We would not have dreaded back-to-school if our school had looked like this! In fact, most of us would be happy if our office looked like this! Interestingly, more and more schools are starting to look like appealing places of work, while creative offices often look like play rooms. Is there some strange psychological explanation to this, or is it just that we are willing to break the perceived rules a bit and rethink what a school or place of work should look like? Design thinking in action?
This cool school is located in Cheseaux, north of Lausanne, Switzerland. The project by Lausanne-based Graeme Mann & Patricia Capua Mann has appeared in the media since its completion two years ago, but it deserves to be viewed again. We love the incredibly clean lines, minimalist use of materials and especially the light. The old thinking probably suspected that if classrooms had large windows and views to anything even slightly pleasing, kids would not pay attention to the teacher. They were right of course, but that had more to do with boring teaching methods than views. - Tuija Seipell
One of the selling points for Mini Cooper Clubman – the Mini that is roomier yet still cute — is that it has room for some luggage. The Clubman’s luggage compartment measures 9.2 cubic feet (the basic Mini has only 6 cubic feet) and has a cargo cover as standard equipment. Clubman’s split-folding back seats can be lowered to increase the cargo space to 32.8 cubic feet that will accommodate not just basic luggage but even a snowboard or baby stroller.
Art director Maximilian Pinegger and copywriter Justin Salice-Stephan, two 24-year-old's from Miami Ad School took this feature to hart and created a cute airport luggage carousel guerrilla ad for the car and its roomy trunk. Many well-known brands and agencies support ad schools, most likely looking for indications of the next Alex Bogusky. - Tuija Seipell.
I am a very stylish video clip. It's Bros meets Robert Palmer meets Tom Ford.
Are you obsessed with the right things? ask the new print ads of Breast Cancer Foundation of Singapore. But it is not the words but the images used in these ads that draw attention and require a double take. Using Kryolan body paint and Daler Rowney Expression angled brushes and sponges, illustrator Andy Yang Soo painted a model's body and photographer Allan Ng took the pictures for the ads that suggest that perhaps women should focus on health and have their breasts checked rather than obsess about their big butts, pimples and bad hair days.
The visuals were created at Republic Studios. The agency in charge was DDB Worldwide, Singapore. Bill Tikos
What springs to mind when you think of actors making music? Likely you’re confronted with horrific images of Russell Crowe and Keanu Reeves belting out their ‘hits’ in earnest, followed by the faint smell of bad ideas. But there are exceptions to the rule. Jason Schwartzman has impressed over two Coconut Records, uh, records, as has indie pinup Zooey Deschanel as half of She & Him. Well, now you can add to that list Donald Glover.
As well as being a writer on 30 Rock and starring in fellow NBC sitcom Community, Glover’s also been exploring his other creative outlets under the moniker Childish Gambino, releasing his latest album Culdesac for free online last month.
Yet unlike fellow network TV funnymen like Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew, Glover’s turn on Culdesac is completely straight-laced and serious, and all the more entertaining for it. Although it isn’t a great surprise, this dude can rap, throwing out tight-wound verses that have enough bravado and charisma to make any rapper jealous, particularly on tracks like Hero or the grandstanding swagger-fest Let Me Dope You. Elsewhere, something like Put It In My Video races along with frantic beats and These Girls is a sombre crooner’s jam.
It’s a twisted hip-hop fantasy made real with the effortless cool of guys like Wale and Pharrell, mixed with a bit of Eddie Murphy’s forays into music. And it’s all good. - Dave Ruby Howe
Not everyone is lucky to work in a cool and inspiring office, and even those who are, can become stuck in an uncreative rut, or disturbed by loud coworkers, boring music, smells of someone’s lunch, outside noise. And those who work at home have all of the distractions — and attractions — of home to lure mind and body away from productive work. No wonder coffee shops around the world look more like offices than many offices. People sitting at their computers, talking on their phones, conducting business with coffee and muffins nearby. Yet anyone who’s done the coffee-shop-as-office thing knows that it is not without problems either. Too many people, loud conversation, screaming kids, familiar faces, bad wifi, no plugs, uncomfortable chairs, line-ups for coffee, managers wanting you to leave.
Luckily, creative people have started to think up solutions to meet the very clear need of cool working spaces for mobile workers. Urban Station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has taken the best of both office and coffee shop and wrapped it all up in a funky urban space.
Urban Station is appropriately located at Malabia and El Salvador Streets in Buenos Aires’s hip Palermo Soho where fashion, design and art mix with the densest concentration of bars and restaurants in the city. You sit at one of the wide tables, pay by the hour and benefit from the calm atmosphere and comforts of an office with plugs and locks for your computer and super-fast wifi. The coffee shop part comes in the form of unlimited coffee, tea, mineral water, fruit, croissants and cookies, all part of the fee.
In addition, the large and airy Urban Station offers art and business magazines and books to read, comfortable armchairs for lounging and casual meetings, fully equipped meeting rooms, printers, fax and scanners, plus lockers for your gear. If you get bored, or need to dash out for a moment, they even offer a few bikes at the door for you to borrow. It feels like office, coffee shop AND home. More of this, please! - Bill Tikos
Address: El Salvador 4588 Palermo Soho.
A skillfully created illusion of scale and mass allows this large residence and office settle in its stark environment on the Swiss banks of Lake Geneva, off the Route de Lausanne.
Cape Town, South Africa-based SAOTA -- Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects designed this residence for a prestigious African client. The interior was created by SAOTA’s interior design and decor division, Antoni Associates. The project was completed in January 2010.
The demanding triangular, sloping site inspired a stunning design. The dramatic main house features rounded cubes and triangular masses that form an L-shaped living space. The impressive compound’s two buildings are linked underground by a spa, sauna, pool, garages, office and cinema. Jerusalem marble on all floors ties together the interior spaces while feature walls of marble, stainless steel and glass characterize specific rooms.
The sweeping and expansive interiors open up to a variety of outdoor spaces. Intimate and grand exist in harmony as both the interior and exterior exude calm and cool. There’s a sense of luxurious leisure and a connection between inside and outside that is part of the Afro-European aesthetic SAOTA understands so well.
SAOTA is a well-established architectural partnership of South African architects Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl and Greg Truen. Their international and local projects are characterized by understated luxury and airy clarity.
The company’s interior design arm, Antoni Associates, is led by Mark Rielly and Vanessa Weissenstein, and associates Ashleigh Gilmore and Jon Case. Antoni Associates creates exclusive interiors in South Africa and internationally in cities such as Paris, Moscow, London and Geneva. - Tuija Seipell
Lexus has taken its fifth hybrid, the compact CT 200h, on the road in more forms than one. This eerie and artistic sculpture, titled CT Umbra, was part of the Lexus debate series tour called Darker side of Green
Created by Los Angeles-based Nondesign, the installation aimed to highlight the two seemingly opposing features of the vehicle - luxury and eco-friendliness – by changing colors from luxurious gold to earthy green and blue. This contradiction was also the underlying question during the debates.
The sculpture is based on a map of vertical lines created from the CAD model of CT 200h. It was built of 2,500 half-inch anodized aluminum bars cut to the exact measurements of the map.
Lexus introduced the debate concept in March with a celebrity-attended press event at Skylight West in New York just before the car’s launch at the New York International Auto Show.
In July, the debate travelled to Los Angeles, Miami and back to New York, and ended on August 5 in Chicago. Cool locations (Palihouse Holloway in L.A., Bowery Hotel in N.Y., Ivy Room in Chicago), music and art, and moderators (comedian Tracey Morgan and singer Mark McGrath and actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy), spiced up the 40-minute debate between two hard-hitters, one pro and the other skeptical about sustainable energy and the green economy.
The goal was to highlight these issue is general and to seek common ground between the two sides. The discussions highlighted the question Can green and luxury go together? In Miami, almost 750 people attended and enjoyed the pre-debate cocktail reception sponsored by Patrón.
After the debate tour, Lexus will take the CT 200h to each of the tour cities to offer local customers and VIPs the chance to test drive it. - Tuija Seipell.
A year before the Lexus launch, London-based designer, Laura Micalizzi, created a similar-looking “car” installation called 10M3 DI PAUSA for the Milan Furniture Fair
Micalizzi’s car-shaped sculpture aimed to draw attention to the value of space in the city and to the growing necessity of cars.
British jewelry designer Solange Azagury-Partridge’s London flagship store is now open on the luxe Bond Street. In her typical fashion, Azagury-Partridge has handled the interior and furnishing design herself.
The store has the same luscious, red-velvet jewelry box feel as her first store that opened in 1995 in Notting Hill (and moved to Westbourne Grove in 2005). The most fantastic feature of the new store is the carpet. It stands out in Azagury-Partridge’s signature style – it is almost too much, but not quite. It brings a smile to your face, makes you look again. That’s the “rock-star” quality that everyone mentions about her work.
The first floor of the two-storey boutique offers an impressive meeting of theatrical and whimsical. Absolutely everything has been choreographed and specially made for the space. Downstairs is a private-member-style, discreet enclave of hidden doors, alcoves and padded walls. The ceiling is adorned with 600,000 Swarovski crystals.
When Azagury-Partridge launched her own jewelry line in 1990, she was completely self-taught. The first piece she had ever designed was her own engagement ring only three years earlier. She has been quoted as saying that “The advantages of being self-taught are that I have no preconceptions or received opinions about the rules of jewellery. Being an outsider is my raison d’être.” - Tuija Seipell
Brands are tapping into the art space and we are, perhaps surprisingly, noticing some pretty awesome art installations as a result. It is a precarious feat for a brand to attempt because it can easily go wrong and have the exact opposite of the desired effect. A branded piece of art can be viewed as too promotional, too gaudy, too imposing and an intrusion into “public space.”
But done right, this kind of branded experience can work wonders for a brand and achieve the desired kind of street credo. Of course, brands such as Absolut, BMW, Nike and Adidas have been doing this for years quite effectively. These brands nurture new and up-and-coming artists and also garner huge online buzz for the brand, for the art piece, for the location and for the artist.
We’ve gathered some examples of both branded and non-branded cool public (and private) art in the hope that great branded art will replace the already-so-boring pop-up shops and flash mobs.
Nike’s 20-meter-high, 4.75-ton Ball Man made of 5,500 Brazilian Skill Balls was a huge hit during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It was the centerpiece of a Nike installation Carlton Mall Atrium in Johannesburg. Leicester-based Ratcliffe Fowler Design created using a 3d image of Carloz Tevez. The Man was designed so that the balls remained virtually intact and can be donated to the community after the closing of the exhibition in August.
Also at World Cup, Coca Cola took advantage of the Crate Man craze and installed 54-foot CrateFan in Cape town at the Victoria an Albert Waterfront/harbor. It was built of 2,500 Coke bottle crates and weighed 25 tons.
At the BMW Museum in Munich, the Kinetic Sculpture of 714 metal orbs seems to float in space. The orbs hang from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled motors. The orbs animate a 7-minute “mechatronic narrative,” starting from chaotic and settling at the end into the six square-meter “flying carpet.” The installation, developed by Berlin-based ART+ COM is to be “metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in art and design.”
When it is original, fresh and fun, this kind of public art is cool because it creates real viral attention. As actual live pieces, even if seen only online, they are exciting and seem real for the viewers who feel they are sharing it with those who have actually experienced it live.
There are also many ways of enhancing and expanding the live experience with online and on-site kiosk applications. As a way to create viral buzz, brand recognition and positive impressions, they are an effective marketing tool for the brands. - Bill Tikos.
Yes, Advertising can be beautiful.
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