A Model by Radim Louda

These two photos are both of architecture models… just at different scales: one big, one small. Both are made of blue foam, a common model-making material, but models aren’t commonly 20 feet long or tall enough to stand inside. A Model is a project by Radim Louda, who describes the project using a verbal flip-flop: “A Model is not the representation of a project, the representation is the project.” Typically, smaller models like the one at the top are made using a table-top hot wire cutter (which are really fun to use since the hot wire simultaneously cuts and melts the rigid blue foam like softened butter). So I’m wondering if the larger model was as fun to make as the smaller one. And if it wasn’t, was it because of the scale of the model or because of the fumes from melting foam.


November 29, 2010 / By

My Time In Georgia (So Far…)

For the past few days I’ve been Augusta, Georgia visiting my boyfriends family for Thanksgiving. I’ve never been to Georgia before so this has been a really fun trip, seeing brand new things and experiencing a culture very different from the one I’m used to in California. During the trip I’ve been taking a ton of photos and posting them to Instagram (sorry, Instagram friends) but I thought I’d share my adventure so far through the photos I’ve taken.

I’m a big fan of the X-Pro II filter in Instagram. It gives photos a high contrast and high saturation which looks good when you have photos that are already pretty high in contrast. I know putting filters on photos is considered lame or whatever but for me I think it’s really fun to make my photos look just a little bit fancier. If you have an iPhone you should definitely get Instagram and up your game. If you’d like to add me you can find me as ‘thefoxisblack’.


November 26, 2010 / By

Gregor Calendar

At this time of year the online design community is inundated with holiday gift guides in which the calendar is a prominent feature. Before you start groaning and rolling your eyes I am not getting swept away with festive season mania (well not yet – I’m not making any promises for the future); however, I couldn’t resist sharing Patrick Frey’s calendar scarf for German design manufacturer Details products + ideas. Delightfully named Gregor, the scarf is designed to diminish with the days of the year. Although I am not sure I would have the heart to unravel the scarf, I do appreciate the concept behind the design:

Times are over where passed days and month were deleted or pulled down, because now there is Gregor the calendar scarf for the wall. Unpicking is the new thing to do. Gregor is a knitted Calendar, where you can do all day long what was forbidden for a long time, to unpick stitch by stitch until the year is over!

More details on Gregor can be found here.



November 26, 2010 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Ed Nacional: Thanksgiving Edition

Ed Nacional

The other day my buddy Ed Nacional posted a festive Thanksgiving image on his Dribbble so I thought, hey, why not release it as a Thanksgiving wallpaper? Sure, it’s Thanksgiving today, probably should have released something like this weeks ago, but what hell, you can still give thanks any time of the year, right? A big thanks to Ed for busting out these wallpapers for us. We’re definitely going to do another wallpaper with Ed some time next year so keep a lookout.


November 25, 2010 / By

Chefs Look for Wild Ingredients Nobody Else Has

I’m a big fan of interesting foods so this article on NY Times about ‘wildcrafters” people who forage for food in a specific manner, was a gem to read. These people don’t search primarily on private and (with permission) for feral plants that you would never think of eating. Crazy plants like toothwort, cornelian cherries, brown jug, creasy greens, sweet cicely, pineapple weed and licorice fern. Chefs in New York and around the world are taking these plants as a sort of challenge such as Momofuku Ssam who serves a fruit leather made of tart, floral Russian olive berries with a roasted porcini and duck liver mousse. “It gives you a creative boost,” Mr. Miller said. “For me it was like rediscovering the first time I cooked a piece of fish.” Definitely an inspiring article for people who love to try new things.

Increasingly, in an era when truffles are farmed and Whole Foods sells fresh porcini, the ingredients that chefs seek are not the ones anyone can order; they’re the ones that few have ever heard of. They are the most unusual, not the most expensive. And even if they’re plentiful, they’re exclusive: you need either to know where to go and what to gather, or who to call.

You can also see a really nice photo gallery as well by clicking here.

Looking at these photos again I wish there was a video that accompanied the article and photos that looked just like the photos. It would be great if NY Times dabbled more into premium video, that’s something I would pay a regular subscription fee for.


November 25, 2010 / By

One Hundred and Eight by Nils Volker

One Hundred and Eight is an interactive installation by Nils Volker which features a grid of garbage bags continuously inflated and deflated by small cooling fans. The interactive bit of One Hundred and Eight is achieved through a camera, a computer and a microcontroller… all working to animate garbage bags.  Volker: “Although each plastic bag is mounted stationary the sequences of inflation and deflation create the impression of lively and moving creatures which waft slowly around like a shoal. But as soon a viewer comes close it instantly reacts by drawing back and tentatively following the movements of the observer.”


November 25, 2010 / By

‘La Double Vie de Véronique’

Film is more often than not principally concerned with vision and sound. What we see and hear are the architectural foundations for the cinematic experience. The other senses are certainly evoked through characterisation and setting; however, I have yet to come across a filmmaker who manages to convey sensuality in such a heighten fashion as Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. His films possess the ability to distil sensory fragments and present them in such a way that they are almost tangible. As Kieslowski commented in an interview, “The realm of superstitions, fortune-telling, presentiments, intuition, dreams, all this is the inner life of a human being, and all this is the hardest thing to film.” For me, the film that best exemplifies Kieslowski’s filmic exploration of introspection and private worlds is The Double Life of Véronique (1991).

Of course I’d like to get beyond the concrete. But it’s really difficult. Very difficult.
– Krzysztof Kieslowski

The film concentrates on two female characters, Weronika and Véronique (both played by Irène Jacob). One is a soloist living in Poland and the other is a music teacher in France. Although they are physically identical, they have never met. The film romanticises the uncanny connection between Weronika and Véronique; however, it is never entirely explained to the viewer and this relationship raises far more questions than it answers. The film depends on the viewer to suspend any notion of logic and to simply take in Slawomir Idziak’s breathtakingly hypnotic cinematography, which filters the film imagery through the subjective impressions of Weronika and Véronique.

Due to this approach, The Double Life of Véronique will not appeal to all viewers. For one thing, the plot unfolds at an achingly slow pace and the sequence of events is based less on action than gestures and glances. Sensory moments such as the crackling sound of brittle autumn leaves, the sensation of raindrops lightly falling onto Weronika’s face and Véronique’s hand tracing the uneven texture of tree bark are magnified and become the focus of the plot. One scene in particular (featured in the clip above), in which Weronika sits on a train and views the passing landscape through a glass marble, conveys Kieslowski’s obsession with perception and sensation. His films, in general, manage to capture a distinctly palpable mode of experience, whereby the emotions of his characters take precedence over the story. By focusing on minute changes in mood and response, he constructs a truly affective cinema.

Although it is not a ghost story in the conventional sense, The Double Life of Véronique is infused with haunting. Doppelgängers, apparitions, strange repetitions and absent presences pervade the film, tying these conceits to the larger themes of identity and desire. The Double Life of Véronique is a film that exists within shadows, unfinished whispers, uncertainty and ambiguity. Watching it requires feeling, not understanding.


November 25, 2010 / By