Delightful Wooden Toys To Decorate Your Desk

Wooden Sushi Set

Wooden Sushi Set

For whatever reason I keep seeing great wooden toys all over the place so I thought I’d share two of my favorites. The first is this great Wooden Sushi Set from Dwell Studio. It’s technically in the kids section of the site but why should they have all the fun? I love the colors and texture of these, and with 10 pieces I feel like you could use them as stacking blocks when you need to give your mind a rest.

Hobby Bamboo Dolls

Hobby Bamboo Dolls

I also found these great bamboo dolls called Hobby from Acne JR. The idea for them is pretty simple, a perfectly cut piece of bamboo with a cute face, but I think their crafted quite well. As you’d expect each piece is completely unique and you can get them in small, medium or large sizes. These are less interactive than the wooden sushi but they’re also a lot more friendly as well.

Bobby Solomon

December 11, 2012 / By

Pokémon Ghost Hack: An Urban Legend Meets Video Games

Pokémon Hack: An Urban Legend Meets Video Games

I came across this odd story of an old, mysterious Gameboy version of Pokémon being hacked and for whatever reason I think about it every now and then. Essentially the game was hacked to where you had a Pokémon named Ghost, who instead of defeating other Pokémon, would kill them instead.

Defending Pokémon were unable to attack Ghost — it would only say they were too scared to move. When the move “Curse” was used in battle, the screen would cut to black. The cry of the defending Pokémon would be heard, but it was distorted, played at a much lower pitch than normal. The battle screen would then reappear, and the defending Pokémon would be gone. If used in a battle against a trainer, when the Pokéballs representing their Pokemon would appear in the corner, they would have one fewer Pokéball.

The implication was that the Pokémon died.

The story gets more complicated from there as you progress to old age and eventually learn a moral lesson about killing. Supposedly this game did exist but I’m not sure that anyone has ever found a cartridge for it. I find it so interesting that an urban legend could be centered around a video game. Reminds me a bit of The Ring, but with a video game, and no one in real life has died… yet.

Bobby Solomon

December 11, 2012 / By

‘Colour Nativity’, A Minimalist Nativity Scene by Sebastian Bergne

Colour Nativity by Sebastian Bergne

Colour Nativity by Sebastian Bergne

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If your minimalist home needs some minimalist cheer this Festive season then you might want to get your very own minimalist Nativity set. The Colour Nativity is created by the British designer Sebastian Bergne and is made from hand-painted beech wood.

Unpacking the accompanying wooden box / manger you’ll find that each character is represented by a different size and color and Bergne has even included the North Star. It’s a nice set and it really adds a fun and contemporary spin on a Christmas tradition. Limited to 250, you can get one online here.

Philip Kennedy

December 11, 2012 / By

Pantone Color of the Year 2013: Emerald

Pantone Color of the Year: Emerald

Pantone Color of the Year

Each year Pantone, the purveyors of color for our industry, forecasts a color that will mark the year. You can see the colors chosen in previous years above, as well as the Pantone color for 2013, Emerald. I find it interesting that Pantone chooses a color of the year. I’m not quite certain if they’re trend forecasting or doing their part in trying to influence a trend. Perhaps a bit of both?

What I also find interesting is that I don’t seem to remember many of their past choices having a huge impact. Last year’s Tangerine Tango, a truly unfortunate name, which is sort of a deep red orange, but not quite. I don’t think I ever saw that color used anywhere to be honest. Nor Honeysuckle, Blue Iris, or Chili Pepper. Is it just me? Am I alone in this? They’ve been forecasting this since 2000, have they been right in the past?

Bobby Solomon

December 10, 2012 / By

Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Store, Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Store, Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Store, Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Store, Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Store, Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur

After posting about some delicious chocolate from Portland last night I figured I’d continue on that trend with this beautiful shop from Maison Callier. Like a giant wrapped chocolate sitting in a field, this flagship store for the classic chocolatier is quite astounding. It was designed by Mathieu Lehanneur who created it to resemble a chocolate that’s had a bite taken out of it. Both expensive and beautiful looking, this is totally a place I’d love to grab a truffle or two.

Bobby Solomon

December 10, 2012 / By

The Holy Rosary Church gets an extreme church makeover

Holy Rosary Church by Trahan Architects

The Holy Rosary Church

Holy Rosary Church

There’s a wide chasm between the public’s understanding of architecture and the architect’s intent. Sometimes, this chasm is bridged by years of use until the public appreciates a building, but sometimes this chasm gets deeper and wider. This week, I thought we’d look at what happens when new stuff gets old. Maybe it’s the death of über modernist Oscar Niemeyer last week, or maybe Im biased, but there seems to be a recent bevy of stories that highlight the numbered days of built work. We start the week in Louisiana. In St. Amant, one of the few examples of contemporary church design in the state is undergoing an extreme makeover so that the unique space will more closely resemble a traditional church.

I say extreme makeover because the changes that are being implemented to the church look cartoonish to me. The buildings undergoing this makeover? They’re only six years old. The adult education and administration buildings of the Holy Rosary Church were built by Trahan Architects in 2006. But their architectural adolescence  has not been kind. The building committee of the church cites years of problems in their announcement to revisit the church’s design. The pristine concrete cubes were leaky, and their exterior prematurely streaked with black lines tracing water’s movement across the blemished surfaces. So the bulldozers are on site to correct the concrete: the new walls are being hidden by newer ones that actually look older, and the entire character of the space is being subsumed by gothic arches, pitched roofs and new canopies for the exterior walkways.

Holy Rosary Church by Trahan Architects

A statement from the architects says that “it is tragic to see such a beautifully conceived work of architecture succumb to demolition and design changes” and so soon after the building’s completion. And it may be beautifully conceived, but the statement is shy to talk about the works execution, even though it seems like their work is slowly being executed in another sense of the word.  Buried in the comments of an article about the building changes, a commenter says:  “I wish architects would focus more on what ordinary people love and less on what they wish to express. Architecture is not an art, it is the art of building.” This statement baffles me for several reasons, but it echoes in the gap between the people who make architecture and the people who use buildings. Maybe the parishioners of the Holy Rosary Church will be happier in their updated (or maybe downdated is more appropriate) spaces, and I sincerely hope they will be.  It’s expensive to build and then rebuild half a church in such a short amount of time.

Alex Dent

December 10, 2012 / By

Andre Govia’s Haunting Photos of Abandoned Places

Andre Govia Photo

Andre Govia Photo

Andre Govia Photo

Andre Govia Photo

Andre Govia Photo

Andre Govia Photo

I was browsing around Tumblr over the weekend when I came across these amazing photos from Andre Govia. I couldn’t dig up a lot about Andre but what I get from his photo descriptions is that he and his buddy travel to abandoned buildings, old mine shafts, mental hospitals, etc and take these really creepy but beautiful photographs. He achieves the eerie look to his photos by using some HDR business, which I think in this case actually works. The images look quite ethereal and otherworldly. The photos above are but a small sample of his immense body of work. Click here to see lots more beautiful photos.

Bobby Solomon

December 10, 2012 / By

‘La melodía del afilador’ by PEGASVS

I discovered the Spanish band PEGASVS during the week and really like their sound. The duo consists of Spaniard Sergio Pérez and Argentinean Luciana Della Villa, and recently they released an eponymous LP through record the Spanish record label CANADA.

Many of you might remember CANADA from some of their amazing music videos. From Ice Cream by Battles to Bombay by El Guincho and on to their recent video for New Lands by Justice; the Barcelona-based collective have put together some of the best music videos of recent memory. Now they seem to also be working as a record label and they’re beginning to release some really great music.

PEGASVS is one such band. Their sound is just the perfect energetic blast of fun. Fusing German krautrock of the ’70s with dreamy pop timbres, their music is bright, fun and poppy in all the best ways. CANADA recently filmed a new video for the band’s track La melodía del afilador which really captures the energy of the duo perfectly. You can get a copy of their album online here.

Philip Kennedy

December 10, 2012 / By

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