Date Archives January 2011

Experimental Particles

Experimental Particles

Experimental Particles

I always love little experiments like this. Mattias Peresini mashed together Trapcode Particular, Trapcode Sound Keys, and After Effects to create this program that responds to music. This is about a thousand million times better than any of the visualizers that iTunes has ever had. My only complaint is that I wish the video was longer! And if you’re curious about the music it’s called Erlend by Ted & Francis.

Bobby

Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: ‘Sky Blue Sky’ by Paul Octavious

Paul Octavious

I’ve been waiting quite a while to release this wallpaper so I hope you share my enthusiasm for it. The album featured this week is Sky Blue Sky and the artist is Chicago based photographer, Paul Octavious. I am equal parts a fan of Paul’s amazing photographs as well as this Wilco album. Paul has this amazing style of photography that in my mind is best described as dreamy. There’s always something ethereal and magical happening, no matter what his subject is. It’s this positivity and creativity that I really respect about him and his work.

Sky Blue Sky could be described in a similar way. This is by far their most upbeat and happy album, I mean, the title of the album itself is as positive as you can get. It’s also a more laidback, simple album that’s almost the polar opposite of A Ghost Is Born. My personal favorites off of this album are You Are My Face, Sky Blue Sky, Please Be Patient With Me and Leave Me (Like You Found Me). Leave Me in particular is good, it’s a melancholy song that always gets me.

Here’s what Paul had to say about his wallpaper:

“I’m usually never good at meanings of titles of album or songs, and can never find the words to put them in. So when I was asked to make a desktop for Sky Blue Sky I drew a blank. Yet, this is my favorite Wilco album! So I dug deep, did some research and found my inspiration. The album title is a reference to a memory Jeff Tweedy had as a kid coming home from a family trip and his route home was blocked by a parade. I wanted to create that feeling of being trapped and not having a say on the outcome.”

Huge thanks to Paul for creating such a brilliant wallpaper. We have one more wallpaper next week and then we’re finished with Wilco! There will be some more standard wallpapers and then we’ll jump into the next edition of Sights & Sounds. I hope you’ve enjoyed the wallpapers so far.

Bobby

Moonbird Lamp by Yukio Hashimoto

Moonbird Lamp

Moonbird Lamp

Yukio Hashimoto

Slowly but surely LEDs are becoming a lot more prevalent in design. It’s not like this is an entirely new trend, but the LED is becoming more considered and incorporated more thoughtfully, it seems. This Moonbird Lamp be Japanese designer Yukio Hashimoto is a great example, with it’s ultra elegant shape. I love the different wood grains but I must admit that the red lacquer one is quite sexy, like a sports car in lamp form. This is a perfect lamp for a desk or work area and it’s small foot print but large light would give ample illumination. The lamp is being produced by Yamagiwa but there’s no word on when it’s coming out or the price.

Bobby

Hannah Haworth

According to the short portfolio statement included on the site of  Scottish-born, Brooklyn-based artist Hannah Haworth, she makes “lots of fantastically unnecessary bits and pieces.” This is, of course, the charm of her textile installations, which stem from Haworth’s love of “nature, stories and craft.” Indeed, her exhibitions often appear as though a gathering of stray animals have curiously entered the gallery space and proceeded to make themselves at home. I particularly like her use of texture and material and the manner in which she has taken what looks like reused clothing to make little woodlands creatures. There is definitely something quite magical and sweet about her artistic universe.

Danica

Building A Better NERF Gun

Building A Better Nerf Gun

Building A Better Nerf Gun

This post is mostly for my friend Ryan, who is a giant NERF lover and has possibly gone out of his way to modify NERF guns before. But this goes beyond modification and into the realm of fabrication. It was created by a New Zealander named Simon who wanted to see if he could build a better NERF gun.

While I’m not 100% sure that he built a better NERF gun he certainly built one that’s just as good, if not a little more accurate. For me I just like how it ended up looking. It reminds me a lot of Princess Amidala’s laser pistol from the Star Wars prequels. At the same time I get kind of a minimal, MUJI sort of vibe to it. Sorry if you were expecting any sort of technical stuff in here, I’m just impressed by it’s sharp looks. Under the cut is a video of Simon explaining how the gun works an a little demo of him comparing it to a real NERF gun.

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Giant Interactive Group by Morphosis

The Giant Interactive Group Campus by Morphosis Architects is huge and impressive without reading too much like a behemoth. Of course, it helps to have the exceptionally talented Iwan Baan photograph your shiny, new 260,000 square foot corporate headquarters, but it also helps to break up the mass of the building with an undulating green roof, exterior courtyards, and a road. The road divides the campus into two halves: a half for work and a half for play. A central circulation spine jumps the road to connect the two halves, and continues into the center of the recreational spaces, but stays to one side the office programming that terminates in a cantilevered conference room with a glass floor. (Morphosis also designed a glass-floored conference room at Caltrans Headquarters in downtown LA.)

I was lucky enough to hear Morphosis’s Thom Mayne speak at the Hammer Museum about this project in 2009; that is, when he could get in a word between critics Sylvia Lavin and Jeffrey Kipnis. The conversation between the three started out as a talk about urbanization in China, but evolved into questioning the parallels between migrating picture frames and cantilevers (true story) and concluded with both critics agreeing that Mr. Mayne did “interesting things with the ground.” The conversation was witty, a little tipsy, and I wish it had been longer. I’ve been excited to see the Giant Interactive Group project finish and thrilled to see it photographed by Iwan Baan.

Alex

P.S. Happy Birthday to Thom Mayne, who turns 69 today.

Nathaniel Whitcomb’s Motion Collages Bring Life to Record Covers

Nathaniel Whitcomb

Nathaniel Whitcomb

My buddy Tim Thompson over at Smoke Don’t Smoke, is having a show tomorrow night at Lot 1 in Echo Park with Jeans Wilder, Holy Spirits, Mutual Benefit and Steffaloo. It’s a great line-up and should be a super fun show. But to enhance the bands performances he’s teamed up with Los Angeles based designer Think or Smile, also known as Nathaniel Whitcomb, to create some great visuals for the show. The way he thinks of it, this is a natural progression of the record cover.

They are my way of marrying art to music the way 12″ cover art did decades ago. I remember getting an album as a teenager and staring at the art and inserts as I played it, letting the images fuel my imagination as I listened, attentively. Now it seems with mp3s and bloggers putting up found images for every single track they find that appreciation for art as music and vice-versa seems to have fallen by the wayside – and ADD sets in hard. My hope is that these function as modern day album art, used as another means to experience the music.. a way of getting lost in it.

I think this is a pretty great idea. It seems so simple, like someone should have thought of this before. I’m excited to see Nathaniel do more of these and maybe some other people pick up on the idea as well.

Bobby

Interactive Display Window Concept

Interactive Display Window Concept

Interactive Display Window Concept

Over the weekend I was sent an email from a fella’ named Gustaf Engström filling me in on a project that he and his classmates over at Hyper Island recently completed. The team was made up of Beatriz Areilza, Juliana Oliveira Silva, Lucas Lima and Marcus Wallander, who created an interactive display window that’s certainly intriguing. I’ve been seeing a bit of this kind of work here and there but I found this application to be not only fun but practical as well.

The idea is that when you walk by the display a looped animation begins playing, following you along your path. When it reaches the end it stutters until another person passes by taking it back to the other side of the display. I imagine you could hack something like this to work with something like a Kinect, but I really have no idea about that kinda stuff. The fonts and colors on the display are really nice looking, definitely makes the information stand out. If I were walking by this shop I’d certainly want to stop in, wouldn’t you?

On a side note, these folks are all looking for internships in New York, London or really anywhere else in the world. If you have any opportunities be sure to click their names, check out their work and shoot them an email!

Bobby

Panscape by Ninkipen!

This bakery in Kyoto by Japanese firm Ninkipen! blends together new and old textures in a really chic way. Front and center sits a huge, rough hewn log with a delicate, antique-looking boulangerie display on top of the 1,000 pound chunk of wood. Just think of the contrast between “1000 pound chunk of wood” and “boulangerie.” The details are few, but nicely done; I especially like the name of the bakery embedded in the concrete entrance. By carefully editing the color and texture palette, the bread gets the attention that it deserves, and that’s making my palate water.

Alex

Adam Cruft

Adam Cruft

When I was browsing through the most recent issue of Wallpaper* I came across quite a few interesting finds, one of them being the illustrations of Adam Cruft. I was smitten with the illustrations he created for the contributor page of the most recent issues. What’s great about these is that the heads and faces are done in a simple line art style but the clothing is done in a beautiful, watercolor style that gives the drawings a punch of life and color. My favorite of all is the drawing of the man in the beard with the red, plaid shirt. There’s something very simple and straightforward that I really appreciate. If you like these pieces be sure to check out the rest of Adam’s pieces to see the wide range of work he creates.

Bobby