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The Cool Hunter - Welcome

TAG: design-studio

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Lifestyle

July 12 2007




Underwater scooters? Sounds a bit like James Bond-meets-Finding Nemo. But despite its name, this Scuba Doo is no cartoon. The brainchild of Aussie scuba-diving specialists ScubaDoo International, the funky ScubaDoo will revolutionise scuba diving as it slips coolly beneath the waves from a launching pad, allowing the rider to cruise the reef at a speed of 2.5 knots without tanks, weights or mask, and with head and shoulders dry and safe in a clear, fitted dome. The secret to the ScubaDoo's easy mobility is an external compressor, attached to the scooter by a cable which floats above the scooter on the ocean surface. At A$22,700 (US$17,000 approx) it' not a cheap thrill, but expect diving centres and hire operators to charge approx. $130 for a 15-minute scoot through the depths. -  Lisa Evans

Ads

October 14 2006



If Nike where to launch a safe sex campaign, this would be it. Photographer Simon Wakelin  came up with this smart concept image for Pony Sneakers which Pony rejected. (They didn't have the BALLS to use it) . The advertising project depicts an adonis champion standing to attention with his most valuable assets covered by his second most valuable assets. Sexy, striking and bold, if Nike decide to take this on, it will bring new meaning to the phrase JUST DO IT .
Ads

November 2 2006




There's nothing like excessive exaggeration to push a product, like the latest ad for Norway's Alta Bike demonstrates so well. It's not the type of in your face advertising that demonstrates dicing, slicing, grating and peeling all with a free set of steak knives, its smarter and more aesthetically interesting than that. The Alta Bike is a unique bicycle created by a combination of graphic Bleed, furniture Norway Says and product designers Frost produkt from Norway. The bike has only one gear and focuses on developing the leg muscles. Advertising gurus at Shnel & Mynychuck have played on this point in a deliberately misleading yet humorous way. The Herculean legs, juxtaposed with the feather weight figures on this breed of exercise hybrid freaks is a stunning image that packs a witty punch. What makes this cool is that it's just as much about the ad, as it is the bike. by Billy T Visit Alta Bikes

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Lifestyle

May 2 2006




Don't look now, but Old Man Winter is sneaking up on us and its just a matter of weeks before the outdoor landscape will be packed with frigid terrain. YAKTRAX aim to be a useful ally against the completely uncool action of slipping and falling in the winter months. Get YAKTRAX and get a grip! by Isla Verde

Transportation

June 10 2009

If square wheels were even slightly workable, Danish designer Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen would have used them in his Bauhaus-inspired BauBike. The pared-down bicycle is designed around the geometric shape of the square, and its main raw materials are minimal: some metal and leather. The bike has the same astonishingly classy vibe as Marcel Lajos Breuer’s Wassily chair, a Bauhaus design icon Ubbesen Jakobsen most likely studied during his education at Southern Denmark’s respected design school in Kolding. From the small touches, such as the BauBike-embossed leather strips that wrap around the handlebars, and the gorgeous springs under the austere saddle, it is easy to see that Ubbesen Jakobsen is a meticulous designer, a serious tinkerer and, at least in the case of BauBike, an elegant minimalist not afraid to have some fun. So far this year, BauBike has appeared at the Salone in Milan and at the DMY International Design Festival in Berlin  We are not yet clear when and how we can get our hands on one — equipped with the second saddle accessory — but we are hopeful it will be soon. - Tuija Seipell

Lifestyle

January 23 2007




The days of the designer super gym have arrived. Leading the pack is London's GYMBOX; a new �5m mega gym located in the old Lumiere Cinema space at the St Martin's Lane hotel. Providing a unique experience is paramount in the new generation of fitness centre and Gymbox succeeds in breaking the old mould, with live nightly DJs and quirky classes such as 'Gladiator Games' - where participants engage in exercises from the eponymous early 90s TV show - and the 'Stiletto Workout, performed in heels.



The St Martins Gymbox is actually the second venue for the fitness center brand, with the first opening in Holborn in 2004. Getting fit has never been so hip.



Is there a super deluxe new gym, sports or fitness centre in your city that we should know about? Let us know as we would like to feature it in a special feature for our print magazine. By Bill T

Travel

March 3 2007




Atkin's Architecture Group recently won the first prize award for an international design competition with this stunning entry. Set in a spectacular water filled quarry in Songjiang, China, the 400 bed resort hotel is uniquely constructed within the natural elements of the quarry. Underwater public areas and guest rooms add to the uniqueness, but the resort also boasts cafes, restaurants and sporting facilities.

The lowest level runs with the aquatic theme by housing a luxurious swimming pool and an extreme sports center for activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping which will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from the water. With a stunning visual presentation as shown here, it's no wonder this project took home the first prize. This is a fine example of an ultra modern facility co-existing amongst its natural environment.
by Andy G



Design

March 12 2007




Everyone is a pimp or a pinup, according to Simon Charrison and his cousin James. Not content with the current trend of hair salons - emaciated stylists, pissed-off pundits and sound systems capable of melting your face - the two South Australians decided something had to be done. So they decided to open their own hair salon that prioritised service over grandiloquence right in the heart of London's east-end.

“Both I and Simon have an 'old-school approach'. The stylists have a very close working relationship with the clients, old and new, and many of them come in just for a chat and a coffee. We offer a range of complementary refreshments in the salon and we even offer beer and wine, which is always well received, especially by the clients who have just finished work.”

The styling and design take a similar approach. Vintage Japanese chairs decked in thick black leather mould to your body while the vaudeville decor offers a sense of theatre. Simon has been cutting hair for over twelve years and James has worked in customer service for a similar period.  The sense of personal empowerment at the heart of Pimps & Pinups has attracted the likes of Green Day, not to mention local bands who regularly feature on the in house stereo. “The music we play is really important to the ambience.  There's a lot of indie rock, but Saturdays mainly just ends up being the ACDC day though,” muses James. By Matthew Hussey

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Ads

March 9 2007




Nothing grabs an audience's attention more effectively than a clever optical illusion. Combine that with an ingenious ad campaign and you get this brilliant mobile billboard for The Red Cross, currently gracing the streets of San Francisco.

It's photo journalism, meets Hollywood blockbuster movie poster, and it is turning plenty of heads wherever it parks itself. Enthusiastic onlookers have been snapping up photos of the mobile billboard and posting, uploading and sharing them online with friends. This is a brilliant example of how an audience can further promote the exposure of a great advertising campaign through mobile phones, blogs and sites such as flicker. By Andy G

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Transportation

April 12 2007





This years Geneva Auto Show stunned audiences with a car which teeters on the edge of an optical illusion. Exasis, is a transparent Rinspeed creation has an insect like body, transparent high tech plastic and yellow trim. At first glance it looks like a large scale Meccano set, upon closer inspection the image is literally transparent! Perfect for someone with a Wonder Woman fetish who wants to re-enact the invisible plane routine. How did that poor woman ever find where she parked that damn thing? We suggest adorning it with beaded seat covers ala Taxi Drvier style to help it stand out in the crowd. by Andy G



Design

April 28 2007




Ikea pack furniture in it. Gehry has made furniture from it. Now architects are shaping spaces with it. Is there any limit to the creative re-use of corrugated cardboard? With its unique physical consistency, its decidedly axial strength, and its deadening acoustic absorption, corrugated cardboard has many inherent qualities. As such it was the perfect material for this particular sound installation.

Made from 720 half square sheets of 7mm thick corrugated cardboard, stacked in 360 layers, this cavernous sound space is set within a 2.5m cube. As a space for listening to and experiencing music, the initial concept for the design developed from the architect's ambition to create a strong spatial intensity and a distinct internal atmosphere. With an irregular free-form interior set within a regular cubic volume, the object has a profound duality. Made from one material it also has an implied solidity that strengthens the architect's distinction between inside and out - a distinction that is heightened when the full acoustic ambience is experienced from within.

Cutting the cardboard took three working days, and assembly just one. The structure sits under its own dead weight, without any fixings or glue. And, for those of a technical persuasion, a simple calculation reveals that the combined compression of the 360 layers of cardboard is 20mm over the 2.5m height, or an average of 500ths of a millimetre per sheet. All services are integrated within the stack, including cable runs and apertures for the six-speaker surround sound system. R. G.


Food

September 4 2012

The Camélia restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris is both sparklingly new and elegantly timeless. Possibly because of our Mid-Century Modernist and Scandinavian leanings, we think this space is exquisite.



It was designed by Paris-based Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Jouin Manku Studio.



The camellia motif relates directly to the camellia garden in which the restaurant is located. We love the smooth surfaces, the white colour, the subtle feel of being inside a gigantic bloom. The furnishings echo the same smooth petal shape and remind us of the Finnish master, Alvar Aalto, and his timeless white buildings and furniture. - Tuija Seipell

Kids

September 5 2012



JMD Design of Redfern, Sydney has created a cool kids’ outdoor space that makes us all want to run free and wild, with our hair blowing happily in the wind and our bodies full of positive energy.


 
The 20,500 square meter park, opened this summer, is located at Jamieson and Homebush Streets, in Sydney, Australia, and operates under the Sydney Olympic Park Authority.


 
JMD Design wanted to avoid the fenced-in, overly structure-based approach of many kids’ outdoor parks. They worked with, rather than against the earth forms of cones, cuts and terraces, established earlier at this site, and created a free-flowing, open play area with surprises and distinctive activity points.



The tree house is manufactured from galvanised steel, fibrous cement sheeting floors and walls, hardwood timber batten walls and ceilings, stainless steel mesh walls and ceilings with rope floors in some areas.


 
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG) designed the kiosk and petal roof canopy that overlook the water and sand play area. - Tuija Seipell

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Architecture

April 17 2007



The skeptics that we are, we get a bit suspicious when talk of big plans starts sounding a bit too promising. Words like word-class, cutting-edge, sensational and head-turning just doesn’t do it for us. But we’d like to make an exception with the dreamers in Middlesborough (in North East of England) whose grandiose plans to revive the Middlehaven docs and the redundant waterfront are actually starting to become reality.

Practically gushing at their own daring, the town leaders unveiled an agreement between the Tees Valley Regeneration  and BioRegional Quintain, one of the UK’s biggest developers. The agreement will apparently bring £200m of investment to Middlesbrough plus 1,000 new jobs; 750 homes designed by top architects, shops, stylish bars, cafés and restaurants and a luxury hotel.



This will also - or so we hope - mean that the master plan of the daring architect Will Alsop will start to materialize in the form of some of the crazy “Meet-the Robinsons-esque” new buildings we’ve seen in the plans.

Alsop is the man who has designed, for example, the Palestra Building, the Peckham Library and the Ben Pimlott Building at goldsmith College — all in London — Hotel du Department des Bouches du Rhone in Marseille, and the Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto. He’s known for fun, playful building with strong colors, unusual shapes and angles.

And we are not the only ones noticing the Middlehaven plans. In March, a team led by Tees Valley Regeneration, developer BioRegional Quintain and its architects Studio Egret West emerged as winners in the “big urban projects” category at the MIPIM (Architectural Review) Future Projects Awards, against other short-listed projects Plot-Scape in Bursa, Turkey and the massive redevelopment of the King’s Cross Station area in London. By Tuija Seipell

Stores

December 4 2013

Here now and gone tomorrow. Summer is always too short which is why we love it so intensely and why we want to live it to the fullest.

To celebrate the kick-off of summer in Sydney, Rotate Store by The Cool Hunter in-sydney is dedicating its first-ever theme to the love of summer.

Rotate by TCH – Summer Lovers - is located at 1 Martin Place in the city’s urban hub where culture and commerce, cafés and high-end fashion meet, mix and mingle. (opposite the Xmas tree)

TCH has curated a cool summery product selection that reflects a sunny, playful vibe. There are beach towels and swimwear from the local brand “We are Handsome” as well as many international brands, including Danward thongs from Italy, beach bats and swimwear from Brazil and Bangkok.

As the summer themed selection will be available until mid February only, the goods will be gone fast. Here now and gone tomorrow. Just like summer itself.

The great execution of The Cool Hunter’s first Rotate store is by the talented Natalie Longheon and Peter Pengly of event company The Artistry. This young firm over delivered in record time by designing, producing, executing and styling in less than 2 weeks. We can't wait to get them involved in our next rotate store.

TCH Summer Lovers Store is open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Thursday 10am to 8pm, and Saturday 11am to 4pm. Closed on Sundays

The store is powered by Intel which we're so grateful for them coming on board early on in the development. Check out this awesome collaboration with Flume & Intel.

Flowers in our windows are by Poho in Potts Point who were also involved in our cool house project last year.

A huge thanks goes to our marketing agency from Melbourne FLAUNT MARKETING who always get involved with much enthusiasm. Brands wanting to get involved in our next few Rotate projects contact Sharyn Lowe. [email protected] We'll be popping up in Melbourne next year as well.

When you visit Summer Lovers store, you could win a free 3 night stay for 2 to Qualia Resort on Hamilton Island (voted best hotel in the world). Simply take a picture at the store, share it on Instragram using the hashtags - #tchsummerlovers and #qualia and you’ll be in the running.

Images by Felix Forest

Art

May 22 2007




Originality is rare these days in the art world but we're pleased to report that we've stumbled upon an artist whose work is both innovative and modern. Matt Bilfield, California based artist, won us over with this incredible three-dimensional piece 'Peggy', a brilliant and ambitious interpretation of a painting by famous artist, Roy Lichtenstein. The mammoth work  - its seven feet wide and three feet tall - is comprised of 2788 hand cut, sanded, and painted dowels that where then assembled together to recreate Lichtensteins image. The result is a cross between a graphic art image, sculpture, and installation which offers the viewer a different experience from every angle. By Bill T
 

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Transportation

May 28 2007




Mazda's current design philosophy is moving in decidedly Zen-like circles. Like a child throwing pebbles into a mirror-still pool of water, the Japanese brand cast the diametrically different Sassou, Senku and Kauri concepts far out into the design community in 2005/6 and waited to see which way the ripples would take them.

From these three focal points an inward momentum was created, an inexorable circular movement towards a production car bearing a completely new Mazda design language. That car, hints Mazda North America's Design Director Franz von Holzhausen, will appear in pre-production form at the company's home auto show in Tokyo later this year.

'It's like a concentric circle,' explains the soft-spoken California-based designer. 'With the Sassou, Senku and Kabura we struck out in a bunch of different directions, but eventually we're going to land in the middle at something that you can go into the showroom and buy. For the moment, however, they're still circling the outer reaches of a design philosophy that Holzhausen has dubbed 'flow', or Nagare in Japanese.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, this new form language physically manifested itself in the first of a troika of striking new concepts: the Nagare. A radical grand tourer for the year 2020 designed by Mazda's studio in Irvine, California, Nagare borrows the most successful elements from its three conceptual forebears and translates them into what Holzhausen describes as a 'concept of a concept car'.

'Flow is the study of how nature expresses motion. If you look at a desert landscape, it appears as if the air is moving across the sand even though you can't see it. That's what we wanted to create: a way of introducing ideas of texture and motion into the surface language,' explains the Pontiac Solstice designer. 'That's the thing: it's not just a stuck-on detail or a cliched road stance. We've got a lot of freedom to explore this.'
The most striking thing about the Nagare's design is the deep etch lines that run along the car's flanks. They converge, fading as they go, to an invisible point above the rear wheelarches before re-emerging and fanning out to form filigree-like strands of orange light that make up the rear light clusters. Like ripples on a sand dune, they create a sense of air moving across the vehicle, of unseen motion - a theme picked up by the twisted lines that form the headlamps. Sidewinder trails are what come immediately to mind.



The Nagare, says Holzhausen, was just the first expression of flow. For the Detroit show in January, the Irivine studio team distilled this idea into a deliberately more feasible and down-to-earth form: the 2010 Ryuga sports car concept. Again, deep etch lines dominate the overall look, and the Senku-inspired shark's head nose and sidewinder lights remain. But the feel is less extreme, especially inside where the Nagare's diamond-pattern seat configuration gives way to a more conventional 2+2 layout. 'It's still about motion,' insists Holzhausen, 'but in a much more calm and quiet way. Like a Japanese rock garden.'

Meanwhile, the Geneva show will debut an even more grounded expression of the philosophy, this time designed by the company's studio in Frankfurt, Germany. Something equally exploratory but more believable, promises Franz. As radical, as avant-garde, as these cars feel now, by the time we get elements and themes into the finished car two years from now, people will be like 'yeah, we've seen this. It's a Mazda'


Personally, I doubt people will be so blase. While parent company Ford's European arm continues to talk in a loud voice about its Kinetic Design philosophy and expressing 'energy in motion', Holzhausen has found a way of actually translating this into something you and I can touch, and hopefully buy. Interestingly, the US-born designer says that the roots of this can be traced back to Spring 2006 edition of Intersection, the one with the Colani concept on the cover: I saw that car, the way it was shot from above with those organic, flowing shapes, and said 'that's the kind of car we need to build'. All my recent concepts have sprung from that point. By Euan Sey. Exclusive online extract from Intersection Magazine.

Fashion

June 19 2007




Emma Hope has come a long way from the overbearing florals of Laura Ashley fashions. After designing and manufacturing six collections with the company, Hope jetted on to bigger and better things - namely, her eccentric Emma Hope collection.

Since the commencement of her designing efforts, Hope has garnered five Design Council Awards, the Martini Style Award, and the Harpers & Queen Design Award. Hope's eponymous collection began solely with shoes - footwear could be considered Hope's forte, she's designed shoes for Paul Smith, Anna Sui and Mulberry. Hope later expanded her offerings to include handbags with quirky creations like a henna suede tote bag with delicate floral silhouettes carved out of its base, or a pair of men's white leopard print sneakers fashioned from ponyskin .

The designer's most eye-catching number is easily a velvet sneaker bag which offered in bright hues of violet, gold and fuchsia, among others. The unlikely juxtaposition of luxurious velvet to hold your sweaty workout ensembles seems a perfect fit for the celebs who emerge daintily coiffed - with nary a bead of sweat - after hours-long training sessions. And for the obsessively coordinated amongst us, Hope even offers matching "Magic Basket" sneakers, which are swathed in the same unlikely shades of velvet. These indulgent workout fashions are available at either of Emma Hope's three shops in London (Sloane Square, Westbourne Grove and Islington) as well as 150 additional stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods. By Harper Walsh

Travel

July 3 2007




Do & Co Hotel is located in Vienna's District 1, on the pedestrian-only Stephansplatz, right in the middle of the most historic part of this mindbogglingly historic city. The hotel of 41 luxurious rooms and two suites opened in May on the sixth floor of the famous, glass-walled Haas Haus building, but it is the view that really takes your breath away. What you see from the Haus is a straight-on, full-size, real-life panorama of St. Stephen's Cathedral -- Stephansdom -- that has defined Vienna since 1147 AD. It is the sound of this Cathedral's massive Pummerin (big bell) that announces the official arrival of the New Year in Austria.



The original Haas Haus building was a furniture and interior decor store, Philipp Haas & Sons. Several reconstructions later, the grand-daddy of modern Austrian architecture, Pritzker prize winner Hans Hollein, designed the current glass-steel-concrete structure. It opened in 1990 with notable disapproval by traditionalists. Hollein was also behind the latest upgrade that included the Do & Co hotel.

Do & Co, the hotel's holding company, is known worldwide for its first-class airline and event catering business and its Do & Co Restaurants and Cafes. In the Haas Haus, it operates also Vienna's hot spot, the ONYX Bar (pictured above) on the 6th floor, and Do & Co Restaurant (7th floor), plus luxurious event space on the 8th and 9th floors with amazing views over Vienna.



The heritage of the company's Istanbul-born founder and majority shareholder, Attila Dogudan, is reflected in the colorful touches interspersed in the Do & Co hotel interior by Amsterdam-based FG Stijl. The firm's partners, British Colin Finnegan and Dutch Gerard Glintmeijer, have managed to unite Dogudan's Turkish heritage and Vienna's prissy past with understated modern luxury. Your room will come equipped with Kilim bedspreads, chocolates from Viennese confectionary institution Demel (also owned by Do & Co), and a Bang & Olufsen flat screen TV. By Tuija Seipell

Architecture

July 9 2007




While it may look like an optical illusion from the outside, this housing block in Izola on the Slovenian coast offers bona fide affordable options for many young families. The team of Ofis Arhitekti won a national design competition for their design of two apartment buildings each containing 30 units of varying size ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. 

Internal spaces may be small, however the unique trapezoidal-shaped balconies accentuate external perspectives and views directly to the sea. Structural elements are located externally as well thereby allowing more spacious living areas while taking advantage of the limited area of each unit and helping to keep the square metre cost low.



Ofis wrapped sunshades in the form of colourful canvas awnings around the blocks balconies. These defining features provide ample external space for each unit, while innovative side paneling allows for both privacy and ventilation. From within, the canvas panels create unique environments in individual apartments. Each coastal-facing apartment is thereby effortlessly adapted to Slovenia' Mediterranean climate. By Andrew Wiener

Bars

July 30 2007




T-O 12 is a new nightclub on Stuttgart's notorious 'party mile,' Theodor Heuss-Strasse. Like the street, the club is also named after the late Theodor Heuss, a fun-loving, dashing man and the first person elected for a full term as the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Clubbers call the joint either Theo (T O sounds just like Theo in German) or Theo Zwulf (=Theo 12 in German).

To create the three-story club, the owners hired two Stuttgart-based firms: Architecture and communications firm Ippolito Fleiz Group, and graphic designers i-d buero. The result is a sleekly mysterious, pitch-dark space with white furnishings and massive black-and-white murals. The all-black walls, ceilings and floors together with the huge mirrors and tiny light spots produce an effect that is vertigo-inducing and fun. Theo would approve. By Tuija Seipell


 

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Travel

July 18 2007




The most fabulous example of a hotel combining drama, surprise, luxury and comfort is hiding in the heart of the historical, artistic and night-club haven of Montmartre in Paris. Opened in June 2007, the restored aristocratic mansion The Hotel Particulier de Montmartre has definitely decided to grow up. The two masterminds behind the project are Morgane Rousseau and Frederic Comtet who with the help of Mathieu Paillard have managed to mix art and comfort brilliantly in their unusual hotel.



The owners commissioned well known artists, designers, sculptors and architects to create an intimate five-room enclave of exceptional atmosphere and charm.



One of the distinctive rooms is the 'vegetable room' designed by New York-born, Paris-based contemporary artist Martine Aballca. With her interpretation, she wishes to evoke hanging gardens, trees and the play of sunlight and shadow. The other artists involved in creating one of the compact private suites are photo artist Natacha Lesueur (room theme: Curtain of hair), painter Philippe Mayaux (Window), fashion and textile curator Olivier Saillard (Poems and hats) and illustrator and creative director Pierre Fichefeux (Tree with ears).



Finland-born Mats Haglund of Chanel, Colette and Paul & Joe boutique fame, created the private living room. He used the personality of the proprietors as his starting point and furnished the salon with originals of classics by Arne Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto.



From every window, residents can view the luscious and intimate garden created by Louis Banech, one of the landscape designers responsible for revitalizing the world-renown Tuileries Gardens.



With that much artistic and design cache, The Hotel Particulier de Montmartre will not have difficulty attracting a clientele. But to get there, you must leave the nightclubs of Montmartre, start thinking like former Montmartre residents Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, and locate the secret alleyway between l'avenue Junot and la rue Lepic. Continue to the Sorcerer's Stone and pray that the iron gates will open for you. By Tuija Seipell



Fashion

July 3 2007




Matthew Williamson was called 'the king of bling' by the Sydney Morning Herald for a reason.
 
Since his London debut in 1996, one thing has remained constant: Williamson's models will sparkle. His 2003 spring collection saw gold-sequined blouses and brocade jackets, while the fall of 2005 line had shiny velvets and satins and the fall of 2006 featured shimmering gold and silver jumpers, to name a few.
 
The trend continued most recently during February's New York Fashion Week. Williamson paraded his traditional flashy jewel-hued mini minis and doll-sized dresses - but this year there was also a noticeable smattering of fashions to file under - the bigger the better. Models processed down the runway in gaping shorts and trousers that were paper-bag-synched at the waist, as well as tent-sized sparkly muumuus and necklaces boasting fist-sized shell pendants. The most innovative of these enormous fashions could be credited to the pioneering of jewellery designer Scott Wilson.



Wilson and Williamson are both decorated alumni from the UK's finest art institutions. Wilson studied jewellery design at Middlesex Polytechnic and millinery at the Royal College of Art while Williamson began his career at star-spangled Central St. Martins. Both designers earned coveted fashion positions early in their careers. Immediately after graduation Williamson began working for Marni, while Wilson earned employment with Karl Lagerfeld as an undergrad. Williamson eventually went on to launch his own successful eponymous line. On the other hand, Wilson has garnered much of his renown through his collaborative efforts with showstoppers Burberry, Rifat Ozbek and Hussein Chalayan in particular � though he continues to maintain his own jewellery line. As Wilson explained to the International Herald Tribune, 'One-off pieces are the ultimate expression of my work, but they can be very time-consuming.'
 
In their collaboration, Wilson clearly embraced Williamson's predilection for shine with his jewelled bracelets, which are evocative of bedazzled bocce balls. The enormous bangles were seen on the lanky limbs of Hilary Rochas and Maryna Linchuk during Matthew Williamson's parade of jewel-colored frocks at New York Fashion Week in February. According to Fashion Wire Daily, Wilson's 'sequined bracelets [were] a deft accessory addition to a collection that underlined how British designers stint showing in America has helped him mature into a producer of highly wearable, yet always hip, clothes.'
 
The funky though undeniably glamorous bracelets have most recently been spotted cuffing the delicate wrists of Mischa Barton on the cover of UK Elle. The bracelets are custom-made, and available to the most audacious of luxury collectors for a mere $900 each. Contact the creator himself at (TK Scott Wilson's email address). By L. Harper

Architecture

August 1 2007



As you’ll no doubt have seen on the pages of the cool hunter over the past few weeks, we’ve been paying homage to wall-art from all over the world. From bars in Baghdad to clubs in Cairo, we’ve been trawling buildings looking for the finest illustrations the art-world has to offer. And for this next one, we had to scurry around the trendy backstreets of Jingumae in Tokyo to find it.

This small live in studio and salon has been decked in black paint with a beautifully elegant mural, depicted from the salon’s own brand to engulf its two exposed walls.  The hand-painted pattern is reminiscent of an inverted Rorschach inkblot drawing. Yet the symmetrical display blends perfectly with the centre piece - a woman overwhelmed by the surrounding plumage. And while the windows are large and severe, they don’t distort the image. Instead, they perforate the design with different levels of intensity, revealing larger and smaller details of what lies beneath.

Inside, the space has been deliberately simplified, so as to not compete with the eye-catching exterior. Blackened wood surfaces sit quietly against the enlarged windows, decorated with cream-coloured blinds. While the theme of masculine and feminine remains true throughout. The angular planes of the structure repeat in the harsh lines of the furniture and the effeminate fresco is imitated by the soft lighting inside. A smart yet simple piece that respects the duality of the building — somewhere to live and work — while playfully intertwining the two. By Matt Hussey


Lifestyle

August 20 2007




Here at TCH, we love riding bikes through the city. There's something immensely pleasing about sailing past scores of traffic with little more than a push of a pedal.  And at the same time, you're burning the calories, and doing your bit to stay green. But there's one thing we hate about this simple mode of transport.  People like nothing more than stealing them, damaging them, or driving buses into them. While your safe at work crunching the numbers, who's looking after your ride home?

Cue the bike dispensing machine. Brought to you courtesy of bikedispenser.com, a small firm from Amsterdam, the idea is to help facilitate bike rentals in urban areas. Cyclists pay a small fee to hire a bike, and then they can take it where they please. Once they've finished, they can return it either to that machine, or another one across town. And because they've been fitted with RFID tags, they won't all have been nicked before you can get one.
 
Now, if only they can do something about those van driver - By Matt Hussey


Architecture

August 29 2007



Bodrum in Turkey is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and birthplace to Herodotus.  It is also Turkey’s answer to what Cannes is for the south of France. So it’s not the kind of place you want to build a tower block slab bang on the beach.

House ’Ö’ is a building perfectly in tune with its surroundings but still has an eye on modernising the idea of a country retreat. The ornate mosaic of heavy stone is a familiar building practice in the Mediterranean, but the use of large floor to ceiling windows certainly is not.



The building comprises three units joined by glass boxes allowing bags of sunlight in, but also allows the structure to cool quicker than houses favouring large swathes of white concrete as a method of regulating temperature.  Inside, there are no separating walls in the central living area.  Instead, furniture positioning and small partitions create individual spaces within an open whole.  A fitting tribute to cultural and architectural traditions of an area steeped in history, but a refreshing approach to a home in the hills that isn’t all bling and dodgy ‘period’ features. By Matt Hussey



Ads

April 17 2011

TCH ACCESS agency’s collaboration with the world’s best brands and ad agencies continues. We are working on a number of fun projects and right now we are obsessed with LEGO.

LEGO is fun and games for children. Highly recognized and bringing a smile to everyone’s face, LEGO is also the object of countless creative ideas completed by adult fans who’ve created everything from kitchen tables to animation and fashion shows, to clothing made of LEGO bricks.


 
In addition to fun and creativity, LEGO is also a strong symbol of building. In our version of street-level LEGO promotion, we envision building massive LEGO sculptures — creations so big that they cannot go unnoticed.
 
LEGO is a brand that can get away with this kind of in-your-face stunt as the goodwill and positive attitudes allow consumers to see it all in a fun light.


 
In the world of social media, this kind of attention is priceless. People will notice, photograph, tweet, facebook and youtube this to their networks when they see one of these fun creations.
 
The shock value increases when these sculptures are placed in environments and contexts where no-one is expecting to see a big “toy.”


 
We are not talking about theme parks, we are talking about car parks. A Darth Vader with his light saber waiting for you in the underground garage — perhaps to your favorite shopping centre, sports facility or night club. He will raise or lower his saber depending on how you behave. Incredible opportunities to add sound as well.
 
Or a gigantic R2D2 as a gateway, or LEGO light fixtures or a road or bridge painted to look as if it were covered with LEGO bricks. Or a friendly, gigantic Smurf to brighten up an event in a park.


 
The extension of this type of street-level promotion to websites, video, in-store promotions and advertisements is natural, yet the main thrust comes from the consumers who will react with delight. Can you imagine seeing one of these for the first time and NOT telling anyone? - Bill Tikos

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Design

September 28 2007




Walking past a series of drab estate agent windows doesn't really make you want to part with your hard earned cash. Even if you are looking to move out.

That's why estate agents Hotblack Desiato - depicted as a keyboard player in the cult sci-fi novel, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - decided to spruce up their Islington offices in London. 

These little clusters of property were inspired by the revival of cubism within architecture. The 3-D squares created by designer Paul Crofts are set at varying depths to create an almost pixel like installation that spills over onto the adjacent wall inside. Which makes poking your nose round other people's houses that little bit sweeter.  By Matt Hussey

Architecture

October 2 2007




They used to say "a light bulb goes on in your mind" when knowledge happens. The Danish architects at 3XN already realise the sun is the true source of knowledge - providing fuel for each global system. Imagine the power more sunlight can provide young minds hard at work in their schools. 

Orestad College (upper school) opened this year just south of central Copenhagen in the development area of Orestad. The superstructure of the building is formed by four boomerang-shaped platforms that rotate over four floors and remain open to one another allowing for a seamless interconnection of space throughout the school. This open, high central hall, known as the X-zone is linked by a stairway that helps promote interdisciplinary communication and cooperation among the various teaching and study spaces. 



Transparent glass louvres automatically rotate on the exterior of the building allowing light in and providing an array of colours to the interior environments. By manipulating the sunlight the entire student body becomes aware of the passing of time and the changing of the seasons as the school year progresses. 

Sustainability for education can certainly begin with the design of the school itself, and 3XN has successfully integrated the traditional Scandinavian aspects of functionality with clarity and beauty in form. - Andrew J Wiener



 

Design

October 3 2007




For some time, designers, architects and builders all over the world have tinkered with the idea of turning excess standard shipping containers into living quarters. Some of the incarnations of the lowly metal box are downright chic, including artist-architect Adam Kalkin's Quik House for which he apparently has more orders than he can handle.

But these metal containers have also drawn the attention of some leading brands that have started to use the eye-popping ideas to full advantage. Holiday shoppers milling about the Time Warner Center in New York will have a fabulous chance to experience one of these soon. Between November 28 and December 29, 2007, they can rest, relax and sip a perfect cup of illy espresso in one of Kalkin's creations, the temporary Push Button House cafe that the Trieste, Italy-based illycaffe will install there.



The European premier of this concept by Alan Kalkin and illy took place at the 52nd Venice Biennale where illy continues to partner with the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia by providing the visitors each year a space to relax and enjoy their complimentary espresso. This was illy's fourth year of establishing the refreshment area at the Biennale but the Push Button House version created an unprecedented buzz.



With the push of a button, the house opens in 90 seconds like a flower and transforms from a compact container into a fully furnished and functional space with a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, living room and library. All materials used in the Biennale house were recyclable or recycled. As Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of illycaffe, has been quoted as saying, illy was initially interested in Kalkin's idea as an examination of 'home as one continuous mouldable surface, a relief against which human activity would pop out.';

Kalkin's concepts have proven to be adaptable to many circumstances. His company has developed container-unit projects for everything from disaster-relief housing to luxury dwellings (pictured below), and for promotional purposes such as the illy cafe. By Tuija Seipell.



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Kids

October 9 2007





Let's just all rewind the movie of our lives a bit and go back to school. We at Coolhunter are thinking of heading to University of London's Birkbeck College and finding our way to the classes at its Film & Visual Media Research Centre.

You cannot tell from the outside that the odd set of buildings at London's Gordon Square offers anything remarkable at all. The older building does have a pedigree - it is the former home of both Virginia Stephens (later Woolf) and economist John Maynard Keynes. The drab 1970s extension to the building does not even deserve another look. Except inside.



Award-winning London-based Surface Architects won the competition to create within the buildings the permanent home of the Film & Visual Media Research Centre. Surface transformed the basement, ground floor and the extension into a unique state-of-the-art 80-seat cinema auditorium, surrounded by a media study suite, seminar rooms and offices.

Ian Christie, Birkbeck's Professor of Film and Media History, describes the exciting new building “...the new cinema auditorium - already being referred to as 'The Screen on the Square' is as soberly dedicated to ideal screening conditions as the surrounding break-out spaces and stairway are an exuberant display of pure form and colour. In fact, Surface's extraordinary projection of intersecting cones has various filmic associations: the jagged angles recall the Expressionist set design of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, an influential German film of 1921; and the lurid colours evoke Andy Warhol's silkscreen portraits of film stars.”



Key players at Surface are Richard Scott, who formed it in 1996, and Andy MacFee, who joined Surface in 2001 as director. Both have worked with Will Alsop and other notables. Surface is also one of 47 practices worldwide selected to work on the Athlete's Village for the London 2012 Olympics. By Tuija Seipell

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Kids

October 16 2007




Poetry and storytelling help us understand the world that surrounds us. Visual imagery allows the mind to draw parallels between what we see and how we think. Dutch designer Jurgen Bey has created a classroom that will inspire young minds to think beyond the realm of what is traditionally asked of school children. 



The classroom interior project is part of the ROC training school at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Practically every surface of the room is covered with images found in books used at the school.  Centred around a palate of white and grey, Bey selected graphics then placed them around the space on walls, furniture and even the floor. Moveable screens allow the room to open completely or divide space depending on the activities taking place. 



One key feature, the highly wear-resistant flooring system made with Senso Freeze, contains a transparent resin that allowed Bey to embed digital photographs onto the surface.  Inspiration and creativity seeps from every surface - it's impossible to imagine what will be generated from the minds as they pass through this space. By Andrew J Wiener


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Events

November 12 2007




Villa Eugenie is an "events" company in the most impressive sense of the word. These are not people who organize bridal showers and baby parties for minor movie stars. For the Brussels-based team of Villa Eugenie, led by Etienne Russo, routine means orchestrating a major runway event for a major fashion house. And stunning everyone.



Best known for its catwalk extravaganzas, Villa Eugenie is now involved in not just creating spectacular fashion shows, but staging major events for luxury business in all of its forms - magazine launches, major celebrations, and jewellery, perfume, art and opera installations, corporate events and fairs around the world. The team also advises major fashion brands on store concepts, stores space searches, lighting and branding. Although based in Brussels, Villa Eugenie operates in all major fashion and luxury centers and has a permanent office also in Miami.



We do not envy their task of having to impress the time-hardened fashion buyer or editor, or the celebrities that line up the runways of the famous fashion emporiums. These events are critiqued like major concerts or art exhibitions, and the shows themselves are as much about drama and ever-bigger surprises as they are about the designers, or the fashions - most of which are unwearable by mere mortals anyway.



Villa Eugenie must be doing it right. Year after year, its client list reads like a Who is Who in the fashion world: Chanel, Dries Van Noten, Miu Miu, Maison Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Hermés, Hugo Bosss, Sonia Rykiel, Olivier Strelli, and the
Adidas-backed Y-3.



These are all major brands with huge production budgets. But even when you know that sky is not the budget's limit, it is still astonishing that the same production company can be creating several shows in one season - all attended by the same posse of cynical seen-it-all viewers - and not start to appear stale or formulaic. Boundless creativity and ruthless attention to detail, both most likely still sparked for each project by Etienne Russo himself, are the cornerstones of such a feat.



Russo started humbly in the 1980s as an artistic and creative barman at Mirano, a fashionable nightclub in Brussels. He was soon creating major events there and drawing serious attention. His first real fashion client was Dries Van Noten for whom he worked as a model, salesman, lighting engineer, cook and extraordinary producer of Van Noten's first fashion show in Paris in 1991.



In 1995, Russo started his own production firm, naming it after the charming villa where it was located. Since 2004, the Villa Eugenie team has worked out of a former factory close to Brussels South station (Bruxelles-Midi, Brussel-Zuid). The space, covered by a vast glass canopy, was redesigned by the Ghent-based architect Glenn Sestig



This is the same man who this year opened his first luxury hotel Sestig Hotel. In the cubic Huis Van Waes building in Ghent that he reconstructed. By Tuija Seipell



Seen any other interesting events we should know about? e-mail [email protected]


Design

November 21 2007




Whoever said that reading was a religious experience was right, especially when taking a visit to Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Having just won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007, this newest addition to the Selexyz book chain is well worth the visit to this medieval city if you are ever in the area.



Erected inside a former 800 year old Dominican church, this bookstore is said to hold the largest stock of books in English in Maastricht, one of the oldest cities in the country.

It was always going to be a challenging task for Amsterdam based architects Merkx + Girod who designed the space, to stay true to the original character and charm of the church, whilst also achieving a desirable amount of commercial space (there was only an available floor area of 750 m2, with a proposed retail space of 1200 m2). Taking advantage of the massive ceiling, both have been achieved through the construction of a multi-storey steel structure which houses the majority of the books. This is one giant bookshelf, with stairs and elevators taking shoppers and visitors alike, up to the heavens (mind the pun), to roof of the church.



To maintain a sense of symmetrical balance in the space, lower tables of best sellers and latest releases have been added to either side, and of course a small cafe at the back for readers to relax and enjoy a hot drink.

Overall a great example of how with clever thinking, spatial solutions can both achieve a suitable retail presence, whilst still respecting and remaining true to the original structure. By Brendan Mc Knight

See also Pontificial Lateral University Library
                 LIBRARIES - CANDIDA-HOFFER
                 Kids Republic Bookstore

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Transportation

December 5 2007




Mobile living might not be for everyone - but those adventurous enough to give it a shot. Living Is.be has crafted a fully-functional living space within the bed or a truck. 

Two hatch skylights provide natural ventilation and allow sun to illuminate the interior. A double bed was installed at the rear of the truck allowing two adults to sleep comfortably. Running water is not only used in a functioning sink, but is also used in a sunken shower that was placed directly behind the cab of the truck. A kitchen stove ensures meals can be prepared - whether driving through an urban area or traversing rugged terrain. By Andrew J Wiener.



See Also -THE WOLTHAHELLIZAT
             DOUBLE DECKER LIVING

Architecture

January 8 2008




Escaping the big city used to mean keeping warm beside a fireplace in aquaint little wood cabin tucked away in the wilderness. But now we allknow impressive design can be found virtually anywhere, even in themost remote areas. At just over 200 square metres, the Steel House in New York�s Hudson Valley provides an ideal weekend retreat.



From a distance the length of the narrow house looks like a metallicscreen rising out of the surrounding meadow. The house opens to thelandscape on the narrow east and west facades. One end features adouble-height entry with a stairway leading up to two bedrooms on thefirst level. The bedrooms above overlook a small, private lake by wayof an enclosed balcony whilst below, the living and dining area openout to a screened patio.



Striving to remain economical, high priority was giving to theselection of materials and finished both inside and out. Allinterior walls, floors and ceiling as well as custom furniture andcabinetry were constructed of durable maple plywood. Specialconsideration was also given to the use and placement of glazing andskylights that allow for natural ventilation.



Exterior floating stainless steel panels run the length of the house.Besides obvious aesthetic considerations, these perforated exteriorscreens protect the house from seasonal weather variations. Theyprovide much needed shade from the summer sun, and buffer the home fromstrong winter winds.

At just under 150 kilometres from New York City, the Steel House ishardly at the end of the earth, however, the siting and design of theweekend retreat allows its guests a welcoming break from the urbanchaos. By Andrew J Wiener




See also Camouflage House


Travel

January 9 2008




China's first carbon-neutral hotel, the hip 26-room URBN Hotel Shanghai, will officially open this spring. Conceived by owners Scott Barrack and Jules Kwan, URBN promises to be the start of a new boutique hotel empire.

No strangers to luxury developments or to China where they have lived for 10 years, the two plan to open another 20 URBN hotels in China in the next three years, starting with Beijing, Hangzhou, Dalian and Suzhou. The hoteliers will go as green as possible by rehabilitating existing structures, using recycled materials, maximizing green space and introducing eco-friendly solutions.



Beyond co-founding boutique real estate investment and development company Space Development with Kwan, the California native Barrack has established several property companies in China, including Space International specializing in luxury French Concession district properties, and Inn Shangha, the city's first serviced boutique apartment complex. Sydney, Australia-born and raised Kwan is an alternative media and property development expert.

The partners have a unique, personal perspective on what works and what doesn't for a luxury traveler in China. To give visitors a true Shanghainese urban experience - something they felt was missing - they invited international Shanghai-based collaborators with similar sensibilities to convert a 1970s post office building to the stylish URBN Hotel Shanghai. The result is an impressive fusion of contemporary and Chinese design.



URBN's spatial concept, interior and facade design are by A00 Architecture, a partnership of three Canadian architects, best known for conversions of Shanghai's historic houses into unique residences. The hotel's interior designer is Brazil native architect, Tais Cabral, known for her commercial, cultural, residential and retail work in Paris, as well as her furniture design. By Tuija Seipell

 
 

Bars

January 14 2008




Opened in late fall 2007, Electric Birdcage at Haymarket in the heart of London's West End, has been receiving mixed reviews. One thing is certain, though, it IS getting a reaction from everyone who visits.

Electric Birdcage is a magnificently weird combination of Alice in Wonderland and Russian Aristocrat, dim sum parlor and late-night cocktail bar, sophisticated party venue and silly funhouse.

The owners, brothers Richard and Anthony Traviss, knew where to go for eccentric and totally extravagant interiors: to London's beloved venue designer Shaun Clarkson. His handiwork can be seen, for example, at La Pigalle, Covent Garden's Denim, Play Room, Profile, Power's Acoustic Room, The Bloomsbury Ballroom, Atlantic Bar & Grill and Jerusalem.



Electric Birdcage's surrealistic interior includes a Fibonacci-style patterned floor, tables made of tree roots, gigantic pink hands for chairs, lavish Vegas-style mirrors, imposing black stallions, two snarling black polymer panthers, a carousel bar and iron birdcage chandeliers dangling from a pink ceiling. Even the DJ operates from a birdcage.

Capacity crowd of 300, served by cute staff in retro airline get-up, can order Pan-Asian fare by head chef Somporn Khamsaenphan all day, and stay until 4 am enjoying cocktails by mixologist Chad Shields. You and seven friends can share the signature Electric Birdcage bowl filled with a mix of champagne, Absolut Raspberri peach schnapps, Cointreau, Absolut Citron, strawberry puree, gomme syrup, orange juice, fresh raspberries and blueberries. That should elicit a reaction, if nothing else will. By Tuija Seipell


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Architecture

January 14 2008




After designing the prize winning Bergisel Ski Jump, the city of Innsbruck invited Zaha Hadid back to design four new stations and a cable-stayed suspension bridge for the Nordkettenbahn - the city's cable railway system. Continuing their global contribution to the seamlessness between computer generated design and construction, the ZH Architects studied glacial formations and ice movement and translated their ideas with similar design technologies used by the automotive and aircraft industry to achieve varying degrees of movement and circulation in structure. 



Residents and visitors can now embark trains in the city's centre at the new Congress Station and reach the summit of Seegrube Mountain in 20 minutes. Each progressive station crosses the Inn River and then ascends the Nordkette Mountain terminating 863 metres high at the Hungerburg Station. Passengers then transfer to cable cars that travel to the top at 2,300 metres. 



ZH Architects' signature fluidity in design was carried through here with the innovative use of doublecurvature glass in construction. The design could not be actualised without inventive production methods such as CNC milling and thermoforming. Each unique station looks at though winter melted down the mountainside flowing freely across the new suspension bridge and into the river. By Andrew J Wiener>


Events

January 21 2008




Publicity stunts don't come on much of a larger scale than this. To celebrate the launch of the new Fiat 500 in London last night, one of the vehicles was placed into a pod on the London Eye where it will live for the next 2 weeks.

The launch of this 'time capsule' was at 8pm, exactly 500 hours into the year and as one would expect for such an event, was a star-studded affair and included a light show that lit up the river Thames, and performances by Mika and The Feeling.

The car itself is a remodel of the original version which was first presented 50 years ago, and is Fiat's go at re-releasing a retro classic, as VW (Beetle) and BMW (Mini) have arguably both done quite successfully in recent years.

The 500 was recently named the 2008 Car of the Year and has been praised in numerous auto publications. By
Brendan McKnight

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Transportation

January 22 2008




In an attempt to revolutionise the process of car design, David Hilton, founder of Motorcity Europe, along with C2P Automotive, created the MC1 Supercar in just three months. Hilton, who spent much of the formative part of his career working for Ford, believes the MC1 will be production-ready by 2011, if he finds the right client. Presently, the mid-engine, V10-powered supercar has no set identity or branding. We�re willing to bet a recognisable logo will soon sit neatly within its grill. 

By quickly translating computer-based design into engineering, Motorcity Europe achieved a radically different approach to supercar design in regard to its proportions and manufacturing processes. While certain aspects of the exterior appear entirely futuristic from nearly every angle, the MC1 looks like one of those cars we always dreamed we could afford. Fortunately, all anyone can see right now is the outside - the interior will be ready this spring. By Andrew J Wiener


Design

January 22 2008




A house attic does not evoke images of style and chic design. Rather, we find ourselves thinking of dark, cobweb-infested, damp and dreary crawl spaces. We think of attics as leftover space under the roof where we abandon unwanted stuff - outdated clothing, old books, grandma's hat boxes, grandpa's hunting gear, coin collections and bags of seashells from that long-ago beach holiday.



But as space in our urban areas is at a premium - not a square metre can go to waste. Architects and designers are starting to see the potential of this extra space, and offer solutions that meet the needs of the most demanding style freaks. Sunlight, additional rooms, extra bathrooms - it is all possible in the attic. Starchitects around the world have made dramatic rooflines trendy, so we can all give up on our visions of the embarrassing drywalled and pine-paneled disasters that attics tended to morph into, every time we tried to make them livable.




Within very few square metres, designers are finding space for sleeping, cooking and eating, and using the sloping rooflines to create impressive skylight windows.



We can all see the delightful benefits of maximising the amount of livable and usable space � even if it involves clearing away the precious collections of bric-a-brac we've spent generations accumulating. Ample sunlight penetrating the attic apartment means than even nocturnal arachnids are sent packing. By Andrew J Wiener and Tuija Seipell

We're looking for more attic renovations, if you spot one, send to [email protected]
 


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Travel

January 23 2008




Since 1991, San Francisco-native Jeanie Fuji has acted as the traditional Japanese okami (land lady or female inn keeper) of the Fujiya Ryokan (traditional wooden inn) in the Ginzan Onsen (hot springs) area.



That year, she married Fuji Atsushi, the son and heir of the 350-year-old inn and started her rigorous training under her mother-in-law in the art of serving customers, true Japanese style. This included preparing all meals, washing the dishes and cleaning all rooms. The goal was to make sure every need of every customer was anticipated and met following the age-old inn tradition of providing the right amount of service at the right time.



Fuji describes the types of things she had to learn. �Sliding a fusuma door open and shut, greeting guests, bringing them meals on small o-zen tables... everything has to be done a certain way, following the old traditions. And I had to learn how to talk with the guests using polite, formal Japanese. I often wanted to give up and go home to the United States. But now I love my work here,� she says in a Japanese publication.



By the time she had a good decade of experience behind her, Fuji had gained a celebrity okami status that she modestly and reluctantly dismisses. By 2004, she and her husband hired Tokyo-based celebrity architect Kengo Kuma to raise the personal service of the inn to even higher level. Kuma overtook a complete remodelling of the inn that reopened in July 2006. Kuma is behind many well-known buildings, including the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey headquarters in Tokyo.



The capacity of the thoroughly wooden, three-story Fujiya Inn was reduced to only eight rooms with full capacity at 16 persons. Considering the location of the inn, right in the middle of a relatively remote rural area known for its hot springs and natural beauty, the level of luxury in the inn is astonishing.



Kuma has been able to combine traditional Japanese simplicity with international tastes and needs, yet avoided the dumbed-down, westernized version of Japanese style. In fact, Fuji has written an autobiography on this subject Nipponjin ni wa, Nihon ga Tarinai (Japanese people are not Japanese enough), in which she emphasizes that it is important for modern Japanese to recognize and re-claim the value of their own millennia-old customs and history.

At Fujiya Inn, you feel that you are part of an ancient, authentic and almost organic history that seems to be seeping through every seam and screen here. Many aspects contribute to this effect. One is Kuma�s brilliant use of layers, screens as thin as veils, to both hide and reveal space. The omnipresent samushiko bamboo screens by craft master Hideo Nakata (no, he�s not the horror-movie director) and his son required 1.2 million four-millimetre-wide strips of bamboo. Green stained-glass panes by Masato Shida and the prolific use of the handmade, richly textured Echizen Japanese paper add to the feeling of lightness and transparency.



The organic, natural quotient of the inn is also boosted by the baths and the hand-prepared, fresh food. The inn has five beautiful private hot springs baths including an open-air bath on the top floor. The food is based on a regular washoku (Japanese cuisine) menu and features many edible plants and other local ingredients. Fuji�s favourites include the sansai, mountain vegetables, including kogomi (ostrich fern fiddleheads) and urui (plantain lily petioles.) The only exception to this local-only rule is Cafe Wisteria (English for fuji), open only in the summer months, and offering international coffees and cakes.



To get to the Fujiya Inn, take the 3.5-hour trip on the Yamagata Bullet Train (Shinkansen) from Tokyo and then get a bus to the hot springs. Or fly from Tokyo to the Yamagata airport and arrange for a pick up by the inn. By Tuija Seipell


Stores

February 1 2008




The much awaited, fabulous, 6,000 square-foot M.A.C Pro space has just opened in New York. Occupying an entire floor at 7 West 22nd Street, the new facility is divided into two separate sections, each with its own entrance: A retail/studio and a training area. Unlike other M.A.C Pro stores around the world, this is a full-blown studio and experimentation facility for make-up artists and beauty professionals. With its dramatic open layout, the space is a true feast for the eyes.

M.A.C Pro's New York store is completely dedicated to serving the pros. At the mixing station, they can hone their skills, test samples and experiment with the product with all of the tools of the trade nearby. The reference library is stocked with books, magazines and other reference materials for those who want to learn more or do research. At the photography studio, they can record their processes and their results. A separate training area, a kitchenette and bathrooms with showers make this an ideal space for some serious learning.



Makeup Art Cosmetics (MAC) launched in 1984 when two Canadians, makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan and beauty salon owner Frank Angelo, opened a single counter in the basement of the now-defunct Simpson's department store in Toronto. Staffed by professional make-up artists, determined to become the ultimate color authority in make-up, and blessed with an outrageous sense of drama and theatre, M.A.C gained huge popularity among professionals and consumers. The Estee Lauder Companies bought 51 per cent of M.A.C in 1995 and the rest of the shares in 1998. Sleek stores, a vast array of color options, and a sense of professionalism and artistry are still the hallmarks of M.A.C that now has more than 750 stores in 50 countries. By Tuija Seipell.

Architecture

February 4 2008




We have found a candidate for the winner in the Coolest Home Theatre category. Just short of being a drive-in, this outdoor home theatre surpasses the stinky basement family 'media room' by close to a light year.
 

 
Glass walls, clean lines, uninterrupted space, uncluttered rooms, expensive detailing the hallmarks of a modern, upscale classic are all present in this stylish residence. Why anyone in possession of such an amazing home with such breathtaking views, would want to watch movies at home, is beyond us, but let's just say that we wouldn't mind being invited to a screening or two. The terraces, patios and the 65-foot infinity pool and spa will keep cinematically uninterested guests entertained as well. And we'll all stay at the separate guest house, of course.



But we must admit we are still lacking an invite to the 5,800-square-foot Skyline residence overlooking Hollywood and downtown LA. The visit is up to the owner of the home, architect Hagy Belzberg, a Harvard graduate (1991) who interned in Frank Gehry's office.
 


 The opulent home was designed by the entire team of his Santa Monica-based, 13-member Belzberg Architects that the now 43-year-old Hagy Belzberg founded in 1997. -  Tuija Seipell
 

 

Ads

February 13 2008




Leo Burnett in Sao Paulo created this simple yet clever ad for Arcor bubble gum.


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Design

February 15 2008



Cool Spas are popping up everywhere as if they had just been invented, but in the Bavaria region of Germany – as in many parts of the world with healing, thermal or mineral springs – baths are part of ancient history.



Bad Aibling, located some 35 miles southeast of Munich, has held the official title of a Bad (German for bath, spa, springs) since 1895 but the thermal spas have bubbled up there much, much longer. It is particularly refreshing to see one of the older facilities, Thermal Bad Aibling, receive a complete overhaul and emerge as a viable competitor in the world of spoiled and pampered spa goers.



The most striking new feature at Bad Aibling are the large white domes, placed seemingly randomly in the hilly landscape, letting the alpine scenery dictate their placement. Each dome is dedicated to its own treatment, temperature, ambiance and experience.



In addition to the fairly standard fare, such as a wide selection of massages, beauty treatments, saunas and different-temperature baths and pools, Thermal Bad Aibling offers a beautifully lit Turkish haman plus something no other spa has – so far. It is an immersive film experience by LivingGlobe where the guests can enjoy a special 360-degree film projection and light show produced specifically for Thermal Bad Aibling. The main outdoor swimming pool areas will open in May 2008, but hot pools are functional, creating the atmosphere of time-tested pleasure of soaking in hot water in cold air and enjoying the view. By Tuija Seipell



 
Music

April 8 2008




Produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk and released by Air's label Record Makers, Sebastien Tellier's new album 'Sexuality' is a rhythmic ode to - you guessed it - the art of love making.

'Sexuality' explores the common ground between Daft Punk's 'Make Love' and Air's 'Sexy Boy'.

Tellier's songs traverse voluptuous synths and sweeping strings.  The drums throb and whir soothingly at the edges of the sound.  Tellier sings in a convincing coo and whisper as if he is updating Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's ascendant 'Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus'.

Where Tellier's French contemporaries like Justice head for the euphoric, chanting hooks, Tellier goes mellow, radiating warmth and revealing subtle analogue textures.

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On the film clip for the instrumental track 'Sexual Sportswear', Tellier loops his keyboards like a double helix as a female body, lit up to resemble the iconic cover art for A Tribe Called Quest's 'The Low End Theory', writhes and moves to the music. By Nick Christie

Most definitely one for the lovers.

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Lifestyle

February 19 2008



If you are lucky enough to have a home theatre, most of us would be happy with a projector, surround sound and perhaps a comfy sofa or two. Not so for these homeowners.

Pentagram Architects partner James Biber has designed this home theatre in Montauk New York, taking inspiration from Radio City Music Hall and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The theatre has a series of round arches, which house 600 five-watt dimmer-controlled light bulbs that provide a soft ambient light for when you need to find that elusive remote control. And as in the Music Hall, the lights are positioned to glow away from the viewers — because we all hate to have lights in our eyes when watching the big screen.

Biber has designed the theatre to function like a TV room, in that it is comfortable and intimate enough for a romantic night in with a bottle of red and a Hugh Grant movie, but can also easily accommodate up to ten people to watch the big game, or perhaps a slumber party with the girls.

All of the surfaces in the room are covered in orange felt to help with the acoustics, and seating on the floor has been taken care of by Edelman Leather who custom made the beanbags.

This house, which also boasts a large private outdoor space looking onto the Atlantic Ocean, recently won an American Architecture Award for distinguished buildings and a Citation for Design in the AIA New York State Design Awards. By Brendan McKnight

See also - A Home with the coolest outdoor home theatre


Food

February 20 2008




Negro de Anglona is a stylish restaurant in Madrid created in a converted 17th century Spanish palace, Palacio de Anglona, by architecture and interior design virtuoso, Luis Galliusi. Known for his ability to combine unexpected elements and to create elegant spaces, Galliusi has designed houses, stores, hotels, restaurants, offices and clinics in Madrid, Paris, Cairo, Mexico, Morocco, Indonesia and Miami. His client list includes Manolo Blahnik, Chanel and Phillippe Starck. In the seven rooms of Negro de Anglona, Galliusi has shown his usual flair. He has combined a strong, black-and-white color palette - including enormous black-and-white, back-lit images of castles - with ornate floor-to-ceiling drapery and other, strong decorative elements. The task of overseeing the predominantly Mediterranean menu has been trusted to the 24-year-old chef, Aitor Garcia Cerro. By Tuija Seipell


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Architecture

February 27 2008




An architect's house could be his ultimate expression of his relationship to the surrounding world. Arthur Casas positioned his own House in Iporanga outside of Sao Paulo deep in the Atlantic forest - the quintessential Brazilian landscape according to Casas.

Two symmetrical rectangular cubes face one another on the north and south sides of the site. Two retractable 36 foot-high glass walls connect the cubes and frame the main living and dining rooms of the house. The entire exterior is panelled in Cumaru wood that blends effortlessly into the surrounding forest.



Cumaru is also used inside as flooring where it stands out against the stark white walls - the only 'colour' found in the minimalist space. To an architect, one of the defining features of the overall design of a structure is effective interior spatial division. In his own house, Casas successfully divided the ground floor into distinct public and private areas. The kitchen and service area - including a separate bedroom and bathroom - were placed in the north cube structure. A studio and a guest bedroom and bathroom are located on the opposite side. The entire space is connected by the vast living room flanked by wood terraces on both ends. An infinity pool appears to be spilling over to soak the surrounding flora.



A floating Cumaru stairway leads to the first level, where one finds the master suite in the southern cube. A narrow bridge crosses over the middle of the living room and leads to an additional guest bedroom, bathroom and a home theater.

The main objective of Casas' design brief for the House in Iporanga was to provide an escape into the Brazilian forest. He has accomplished the creation of a personal retreat, a place where he is able to relax and recharge. By Andrew J Wiener


Lifestyle

November 30 -0001




The little brand blurb that accompanies this new range of luxury motorcycle helmets from Ateliers Ruby is “good looks - for everyday heroes and heroines”. Which is just too cute. So is the story behind them.



Parisian designer Jerome Coste drew on Steve McQueen iconography, old-school racing cars and quite possibly the six separate head traumas he’s survived when he set about developing the Pavillion range of motorcycle accessories for Ruby. He also sold his own motorbike to finance the production of the full carbon fiber shells, the kind used in Formula One racing. The 'inside garnish' (to quote Coste) is a soft lining of decadent burgundy nappa lambskin, chosen for its comfort and anti-bacterial properties. Henceforth providing a 'reassuring cocoon'.

Clearly a design pedant, Coste has given his helmets a unique signature quirk - a small crest that runs along the top, as inspired by the armoury worn by medieval knights.

The Pavillion range is available in three colours Shibuya (peppermint, named after the Tokyo Shopping District), Concorde (black) and St Honore (white) and are accompanied by an equally sweet range of twill silk scarves in various retro racing car shades.

Again to quote from the branding blurb: ‘Lady Ruby, your guardian angel wishes you a bon voyage”. Bless. - Sarah Wilson

Ads

March 12 2008




To promote the line of Procter & Gamble's Wella Koleston HairCare Naturals hair colourant, H & C - Leo Burnett Beirut did thiscreative piece of outdoor where the woman's hair, die cut out of the billboard, allows the colour variations of day and night shine through.Brilliant!

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Lifestyle

March 19 2008




We don't go to the movies to admire the theatre, but would it kill theatre owners to build even one with an edge? Time and time again, we are disappointed in the new, mega multiplexes that are boring beyond belief in their sameness and recycled ideas. So, we must admit that there is not much to celebrate but are seeing little glimmers of hope and ingenuity once in a while.



One example is the AMC Pacific Place Cinema in Hong Kong refurbished by Hong Kong-based James Law. The entrance areas to the six auditoriums seating 600 in 1.2-meter wide leather seats plus the a VIP theatre for 39 offer some unusual eye candy, but we are still wanting more. If you know of a truly cool movie theatre, please let us know via the contact page on the bottom of the site. By Tuija Seipell.

Transportation

March 20 2008




We're back to tell you about another missed opportunity to add another supercar to your fleet. Bugatti has built the Veyron 16.4 'Pur Sang,' or 'pure blood.' The Veyron, a special addition version, is one of the world's fastest cars ever made with a top speed of over 400 kph. Again, all five models have been pre-purchased for approximately $2 million each. 

Bugatti has been off the radar for quite some time, but with the introduction of the 'Pur Sang' clad in a revealing paintless carbon and aluminium structure, the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer has clearly repositioned itself among the world's most exclusive and exceptionally engineered automobiles. By Andrew J Wiener

Stores

March 25 2008




Alexandre Herchcovitch has come a long way since his humble beginnings of making his mother's party clothes. Having launched his first collection in 1994, things have only gotten bigger for the Brazilian-born designer.

Trained at the Catholic institution Santa Marcelina College of Arts in Sao Paulo, his designs have been sent down the runways of New York, Paris and London. Best known for avant-garde designs and eclectic prints, his trademark skulls became an icon of Brazilian youth in the nineties.

2007 was a memorable year for Herchcovitch. It was a year of branching out, particularly with his redesign of the uniform for McDonald's employees in Brazil, and the opening of his first store abroad. In this daring project, Herchcovitch chose Tokyo where a good part of his collections are purchased and where he has become somewhat of a fashion guru.

The 1,076sq ft store, which sits in the hip Daikanyama district carries his men's, women's and denim collections and is operated in partnership with Japanese fashion distributor and retailer H.P. France.

Changing the way the world thinks about Brazilian fashion, coupled with his new Japanese store and concessions in New York, Herchcovitch is fast becoming a big and serious name in the fashion world. By Brendan McKnight.

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Music

March 26 2008




Hot Chip's new album 'Made In The Dark', is a wild ride. From thepopping, stomping squelches and whistles of 'Out At The Pictures', tothe LCD Soundsystem-esque groove of 'Ready For The Floor', the albumjumps frenetically between styles and influences.

With moments of delicate intimacy, soulful croons and straightforwarddance-pop, Hot Chip truly are the kings of hipster electro-pop.

Full of infectious, imaginative hooks and schizophrenic mood and tempochanges, you can lose yourself in 'Made In The Dark'. With somuch to process, it's an album that will reveal its more subtleelements on repeat listens.

Music for sound-tracking times of bliss and glee. By Nick Christie myspace.com/hotchip
 

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Transportation

March 31 2008



We've often wondered how certain high-end brands manage to maintain their global exclusivity especially as the number of millionaires and billionaires continues to skyrocket. Drive down prominent streets in Beverly Hills, Dubai, London and you're certain to pass more than a handful designer Italian and German sportscars. Chances are the valet parker at your local Ritz Carlton will have sat behind the steering wheel of cars totaling more money than most of us could only dream of making in a lifetime. 

Thankfully the expert minds at Ferrari have devised a plan nearly guaranteeing you'll have a difficult time parallel parking between the same Ferraris your neighbours are driving around town. Ferrari customers are undoubtedly accustomed to getting what they want out of their cars, but now the ability to add personalisation has become paramount - and here's all you need to know:



Book a trip to the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy where you will meet with a consultant in a special dedicated atelier area. Rivaling a personal fitting by Valentino for the Oscars, your consultant will welcome you to the new One-To-One Personalisation Program where you will design your own Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, accessory by accessory, detail by detail. 

The front-engined rear-wheel drive flagship Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is the only two-door four-seater in the line. The 612 is available with Ferrari's SuperFast gearbox that allows a driver to shift the paddle shifters located on the steering column in an astonishing 100 milliseconds. Whilst shiftting away, the V12 is capable of reaching top speed of 320 kph. 



The new model comes complete with an electrochromic panoramic roof that covers the length of the top of the cabin. With a turn of a knob, the entire ceiling changes from opaque to translucent, instantly adjusting the level of sunlight that may penetrate the interior. 

OK, so we’ll admit that Ferraris are not quite as common as we make them sound, but we’re also sure it’s refreshing for some of you to know that with the assistance of a personal design consultant, you can soon be cruising the streets in a truly unique Ferrari. By Andrew J Wiener



Travel

January 18 2010

When in Barcelona, you will want to check into one of the several new or refurbished and distinctively cool hotels that have opened there recently. Among them, W Barcelona, located on La Barceloneta and designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, and the swish apartment residences of El Palauet that we featured in October.


 
The latest hotel launch capturing design media attention is Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group operates in 25 countries, but this is its first entry into southern Europe. Mandarin Oriental Barcelona’s official opening was celebrated in November 2009 with a lavish gala attended by the city’s style leaders and elite.


 
The hotel’s cool factor is a lucky combination of three elements: The convenience of the central location on Passeig de Gràcia, the good bones of the refurbished 20th-century former bank building, and most significant, the tour de force of design by Spanish-born Milano-based architect, Patricia Urquiola, responsible for the interior decor of the 98-room hotel, including most of the furnishings.


 
Urquiola is best known for her prolific career in designing clean-lined furniture and accessories for brands such as Foscarini, B&B Italia, Alessi, Capellini, Cassina, Knoll and Moroso. At Mandarin Oriental Barcelona she has created a strong sense of timeless elegance by using white confidently and lavishly, and by applying a Scandinavian sense of scale and clean lines.

To soften the linear angularity, Urquiola added beautiful touches that reflect the weightlessness and precious fragility of origami or intricate lace. The overall effect is stunning. - Tuija Seipell

Stores

April 2 2008



Since being established by Dennis Pahitis twenty years ago, Aésop skin care has become an uncontested success story in the notoriously fickle beauty industry — focused on providing its worldwide clientele with the highest quality botanical skin care, rather than subscribing to mainstream-cosmetic anti-aging hype. Aésop now have 78 international stockists, plus 20 signature stores including stores in Paris, London, Sydney and their most recent Melbourne addition, Flinders Lane.

In keeping with Aésop tradition — that every store is different; conceived and designed individually so as that each store is a reflection and celebration of its location — the Flinders Lane store does not disappoint, providing its customers with a design and infrastructure that is just as alternative as Aésop’s skin care products. Located in one of Melbourne’s most interesting precincts, the Flinders Lane store interior is made entirely of industrial-grade cardboard; from the display shelving, to the massive eastern façade, and even the counter tops— proving that cardboard can be both striking and structurally sturdy if it’s engineered well.



Designed by local interior architects Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux of March Studios, the ambient new store has drawn attention from all sorts of passers by. Store manager, Kate, says she wasn’t expecting how amazed customers would be by the store’s design. “It’s clear it’s a very tactile environment. Most people come in and tend to want to touch it all.”

The Flinders Lane store is located at Shop 1C, 268 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. For a full list of Aésop products and stockists visit www.aesop.net.au. By Anna Byrne.


Music

July 3 2008




Ah Presets, you haven't let us down. When a pre-release copy of The Presets new album 'Apocalypso' landed on the Coolhunter desk last week, it was with great anticipation that we gave it a first spin. And Bam! straight away, it hit us - that crispness of sound, Julian Hamilton's semi-comatose delivery and the wailing synths - it was indeed The Presets we have come to know and love. 'Apocalypso' is a more complete album than its predecessor 'Beams', the songs more fully formed and subtly layered.

With the pounding 'My People' a club staple for months now, the album's second single 'This Boy's In Love' has all the hallmarks of glittering synthpop classic with its rising verses and dream-like chorus backed by tear-drop piano keys.  Elsewhere, 'If I Know You' sails by on skittering hi-hats and while Hamilton croons atop pulsating bass. On the album closer 'Anywhere', The Presets get emotional as sparse four-to the floor drums and empty vocals get overtaken by bouncy synth stabs and a New Order-esque, lighters-in-the-air crescendo.

The new album 'Apocalypso' drops on April 12, followed by a world tour. It's going to be a monster year for The Presets. By Nick Christie.

www.myspace.com/thepresets
 

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Architecture

April 8 2008




Zaha Hadid's silvery building resembling a sub-surface ferry or a space ship is the winning entry in the competition for the design of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in the ancient city of Vilnius, capital and the largest city of the Republic of Lithuania.

Although Vilnius is one of Europe's smallest capitals, it has a long, strong and culturally rich history, beautifully reflected in its well-preserved Old Town with cathedrals dating back to the 12th century. The Pritzker prize-winning architect Hadid's futuristic building will be an arts centre and a museum, housing selected collections of both the New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the St. Petersburg- based State Hermitage Museum.




The jury selected Hadid's (Zaha Hadid Architects) design over those of equally famous architects Daniel Libeskind (Studio Daniel Libeskind) and Massimiliano Fuksas (Studio Fuksas).

A feasibility study, commissioned by the recently established Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Centre in Vilnius, is expected to be completed by mid-June 2008. Depending on its outcome, the museum could open as early as in 2011. By Tuija Seipell

Travel

June 1 2009

The travel world is full of designer boutique hotels and resorts - cities and seaside locations are teeming with them. Winter resorts, on the other hands, have left a lot to be desired in the design stakes. Until now. Developers, architects and designers are turning their attention to ski resorts, help to redefine the experience of the typical ski holiday.



Taking inspiration from classic European chalets, sophisticated, design-led ski resorts and lodges are popping all over the world. From Australia to Austria, the new ski holiday is as much about the experience of kicking back in beautiful surroundings at the end of a long day of skiing, as it is about the runs.

Paul Hecker is the interior designer behind some of the most beautiful public interiors in Australia, including the Prince Hotel in Melbourne and more recently in Sydney, the Ivy and stunning adjoining penthouse hotel suite. The latest from Hecker and his Melbourne-based team at Hecker, Phelan & Guthrie, is the new ski lodge, Fjall, located at Falls Creek in Victoria.       



Falls Creek is on its way to becoming something of a hot spot for those seeking the luxe version of a ski holiday.  The Hecker designed Fjall lodge joins the hip Huski Lodge and Frueauf Village; luxurious architect-designed self-contained apartments and chalets. Next month the ski town will add another high-end resort to its stable, with the Quay West Resort & Spa Falls Creek set to open its doors.



Fjall lodge consists of spacious, private apartments. With the Fjall, Hecker has taken the modern Scandinavian chalet aesthetic up a notch. Working with a crisp, very Nordic palette of charcoal, white, black and pale gray, Hecker brings a strong sense of nature into the interiors, working with  smoked and limed oak timber floors and wall paneling, and custom-designed oak timber joinery. Calacutta marble, heated balconies and cozy window banquettes complete the sophisticated space. - Lisa Evans

Photography - Peter Bennetts
 

Offices

June 2 2009

While most of us must accept sitting just AT our regular desks, the creatives at Hamburg’s Syzygy agency  get to sit IN their swanky, new desks. Thinking up ads and interactive campaigns for clients such as Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Fujitsu, will most likely go a whole lot smoother when your workplace is custom-designed for you.
 
The office of Syzygy Hamburg (they also have offices in London and Frankfurt) was created by Christoph Roselius and Julian Hillenkamp, the two founders of eins:eins architecten in Hamburg.


 
The sleek, white bullpens are not as inflexible as they may seem. On the contrary — the various configurations are endless, but the desks always join together and form a whole. This allows for close cooperation and reinforces the feeling of everyone being in the same boat. The flexible desks also make it possible to turn tight and tough-to-utilize spaces into productive working environments.


 
Syzygy’s staff is lucky in other ways, too. Their cool office is located in the central part of Hamburg, near the city hall, the Binnenalster artificial lake, and the upscale shopping promenades of Jungfernstieg and Neuer Wall. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? -Tuija Seipell

Architecture

April 11 2008




The owner couple of this beautiful pre-fabricated cabin on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada, has been coming to their large recreational property for a quarter-century. But the big property in a great recreational location translated into lots of overnight guests and no privacy for the owners.

They felt they needed a 'getaway,' a place at their own property where they could capture the peace and serenity of the surrounding four-season nature without disturbing any of the existing trees or structures. They needed a place that remembers what the Simcoe cottage-country is all about.

The brilliant, award-winning solution by Toronto-based Taylor Smyth Architects is the one-room Sunset Cabin, a real cabin with a decidedly contemporary feel. The wonderful cabin has won several architectural and design awards and met the clients’ needs perfectly.

It is a one-room (190 square feet in size), self-contained box that was built by furniture craftsmen in four weeks in a Toronto parking lot and installed on site in 10 days.

Three of the exterior walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and of those, two are encased in horizontal cedar-screens for privacy, shade and light effects inside. One of the cedar screens has a large opening providing a direct view of the sunset from the built-in bed. The rest of the screen has random smaller gaps to allow various vignettes of the surrounding nature and to create fantastic light patterns inside. The slats are positioned so that there is no direct view in from the outside, but at the same time, it the inside feels almost wall-less.



The untreated cedar of the outer structure will turn silvery grey over time, helping the cabin blend in with its natural surroundings. In addition, the roof, visible from the existing main building, is a green roof planted with native plants of the area, further ensuring that the building mixes in with the landscape rather than sticks out in it.

All interior surfaces are unpainted birch veneer plywood, including the built-in storage cabinets. Doors at both ends of the cabin allow for cross ventilation. The interior floor extends outside to form a deck where the rustic feel continues with the screened-off outdoor shower.

The owners are apparently spending more time at their property than ever before. They enjoy the cabin year-round, heating it by a wood-burning stove and, if needed, electric heaters. Most likely, they are not inviting guests to share the space, so we can join in only by admiring the images. By Tuija Seipell


Ads

April 15 2008




To promote the exclusive thrillers and horror films on 13th Street, the toilet of a nightclub in Hamburg was specially prepared. Just after entering the room, the light suddenly goes out and the room is bathed in Black light. And now a bloody crime scene becomes visible on the floor and walls: "See what others don't see. 13TH STREET. The Action and Suspense Channel."

Ad Agency - Creative Director: Bernd Kramer

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Transportation

August 31 2012

The trend for customizing 1970s and 1980s motorcycles continues apace. The blinged-out chopper with raked forks and shiny paint is officially dead: today, customers are demanding sleek, minimal café racers.



The shift was inspired a few years ago by workshops such as Denmark’s Wrenchmonkees. Today, builders like Café Racer Dreams (Spain) are buying up and stripping down old Hondas and BMWs. Like the CRD machine we’re looking at here. Called “Brownie”, it’s a 1980 Honda CB750 on a diet.



It’s also a textbook example of the mods that custom bike fans are looking for in 2012. The electrics are hidden—even the battery—to throw focus on the mechanical components. The brown, gold and black color scheme is low-key but luxurious, like a fine piece of leatherwork.


 
Unlike many builders, Pedro Garcia of CRD is not a one-trick-pony. His latest creation is a 1971 BMW R75/5 (above) converted for dual sport use. When not being ridden around the streets of Paris by its new owner, it’s blasting down fire trails and kicking up dust.



And the Wrenchmonkees, who kick started it all? Things are good in the state of Denmark. There’s a clothing line in the works and they’re collaborating with major brands such as Levi’s. They’re even getting commissions from switched-on nightcubs, with the “Club Black” series of display bikes (above). - Chris Hunter, editor of Bike EXIF

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

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







Kids

September 8 2009

Learning to ride a bike is one of the most valuable skills a child can learn, helping them master the art of balance, a skill crucial to so many other physical activities and sports. UK based Kiddimoto has created a range of cute-looking wooden bikes which are designed to teach young children precisely that - balance. The slimline, lightweight birch plywood bikes are easy steer and manoeuvre and feature proper rubber tyres, providing a smooth ride for little bottoms by gliding across outdoor surfaces.

""
 
The Kiddimoto range comes in four styles, each based on a motorbike classic. From the 'Scooter', inspired by the mod scooter of the 60s, and the 'Chopper', a nod to future Easy Riders, to the Super Bike, based on real race bikes and the Srambler, a more traditional bike shape - the range has something for every dad, we mean, kid to get into. Now there's a thought. Do they make them in adult sizes? - Lisa Evans 


 

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Music

September 1 2009

You’re in a difficult position when you find a new band and are ready to swear your undying love to them but you find out they’ve released one solitary song. You don’t know where they’ll go from here, you don’t know if you’ll even like it when they do because of you listened to that one little tune around fifty times already. Undeniably, you’re in a quandary. I know the feeling. For the last month we’ve been playing to death a track called Look At Me by UK synth-poppers Mirrors. It’s filled with pillow-soft synth bubbles, chilly atmospherics and glumstruck vocals which result in a resolutely stunning three and half minutes. But it’s not enough. As is common with such cases of new-band fixations, we had to know more about this enigmatic four piece.
 
As it turns out, Mirrors are as shrouded in mystery as their music, with scarcely little about the band yet to be revealed other than that they came together following the unfortunate conclusion of Mumm-Ra. “Since the growth of the Internet as a promotional tool, bands have become extremely accessible, and the mystique has vanished,” Mirrors says. “Mirrors aim to preserve that sense of mystery. Everything about us is presented subject to our vigorous aesthetic. What might be expected with other bands, we do not expect from ourselves.”
 
Beginning with such a bold and ambitious declaration as that makes it clear. Mirrors know what they want. Call it calculated, but I’d call it considered. They’re constructing an environment around the band itself, which, like Look At Me, is frighteningly easy to become immersed in.
 
“Our aspirations are to make a sort of electronic soul music,” Mirrors reveals. “. Individually, we had all come from a background of traditional pop music, and each of us felt as though we had taken it as far as we wanted to. Gradually we started falling in love with the seemingly limitless possibilities of electronic music as well as those artists that have managed to imbue stark electronic sounds with emotion and feeling.”
 
From here, Mirrors confirm that their next move is to reward the faithful and get out some new material. “We’re currently working towards an album’s worth of material. The process is very slow as we effectively build our songs in the studio, piece by piece until we have something that fits the band aesthetic. It’s very methodical, but it works. We want to alter the way people approach commercial/pop music. We want pop music to be an experience, not just a song.” Sounds like a plan. – Dave Ruby Howe

 

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Art

September 8 2013

Francoise Nielly's massive, colourful portraits are delicious to look at. Even more wonderful – and particularly infuriating to those of us who have timidly dabbled in painting – is to watch her create them. She, in her confident, strong hand, wields her painting knife shaped like a miniature garden trowel, and makes painting look easy like cake frosting. She paints her vivid, passionate canvases — some as large as 78 x 25 inches (195 x 62 centimeters) -- from black-and-white photos, further proof of her unfailing ability to interpret light, shadow, hue and tone by applying brilliant colors and daring strokes. 

Born in Marseille, brought up near Cannes and Saint-Tropez, and now living in Paris, Nielly is at home among bold contrast and dazzling light. To add to her likeability, here is the list of her loves: Life, wide open spaces, sushi, blue lagoons, the Internet, humor, books, Paris, New York and Vancouver.

Three of her prints are available exclusively through TCH online store - 1000mm x 1000ml metallic print on acrylic with free delivery in Australia/NZ.

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House

November 26 2009

These sculptural cast-concrete planters caught our eye as being perfect when presented in a massive row poolside at a Zaha Hadid-designed beach house. The tallest version of these is 45 inches (about 110 centimeters) high, an impressive presence even without plants. We’d imagine these will look spectacular used to display a bunch of tall dry grasses or branches, outdoors or in. The planters, made by Phoenix, Arizona-based Kornegay Designs, are called the Quartz Series.

The company has no inventory, as each planter is made to order. Custom colors shown in the image are azurite, citrine, topaz and amethyst. We also like Kornegay’s beautifully rounded Dune Series planters. - Tuija Seipell

Stores

September 11 2009

The multi-talented Dutch designer Maurice Mentjens impresses once again, this time with the design of the first store, opened this summer in Arnhem, for Dutch fashion label Ami-e-toi.

The label’s first collection, designed by young Dutch designers, including Denmark-born Claes Iversen, launched with a flashy catwalk show at the Arnhem Fashion Biennale in 2007. The label is part of Stichting Mode Met een Missie (Fashion with a mission foundation) which, in turn, was founded in 2005 to help women with problems caused by addiction, homelessness or psychiatric issues. In “teach-them-to-fish” spirit, the women are taught to make the Ami-e-toi label’s clothing and so gain a profession, and self respect.

In Mentjens’s luxurious store design, Art Deco meets boudoir and is juxtaposed with red-velvet sofas, oak parquet flooring, marble, busts on mirror-top tables, and cameos on the wall. Two massive mirrored walls ensure that the fashions and the fashionistas are visible in endless repetition. The idea “Nothing is quite as it seems” is part of the design concept, echoing the contrast between have-it-all fashionistas and the women who make the fashions. - Tuija Seipell

Photography - Arjen Schmitz

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




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.




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


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



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


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.





Stores

May 14 2008



If you were led to a department store’s make-up and perfume floor blindfolded, would you know where you are when the blindfold came off? What store, what city, what country? Probably not, as one looks just like the other. Unimaginative, predictable, boring. Not so at Berlin’s 100-plus year-old Kaufhaus des Westens, one singular store known by Berliners as KaDeWe. Specializing in luxury, style and indulgence, KaDeWe has never shied away from swanky design or striking displays. This time, they’ve allowed Hamburg-based Bilen & Born GbR  to create two radically different areas on the ground-floor perfume department. One is a white space-agey multi-label area inspired by the act of breathing in fragrances, where spirals and rounded shapes draw the visitor in. The other is a baroque-inspired space with a contemporary twist. With its glass mosaic floor, studded pillars and ceiling with more than 8,000 Swarovski crystals, these surroundings are memorable even if the brands are the same as everywhere else. By Tuija Seipell



Architecture

May 15 2008



Some of us think that our far off ancestors lived in the trees — and during our childhood, when our thoughts and memories are most pure, we yearn to climb trees growing in our gardens, in our parks, in our cities.  As we get older, the urge to climb trees subsides as we ride elevators up to our offices in the sky and look out across the cities where we live.  Yet occasionally, as we’re sealed up tight in our artificially climatic spaces, we long for a breath of fresh air.



At a German company called baumraum  an architect, a landscape architect, an arbologist, and a craftsman design modern, natural and solidly constructed treehouses. Each treehouse project is assessed individually. The team takes into consideration both the condition of the environment and of the tree, with the size and features the clients desire.  


baumraum offers a range of wood-types as well as options for insulated walls.  Treespaces can be outfitted with sitting and sleeping benches, storage spaces, a mini-kitchen, heating, glass windows, lighting, as well as a sound system for multimedia.  Every piece is pre-fabricated in a workshop, and then brought together on site.



Sound like something you’ve been wanting?  The baumraum team offers free consultation where they can talk you through every option available as you put together your dream treehouse.  The treehouses can span multiple levels and sit among several trees.  Treehouses are mostly secured with ropes, thereby minimising the impact of stress to the tree or trees on which the house is placed.  And if a tree is particularly weak, or even if a treehouse is wanted where there is no suitable tree, stilts are used to guarantee people everywhere can once again climb trees. By Andrew J Wiener.



Architecture

May 19 2008




There’s a new planet in the solar system and it’s called Luxury. Actually, it is here on earth, on a little-known island called Nurai, located northeast of Abu Dhabi city.

The 130,000-square-meter island is about to be transformed into an achingly glamorous and luxurious resort and exclusive private residential estate, comprised of one boutique luxury hotel resort with 60 suites, 31 beachfront estates and 36 water villas.



The mammoth project is a collaboration between New York based Studio Dror, led by Dror Benshetrit, that has designed the residences, and the Paris-based firm AW2 are responsible for the design of the hotel.

The sheer scale of the project is awe-inspiring; the incredible multi-storey water villas alone will span 515 square metres each, comprising of three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a private rooftop garden with spa pool, private infinity pool, multiple decks, outdoor barbeque area, gourmet kitchen and concealed service quarters. No doubt Tom & Katie are making their reservations already.



As for the private “Seaside” residences (which are sure to be snapped up by Saudi Princes and oil shieks because they will probably be the only ones who can afford them), the five bedroom-six bathroom estates span across between 3,000 — 6,050 square metres.
 
Each “Seaside” estate will include a private beach and garden, rooftop garden with spa pool, infinity swimming pool, indoor reflecting pools, concealed service quarters, entertainment patios, outdoor dining areas, chef and show kitchens and outdoor showers.

The resort is due to open in 2010 and residences start at €20 million. By Lisa Evans



Stores

May 22 2008



After becoming one of the world's hottest boutique botanical skincare ranges, the Australian-based Aesop brand is now making a name for itself in the world of innovative retail design, injecting a large dose of cool into the concept of sustainability. If you thought the brand's Melbourne "cardboard" concept store was clever (all of the merchandising stands were made from recycled cardboard), you'll love its brand new Adelaide "bottle" boutique. The store's ceiling is crafted entirely out of recycled bottles, precisely arranged in a wave pattern. Who said green had to be dowdy?

These new Australian stores are part of a big phase of expansion for Aesop, which has also just opened boutiques in Paris and London's swanky Mayfair. By Lisa Evans



Architecture

May 28 2008



Antwerp, Belgium-based one-year-old sculp(IT) is a partnership of two architects, Pieter Peerlings and Silvia Mertens. They have recently completed a clever office, residence and studio for themselves in what they call “Antwerp’s narrowest house” located in Anwerp’s former red-light district. They took a 2.4-meter (7 feet 10 inches) wide space between two buildings, erected a steel skeleton in it and installed four wooden floors, one each for work, dining, relaxing and sleeping, plus a bath tub on the roof.



A one-piece staircase connects the floors. The walls are all glass, allowing light in and creating a feel of space. In a nod to the area’s “exhibitionist” past, each “window” to the street has a black frame emphasizing the showcase or display aspect. The multi-color lighting scheme completes the seedy notion. By Tuija Seipell



Music

June 3 2008



Breaking up can be hard. Clearly, nobody told the Futureheads this little fact of life. After the ‘heads and their label 679 went splitsville, the band haven’t slowed down a bit.

On their new cut, The Beginning Of The Twist, the Sunderland four-piece come off all perky and energised without the strings attached feel that sometimes comes with the label world.

That track has their classic neo-wave jerky guitar sound, ideal for kids in Converse All Stars to freak to at their local indie disco, all mixed with a twist of big-time production from the golden fingertips of Youth (Primal Scream, The Verve).

Here I was thinking they’d disappeared with Kaiser Chiefs to planet suck, but the Futureheads are back and they sound better than ever. By Dave Ruby Howe.

Offices

June 2 2008



At the end of last year we filled you in briefly on the evolution of office design from autonomous, uninspiring closed spaces to the ubiquitous cube and finally the latest incarnation of creative, motivational and dynamic workable environments.  And now we’re back to tell you about one of the latest projects from the architecture and design firm Camenzind Evolution: Google Zurich.

And what is truly remarkable about this project is that Carmenzind Evolution delivered exactly what Google desired, while not exceeding the costs of many conventional interior office fit-outs.  The design team began by working closely with Google through the pre-design process by interviewing all 350 employees with the intention of incorporating their ideas into a new workspace.  Because many companies spend excessive amounts on furniture and finishes that have nothing to do with how the employees work and interact within the space, the final design resulted in elements from which the so-called ‘Zooglers’ would benefit most.



Stefan Camenzind, the design firm’s founding partner, reveals the essential considerations that led to the innovative creation for the new office space in Zurich: staff knows better than a management committee what works best based on personality types; flexibility of space allows employees take ownership and feel like they belong; communal areas can and should be outlandish and inspiring; bold, clean colour will successfully change the character of the room; cash is always well-spent on an extraordinary coffee machine rather than on soda or junk food; and finally, it’s OK and even recommended to splurge on a few signature items rather than going all out on carpet, furniture and chairs, all of which can amount to spending too much on the stuff no one notices anyway.



Keeping all that in mind, let’s dissect Google’s new EMEA Engineering Hub located within walking distance of Zurich city centre in the ‘Hurlimann Areal.’  The building was originally a brewery that has been converted in to a vibrant mixed-use development of residential and commercial spaces, including shops and a spa hotel. The Google offices comprise seven storeys of 12,000 square metres of floor space for up to 800 employees.

A diverse team of Zooglers was assembled and represented the entire staff by approving and rejecting nearly every aspect of the interior fit-out.  Carmenzind Evolution was never given a specific design brief, but instead followed the directions and recommendations given by the steering committee.  Another unique element included in the design process was the involvement of a psychologist who administered a survey to each employee identifying both emotional and practical requirement of the Zooglers.



The final design strategy involved the creation of highly functional, yet somewhat basic individual workspace surrounded by proportionally larger, highly stimulating communal areas and meeting spaces.  Open-plan workspaces were created for 8-10 employees, whilst glass-partitioned offices were built for smaller work teams allowing for both transparency and light from the outside, as well as creating the required degree of privacy from within.  And because the average Google worker moves workstations twice a year, each area has to be exceedingly flexibly and adaptable. 

Every floor is individually themed and colour-coded allowing for effortless orientation.  The fifth floor, the history floor, was designed to resemble an old library parlor.  The meeting room has large overstuffed sofas and chairs, dark, velvet curtains, a fireplace and a chandelier.  The fourth floor is the green floor — the environment floor.  The communal spaces have large, cocoon-like meeting areas amidst a forest of tree trunks.  Zooglers can slide down a pole from the floor above into the space.  And the third floor’s theme is Switzerland.  The floors have carpets that look like snow, and ski gondolas have been converted into meeting spaces.  Igloo Satellite Cabins allow work teams to close themselves off to their surroundings and attend videoconferences with peers around the world. 



Other noteworthy communal areas include an aquarium water lounge where workers can chill out in foam-brick-filled bathtubs; a massage spa and a games room to play billiards, foosball and other video games; the Milliways cafeteria accessible via a large spiral slide where chefs use local produce to offer fresh meals; and a fitness studio offering group yoga and Pilates classes.  And as each communal area is dispersed throughout the seven floors, Zooglers are encouraged to circulate and explore thereby increasing their interaction and communication with co-workers from every department. 

We have to admit we’re huge fans of socially-inclusive design processes — and the design team at Carmenzind Evolution were dedicated to insuring the wants and needs of each Google employee in Zurich were met — and usually even exceeded.  Google, of course, is a highly innovative and effervescent company where their new relaxed work environment will undoubtedly inspire and motivate Zooglers to keep the company moving forward while conceiving provoking initiatives. By Andrew J Wiener.





Music

June 5 2008

Is it too early for lists?  Never, we say.  So here they are, all the songs that have set the bar so high for music in '08.

10 - Foals - 'Balloons'

These Oxford boys "fly balloons on this fuel called love".  So they own my favourite lyric so far this year.  They also sport snaky, crystal guitar lines and a gurgling brass section - what else can you do but sit back and lap it up?  Encore.



9 - Tokyo Police Club - 'In A Cave'

These young Ontarions, do it straight up.  The drum beat makes my neck snap, the guitars make me want to jump and the whole thing, in all its raw, snotty glory makes me feel like I did when I discovered punk for the first time. 



8 - Cut Copy - 'Lights & Music'

Even when they're cruising, Cut Copy churn out fabulously energetic pop gems. Tops.



7 - M83 - 'Graveyard Girl'

Would getting to second base in a cemetary be awkward/blasphemous? This makes it sound so right. And hot.


 
6 - Snoop Dogg - 'Sensual Seduction'

Snoop can do anything he likes, basically. He could ditch the blunts and 8-Balls for a harmonica and some overalls and get all country and western on us and he'd still drop a hot record.



5 - Santogold - 'L.E.S. Artistes'


Perfect pop. Without borders, without barriers. The best song from hands down the best indie-reggae rock-hop album, ever.



4 - The Presets - 'This Boy's In Love'


Like some forgotten gem from Depeche Mode's bombed out basement, This Boy's In Love thunders into the list. It's equal parts new romantic fey-pop and pure dancefloor dynamite. Brilliant.



3 - Vampire Weekend - 'A Punk'


Every time lead vocalist Ezra Koenig sings that hook: "Look outside, the raincoats gone" he dangles just one, excruciatingly good 'Say Oh!' off the end of it.  I wish he would have given me a more traditional 'Say Oh, oh, oh', but the fact he didn't is probably the reason I keep coming back for more.



2 - The Teenagers - 'Love No (Delorean Remix)'


Week old pepperoni pizza, Showgirls, broken English and blatant hipster narcissism. Yes, the Teenagers have it all.  And this Delorean remix somehow manages to make them even better.  Superb.



1 - MGMT - 'Kids'

Oh man.  The little rising synth, warbling like a bird to the sound of children playing. Is there are more uplifting intro to a song anywhere in the world right now? MGMT make you pump fists in the air, sing at the top of your voice, dance like a fool and smile until you hurt. Thank you MGMT.



By Nick Christie and Dave Ruby Howe



Music

June 11 2008




Seattle's Fleet Foxes are the perfect soundtrack to a cold, rainy afternoon. Like a calm Brian Wilson filtered through My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, the band's lead singer, 21 year old Robin Pecknold is a remarkable musical talent.

Like a church choir led by your favourite indie band, the Fleet Foxes sound is a mix of glistening, layered vocal harmonies, softly plucked guitars and a sense of longing and wonder that only open skies and vast wilderness can evoke.  

It sounds simultaneously now and forty and one hundred years ago.

Free of time, this album, this band, Fleet Foxes, are here to stay. By Nick Christie

Design

June 2 2009




You must feel comfortable being surrounded by really bright colours if you plan on studying at Tokyo's famous Senzoku Kaguen College of Music's latest addition. It is called Black Hole on the school's site, but Black Hall on the site of Terada design & Architects, the Tokyo-based architecture firm that designed it. We want to believe the school, especially when we know that one of the large studios is called Big Mouth. The Black Hole has recording studios, multimedia studios, electronic organ classrooms, PC labs, and practice studios for jazz, jazz vocal, pop and rock. In the otherwise basic hallways, intense wall and ceiling colours have become the main design element, and the way finding ' large-scale painted signage on the walls ' is the main artwork. Terada is an architecture and design studio established by the Osaka-born, 42-year-old Naoki Terada in 2003. - Tuija Seipell


 

News

July 5 2008




The World's Coolest Hotel Rooms - the first in a series of the cool hunter-branded books has just been published by Harper Collins Publishers (US). Next in the line will be The World's Coolest Houses, The World's Most Creative Work Environments, The World's Most Innovate Retail Stores, The World's coolest kids spaces/playgrounds and a few other special book projects.

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Kids

June 13 2008



To many of us it seems like advancements in technology are moving at an extremely accelerated pace, but to those who are following in our footsteps, the rate of change could not be fast enough. For some school children in Camden outside of London, Gollifer Langston’s prototype transportable Classrooms of the Future will deliver information and communication technology (ICT) on a flatbed truck in the form of an oblong gray pod capable of providing a sufficient ICT facility that many schools are unable to install within their own environments.

The mobile classroom will move from school to school, and is designed to hold 15 students at a time.  Once the pod is delivered, a set of hydraulics expands the unit wider, and creates an entrance as well as a stage and a small-cinema-sized screen for presentations and performances.  The work space will provide mainly high school students a place to explore music and filmmaking. The Classroom of the Future will have capabilities of adapting for additional needs as technology races beyond what even the next generation can predict. By Andrew J Wiener



Events

June 13 2008



In 1877, Antonio Fluxá went all the way from the island of Majorca to England to learn about shoemaking. Whatever he learned there, he put into action immediately and founded a shoe company that his grandson Lorenzo turned into Camper Shoes  in 1975. Today, the family's fourth generation is at the helm, the company is still based in Majorca and its shoes are sold worldwide. If you were lucky, you received an invite to this fun-and-games Campy party held in Germany recently, to celebrate the launch of the Spring/Summer 08 collection. AstroTurf, retro gear, great music and sand in your sandals. We're in. By Tuija Seipell



Food

June 16 2008



Home Made Delicate Food Delivery on Milan’s via Tortona is homey in a supremely stylish way. And it should be, being as it is located right at the epicenter of Salone del Mobile. Owner Monica Bangari with architects Riccardo Salvi and Luca Rossire envisioned a real home and created a cozy flow from the living room to a little garden (by landscape architect Carlo Callari of Milan’s ARePA studios). The fabulous AGAPE bathtub on the patio is an example of the clever partnership deals that the architects made with several prominent suppliers — all of whom are keen to be present where the world of design mingles. The suppliers, including the architects, are listed as “sponsors” on the restaurant’s website, which perhaps is an indication of their home-grown version of “let’s all work together for a common good and forget being so greedy.” Salvi and Rossire have collaborated since 1998 and completed many innovative projects including the design of furniture and accessories for various manufacturers. The food at Home Made is healthy and fresh – slow food at its Italian finest – and take out is delivered in swanky and lean 50s retro baggies. Handy and simple menus are published online for easy online ordering. By Tuija Seipell




Lifestyle

June 19 2008




From Berlin Germany, Metrofarm Studio has produced a number of stunning, custom built DJ Desks. Having released a concrete DJ table a couple of years back, the new desks, in folded stainless steel and wood painted black and neon orange demand attention.  But they're not just for finely tuned vinyl slingers looking for the perfect ergonomic ratios to heighten their musical flow. They're for anybody with a musical mind and an eye for detail, looking to add spark to a lounge room, club or gallery.  It's art for the DJ's sake. By Nick Christie

Fashion

June 20 2008




Collaborations are the way forward now in a rapidly changing fashion landscape. Everyone from high-street retailers right through to smaller, niche labels are collaborating with interesting creatives from all disciplines in an effort to bring a bit of true individuality, exclusivity and authenticity back into fashion.



French label Surface 2 Air Paris has taken a unique approach to the concept by collaborating with cult French dance music outfit Justice to produce a mini collection. Epitomizing the personal style of Justice members, the collection includes 2 worn-in biker-style leather jackets, which are fitted to the body, in keeping with the �super-skinny� silhouette still favoured by most hipsters around the world. Jeans are also part of the collection, which, you guessed it�.are super skinny. The result is a hot look but one that requires the long-term abstinence from traditional French staples -  cheese and croissants.   Ah�what we do for fashion. By Lisa Evans
 

Lifestyle

June 20 2008




Not so long ago, you didn't even know the sex of your baby until the day of birth. Today, we'll know just about everything there is to know -- especially now that expectant mommies and daddies can gaze upon their progeny with the help of Echographic images 4-D. Apparently, these are the best medical images available. Echographic imagery is not new, but it has not been widely used for this purpose. For the old-fashioned among us, who feel that emailing even ultrasound images of your baby to everyone is intrusive and somewhat disturbing, this is bad idea. And one might wonder if we shouldn't be concerned about interfering with the baby's scarce months of peace and quiet before he/she must face our noisy, over-lit world. Add to this our impulsive need to share every single moment of our rather uninteresting lives with the rest of the universe, this could become rather tiresome. However, once the Genie is out of the lamp, there's no stuffing him back. So, expect to see images and video of unborn babies all over your desktop soon. By Tuija Seipell.

Fashion

June 25 2008




Mark our words: skinny legs are on their way out. Hard to believe, we know, given that every hipster from Hobart to Helsinki is sporting licorice legs right now but the tide is slowly turning, thanks to the world's top designers who have decided that they've had enough of the look. Enter Prada, who are still setting global trends and leading the way in true fashion innovation, despite being a global mega brand (which usually spells one thing: boring). The brilliant fashion house is on a mission to bring back seriously voluminous  "flares," but with a fabulous signature quirky Prada twist in the form of lavish fabrication and intricate prints. Not for the faint-fashion hearted. 



Still with Prada, parts of their beautiful new shoe collection look as if they have slipped straight out of a Salvador Dali painting or some other strange alternative universe where there are no design rules. We love the decorative heels, which look more like pieces of grand, hand-carved furniture than a pair of pumps. They're almost too good to wear. By Lisa Evans

Food

June 25 2008




We�re constantly in awe of the incredible ideas coming out of the world of retail and hospitality interior design. Over the last few years we've seen an influx of creative new minds enter the field who are redefining the concept and making their own rules. The latest inspiring example of innovative interior commercial design is the new Maedaya Grill & Sake bar in Melbourne, created by local design firm, Architects Eat. The sushi restaurant's interior, mostly 'bound' by ropes,  demonstrates the possibility of using ordinary recyclable material for hospitality projects without compromising sophistication.



The rope idea originated from the classic design of sake bottles, which are traditionally secured with ropes. The principal materials for this project are Manila ropes, timber and concrete, all reflecting natural elements such as vegetation and earth.

EAT  took a different path with the first-floor function room, which is in stark contrast with the ground-floor 'rope' room. Here they have created a modern, minimalist space with white-washed walls, Japanese black-stained timber flooring, simple timber benches and raw stainless steel canopies. By Lisa Evans.


 

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Stores

June 26 2008




It is risky to try to express luxury for an 18-28-year-old, wealthy male audience - and not turn them totally off. Rafael de Cardenas of New York's Architecture at Large took on this challenge with the rebuilding of Ubiq Philadelphia, the destination of choice for sneakerheads from far and wide.

As sneakers and streetwear do not lend themselves all that well to wine-colored velvet or chandeliers, de Cardenas approached the redesign of the large store with a cold and bold, simplified black-and-white palette. Hard, black-lacquered surfaces, op-inspired patterns, harsh lighting and simplified displays mix with beautiful detailing and white ceilings and floors.



Thrown into the mix is a posh back room, where streetwear is displayed in a traditional gentlemen's tailor room complete with dark-wood panels, antique furnishings, restored Victorian plasterwork and a magnificent, restored mahogany fireplace. It is all a nice fusion of mansion and showroom, inviting and cold, pared-down and rich. With his approach, de Cardenas has managed to teeter in the wobbly middle-space between the reassuring - 'you can tell this is expensive, can't you?' - and the nonchalant 'I don't really care.'



The entire store is up about a meter from street level, so you can be assured that you are seen, day or night, on display, shopping for your latest pair of Clae, Stussy Deluxe, Vans Vault, Original Fake, UMBRO by Kim Jones and many others. Apparently, rap artist Kanye West has shopped there, so it should be good to go for the rest. By Tuija Seipell

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Music

July 1 2008



Unlimited credits are in the offing for whoever brought the majestic Al Green together with producers ?uestlove and James Poyser. Green’s new album, ‘Lay It Down’, is the best cut of soul you’re likely to hear all year. With guest spots featuring Anthony Hamilton and John Legend this is one very modern album and an absolutely essential addition to your Al Green collection.

The other essential Al Green albums?!  The Cool Hunter has you covered.

Let’s Stay Together — 1972


No introduction needed, with a title track that stayed at number one in the US for nine consecutive weeks. The rest of the album may not have been chart-worthy, but it’s nevertheless just as strong.

The Belle Album — 1977

Expected at the time to be his last secular LP, Green produces himself and lets loose a cracking series of meditations from a man caught between the religious and the secular.

I’m Still In Love With You - 1972

Released at Christmas of 1972 this, the most slickly romantic of Green’s albums, begs to be busted out next to a roaring fireplace with only the most special of wine and women in accompaniment.

Gets Next To You — 1971

The template-setter for the early 70s Green albums, this sounds like tightly reigned wanton madness.  Absolutely brilliant.

Call Me — 1973

Built on Willie Mitchell’s fastidious production, this is Green’s artistic zenith.  A masterpiece that totally beguiles the listener. By Matt Shea.


Architecture

July 7 2008




Golf and drab are synonyms, right? And the mere mention of Golf and Country Club makes you run. Away. Fast. Golf may indeed have a bit ofan image problem but that did not deter the 'rich-based' Smolenicky & Partner Architektur when they were retained to work on the expansion of the venerable Sempachersee Golf Club located near Lucerne in Switzerland.



In addition to the new club house-restaurant building and the newmaintenance building, both of which Smolenicky designed, the expansionincluded a second 18-hole golf course. All of this has made Golf Club Sempachersee the largest golf club in Switzerland and, quite likely,the club with the coolest club house.



In their approach to the club house, Smolenicky sought to manifesttwo things: what they call the country character of the golfing culture of the Sempachersee course - and the course's worldly sophistication. They took their design cues from the rural warmth of a timber barn and the clear lines of a Maserati sports car. The resulting building, the sleek and minimalist interior, and themagnificent 180-degree panoramic views of the Sempachersee lake and theAlps might just be reasons enough to give golf another chance. Or, atthe very least, rethink what a golfing environment could look like. By Tuija Seipell

Events

July 7 2008




Karl Largerfeld never puts a pedicured foot wrong and hispresentation for Chanel at this week's Couture shows proves that he isstill one of the most innovative and creative minds on the planet. Largerfeld unveiled his collection amid an extraordinary 50-foot setmade up of steel-grey tubes inspired by organ pipes. Lagerfeld worked the tubes theme into the collection, showing tubular shapes in severaldifferent manifestations.

Lagerfeldis one of the masters of catwalk theatrics, dreaming up incrediblelarger-than life sets that seem to get more elaborate each season. Forsome of the best of recent shows check out Runaway Runway Success. By Lisa Evans via Fashionation

Music

July 9 2008

Economics, technology, ice hockey, tennis, personal grooming: the Swedish list of triumphs is long and extensive. With the new breed of indie pop artists emerging from the kingdom, the rest of the world has yet something else to be jealous about. Here are three brilliant exemplars:



When Lykke Li sings her voice is so delicate, so ethereal that she sounds as though she’s transmitting from a submarine stranded on the seafloor.  What’s more, Li brilliantly plays to this amazing strength, matching it to productions so lean and carefully stripped back that they drive you straight to the heart of her bristling songcraft.

Lacrosse



West coast-flavoured guitars struck through with bittersweet lyrics and anchored by a skin tight rhythm section, with their debut ‘The New Year Will Be For You And Me’ this sextet have written the soundtrack to the relationship you’ve just ended and are taking a weeklong surf trip to forget.  Sweet, cathartic tunes to sooth your irascible soul.

El Perro Del Mar



Imagine that Burt Bacarach once shared a piano stool with Brian Wilson while Neil Young crooned a lyric about the trio’s favourite girl. The girl they were singing about was probably El Perro Del Mar’s Sarah Assbring. Assbring matches beautiful laments on busted love with music that squeezes every last drop of hurt from her stricken soul. Amazing stuff. By Matt Shea

Events

July 8 2008



The team behind the Danish pavilion at the World Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain consists of three Copenhagen-based firms – architects Spektrum Arkitekter, graphic agency Loop Associates and communications agency 2+1.

The Danish pavilion houses Círculos de Agua (Circles in the Water), an exhibition about sustainable living and lasting solutions that echoes the World Expo 2008 theme of water and sustainability. Círculos de Agua highlights Danish technologies that have started out small yet have the potential to affect global change. The underlying message is that everything we do spreads like ripples through water. The pavilion will be used again at the COP15 Copenhagen – United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009.



The pavilion consists of five cylinders with five themes. The Wind Cylinder explains how the tiny country of Denmark with only five million inhabitants has become a leading supplier of wind power technologies. The Water Cylinder explores the planning of cities to cope with rising water levels and the extreme climate of the future. The Daylight Cylinder showcase natural light as a vehicle for both style and sustainability. The Biomass Cylinder extols the virtues of bio fuels produced from harvest waste. The Restaurant & Shop Cylinder, dedicated to creativity, showcases the latest in Danish design and crafts. The World Expo runs till September 14, so it's not too late to see it. - Tuija Seipell.

Music

July 14 2008



Hercules And Love Affair, the musical odyssey of DJ Andy Butler and the likes of Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons, are the current stars of the dance scene.  Their sound is so sleek and shiny that it makes you want to don your rollerskates and glide right back to the 70s.

Only, this is disco for the modern era. More underground than the pointless retro homages that clog up club playlists every weekend, there is something irresistibly dark and alluring hidden between the synths, trumpets and smooth vocals.   Music critics are fawning over the album and the fashionistas are becoming wise to their ways too (Chanel used ‘You Belong’ in a Fall/Winter fashion show).

Tracks like ‘Blind’ and ‘Hercules Theme’ are so fresh they leave you aching to strut your stuff. Only in a really cool John Travolta disco way.

So, as Hercules And Love Affair finally starts to get the recognition it deserves, The Cool Hunter pays tribute to the label/production house DFA Records behind what could be the album of 2008 by looking back over their best musical creations.

The Rapture ‘House of Jealous Lovers’

Although it’s little more than Talking Heads fighting Television over a synthesizer, this soundtracked a million teenage parties and had drunken scenesters admiring New Yorkers who had a penchant for jerky riffs and cowbells, rather than skinny jeans and Converse.

LCD Soundsystem ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’

James Murphy has a vocal style so unique it needs to be heard to be fully understood. Imagine a bear with a cold singing in the shower and you’re halfway there. Here, he simultaneously scares off the neighbours while inviting in for an impromptu rave.

The Juan Maclean ‘Happy House’

This dirty track is so sleazy it has ‘4am at some grotty indie disco, staring at some god awful concoction of a drink you’ve ordered and wondering whether that person with the angel wings and eyeliner is actually a man’ written all over it.

Hot Chip ‘Over and Over’

Not big but certainly clever, this is the sound of pre Nu Rave dance, when crisp yet clunky beats belonged to the streets rather than the High Street. By Rob Facey

Events

July 15 2008



What’s an hourglass? Oh yes, it’s an ancient time piece, flowing fine sand quietly marking time in a perfectly balanced glass. Or, as everyone should know by now, it is the main prop at Never Stand Still. It was the kick-off party to start the countdown for BMW’s European launch of the latest model of BMW 7 series, slated to take place this fall. The car, displayed in the world’s largest hourglass in the Red Square, has not received much coverage but as soon as the construction of the hourglass marvel began four months ago, online buzz about it has been consistent. The 12-meter-high glass contraption was the centerpiece of the party thrown to 400 invited guests and celebrities. At the start of the build-up, more than 180,000 silvery balls concealed the car that was gradually revealed as the balls fell to the lower level. Moscow is a strong and growing market for BMW, and what better place to strut its latest but the historic location against the backdrop of the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and G.U.M. — all veterans of many a communist-era motorized military parade. By Tuija Seipell



Music

July 21 2008



Joining together two modern musical madmen like Beck and Danger Mouse seems almost dangerous, like it could easily descend into a battle of two outrageous imaginations. Instead, ‘Modern Guilt’ comes off like a sonic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, where the different elements meld together so simply and naturally that it defies the incomprehensible bent of their partnership. Beck and his music have always belonged in the sixties and Danger Mouse’s captures this in a twisted dream state. You only need to taste 'Modern Guilt' once before you’re stuck in its kaleidoscopic rapture. - Matt Shea

Architecture

July 22 2008



Norihiko Dan
– born in 1956 in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan – is the designer of the beautiful Munetsugu Hall, completed in 2007 in Naka Ward, Nagoya, Japan. It is a privately-funded concert hall that continues the age-old but almost-dead tradition of wealthy arts patrons initiating and financing the creation of art spaces. Fluid, white wall shapes are the distinctive feature of Munetsugu Hall’s main performance space. The walls bring to mind artistic sweep marks left by a gigantic builder who in his boredom doodled in his mortar tray with a massive trowel and then let the shapes solidify.

Norihiko Dan has won several architecture awards in Japan and Taiwan including the Distinguished Architect Award of the Japanese Institute of Architecture and the ARCADIA Award Gold Medal in 2007. His work has been part of exhibitions in Japan, Taiwan, USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy and the UK. In addition to being a respected architect and educator, Norihiko Dan is also an architecture historian and writes novels and screenplays.

Munetsugu Hall’s generous benefactor is Tokuji Munetsugu who with his wife Naomi made a fortune in the restaurants business. Their company Ichibanya Co. Ltd. (based in Aichi, Japan) operates more than 1,000 curry and pasta restaurants under the names Curry House CoCo Ichibanya and Pasta de Coco. Munetsugu spent two billion yen to build the 310-seat concert hall. He has also set up a nonprofit organization to support welfare, sports and arts activities. - Tuija Seipell

Bars

July 23 2008



Clubbers and night cats in Beijing not only shake their booties to the hottest beats at the new ChinaDoll club, they are also surrounded by work from some of China's best contemporary artists. Founded by award-winning Chinese actress/producer Ai Wan and club designer Wu Ying, ChinaDoll was conceived and designed via their studio E.P.I.C. Design where the original club first opened in Beijing at the end of 2006.



Relocated now to the main strip in Sanlitun, the new club is prominently located on the top floor of the '3.3' plaza building. The good news for party-goers is that this venue is three times bigger, comprising a lounge, dancefloor and eight VIP rooms. With their motto The Art of Play', the interior of ChinaDoll takes art out of the gallery and into the club. The overall theme of the interior revolves around 'The Kiss' with passion and sensuality taking centre stage.



The work of six contemporary chinese artists is integrated into the interior, custom made installations and furniture, depicting for example sexy female forms, Chinese dolls or modern Chinese love lives. A glossy backdrop of lightboxes adorned with abstracted fashion photography references the brush strokes and vivid colours of chinese water colours. When illuminated, it creates an electric atmosphere making ChinaDoll a lolly shop for the eyes and an amusement park for the senses. - Jeanne Tan



Seen a new club/bar we should know about? Then get in contact with us



Design

July 30 2008



The aquatic complex Les Bains des Docks  (animation here), designed by the 2008 Prtizker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has just opened in the historical Port of Le Havre. Inspired by the Roman thermal baths, the 5,000-square-metre complex offers an eerily beautiful atmosphere of tranquility with the fantastic play of natural light soothing the eyes, the masterful acoustics pleasing the ears, and the pools and treatment areas taking care of the rest of the body.



Although the main “colour” of the complex is white, each section’s distinct atmosphere and hue is created by flowing water curtains, colour walls, and various textures and surface treatments. Each pool — lap-pool, children’s pool, whirlpools — is designed, shaped and lit to create a unique “private space” for its specific users. These seemingly enclosed areas help minimize echoing and sound carriage — an annoying aspect of most aquatic centres - as do the varying-height floors and ceilings, and the acoustic false ceilings. Saunas, a hammam, cold and hot baths, and a spa area with hydro-massage and aquagym areas complete the atmosphere of pampering and care. An external lagoon makes the summer use of the complex even more appealing.



The Docks in the south end of the ancient port city of Le Havre are the oldest docks in France. The area is under massive revitalization with the goal of making this a leisure, culture and shopping neighborhood. When completed, the area will include residences, a large park, a tropical greenhouse, cinemas, bowling alleys and a shopping center, plus a Nouvel-designed Sea and Sustainable Development Centre to be completed in 2011. The Sea Centre will be a showcase of shipping and sailing — exploring their economic and industrial significance as well as their environmental impact on coasts and estuaries. It will be a 120-meter-high metallic structure dominating the port and it will include exhibit areas, an aquarium, a meteorological station and a restaurant with panoramic, 360-degree views of Port of Le Havre.



Nouvel’s well-known public buildings literally span the world from New York to Reykjavik, Dubai, Soul and Tangiers. Recent interesting buildings include the bright-red research center for the maker of brakes for luxury cars, Brembo, in Italy. NouveI's masterpiece for La Philharmonie de Paris will open in 2012. - Tuija Seipell



Music

July 31 2008




Alan McGee, the man who gave the world Oasis and The Libertines, has found the latest diamond in the rough. Scottish band Glasvegas are a four-piece that manages to combine all that was good from the Ronettes-era with all that is bad from modern-day Glasgow to brilliant effect.

Despite their obvious influences that range from Phil Spector to Elvis, what they come up with is so remarkably unique that they sound like The Jesus & Mary Chain getting drunk and having a go at covering the Grease soundtrack.

They draw you in with euphoric and unbreakable walls of sound but there is something so unmistakably bleak - something so unmistakably Scottish - about their sound that, in 2008, they manage to say a hell of a lot more about the state of things than sweaty, prepubescent boys with guitars ever could.

Lead singer James Allan has done for a thick Glasweigan accent what Alex Turner did for Sheffield and what Mike Skinner did for Mockney.  And singing along in cod-Glaswegian is all part of the Glasvegas experience, as it is live where they excel. - Rob Facey

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Design

August 4 2008




Let's face it, most conventional medical interiors aren't exactly attractive. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to discover that most people are allergic to the blandness and sterility of clinic interiors. Well the new Allied Health clinic in Melbourne, proves that it IS possible for health and design (and a bit of fun) to go hand in hand.

Accommodating the rather unusual combination of podiatry, physiotherapy, pathology, dietetics and psychology, the clinic feels like '2001 Space Odyssey meets late nineteenth century Victorian'. Designed by the Melbourne-based studio Chameleon Architecture, the interior juxtaposes elements of heritage, science and future. Ornate period details like crystal chandeliers, cornices, skirting boards and ceiling roses provide a classical backdrop. Exploring the idea of the medical as molecular, large glossy white molecules or futuristic pods are planted throughout the clinic, serving as consultation suites. Once inside the suite/pod, the mood changes again. The interior of the pod, from the walls, ceiling, floors to joinery, is clad entirely in plywood stained with a clear lacquer which enriches and emphasises the grain of the wood. So instead of looking pale under the normally cold and harsh light of clinical spaces, visitors here are instantly bathed in a warm, healthy glow without any treatment having even begun. - Jeanne Tan

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Art

May 18 2008








Take a look at these incredible abstract and retroesque pieces by designer and illustrator Andy Gilmore. Born, raised and based in Rochester, New York, Gilmore applies the understanding of one practice with the other - applying the proportions of harmony to form and colour - colours as chords - and scales as tonal gradations, in order to create these geometric works of art.



His clients include: the new york times, foursquare outwear, seed magazine and the webby awards. If you love his work as much as we do, you can get your hands on a print (or even a t-shirt) over at Etsy


Andy was also the first illustrator we contacted to design a poster for our first offline event - TreeLife



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Travel

November 15 2008




“Someone has finally understood how the ultimate suite should look and feel,” was our chief globetrotter’s seldom-heard endorsement, when he encountered the recently opened four top suites and spa at Zürich’s Dolder Grand Hotel.
 
Designed in 1899 by Jacques Gros, the famed health spa/hotel has a perfect city location overlooking Lake Zürich and the Alps. The grand old hotel has been re-imagined as a modern luxury hotel by a star team of professionals - architecture by London’s Foster and Partners, interior design by United Designers, also of London, and the spa concept by spa-industry visionary, Arizona-based Sylvia Sepielli .


 
The star power continues in the four top-level suites inspired by four famed guests. The top-most, 4,300 square-foot (400 square-meter) Maestro Suite channels the style of Herbert von Karajan. The sweeping two-level suite with dashing classical undertones features red leather chairs, dark timbers, a circular tower dining room, pale-marble bathrooms with whirlpools and steam showers (and one with a sauna), massive windows and a lounge-style terrace.


 
The late Swiss surrealist painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti inspired the Carezza Suite on the top floor of the spa wing. Sculpturally inspired furnishings and organic shapes create a peaceful lounge feel, enhanced by the neutral colors and the modern fireplace. The two-bedroom suite has a separate living room, TV lounge and marble bathrooms.


 
Also on the top floor of the spa wing, the Masina Suite gets its dramatic inspiration from Giulietta Masina, actress and wife of Federico Fellini. Night-blue and soft white evoke a feel of elegance and smoky glamour. A large Fendi sofa and a flat-screen TV are perfect for film noir nights. Floor-to-ceiling windows add further drama. Orange sofas, dark wood panels and pink furniture adorn Suite 101 created to reflect the legacy of the Rolling Stones. The decor has a retro vibe and an edge with distinctive, casual luxury. The suite includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, an ensuite kitchen and meeting room for 10. - Tuija Seipell

Design

May 23 2010

Great, aesthetically pleasing design needn't be limited to traditional architectural forms such as houses and public buildings.



Utilitarian spaces, such as car parks, present architects and designers with a unique opportunity to bring beauty and harmony to the everyday functional spaces that are normally ignored by great design minds.

We're excited to report that the tide is changing, evidenced by these good-looking car parks.



Modern design is all about "experience" and these car parks pictured acknowledge that one's experience of a private or public place begins the minute they pull up in their car. Innovative developers and designers are recognising just how crucial this is - it's almost too late by the time the consumer arrives at the front door. The "experience" of good design starts well before that.

Our agency ACCESS is currently working with a few developers/city councils globally in creating the ultimate public car park and we're on the hunt for architects/designers who already have created in this space. In the know? Get in touch. Seen any other interesting car parks we should know about - send us tips - Bill Tikos

Art

September 17 2012

We may be leaning toward minimalist design and monochromatic surroundings, but we also admire artists and designers who can handle color well.
 
Francesco Lo Castro from Florida is currently drawing our attention with his multicolor paintings.


 
He uses oils and acrylics, spray paint and silkscreen as well as layered epoxy resin and gold leaf, usually on a wood base.
 
We love the combination of explosiveness and strict order, vibrancy and dreaminess, power and release in his work.
 
Lo Castro was born in Italy, grew up in Germany, and has been active in the Miami art scene for more than a decade.


 
He is currently working on producing 3D animations based on his paintings, set to premiere at UR1 Festival during Art Basel week - Bill Tikos

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Music

August 25 2010



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

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Art

September 22 2008




The name Gary Fernandez has started to appear often enough to warrant a closer look. Fernandez is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist based in Madrid, Spain, and currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His client list is impressive, ranging from advertising heavies DDB, McCann Erickson, JWT and Grey to superbrands such as Coca Cola, Nokia and Camel. His illustrations have appeared in numerous magazines and books.


 
Fernandez's intricate, retro-esque illustrations marry a liquid stroke with a rigid tension, which in turn projects an underlying seething mood and latent danger. For some reason, I'm thinking Dadaism and Salvador Dali mixed with the sixties London vibes and New York's retro fashion illustrations. At the same time, some of his work is almost whimsical and merry; evoking images from Cirque du Soleil and old European circus posters. Whatever you see, you are irresistibly drawn into his world.


 
A fantastic recent example is his elaborate illustration book titled Introduction to Fantastic Girls, Future Landscapes & the Most Beautiful Birds Ever Seen, available -- possibly -- on his site in limited quantities.


 
Gary Fernandez is also the founder and creative lead of the T-shirt brand VelvetBanana. The name VelvetBanana draws its parts from The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol banana cover for their first album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967).


 
Fernandez started VelvetBanana in 2005 with the goal of redefining the "Art Rock T-shirt" by producing thematic collections. The themes capture certain moods, songs or bands. The latest, Collection #3, is described as having electrifying, abrasive, furious and hypnotic graphics full of energy, although the photo book of the collection appears indoorsy and tame, with clean yet fashionably brooding models photographed against a pristine white background.- Tuija Seipell
 

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Events

August 15 2008




Forget the sport..some of the most interesting things happening at the Beijing Olympics are coming from clever sponsors who have dreamt up creative ways to promote their brands at the mega global event. We're loving the offering from Mini Cooper, who have dragged traditional Chinese street transport into the 21st century with these great bike-powered Minis. Samsung has been equally creative, giving Olympics' fans a chance to view all of the action from their own "private" alien-like pods. Both of these offerings are a lesson to global brands: get creative and innovative in your marketing or risk being drowned out by the noise. - Laura Demasi

Ads

August 19 2008

 

 



Thanks to Apple and its superior design, marketing, advertising and, well, anything else to do with creating and selling a product, most other global communications brands have languished in a kind of brand-image purgatory. Sony is fighting back with this great campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, helmed by art director Eron Broughton. The agency took Sony's earphones and literally mapped out the New York subway system, mimicking a traditional subway map. It's a simple idea but powerful in its execution, giving Sony a much-need dose of coolness. At last, other brands are thinking outside of the square. Now all Sony needs to do is apply that principle to its actual products. Innovate or die, guys. - Laura Demasi

 

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Transportation

August 26 2008




Quickly now, name a cool camper, caravan, trailer, motorhome or RV. Indeed, the only thing even close to cool in this category is a something retro. But this may be changing. Forget the 1973 Winnebago Mini Winnie, forget Shasta Airflyte, forget even the shiny retro Airstream, because a new generation of caravans is just being introduced at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf (August 30-September 7, 2008)
 
Visitors to Europe's biggest camper show are getting a first look at the prototype of Mehrzeller, a completely customizable trailer. While RV designers and manufacturers the world over were nodding off at the wheel, Theresa Kalteis and Christian Freissling, two students at Austria's Graz University of Technology's faculty of architecture, decided to make a move. Their thesis project on 'mobile living solutions' under professor Peter Schreibmayer was going to be not just a theory; it was going to become reality and something that will change the world of trailers.


 
They made the very simple assumption that the people who know best what the ideal camper needs are the people who will use it. On the Mehrzeller's project website, the designers explain (in German) that when their 'configurator' interface is fully functional in the spring of 2009, potential buyers can input their data and wishes, and order their unique Mehrzeller camper online. The name Mehrzeller can be translated as 'moreceller,' i.e. something with more cells. The name is fitting as the pods or units that form the Mehrzeller in various configurations do look somewhat 'cellular.'
 
The production will be based on the principle of mass customization, and production costs will not be significantly higher than those of standard campers. The basic architecture and design parameters remain the same, while the customers get to choose pretty much everything else. Using the configurator interface, they input the number and age of the people and animals that are going to be using the camper. Then they input the usage of space - eating, sleeping, cooking, working, entertaining, relaxing and so on - and the relative importance of each function. The system will then determine the floor plan and generate a 3D rendering. Next, the buyers select the materials and appliances. The program then calculates the price and creates the production specifications.


 
Mehrzeller will most likely move forward, and not remain just a crazy one-off prototype, because it has the backing of such heavyweights as BMW, 3M and many others. If you cannot catch the camper in Dusseldorf, you can see it at the Caravan Salon Austria, held in Wels October 15.-19, 2008. By Tuija Seipell (via squob)


 

House

September 2 2008




One thing we really love at The Cool Hunter is reinvention. Taking a fresh approach to an established form is at the foundation of innovation and we applaud anyone who can pull it off - like Ron Arad who has created this incredibly unique luxury bath concept, which turns the traditional bath on its head, literally. Aside from its obvious aesthetic appeal - it's like a giant art installation for your bathroom - its also multi-purpose, transforming from bath to shower as the whole unit revolves. Arad worked with Italian bathroom design brand Teuco to bring the concept to life. At this stage it's still a prototype but Arad is confident that with Teuco's production expertise his bath dream will soon be a reality in our own homes. We want one now. -Lisa Evans (via Sept issue of Wallpaper magazine)

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Fashion

September 5 2008




In a cluttered market like eyewear - where every designer and his chihuahua has a range - it's difficult to stand out. Which is why we were excited to discover Cassius, a hot new brand that hails from New Zealand, the fab antipodean country that gave the world the wonderful likes of fashion designers Karen Walker and Zambesi.

The Cassius range takes inspiration from architectural proportions, specifically from the work Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus movement. Cassius applies the sharp clean lines, beautiful solid monochrome colours and classic silhouettes to a range that is individual but still wearable. The luxe frames are handcrafted from Italian zyl acetate and integrated titanium spring hinges; fitted with CR39 protected lenses with a rating of UV400. Glam and functional. Impressive. 



The branch launched in the southern summer of 2008 season at the international apparel exhibition in Las Vegas, and was a hit with exclusive stockists in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo

The brand was founded by creative director Jason Ng. Cassius is right on the pulse of the way the fashion business is evolving, taking inspiration from more exclusive diciplines of design such as art, illustration and architecture. This trend has seen many non-fashion people get involved in fashion, who have created innovative fashion products by casting thier fresh eyes on tired old forms. They don't know the rules so naturally, they break them. Design anarchists. We like it. - Laura Demasi

Have you discovered a new eyewear brand we should know about? send us tips [email protected]

Events

September 24 2008



A glass of expensive champagne on a swanky rooftop bar just doesn't cut it in the competitive world of product launches, which are all vying for VIP attendees and press coverage. 

Chanel decided to think outside of the square for the launch of the brand's new perfume, ‘Eau première,’ staging the event at a private Parisian apartment. Chanel recruited acclaimed set, window and interior designer Jean-Marc Gady to create an experiential event for guests, a "scenography" tasked with bringing the new fragrance and the heritage of the brand to life. Gady has created spaces for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon and Apple.



The designer transformed the apartment into a set, which guests were encouraged to explore as the event played out. While they played with artfully arranged test sprays,  a fountain sent drops of the new fragrance into the air, sweetly permeating their senses. The evening ended with the unveiling of large format photographs of Chanel's iconic "faces" over the years, from Marilyn Monroe through to Nicole Kidman. - Lisa Evans



Design

September 24 2008



In most cities, strategic downtown street corners are flanked by enormous, old banks, the ornate cathedrals of capital designed to impress and intimidate. With the massive changes in real estate values and consumer banking habits, such monuments to Mammon are no longer smart or necessary. But what amazing opportunities such massive commissions must have been for the architects of the day! And what depressing alternatives we’ve experienced since! Luckily, online banking has made a bank visit almost obsolete, but when you must visit, most of the time you’ll find a boring, convenience-store-type standardized box – retail banking in the worst meaning of both words.


 
But we are starting to see a change. Several new bank design concepts are in the works, and some have been launched recently, including CheBanca! in Milan by Crea International. The concept for CheBanca! (translation: What a bank!) reflects the brand’s simplicity, transparency and innovation. When Crea International co-founder Massimo Fabbro will speak at POPAI Italia in November on the power of physical brand design to bring to life a brand's language, spirit and values, he will no doubt mention CheBanca!


 
And now that we have seen a few examples of fabulous bank design, we want more! If you’ve seen, designed or commissioned one, let us know. — Tuija Seipell



Design

September 29 2008



Great surroundings will not camouflage poor programming in movie theatres. No matter how swanky the theatre, if it shows poor movies, we just won’t go. Which isn’t to say that we have given up on movie-theatre design. We still wish that one day, somewhere, someone is going to design a decidedly different, interesting and exciting movie theatre.


 
Glimpses of brilliance are visible in the new Light House Cinema at Smithfield in Dublin, Ireland designed by Dublin’s award-winning DTA Architects Of course, you really need to design – and judge – a movie theatre so that it looks and functions best when people are using it. So, having not paid personal visits to the new Light House, we cannot say for sure, but the images we have received of the empty space indicate that the play of light, colour and height works exceptionally well here.
 


Light House cinema has been a bit of an institution in Dublin. It started showing Irish, independent, foreign-language, art house and classic cinema 20 years ago, closed in 1966, and re-opened this summer in its new, customized space. The four-screen, intimate art-house cinema includes a wonderful, inviting and open cafe that looks like something you’d see at an art museum, not a movie theatre. The leader of the Light House project at DTA was Derek Tynan and the project architect was Colin Mackay.


 
The new cinema benefited from the financial assistance of The Arts Council, the Irish Film Board, and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. For Dublin’s city planners, this was to be a cultural magnet and a focal point for the largest mixed-use development ever in Dublin’s inner city, the massive rejuvenation plan for the historical Smithfield Market area.


 
And if you’d like to make our wishes come true, please let us know of any supreme movie-theatre design concepts you’ve seen, designed or commissioned. We are all eyes and ears. - Tuija Seipell

See also Home Theatre and AMC Pacific Place Cinema in Hong Kong.

Music

October 8 2008

It’s difficult to find a new world culture that's as musically rich as that of New Zealand. Picking up your brother’s guitar and starting a band with your best friend and his sister is a rite of passage for most Kiwis. The Cool Hunter finds three grown-up versions of these backyard operations who are now taking the music of New Zealand to all corners of the globe, and that's just scratching the surface.



Liam Finn is very much a product of his genealogy, but that only partly explains the appeal of his beguiling music. Finn plays through a memory of family holidays and kids toying in the backyard while his delicate arrangements cast you into a spell conducted only by your own reminiscences.



Equal parts fastidious and inspired, there is barely a hip-hop album coming out of New Zealand that doesn’t have P-Money's production and DJ nous behind it. The epitome of the quiet performer, P-Money keeps schtum and lets the stomp of his gleaming productions blow your headphones.



In a world plagued by the manic, Fat Freddys Drop stand back, holding up a ‘hi-tek soul’ elixir.  This is music to be shared by close friends over a quiet cookout that runs from the long breezy summer afternoon into a warm, star-lit evening. By Matt Shea


Events

October 1 2008



Hector Serrano Studio has curated and designed the exhibition Spain Emotion as well as the communication campaign of the Spanish participation at this years Tokyo Designer's Week. The event is organized by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and will take place in the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo from 30 October to 3 November 2008.



More than an exhibition, Spain Emotion is a celebration of the best Spanish design in the Tokyo Designer's Week that encompasses not only this exhibition, but also conferences and seminars; a forum that provides with an exceptional opportunity to get to know at first hand those who are behind the products. The aim of Hector Serrano Studio this year is for emotion to be the guiding threads of their story, and the products its main characters. To this end, they have created a space that aims to surprise, entertain, seduce and encourage, rather than simply showing; four large stages where light dramatises and bathes the surroundings and the pieces in colour. Colour to communicate the vitality and energy with which the Spanish character is so often identified. In short, an experience aimed at revealing the latest in Spanish design, in a most emotive way. - Tuija Seipell




Offices

October 2 2008



Trust Melbourne (the city that holds Design close to its bosom) to be the home of the latest initiative from ANZ Bank; a Breakout & Learning Centre designed by Hassell. As the title suggests, this large, flexible, multi-purpose space is designed to encourage creativity, however it is in the execution that the freedom from constraints of a “normal” office environment is apparent.  Forget about boring corporate colours, obvious branding and drab office furniture (in the style of hit series “The Office”).  



The use of unexpected materials and contradictory colors in the space and its furnishings produces startling results. Plywood, paint and patterned rubber with industrial raw finishes are topped off with a pop of fire-engine red and frog green! Various-size meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the art technology to enhance the group experience. Perhaps my favorite design features are the “Tree of Knowledge” and the “Giant Foot”. Just like in a fairytale, the tree grows between floors in a natural raw shape reminding us that the childlike imagination is where creativity is ripest. Beneath the tree, the Giant Foot reminds us about reality and perception.  — Kate Vandermeer



Music

October 13 2008



You kind of have to feel a little bit bad for Foals. When everyone else was out getting girls, each and every member of the band was most likely holed up indoors, listening to Gang Of Four's Entertainment! and doing their philosophy homework. Their tracks are such focused lessons in tight, mathematical indie rock that’s there’s no doubt in my mind that they perennially struck out with the ladies. But we mustn’t feel too bad for Foals, after all it lead them to harness all that angst, awkwardness and romantic dysfunction and stuff it inside the Antidotes LP, which is still dripping out tantalizing singles, the latest of which happens to be the standout Olympic Airways.

While the remixes from minimal royalty Supermayer and disco revivalist Ewan Pearson are a big draw, we can’t forget the original Olympic Airways which has got the same scrupulously constructed rattle and hum you'd expect from UK group, from the fret-choking guitar work to the nod-'n-jerk chorus. And that soaring build midway through is like a fringe-swinging cherry on top. It's the band doing what they do best with an air of total effortlessness. And it's not getting old anytime soon. - Dave Ruby Howe

Foals MySpace

Watch Olympic Airways directed by Dave Ma

Architecture

October 7 2008




Dupli Casa, a private residence by the Neckar river, near the old town of Marbach in South- Western Germany, is a wonderfull example of connection and fluidity. It connects the inside with the outside, up with down, air with ground and - most cleverly - past with present and even future.



From the outside, the three-storey concrete villa looks like a bit like some sort of a fiberglass motorboat job gone funny, yet it also manages to look immensely appealing and intriguing. From some angles, the structure appears to be standing upside down - the lower exterior rim spilling onto the lawn and forming a part of a roof structure, if the building were to stand the other way around. It could have been blown there by the wind; it could be a StarWarsian vehicle frozen in place; it could be just taking off to outer space.



The outdoor swimming pool and the white surface surrounding it seem like a perfect reflection of the house, almost as if the house had been face down on the ground, and when it was lifted off the ground, the process had left an imprint of a swimming pool on the ground and the large window opening in the house.



The views from the inside are amazing, especially from the vast ground-level openings that again, give the sensation of flying, being airborne, weightlessness. Everything is fluid, flowing and smooth.
 
All of this is very much in keeping with the main inspiration for the house. The new residence follows the footprint of the previous dwelling and its numerous extensions. The idea was to let the 'family archaeology' continue in the new building. It's a house that remembers its beginnings in 1984 yet projects boldly into the  future.



Dupli Casa is the work of Jurgen Mayer H., founder and principal of his cross-disciplinary studio. J. Mayer H. Architekten in Berlin. Other team members include Georg Schmidthals, Thorsten Blatter and Simon Takasak, plus Uli Wiesler's architecture studio based in Stuttgart. - Tuija Seipell
 

Art

October 16 2008




New York artist Tara Donovan is a master of seeing. Not just looking, but actually seeing. Her sculptural, one-of-a-kind art is based on her ability to see, imagine and create forms, shapes and textures from ordinary objects that most of us don't even notice. She creates art from rolls of tape, pieces of pencil, Styrofoam cups, paper plates, napkins. Her sculptural works evoke thoughts of nature. A perfect example is the 'Untitled' cloud formation she created in 2003 from Styrofoam cups and glue.

The 38-year-old Donovan has recently accomplished several things many artists never achieve. This September, the first monograph of her work was published by visual book press, Monacelli Press (now owned by Random House). A couple of weeks later, on October 10, a traveling retrospective of her work opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

But perhaps the biggest deal is the extra half-a-million dollars that she will have to work with in the next few years. In late September, she received a phone call from the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. She was informed that she had been made a Fellow of the Foundation and that she will receive a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant. It is a no-strings-attached support of her work over five years. She was selected as one of 25 recipients in 2008. Others include a physician, an astrophysicist, a violinist, a computer scientist and representatives of many other endeavours who were selected for their creativity, originality and potential to make important contributions in the future. - Tuija Seipell

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Travel

October 15 2008




Thanks to the jet-set generation, demand for boutique hotels is increasing around the world. The first boutique "chain," W, started the trend for a network of branded urbane-style properties and has just launched its latest edition - W Hong Kong.



Located in West Kowloon, the hub of the buzzing financial district of Hong Kong, the new W brings a large dose of New York style to this cosmopolitan Asian business capital. 



The area is right on the commercial waterfront, so instead of luxury yachts you are more likely to look out onto imposingly large freight and cargo ships. It works though, juxtaposing the designer, luxury environment with the gritty, functional realism of the hotel's location.



Overall the hotel's design is pitch-perfect for the W brand - New-York- style interiors with the W signature quirk in the form of butterflies (butterfly motifs everywhere, we loved it) and surprising contemporary art works such as a fiberglass seal holding up a grand piano (yes, a seal holding up a grand piano, it's for real and a feat of creativity and engineering).



Other standouts include the spectacular rooftop pool, featuring an incredible mega-scale mosaic of a butterfly graphic created by Australian designer Fabio Ongarato. The pool looks out over the whole island - one of the most breathtaking in the city. 



The rooms, designed by Australian interior desiger, Nicholas Graham and Japanese designer, Yasumichi Morita, are comfortable and welcoming. Each designer was assigned a specific floor to design, so each floor has its own personality, countering the cookie-cutter feel of most large hotels.



As for the suites - let's just say that they're apty titled  - "Wow" and "Extreme" - and are suitably enticing. Enough to turn a short stay in long one....- Laura Demasi

Music

October 18 2008

Much like designers, musicians are continually swinging through history, cherry-picking the best bits from long-forgotten eras and reinterpreting them with a modern slant. Recently, we’ve trudged through nostalgic New Order clones and the post-post-punk boom with bands like Interpol and Editors, but now it would seem that the much maligned genre of disco is coming back. So break out the bellbottoms because disco is about to be cool again.



FAN DEATH

Fan Death are the princesses of new-disco strut. Their stunning debut single, Veronica’s Veil, sounds like it was recorded in the early hours of the morning after the Canadian duo stumbled out of an all-nighter at Studio 54, their breath gone from dancing and their heads ablaze with dreams of disco stardom. From the ever-so-perfect string sweeps, the throbbing bassline, the shimmering production courtesy of Erol Alkan (Mystery Jets, Late Of The Pier), and the hollow-eyed vocal, it is truly thrilling stuff that manages to breathe life back into disco.



SISTERS OF TRANSISTORS

Not content with leading the genre’s renaissance, UK revivalists Sisters Of Transistors seem to have carved their sub-genre in the resurgence of disco, with what we’re calling mystery-disco. Not only does the group have a fondness for capes and shooting their videos in 3D, but there’s also a hint of unseen orchestration behind this twisted organ quartet. Pulling the strings is Graham Massey of 808 State fame, and the only person on this list who’s old enough to remember the heights of disco. Massey and the ‘Sisters create some brilliantly dark yet oddly danceable disco, with undeniable grooves working under the looping, hypnotic organ swirls. It’s mesmerizing and dramatic, and exactly what disco should be.



HEARTBREAK

Fan Death traverses a more traditional, platform-boots and mirror-balls era of disco, but UK-by-way-of-Argentina two-piece, Heartbreak, reaches back to somewhere between Giorgio Morodor’s arrival on the scene and the eventual death of disco when the synths-‘n-eyeliner crowd of the 1980s broke out. Heartbreak is more Human League and early Depeche Mode than Chic. They’re all about waves of bubbling keyboards and the bombastic production gloss of an ABC record. But beneath this there is a clear debt to disco, from their would-be Moroder arpeggio fetish, to the group’s penchant for Bee Gees-like falsettos. It’s scarily good music. — Dave Ruby Howe

Offices

December 10 2008




London-based architecture and design firm Jump Studios believes that innovation comes from breaking barriers between design disciplines. At Jump, expertise from the worlds of fashion, art, anthropology and academia is added to the design and architecture contingent.
 


This must have been part of the appeal when design, communications and marketing group Engine selected Jump as the designer of its new digs. Engine’s five-storey new building on 60 Great Portland Street had to please the 12 different companies operating under the Engine umbrella - and their clients.
 
Jump director Simon Jordan and team had to conjure up an environment that could house and appeal to a vast range of tastes and cultures. Yet, somehow, it all had to reflect a coherent Engine brand as well.


 
Interestingly, the lozenge-shaped white 'meeting pods' bring to mind a Disneylandish combo of a Tomorrowland ride and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. One might half expect to grab the edges of the white table and feel the unit starting to turn round and round. This is not a bad thing. It all manages to look calm and cool while having a sense of whimsy. Same thing with the purple-pink loungers that look like they could have been made of a sweet, edible stiff foam, cut into bulky shapes with a gigantic saw. Even with the cute undertones, the seating stays on this side of classy and creates an imposing visual element. The large internal windows with their rounded edges evoke a feeling of a large ship, with the people inside seeming to be on a journey.


 
Whether any of this was Jump’s intention is irrelevant. When a communications group’s space - intentionally or accidentally - speaks of imagination, whimsy and moving ahead, it surely must be a space that fits its dynamic occupants.
 
The client list of Jump Studios includes also Nike, Red Bull, Adidas, Wieden + Kennedy, Honda and Levi’s. Projects for Bloomberg, Adidas, Fiat and L’Oreal are next on Jump’s agenda. - Tuija Seipell



Created a unique office experience we should know about? Submit your projects for our upcoming book
 

News

October 20 2008




The web's most read culture, architecture and design site will soon launch in early 09, The Cool Hunter Living, an uber-luxe real estate listings portal which connects vendors to a discerning, hard-to-reach market of high-income architecture and design aficionados.

Since its inception in 2004, thecoolhunter.net has amassed a global readership consisting of close to 1 million unique visitors a month who visit the site for the absolute latest in innovation and inspiration in all disciplines of design - from the most awe-inspiring architecture to the coolest new artists and products. 

The site's subscriber list reads like a who's-who of the international design, media, fashion, architecture and publishing industries. For the first time, The Cool Hunter Living gives vendors access to this high end market. The site also offers vendors an unparalleled opportunity to "position" their properties amongst the best and most luxurious in the world.



Also, in 09, we'll launch The Cool Hunter Hotel booking service, an online store, global job lists, Cool Hunter TV, magazine, retail stores and some major offline events. We’re eager to see our efforts translated into major global markets such as India, China, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Brazil and more. STAY TUNED!

New site designed by TCH Design

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Bars

October 29 2008



Renowned English interior designer Tom Dixon is behind Paramount, London's hottest new venue located on top of city landmark Centre Point tower. The bar's aesthetic is a blend 60s retro and futurism, articulated through the use of hard-edged materials like concrete and stone to create a kind of space-ship meets super-club. The star of course, is the spectacular view, which is only enhanced by Dixon's clean, modern interior. 



Anyone hoping to pay a visit to Paramount better get to work on their "applications" for membership, a process which, rather frightfully, mirrors a job application. Aspiring members must be "assed" by a panel including English actor Stephen Fry. We're not generally fans of such pretense but thanks to Dixon, it looks like all of the hoopla may actually be worth it. Start typing. - Lisa Evans



Fashion

October 30 2008



Irony -  check.  Careful, considered design — check.  Desirable product with cache — most definitely check. Natalia Brilli has managed to create a signature that is immediately identifiable with her blend of taking the every day and creating a finished product that appears as if dipped into leather. A laptop bag becomes a functional leather laptop case that has the keyboard carved out in the leather, a wallet has the credit cards and coins moulded onto the zip front cover, a pair of sunglasses are embossed into the leather sunglass case. At once quirky and humorous but undeniably cool and chic, the latest Men’s 09 Collection is no exception to this designers range and ability.  — Kate Vandermeer





Ads

November 2 2008



It's just days away from one of the most anticipated US federal elections in history and both sides are plowing into spin overdrive. Which is why we love this amazing original advertisement that has succeeded in doing what most politicians don't  - cut through the crap in a single succinct moment.

Created by creative director - Tor Myhren from Grey NYC,  the posters slice through the race issue between candidates - acknowledging that much of this campaign has predictably but stupidly been re-cast as a battle between black and white. Myhren's powerful imagery rightly implies that this is all just distraction, seeking to refocus our attention onto what really matters - the issues.

Even before the results are in, the posters have become collectors items, with New Yorkers unable to help themselves from swiping them off the streets.  - Lisa Evans


Platinum

November 11 2008




The Cool Hunter Platinum Trend Briefings
Making other people's business your business so you stay in the know

With close to a million readers each month, The Cool Hunter has become a global authority on cool and innovation. But what you see on the site is only a small sample of our research.

We've been saving the rest for our professional readers who can now access this vast pool of knowledge for the very first time via our new Weekly Trend Briefings. Covering trends in product design, marketing, advertising, social trends and consumer thinking, The Cool Hunter Platinum Trend Briefings allows your business to stay ahead of the innovation eight-ball.

In a globalized 24/7 world staying "in the know" is crucial. Consumers are educating themselves and influencing each other at break-neck speed.

They know more and expect more, presenting a challenge to brands to come up with creative ways of attracting and holding their attention. Much of modern business is about staying ahead of this and keeping abreast of how the innovators are responding.

Which is where The Cool Hunter Platinum Weekly Trend Briefings come in. Our briefings bring the best of The Cool Hunter to your business, so innovation doesn't just become part of your company's internal program - but part of its identity and culture.

Supplied as a PDF, The Cool Hunter Platinum Weekly Trend Briefings are not meant to be hidden away on the desktops of a few select employees in marketing - they are designed to be printed as A3 sized posters and hung around your office so every employee can be inspired by innovation on a weekly basis as they go about their work. Our briefings are about creating and fostering a culture of innovation in your business - offering information as inspiration.

The Cool Hunter Platinum Weekly Trend Briefings are about accessibility - print as many as you want and place them everywhere - from the mailroom to the CEO's boardroom because innovation and ideas inspire everybody in your business to create success.    

This is a paid service. For Annual subscriptions of 48 editions, contact [email protected]

Art

September 3 2011

Earlier this year, the angular and colorful illustrations of Star Wars characters by UK-based illustrator and animator Liam Brazier drew everyone's attention.

In addition to the Start Wars characters that in their clunkiness lend themselves to geometric treatments, Brazier has also attacked Superman whose billowing cape and bulging muscles are far less boxy.

What makes Brazier's work even more interesting is that the illustrations are not created in Illustrator using vectors. Instead, he draws each shape with Photoshop's polygonal selection tool and then fills them in with color.

We love these powerful images full of intention and action. We can see them covering an entire wall in a kids' room. Or in our office .- Bill Tikos

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Design

November 7 2013



Wood is both universal and unique. No other material is as deeply embedded in the history, culture and life of humans worldwide as wood, yet every single piece of wood is unique.



The color tone, texture, durability, flexibility and even sound qualities of different tree species have puzzled and challenged artists, architects, designers, builders and artisans for thousands of years.

Still today, nothing matches wood in versatility or beauty, so it is great to see how today’s designers and architects continue to face the challenge of wood, and use it creatively to interpret sleek, modern designs.



They use wood to meet their current needs and desires for which wood is ideally suited. People seek calm surroundings, simplicity and minimalism to soothe their frayed nerves and to counter the constant visual overload they face. Wood’s warmth and natural beauty works wonders for creating a sense of balance and calm.



People also look for sustainable alternatives, eco-friendly options, greener solutions. When harvested, managed and used sustainably, forests are still the source of the greatest material on earth.



We especially love the influence of Scandinavian and Japanese traditions that we can detect in today’s wood architecture and design. Minimalist, functional, beautiful, and light in both color and weight.



Scandinavian building and design traditions are based solidly on the use of wood. Finnish modernist master, architect Alvar Aalto, stunned the world with Living Wood, his design for the Finnish Pavilion for the Paris World Exposition in 1937. In the pavilion, he combined both traditional and modern architecture and showcased his functionalist design sensibilities. It was considered one of the boldest and most innovative pavilions of the Expo.



Earlier, Aalto’s exploration of the limits of bent wood and mass production had resulted in the  Paimio chair (1931) and other furniture classics, and had a permanent impact on how furniture looks even today. Aalto’s work influenced many other modernist masters including Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen.



The use of wood in Japanese architecture and design is characterized by austere construction methods, the lightness of materials, the connectedness between indoors and outdoors, and the way in which buildings merge with their surroundings.



With hardly any furniture used inside, Japanese master craftsmen were able to focus their skills on the buildings themselves, on skilful joining of sections without nails, and on revealing, rather than covering or adorning, the original texture and tone of the wood.







Wood as a material has held a charmed place in architecture and design for both its simplicity and complexity. It lends itself to imposing, bulky structures, yet also yields to delicate, undulating forms that seem lacy and transparent.

We love this lightness and elegance, the play of light and shadow, the countless tones of color that can be achieved with skilful use of wood both structurally and decoratively.



In more and more residential projects, both big and small, architects and designers are finding new, creative ways to reveal and highlight the beauty and versatility of wood. They manage to create structures that appear current and cool, yet also exude a classic, timeless elegance.





Every day, we come across images of fantastic single-use residences, recreational cottages, furniture, decks and patios, where the qualities of wood are perfectly matched with the users’ needs and the requirements of the surroundings as well.



In retail and hospitality, wood is also making an impact. We love the blocky, clean look of the Aesop stores. At the other end of the spectrum a good example is the lightness and playfulness achieved in RDAI Architects’ use of wood-slat “huts” as departments in the Paris Hermès store built inside an old hotel swimming pool.



In not just eco-lodges, but also in luxury resorts, spas and hotels, wood is becoming the material of choice. As guests are looking for a retreat, a sense of being back in nature, a quilt-free, tranquil vacation, resorts are responding with wood-frame structures, wood interiors and sustainable solutions that also look fabulous.



Wood is not trendy yet it is incredibly cool. It is a demanding, noble, ancient, living material that we have the privilege to use and enjoy. In wood, the architect, designer and builder face the exhilarating challenge of the sculptor — to reveal the character of the specific species, the individual tree. And we, the viewers and users of their work, have the opportunity to discover it for ourselves. We are looking forward to more. - Tuija Seipell.

At TCH, we are so obsessed with wood that we even created Treelife, an event to showcase the most innovate work using wood in the design of Treehouses.

Art

February 8 2010



We have a hunch we will be seeing much more of the work by the young, London-based graphic designer and illustrator, Nikki Farquharson.


 
Her ongoing project, Mixed Media Girls, gives the viewer a lot to look at. The collages appear innocent and sweet but at the same time exude sharp, pent-up energy that does not feel altogether safe. The title of the work is also wonderfully suggestive – or not, depending on how the reader wishes to understand it.



Farquharson’s work extends from the one-dimensional world to book projects and 3D pieces in which she often ponders and twists the meaning of words and proverbs, spies on conversations, and questions established truths.


 
In 2007, she started the website Random Got Beautiful that is open for anyone to submit images focused on a specific color. - Tuija Seipell



Fashion

November 24 2008




Shoes say as much about the wearer and his or her character as do eyeglasses. Jamie Hayon's line of shoes for Camper is perfect for self expression. With his industrial design aesthetic and love of tap dancing shoes, Hayon has created a collection of sporty shoes that has a touch of elegance; an upgrade from the humble sneaker. With its smooth, form-fitting shape, linen-print lining and diamond-patterned sole, this shoe is more than just a mere accessory for the feet - it's a fusion of style, form and function. - Kate Vandermeer

Music

December 2 2008



I worry for anyone who ever doubted Miami Horror. No really, because when Miami first appeared on the scene almost two years ago, sporting an unrestrained love of everything ‘80s and a healthy night-club tan, the people who dismissed him then had no idea of his potential for greatness. Shame on them. Since his humble beginnings, Miami Horror’s broke out of the basement beat factory to hook up with esteemed company like Fred Falke, Pnau, Gameboy/Gamegirl and Midnight Juggernauts and also polished off the extremely strong debut EP, Bravado. It’s on the EP that Miami Horror really shines, whether it’s with the Prince-esque strut of Don’t Be On With Her, the crunch of Summerfest ’86 or the shimmer and pulse of Bellevue. It’s filled with more style, vigour and thoughtfulness than your normal producer’s debut EP, but trust me, Miami Horror is far from the norm. - By Oliver Queen. Bravado is OUT NOW

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Music

December 15 2008



Trying to describe Tacoma’s Mono In VCF makes you feel like a tongue-tied fool attempting to convey a transcendental experience. This is music quite unlike anything you’ve heard before, perhaps best imagined as a young Suede camping on a rooftop, watching storms clouds with Phil Spector. It’s on Masha, lifted from Mono In VCF’s self-titled LP, that we witness the band’s finest hour. It’s a song born of the cold sea, with guitars that shudder like crumbling icebergs and synths that brush a transpacific wind across the nape of your neck. Bang in the middle of the mix sits Kim Miller’s voice, an exercise in beguilement that could seduce a fleet of sailors into the abyss. Stupefying, soul-tickling stuff. — Matt Shea

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Lifestyle

November 17 2008



If the first and second generations of social networking portals were about opening up the world, the third generation is about closing it again. Invitation only sites are popping up everywhere, creating exclusive, gated virtual communities that shut out the “masses.”

A Small World
helped kick off the ‘invitation-only’ trend by restricting new membership to those invited by current members. But sometimes an invitation just isn’t enough. Gaining entry into this new generation of private online world can involve an intimidating process of review, such as career-orientated sites bluechipexpert.com and doostang.com, where aspiring members must submit their resumes to be considered for acceptance. Other sites are blatantly and proudly parochial, such as aprivateclub.com, which is only for New Yorkers in-the-know.

If you were lucky enough to score an invitation to the Cannes Film Festival, you would also have gained access to the festival’s ‘private’ online portal, cannes2008.ning.com, created for attendees only.

In Asia, well heeled society-types and business movers and shakers can network at dianefay.com, a members only online club where one has to be invited to gain entry. In Europe decayenne.com offers a similar exclusive club concept for invited members only. 

Wall Street types can commiserate the global financial meltdown with eachother in the privacy of cyberspace at bankersavenue.com, a members-only portal for bankers who must be invited to join.

Global expats can catch up on local knowledge and network at internations.org. The members-only site is for diplomats, members of IGOs and NGOs, foreign correspondents and other expatriates employed by multinational companies and their family members.

If you don't bat for the 'straight' team you can connect with other successful 'power' gays at cosmocircle.net .

If bizarre beliefs are more your thing then you can try getting into the spacecollective.org invite-only community, where "forward thinking terrestrials exchange ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe." Sounds like a blast. Where do we sign up?

American Express should jump into the fray here and create a network for people who use their ‘black’ card.  Are businesses missing out by not creating exclusive environments for their high end customers?- Laura Demasi

Do you know of any other ‘private’ networking portals like these? send us a tip

pics via cobrasnake

Offices

November 19 2008




When the investment group All Capital wanted a power space for their high-powered meetings in Amsterdam, they engaged two local creative firms that had the right vision. Architectural office Eckhardt en Leeuwenstein created the meeting and lounge areas that are prestigious and opulent without being pretentious or stuffy.

Themed around the playful concept of being under a spotlight, the spaces feature gigantic, round, black lamp shades spray-painted gold inside. These power lights appear to cast spot lights and create shadows everywhere in the space. The fake ovals of light and shadow on the floor, walls and furnishings are created by altering the colors and textures of the finish.



The golden ovals also define specific areas and soften the angles of the black-stained ash wood desks and cabinets. In addition, the gold and silver ovals scattered about can be interpreted as coins - highlighting the business of the client. All existing ornamentation and detail of the building was painted white.
 
The All Capital boardrooms and lounge opened last month in the historic, 17th-century building, De Gouden Bocht located by one of the most famous canals of Amsterdam, the Herengracht (=Gentlemen`s Canal).



i29 was established in 2001 by Jaspar Jensen and Jeroen Dellensen. Their style is characterized by a dramatic absence of extras or gimmicks, and by frequent use of clear blocks of color and lots of white. Their projects, mainly in Amsterdam, include schools, retail shops, restaurants, hotels and private residences.
 
Architect duo Rob Eckhardt and Goos Leeuwenstein has a long history of distinctive projects from public spaces to restaurants, entertainment venues and residences. They've created offices for Publicis, DDB and Eigen Fabrikaat, film studios for Jurriaan Eindhoven, and interiors for Restaurant Bordewijk. Eckhardt became known early in his career as a furniture designer with the disco stool Dolores as his first success in the early 1980s. He even operated a retail store that sold his furniture, including the 1983 Groeten uit Holland chair and the 1982 Karel Doorman chaise lounge. - Tuija Seipell



Design

September 1 2009




We love a fine wine, especially when it can be ingested in as thoughtful an environment as this one. Welcome to Merus, a "designer" winery like no other. Located in the Napa Valley in California, Merus looks more like a Michelin-starred restaurant than your average cellar-door retail outlet. Exposed beams are the only nod to the past in this interior design strategy, which is thoroughly modern with a hint of Californian warmth.



Amsterdam-based Uxus Design is the architecture and design firm behind the winery. With more than a few inspiring, high profile projects under its belt, Uxus is one of the Netherlands' hottest design studios - with an office to match.



It's been a busy year for Uxus, who have unveiled a number of other great retail design projects recently including the new Heineken 'concept' bars which will open in airports across the globe and one of Europe's coolest McDonald's play areas in Amsterdam. - Bill Tikos



See also Design Wine

Stores

September 2 2009

Japan is a hot-bed of out-of-the-box creativity and retail design is one of the areas in which it excels. The latest store with more is the new Patrick Cox boutique in Tokyo's Aoyama district, a mecca for fashion.

Local architect Chikara Ohno designed the store using only three elements - the color white, the circle shape and lighting - to great effect. Forming a canopy, huge, cylindrical pendants hang from the ceiling resembling imposing sculptures that also illuminate the products perched just below on cylindrical counters, lit from their bases.



Ohno's design demonstrates the power of simplicity. By working with a few key elements and playing around with proportion he has achieved a dramatic space that also stays true to its function - which is of course to cast the merchandise in the best possible light - pardon the pun - so we are compelled to buy it. - Lisa Evans

Fashion

March 25 2009




You can often divide people into two distinct groups - "hat people" and "non hat people". Wearing a hat takes confidence, courage and a unique personal style. Whether the hat is worn for comfort or a statement or both, the choice of hat says a lot about the person.  Rike Feurstein (a self-confessed hat-aholic) has done a lot for the hat industry with her clean, minimalistic, sculptural shaped designs. Her unique perspective breathes new life into classic shapes with the choice of irreverent fabrics or colors. She references iconic shapes from the 40's and 60's and reworks the look by injecting her own twist. Rike studied in New York and London before opening her own studio and showroom in Berlin and has an international stockist's resume including Barney's, Saks, Harvey Nichols, Tsum and Le Bon Marche.  — Kate Vandermeer

Stores

November 25 2008



Aesop continues to serve up award winning design with its new store in "The Strand Arcade" in Sydney. Each Aesop store has its own signature look defying the carbon copy stores that were so popular in the 90's and early 2000's. Respecting the store's neighbouring environment is important to Aesop and integration within the area is emphasised. March Studio's, Rodney Eggleston has again been offered the role to find the "store's soul" and bring it to life. He has made one of Aesop's highlight materials "Porcelain" the hero in this store by using the timeless, precious material for the tiles, small furnishings and floor.   



As always with Aesop, clean lines and only the necessary pieces of furniture and interiors are used allowing optimum space and movement. The complete range of skin, hair and body products are available in this store, so maximising the wall space was essential. The finishing results are a sublime gallery like offering that continues to push the retail boundaries. — Kate Vandermeer.

Kids

November 26 2008



These cool images are from the fabulous Kinderdentist in Berlin. Designed by Brad Pitt’s favourite architecture firm, the super-creative and multi-functional GRAFT, this is the kind of place that makes us want to be kids again. Never thought we’d say that about a dental office, but what can we do? And why exactly is it that adults’ dental offices don’t look like this?


 
Kinderdentist is an underwater world of play and adventure with a 12-foot visual wave drawing the guests into to world of blue hues and pixilated schools of fish. You feel as if you were under water, in a submarine, just waiting for exciting things to happen. And yes, kids’ teeth get fixed there, too.


 
Originally established in 1998 in Los Angeles by German architects, Lars Krückeberg and Wolfram Putz, Graft expanded in 2001 when third partner, Thomas Willemeit, opened the Berlin office, and fourth partner, Gregor Hoheisel, established Graft in Beijing.
 
Now perhaps best known for its collaboration with Brad Pitt, Graft has always pushed the boundaries of mere architecture and is known for an enormous breath of projects. Architecture, interior design and art concepts, urban design, “eventing,” film and video projects, music, car design, commercials and exhibitions are just some of the things the prolific team has completed globally. Its architecture and interior design practice extends the breath of the field as well from furniture schemes to concept design of hotels, restaurants, clubs, offices, institutions, residences.


 
In the media, Graft is often labeled as something other than a ‘global architecture firm’ – including a rock band, a hippie commune and a bunch of eccentrics – and it seems that this is exactly what the partners like to hear. Willemeit has been quoted as saying that “In L.A. we’re these crazy German guys and in Berlin we are not accepted into the Berlin architecture mafia – we’re cowboys. - Tuija Seipell

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Kids

November 27 2008




One of the easiest ways to make a boring space more vibrant is to use colour. However, as so many of us can remember, obvious opportunities to do this have been missed for decades in schools, universities and hundreds of other places where young people are more or less stuck for long periods. Luckily, today’s kids have better luck – at least in the schools where Amsterdam’s i29 has had its say.


 
i29 Interior Architects consists of two interior designers – Jaspar Jansen and Jeroen Dellensen – and is known for clear, bold solutions. A good example of this is their custom furniture project for a Het Veer. It is a public school in Almere, a city located 25 kilometers east of Amsterdam and often referred to as the most modern city in Europe. Het Veer is a school for children with learning and concentration difficulties and the objective of i29’s work was to express and entice concentration, playfulness and movement. Their eight different white and red tube furniture pieces can be mixed and matched creating various formations. They play off the Buzz Wire science game that teaches about electric circuits and is based on concentration and hand coordination.


 
At the Caland Lyseum in Amsterdam, 1,500 students work in a sport-centric environment where they receive coaching for their specific sport and in academic topics. i29 was asked to envision  the public spaces – including the main hall, staff room, library and computer/media room – for the new Bos & Partners architects-designed building with its gray brick, glass walls and unusual floor plans. They used large images of the school’s famous sports hero alumni and then custom-created multi-functional tables, benches and signage, plus a color scheme for the common areas. The award-winning solution matches the dynamic and multicultural life of the school yet lets the buildings features dominate. - Tuija Seipell

Offices

December 1 2008




GHD, makers of the must-have hair straightening irons (many a woman's best friend, let me tell you) have just joined the cool offices club. The company's new 15,600 sq ft head quarters in Leeds is more space ship than corporate office. And that's exactly how they wanted it, according to UK firm Carey Jones interiors, who designed the futuristic space, which features a "catwalk" in the reception area.



The objective of the two-year long project was to capture GHD's sense of style and uniqueness in the market place and translate that into their HQ's design. Mission accomplished. - Lisa Evans

Stores

December 3 2008



VilaSofa, a furniture store that opened in Amsterdam in October is a clever design feat by Tjep. Judging by the VilaSofa website, it is a brand that can use some visual updating. VilaSofa is positioned somewhere between an IKEA store and a conventional furniture store and its claim to fame is reasonable prices and a guaranteed 48-hour delivery of all displayed models.
 
The Amsterdam-based Tjep faced the challenge of making all this look cool. It zeroed in on the warehouse concept but with a homey twist. It focused on the aspects of speed and the transitional nature of the place where factory-born furniture lives while waiting to be taken to your home.


 
Combining warehouse and home isn’t easy, but Tjep accomplished it by only suggesting both. They used warehousing and transportation symbols as the basis for gigantic cutouts and wall graphics, and created a white wall with cutouts of chandeliers, windows and ornate balconies that imply a villa and refer to your home as your castle. Staff rides around in cute cash-register trolleys so that customers don’t need to go to them.


 
The Tjep design team included company founders Frank Tjepkema and Janneke Hooymans, plus Leonie Janssen, Tina Stieger, Bertrand Gravier and Camille Cortet.
 
Tjep is a multiple-award winning firm that works in an astonishingly wide variety of three-dimensional design – Product and furniture design, interior design and interior architecture, identity design and events. Tjep clients include Droog, British Airways, ING, Restaurant Praq, Camper, Heineken and Ikea. Hooymans left Tjep in May 2008, and now works independently thisisjane.com. - Tuija Seipell.
 
Platinum

November 3 2008




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Which is where INNOVATION NATION Weekly reports come in. Our briefings bring the best of The Cool Hunter to your business, so innovation doesn't just become part of your company's internal program - but part of its manifesto and culture.

This is a paid service launching soon. Annual subscription (48 editions) costs (USD)$500. To register your interest contact [email protected]This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

Food

October 26 2009

Whatever Parisian pastry chef extraordinaire, Philippe Conticini, does gets noticed. His talent for creating desserts that are art in all meanings of the word has found yet another expression this September when he unveiled his latest creation, La Pâtisserie des Rêves (the patisserie of dreams), in the chic 7th arrondissement in Paris. Nothing in the design of the sleek 29 square-meter boutique is reminiscent of a traditional European konditorei. Most strikingly, the stars of the space — the desserts, cakes and pastries — are displayed on a round platform in the center. Each of the 15 culinary masterpieces is presented under its own temperature-controlled glass bell suspended from the ceiling. Customers order their selection from the staff, after which each order appears directly from the kitchen. Both ideas evoke the feel of a meticulous laboratory where precious specimens are handled. Conticini has been in the culinary limelight for more than two decades with his own TV show, several books, restaurants and awards. - Tuija Seipell

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Design

December 4 2008



123dv Architectuur & Consult is yet another award-winning – and strangely numbered – multi-disciplinary Dutch design firm. The Rotterdam-based 123dv practices architecture and interior design in a wide range of areas from residential to commercial buildings, from small-scale to huge projects.
 
A commercial project, the new wing of the Media Plaza in Utrecht, was launched with a high-tech party in October.
 
The Media Plaza is one of many conference and exhibition venues under the wings of the venerable Dutch Fair organization
JaarBeurs.


 
The Media Plaza’s new expansion involves eight meeting rooms and a main congress hall that accommodates 700 people. The space 123dv created is an incredibly flexible blank-canvas for seminars, conferences and corporate events.
 
The design emphasis is on various light sources and different projection methods. The new wing is accessible via two tunnels in which 123dv designed all surfaces to be canvases for projection, with floors and walls reacting to the movement of people.


 
Light and projection are the main features also in the foyer and in the meeting rooms. To create different moods or to emphasize event-appropriate colors, the LED-light walls in the foyer and the fabric ceilings in the session rooms can change color.
 
123dv outfitted the main hall with a 100% transparent ETFE (ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) roof to mimic the feel of an ancient amphitheatre – a meeting under the open sky. The completely white congress hall seems an ideal backdrop for events where the organizer can really allow its colors or products to pop. We can already picture the possibilities for a fashion runway show. - Tuija Seipell



 
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Transportation

December 8 2008



If you're fortunate enough to have a garage full of sports cars your next purchase must be a Silvestri speedboat - what we like to call the Porsche of the sea. The devastatingly handsome 23-foot vessel was actually created by the makers of the Spyker sports car and it shows. It features all sorts of high tech gadgets and stylistic points that you expect from a superior sports car, from remote control hatched compartments to a sleek leather interior. Oh, and a ferocious motor to be reckoned with. It's enough to make James Bond proud. - Orlando Evans

Food

December 8 2008



Posh is probably the best word to describe the venerable Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida. Expecting only pastelly and fussy colonial style, we were happy to see the fun decor of Serendipity cafe, just opened at the luxury resort. But we really shouldn’t be surprised. This cafe is the second only outlet of New York’s super-famous Serendipity 3.
 
It is the cafe with the crazy Alice-in-Wonderland decor that was opened in 1954 in New York (on East 58th and later moved to East 60th) by three party-hosting young men, Patch Caradine, Calvin Holt and Stephen Bruce. In addition to serving mad dessert and ice cream treats, they also offered – and still do – an extensive family-friendly menu. Celebrities of all kinds are regulars. In 2001, a movie was named after the cafe and starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.


 
The Boca Raton outlet is the first time the 54-year-old Serendipity has been lured outside New York, so we assume they have really thought this out. Certainly the new 1,200-square-foot space looks amazing with its ice-creamy colors and signature light fixtures. .We’ll drink an Apricot Smush for that. - Tuija Seipell

Kids

December 10 2008



ArcheToys designed by Floris Hovers may be toys but kids do not need to get excited. Adults are going to scoop them up, now that they are apparently available - although we are not yet quite sure how or where we could buy them.
 
Hovers was born in 1976 in Raamsdonksveer in the Netherlands and graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2004. The first ArcheToy was an ambulance that Hovers created for his little cousin. The simplicity of the cars from the 1950s and 1960s charmed and intrigued Hovers and so he began to craft a fleet of specialty vehicles. They are archetypes of uncomplicated, recognizable form; toys for adults minus tiresome macho undertones.
 
Hovers introduced ArcheToys to the world at the November 2007 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. His intention of designing furniture has now been sidetracked as these little things have taken off the way they deserve. More than 40 strong and growing, the ArcheToys fleet includes several that we simply must have — especially the hearse, combine and ice-cream truck. - Tuija Seipell

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Music

April 12 2010

Two Door Cinema Club inhabit a curious position in the current musical landscape. On the surface they’re a typical indie-pop band, that’s obvious from the haircuts right down to the masterful knack for melody that these three Irish lads posses. But there’s more to it than that. The group’s energetic guitar blasts that riddle debut album Tourist History betray some serious punk leanings, not to mention the trio’s connection with French hipster den Kitsune has made them crossover stars with the dance and electro crowd. Indeed, the trio laid down parts of Tourist History with club stalwart Philippe Zdar of Cassius, an experience treasured by the trio.

“He is the best producer working in dance music right now, hands down,” says Kevin Barnes from Two Door Cinema Club down a crackling phone line from Northern Ireland. “And he was great to work with, he just wanted us to try out all his toys in the studio,” he says, adding that the current musical climate helped facilitate the hook-up with Zdar. “Now those genres have really blurred and the label you put on the music doesn’t matter so much anymore.”

Indeed, the melting pot of styles found on Tourist History only serves to enhance the  accessibility and sheer fun of Two Door Cinema Club. It’s an intensely listenable record, and its thoughtful simplicity is something to be cherished in an age of grand designs and high pretension in indie rock. “We just wanted to make something that was true to the music that we have all been influenced by, and this is what we came up with” Barnes explains. “We did our  best to ignore all the hype and just focus on doing what we love.” Dave Ruby Howe


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Events

December 5 2009




Coinciding with Art Basel Miami, FriendsWithYou has unveiled its flagship boutique at 3930 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami, Florida. In their whimsical and inimitable style, they have created their very own fun house for their fans stocked with new limited-edition stuff — from clothing and toys to prints, books and art. We are also looking forward to our collaboration with Friends With You in 2010 on some special TCH projects.

Magical spiritual powers are not the only talents Miami-based art collaborative FriendsWithYou can claim as theirs. They also have a special skill for creating cuddly, cute and somewhat clever toys, events, experiences and other playthings for us mere mortals. We would never imply that their Fun Houses and other such entertainments are just for kids because if they were, we’d feel too envious to be nice. 


 
In 2008, the FriendsWithYou duo — Sam Borkson and Arturo “Tury” Sandoval III — participated in the Hexagone (A hex is gone) group art show in Miami, curated by Jose Mertz. The FriendsWithYou playroom was filled with gigantic inflated buddies and called Wish World.


 
Also in 2008, a FriendsWithYou Fun House was part of the 944 Magazine’s Crime on Canvas surrealistic pop art show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. And later in the year FriendsWithYou created another Fun House interactive exhibition for the SCOPE Miami lounge. SCOPE took place in the Wynwood Art District where the FriendsWithYou studio is also located.


 
Earlier this month, FriendsWithYou created another Fun House interactive exhibition for the SCOPE Miami lounge. This year’s SCOPE had nearly 90 exhibitors from more than 20 countries in a new 60,000-square-foot space in the Wynwood Art District where FriedsWithYou’s new studio is now also located.


 
The Fun House is a giant, anthropomorphic bounce house intended to help unleash the visitors’ inner brats and in doing so, take advantage of the healing power of fun. This is in keeping with FriendsWithYou’s mission of sharing the message of “magic, luck and friendship with the global community.” - Tuija Seipell

News

October 28 2012




Our work has a side effect that we did not anticipate when we started TCH in 2004. From the start, we were clear that we do not want to follow or predict trends – we trust our own instincts and feature what we feel deserves to be featured. Plain and simple. But what we did not envision is that we seem to be creating trends.

We have created a trend of success for the creatives, designers, architects, artists, brands and entrepreneurs we have featured on our pages. By giving them the exposure and attention they did not previously enjoy, we have created trends that include their work, their style and their ideas.

Each week we receive excited emails from the individuals and brands we have featured reporting massive spikes in traffic on their websites, and avalanches of international enquires from agencies, retailers and other potential clients wanting to get their hands on their work.

Most of them also report being inundated with enquiries from the other international media - major magazines and newspapers who rely on The Cool Hunter and other great blogs to find content for their pages.


It's all part of the blog effect that has revolutionized global media and the practice of journalism. Print can no longer compete in terms of reporting information first. By the time newspapers and magazines hit news-stands, their content is old news, hence why they - and you - subscribe to our newsletter. And it is all free.

Blogs have become a crucial resource for other media, who rely on them to supply the raw, uncensored, immediate information they cannot afford or just simply don’t know how to find.

We receive daily emails from major publications asking us for high-res images and more information on posts, which we then see covered in their pages weeks or months later.

The world's most powerful mastheads, the Vogues, Vanity Fairs, BBC, CNN, and New York Times' of the world, now compete with the increasingly influential blogs not just for news and content, but for advertising dollars as growing slices of marketing budgets are being funneled into the blogs..

The bottom line is that blogs reach more people than print media.

Here at The Cool Hunter, we are happy to report that much of the benefit of our influence as an information source flows straight back to the people and brands we feature.

For the past seven years we've endeavoured to bring our readers the most inspiring stuff from across the globe and we are thrilled that the exposure we have provided has helped launch careers, build media profiles and taken businesses to a new, global level.

TCH is the world's most-read culture and design site, a leading authority on all things creative and a truly global hub for what's cool, thoughtful, innovative and original.

We thought we'd share some of these stories with you from a selection of posts.

"Almost immediately after TCH featured my paper sculptures, my email inbox became flooded with inquiries of every type. From magazine interviews, books and blogs, to a live radio interview in South Africa and a TV show on Fuji Television in Japan showing my sculptures. Inquiries have also included invitations to have exhibitions in Taiwan, China and Moscow, private commissions, and ad campaigns.

I was totally blown away by the power of the internet and the reach that TCH has to every corner of the World. Literally! Paris, London, Italy, Poland, Prague, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, India, Amsterdam, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Iran, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, Finland, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, USA ... I'm sure I missed someone. :)

I've been making paper sculptures for more than 28 years now, had exhibitions in Japan, China and the US. But never have I ever gotten this much attention before and probably never would have if not for TCH! Thank you TCH! I am humbled and filled with gratitude." Jeff Nishinaka

"The first symptom was a peak of high fever in the statistics, followed by a rash of e mails : a flush of enthusiastic feed back as enquiries erupted from everywhere.

Then the epidemic reached the Store with a regular stream of reproduction orders, before hitting the international press. A flurry of  interviews from South Africa, London, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, USA.

Then it spread into work opportunities: Diadora shoes advertising in Italy, Burton snowboard, Music artists requests for CD covers.

And even though we get contacts from all over the world, it seems that the fever holds on as the high température is maintained through a constant flow of Australian contacts.

That’s part of the visible Coolhunter effect and I don’t want to be cured ! Thanks to Coolhunter and it ‘s team, and congratulation for having created such an extensive and powerful web of art and beauty addicts around the world". Francoise Neilly



Within 48 hours of being featured in this post Amsterdam-based architecture and interior design group i29 was flooded with emails from design publications around the world including Frame Mag (Netherlands), Monitor Mag (Russia) Elle Decoration (Romania) CASE da Abitare (Italy), LOFT publications (Spain) BOB magazine (Korea), GULF interiors (Dubai) De Architect (Netherlands), ONoffice (UK) Cover Magazine (Venezuela), Sisustajalehti (Finland) Vivenda (Netherlands) Maru Magazine (Korea) and plenty of other print media and numerous design blogs.





Dutch architects and interior designers Uxus recieved a "tenfold" increase in traffic to their website after we featured their project Merus Winery in California. Uxus was flooded by queries from magazines around the world, including Wallpaper (UK), Noblese Mag (Korea), Marie Claire (Brazil), GQ India, Casa Da Abitare (Italy) FX Mag (UK), Absolute Marbella (Spain), Home Journal Mag (Hong Kong), ID Mag (USA), The Shorlist (UK), Future Laboratory (UK) and many more.




"What an honour to be featured in such an extraordinary, tasteful site!

The power of the internet and the incredible reach TCH has in the world, was an unexpected surprise several weeks ago, when I opened my morning emails!

It was an instant rush ~ numerous sales from my online Etsy shop, as well as gallery enquiries and interview requests. To date, I have been written up in a number of international magazines, blogged by well-known journalists, stylists and receive countless messages full of compliments and good wishes!

There has been a fun collaboration with a photographer along with another TCH discovery, MiiR bottles. A very large print installation created by a Greek Architect firm for a client’s home, a Random House book cover assignment and an invite to be featured as a watercolor artist in a new Chronicle book about ‘new watercolorists’, to be published sometime in 2012!

This has been an amazing year, since starting out as a self representing artist only 13 months ago. 
I am so grateful for the expose you have given me TCH. Thank you for all your incredible support....this is a fantastic journey, I am so excited about the future!" - Cate Parr



"Being on The Cool Hunter has resulted in a handful of opportunities - the NYTimes being one of them. After my work was posted on the site and I was commissioned to design an image for the cover of New York Times real estate magazine. My exposure on The Cool Hunter has allowed me to quit my day job." Andy Gilmore



"It’s because thanks too The Cool Hunter I’ve been featured in over 50 magazines that can be viewed on my website under editorials on the information page. The lights even ended up in Argentinean Playboy! Along that I also have generated many jobs within Australia, many o/s enquiries and an actual job in San Francisco.
 
I’m about to move out of my studio in my garage into a real studio which allows me to employ staff, too as business is growing fast and I desperately need more space as well as extra hands. So I can’t begin to tell you how much I thank you for making me famous!" Volker Haug



"The opportunities that thecoolhunter.net feature has provided me are beyond what I could have ever imagined. Not only did it kick start my career as an artist, but it did so almost overnight. I’m a graphic artist for network TV as my day job and fine art was solely a hobby. The day the feature came out I literally woke up, looked at my phone and had about 100 emails asking for information about the piece.  Within a couple of weeks the stats for my website showed over 300 other websites linking to me and nearly a half million visitors to my site from over 60 countries. 

I was written up in a number of international publications and was offered paid corporate speaking engagements such as at Disney animation. I just completed my first solo gallery show but have also had my artwork featured at 2 additional art galleries in group exhibitions. Additionally, I am working on commissioned pieces for international buyers all of whom found me on thecoolhunter.net. Currently my art is being considered for a feature film in which it would appear in a high end home. I am also about to show some pieces in homes for sale in the 10 million dollar plus price range.

There are no words I can use to express my gratitude for the exposure that you have provided for me." Matt Bilfield, artist



"Being featured on The Coolhunter has certainly increased awareness and understanding of Aesop to a very appropriate and progressive audience. Posts have resulted in communication with Case Da Abitare, Harpers Bazaar, Virgin Blue Voyeur, Surface, DIDD (industry), GDR (industry), A4 (Poland), Attitude (Portugal), BMW Magazine (Germany). Belle (Australia), Marie Claire (Australia), Cubes (Singapore) too many to list." Indi Davis - Aesop


"When TCH approached us to feature Saffire Freycinet on their website, we were thrilled. We understood the power of endorsement from such a popular brand and were happy to have founder Bill Tikos stay with us in our opening week. What we weren’t prepared for was the response to his post. The number of times his glowing review was re-blogged throughout the world was astounding. We have had media requests from as far a field as Mexico and Brazil, as well as throughout Europe and Asia, and we have no doubt that the far-reaching communications of The Coolhunter extended our brand beyond our wildest dreams considering we were within the first month of operation.” Matt Casey, General Manager". Saffire Freycinet

"The response from across the world to the images of my sculptures after being posted on TCH has been beyond amazing! As well as several actual books and and on line magazines picking up on the work worldwide, I have also recently been offered the chance to show some work at the Royal Academy with the ‘Sketch’ organisation. I have also just met (in London) curators from New York who are planning collaborations in New York Germany and Istanbul. The Cool Hunter is experienced by them as cutting edge in cultural terms and they watch it’s output regularly. The ripple effect of the posting is still on and looks likely to do so  probably well into the future. I now have work ‘within the same general  walls’ as Tracey Emin, Sophie Calle, Anthony Gormley, Stuart Hagarth (Haunch of Venison Gallery) . which is being seen by their audiences. It’s been great and thank you!". Robert Bradford.



"Ever since being featured on The Cool Hunter, interest in my work has increased massively. I've been contacted by several people from students, other designers and design blogs to magazines, books and brands, which have lead to some successful commissions with great clients. Other than my own personal work and portfolio site, The Cool Hunter has also helped my additional online project Random Got Beautiful gain a lot of attention. I now get photo submissions every week for the site. Although I was featured over a year ago and again several months ago, I still receive a high proportion of visits from The Cool Hunter site. The exposure has been very significant. Thanks a lot! - Nikki Farquharson"

“The Coolhunter effect” is incredible!  FieldCandy website traffic increased ten fold during the weeks following TCH feature. Sales enquires grew dramatically, as did the geographic spread of orders, with Russia, South America and the Middle East currently equalling our more traditional markets. Media enquiries, both on and off-line have increased significantly from around the globe.

Interestingly, other less obvious opportunities have been directly associated to TCH effect. FieldCandy was invited to display our Outstanding tents at the Grammy Awards in LA, leading to important celebrity endorsements. Several major companies have approached us to ‘own brand’ tents for their marketing and promotional purposes, and we are in talks with several well respected retailers and e-tailers.

Most importantly for a design led brand, Fieldcandy is now working with many designers and artists from around the world, some well know, other less so, but the long term benefit for Fieldcandy, caused by TCH effect is quite astounding.

Many thanks - John - FieldCandy founder

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Art

November 29 2009




She was born in Sweden, worked in Brazil and is now settled in the Portland area. The prolific illustrator and mixed-media artist Linn Olofsdotter is a global citizen of the most interesting kind. Her own life in different locales gives her many sources of inspiration and most likely helps her flex her illustration muscle to meet the needs of a vast variety of clients.



Her work has appeared in Computer Arts  and Bon Magazine; she’s created T-shirt graphics for Levi’s, wall murals for a hotel in Los Angeles, CD covers for artists and illustrations for Oilily and La Perla. Nearly all of her work has a collage-like feel, with many layers, nuances and media. The somewhat surreal and psychedelic look of some of her pieces attests to her ability and willingness to trot not just the globe but regions beyond. - Tuija Seipell

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Design

January 6 2009




Bold use of colour has never frightened the 40-year-old, Lisbon-based architect Pedro Gadanho. The colour extravagance of the recently completed single-family residence in Oporto, Portugal, follows Gadanho’s established modus operandi of using white and bright colours as key elements of a space. The petrol-blue kitchen and sanguine stairway draw the attention while at the same time punching up the power of snowy white.



Colour played an important part also in the widely reviewed and admired Orange house he designed with Nuno Grande. The private residence was completed in 2005 in Carreço, Portugal.
 
Another example of Gadanho’s use of color is the high-profile Ellipse Foundation Art Centre in Estoril/Alcoitão, Portugal. He designed the 20,000 square-foot converted warehouse with Atelier de Santos. It was completed in 2006.



Gadanho’s thought-provoking architecture matches his overall attempt to provoke critical thinking about the relationship between architecture and current culture. He is known not only as an architect but also as a free-lance critic, curator and teacher. He’s taught architecture theory and history at Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto and curated the Portuguese presence at the 2004 Venice Biennale. And for those of us who like lovely names, his full name is Pedro César Clara do Carmo Gadanho. Tuija Seipell



Images/Fernando Guera


Ads

January 9 2009



Many of us have a fascination with graffiti art, and we sometimes even look over our shoulders to make sure no one’s watching when we scratch out our initials in a freshly laid slab of cement — or carve them into a wooden desk — or even scribble profanities across the stall door in a public restroom. 

The creative minds working for Sharpie, the ultimate in permanent markers, have discovered a way to satiate our desires to deface public domain.  Interactive e-cast billboards have been scattered around cities, which allow people to experience the rush of creating their own graffiti.  Choose some colours, write a message and Sharpie makes it possible for anyone to leave his permanent mark on the side of the bus stop or the public phone or anywhere else billboard adverting may be experienced. Andrew J Wiener.

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Music

January 14 2009



It’s best to get this out of the way early, otherwise it’ll just distract us later. Yes, Telepathe are very cool. They’ve got a wealth of New York City style, hookups with labels like Merok and Isomorph Records and their upcoming Dance Mother LP features friendly assists from !!! and TV On The Radio wunderkind Dave Sitek. But don’t let the hype of all that get in the way of Telepathe’s music, because that’s where the real magic lies. Coming together like an art-school student’s wet dream, the NYC three-piece cook up an exhilarating brand of tribal dance music, complete with boom and doom drum circles, séance-channelling vocals, a mess of fluttering synthesizers mixed with a nice touch of stuttered hip-hop production aesthetics. It’s all sorts of weird, but equally wonderful, of course. — Dave Ruby Howe

Design

January 13 2009



Many of the brutalist forms of architecture constructed under the watchful eyes of the Soviet regime in the latter half of the twentieth century sit unused or abandoned throughout various eastern European cities.  The ‘Danube Flower,’ a Belgrade landmark sited along the river’s foreshore was no exception.  Originally opened as a restaurant in the 1970s, the triangular structure built 15 metres above the river sat empty for fifteen years after the fall of Communism and during the civil war in what was then Yugoslavia and now is Serbia. 

 

The Belgrade design studio, 4of7 partnered with London-based Superfusionlab to adaptively reuse the space as a high-end gym and spa in city’s centre.  From the ground-level pedestrian esplanade, visitors enter the Wellness Sky through the central core, the sole support for the entire structure, which contains two lift shafts and a double spiral staircase.



Once inside the facilities, its namesake genuinely takes meaning.  Fitness gurus and gym junkies are immediately awash with sweeping city and river views from the uninterrupted ribbon window, which wraps entirely around the building.  During the day, light glows through the widows onto the reflective resin floor.  The faceted ceiling comprised of backlit semi translucent triangular panels allows visitors to feel as if they are exercising within a cloud.  The openness and loftiness of the design of the Wellness Sky allows members to feel nearly weightless in the very environment where burning away the excess is the ultimate achievement. - Andrew J Wiener.

Architecture

January 13 2009




The boxy and containery appearance of residential buildings currently attracting accolades and attention is starting to get boring. However, simplicity, clarity and openness are qualities that continue to appeal.



While this is yet another house of stacked boxes, we cannot help but admire the vacation residence clinging dramatically to the sloping hill up in the trees of the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada.



Locals, used to a more traditional ski chalet in this popular ski resort area, refer to the building as the cube, a name choice requiring no imagination. When the Montreal-based architectural firm Saucier + Perrotte won the Canadian Architect magazine’s Award of Excellence for this project in 2004, the magazine called the entry the Lac Superieur Residence in Lac Superieur, Mont-Tremblant.



Whatever the moniker, the house stuns with its elegant lines, stylish use of materials and lack of unnecessary distractions.



As it should be, the building’s real redeeming features reveal themselves inside. The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows provide all the visual stimulus you’ll need, and at the same time, demand a streamlined approach to everything else in the interior.



The boxy-cubey theme continues inside as do the color scheme and the lack of distracting materials. The residence is divided into three functional areas’ sleeping quarters on the top floor, middle and entry floor for living and the lowest level for play.



Although the building looks like a disorganized corner of a stylish container-port it exudes a solitary, silent grace that allows the distinctive, four seasons of the mountain to provide the main attraction.



The building meets the criteria for a log cabin as described in the area’s design guidelines for recreational development yet, fortunately, fails to resemble a Tyrolean mini castle. - Tuija Seipell



Architecture

January 26 2009




Casa Monte na Comporta in Grândola, Portugal is a house that sits in its surroundings as if it had always been there yet it also manages to look completely fresh, cool, new and spectacular.
 
The house’s undulating shape echoes the gently sloping sand dunes, and its hard and angular surface planes contrast beautifully with the rounded shapes of the surrounding trees.


 
It has a bunker-like feel but it really does not look like a bomb-shelter because the exterior is broken into smaller sections with varying materials. The sky, the trees and the water in the pool provide all the color. Tactile texture is everywhere, inside and out. Light and shadow become the main players. The entire dwelling exudes organic calm.


 
Although it seems so, this house was not built into existing dunes. The exact opposite happened. Luis Pereira Miguel and team at Lisbon-based Pereira Miguel Arquitectos, built the dunes so that they could situate the house under them.


 
Pereira Miguel is a multi-disciplinary firm — architecture and interiors, commercial and residential — that works with various collaborators in Portugal and around the world. The seamless conversation between nature and house, surroundings and building is a theme visible in many of the firm’s projects but none as distinctively as in the Dune House.


 
The two crescent-shaped Barchan dunes that the architects created hide the house under a road. Eventually, it will look like the sand, the house and the wind have coexisted here forever. In a hundred years, it may look like some secret hub of notorious infiltrators or perhaps it we look more like a dwelling of friendly earthlings. Already the house shows a delicious hint of ancient cave and that aspect is going to get better and better after years of wind and weather action.


 
If you were able to look at the footprint of the house from the sky (and you are not, because it is partly under the sand), you’d realize that it consists of four slightly angled ”arms,“ almost like a wonky letter X with each section housing a separate function.


 
From each section, the view and feel are different from the others. With the constant action of the forces of nature, the view will also shift year by year, season by season, inviting contemplation and creating harmony.
 


Completed in late 2008, Casa Monte na Comporta in Grândola is, not surprisingly, drawing attention. It will be featured on Portuguese cable television this month and it will most likely be popping up in many design and architecture magazines in the coming months. That someone (other than me) is lucky enough to live in this house is almost too much to bear. - Tuija Seipell



Photography by ultimasreportagens.com

 

Events

January 15 2009



Fashion launches are a bit like romantic comedies; pretty people in pretty clothes in pretty places - and they all start to look and feel the same after a while. Louis Vuitton broke the mould with its latest launch for its new Stephen Sprouse collection. The mega party was held over three venues in New York, starting with a cocktail party at the Louis Vuitton store, followed by an exhibition of  Sprouse's artwork. The night ended with a packed after party at the Bowery Ballroom, where Debbie Harry took to the stage for a mini concert.

Louis Vuitton did the late designer proud, celebrating his unique Punk couture aesthetic by creating mini 'Sprouse worlds' - referencing his work at every turn, from the walls to the ceiling and the furniture, culminating in a spectacular 'hall" of graffiti, a 'tower' of vintage TV sets and custom neon signs. Even the food paid homage to Sprouse - neon coloured hors d'oeuvres and desserts spilled out in a kind of punk colored rainbow.



Sprouse, who was part of Andy Warhol's set, become famous in the 1980s for pioneering the uptown pop punk look; a wild and edgy mix of elements such as day-glo colours, high-tech fabrics, sequins, velcro, superb uptown tailoring and hand painted silks. The designer and artist, who died in 2004, also created elaborate costumes for the likes of Mick Jagger, Axl Rose, Trent Reznor, Courtney Love, David Bowie and Duran Duran.

And now, thanks to Louis Vuitton, a whole new generation will have the opportunity to discover his work. - Laura Demasi

Events

January 16 2009



Held between June 14 and September 14, 2008, the International Exhibition Expo Zaragoza 2008 is already a distant memory but its effects still reverberate.


 
The 25 hectares along the river Ebro near Spain’s fifth-largest city, Zarazoga, hosted thematic pavilions and thematic squares plus the pavilions of more than 100 countries, all exploring the overall theme of the Expo, “Water and Sustainable Development.”


 
Some of our favourite Expo mementoes are these spectacular images from the Portuguese Pavilion. Theming the Portuguese participation in the watery event, Lisbon-based Bak Gordon Architects envisioned a river’s ever-changing flow from its trickling source to a river mouth by the sea.


 
BAK created the pavilion’s spaces as versatile, changeable and changing surroundings for audience participation at levels of each individual’s choosing. The three main areas – Alert, Consciousness and Change – explored water and sustainability and featured a red “river” of pavement that helped the visitors track the flow of the exhibit.


 
From an alarming tubular “jungle” of Alert, to Consciousness where Nuno Cera’s photography highlighted the three mighty rivers of Iberia – Guadiana, Tagus and Douro, the visitor ended up in the hopeful Change, where the promising movement of citizens was depicted, literally, with the movement of images and words spoken in various languages. - Tuija Seipell



Photography by ultimasreportagens.com


News

January 16 2009



TCH wins best culture blog for 2007 & 2008!

It's official. We are proud to announce that we have won the Best Culture Blog category at the Weblog Awards for 2008. We are thrilled to take out the prize, our second, after also winning the same category at last year's awards.



A huge thank you to all of our very progressive and active readers who voted for us. We thank you for supporting us. We look forward to continuing to inform and inspire you with our finds.



Pics via TCH Platinum

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Kids

January 19 2009



We feel no sympathy at all for any kid in Berlin who complains about school if their school is Erika-Mann Grundschule II . Not only do the principles of their school seem like they were actually created for children, the school’s recently revamped environment is amazing – perhaps not surprisingly as it was designed by the kids themselves with Baupiloten, a group of architecture students.


 
Some time ago, we wrote about Taka-Tuka Land Kindergarten which was also designed by the same Baupiloten studio. It is a group of architecture students at the Technical University of Berlin led by architect Susanne Hoffmann who founded the studio in 2003.


 
Baupiloten projects allow the architecture students to experience all facets of a real-life project, from design to budgeting, cost control and site supervision. The students also learn to present to clients and to convince them that their solutions are viable and practical.
 
A group of just under 10 architecture students worked on the Erika-Mann Grundschule II project. The kids who are using the space participated actively in the design process, giving the architecture students their views on how they will actually use the space, how it should function and what they’d love to see in their school.


 
Together they sought to lighten and cheer up the heavy and authoritarian air of their old school building from 1915. They developed a playful concept based on a fantastical world of the Silver Dragon. The farther into the building one moves, the stronger one feels the presence of the Silver Dragon whose spirit changes, moves, glows and shimmers.
 
The different spaces are called Snuffle Garden, Snuffling Room, Chill Room and Dragon’s Breath, each starting with a clean white background and offering freedom of expression in the form of flexible furnishings.


 
The Chill Room located on the third floor includes one and two-person seating platforms covered with foam, tarp and various textiles. Meter-high petals protect each pedestal creating little isolated cocoons, each of which is also moveable and changeable by the children depending on what they wish at the time.
 
The Snuffle Garden on the second floor is furnished with horizontal and sloping surfaces for sitting, lying down or sliding. No wonder that the school was named one of Germany’s best schools at the end of 2008. - Tuija Seipell


 
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Architecture

January 22 2009




It seems as though a wooden boat washed up on shore amidst a neighbourhood of typical Aussie beach houses just south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. From the street the house’s irregular form reveals nothing of what unfolds once within the property.



At a closer look, the façade consists solely of a postbox. According to the design team at McBride Charles Ryan the openness of a holiday house in a beach community renders the front door arbitrary. You stop in for the weekend – your mates stop over for a Sunday afternoon drink.

  

The architects valued the existing scale of Blairgowrie – the house is certainly not an obstruction built within the community. Instead, it’s modest irregularity opens up into an impressive four-bedroom beach verandah.  Bold blacks and whites sit on top of the stained timber floors, which run the length of the house.



A dramatic red support structure, the most striking interior feature, draws the divide between inside and out. According to the architects, the support shelves are where beach memories will be stored – a place where all the stuff you see every day will sit as you and your family grow. - Andrew J Wiener





Photography: John Gollings


 

Ads

January 22 2009



We don't think there's a person left on this earth who isn't thrilled/glad/relieved to see the back of George Bush, America's worst president  - and that includes Republicans. Which is why we laughed out loud when a reader sent in this brilliant ad in the Australian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph today. Supermarket hair removal brand Veet joined in the loud chorus of 'goodbye and good riddens' and sold a few more tubes of hair removal cream at the same time. Brilliant. No more Bush indeed. - Laura Demasi

Created by EuroRSCG Australia
Art Director: Patrycja Lukjanow
Copy Writer: John Gault
Creative Director: Rowan Dean

Transportation

January 28 2009




This one’s for all you bike enthusiasts — or those of you who maybe don’t know much about the ins and outs of motorcycles, but share a passion for fascinating imagery and maybe even dream every once in awhile about speeding relentlessly down the highway on two wheels.



Australia-based designer, Chris Hunter compiles a daily dose of cool bike images on bikeexif.com.
 
From BMW airheads to Goldwing bobbers, Hunter pulls together the most interesting biker photographs from around the world. Bike EFIX is the place to see all the best bespoke, custom and even vintage motorcycles for all you design-obsessed bike fan out there. 



And Hunter, who has a particular liking for the Italian dream — the Moto Guzzi — is on the right track for attracting those who appreciate new and classic design on two wheels. - Andrew J Wiener

Lifestyle

January 28 2009




Design's love affair with bold colour inches one step further with the application of graphic art into everything from tables to chairs, bookshelves and even yachts. Cappellini gave Adam Goodrum's 'Stitch' chair the colour treatment with blocks or red, blue, white and black applied to the segments of the aluminium folding chair. Designer Enzo Berti recasts the humble bookshelf as a canvas for graphic prints with his Bar Code Street shelves. London based artist Anna James, who transforms pieces of 20th century furniture into contemporary art works, applied a clean graphic to her Genoa table. And of course who can forget Jeff Koon's 'art' yacht, released last year, which is still wowing onlookers on the Mediterranean. - Laura Demasi

Stores

January 29 2009



Economic doom and gloom does have an upside. It has laid the foundations for a fertile new landscape of creativity and innovation. When the market gets tough brands have to work harder to keep their customers, they have to find more creative ways to engage them. Innovation becomes a must in the design process. It's a case of innovate or risk a likely death. Which is why we predict a rebirth of creativity across product design, marketing and retail design. This new era isn't about big dollars, it's about big ideas and originality. Expect the unexpected.



The Cool Hunter Platinum is working on a number of retail projects. We are looking for like-minded partners. Are you a designer or architect with innovative retail work? Have you seen a new store that you just can't forget? We want to hear from you too. Contact us .....[email protected] or [email protected]

Bars

February 2 2009




For years now we've been hitting the pub with our mates - ordering pint upon pint of beer - and although many of us have a preference for a local brew or a dark malt or an amber, plenty of us have been quite happy ordering the old fallback, a green-necked Heine - and almost everywhere we go, from the smallest desert roadside watering holes to the cosmopolitan lounges and clubs, we can almost be certain Heineken will be available.  



So how does a brand, which is recognised worldwide, reengage its consumers and reinvent its story? The US-based BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leaders in experiential marketing, has developed the New Heineken Experience - an interactive journey through the history of the brand and the brewing process. The experience is housed in the former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.



Visitors to the restored brewery push their senses to the extreme as they see, smell, touch and taste everything that goes into the production - brewing and bottling Heineken beer. A special effects ride allows visitors to immerse themselves into the entire process from conception to completion with interactive exhibits as well as interpretive graphics. With the New Heineken Experience, the company hopes to develop renewed, enduring and personal connections with those of us who have always loved Heineken. - Andrew J Wiener




 

Transportation

February 2 2009



The art of the sports car takes centre stage at the new Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

Engines, interactive displays, Porsche memorabilia and 80 cars – including prototypes and icons like the 911, all polished to a mirror-sheen – are parked on two floors of pristine, white galleries.

The collection includes a 550 Spyder – the model James Dean was driving when he died in a collision with a Studebaker in 1955.

Other models, like the 917 type Hollywood star Steve McQueen made famous in "Le Mans" and the 928 version Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business" used to elude trouble, are parked bumper-to-bumper under dazzling spotlights.


Three dramatic concrete pillars support the museum building, designed by the Viennese architecture firm Delugan Meissl, which seems to float above its industrial surroundings.

A handcrafted aluminum recreation of the very first Porsche, a Type 64 'VW Aerocoupe,' shines in the center of the first floor.

Prototypes on display include a 928 model almost long enough for four doors, a 1989 "Panamericana" with odd, frog-like curves and the darling of the museum staff: the 1992 Boxster prototype that won Best in Show at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show.

Porsche hopes to lure 200,000 visitors a year to the museum – competition for the rival Mercedes museum, located a half-hour away in Untertuerkheim, a Stuttgart suburb. (more visuals over at Autoblog )

Fashion

February 3 2009



It's not often that you yearn for weather cold enough to turn your fingers frosty but one look at Mary Beyer's divine gloves will do the trick. Actually we'll take any excuse to slip into Beyer's beautifully tailored pieces, which are reminiscent of an era when gloves were an essential component of a lady's everyday wardrobe.



The French designer works with brilliantly colored and textured leathers and her designs feature interesting details such as ties and cuffs.





She works out of her lovely Paris boutique located in the upmarket shopping mecca, Palais Royal, where she also makes couture (made-to-measure) gloves for the city's chicest women. Could gloves be the new black? We can feel a trend coming on. - Laura Demasi




Events

February 5 2009



Truth: prostate cancer kills thousands of Australian men each year — equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer. We know, definitely not cool. But the Cancer Council of Australia is far from giving up hope. This year they are asking Aussie blokes to participate and help raise funds for Daredallion Week from March 2nd-6th.



Dare: register to take on the Daredallion challenge — dare someone to do something they normally would not do — or else challenge yourself to something completely outrageous and raise money that will be used to promote awareness for men’s cancers.  Eugene Tan, our friend over at Aquabumps, photographed one of the first dares this year — a guy unsuccessfully attempted to float away from Bondi beach strapped to a bunch of helium balloons.  Check out the Daredallion site and either register a dare of your own, or use their Dare Generator and take on one of the challenges already developed — we dare you! - Andrew J Wiener



Music

February 25 2009



Solo albums suck. Well, most of the time they suck, because most of the time they're lousy and ill-considered cash-ins that end up shedding little light on this new side of the artist and just end up damaging our opinions of the original band. History (and record store discount bins) are littered with failed solo-grabs and side projects. How many jokes end with a punch-line about David Bowie's Tin Machine experiment? Was anyone even awake for Nicole Scherzinger's lone-Pussy Cat Doll phase? And really, who wants to listen to an hour's worth of material from the drummer from Weezer? But people do get it right every once in a while. Like Victoria Bergsman's split from the Concretes, or Nick Littlemore's work with Teenager and Empire of the Sun outside of Pnau. This is not to forget someone like Marvin Gaye's creative peak after leaving the Moonglows or even the obvious work of Michael Jackson once he broke free of his brothers. And while Morrisey never quite matched the lightning in a bottle after the Smiths' end, his has been one of the most consistent and enduring solo careers in memory. So here's two fine examples of how to make pretty great solo record.



NICKEL EYE

With the Strokes' hiatus continually stretching over the last couple of years, we've seen the band's members peel off into a multitude of side and solo projects. From Albert Hammond Jr's confident strides on his two solo discs, to Frabrizio Moretti's new island-indie group Little Joy, and Julian Casablancas and Nick Valensi's shuffling guest spots with the likes of Queens of the Stoneage, Pharrell and Regina Spektor. The latest Stroke to go it alone is Nikolai Fraiture, masquerading here as Nickel Eye with Time of the Assassins. It's a bold and surprising move from the notedly reserved bassist, but an impressive to be sure. Hints of the classic Strokes' sound litter the disc, but Nickel Eye's strength lies in the variations on that sound. There's added harmonicas, whistles and plenty of acoustic guitars. It's like if the Strokes were concerned with classic Americana instead of New York cool and lived on throat-scraping moonshine instead of famous models.



FEVER RAY

After the Knife's Silent Shout conquered everyone's world in 2006, O. Dreijer and his sister K. Dreijer Andersson put their musical partnership on hold. This led to the birth of Fever Ray, Karien's latest solo-output. While the self-titled debut of Fever Ray isn't far removed from the Knife's spooky electronic terrains, this record does feel different. It's sparse and paced against the tension heard on the Silent Shout and the attitude of Deep Cuts. Most remarkable of all is the glimpse at Driejer Andersson herself that Fever Ray offers. Beyond the Knife's stark exterior, we see a little of what drives Karin and how she's still steps ahead of the game. - Dave Ruby Howe

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Music

April 6 2009



It's only just hit April, but 2009 has already brought us a slew of big releases from heavy-hitters such as Animal Collective, Röyksopp and the Decemberists. But in our quest to be continually looking ahead for what's new and what's next, here's our forecast of acts who know will leave their mark on 2009.

BAG RAIDERS

Long seen as the secret weapon in the Australia vs. France electro-war, Sydney's party commanders, Bag Raiders, are hooked-up with the Bang Gang people and A-Trak and destined to shed the 'secret' part of that label this year. We promise.



EMIL & FRIENDS

While the hype swirling hoax that this was Emile Hirsch's musical side project drew initial listeners to New York's Emil & Friends, that audience has stayed for this mysterious band's addictive music.They mix MGMT's electro-fetish with the quirk of the Unicorns and the sample-heavy indie-folk of Animal Collective and Soft Tigers. So it's basically the best thing ever.



F
ENECH-SOLER

Although this three-piece are born and raised in the UK, they've absolutely nailed a French-Touch homage with their snappy indie-with-electronics style. And we're not the only ones who see big things ahead for Fenech-Soler, as Alan Braxe - the French disco icon -has picked up their next single for release on his boutique label, Vulture.



IRAN


Iran's
six-years-in-the-making Dissolver, is getting a load of hype because band member Kyp Malone's other group - TV On The Radio - has gotten kind of big in the interim. Fellow TVOTR member and super producer Dave Sitek lends his golden touch and turns Iran's lo-fi freakout rock into a polished indie-meets-classic rock record that would be just as comfortable blasting in a small club as in a stadium.



JONATHAN BOULET

It's crazy to think that Jonathan Boulet's rich, floating folk-pop melodies took form in the Australian troubadour's miniscule garage studio. But I suppose that is Boulet's gift, after all the twenty-year old can turn subtle, humble campfire tunes into soaring epics. Next he'll be doing straw into gold and water into wine.



LOST VALENTINOS

With Ewan Pearson helming their recent singles, Lost Valentinos have been serving up great combinations of angular guitars, dark synths and heavy beats, taking indie rock out for a night on the dancefloor. But it's Lost Valentinos' oppressive and sinister aesthetic and their experimental tendencies that make them shine this bright. Big things are sure to be found on their debut album, Cities Of Gold.



SHAZAM


With Macbooks and Korgs in their hands, bedroom producers are getting younger and better all the time. But the star at the top of the list is Shazam, a 19 year old disco savant out of Australia's West. His glittering party tunes are pool-side bound and deliriously cool, simply demanding you have some fun.



SNOB SCRILLA

After a fantastic debut EP in 2008 that featured some of the most exciting hip hop tracks of the year, Snob Scrilla is prepping the release of his Day One LP. Street single 'Houston' boasts the same shout-along, intense choruses and broad, bold production strokes that made the EP enthralling and can mean nothing but good things for the full-length.



THE ELEPHANTS

Denmark’s The Elephants sound like the long lost children of Brian Wilson, such is the sweet and sandy inspiration that flows through this quintet’s languid pop music. Currently wrapping their second album, you can expect to be head-over-heels by the time the northern Summer rolls around.



THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS

With only one single under their belts (the instantaneous joy of Dressed In Dresden), Brooklyn duo The Hundred In The Hands could go anywhere from here. Who knows? Dressed In Dresden could be an enormous fluke and the pair could decide they only want to make reggae or black metal or a frightening hybrid of the two. But going on that single's love of Gang of Four guitar-slashes and driving, distorted bass lines we think they're a pretty safe bet.



THE SOUND OF ARROWS

Sweden's finest indie imprint, Labrador, uncovered pop-boffins, The Sound of Arrows last year. With two singles of skewed candy-coated indie-pop under their belts we're expecting things to get even better this year.



THE TEMPER TRAP

The Temper Trap make music that will break your heart and shake your soul. A steady momentum built on the Australians' shimmering single, Sweet Disposition is now gathering pace (including a spot in the Zooey Deschanel indie-bait movie 500 Hundred Days Of Summer) and getting set to explode with their guaranteed-classic debut.



WALE

As if releasing one of the most widely-spread, highly-acclaimed and generally entertaining mix tapes of last year wasn't enough, Wale has assembled a dream team of producers for his debut disc (see: Cool & Dre, Green Lantern, will.i.am, Dave Sitek). If the US MC maintains his ear for good beats and knack for great lyrical turns then the hype should translate into a very solid debut.



WILEY


London grime master, Wiley, cuts his skills to record like he has a belt of dynamite strapped about his torso. Having just unleashed the blazing aural onslaught that is See Clear Now, Wiley is now gearing up to global release of another hip-breaking long player, Race Against Time. By Matt Hickey, Matt Shea, Dave Ruby Howe and Oliver Queen




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Offices

February 11 2009



Atelier Exquise is a showroom, design studio, kitchen and a small apartment for Exquise Design in Paris. Exquise is a team of three female designers focusing on designing contemporary lovetoys.

The new space is a meeting place for creatives where they can cook both ideas and food. Designed by Stockholm-based Electric Dreams, the space starts with white walls, ceiling and floor. To this simple backdrop, spurts of electric and luminous pinks, blues, purples, greens and yellow, add a feel of lightness and delight.



Electric Dreams is an architecture and design studio established in 2006 by product designer Joel Degermark and architect Catharina Franklander. Their design work ranges from cool and sleek retail interiors to lush and crazy installations. Degermark’s Cluster lamp for Moooi and the team’s fantastic, multiple concepts for the Swedish brand Monki — purchased in 2006 by H&M — are examples of the duo’s many talents. - Tuija Seipell



Design

February 12 2009



Peter Masters of Burned Toast Design is known for his elegant bent-wood and curved-acrylic tables and chairs, but the Manchester, UK-based furniture designer can be big, bold and public, if required. A recent re-vamp of the funky Reuben Wood Hair Salon in Manchester’s city centre shows that Masters has the talent to create an entire environment that is eclectic, electric and elegant.


 
Using simple curved mirrors, he created the storage units necessary to hide the day-to-day paraphernalia of a busy hair salon. The creation of the large mirrored surfaces dictated that everything else needed to be streamlined and toned-down so that the space would not appear too busy or scattered when clients and staff would populate it.


 
The long blue table in the middle of the salon is an industrialized version of Masters’ Horse design. The mirrors in this station are removable which makes it easy to change the look of the space without destroying the overall feel. Dashes of pink, green and blue play off the larger surfaces of black and white, and create focal points in the mirrored environment.


 
When making and designing furniture, Masters plays with a large variety of materials, methods and technologies. Laminating plywood, casting resins and metals, fabricating plastics and upholstery are all familiar to Masters, as are using a machine created for violin manufacture or hand-crafting custom pieces from sustainable materials. - Tuija Seipell



Related articles - Pimps & Pinups - London & Fur Hairdressing - Melbourne

Stores

February 13 2009




Lovely shoes and bags will literally be on pins and needles this Saturday, when the Kymyka shoes and bags boutique opens in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The beautiful store, established by Chantal Hermans and Jurgo Mouthaan, begins its life with an impressive line-up of brands, including Dolce & Cabbana, Etro, Stella McCartney, Dsquared, YSL, Giuseppe Zanotti, Luciano Padovan and Theory. Jimmy Choo will join the list soon, as will other brands.

Hermans and Muthaan chose well when they picked the industrious Maurice Mentjens to design their store. His work has been rewarded at many design competitions, including the Dutch Design Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007.



His design for the Stash bag shop won not just the Dutch Design Award in the Retail Category but also the German Design Award. Maurice Mentjens Design is engaged in a vast variety of project ranging from interior, exhibit, retail and hospitality design to product and furniture design. - Tuija Seipell

Related article - Shoo Biz - The World's Best

Photography - Arjen Schmitz

Travel

February 5 2009




How do you create a powerful experience that leaves a mark on your customers? It's an important question that drives large brands and companies to seminar after seminar about experiential marketing and purchasing. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes, despite substantial financial investment, they don't. Which is why we love it when we stumbled on a small, independent that has nailed it. In the crowded market of luxury/boutique travel emerges Pretty Beach House, an exclusive food-lovers Hamptons-esque private beach house resort just outside of Sydney that takes the concept of 'weekend' getaway to a new level.



The resort is made up of three private pavilions; relaxed, non-pretencious and homely beach villas nestled discreetly into a landscape full of hundreds of old gum trees which stand there like living art sculptures. A sense of peace and quiet descends upon you as soon as you arrive, ushering you into instant relaxation-mode. The villas interiors are luxurious but not over the top and feature raw, natural materials which blend in with the more 'designer' elements. Privacy is paramount which is why, we guess, each villa also has its own private swimming pool. There are no TVs in the villas, just a Bose Soundock with iPod and wireless internet (for online-junkies) so there's nothing else to do but slide from day bed to pool and back again in a haze of sedation, facilitated by attentive staff who materialise at your every whim.



The setting may be beautiful but the real thrill begins when it's time to eat. Renowned Sydney chef Steve Manfredi is in charge of the kitchen and largely responsible for the best part of the trip, exporting sophisticated, city fine dining into this laid-back environment. Manfredi often serves guests himself. If anything, the trip to Pretty Beach House is worth it just for this. Where else can you experience one of Sydney's top chefs cooking just for you and a tiny handful of others?



Aside from sleeping (in extraordinary beds, we must note), lazing, eating and drinking, you can wander down to Tallow Beach for a swim and a dose of dolphin watching. Or if you're in search of a slice of adventure you hop into the Pretty Beach House boat or take out a helicopter ride over the area.



For more information check out the site prettybeachhouse.com.au. Mention The Cool Hunter to receive a free upgrade to the tree house villa. - Bill Tikos


Lifestyle

November 24 2008




In the digital age of music, Turntablism has long remained a bastion of the analogue, a smoky backroom where arguments over white labels, pick-ups and the merits of the 'S'-shaped tone arm are the order of the day.  Only recently has the turntable been dragged into the digital spectrum, beginning with the CD models ten years ago and being followed now by the emergence of hard-drive based decks.  

The recent Picasso & His Collection exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA ) of Brisbane, Australia, managed to take the digital deck another step further. A significant part of Pablo Picasso's genius was the posthumous influence he had on modern Europe following his death in 1973, something GoMA's curators were excited to capture in their Contemporary Media Lounge, the centrepiece being the introduction of a touch screen turntable.

Co-ordinated by GoMA's Multimedia Designer, Aidan Robertson and calling on the skills of both the gallery's exhibitions team and post production company Cutting Edge's Interactive Designer, Dan Treichel, the brilliance of the turntables lies in the linking of a platter taken from a Numark HDX deck with an intuitive touchscreen. As the platter spins, the user is able to manipulate a range of adjustable filters onscreen to build, rearrange and reinvent the MP3 songs on the drive. While relatively easy to pick up and play, the turntables also possess a steady learning curve, letting the more committed and ambitious users create works of intimidating aural dexterity.   

Thus Robertson, Treichel and their collaborators managed to weave together the practicality of both old and new, keeping the tactile response of the high-torque HDX platter but matching it to the easy access of media and filters provided by a touchscreen. By doing so, they created a compelling experience and in the process made the touchscreen-turntables an unexpected star of the exhibition. By Matt Shea

Fashion

February 18 2009




Iconic retro brands possess strong currency right now. The latest hails not from the annals of fashion or apparel but from the world of toys - we're talking about LEGO, the multi-coloured building bricks that we all grew up with. While LEGO is still one of the top children's toy brands, it is spontaneously morphing into a credible street brand, adopted by Gen Y hipsters who still nurture happy memories of playing with the blocks as kids. It's part of a bigger trend, which has seen other iconic mostly 80s brands such as Reebok enjoy unexpected revivals.



LEGO has been appearing in all sorts of unlikely applications from watches to cameras, bags and belts, to usb sticks, mobile phones and even cupcakes. Our favourites include a recent ad for hot fashion house Lanvin, which used colour-spray guns made from LEGO in a recent campaign and adorable LEGO fashion show video by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac which cast LEGO figures as fabulous high fashion catwalk models.



We can only imagine what will be next. Lego for Louis Vuitton, perhaps? Marc Jacobs bags and Lego - a match made in heaven. Or LEGO sunglasses - it's a cult hit waiting to happen. - Laura Demasi

Stores

February 20 2009



The second U.S. store (after N.Y.) of the Japanese brand BAPE has become a solid street-corner anchor at 8001 Melrose Avenue in L.A. With only a few flimsy palms outside, the eye-catching, BAPE signature camo print in juicy neon tubes strikes a commanding visual presence especially at night.



Inside, a huge glass cylinder, six meters in diameter, dominates the cool 4.5-meter-high space. Inside the cylinder, sneakers revolve on conveyer belts giving both an industrial and a museum-like feel. The oldest BAPE stores in Japan have already celebrated their first decade, but in Europe and the U.S., the brand has only recently started to gain a retail presence. In addition to Japan, BAPE stores exist in Hong Kong, Paris and London, and now two in the U.S.



The L.A. store was designed by Masamichi Katayama and his company Wonderwall. The 43-year-old Katayama is well known for retail work in Japan, France, U.K., the U.S., Russia, Hong Kong and China. - Tuija Seipell

Events

February 23 2009



Sick of going to the opening of an envelope new store opening party? The tried and tested formula is safe, uninspiring and obvious. (Eg. celebrity invites, cult dj spins some safe retro tunes and the real consumer is supposed to be inspired by this out pouring of elitism to then visit said store.) Always ready to challenge the status quo, Diesel's new store on Fifth Avenue in New York took a decidedly different approach at a time when consumer behaviour and creative marketing is not only revered but essential.
 
Titled "Five on Fifth", the guerrilla marketing campaign for Diesel allows the consumer on the street to witness real life installations in their store windows. Intimate dinner parties that would normally be held behind closed doors were staged in the windows featuring famous New Yorkers. Each night was a different theme (cleverly organised to appeal to a cross section of consumers) with a club night featuring key dj's like Richie Rich, Kenny Kenny and Patrick McDonald,  a sports night with the key players from the New York Giants and then a Fashion night featuring the girls from Ford Models.


 
Street teams also gave out free goodies in key spots alongside the intimate window dinners in an attempt to catch the busy eyes of the press who were running with blackberries in hand from Fashion week's shows to parties.
 
Bravo to Diesel for their creative, inspiring and well executed campaign that should hopefully set the bar for economic-chic alternatives for store openings! - Kate Vandermeer

Architecture

March 14 2009




Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku took on its first large-scale integrated architectural and interior design commission in 2003, when YTL Design Group from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, invited it to design the residence of a Malaysian power family.


 
Completed in the latter part of 2008, the residence is the ultimate expression of the taste, influence and industrial-scale capabilities of the prominent family whose entrepreneurial activities have shaped Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.


 
Three generations of the family inhabit the 3,000 square-meter residence designed to accommodate both private and public functions.


 
The building includes nine bedrooms, two family rooms, a family kitchen and a private dining area, a family library, a game room, a study, a public reception area, a formal dining room, a ballroom, chapel, 21 bathrooms, a swimming pool, two guest suites plus indoor private and guest parking.


 
The initial sketches exploring the owners’ usage requirements reveal resemblances to the boring stacked-boxes look still so ubiquitous in residential architecture. And while traces of the ”heaped trailers“ syndrome remain in the finished building, this is not the Jetsons, neither are we looking at EPCOT, Tomorrowland or the 1964 New York World's Fair.


 
We are in the lush vegetation of a posh Kuala Lumpur residential area, and in spite of the boxiness of the structure, an elegant circular softness manages to permeate the sightlines and key details of the building, making it an agreeable part of its landscape.


 
Inside, prominent examples of this curvilinear elegance include the amazing staircases resembling the inside of a shell when viewed from above, and the round ballroom chandelier of 13,000 custom-designed undulating petals of unglazed cast porcelain biscuit.


 
The curved walls both inside and out have a functional purpose of providing privacy and enclosing each function gently in its own space. The overall sweeping feel inside the spaces invites the viewer in and creates soft, arching vistas.


 
The concept consists of three layers: the base for public functions, the ring for guests and the private house for the family.


 
The inside of the magnificent residence is gorgeous with its high ceilings, large windows and abundance of light. White color and natural wood are dominant elements but they allow the view from the vast, mostly retractable, windows to remain the main visual attraction.


 
The residence is also a wonderful study of contrasts between inside and outside, private and public, traditional and ultra modern, man-made and natural.


 
YTL Design Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the architect of record. The Agence Jouin Manku design team included Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku, Yann Brossier (architect), Richard Perron (designer). Officina del Paesaggio from Lugano, Switzerland was in charge of the landscape design, and L’Observatoire, New York, USA handled the lighting. - Tuija Seipell

Images - Roland Halbe

 

Food

March 4 2009



Subtlety is not in the vocabulary, if Toronto’s club king, Beirut-born Charles Khabouth, is involved in an entertainment or hospitality venue. The CEO of Toronto-based Ink has done it again with the reopened ULTRA, designed by Toronto’s Munge Leung. Partners Alessandro Munge and Sai Leung were also in charge of the award-winning design of the original ULTRA five years ago.
 
The new ULTRA has a dark, hellish and somewhat mad vibe with black and red as the dominant colors, and gigantic images of threatening roosters looming over the 400 or so diners. Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage created the threatening bird pictures.


 
Khabouth’s Ink is engaged in a range of prominent hospitality venues, including the Pantages Suites Hotel & Spa in Toronto (club) and The Beatles Revolution Lounge in the Mirage in Las Vegas. - Tuija Seipell

Art

March 6 2009



It is tough not to stare at Susy Oliveira’s clunky, 1980s-video-gamish polygon sculptures. Of course, sculpture is created for gawking, so clearly Oliveira has reached at least one of her goals with these large-scale pieces made of color photographic prints (c-prints) on archival card and wrapped onto foam core. Clockwise, these pieces are called Bird on a Log, The Living Boy, Time Is Never Wasted, and The Girl and the Bear. In her description of her 2008 solo show at Toronto’s Peak gallery, Oliveira wrote about examining “our preoccupation with replacing nature with fabricated versions of itself.” Fittingly, she adds that these sculptures express an “opposition between the round aspects of sculpture and the flat aspects of photography, much like bringing a virtual model into a real space.” Oliveira is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (2000) and the University of Waterloo (2006). - Tuija Seipell

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Music

March 11 2009




Jack Brown is used to having labels stuck to his band. In twelve short months, White Lies — which Brown drums for — have been called many things, from the next big thing in indie rock, to slavish Joy Division impersonators and all ‘round miserable boys. And although White Lies can deal with the incessant hype-storm that’s been whipped up in the wake of their debut LP To Lose My Life, it’s those last two that Brown doesn’t care for. “That’s something which we’ve heard of a lot in the last year, that our music is so bleak we must be the most depressed people in Britain, but it couldn’t be further from the truth,” Brown says. “I know that we’ve got a sound which is quite darker than a lot of other bands going around right now, but that itself is a reflection of us as a band and as people. We’ve grown up and these songs represent that maturity,” Brown says of the band’s debut disc. “Listen to the title track of the album, it’s about being so in love with someone that you stay with them until the very end of your lives, I mean, how romantic is that? I feel like there’s so much color and energy to what we do, that to compare us to a band like Joy Division is just absurd, because that was a band concerned with making music that was as bleak as possible. That isn’t us.”

Those who’ve laid such claims against White Lies are seemingly missing the point of To Lose My Life. Yes, it’s a dark sound, and yes, it’s focused on narratives of lost love, betrayal, social and familial dysfunction, and of course death. But it’s really about passion. White Lies’ lyricist Charles Cave utilizes these emotive themes to compel both band and listener, and as a result, To Lose My Life is an equally exhilarating and ambitious record. It’s also one that makes the band befitting of the other label mentioned earlier, the one about being the next big thing in indie rock.

“When people say something like that about you, you’ve got to step back from it all, otherwise it’ll effect you,” Brown admits. “We never wanted to play any games with the band’s hype. We avoided it. We spent over two months rehearsing before we played any shows, we did extended studio sessions for the album and we never released any information about ourselves or our music online. And it worked for us,” he explains. “If the press had started saying those kind of things about us before we finished the album, we never would’ve got anything done. We’re terrible at actually finishing things. That’s why we’ve only got like two B-Sides. We’re rarely satisfied with everything we do and that would’ve made it so much worse.  Thankfully we weren’t under the immense pressure of the hype machine during recording. And when it finally caught up with us, our album was finished and ready to come out, so it didn’t get to our heads. We got really lucky,” he says before beaming widely. And so they should be. — Dave Ruby Howe

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Transportation

March 10 2009



Bespoke is the new black — we’re living in a world where we can design anything we could ever possibly want exactly how we want it. Here are TCH, we’ve become bespoke gurus — from supercars to track shoes to mobile devices, we’ve been talking about custom design for as long as we can remember. For this latest installment of custom-made products, we’ve found some pretty cool brands that let you build your own bike.

In Los Angeles, James Perse provides a platform to build a custom vintage-style beach cruiser (pictured above) — a quintessentially Californian bicycle typically seen meandering along the Venice boardwalk and down through Santa Monica. The James Perse Cruiser, available in a variety of colours, is instantly recognisable with its fat tyres, wide handlebars and soft, cushy saddle perfect for cruising along the beach with your surfboard in tow.



Republic Bike invites you to custom-build bicycles based on shared designs — choose from an array of colours for the frame, saddle, grips, chain, rims, tires and crank.  Who says your front tyre can’t be yellow, while your back tyre is pink? Ever dreamed of having a blue bike frame with red handle grips and a white saddle? Republic can make this dream a reality. The Aristotle is a singles peed bicycle with a fixed/free hub.  Typically a fixed gear bicycle does not allow a rider to coast as the rear cog continually spins. But Republic has made it possible to shift from fixed to free if coasting is your thing.



And finally, there’s a Japanese company called Pedalmafia, a place to build a 1/9 scale bicycle, the Pedal ID, not quite the bike to ride around town but cool nevertheless. The website allows you to choose practically every part of a fixed-gear bike in many different color combinations. Pedalmafia has also teamed up with Yamamoto, one of Japan’s largest toy/model makers, and provided the basic component set along with optional accessories to create the perfect bespoke bicycle. - Andrew J Wiener.


Design

March 11 2009




Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal is the newest addition to the Scandinave spa line-up.

Located in Old Montreal and close to the Old Port, the 12,000-square-foot spa is the first urban undertaking of the Scandinave team, spearheaded by Benoît Berthiaume, co-founder and executive VP of the Gestion Rivière du Diable group.


 
Occupying the ground floor of a restored former warehouse, Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal’s setting is less intimate than the rural settings of the first two Scandinave spas. The first corporate spa opened in 1999 in the log-and-stone cabin country of Mont Tremblant’s ski hills in Quebec, and the first franchise opened in 2006 in the Blue Mountain ski hills of Collingwood, Ontario.
 
The Old Montreal spa was designed by Montreal’s award-winning architectural powerhouse, Saucier + Perrotte, led by Gilles Saucier and André Perrotte.


 
The interior is somewhat sterile and cold with its open spaces and expansive surfaces of glass, marble, slate and limestone. In recreating the hot-and-cold “thermo therapy” of the “Scandinavian bath” experience, this spa is definitely closer to Reykjavik’s somewhat clinical Blue Lagoon than to the wood-paneled saunas of Finland.


 
Scandinave’s next corporately owned spa is scheduled to open late this year in the ski hills of Whistler, British Columbia, to be ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics. - Tuija Seipell
 

Ads

March 11 2009




Perwanal Saatchi & Saatchi in Jakarta, Indonesia, has taken interactivity and creepy-crawliness to a new, flat level with the creation of this massive 'floor sticker' in an Jakarta shopping center .
 
The ad, for Jakarta's pet emporium JAKPETZ, promotes Frontline Flea & Tick Spray  with the slogan 'Get them off your dog.'
 
Viewed from the upper levels, the people walking on the ad look disgustingly flea-like, and the scene elicits constant reactions that sound something like 'yikes!' The team behind this effective promo included Chief Creative Officer Andy Greenaway, Executive Creative Director Juhi Kalia and Art Directors Aryanto Salim and Joel Clement. - Tuija Seipell

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Fashion

March 10 2009




This week in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld presented a poised, elegant and mostly black take on power suiting for Chanel that included this fantastically witty take on the working gal's briefcase. We hope that it's not just a prop for the catwalk. We're sure someone out there could pull it off in the real world. It's highly functional, after all. - Laura Demasi - via Fashionation
 

Food

March 12 2009



The rooftop Terrace of the 13,000-square-foot restaurant/club, Sevva,  on the 25th-floor penthouse of the Prince’s Building, commands prime views of the Hong Kong harbor.
 
Inside, deliciously subtle dashes of color tone down the grandiosity of the vast establishment, giving its several restaurants and bars a relaxed elegance. For drinks, live music and tapas, Sevva has the Taste Bar. For the ultimate power lunch, there is the Bank Side restaurant adorned with images of magnificent banks.


 
The best place for a relaxed drink is the long and narrow Lounge with its live garden wall. Casually elegant meals can be enjoyed under the vaulted ceiling of the Harbor Side restaurant. And for irresistible cakes and sweets, there is Ms B’s Sweets, a cake shop under the huge 1950s chandelier designed originally for the British embassy in Rome.


 
Ms B is owner Bonnie Gokson whose reputation in the world of branding and fashion has helped Sevva gain lots of attention. Gokson is Chanel Asia Pacific’s former communications director and the sister of Asia’s legendary fashion icon, Joyce Ma, credited for bringing the world of brand-name fashion to Asia.


 
Gokson’s own achievements are widely respected in the hospitality, food, entertainment and retail worlds, and she is constantly working on developing new products and ideas.
 
Gokson loves art and drama, so it is no wonder she chose Tsao & McKown Architects to transform the 1960s mixed-use Prince's Building space into the dramatic Sevva environment.


 
Tsao’s background includes studies of theatre from acting to directing, sets and costumes, but his architecture degree is from Harvard where he also met his future partner, Zack McKown.


 
Their New York-based firm handles architecture and design of both residential and commercial projects, as well as set and exhibit design, product and furniture design. - Tuija Seipell

Offices

March 13 2009



Ogilvy & Mather’s Guangzhou office has been selected as one of the recipients of the third annual China's Most Successful Design Award 2008, sponsored by FORTUNE China magazine and China Bridge International.
 
Designed by M Moser and Associates, Ogilvy & Mather’s office is the first interior design project to receive this award. Aiming to offer its current and future staff an environment that inspires creativity Ogilvy & Mather allowed M Moser to go all out with the theme “Carnival of Ideas.”


 
The height of the space and the central staircase create a background for a theme park of environments that flow freely and openly from one to another.
 
This is Ogilvy & Mather’s expanded office, relocated from the business hub of Guangzhou to the edgier arts and culture region in the city-fringe, with views across the Pearl River toward the historical Sha Mian district.
 
Michael Lee, Ogilvy’s Shanghai & Southern China COO, was quoted as saying that although the commute time has doubled for many staffers, they still love coming to work because the new environment is so much fun.


 
In a media release, M Moser Associates’ director Wendy Leung is quoted as saying that although seeing the workplace as a strategic tool to support business goals is a new concept in China, it is gaining recognition as a serious trend.
 
In operation since 1981, M Moser has offices in 11 countries, specializing in workplace environments including design, strategic planning, engineering and construction.


 
The 25 winners of China's Most Successful Design Award 2008 include cars, other products, and retail and office spaces. - Tuija Seipell

Ads

March 12 2009



If it’s bubbles you want, Aero offers them up in more ways than one, at least on video. Aero’s maker Nestlé chose Skate Fairy Ty Evans of the Lakai footwear Fully Flared video fame, to create a yummy video that is making the viral rounds. It features the Rio-born Bob Burnquist aka Robert Dean Silva Burnquist having some enviable fun on the bubbles.

Click to watch it - It's awesome



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Transportation

December 28 2009




Think back 70 or 75 years to a time when design began to break away from the traditional and elaborate rationalism that had ensued for hundreds of years. As the styles of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Streamline and Zigzag Moderne emerged after the Industrial Revolution, designers as well as consumers fully embraced the Age of the Machine.   Shiny chrome surfaces lay across curving forms or over expansive horizontal planes and glorified a dynamic new world on the move.

And suddenly, design was muted as World War II approached. Inspiration was buried away, along with some innovative and visually stunning design work. Skip ahead to 2005 when some curious members of BMW Classic opened a box and found the R7 bike 75 assembled - although not in shining condition. The engine was corroded, the metalwork was in dire shape, the battery was unusable, but the opportunity for restoration could not be ignored.



Various specialists at the BMW workshop discovered the original design drawings in the archive collections and conjured up the ghosts from Streamline Moderne’s past. Missing parts were sourced, others were rebuilt, the chrome was polished and the frame was painted black. And the final test, retuning the 1934 BMW motorcycle to the street, proved to be worth the wait nearly three quarters of a century later. - Andrew J Wiener via Bike Exif

 

Ads

March 17 2009



No more living in denial about the size of your waist line, thanks to this fantastic albeit terrifying guerrilla marketing initiative from the health club chain, Fitness First. Unsuspecting commuters in the Netherlands are faced with viewing their body weight in bright lights - quite literally - when they take a seat at this Rotterdam bus stop. Scary to say the very least, but extraordinarily clever and likely to increase membership numbers at the local Fitness First. The brainchild of Netherlands’ agency N=5, the initiative takes the concept of guerilla marketing to a whole new level. - Lisa Evans

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Architecture

February 1 2010




Casa no Geres, designed by Porto-based Correia/Ragazzi Aquitectos, has received its fair share of international awards and exposure, but we cannot help but show it off one more time. This is the first project by Gracia Correia and her new Italian partner, Roberto Ragazzi. It is a bold statement that hides nothing.



This is also a house that is easy to love from certain perspectives and from others; it looks quite unsuitable for its surroundings. From some angles, the house seems like an accident, some kind of a mishap with transportation containers and building materials. One part of the building is buried inside the hill while another sticks out over the river. It appears about to teeter off the hill at any moment, just waiting to land in its final resting place in the river.

The owners, Mica and Eduardo Pinto Ferreira, have been Correia's clients for more than a decade, and gave her carte blanche to create their dream house on the 5,000 square-meter site by the Cevado river - as long as no trees were cut and the 60 square-meter house (maximum allowed footprint for the site) was made of concrete. The house is located in Peneda-Geras National Park, along the Spanish border in northern Portugal, so the environment and its inviolability were crucial and the rules strict.

But looking out from the inside, the awesome beauty of the home becomes apparent. The simplicity of the structure, the openness of the views and the calm balance of the elements seems to speak the same language as the bleak surroundings. Nature has a way of being beautiful even when it is not, and this house knows that secret.



The warmth and proper scale of the building become even clearer when the illuminated house is viewed at night. It may look like it landed from some other planet, but it appears to be right at home now. - Tuija Seipell

photos from Nelson Garrido

Architecture

March 24 2009




From the street, this Edwardian house might seem unassuming, undeserving of a second glance. From the back, however, the addition to the Trojan House by Jackson Clements Burrows, where three children’s bedrooms are cantilevered above a large living space, is anything but ordinary.



The entire addition is wrapped in a seamless timber skin that conceals any obvious openings. Windows, covered by shutters that follow the pattern of the façade, reveal nothing of the interior space. 



Incidentally the inside is just as remarkable as the outside. A thermal chimney and a breezeway corridor allow for passive cooling in the warmer months as each room was designed to allow for cross ventilation.  Additionally a rain screen provides extra shade from the hot summer sun, and also insulates the inside in the winter by forming a space for warm air. - Andrew J Wiener





 

Fashion

April 29 2009



The owl as a fashion trend originated from the craft world. It has since been interpreted on many a fashionable outfit, toy, tote bag and statement accessory since. But none quite like this fabulous singlet dress ($45) for mini fashionistas, complete with ombre background to really make the owl print stand out!  Not only is it likely to offer wisdom to your emerging hunter of cool, but it will help you find them in crowds!!   

Kidswear has undergone a huge transformation over the last few years, led by a new generation of designers who have applied their creativity to the children's category, usually after having kids themselves. Today kidswear is a carbon copy of adult fashion - incorporating key trends.



(Above) Flannel Overshirt - $75,  Mini cord skirt $55, Bunny half length sweater - $55 

You know a brand has succeeded when you look at a kids item and want to wear it yourself. Like this new collection, which features graphic print t-shirts, shorts and boardies, which wouldn't look out of place on the backs of urban hipsters.



(Above) Bunny longsleeve tee $45,  Tote Bag - $35, Green Cave Man tee - $45, Panel Spray Jacket - $95


Unfortunately you need to be aged six or under to squeeze into them so we've accepted that they are strictly for kids. If you have any little people in your life, you can purchase a limited number of these pieces through us - email [email protected]



(Above) Mini cord dress - $75, dip dye sweater - $65



(Above) - Cave man tee - $45, Mini cord dress - $75)



(Above) - Pack Man tee - $45 - Smiley tee $45 - B+W shorts - $55


Design

March 25 2009



Barcelona’s new wholesale flower market – Mercabarna-Flor – near the Barcelona International Airport was designed by Willy Muller Architects.
 
The most striking features of the new market are the multi-faceted angular roof structure and the multi-colored outer shell inspired by an aerial view of flower fields in full bloom.


 
The new complex – 15,000 square-meters of buildings on a 44,000 square-meter lot – houses three main sections, one for cut flowers, one for plants and one for accessories. The location near the airport cargo terminal is crucial to the flower business that relies on fast air delivery of fresh flowers.


 
The impressive building joins a line-up of several much talked-about new structures in Barcelona: Fira de Barcelona’s (Barcelona Fair grounds) nine pavilions and two 114-meter towers designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito; Terminal Sur at the Barcelona Airport by Barcelona’s own Ricardo Bofill; and the Hesperia Hotel and Towers by the British Pritzker Prize winner, Richard Rogers.



 Willy Muller’s Barcelona office is led by Muller, a native of Argentina, and by Frenchman and associate architect, Frédéric Guillaud. They also have an office in Brazil. - Tuija Seipell

Ads

March 30 2009



Call it buzz, guerrilla, viral, word-of-mouth, whatever – marketing and advertising stunts and ideas that achieve free attention are working now perhaps better than ever before. Of course, they are much less expensive than TV or print ads so they are a good alternative in this economic climate. And even if the marketer had the money to spend on lavish conventional media campaigns, using guerrilla tactics appears frugal and smart and appeals to an audience that appreciates such attitudes.

If the guerrilla stunt works and gains news media coverage and serious online buzz, then it has also achieved the coveted third-party endorsement and peer-reviews  that are so important to today’s consumers.

We’ve recently highlighted a few simple and clever examples of this in our advertising section. The most recent was the People as Fleas idea.

A similar large-scale floor sticker was used in January by a Swiss skydiving school. Their agency, Wirz/BBDO Switzerland, managed to execute a simple idea that achieved media coverage and is still making the online rounds. The images of the city skyline make it extremely clear what Swiss Skydive.org can do for you. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

March 30 2009



Giorgio Borruso Design of Marina Del Rey, California, designed the new airy and fluid headquarters for Milano’s Fornari SpA (Fornari Group).
 
Located in the Navigli section of Milan, the 35,000 square-foot building was converted from the historic porcelain workshop of the centuries-old Richard Ginori brand.


 
The Fornari family’s road to fashion fame started in the mid 1940s from footwear manufacturing. It entered the fashion apparel business in 1998 and has since flourished in other fashion, design and lifestyle brands, including the Fornarina fashion concept stores across Europe and the U.S.
 
The main entrance of the headquarters on Via Morimondo opens to a space lit by color-changing LED lights that seems to suck the visitor gently into the reception area. The open space is flexible, airy and fluid with rounded corners, curved edges, transparent partitions and unexpected waves of color. The hard and exposed concrete floors and steel structure contrast beautifully with the wavy feel of the new walls, partitions and staircase.


 
There is also a slight, vertigo-inducing sense of controlled imbalance, of not being completely sure what is floor, what is ceiling and what is wall. This was the intention of Giorgio Borruso designers describing the result as “Giving the illusion that there is no gravitational force; that you can walk on any surface; you can rotate the system ninety degrees, and it still works.”
 
The Italian architect and designer Giorgio Borruso is known for experimenting with and testing the boundaries of form, shape and structure throughout his career. He has won awards for product design, retail design, architecture and interior design. His famous retail work includes the tortellini-shaped shoe fixtures for Fornarina and the cocoon-like fitting rooms for Miss Sixty. - Tuija Seipell



Music

March 20 2009



The reports of the demise of Nick Zinner’s guitar have been greatly exaggerated. While the band’s new found admiration of Giorgio Moroder and the synths-and-sequencers party vibe of lead single Zero led many to think that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had ditched their signature guitar-drenched sound, it’s not the case. Zinner still wields his guitar like a pro on It’s Blitz!, yet it’s used in such measured and considered strokes throughout the album, complementing the richer sense of space and detail than we’ve yet seen from the band. It’s a more artful, rather than arty, version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

That's not to say that the band still don't rock, because they really do like on the afore-mentioned single Zero, or Dull Life which gallops at full speed aboard Zinner’s tumbling riffs. But the NYC trio truly shine when they push themselves and their sound headlong into unexplored territories. Take the gorgeous Hysteric, with a skeletal synthesis of organic and programmed drumming, and sparingly used guitar atmospherics, it’s the band at their most tender, before they decide to throw everything at their disposal — horns, trumpets, whistles — into the song, only making it sound bigger and more poignant than before.

Such slow-burning tracks have quickly become the band’s strongest suit, and accordingly It’s Blitz! (a deceptive title it turns out) is dominated with layers of trembling synthesizers and Zinner’s rich guitar-mist. It's a fairly staggering leap from the bratty rush of Fever To Tell and the polished-rock-sheen of Show Your Bones, but the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound so comfortable and assured of themselves while they jump from sound to sound that you shouldn't hesitate about jumping off with them. - By Dave Ruby Howe

Food

July 1 2011

Retail interiors by Chikara Ohno of Tokyo-based architecture and interior firm Sinato are often characterized by elegant simplicity and smart use of light. A great example of this is organic store and restaurant, +green. It is located on the ground floor of a basic concrete-frame apartment building in a residential section of Tokyos Jiyu Street, close to one of the city’s largest parks, Komazawa.


 
The 111.5 square meter (1,200 sq.ft) space is exceptionally high (about 4.4 meters or 14.4 feet) and much of it is underground but customers — and light – can move freely between the three levels.

The take-out, popular by park picnickers, is on the ground floor. In +green, Ohno has used clever partitioning, neutral materials and subdued colors to create a space that appears both intimate and large, and despite its underground location, has a refreshing, airy feel. - Tuija Seipell.

Art

April 1 2009



Never before has your brand's visual language been so crucial to your business. In the age of "blink and you'll miss it" attention spans, your visual identity acts as a shorthand, expressing your brand's personality and values literally at a glance.



Brands are like us, they don't just want to be heard, they want to be understood and embraced, they want meaningful connection. Our global team of innovative creatives will bring your brand to life. The Cool Hunter Design represents a paradigm shift in the creative process.



Why use one studio when you can draw upon a global community of creatives - the international roster of collaborators who inspire hundreds of thousands of The Cool Hunter readers every day.     Click here for more info



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Offices

April 2 2009



Sometimes you come across an environment that really lets the merchandise or content (such as people, merchandise or furnishings) stand out. This 2,000 square-meter jewelry-case – the head office of the venerable fashion house Escada in Munich, Germany – is a luxurious example of this.

Completed in late 2008, the location hosts the international fashion media and buyers who gather here to view the latest Escada collection each season. The three dominant areas – entry court, lobby and interior courtyard – are separated by transparent facades. This creates a visually stunning, 75 meter-long runway that flows right through the center of the entire building.



Escada commissioned the Parisian architecture studio Carbondale of Michigan-born Eric Carlson to design the architectural public face of its head office, including the entry façade, entry court, interior courtyard, lobby and furniture.


 
Carlson graduated from Kansas State University School of Architecture in 1986. Before co-founding the Louis Vuitton Architecture Department in 1997, he worked in the offices of Mark Mack, Oscar Tusquets and Rem Koolhaas, He established Carbondale in Paris in 2004. Carlson is known for his work with luxury brands including the Louis Vuitton buildings in Roppongi, Tokyo, the LV Maison in Paris, the 360° Watch Museum and the corporate headquarters of Tag Heuer in Switzerland. - Tuija Seipell



Photographs by Jimmy Cohrssen


Music

April 17 2009



Poney Poney's latest EP is a glorious melting pot of French cool. The Parisian band - who've been touted as the scruffy, rock-inclined younger brothers to Phoenix - have cooked up a jubilant and unmistakably French slice of power-pop with When Do You Wanna Stop Working?

Produced by electro-maestro and countrymen Para One, and out on one of France's finest labels, Institubes , the single hits all the sweet spots, from the driving beat to the squiggly, erratic guitars. And the solemn-soul remix from Rob (keyboardist for Phoenix's live show among other projects) is just the cherry on top. Or the chocolate on the éclair, if we're really trying. - Dave Ruby Howe
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Stores

April 16 2009



Influences of nearby Scandinavia are apparent in Crème de la Crème, a fragrance and beauty care boutique that opened late last year in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The boutique is one of about 170 shops and restaurants that occupy the new, award-winning Panorama shopping centre, one of the largest and most expensive shopping malls in the Baltic countries.



The store’s physical concept is by the Lithuanian Plazma architects and specifically architect Evelina Talandzeviciene.
 
Light-colour wood, scarce furnishings, simplified lines and subdued edges create a feeling of weightlessness and free-flowing space.



We especially like the shipping-crate look of the central counter and the plywood-esque walls. They lend an air of impermanence and industrial chic to the simple, sophisticated boutique that stocks such perfume brands as Comme des Garçons, Anrdèe Putman, Nasomatto, Mona di Orio, Annick Goutal, Juliette Has a Gun, Escentric Molecules, Miller Harris and Acqua di Parma.



Felt-covered Tom Dixon lamp shades and tone-on-tone floor and wall materials add to the organic ambiance of the space...reminding us of fields of rye, and forests of birch and fir.

Crisp lighting on the merchandise and simple wall units for display allow the fragrances to take up most of the air space. Unstuffy. Simple. Clean. - Tuija Seipell
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House

April 17 2009



Designed by the Berlin-based studio böttcher+henssler, Coen lamps are a white version of the designers’ dark prototype lamp, Troll. Although Troll is made of sheet metal, it brings back images of an upturned wooden ancient sauna accessory — a pail with two handles — called “kiulu” in Finnish. In contrast, the slim, white (and silver) Coen lamps are supremely stylish, quite at home next to an Alvar Aalto Paimio chair.



Coen lamps are part of the new collection by the lighting manufacturer ANTA Leuchten GmbH. Coens will be introduced at Salone Internazionale del Mobile’s Euroluce next week.



Böttcher+henssler is a product design studio founded in 2007 by Moritz Böttcher und Sören Henssler. Winners of a red dot product design award and other accolades, the duo focuses on designing beautiful and functional consumer products. - Tuija Seipell

Architecture

April 20 2009




Marcio Kogan’s Panama House is a residence designed for art. Located in São Paulo, Brazil, the house makes a powerful but subdued statement in its low, open, elongated elegance — a hallmark of Kogan’s architecture.


 
In the past few years, the award-winning, Brazilian-born architect’s Studio MK27 has produced a steady stream of low-rise, boxy work – all with an uncanny intimacy, yet without any of the usual stuffy treatments that supposedly create intimacy.



At the Panama House, there are no cozy nooks, no soft furnishings, no homey touches. And yet, there is a feeling of comfort and livability in this art-gallery-of-a-house that makes you want to move in tomorrow.



All levels of the three-storey house — including the bedrooms, office, gardens and patio — are used to display the owner’s substantial collection of predominantly modern Brazilian art and sculpture.



An uninterrupted connection between inside and out makes the entire space seem unlimited, translucent, as if without walls, although the structure is essentially a wooden box inside a C-shaped concrete cask made of cement slabs and a wall.



The sliding vertical wood lathes that form the brise soleils for each room’s facade, are also an important part of establishing the prevailing openness. The brise soleils also provide comfort and privacy, and enable the control of the artworks’ exposure to direct sun.



Most beautifully, they also create the soft play of light that matches the overall linear shapes — created by creases in window treatments, the floor boards, the rows of pillows on long sofas, the stone work outside — continuing the elongated language of the entire building.



The São Paulo-born architect Marcio Kogan graduated from Mackenzie University in 1976 and created films until the age of 30. His considerable talents of creating drama, understanding a setting and leading the eye are certainly evident in the award-winning Panama House. - Tuija Seipell




 

Ads

April 20 2009



Brussel's agency TBWA took the concept of a 'splash of paint' quite literally when it created this striking print ad for paint manufacturer Levis. Drawing a parallel between interiors and fashion is nothing new but rarely does it work so well, particularly in a print context. Sexy and commanding. Not usually word you associate with paint. - Lisa Evans 

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Food

September 2 2012

There is something mouth-wateringly yummy and creamily liquid going on in the interior of Cioccolato, a bakery boutique in Monterrey, Mexico. The designers aimed for a Willy Wonka factory feel of slight madness, and we think they’ve succeeded.


 
The new shop focuses on custom desserts and special events, and it is a specialized spin-off concept of the existing, fairly traditional Cioccolato pastry and cake brand.
 
The designers of the new concept are Savvy Studio Savvy-Studio.net of San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, México. One of the main concerns of the design team was to ensure clear differentiation of the new concept, without confusing the brands current customers.



The gooey concept evokes cravings of sweet sugary treats and thick whipped cream, strong chocolate and colourful candies, feather-light macaroons and juicy cupcakes – anything sweet and happy and festive.



Our favourite is the white table with one leg formed by dripping something, perhaps jam or some other irresistible filling. Chocolate drips off shelves and the seats seem to be made of licorice and ice cream.

Savvy Studio was in charge of the entire rebranding concept, from visual identity to interior design and packaging. Savvy is a multi-disciplinary studio involved in industrial design, architecture, graphic design, marketing and communications. Tuija Seipell

See also

Dri Dri Gelato                                                                                Rocambolesc Gelateria

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Music

April 27 2009



Having already released their first single on iconic Parisian label Kitsune, German duo Hey Today! are gracing another prestigious boutique imprint, Bang Gang 12 Inches, as spearheaded by notorious Australian party-people the Bang Gang. The result of this hookup is Wonderman, a mutant disco mess of spine-shaking beats and glitched-out vocoder tweaks. From the skyscraper-sized drums to its wild and wide-eyed breakdown, Wonderman is super-powered music from two super-powered producers. And now that Justice have jumped the shark with that U2 remix, we could use some new heroes. - Dave Ruby Howe

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Ads

April 23 2009



Sometimes it’s the simplest of ideas that make the best advertisements - and who doesn’t remember creating wacky hairdo’s with the bath bubbles in the tub as a kid. Well at least we do. Take a look at these simple yet effective ads by JWT Frankfurt for ‘extra strong’ Priorin shampoo. - Brendan McKnight



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Music

May 7 2009



Death. Abuse. Illness. Heavy-handed subject matter that, in hands less-skilled than those of US indie outfit The Antlers, could have ended up sounding like a concept album scripted by the guy who writes the sad bits in Grey's Anatomy.

Sentimental, introspective indie music has produced some of the best and worst music of this decade and The Antlers - like forerunners Arcade Fire, whose aptly named Funeral also took in ruminations on death and isolation - manage to create an album in Hospice that pours out more like poetic diary entries than a ham-fisted attempt at a linear, tear-jerking narrative. Musically, The Antlers build on the tension between intimate and sprawling dynamics. Beginning with a textured drone that moves into the album's most openly vigil-inviting track, Kettering, The Antlers maintain an affinity with ambience and abstract noises that makes proceedings both more sinister and disorienting. The vocals are suitably thin and at their loudest there's still an underlying fragility to it all.

This could have easily resulted in a big mess, but it's in treading so close to that line and ultimately pulling it off that Hospice becomes that much more exciting and vital. - Matt Hickey

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Architecture

May 29 2009




Stockholm-based Sommarnöjen (Summer Enjoyment - or Entertainment - in English) has just unveiled the designs for five new beautiful 15-square-meter second houses. Sommarnöjen houses are  designed by Sweden's top-tier architectural offices Kjellander + Sjöberg Arkitektkontor, Sandellsandberg Arkitekter and Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter.



Sommarnöjen provides the houses ready-built on site. Some are suitable for year-round use as well. The mini-houses are also great as additions to a larger dwelling - as guest houses, studios, workshops, separate bedrooms and of course, saunas. For those of us with Scandinavian backgrounds, these cottages look like home. They look perfectly suited to join the thousands of tiny cottages that dot the small islands, rocky seashores and lakesides of Scandinavia where people take July off and also spend every weekend from April till September (or more) at the cottage, rain or shine. Sommaren har kommit! - Tuija Seipell

Stores

April 27 2009



After having re-designed the Toronto flagship of Canada’s only luxury department store, Holt Renfrew, in 2005, design duo Paul Filek and Diego Burdi of Burdifilek received another great commission by the same owners.
 
They were asked to revitalize another retail icon: Dublin’s menswear retail destination Brown Thomas.


 
Brown Thomas (and its BT2) and Holt Renfrew are both part of the Wittington Investment Group that also includes Selfridges in the UK.
 
In Dublin – as in the Holt Renfrew store of their home town of Toronto – Burdi and Filek took a bold approach to luxury retail by using both traditional luxury touches and completely new materials.
 
In the lower-concourse men’s department of Brown Thomas’s Grafton-Street flagship, Burdifilek created two environments: An old-world bespoke-inspired haven of luxury, and a bold, ocean-blue contemporary zone that says luxury in a more modern language.


 
A walnut wall sculpture, custom wool carpeting and chocolate-brown suede walls deck the more traditional bespoke section and its tailoring area. The art-gallery atmosphere of the blue fashion-forward zone sparkles and gleams in silver, blue and polished stainless steel.
 
Responding to the client’s desire to evoke a progressive sensibility to international luxury retailing, Burdifilek used exclusive custom furnishings, unexpected materials and bold statements.


 
Brown Thomas’s Grafton Street store has been a destination of demanding worldly consumers since 1849. It offers high-end designer fashion, accessory, cosmetics and home ware brands from around the world.
 
Diego Burdi is the design and creative lead of Burdifilek while Paul Filek is the dealmaker and managing partner. The two graduates of the Ryerson interior design program, together with their growing team of designers and specialists, occupy an 8,000-square-foot studio at Queen and Bathurst Streets in Toronto. - Tuija Seipell


Ads

July 1 2009

Have fun with your pimples! That was likely the thinking of Gideon Amichay, Chief Creative Officer and partner at Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive in Tel Aviv, Israel, when he created a campaign for Clearex acne treatment gel. A pimply-faced, 5-meter-tall climbing wall at Israel’s largest climbing center exposed 8,000 teenagers per month to the brand during their summer holidays. The agency’s online take on the same predicament earned it a perch on 2009 Cannes Cyber Lions shortlist. Teenagers entered their friends’ photos online and pimpled their faces liberally. The only way for the friend to remove the pimples? Use “online” Clearex, of course. This campaign gained over 2.7 million exposures and 25,000 active surfers in under 48 hours. - Tuija Seipell

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Events

August 7 2009

From August 5 to September 30, the cutely nostalgic Fiat 500 C, unveiled in February, appears on Milan’s world-famous fashion street, Montenapoleone, in an unexpected role. Exactly 20 fiberglass replicas, precisely the same size and shape as the little Fiat, have become planters for real trees of various shapes. The happening, called “Per fare un albero” (Create a tree), is a cooperative effort between the City of Milan, Fiat, and artist-designer Fabio Novembre. In Novembre’s words, his solution to merge into one object trees and cars, two elements always vying for urban space, is a “symbol of a new way of living.” According to Fiat’s spokespeople, Fiat 500 C’s cheerful, friendly, innovative and eco-friendly character is a perfect fit for such an undertaking. - Tuija Seipell

Our world is full of noise, coming from every angle. Consumers have seen it all before, creating an unprecdented challenge to marketers.

It’s not enough just to be noticed. To rise above the clutter brands need to be extraordinary in every way. Extraordinary is the new ordinary; a mandatory requirement in a globaiised world where consumers are savvier, better educated and more connected than ever before.

Over the last five years The Cool Hunter has sought out the extraordinary and these finds have been a source of inspiration for hundreds of thousands of readers. But what you see on the site is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as we don't always give away content for free. For hundreds of examples of innovative brand communications - from guerilla marketing through to environmental and outdoor - visit our consulting arm The Cool Hunter Platinum.

Architecture

April 30 2009




Reflection of Mineral is a 480-square-foot (about 45 square meters) residence located in downtown Tokyo’s Nakano ward. Designed by architect Yasuhiro Yamashita Reflection of Mineral has received wide architecture and design media attention and numerous international awards.



Depending on viewpoint, the house looks like a bulky camper van about to take off. Or it seems to be the result of a giant’s frustrated attempt to fashion a house from a square box. Realizing that the site is too small and the wrong shape for his house, the giant just stuffed the house into the site by force. The whimsy of this beautiful residence is a big part of its charm. At the same time, the house is also an elegant expression of modern Japanese minimalism, and an example of brilliant use of a sparse site, a requirement in the tight space of downtown Tokyo.



Also beautiful is the way in which the interior appointments — the lines of the bathtub, the curves of the waste bins, the wavy length of the utilitarian shelves — respond to the lines of the building. This makes the interior seem larger and much less boxy than one would assume from the outside.



Yasuhiro Ymashita who was born in Kagoshima in 1960. He established Atelier Tekuto in Tokyo in 1991.  - Tuija Seipell

 

Transportation

May 25 2009




Another iconic vehicle is about to be reborn and brought into the 21st century. This time it is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL that is getting the make-over treatment (that’s the car with the batman-esque doors to you and me, or Gull-wings as they are known in the car business).



This beautiful badboy, first introduced to the roads in 1954, is to be modified by Arturo Alonso and his company, Gullwing America. This time round it will be much more powerful, easier to handle and of course, it will feature all the mod-cons that one has come to expect from a vehicle of its caliber.



Alonso is perhaps the best man to complete this task, being no stranger to the exotic car sector. He raced for years in a Mercedes 300SE, and he is also the engineer behind the Bentley S3 E concept from last year.



With an aluminum body constructed with aircraft composite technology and chassis made of powder coated steel, the car will be powered by Mercedes’ M-133-55 engine, wired to raise the horsepower to 370. The new model will also feature striking red leather interior and an old-school instrument panel. The only hard thing left to do is to decide if you want the white one or the black one. - Brendan McKnight

Stores

November 7 2008




We love great retail. We want to find it; we use it as therapy, as entertainment, as an escape, as fantasy. Yet great retail stores are much scarcer than mediocre stores. We all can list many stores that underwhelm us, yet we visit them daily. Mostly, because we must. Just think of your run-of-the mill grocery store, convenience store, drug store, gas station, department store, big box.

Even the newest “concept” versions of many brands are bland, boring and basic; designed for the retailer and its suppliers, not the consumer. They are designed and re-designed without challenging old retail “truths,” and so the result is the same old. 



We as consumers shop for two broad reasons: Either because we must, or because want to. We have resigned to the fact that when we shop for items we must buy – gasoline, medicine, food – the stores will not look great. And yet, we’d most likely prefer shopping at a gas station that isn’t scary, dirty, neon-lit and dull, or in a drug store that doesn’t look like a warehouse for the most powerful brands. Even in today’s multi-channel environment where consumers can stay at home and shop for necessities online, many retailers still assume that consumers don’t notice or care.



Mass-appeal stores –including gas stations, grocery, convenience and department stores – have a much wider target audience than a niche boutique, and the two groups’ challenges are different, but a consumer who shops for food does not suddenly forget his or her experience in a niche shop. The expectations, or at least the knowledge of a great experience goes everywhere with the consumer.



As business people, and as consumers, we know that retail today is more challenging and complicated than ever. Consumers shop less and demand more from each experience. They spend less and demand more value. In all categories and at all price levels, consumers look for value in the end, but value is not the same as cheap.

Value is defined by the consumer as: Is it really worth my time, attention, money? The joy, prestige and pleasure produced by a newly acquired tech-toy or pair of shoes – expensive as they may be – make them worth the price to the consumer. And if the shopping experience was awesome, we have something more to tell our friends.



Regardless of segment or even price, today’s power retail is all about authenticity, consistency and experience. Retailers must be nimble and adaptable, and evolve with consumers’ tastes and needs. Consumers can find everything online, so the in-store experience must give them something that is much, much better. Stores must be relevant, engaging, fresh. They must offer an emotional connection, interaction, excitement.



As long as our list of underwhelming stores may be, we all know some wonderful stores we’ve experienced. If you talk about your list of such favorites, most likely you will end up telling a story. It will be about the experience in the store: The way it looks, smells or feels. It will be about the staff behavior, the music, the selection, the philosophy, the brands, the changes, the activities. It has been a memorable experience in a good way. It has made an impression. You were — and are – emotionally engaged.



Whether the store is specialized in high-end fashion, cool skateboards, discount foods, knock-down furniture or exclusive art books, to the customer the overall honesty of the offering is what will bring us back. Will the components match? Is it all on the same page? Is it authentic? Can we trust them to deliver the same or more again? Today’s customer can spot an empty shell and a fake, fluffy concept easily, and when the novelty of such “concepts” wears off, the customer has no reason to return.



A retail store is not a concept, neither is it a brand. It is just one channel, one way of expressing whatever it is the consumer understands the promise to be, whatever the consumer feels the experience is going to add to his or her life. Branding, marketing, store design, merchandise selection, staff behavior, the windows, the change rooms, the website, the wrapping paper and bags, plus a million other details make up that promise, and every store visit either renews or shatters the trust.



Today, with word-of-mouth sped up by social media, bad news travels faster than ever. That can be a serious challenge, because a single bad experience can blow up and become headline news.



But good news travels faster than ever as well, and that poses another challenge to retailers. More often than not, the customer knows more about the brand, the products, and most important, the competition, than the staff. People do not need to travel the world to know about the latest, the newest, the coolest, and the best. Customers have seen more exciting stores, more creative marketing and more fun products than perhaps the typical store staff or even the managers. And if the customer is more enthusiastic and knowledgeable than the sales person, then the customer will not receive “knowledgeable service” no matter what the promotions promise.



Quoting directly from our “Power of the Box” post, we can refer to retail anthropologist Paco Underhill (author of Why we buy and Call of the mall ) and his studies and surveys on shelf impact, shopping behavior and consumer psychology. They all show that it matters what the box looks like, what it makes us feel – even when we say it doesn’t. A retail store is that box.



Also in the same post, we referred to Buyology – Truth and Lies about Why We Buy, a book by Martin Lindstrom who is now on Time magazine’s list of world’s 100 most influential people. Buyology covers the results of Lindstrom's $7-million study that attempted to figure out what really makes us vote with our wallets. The over-arching revelation – if it is indeed a revelation – is that, more often than not, we as consumers do not know why we buy. We do not know what actually affects us when we make a buying decision. But mostly it is about emotions.



When we encounter a fantastic retail store today – a store that we feel is worthy of our attention, time and money – we are really seeing a minor miracle and a major business feat. We should tell the world about it and we should demand more of it. Retailing is an extremely complicated and well-researched business, yet succeeding in it is still perhaps closer to magic than anything else. - Tuija Seipell



Knowing what’s hot is what The Cool Hunter is all about. The Cool Hunter Platinum team can help help give your new product or service the elusive C-factor — whether it’s a lifestyle product or techno-gadget, a new store or access to our little black book of collaborators to assemble the right team of creatives to realise the on-going vision of the brand.


 

Travel

May 25 2009




We first stayed at Macakizi – the sexiest pontoon beach club frequented by Istanbul’s super-chic A-list jet-setters – a couple of years ago when we were setting up TCH Turkey.


 
Now is the perfect time of the year to head back to Macakizi as it gets incredibly hot and busy there when the season really kicks off. Macakizi is the best place to stay in the Bodrum area.


 
Located in the village of Turkbuku, half-hour drive from Bodrum, Macakizi is named after proprietor Sahir Erozan’s mother Ayla. Her nickname is Macakizi, the Queen of Spades. Ayla is the originator of the pontoon beach club concept in which you never really touch a beach but instead lounge on terraces carved into the steep hillside.


 
Creating a perfect stage for the eye candy coming at you from all sides in the form of immaculately groomed, beautifully tanned and designer-gear-attired bodies, the hotel itself is elegantly down-played. It is concealed by the lush vegetation but the view of the Aegean is ever-present. The architecture is loosely Mediterranean, the rooms are classy, unadorned and sparse.


 
Celebrities and other VIPs parade from morning till night in Chanel swimsuits, Pucci sunglasses and William Richardson sarongs. Money and attitude and a penchant for gossip are prevalent, and the whole scene reminded us of a French Vogue shoot live with Steven Meisel shooting.


 
The highlight of the visit is always the food: absolutely amazing Turkish cuisine served buffet-style and al fresco. Having said that, now we really need another Macakizi fix! - Bill Tikos

Transportation

June 23 2011

What can we say? We just love Mini! We’ve been advocating the brand for many years… not just because we love the brand and its irreverent behaviour, but because we drive one! It is an amazing vehicle.

Ask any Mini driver and they will tell you that it is by far the best and handiest small car on the market, and it drives like a race car, too! And you can park it just about anywhere. While the big car drivers are circling the block for a parking spot, you’ve already parked and on your way to where-ever you were going.



And we are really excited about Mini Ray. It looks cool, is no-frills priced (only $28,880 drive away) and gives you all the car you need.

Of course, you will want to wrap your Mini in a cool TCH car wrap and really stand out from the crowd. Current fave? The Space Invader wrap. Driving CAN be this much fun!

Food

May 14 2009




You know how good you feel when you have just tidied your workspace, and how much more organized and productive you seem to be. Do great surroundings affect other areas of life as well? For example, if school meals were served in well-designed and good-looking spaces - could this encourage healthy eating and improve the well-being of students?

That was the theory behind a pilot project of The School Food Trust, a government body in the UK chaired by Michelin-starred chef, writer and entrepreneur, Prue Leith. The Trust aims to improve the quality of school food and to promote the health of children and young people.



The Trust has been working with students to gain an understanding of the importance of the lunchtime environment. The goal is to create new school dining environments across the UK.

A pilot project - The Applemore College Canteen (or ACC as it has been rebranded) - was recently completed at Applemore Technology College in Southampton, where on a tight budget of £55K, the once-dull and lifeless dining hall was transformed into a buzzing eatery and hang-out space, extremely popular among the students.



Designed by renowned architects SHH, the 4,000-square-foot interior now has a relaxed cafeteria feel with areas zoned for eating and for casual hanging-out. The ACC’s innovative features include hanging graphic panels which help absorb noise, and an industrial feel and striped motif inspired by Manchester's popular Hacienda club.

“This pilot project proves that well-designed and suitably equipped kitchens and dining areas are solid investments for the future and contribute significantly to the whole school approach to healthy lifestyles and to the overall success of the school,”says Barbara Roberts, Delivery Manager at The Trust.



Clearly, you don’t have to be a trendy bar, a boutique hotel or the pop-up store of the moment, to create positive buzz. This project shows that with some well thought-out ideas and innovative planning, even the dullest of spaces can be transformed. And at reasonable cost. - Brendan McKnight
 

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Music

May 20 2009




It's hard to imagine any band that's able to utilise the studio as effectively as Grizzly Bear. The Brooklyn-based quartet seamlessly weaves instruments into textures, rendering music that is almost irrelevant to discuss in traditional terms of rhythm and arrangement. But Grizzly Bear's art is not something to be thought about, it's something to be felt; it sweeps through you, feathering imagination and unlocking emotion. While this is prodigiously modern music, the cleverness of its coordination and restraint of delivery makes it seem of a porous and playful past, leaving the listener lying on a hardwood floor in the 60s, reading Kerouac and smoking Lucky Strikes. A spectacular triumph, Veckatimest is as absolutely enchanting as it is thoroughly impressive. - Matt Shea

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Lifestyle

December 6 2009

The Cool Hunter celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations. We are global in outlook, culturally discerning and a trusted hub for what's cool, thoughtful, innovative and original. We value global relevance, not trends, channelling our discoveries to our worldwide audience of 900,000 readers per month.
 
For a long time, we have been approached by networks and production companies from Brazil to L.A. wanting to produce a weekly TCH TV. We have now aligned the key ingredients needed to create the kind of quality and diversity that we want for what we see as a culture show, not another version of poor-quality reality TV.


 
We are currently looking for the right people as our presenters in New York and Los Angeles, the two hubs where we will start the line up that we envision expanding to all continents. We need confident people who can write and present in their own natural way. Age is irrelevant — you can be 25 or 65 as long as you are interesting and interested in meeting fascinating and innovative people around the world. If you feel you could be a TCH TV presenter, send us an image and info about yourself and explain what you would bring to TCH TV.


 
We are also hunting for story ideas for high-quality, intriguing, relevant and creative content — from showcasing a 85-year-old aquabics instructor in L.A to discussing with the scientists who have discovered a cure for cancer by mimicking the cancer-fighting properties found in cancer-proof mice. We also want to hear from advertisers who are in the process of launching a guerrilla campaign or a cool, new TV ad. We want to hear from fashion designers creating something unique for their show at Fashion Week, and event producers launching an innovative event. We want to know about business start-ups, entrepreneurs, eco designers, architects, artists, gurus. If it is creative, innovative, new and, most important, original, we want to know about it. Deadline 11 Jan, 2010 - send info to [email protected]

Fashion

November 26 2009

T-shirt alert - New limited edition Tee's available for $35 from Toronto based brand, Handsome Clothing

Design

November 27 2009

Opened this spring in Poland’s second-largest city of Lodz, the Andels Hotel has one of the most stunning entrance foyers we have seen in a while. The restored, stoic, red-brick facade hides the entrance so well that the initial impression is very strong.If you need to host a large event and impress your guests in this city, this is the place to do it. Andels has a large conference space plus the city’s largest ballroom at 1,300 square meters, and it shares its expansive red-brick domain with the best in the city’s cultural and shopping offerings.

The hotel structure is Manufaktura, Polish textile magnate Izrael Poznans’s former textile mill, now meticulously restored under strict official guidelines for building preservation. We love the interplay of old and new, square and rounded, natural and artificial, intimacy and open space.



The design concept of Andels comes from Jestico + Whiles, an award-winning design and architecture firm with offices in London and Prague, and a long relationship with the Andels hotels. This month, Andels Hotel Lodz won the Best Conversion of an Existing Building in the 12th European Hotel Design Awards.



Andels Hotel Lodz is the first four-star hotel in Lodz and the latest addition to the Andels Hotels group, which in turn is part of the Vienna International Hotels & Resorts that has more than 40 hotels in Eastern European countries. - Tuija Seipell

Ads

May 27 2009




Thanks to Apple the standard of marketing undertaken by computer and tech companies has dramatically increased. Apple showed the world that tech products can be 'sexy' and marketed creatively. The latest brand in this realm to take a creative approach to advertising is Microsoft. New Zealand agency Y&R zoomed in on the idea of home entertainment for this series of ads for the software giant. Promoting Microsoft Vista, which allows you to access your phone, music and photos etc from your PC, the ads are anchored around the idea of making your home a theme park of entertainment - a bouncy castle of fun. - Lisa Evans.

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Lifestyle

July 3 2013

Now that nobody prints hard-copy photos any more, Hamburg-based Twinkind would like to create a Little 3D You instead. A realistic, little you. Or your pet, or Mom.


 
A visit to their pop-up studio for a quick scan and then, after some technological wizardry that involves 3D printing and other newly developed techniques, you will be the owner of a little photorealistic sculpture anywhere from 15 to 35 centimeters (6 to 14 inches) tall and made of polymer plaster powder.
 
What makes Twinkind’s offering different from the other 3D printed sculptures currently available, is the speed of the initial scanning.


 
It used to take a long time (20 minutes in some cases) of standing (or sitting or whatever) very still to produce the detailed data needed for a realistic sculpture.
 
With Twinkind’s process, the scanning will take only a split second. And therefore, they can alter the results and rescan till you are happy with the image, and they can scan pets and kids and other objects that are not going to sit still for long. Prices, apparently, start from 225€ for the tiniest figurines.


 
Twinkind’s founders, Kristina Neurohr and Timo Schaedel, are experienced creatives. Neurohr is the co-owner of creative agency Lux von Morgen whereas Schaedel’s has developed commercials for international clients including Audi, Fiat and Panasonic. - Tuija Seipell.

Amazing Places

July 2 2011

Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway

Blue Caves - Zakynthos Island, Greece

Skaftafeli - Iceland


Plitvice Lakes – Croatia

Crystalline Turquoise Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park, China


Four Seasons Hotel - Bora Bora

Ice skating on Paterswoldse Meer, a lake just South of the city of Groningen in the Netherlands.


Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile

The Gardens at Marqueyssac http://www.frenchmoments.com/Marqueyssac.html


Ice Canyon - Greenland


Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia

Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada

Multnomah Falls, Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multnomah_Falls

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall on the South Coast of Iceland


Petra - Jordan (at night)

Verdon, Provence, France

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Norway Alesund Birdseye of City

Benteng Chittorgarh, India

Riomaggiore, Italy


Keukenhof Gardens - Netherlands.


Sky Lantern Festival - Taiwan.

The Wave is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, which are in turn located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau, Arizona.


Mount Roraima - Venezuela.

Seychelles


Restaurant near Sanyou Cave above the Chang Jiang river, Hubei , China.


East Iceland.

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.


New York City.

See also

More Amazing Places To Experience Around The Globe (Part 2 - click here)

More Amazing Places to Experience Around The Globe (Part 3 - click here )

More Amazing Places To Experience Around The Globe (Part 4 - click here)

Photographed a place we should include in Part 5 of Amazing Places? - get in contact

We'll be publishing Amazing Places as a book in late 2012

Art

December 10 2009

We are currently working on some projects (still under wraps) with a 23-year-old London-based illustrator, Dan Stafford. Born in Manchester, Stafford graduated this year from Loughborough University School of Art & Design with First Class Honours in Visual Communication. He is now busily producing slightly mad illustrations for clients such as Who’s Jack Magazine.


 
Stafford says filmmakers such as David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick influence his art, but we detect a Tim Burtonish sense of the bizarre — an aggressive duality of sweet and sinister, meek and macabre. In Stafford’s work, the dark side is mostly up-front in the subject matter while the softer side is represented through the choice colors and the softness of edges.


 
Indications of his future success include confirmed participation in 2010 in exhibitions in at least London, San Francisco and Glasgow. We believe that we will all see a lot more of his striking art in the future. - Tuija Seipell.

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Art

June 9 2009



Welcome to Matt W Moore's world. His retro, abstract inspired graphics with a steely, graffiti-edge have seen this young Portland-based artist's work traverse the globe. Moore's vast commercial portfolio includes gigs for mega brands including Burton, Nike, Wired, Citroen, Vodafone and many others. Fascinated with symmetry, geometry and saturated colour, he creates retro-spirited, abstract graphics with a wild, graffiti edge. 



A process of experimentation led to Moore's lauded signature "Vectorfunk" style of digital illustration, inspired by abstract geometry, vibrant colour combinations, dynamic compositions, depth and contrast. He also works across the spectrum of design and art disciplines - from canvas paintings to textile/apparel design and to logo/identity work. His typography, type treatments and icons are featured in his annual monochrome series, and in a comprehensive solo book called Vectorfunk by ROJO. - Lisa Evans

The Mini Cooper has been created for a TCH Special Mini Cooper project which we will unveil soon.

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Design

June 8 2009

Mecanoo Architects is designing the city hall and central train station for its home town of Delft, in the Netherlands. The top level will be glass-ceilinged, and even the underground levels will have a feel of transparency and light. Vaulted ceilings, archways and a strong use of white and blue will lighten the visual weight of the complex that will include a 30,000 square-meter public hall. The four-year construction will begin next year.

The Dutch-born and educated architect Francine Houben established Mecanoo Architects in the mid-80s. Mecanoo has since completed an incredible variety of public and private projects, including retail stores, theaters, hotels, libraries, museums, chapels, residential neighborhoods and parks. Houben’s focus on ”sensory beauty,“ color and light has produced many spectacular buildings in Europe and around the world. Most recently, Mecanoo won the competition to design the new master plan for a central business district in Shenzhen, China. The district will include 8,000 houses and 400,000 square-meters of commercial and cultural facilities. - Tuija Seipell

Treelife

April 14 2009

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We are excited to announce that our first offline event, TreeLife by TCH, will be unveiled in a major city in 2013.

This event will showcase innovative and creative sustainable architecture, and illustrate that green can co-exist with urban city life.



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The world's first major public exhibition of 'green design' treehouses, TreeLife will bring the biggest names in international architecture, design and art into the one public place for the first time,  showcasing cutting edge green and sustainable design.   

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Life in the trees

Treehouses have become creative eco-statements in the design world. They allow people to literally be "in" nature and peace above the stressful street level of life. The Cool Hunter will invite top local and international architects, artists and designers to design for the event a modern treehouse, created from sustainable and recycled materials

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Global program of events:
To celebrate the incredible temporary environment created by TreeLife, the exhibition will host a program of events that will vary from city to city.

Art-life: Green-themed, organic art installations placed around treehouses including topiary.

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Silent Cinema: Public, open-air "silent" movie screenings using wireless, sound-proof headphones.

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Free bikes at each satellite venue for people to move from site to site in an eco-friendly manner

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Hi-Tea: Refresh in the TreeLife High Tea Room

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The Green Room: An off-site sister hospitality venue

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Sleep overnight in a treehouse:
The ultimate tree house experience.

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Illuminating TreeLife at night: LED installations and nightly LIGHT SHOW

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Rollerdisco:  A 70s "rollerskate" rink.

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Eco-stage: Artists will perform amongst the installations on the green-powered Eco-Stage

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The Ecotarium:
A showcase of green technology.

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Graphic Art exhibition: 100 TreeLife posters designed by 100 of the world's top graphic illustrators

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For sponsorship enquiries, contact here

Design

November 2 2010

Supermachine Studio in Bangkok, Thailand, is a group of four multitasking architects that team member Pitupong “ Jack” Chaowakul describes as “small office – big projects.” “We work like guerrilla designers, everyone does everything, constantly shifting,” he told TCH.



Supermachine’s latest achievement is the interior design of two floors of one of Bangkok University’s new four-storey buildings that form the new, spectacular Landmark complex, designed by Bangkok-based 49 Group.



Supermachine’s work in the Bangkok University Creative Center (BUCC) - about 600 square meters in total – includes a workshop, library, exhibition space, viewing room and office.



According to Chaowakul, BUCC was set up as part of the government’s goal to transform the country’s economy from agricultural and industrial into the creative economy. To encourage creativity, communication and experimentation, the BUCC facility needed to be open, playful, expressive and flexible.



One of Supermachine’s solutions was the “Lo-Fi pixel wall” at the entrance. They covered a 180 square-meter wall surface with 10,000 custom-made rotating four-sided plastic pieces. Each piece has a pink, blue, green and yellow side. Students can rotate each unite and create color patterns, write messages or just experiment with the tactile wall.



In the student workshop, Supermachine enclosed the internet center in a space-ship like green pod that students can move around in the open space.



Construction at BUCC is coming to a close and the facility will open shortly for students. Supermachine is currently working on the interiors for the university's student lounge facility. - Tuija Seipell

Stores

June 29 2010

Sports brands, even those that are not official sponsors of the World Cup soccer tournament, are taking full advantage of the global celebrations and fan enthusiasm. In New York City, Nike is making full creative use of its Nike Stadium NYC, a multi-purpose experiential environment opened at the Browery Stadium in May and designed by New York and London-based architectural firm Rafael de Cárdenas.

In Nike Stadium NYC, Cárdenas has created a soccer-inspired space that feels right in the New York environment — not glossy or overly sleek, but somewhat lived-in, hard-edged and willing to take some wear and tear. Triangular wooden blocks allow for instant creative modification of the space, as users can stack them, sit on them or create their own seating areas.



At Nike Stadium NYC, various soccer-related programs and performances in architecture, design and art are taking place all summer and into the fall. These include film screenings, match viewings and other events, all focused on exploring creative expression of soccer.

Nike Stadiums
are the brand’s multi-purpose event spaces that have so far opened in Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Paris and Tokyo.



Nike Stadiums continue to reinforce Nike’s reputation as a creative supporter of soccer — something that their 2007 Cannes Lion-winning Stadium shoe box represented well. A limited number of shoe boxes were transformed to resemble a stadium with an image of a stadium and an embedded sound chip. When you opened your shoe box, you saw a miniature stadium and heard the crowd cheering, and you could imagine yourself inside a stadium cheering along or, better yet, playing on the field wearing your new Nikes. - Tuija Seipell

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