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Bamboo iPhone Cases from Grove

06.25.10   |   Posted in: Tech   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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Our friends at Grove that started a sensation engraving your ipods awile back are at it once more. They’ve just released these lovely new bamboo cases for the new iPhone4. As usual you can get one with one of their artist series laser engravings, or send them your own design and get a one of a kind case. All products are 100% designed and made by us in Portland, Oregon USA, utilizing sustainable materials, natural hand-rubbed finishes, and responsible packaging.

Uniform Wares Wrist Watch – The Swatch Of Now

06.21.10   |   Posted in: Fashion   |   By: Nils de Mol van Otterloo
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In 1983 I was strutting my stuff in a Benetton pull-over and acid-wash jeans, listening to Houdini “Escape” on my Sony Walkman, and if you had to ask I always knew what time it was because of my Swatch Watch. I was one of the fortunate few who had one of the the first series of Swatches, pictured below. Little did my 8 year-old self know that this very watch would be worth $2000 Buckaroo Banzais in less than 20 years.

As much as I might like to kick myself for not recognizing the collectible nature of 1980′s plastic kitch, I try to remind myself that I was, am and hopefully will continue to be a creature rooted in the now. For this reason I feel a sense of joy by the Uniform Wares line of minimalist wristwatches that harken back to those days of sunny nostalgia. No more will I require my cell phone to tell me what time it is. So uncivilized. I long for the days when a man could be judged by his timepiece, and as everything old is new again I see that I may get my wish.

Quant 1 by Ippolito Fleitz Group Studio

06.18.10   |   Posted in: Modern Home   |   By: Nils de Mol van Otterloo
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The Ippolito Fleitz Group Studio is an international design company working in Stuttgart. They do private and commercial design for a wide variety of clients. The images seen here are drawn from their design space and a private residence designated “Quant 1“. They have a very strong German style with their use of space involving soft and hard lines broken up by the use of light, texture and the play between black and white areas between swatches of color.

Peter Dudas ‘Hi-Bike’ Concept Does Fixed-Gear One Better

06.17.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Fashion, Tech   |   By: Nils de Mol van Otterloo
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After the modern minimalist has built his or her custom Fixed-Gear Bicycle, taking loving attention to every element from the color of the frame, the number of spokes in the wheelset, the type of handlebars and a seat that has just the right appeal, what new frontiers of minimalist bike design are available to experiment with? Italian designer Peter Dudas has come up with the “Hi-Bike” concept, a chainless, spokeless rendering of the classic road bike design, intended for modern city cyclists’ needs.

It’s not surprising that this idea should come from an Italian. After all, some of the greatest bike designers in the world (think Basso, Bianchi, Campagnollo,  Cinelli, Colnago, Kuota, Moser Cicli, the list goes on) come from Italy. The exciting thing about a bike like this is the idea that there are new frontiers to explore in the world of cycling. One can imagine that there may come a time that a small electric motor could be coupled to this design that would make the possibility for clean energy transportation a reality throughout the world. In countries such as Holland, where the Bike to Human ratio is nearly 2 to 1, designs such as this will be very popular. Sooner or later, it can be hoped that more Americans will follow the example of the Europeans and become involved in this trend.

Running on Empty- A lonely view of Los Angeles

06.16.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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Watching Ross Ching’s short film Running on Empty reminded us of our early days in Los Angeles when downtown was still empty. At the time you could drive around a surrealistic landscape of warehouse lined streets that were completely devoid of residents. In a city as densely packed as Los Angeles, it seemed amazing that there could ever be a street corner with no signs of life, and of course as the housing boom renovated much of the downtown area that quiet night time solitude disappeared.
Ching’s short depicts this on a much larger scale. Seeing the 405 empty and any time of night or day is a little jarring, let alone Malibu, the Promenade, or many of the other Angeleno landmarks depicted. There’s also Radiohead’s beautifully lonely “No Surprises” providing a perfect soundtrack to the scenery.

Alejandro and the Idea Machine by Souther Salazar

06.16.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Toshi Jones
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Originally created for the Fumetto Comix Festival in Zurich, Alejandro and the Idea Machine is the wild creation of Souther Salazar & Monica Choy. Long admirers of their work, we are delighted to have a glimpse into their process. We so often take for granted the time and effort goes into putting together these imaginative pieces. Enjoy!

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Mile High Hostel

06.15.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Toshi Jones
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While this vessel is permanently grounded, no more mile high jokes, the prospect of a hostel style stay in a Boeing 747 sparks intrigue. The creators of Jumbo Stay effectively killed two birds with one stone giving Arlanda airport’s 18 million annual travelers their only youth hostel option. Complete with 27 separate hostel quaters this jumbo set sleeps 76. Not only can you enjoy a night in the cockpit quarters, you can grab lunch at the cafe and enjoy a little aviation history at the in house museum. Jumbo Stay was the first of its kind and remains so a year and a half after breaking ground in early 2009. This unique venture now expanded, features new hotel style rooms and even suites complete private bath and sleeping quarters. Booking info here.

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Illustrator Tara Dougans

06.14.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Toshi Jones
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The inspirations of 24 year old Canadian illustrator/designer Tara Dougans are anything but traditionally age appropriate. While most twenty somethings would scoff at Byzantine iconography, Dougans embraces her influences which she proudly wears on her sleeve. Her keen eye for the unusual calls to mind early Alexander McQueenesque imagery with a hint Victorian and Native American styling. Whether it be high fashion or editorial characture, Tara Dougans has a head start to a promising career.

Apple Ads Re-Purposed in SF

06.10.10   |   Posted in: Tech   |   By: Toshi Jones

In the wee hours of June 7th a few staunch supporters of porn took to the streets. In true Adbusters form these San Francisco natives, armed with custom designed stickers, re-purposed Apple iPad advertisements to include content currently prohibited from iPad’s app store, porn. The aptly labeled “Freedom from Porn” campaign plays on Steve Jobs explanation for Apple’s move toward censorship.

This follows weeks of debate aurrounding Apple’s developer agreement restrictions to “materials . . . that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable; [eg] materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic or defamatory.” Jobs has been engaged in very public, very heated exchange with Gawker contributor Ryan Tate regarding this matter in Jobs is quoted as saying “You might care more about porn when you have kids . . .”

While many of us might agree with Jobs in principal, this seems an unlikely foundation for limiting a tremendously profitable industry from expanding into iPad territory. It is far more likely Apple’s decision to restrict content is a matter of control and positioning against competitors like Google. In either case the public is speaking out in favor of the adult industries. So the question we must ask ourselves is…where do our loyalties lie.

From The Annals Of Interesting Camera Design: The Pentax Auto 110

06.10.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Tech   |   By: Nils de Mol van Otterloo
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In 1979 Pentax released the acme of 110 format camera design, the Auto 110 (which would be followed by the Auto 110 Super and the Jungle-themed Auto 110 Safari). 110 film is a super-small format that has for the most part gone the way of the Dodo, but it is still available online. The bigger problem is finding a place to get your 110 photos developed, but that’s another story (supposedly Walmart and various other mail-order film processing companies can take care of this, but I have yet to try them).

The most interesting thing about the Auto 110 is that it is the smallest full SLR camera design ever made. You can still get them quite easily on eBay at a very reasonable cost. Because it is a full SLR there are an array of lens options (regular, wide-angle, fisheye etc.) as well as a number of other options. As you can see it takes very clean, in-focus pictures (which can be a plus or a minus depending on your aesthetic), and it fits in the palm of your hand. If it weren’t for the winding sounds and click that it makes when you shoot it, you could easily get away with using it as a spy camera (and what guy hasn’t at some time in their life fantasized about being a spy?).