Date Archives January 2013

‘One-Sided’, A Beautiful LP by Efterklang

'One-Sided', A Beautiful LP by Efterklang

One of the reasons I switched away from iTunes and adopted a music service like Rdio is that it allows my to explore albums that I may never have had the ability to enjoy. A great example is this beautiful little LP from Danish band Efterklang titled One-Sided. I’m a huge fan of their most recent album Piramida, so I started to explore their back catalog and came across this. It might be only three songs but it’s absolutely filled with stunning tracks, though I think my favorite is Tu es mon image, which sounds like something from a fairy tale.

Sunday Reading

Big Med by by Atul Gawande
Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation. Can health care? Makes you think about how health care still needs to progress.

We Must Build An Enormous McWorld In Times Square, A Xanadu Representing A McDonald’s From Every Nation by Jeb Boniakowski
Kind of an insane idea, but in a really sort of genius way. Times Square, and McDonald’s for that matter, would never be the same.

Why I’m writing on the iPad by Jason Snell
The singular focus of the iPad is immensely helpful when you need to focus. I do a majority of my email correspondence on my iPad, but unfortunately I still don’t blog on it. We still need better photo editing software for the iPad.

Shirley Tucker, Faber, and The Bell Jar by Mark Sinclair
When Faber & Faber picked up Silvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar in 1966, in-house designer Shirley Tucker was given the chance to design its cover – and she came up with the perfect image. In a series of interviews filmed at the publisher’s last year, Tucker discusses this work and her time at Faber…

One Common Ancestor Behind Blue Eyes by Jeanna Bryner
People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research. A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Before then, there were no blue eyes.

Top Five From LAIY: Week Of January 21

Top Five From LAIY: Week Of January 21

No Finish Line: An Interview With Alan Stuart of One Long House
Alan Stuart is restless. He’s a designer type who is never satisfied. Case in point? One Long House, his small-but-big-impact design agency recently based in Los Angeles. Stuart does great work with his team and has some super insightful words for anyone who wants to start their own creative agency.

Downtown’s Art District is very much an “It” neighborhood. What doesn’t it–or Downtown–have? High fashion. There is some weird gap down there. Well, that gap is gone: new store 12345 is like a small Opening Ceremony full of playful goodies and setup like a fashion wonderland. There’s even a peephole to take a look inside the store! They’re brand new and you’re going to want to dog ear them in your retail handbook.

The Los Angeles Drink Map
After over a year, we have finally released one of LAIY’s founding features: a map of cocktails and bars recommended to you by the people we have shared in our Featured Interview series. If you are visiting Los Angeles or live here or just want to hear where people drink in LA, this map is for you. We’ll be updating it every Wednesday and we expect everyone to use this as their drinking resource.

Kelly Massey’s Painted Scarves
For some reason, we got it in our heads this week that we wanted to share cool scarves. This is probably because the weather keeps flip flopping from hot to cold but we wanted to share something pretty and functional. Anyway, Kelly Massey’s scarves did just that for us because they are all made from patterns that she paints with watercolors. How pretty! And functional.

See You Later, Scott
LA filmmaker Matthew Miller sent us his film See You Later, Scott and it is the perfect thing to watch on a rainy, Wintry Southern California day. Part dreamy, part nature lust, part travel film, you get wrapped into this strange and quiet world that happens when you get lost in the wilderness. It’s very pretty and the closing credits are pretty rad, too.

Space Suit of the Week

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

The space race was the greatest competition all time: two great nations pushing technological and scientific boundaries for galactic supremacy. Rooted in the necessity to achieve what no nation had yet to accomplish, science and mankind reached new heights. Tom Clohosy Cole’s concertina, Space Race, beautifully illustrates this push to the limits. The efforts of these two great Cold War super powers are detailed on opposing sides of a paper-made Iron Curtain narrating the notable achievements of spaceflight. The highlights of the USSR include Sputnik’s star streak across the autumn sky and Yuri Gagarin’s landmark orbital waltz around the home planet. On the opposing side, the achievements of the United States showcase the Apollo rocket boys. Cole’s concertina crescendos at quite probably the greatest single achievement in the space race – the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. This event technically marks the end of the Space race between the two nations as the Soviet Soyuz and the Yankee Apollo crafts dock together–a cosmic handshake and sign of peace. From my own ethnocentric point of view, the space race narrative (as told here in the United States) ends with Armstrong & his boys’ dance on the moon. Yet in actuality the Test Project, commonly referred to statewide as Apollo 18, is truly the last dance of the great space race. Cole’s depiction in four colors boldly celebrates these adventuresome achievements. And unfurled, it paints a panorama of this time far grander than any Hasselblad shot brought back as a souvenir.

HAY: A Danish Furniture and Design Company

Hay stools

Hay living room

Hay bedroom furniture

In the ever-evolving landscape that is modern furniture design, Denmark’s HAY stands apart. Founded in 2002, the company aims to recreate the heyday of 1950’s and ’60s design only with an innovative twist. Aside from their products actually being affordable, they employ both hungry young designers and more established ones alike to create products that are functional and aesthetically interesting. In their words, they want to blur the lines between architecture and fashion and do so in a joyful manner.

All of HAY’s furniture seems to pair beautifully together. Designer Hee Welling’s “About a Stools” are made to work in both residential and commercial spaces, their colorful bases working in conjunction with one another. Because of each product’s streamlined simplicity, it’s easy to see these pieces working in many different types of spaces, especially the Bjørn sofa and unassuming Bella desk, which comes in either white or black.

HAY recently expanded into product design, too. They offer a wide range of office supplies like rulers and binders in various pastel and prints. I’m partial to their modular Kaleido trays, which won Sweden’s Design S prize late last year. Bold, bright, and beautiful, they’d cheer up any dinner party.

Hay design products

Hay Kaleido trays

Mat Pringle Illustrates Woody Guthrie’s List of ‘New Years Rulin’s’

Woody Guthrie's New Year's Rulins by Mat Pringle 1+2

Woody Guthrie's New Year's Rulins by Mat Pringle 13+14

Woody Guthrie's New Year's Rulins by Mat Pringle 8+17

If you’re looking for good, honest advice then you should really look no further then the great Woody Guthrie. When it comes to self-improvement then Woody’s your man. Back on the eve of 1942 Guthrie decided to compile a list of the things he hoped to improve on over the next year and by writing it down he created a wonderfully simple guide to living a better life.

We’re big fan’s of Guthrie’s ‘New Years Rulin’s’ here on TFIB and so too is the London based illustrator and printmaker Mat Pringle. Since January 1st Mat’s been taking Guthrie’s rules and creating charming sketches based on them. It really makes the list come to life and I’ve been enjoying getting a new rule everyday throughout the month. You can check out more of these illustrated rules by visiting Mat’s blog. Who knows, you might even learn some good advice!

Banquinho Nº2 Leather Stools by Adaism

Banquinho Nº2 Leather Stools by Adaism

Banquinho Nº2 Leather Stools by Adaism

I was really inspired by Andi’s post a couple days ago about these beautiful pens by AJOTO that I wanted to start sharing some other examples of beautiful product design. The other day I came across these incredible Banquinho Nº2 stools by Adaism and was totally entranced by their design. The base is actually old stock from “the Portugese metalware factory ICA designed in 1955 by António and Luis Pereira but then combined with a new, hand-sewn leather seat. The combination is powerful, giving both an industrial yet contemporary feeling to the stools. I’m sad their isn’t an example of what these look like when folded, I’m sure they’re gorgeous.

Adaism also has an amazing collection of leather objects that you’ll probably want to drool over. If you’re on budget, beware.

‘Don’t Look Back’ by Miguel


If 2012 was the year Los Angeles reinstated itself as a center for R&B and hip hop, the L.A. native Miguel might be the overlooked megastar (an oxymoron, but accurate one) waiting in the wings. While Adorn has hit the LA radio waves in full force, the deliberate sexuality and sweeping musical references throughout his second release, Kaleidoscope Dream, show an artist with a larger repertoire than expected. Don’t Look Back, one of the finer cuts on the record, is peppered with such references. The melody recalls the Beatles And I Love Her, the outro calls from Time of the Season. His falsetto dips in and out as he croons about, on the surface, a predatory love. Twilight lovers could have a field day with the lyrics. Yet it is about a love of the night life, requesting freedom to prowl and enjoy the dark without regrets. In an album filled with fresh takes of R&B, these classic references only reveal this stars ascendancy.

The Fragmented World of Artist Sandra Erbacher

Sandra Erbacher wallpaper collage

Sandra Erbacher sculptures

Sandra Erbacher tape collage

Sandra Erbacher billboard

Jagged edges, frayed cardboard boxes, angular bits of tape, and illuminated wood—this is artist Sandra Erbacher’s playing field. A current MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin, and recent winner of Madison’s Blink grant for public art, her work both captures and confounds. I was first attracted to her prismatic piece, #89, a digital print mounted on aluminum that looks like a cross between an oversized crystal talisman and something Lady Gaga might dream of wearing as a headpiece. It’s an arresting, 3D image that would feel home in a museum or minimalist abode—much like Erbacher’s beautiful light and wood sculptures.

Focusing on the in-between space and the fragmenting of construction, Erbacher creates large-scale collages, too. She crafts disjointed wallpaper into sci-fi relics or pieces parcel tape together in a sort of futuristic explosion. Always, her work seems to move, defy gravity, and speak in a quiet, otherworldly way. Her latest piece, I kept this part away from you, was commissioned by the Madison Arts Council and looms above a tire store. From far away, it tricks drivers into thinking it’s a picturesque horizon on a nondescript billboard, but up close, it’s a digital image depicting the opening of an old cardboard box.

If you happen to find yourself on the Beltway Highway between exits 262 and 263 in Madison, Wisconsin, don’t forget to slow down and take a closer look at Erbacher’s work yourself. It’s on view to all passers-by until Feburary 3.

Vine – A New Mobile App That Let’s You Create Short Looping Videos

Vine - A Video Sharing App

Earlier this morning Twitter launched a new app called Vine, which in my opinion is Twitter’s response to Instagram. Instead of photos though, they allow you to capture snippets of video, making these short looping videos that you can share with the world (or just your friends). Here’s a succinct description from the Twitter blog.

Today, we’re introducing Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.

I can say that I’ve made one Vine so far (you can see it here), and that it was super easy. The UI is intuitive, you simply hold to record, and then keep going until the max time is reached. Pretty easy. The finish screen feels exactly like Instagram, which is slightly funny to me but also kind of a rip-off. It’ll be interesting to see if this catches on, there’s really no way to know. I’m going to try and continue using it for the next week. It’s certainly a concept that’s been around for a while, but I don’t know if it’s been this easy to use before. Time will tell!