Tao Liu Photographs The Awkward, In-Between Moments In Life

Tao Lin Street Photography China 3

Tao Lin Street Photography China 2

At a certain time of day, usually in the afternoon, both of my dogs get up from a nap and stretch in unison. They do not plan to do this together but they do on several occasions. It’s a remarkable little sight that always reminds me of two little people bowing: it makes me feel like a king. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to photograph this despite my best efforts. They are either not standing next to each other or it’s too dark. More often than not, the scene is too fast and my timing too imperfect: it is a moment I will just have to explain to people.

This is why photographer Tao Liu is particularly special: his work the result of pressing the capture button at the right time. Be it out of waiting or being really good at knowing when to take a photo, his photography is exciting in that it points out how ridiculous the most mundane shit in life can be. His photos are funny and relatable and, as you can see on his Flickr, quite abundant.

Tao Lin Street Photography China 6

According to Peta Pixel, Liu is fairly popular street photographer in China—where he lives—and is a self-taught artist. His photography and style are born from his (assumed) former job as a water meter reader. He would take photos of little things that caught his eye on breaks and when walking to or from work. Obviously what he saw has hit something very relatable as he has become incredibly popular at pointing out life’s little idiosyncrasies.

If you recall almost a year ago, we shared similar work by photographer John Goldsmith. Both artists point out how ridiculous life can be and that, if you stop to take the time or simply look at something another way, you can have a good laugh at it. And, again: photography like this relies on expert timing. If I had an ounce of Liu’s capturing capability, I’m pretty sure I would have a pretty sweet double downward dog bowing photo Instagrammed by now.

Tao Lin Street Photography China 4

Tao Lin Street Photography China 1

Tao Lin Street Photography China 5

Tao Lin Street Photography China 7

Sufjan Stevens Releases New Album ‘Carrie & Lowell’ on March 31

Sufjan Stevens Releases New Album 'Carrie & Lowell' on March 15

Incredibly it’s been five years since the last album from Sufjan Stevens came out, the challenging, sprawling Age of Adz. That album to me is his pinnacle, a masterpiece that he may not be able to trump. This statement will be tested soon enough as his new album Carrie & Lowell is being released on March 31.

The preview below sounds like a return to his older work, with sort of an Illinois or Seven Swans sound to it. It’s quite lovely though I hope he still plays with the experimental side of music making as well, like the fantastic “Impossible Soul” from Adz. Clocking in at over 25 minutes and it’s an incredible song hat hits about every high and low you can imagine.

Many Little Lattes Were Used To Make A Lovely Little Video

Maxim Stick Latte Stop Motion

With how fast technology in film has advanced, you would have thought that creating using stop motion would have become a thing of the past. This is far from the truth as new cinematic formats like Vine and YouTube have illustrated that they are avenues for stop motion to thrive (despite the meticulous and somewhat stressful process it entails).

The latest example of exemplary IRL animation is a little video by Japanese coffee makers Maxim Stick. According to Design Boom, they created 1000 cups of latte art to tell the Up-like story of a boy and girl meeting, falling in love, and growing old together. It’s a very cute representation of love and, as the ending suggests, lattes” warm the world.”

While only a minute and a half, the microfilm is a showcase of very careful work. Each cup used in the video is a cocoa dusted panel in a moving comic. You get a glimpse of this at the start, when you see the initial cup being made. Because I am easily frustrated and have very little patience for creating in this manner, I have nothing but respect for the people who make this video because you know it must have been incredibly difficult given the medium and style. The result is absolutely perfect though: all the hard work and caffeination definitely paid off.

Typefacts Chooses The Best Fonts of 2014

Typefacts Chooses The Best Fonts of 2014

Christoph Koeberlin is a Berlin based typographer, graphic and type designer who on the side runs Typefacts, a blog dedicated to the world of type. Recently he published a post highlighting what he thought were the best fonts of 2014. I’m not usually a fan of lists like these but Christoph’s is spot on with an eclectic number of typefaces that I hadn’t seen before. The list is numerous with eleven of the fonts being highlighted because they stood out more to him.

I’m a big fan of Ryman Eco by Dan Rhatigan & Gunnar Vilhjálmsson, GT Sectra by Grilli Type, and Caponi by Paul Barnes, Christian Schwartz & Miguel Reyes. You’re sure to find a least a few gems in the list.

Daily Routines of Famous Creative People, Told Interactively

Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

By now you’ve probably seen or heard of Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, which explores how famous creatives structured their days. This interactive infographic takes that concept one step further by charting out said creatives and gives you a clear way of visualizing their time. To me, Franz Kafka seemed to be the most messed up, while personally I would love to have Picasso’s schedule.

An In-Depth Look At Why Colonizing Mars Will be So Difficult, with Beautiful Illustrations by Josh Cochran

All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go

A well-known effect on astronauts out on long missions is the dip at the halfway point, when the excitement has worn off and the return home seems unbearably distant. There is no way to know how a human mind will encounter passing the threshold of no return, when the Earth recedes from sight, and the pitch black enormity of deep space and the impossibility of ever turning back sinks in.

That’s an excerpt from an exceptional long read piece by Elmo Keep titled All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go, which explores the company Mars One, a “start-up of sorts that intends to send people on a one way trip to Mars. He writes about the company, it’s co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp (who’s a bit of a weirdo) and highlights many of the numerous challenges that colonizing Mars would present.

Mars Illustration by Josh Cohcran

What really sells the article for me are the incredible illustrations by Josh Cochran, a long time friend of TFIB. He masterfully communicates a number of complex concepts in the simplest ways, things like eating insects, the effects of cosmic rays, what the lack of vitamin D can do to you. Funny enough Josh did a space/astronaut themed wallpaper for the site back in 2008 which you can still download. It’s cool to see how his style has changed, he’s become more confident I feel, and he’s really hitting new highs with his work.

A’Design Awards Present their 2014 World Design Rankings in Arts, Architecture and Design (Sponsored)

A'Design Awards Present their 2014 World Design Rankings in Arts, Architecture and Design (Sponsored)

The A’Design Awards have published their annual World Design Rankings for 2014. The U.S. takes the top spot, followed by Turkey, Hong Kong, Italy, and Great Britain.

The World Design Rankings (WDR) aims to provide additional data and insights to economists and journalists regarding the state-of-art in the design industry. The WDR ranks all the countries based on the number of designers that have been granted the A’ Design Award.

The ultimate aim of the World Design Rankings is to contribute to global design culture through advocating and highlighting good design. The rankings aim to provide a snapshot of the design potentials of countries worldwide by highlighting their creative strengths, design weaknesses, and available opportunities.

Ten new countries are included in the 2014 rankings: Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Belarus, Sri Lanka, Norway, Cyprus, Albania, Qatar and Colombia. The top 10 countries remained the same as year with the exception of China ascending the ladder from 8th to 7th position, which moved Brazil a step back.

To discover the complete list of countries included in the World Design Rankings, and to see in-depth design business insights for each country, browse the World Design Rankings at WorldDesignRankings.com.

The A’ Design Awards are an annual juried design competition honoring the best designers, architects, engineers, design studios, and design-oriented companies worldwide. The Awards are awarded annually in a wide range of categories.

To learn more about the awards, visit whatisadesignaward.com.

Wink Space by Masakazu Shirane + Saya Miyazaki

Wink Space by Masakazu Shirane + Saya Miyazaki

Avenor College by Storience

Avenor College by Storience

Office Y01 by dontDIY

Office Y01 by dontDIY

Floating Hub by Mohammed Afnan

Floating Hub by Mohammed Afnan

Tycho Makes A Mixtape for Vice

Tycho - Vice Mix

Was digging through Soundcloud this morning and stumbled upon this mixtape by Tycho which he created for Vice’s music blog, Noisey. It’s a really great mix featuring lots of my favorite artists like Jamie XX, Caribou, Apparat and lots more. Definitely some good tunes to work to.

Telefon Tel Aviv – “The Birds”
Apparat – “Arcadia”
Tstewart – “Untitled”
Bonobo – “Flashlight”
Jamie XX – “Girl”
Dreams – “Bloodsport”
Howlings – “Hearing Voices”
Jai Paul – “Jasmine”
Dusty Brown – “Hide No Signs”
Caribou – “Silver”
Blackhall & Bookless – “Kevins Spacey” (Virginia Remix)
Dauwd – “Moiety”
Beacon – “Fault Lines” (Dauwd Remix)
Spoon – “Inside Out” (Tycho Remix)