Taking graffiti to a whole new level, an artist by the name of FI5E along with a number of other contributors have created the Graffiti Analysis Project.
Temporary images are displayed on various building facades throughout New York to help generate a new appreciation for this often misunderstood art form.
I've been planning to design a birdhouse for the past year but keep putting it off for other projects. Since then i've seen a rash of new designs that brings up the old saying "you snooze you lose".
Case in point the ultra simple UK designed Birdball.
"Birdball is a handmade clay sanctuary for small garden birds which is meant to offer year round nesting and protection from the elements and is a natural replacement for birds own vanishing habitats."
Born in Singapore and educated with a Masters degree in Design in Milan, Jason Ong has put together a clever line of pieces through the name Jienshu.
Though the line is limited to four pieces at the moment, each one is solid in it's own right and well worth a look.
Japanese publication SHIFT and Blog support site CHOBI recently announced the winners of their wallpaper competition. The winners were chosen from 105 entries from over 20 countries.
The 12 winning entries are now available on CHOBI's website for clicking and pasting onto your site.
I was introduced to this Berlin based design manufacturer awhile back through Mocoloco and came accross them again today over at Core77. Mobile Metallico produces serious industrial influenced furniture. There's absolutely nothing cute and cuddly about their work, which is what makes them so great.
I like how they refer to their style as "Minimalist Kitsch". I just imagine them saying this in an angry German accent.
It's been 26 years since The Fall debuted with 'Live at Witch Trials', so really you shouldn't expect too much from a band that's been around as long they have. Heck, look how lenient we've all been with The Stones and their march of duds since the early 80's. But with the quality of work from long in the tooth acts like U2 and Depeche Mode these days, you gotta say why not The Fall ?
Fall Heads Roll does a pretty good job at making them a viable act for today. The only problem is with every solid release, there's a dud to follow it up, so there goes talk about band of tomorrow....day after tomorrow would be more suitable. The opening reggae laced track 'Ride Away' is not bad, but that's only after a half dozen listens. First impressions should not be taken too seriously on this one to avoid a quick trip to the cd archives. 'Pacifying Joint' does a splendid job of rewarding you for the 5:01 minutes endured through the monotonous opening track. With the old school synths in the forefront and Mark E. Smiths banter about who knows what, it's the perfect pick me up to garner interest for the rest of the album. But again it's an album that needs patience. 'What about Us' really isn't that far off of 'Pacifying Joint', infact it sounds like a continuation of it which really isn't a bad thing. After all, 26 years is a long time to keep up with the creative process, so whatever works I guess. But again, this is an album that demands you to gain it's trust by giving it time to open up to you. Case in point is 'Blindness' and it's continuous 3 note baseline that you just do not want to go away, which by the way it does not for the entire 7:24 minutes. This is a fantastic tune that should be noted as one of The Falls finest work. It reminds me of some of the work done on The Jesus and Mary Chain's overlooked 'Munki' release from a few years back which was outstanding in it's own right.
If you've got time and patience, Fall Heads Roll will become your friend if you want it to.
This was a great way to kill off a slow Friday afternoon at the office.
Marvel's new line called Figure Factory seems like a throwback for me. Various characters that come in pieces within a crate for you to assemble. I was abit skepticle as to what the finished item would be, but was pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail in the end product.
Series 1 is out now.
Any designer that goes by the name of BEEF, clearly has some...er...meat to their portfolio. UK designer, Lucy Turner has some great pieces like this floor lamp made from reclaimed jumper sleeve and "magic sustainable stiffening solution". The ambience of a room can depend on the knit and there are only ever two alike.
I came accross this odd puppy at an online store called, Branch.
This is the Squeezy Head vase by Portland Oregon manufacturer, Esque. The item was adapted from a toy and rendered in hand-blown glass.
What's also cool about this product is that it was made from recycled glass stock and put in an electric furnace that's wind powered.
While doing some online X-mas shopping, I came upon this gem at Elsewares. It's the Glow Brick by designers, SUCK UK.
Paperweight, nightlight, objet d'art, the glow brick is a real light bulb encased in a solid acrylic brick. It recharges from daylight and then glows in the dark.
New York trio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are giving fans a chance to design the cover of their next album by holding an open competition.
The design is to be a flag that best represents the band and the vibe they bring to their rabid fanbase.
Deadline is December 8th / 06 and the new album is slated for an early 2006 spring release.
Good Luck !
So i'm starting my top 10 list of best designed superheroes with the low key Marvel character T'challa, better known as Black Panther.
Debuting in 1966 (Fantastic Four 52), he's really gone through the last 5 decades relatively untouched, Sure he's had the odd stint with a cape and the occasional 'bling-bling' to doll the simplicity up abit. But all in all he's stuck with the basic black motif the entire time and looks as fresh as he did back in the day.
Although Marvel has fiddled with a large number of their designs over the years to accomidate the current trend at the time, they've really done a fine job letting this one work on it's own.
This is another piece from designer Mixko at New Designers Online that just had to be posted.
Enlarged earphone speakers produced to look and sound great hung from the ceiling or placed on the floor.
Keep an eye out at Land+Living for further info on the NDO.
New Designers Online is a great site of up and coming design talents in the UK.
It's a pretty wide open array of disciplines and contains some great pieces like the Unite Light by a designer named Mixko.
Acrylic flower elements that interlock creating a cube-like structure. The design is simple in structure and allows the user to assemble it by them self and transport it in a compact form.
Berlin designer, Murat Top, just opened up this great looking sushi bar called Six Forward. The entire environment is awash with white, but the space has the option at a flick of a switch to transform into a number of different hues like pink, orange and blue.
Don't be fooled by the sweetness of the opening title track to Fiona Apple's third release 'Extraordinary Machine'. This is a brutally confident, strong woman behind the 'aw shucks' feel in this gem of a lead off.
Not straying to far (thankfully) from 1999's 'When the pawn breaks...', Fiona shows us just why she may very well be one of the most underated female acts out there today. Her smokey vocals and lyrical assertiveness carry well from track to track. Numbers like the layed back feel of 'O'Sailor' and the sweet 'Parting Gift' makes you sit back and take in Apple's mature vocals. As with her previous efforts, this is a piano driven album that Tori Amos only wishes she can still muster. Not much 'twinkling' of the keys here as Fiona beats the ivory with authority. Again the confidence comes through here.
The album is quite simple and has a very clean production, but that doesn't mean you'll get it on the first listen. This one will take time to gain your trust and expose itself for what it is.....amazing.
4 / 5
Just announced from McFarlane Toys is the 'Pop Culture Masterworks' series. Classic Rock'n'Roll album covers and iconic movie posters are transformed from two-dimensional pictures into modern three-dimensional sculptures.
First installment slated for spring 2006 will be the all time great, Led Zeppelin 1.
I came accross these gems at Core77 the other day.
These slick mugs are by ultra-cool California based design group, Miam-Miam. Accorging to Core....
the mugs have been shaped with ergonomics in mind. Each mug is equipped with a giant handle and a contoured body to accommodate the nature of a curved hand
Miam-Miam's website is also worth a look. Just a fantastic layout and brilliant colors throughout their pieces.
My previous posting on Ironman got me thinking.....who are the best designed superheros ? Colors, visual impact, longevity, etc. would all come into play.
Many have come and gone just like furniture design. But a few have stood the test of time and became a classic in their own right.
Over the next few weeks i'll count down my top 10 best designed characters.
Should be a hoot.
I haven't collected comics for years now and when I did my interest in Ironman was zero. But something about the costume and colors made me appreciate the look of the character.
Marvel has just released Series 11: THE LEGENDARY RIDERS SERIES which includes the 'Hulk Buster Ironman' version. It's not as eye catching as the normal Ironman get-up, but worth checking out nonetheless.
I never really knew much about Alfredo Haberli until I read I.D. Magazines recent cover story on him. A very humble and family orientated individual whose designs seem to follow a simple low key approach. The pieces don't demand your attention right off the bat, but it does make you want to visit them from time to time.
One can easily dismiss this act as yet another band imitating Interpol imitating Joy Division. But the thing that stands out with these lads from Birmingham is the soul and dare I say, optimism ? Even with the urgency of tracks like 'Lights', it tends to leave you to believe that there's a light at the end of this dreary tunnel. Which there is by the way.
The debut UK single 'Bullets' easily dismisses the Joy Division / Interpol formula. It's the accomidating guitar line that for a brief moment fools you into thinking your listening to a b-side from U2's BOY release. Again a sign that there's soul in this goth heart. But in the end 'Munich' will be the one to seep it's way into your head with it's repetitive chorus and Edge-esque rift that just will not go away. Thankfully.
Editors are clearly a band on the rise and have created such a stir in the UK as well as landing an opening slot in Franz Ferdinands current European tour. All this without having The Back Room released in North America yet, but worth the effort and cash for an import.
4.5 / 5
I was told recently by someone in the design media that the craft aspect of design seems to be the latest trend. The quality and personal feel of a handmade object has become appealing to more and more people.
Take Cincinnati designer Jenny Sauer (three sheets to the wind) who creates amazing hand-printed wall art and pillows.
Available through elsewheres.
I'm notorious for buying cheap-o disposable watches and am finally looking into something of an upgrade to my normal buying practice. So far i'm torn between these two gems from Starck.
I've given myself till X-mas which is cool because it justifies a future posting !....always thinking ahead.
Flavor Paper will make you look at wallpaper in a whole new light. Images of your Grandmothers floral patterned kitchen will surely be erased.
As quoted in their site.....
Flavor Paper produces unique vintage, contemporary and custom handscreened wallcoverings that will add a burst of flavor to any environment. Located in the Bywater District of New Orleans, our Flavor Lab uses only the highest quality water-based inks and grounds to create premium wallcoverings for retail, home and beyond.