly inspiring delights showing up on Tasteologie and Liqurious this week! Top 4 rows are Tasteologie followed by a final row of drinks! As usual ~ click the images to find out more!
The Tegu guy made me a castle! With a draw bridge! Out of magnetic wood blocks! LIVE! That was my silly excitement this morning as they let me put in the first request as Tegu LIVE! went… well, live. These playful magnetic wood building blocks made from sustainable tropical hardwoods in Honduras are inspired by the gorgeous european wood toys… with a magnetic twist. While kids of all ages can make anything they can dream up, to help inspire everyone, Tegu and Poke NY have teamed up to build a non stop live stream of a mysterious man in a tegu lab coat of sorts who will take your requests via Twitter, Facebook, and livestream for things to build. And poof just like that, he builds them for you! And then sadly deconstructs them as quickly as they came to be. Though, i’m told not to worry, since all designs will be archived for future viewing! If you’re curious what they are capable of, go make your request at Tegu LIVE!. They sent me a few cases to play with, and their packaging is awesomely fun as well… so take a peek on the next page for the products, packaging, AND my castle in action!
This week’s NOTCOT.org roundup includes a cloud you can sleep on, yaks, and even a table connect app for your iphone. To find out about each of these posts and much more, click on the individual images.
Last in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
So what ELSE can you do with a smart TV? Apparently be watched. Watch people. (and no, not the vid chat type we talked about before.) That sort of thing. Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT creepy, though i suppose it kind of is in the example i’ll show you! But really, what we’re talking about here are security cameras! Logitech’s in particular! Indoor, outdoor, night vision security cameras! I was amazed that visit to the Logitech Loft in LA ~ you could peek and see in to the kitchen and balcony of the Logitech Loft in SF! And vice versa! And all through the Google TV ~ with the Logitech Alert app. But ok realistically, this isn’t awesome just for co-loft-shenanigans… think about it as a home security system that you can check WHILE watching TV (or internetting, or whatever else you’re probably doing with your TV in the center of your home). There’s a beauty to not NEEDING the computer or external screens to check in on your security cameras ~ be it for the backyard, front door, or vacation home… why not just use the screens you have, including the TV? And while you’re watching TV you can even picture in picture it… so take a peek on the next page of the Logitech Alert system i saw in action on Google TV!
So, you saw the pictures of the Kahlúa diner at Zarela as well as the new ad campaigns ~ well, naturally, when Sean sent over his pics, i got fixated on his teaser pics of the Kahlúa Shaker they gifted him… and then begged for more pics! It’s such a minimalist bullet of a shaker in acrylic, but so playful too! And love the matte black paired with the vibrant firey red that the lid looks like it nearly floats on! Close ups on the next page!