I’ve loved the work of Irish illustrator Fuchsia Macaree for quite sometime. Her editorial illustrations for the Dublin magazine Totally Dublin have always been a particular favorite of mine and earlier in the month she released a fantastic series of illustrations based on untranslatable words.
It seems that every language has a few examples of these. They are the types of words that don’t necessarily translate directly into English or perhaps require a degree of cultural understanding to truly get their meaning. For example, in Ireland we have ‘craic’ – a word that means a sense of fun and amusement; normally based around good company and entertaining conversation. In Germany they have a word for buildings that are constructed with he sole purpose of inconveniencing a neighbour (neidbau). In Japan they use the word ‘age-tori’ for when someone looks worse after a hair cut. It’s fascinating stuff and Fuchsia’s series sets about bringing all these great words to life.
From A-Z she has created 26 illustrations which explore these fantastic foreign words. Each one rendered with beautiful colors, and fun and playful imagery. My favorite? The German word ‘backpfeifengesicht’. Simply meaning ‘a face in need of a slap’. Now, why don’t we have a word for that in English!?
View the complete collection of Fuchsia’s untranslatable words online here or buy a print of the alphabet online here.
Worlds away from the bland and sprawling office parks that seem to populate suburban office parks in the States, is this stack of commercial spaces recently completed by Mierta & Kurt Lazzarini Architekten. Built along the banks of the Inn river in Switzerland, the firm is so proud of their work that they moved into one of its spaces. Could you resist a space with that view? Because the project is along a river, it may be tempting to read the undulating fenestration pattern as a reference to water, but it’s actually a reflection of the rolling hills covered in trees that surround the project. Besides being a lovely project, it’s also a responsible one: producing energy from photovoltaics on the roof.
With the passing of Neil Armstrong this past week, I have spent much time looking through archival footage of Neil and his gang. I wanted to share with you something spectacular, something sprinkled with cosmic moon dust. The above panoramas of the moon are courtesy of USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute. Twelve men have walked on the moon. This is what it was like inside their space suits.Take a peek at as many Apollo Surface Panoramas that you can squeeze into your lunch break. These high-resolution images have such high quality that you can almost see your own breath steaming on the glass of your own space suit.
This small and wood-finished residence was designed for an international couple who love to surf. So it may not be too surprising that the house can be quite open to ocean breezes flowing through it. That’s because the house is built in Onjuku, a costal fishing town about an hour and a half from Tokyo. The house was designed by Bakoko, who describe the project as the Onjuku Surf Shack, but I’m not sure I’d call this warm and sturdy structure a shack.
A bit of a controversial stunt, Berlin-based artists Julius von Bismarck and Julian Charriere have dyed the local pigeons of Venice coinciding with this years Venice Biennale. The idea was to change the perception of pigeons in the city to be something beautiful rather than rats of the sky. The end result are pigeons that resemble jewel toned parrots you’d find in the wilds of the jungle, defying the dirty, pretzel-pecking image that usually comes to mind.
The birds were spray painted with a non-harmful dye in a specially created booth, for those wondering. I think there are still some ethical issues, but I’m going to give the artists the benefit of a doubt that they didn’t harm any birds in the making of this project. Overall I think the effect is pretty beautiful and amazing. Pigeons can beautiful in my opinion, but this brings a Wizard of Oz, horse-of-a-different-color sort of vibe to them which I think would be pretty awesome to see in person.
In Dogtooth (2009), almost everything has a falsely constructed meaning. Little yellow flowers growing in the garden are called Zombies. Planes flying over a meticulously kept backyard can easily fall from the sky. Cats are ferocious animals to be feared at all times. The first impression Dogtooth leaves stacks nicely into what we would expect from a sci-fi film. But Dogtooth doesn’t take place on a forbidden planet. It’s setting is rural Greece, and it’s center is the home of both thespian and psychotic, Father (Christos Stergioglou) who has successfully kept his adult children hostage for years. It sounds horrific, but the world director Giorgos Lanthimos presents is far from gruesome. Bordering on serene perfection, the family bastille is luxurious and near resort like in its provisions and amenities. The manipulation hides behind closed doors.
Although pushing through their adult years, Older Daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia) , Younger Daughter (Mary Tsoni) and Son (Hristos Passalis) are treated as infants, and are subject to irking forms of mental abuse. Veiled under an icy world of control, the children are feed a heavy dose of disorientation, lies and bogus knowledge, all in effort to support the patriarchal reign. Slightly Wes Anderson in its quirk and style, Dogtooth remains unique in its portrayal of a twisted family drama, or dramedy if hilarity can be found in the outrageous lengths that are taken to keep the “children” from venturing into the outside world beyond their fortified home.
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards and winner of Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Dogtooth brims with recognizable symbolic references and relies on customs of western society to feed its ingenious plot twists. The most important of which in this story is the meaning behind losing your teeth, a person’s undeniable need for sexual exploration and our intrinsic need for freedom.
Given that the foundation of the film is fixed in words, meaning and reference it should be noted that the translation of the film from Greek to English through subtitles is done with success and care, leaving nothing to the imagination. Except what happens in the end.
Dogtooth is available to rent on both iTunes and Netfilx.
I came across this amazing little coffee spot called Little Nap Coffee Stand which is situated in Shibuya, Tokyo. They serve a modest menu of coffee, hot and iced, as well as ice cream and kids beverages – the perfect basics. In addition they’ve got a nice compliment of coffee related accessories, shirts, bags and other small boutique items. To set it all off they’ve got some really nice branding which is simple and text based but certainly gives the space a beautiful identity.
We’ve got some pretty sweet coffee spots in Los Angeles but I’d love to see a simple space like this pop-up in town. There coffee stand feels like it’s a laid back place where you could grab a nice cup of coffee and talk to your neighbors. I’d suggest checking out their Facebook as well to get an insight into their day-to-day business.
Port / $16.95
Port is one of our favorite men’s magazines. It’s well made and well put together: it is always sharp. Their Summer 2012 issue is “The Food Issue.” It covers everything from the practice of food making to suggesting must have items for your own kitchen. The two biggest standouts in the issue is a Juergen Teller photographed story on Nigella Lawson and Giles Revell’s beautiful, painterly fish photography. Port’s usual mix of fashion editorials, lifestyle articles, and smart recommandations are still present in the issue but have a food slant to them.
Wilder Quarterly / $18.95
This is always a great read and is becoming one of those sexy publications that people brag about at dinner parties, qualifying statements with, “Oh, yes, I read it in Wilder.” It’s wonderful and very reflective of how active we are becoming with our food. The magazine always mixes beautiful photography with very interesting inside looks at farmers and food makers, making it very accessible for everyone. Marc Alt’s desert farming interview with Stephanie Smith of Joshua Tree’s Wanna Start A Commune? was particularly interesting as it seems impossible to grow anything beyond cactuses in the desert. Joanna McClure also adds some great photos to Addie Han’s Smell The Roses piece as well as Cari Vander Yacht’s illustrations for the Seasonal Beneficial (the White-Lined Sphinx Moth) and Seasonal Pest (the Woodchuck) articles.
Afterzine / $10
Hamish Robertson’s Afterzine is always a welcome read as it represents such a diverse world of writers, artists, and more speaking on one topic. This third issue is all about records. From Theodora Allen’s paintings of records to a Q&A with Levi’s historian Lynn Downey to actress Dianna Agron explaining how one of her bathrooms is covered in writing, the word and concept of recording is expounded upon in so many fascinating ways. The magazine is also so nice looking, too.
Bon Appétit / $4.99
There really is no reason why Bon Appetit–an internationally sold, grocery-store-check-out magazine–should be as good as it is. First things first: it looks so great. Led by art director Elizabeth Spiridakis, there are so many delightful details this issue that bring the entire issue together. Case in point? The simple recurring dots throughout The 10 Best New Restaurants In America article. Very well done. In the past few months, they’ve seemed to turn up their cool a lot and are catching food and drink trends faster than we can partake in them. Bon Appétit is always a great read and is proving to be one of the most visually interesting mainstream magazines, too.