In the last 20 years, there’s no other designer who’s pushed the boundaries of industrial design than Jonathan Ive. His work at Apple has proven that considered design choices are critical to a successful product, as seen by a radical shift in the world toward design-focused first mindset. A few days ago Vanity Fair published the video interview of Jonathan Ive’s talk with Vanity Fair’s EIC Graydon Carter from their recent New Establishment Summit.
The interview is essential in my eyes, with topics covered like worries and joys of being Jony Ive, being a part of a creative team, the birth of a physical object, the seduction of “cool” features, that copying Apple’s designs is theft, and much, much more. My favorite line in the talk is one similar to what he said in the recent Vogue article about him, where he says, “Isn’t that curious? Because if you tasted some food that you didn’t think tasted right, you would assume that the food was wrong. But for some reason, it’s part of the human condition that if we struggle to use something, we assume that the problem resides with us.”
North Carolina based branding designer Matt Stevens stumbled into a really fun person project recently, creating a series of “Design Gangs” which mixes “personal experience, a fascination with our shared design language/experiences, and a healthy dose of wanting to try some new techniques.” I’ve been watching his progress over on his Dribbble and it’s been rad to see him slowly grow and discover what the series is about.
If I had the choice I’d definitely be a member of the Revision Killers.
There are two clear front runners for most important visual storytelling method: the emoji and the GIF. In the case of the latter it’s becomes increasingly interesting to see how people are experimenting with the media of short, looping animations. One of the most impressive artists I’ve come across lately is designer and illustrator Drew Tyndall, a Nashville resident who has created some impressive looking GIFs that are reminiscent of Sol Lewitt mashed with Piet Mondrian. His ability to create such fluidity and texture in each of these is mighty impressive, and his color choices are absolutely spot on.
You can see more of his looping illustrations in his portfolio.
When you’re a guy like Nicholas Krgovich you’ve had a very interesting career. He made a name for himself with acts like P:iano and No Kids (who I put on this mixtape 5 years ago), though for me it was his appearance on Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s track “Old Panda Days” that really sold me.
Now he’s back with a new solo record On Sunset which I’ve had on repeat for the past week. It’s a record about Los Angeles which in many ways sounds like Los Angeles and that numerous musical styles that have come from here. If I had to sum up the sound the record in one sentence I’d say it sounds like Jens Lekman tinged with R&B and the lyrical structure of 90s gangsta rap. Sounds crazy right? If you listen to Let’s Take The Car Out, the fifth track on the album, you’ll hear a distinct 90s way of presenting the lyrics yet it’s backed by elegant strings and a graceful piano.
I’m surprised that no one has picked up on this album yet, it might be the dark horse of 2014, but it’s certainly going to be in my top favorites.
I’ve never stopped to think about how we might grow plants in space. I’ve only really thought about those enormous geodesic domes that you see in sci-fi films like Silent Running, but I’ve never stopped to consider what a practical real-life equivalent of those might be. Obviously being in space brings about all kinds of issues and I can just imagine the problems you might face if you tried to water some soil while floating around in zero-gravity.
Fortunately the guys at NASA have been thinking about exactly these issues. Back in 2011 the experts and astronauts there collaborated with designers Piotr Szpryngwald and Mirko Ihrig in developing a means for astronauts to grow food on long duration space flights in a clean, easy and safe way.
Their solution is brilliantly simple. The concept consist of a small pillow which contains the seed and hydroponic media. They also created a special watering device which can both puncture and activate the pillow. The final element is a growing chamber which informs astronauts about the harvesting cycles of their plants. I think the idea is great and I love the look of it.
You can view more images from the project here.
Learn how to draw the human body with lifelike realism. Improve your drawing skills and create incredible works of art when you unlock the secrets to drawing human anatomy with the free Craftsy guide Drawing the Human Body: A Primer.
With 23 pages of step-by-step tutorials, tips and tricks from experts Paul Heaston and Sandrine Pelissier, you’ll master the art of drawing the human form including hands, the torso, feet and more. Find out how to perfect proportions and get the most out of a life drawing session. Plus, you’ll even discover tips for working with a model. Download the PDF guide instantly and enjoy it forever.
Download the free guide at Craftsy.com.
Earlier this year Rolling Stone described Jack White as “Rock & Roll’s Willy Wonka” and it’s clear to see why. His label, Third Man Records, is undoubtedly a golden ticket for music fans. Its Nashville HQ boasts a record store and a music venue while also releasing some of the most out-there records you’re likely to come across. From a peach-scented LP to records that glow-in-the-dark, White’s label has enough eccentricity to give even Roald Dahl’s imagination a run for its money.
But Third Man Records isn’t just about novel ideas; they’re also passionate about great music. Perhaps that is most apparent in their most recent project; a first of its kind box set that charts the rise and fall of Paramount Records. Spread over two-volumes, the collection is an omnibus of art, words and music… and both volumes look absolutely stunning.
Volume One was released late last year (take a look here) and covers a period between 1917-1927. I now have a whole host of images showing off the second volume of the collection and it’s a beaut! Consisting of 800 tracks released between 1928-1932, this new collection contains six LPs as well as two books filled with bios, art and articles. Not only that, but it also contains a USB drive filled with music and ads from the era. Everything is housed in a beautiful aluminum and stainless steel cabinet that evokes the high art deco styling of the era.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of music I’m sure you’d be impressed by how great this package looks. Taking inspiration from the likes of Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes and especially John Vassos; the cabinet looks beautiful and the illustrations and design of the books is just superb. Its creators stated that their intention for the project was to create something closer to an interactive museum exhibit than a conventional music collection and I think they’ve definitely pulled that off.
To say that Paramount was an important record label feels like a bit of an understatement. Its output included releases from jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, as well as blues musicians like Charley Patton and Son House. Their contribution to American music is hugely impressive; bringing about the birth of the Mississippi Delta blues while also influencing the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators through their series of hand-drawn ads in the pages of the Chicago Defender.
A collection like this is a lot to take in. I’ve spent a small amount of time listening to it and feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I love the sound of the era and it’s been a joy to discover some great recordings from that time. Paramount was the first and most comprehensive chronicler of what America sounded like during the 1920s and ’30 so it’s great to see their legacy being preserved in a manner as fitting as this.
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records Volume 2, 1928-1932 is released November 18. Volume 1 can be purchased here.
Striking out and doing what you truly love is never an easy decision, though it can lead to true happiness. That’s the case with James Chororos, a New York photographer who left his position as an architect with Studio Daniel Libeskind to concentrate on photography full-time. This proved to be a smart move as evidenced by the incredibly rich work that James put online.
His finest photos can be found under his portrait section. He’s captured an incredibly diverse range of people in such interesting places, all of which draw you in and make you want to know more. I hope to see James’ work showing up in more places soon.