I’m extremely intrigued by the upcoming documentary The Birth of Saké from director Erik Shirai. Previously having helmed the camera for Bourdain’s No Reservations , Shirai’s film focuses on the workers and production seasons at Tedorigawa, a fifth-generation, family-owned sake brewery in Ishikawa, Japan.
What the documentary highlights for me is the intense determination and amount of hard work that goes into creating something so seemingly simple. In an interview with Bon Appétit magazine Shirai describes the challenge of sake making.
What people don’t understand is that you can’t just make sake with machines and program everything. There are all of these variables because it’s a living thing. Things are changing based on the type of rice, the type of grain, how it was steamed. You have to be able to adapt and work with it. Only someone who has that experience can do that.
As you’ll see in the trailer the cinematography is incredibly well-done, capturing the quietness of the Japanese winter but also the frenetic pace and demand that the job requires. The level of quality is on par with the work of other contemporary film documentarians like Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb or the production team behind A Chef’s Life.
Slowly but surely our homes are getting smarter. There’s an app for your lightbulbs, your thermostat understands your temperature preferences, and monitor every corner of your home with the touch of a button. Portland based design firm Instrument have created an impressive survey of home automation gadgets and how they fit into the lives of Gen Y, Gen X, and our beloved Baby Boomers.
You may have heard of some of the items on this list but there were many there totally new to me. Have you heard of the Dyson 360 Eye? It utilizes “complex mathematics, probability theory, geometry and trigonometry to map and navigate a room.” Pretty sweet, right? It will also be interesting to see what’s announced at Apple’s WWDC event and see how they enter the fray. Will the Apple TV start being less TV and more hub of all Wi-Fi connected devices? We’ll know soon enough.
You can read Instrument’s entire list by clicking here.
Like a lot of things these days, writing by hand is a “dying art form” that will soon cease to exist, just like books, newspapers, and records. I personally use a notebook everyday to keep track of all the things, which means I have a trusty pen that I take with me everywhere. Having the right writing instrument is pretty key, and these pens by ystudio have me drooling.
The Taiwan based shop has created a series of pens and mechanical pencils made from pure copper and brass. They’re definitely not cheap but you can imagine having these pens for years, if not your entire life. Plus the patina that’s built up with use is a beautiful demonstration of wabi sabi in action.
You can see their entire line-up by clicking here.
Kimberly Harrington gets downright shady with this new piece in McSweeney’s titled, “Welcome to our design studio, where you’ll never see the light of day but you can bring your dog.” I’ve never personally worked in a design studio but this a great bit of satire which certainly hits on some (perceived) painful truths, especially for someone working as a social media manager.
Just a quick word on our creatives. You’ll notice that several of the designers have stacks and stacks of design books and publications on their desks, their Paul Rands, their Vignellis, and so on. This is great to capture. It makes the designers feel good because it allows them to think that one day they’ll also design an airline logo or redesign a subway wayfinding system or create timeless animated movie credits when in fact we all know that they’ll mostly be creating shitty animations in Keynote that only sales managers in the Midwest will see, and more importantly, not even give half a fuck about.
Maximilian Heitsch is a Munich-based creative working in the fields of art, graphic design and cultural events. He focuses on the interaction of space, movement and simplicity. The effect is a body of work that reflects the ideas and practices of artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella. I’m a fan of the tension that’s created between the intersections of the shapes, how the brain creates meaning in the abstract.
When I think of the word “pavilion” I imagine standard 2×4 pieces of lumber slated together to make the most mundane of barbecue shelters. Architect Marc Fornes and his firm THEVERYMAN has succeeding in creating the opposite, a brightly colored shelter made from aluminum shingles that together create an amorphous blog that looks like it’s ready to slither across the land, titling it the Vaulted Willow. These are the objects I’d love to see popping up in more places, a thoughtful piece of architecture that tries to incorporate organic and natural forms.
Designer Tsuyoshi Kawara has found a creative re-use for discarded Japanese roof tiles, utilizing them as the seat of his Kawara Chair. Using a wooden frame as the base Kawara has found a way to highlight the beauty and individuality of the tiles as they come in a multitude of glazes. And though a seat made of tile may seem precarious, Japanese roof tiles are fired at 1200 degrees celsius, much higher than the 800 degree temperature of European tiles, meaning that they can hold the weight of a person up to 250 lbs.
I love that the design is centered around a discarded object that already has an inherent beauty. Kawara smartly developed a solution for an object that was being discarded simply because it wasn’t perfect enough.
You can learn more about the Kawara Chair by visiting Domus.
There’s something I love about redesign concepts when they relate to foods and drinks. We see so many of these products day in, day out that to see them in a new light fascinates me. Kara Haupt has created something that perhaps defies “redesign” and approaching the “reinvention” space, creating a new concept from something familiar. In my mind this looks like it would be an aged, super premium version of Jäger that you take shots of on your yacht. Plus, “old man Jäger” has a really nice ring to it.
You can see her full concept by clicking here.
Last year, Collective magazine conducted an interview with Marieke Stolk, Danny van den Dungen and Erwin Brinkers, who are better known as the designers behind Experimental Jetset. They speak about they’re process working together, how you evolve as a designer, dislike of the term ‘target audience’, and much more.
In particular I loved their mentality, that they “don’t study theory; we live it”, which comes across in a very heady, sort of existential way. I’m not one to over-intellectualize ideas (you’ve read this blog, right?) and most of the time that stuff goes over my head. But you can tell that the guys from EJ, however deep their thoughts may be, really do live by their words.
We know, there are plenty of critics out there trying to make designers feel inferior, trying to prevent designers from making creative (and intuitive) use of theory, trying to force designers to think in a more ‘rigorous’ way – but really, to speak with Raoul Vaneigem, “such people have a corpse in their mouth”. They are supporters of a dead and rigid notion of theory.
Probably one of my favorite interviews I’ve read in a while, click here to read the full piece.
Found through Readdd
Came across these killer prints by Studio Esinam over the weekend which have landmarks and other notable buildings rendered in a minimal line art style. The effect is a series of works that are filled with wonderful details yet can sit comfortably in the most simplistic of spaces. I’d personally love one of these prints for my bedroom which Kyle and I keep relatively white and clean. I feel like I can relax in there better because of it.
You can view all 10 prints by clicking here.