Design

May 13 2008



The work of Belgium’s Rotor Group is popping up in more and more visible places. Rotor covers a wide range of projects, from basic design, branding and packaging, to events, lighting planning, interiors, showrooms, products, trade shows and art. We especially like the work they have done with Belgian lighting firm Modular Lighting Instruments creating events, showrooms and surroundings that defy definition. A great example is Rotor Designer Toon Stockman’s retro-futuristic showroom for Modular that pays homage to Modular’s Beam Squad and consists of six enormous cages supported by a skeleton of fluorescent tubing. The wild narrative for this installation – a typical Rotor tale – tells of life-destroying peril but luckily, all will be well and in about 2069, lighting will be manufactured in peace again. By Tuija Seipell










Fashion

May 12 2008




For all you sneaker addicts - here's two new crazy styles that have just been released. Arriving in Dover Street Market (London) on 15th May — the Pierre Hardy special limited edition ‘Cruzeiro’ in metallic calfskin (above) and below, the must-have terry toweling inspired sneaker by Japanese brand realMadHectic - the Pile.






Music

May 9 2008




Yeo Choong, from Brisbane, Australia is smart.  I say this not because he is the mastermind behind Yeo and The Fresh Goods, or because he makes music with mathematical precision. 

I say it because he is a 21 year old Masters student in Audiology and because his debut album 'Trouble Being Yourself' sounds like a nerdier version of N.E.R.D.  Indeed, the production on his standout track 'Two Sides Of A Door' would make Pharrell proud.

But Yeo isn't just in the mood for making funk rock and singing in a slight falsetto.  He jumps and jerks between genres, sometimes in the same song. 

The reggae-pop intro of 'Fishin' With Aidan' melds into a salsa infused party jam, all the while mixing the ska-delivery of Sublime and the 'Thank You' message from Dido's long-forgotten hit of the same name.

From his sneaky horns to his hand-claps and Super Mario samples, Yeo recorded, mixed and produced the entire album.  It's catchy, cheeky good fun.

Fresh goods indeed. By Nick Christie


Food

May 8 2008



With its rich, red interior, Le Rouge restaurant in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a delicious fusion of a maharaja’s tent, red-light-district boudoir and aristocratic grandeur. It is not called Moulin Rouge, but it could be. The entire concept is dramatic with lush drapery, ornamental tableware and lighting fixtures oozing with bling and tassels.

Le Rouge is the latest addition to the F12 restaurant empire owned by two chefs, Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet. The chefs interpret classic French and Italian cuisine in Le Rouge using fresh Swedish ingredients. The 125—seat Le Rouge occupies two adjacent buildings, spreads over three-stories and 1,200 square-metres, and includes a dining room, bar, lounge and private rooms. The concept comes from the talented masters of Gothenburg’s Stylt Trampoli AB who were using storytelling as a tool to create and stage-direct restaurants, hotels and resorts long before storytelling became a design cliché. By Tuija Seipell


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Events

May 7 2008



Berlin’s Magma Architecture won several awards for its entry in the JETZT | NOW series of temporary installations at the Berlinische Galerie, Museum for Contemporary Art, Photography and Architecture. Magma’s installation, 11th in the series, was called fittingly “head-in | im kopf” and its concept is based on exploring the properties of materials, form, color and light.
 
The main feature of the installation is an alarmingly orange flexible fabric (polyamide-elastan mix) stretched between the walls, ceiling and floor. The fabric is the most visible part of the exhibit, yet it is also the tool with which the viewers can focus on smaller details.



Visitors bend down under the fabric into which openings were cut. Through these holes, visitors pop their heads up into the orange space to view drawings, models and photographs suspended from wires. These items are from Magma’s work and include representations of the revitalization of the former GDR Radio Centre (Berlin, Nalepastrasse, 2007), a bridge over the Landwehrkanal river in Berlin (competition entry in 2006), the new Nexus Productions headquarters in London, and the exhibition Trial & Error in London (2003). Luckily, we have images to show how it all worked as the full effect of the experience is quite impossible to describe in mere words.
 
The project team for head-in | im kopf included Anke Noske, Hendrik Bohle, Dominik Jörg, Lena Kleinheine, Ksenia Kagler, Yohko Mizushima, Lena Kleinheinz, Martin Ostermann and Ben Reynolds.



Magma was established in 2003 by Martin Ostermann and Lena Kleinheinz. The Ohio native Ostermann is a former senior architect at Studio Daniel Libeskind. The Denmark-born Kleinheinz is an exhibition designer. Magma is known for its inventive, experimental and experiential approaches to architectural work. By Tuija Seipell



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Kids

May 5 2008



Yummy! Wow! Ooops! The playful, colorful and juicy Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten in Berlin evokes a rambunctious reaction. You hear the kids at play. You see the bright colors. You sense the kids are happy. So it is no wonder that the students who designed and created this funhouse call their approach “sensuous architecture.”



Baupiloten is a group of architecture students who during their studies at Faculty VI, Institute for Architecture at Berlin Technical University (Technische Universität Berlin) develop their own projects from concept to implementation under professional guidance. Architect Susanne Hoffmann founded Baupiloten (Bau=build, Piloten=pilot) in 2003 and has headed it since 2004.



The Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten was originally erected as a temporary solution, but with the fantastic Baupiloten approach to the refurbishment, it has become a permanent place for children.
 
The Taka-Tuka-Land is part of the Pippi Longstocking lore created by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi in Taka-Tuka Country is a movie based on one of her novels. The children at the kindergarten and their teachers created collages, models, drawings and ideas based on Taka-Tuka Land with bridges, huts, merry-go-rounds made of blossoms and thrones made of seashells. The Baupiloten students then spent several days with the children observing their daily routines, their schedules and their ways of communication.



From this extensive groundwork, the design story for the space was developed. The building itself is Pippi’s old oak tree that contains a lemonade factory. The lemonade breaks through the bark of the tree and flows outside creating padded play areas. The story of the building is a trip through the seven stages of the lemon tree, each facilitating a different activity: The lemonade tree, Glittering lemonade in the sun, Lemonade drops, The lemonade island, Waiting for the parents, Lemonade gallery, The bark breaks open, and Delving into lemonade. Pippi’s most likely verdict would be “Jätte god!” By Tuija Seipell.




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Design

May 2 2008



The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology merges the concepts of lighting and art with this spectacular 3D LED piece, dubbed NOVA. Created for the institute's 150th anniversary, the display is made up of 25000 lightballs.

Incredibly it can display 16 million colours per second. The behemoth, which weighs 3.3 tonnes, is currently displayed at the Zurich train stations main hall, where it will live until September 2009. By Lisa Evans




Transportation

April 30 2008



Most of us know when we see an ‘M’ on the back of the BMW passing us on the freeway, there’s virtually no way we’re going to catch up.  The ‘M’ division BMW has recently revealed its latest concept — a tribute to their first mid-engine supercar originally manufactured by collaborative efforts of BMW and Lamborghini thirty years ago — the M1. 



In the world of supercars, the M1 certainly looks like it will hold its own — an effortless blend of retro cool with revolutionary elegance. The new Liquid Orange M1 may only be a concept right now, but just know if you see those beady headlights quickly approaching from your rear view mirror, move out of the fast lane — you’re about to be overtaken! By Andrew J Wiener







Music

April 28 2008


Context is everything.

To record 'For Emma, Forever Ago', Bon Hiver - aka Justin Vernon - retreated to the remotest corner of Wisconsin and recorded alone for  three cold winter months.

That sense of loneliness, that dull, confusing ache that swells up when things just fall apart, it's all captured here in hearty acoustic strums and softly whispered vocals.

Bon Iver is a play on the French words for 'good winter'.  And that is notable because what could have been a very bad winter for Vernon was salvaged by the recording of this extraordinary album.  

Sitting on the sonic spectrum between Iron and Wine and Jose Gonzalez, 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is nine songs of subtle, layered acoustic guitar and Vernon's healing falsetto.

It's an album you spin when your lover leaves you.  In that context, Bon Iver will make you feel better about being sad.

Context is everything and 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is brilliant. Download 'Skinny Love' here:

myspace.com/boniver




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Music

April 17 2008




Santogold’s 'L.E.S. Artistes' is a whole lot of good. With a spin of the single and the accompanying faux-gore video, it sounds like it was pieced together over several late nights at M.I.A.’s loft with help from with invited guests Tegan & Sara serving drinks, Nick Zinner controlling the stereo with all those obscure late ‘80s noise bands you’ve never heard of and revered UK beatsmith Switch twiddling a knob here and there for effect.

All the while Philly native, Santogold, bellows above it all with rousing, fists-clenched intensity. CSS’s Lovefoxx was there too, overseeing the green sausage guts aesthetic of the clip but she passed out in bathtub before the end. Sounds pretty damn great, don’t you think? Me too. By Dave Ruby Howe

myspace.com/santogold