Date Archives July 2010

I Knit Brisbane

I am currently in Brisbane, Queensland attending an architecture conference and was intrigued when Linda Carroli, one of the opening plenary speakers, alluded to the I Knit Brisbane project. Walking around the inner city on the weekend, it was interesting to note that there was not much in the way of street art or graffiti, but had I arrived a month earlier the urban spaces of Brisbane would have looked quite warm and fuzzy.

The brief for the project suggests that the central aim of  I Knit Brisbane was to ceremoniously prepare the city for its rather mild winter; however, Carroli also emphasised that this style of folk craft renovation is also integral to altering and beautifying ugly aspects of urban architecture. Based on the comments left on the I Knit Brisbane site, the public’s reactions to the wool installations have been mixed. While some see the magic in the concept, others have claimed that it wastes time and resources that could be better used to clothe the homeless. Personally, I think it is a really exciting way to transform the city’s architectural facades and would like to see some guerilla knitters stitching wool on urban structures in other cities. Is this a call to arms…uh…needles? Why, yes it is!


Meet Flipboard

Last night I had the chance to download a brand new iPad app called Flipboard, which is sort of an aggregate feed made up of your social networks and websites. This description sounds like a lot of existing products out there but what makes this one different is the way the content is being presented. The way I see it it’s somewhere between a traditional magazine/newspaper but with the quickness and flexibility of a web page.

But finding that middle ground is quite difficult as I don’t think anything has really been able to reach that sweet spot. But Flipboard is honestly the closest thing I’ve ever seen to getting it right. The way the pages flip are smooth, the pagination at the bottom expands as you go and gives you a sense of time, the pictures expand as you click on them… basically they got the details very right on this program. I also can’t imagine trying to use a program like this on any device but the iPad, it is 100% made for a medium sized, touch screen device and nothing else.

Currently though the demand for their service has crippled their servers, obviously because they’re doing something very right. So you’ll have to wait a little while to use the social aspects (Facebook, Twitter) but you cans still dive in to the news, tech and style sections to get the idea of what they’ve dreamed up. I really think this is going to get some people’s attention and hopefully smart people will steal some of the great idea Flipboard has to offer.

P.S. The music in the video is a cover of the Aphex Twin song Flim by the jaz trio The Bad Plus.



As I often say, the simplest ideas are often the best, and Luke White and Remi Weekes are full of ’em. Take for example their video above called Seaweed, which features who I assume to be Luke, contorting his body in random positions but slowly layering himself… over himself. To try and describe exactly what’s happening in this video would be a tiny bit difficult but the end effect is totally rad. In the comments he says he “Cut out the arms and then just jiggled them about” but I have to imagine he did much more than that. Hopefully he starts to post more of these experiments as this one was posted over a month ago.


Felix Thorn’s Increidble Music Sculptures

Felix Thorn is a British tinkerer who makes electronic music out of found objects with incredible results. Made from bits and pieces of old instruments, randomly found stuff and a mountain of LEDs these are less instruments and more sculptures, pieces of art that play music. Watching this video and seeing all the random things he creates I was totally baffled how you’d even begin to think of creations like this. I love that he leaves all of the sculptures in their somewhat natural state, so you can see bit of a piano, a clock, a metal cone or what have you. But the real excitement comes when he plays them all together, creating actual songs and melodies. As someone in the comments of the video wrote, in 20 years his home is going to look like something out of Wallace & Gromit.


Johnny Kelly

Should you be doing something other than reading +KN right now?  I certainly don’t think so, but I might be at odds with both your cold-hearted supervisor and the rational voice in your head. Maybe you’re procrastinating, in which case you should put your stolen borrowed time to good use and watch two delightful videos by Johnny Kelly.  Only have time to watch one?  I suggest procrastination.

Johnny Kelly is kind of brilliant. He graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Animation; Procrastination was his Graduation project. The other video above is The Seed, an imaginative representation of the life cycle of an apple seed. Johnny definitely gets bonus points for the pool of digestive acids in the stomach rendered in paper. That cake sinks like the Titanic.

Hopefully your boss has a thing for Kate Winslet.


An Afternoon with Gary Pepper Vintage

I’m not usually a big fan of fashion videos, but I have been turned around with this video for online vintage clothing boutique Gary Pepper Vintage. Featuring the boutique’s owner, Nicole Warne, the video showcases the superb vintage finds from Gary Pepper Vintage and an assortment of Jeffrey Campbell shoes courtesy of SoleStruck. Filmed and edited by Chad Waldron, the video is a behind-the-scene’s peek at a photo shoot of the collaboration between the two online boutiques.

As there is no specific narrative, the video successfully works to frame the beautiful clothes and shoes. Warne’s styling, in particular, is impeccable, and carefully blends her vintage threads with the new season footwear. I really love the carefree mood and the small fashion journey that the viewer is taken on.


Inspiration: Andrew Holder, Todd St. John & Jon Contino

Yesterday I came across a few minimal pieces from some of my favorite creative folks and thought I’d share it as a bit of inspiration. All of the images above have a really similar vibe to me, they’re extremely simple in color and form but still absolutely detailed and hard to fully understand at a glance.

The first piece is by Andrew Holder, it’s called Sun Chaser, and I love the chunky halftone pattern in the sky, it’s almost overwhelmingly busy. The second two sculptures are by one of my all-time favorites Todd St. John. These are from his series of intersections and I totally wish I could buy one of these, I’m really in love with them. To round things out is a drawing by Jon Contino, which is a beautiful bit of text with some nice weathering that makes it perfect.

Maybe you’ll gain a bit of inspiration from these as well?


Prickly Pair Chairs

It’s that time of summer when the optimism of spring is evaporating as quickly as the turgidity of the potted plants on my front porch. It’s the heat that kills them. In the spring, it seemed like a good idea to plant dozens of delicate, thirsty flowers; but in the summer the ghosts of dead plants are reminding me that I should have planted cacti… or maybe just rocks.

New to me are the Prickly Pair Chairs by Valentina Gelz Wohlers. Introduced last year during Milan Design Week, the chairs cleverly bend a very French, oval-backed chair with the pads of a prickly pear cactus.  There are even little spiny things in the tufts of the upholstery. The chair made me laugh the first time I saw it, and I’ve been thinking about how to downplay the absurdity of the chair in an interior ever since.  I haven’t come up with anything.

But I still like the chair, and I need somethings other than dead plants on my front porch. Is there a waterproof version? Well, honestly, I’m not sure that water is a realistic threat… just ask the dead plants.