Over the weekend I stopped into thew new A.P.C. flagship shop, a space that’s nestled between buzzing Melrose Ave. and the sleepy Melrose Place. The area is dotted with high-end boutiques — such as the lavish Alexander McQueen to the iconically pink Paul Smith – but when you walk into the new A.P.C. it feels like you’ve escaped to a warm, summer retreat. What used to be an old antique shop has been transformed into something comfortable, spacious, and well-considered, with a thoughtful mix of architecture and vegetation.
The central plot features a luxuriously planted garden of Californian natives and is framed by a very large window, spanning 59 ft across 3 sides supported by diagonal wooden columns. In every sense it becomes the true heart of the structure. Ceramic brick, commissioned specifically for this project, is used for the floor and acts as a homage to the Hispanic history of Los Angeles, while providing extra light in its reflective nature. It also remains cool to the touch, important to the boutique where air conditioning is kept at a minimum.
The floor also unifies the space, where 3 presentation spaces are created by playing with the differing volumes inherent to the building. Ceilings range from a 20 ft cathedral-like stature to a more humble cottage-like height. As well as the central courtyard, the dual entrance from Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place creates a flow and sense of accessibility to the boutique.
Walking through the space you’re definitely met with a sense of comfort. I went around noon and the light was marvelous, spilling in from the skylights and tall windows. As mentioned above the floor tiles really do reflect the light beautifully, which in turn makes all of the wooden elements radiate a warmth that I’ve never experienced in a retail environment before. I wanted to sit and relax in the shop like it was my home.
The boutique will house the full A.P.C. men’s and women’s collections as well as the recently expanded denim collection, accessories, and collaborations. The Melrose shop will be the crown jewel to an ever-expanding presence in Los Angeles with new shops opening in downtown and Silver Lake in late 2014. Based on this space I’m excited to see how they continue to evolve their spaces.
Matt W. Moore is well known for his vibrant, geometric paintings, products, and street art. His highly stylized work is always vibrantly colored and full of energy and motion. His newest project though, titled Mosaic Mandala Series: Native Utah Elements, funnels that same creativity into a a series of mandelas made from naturally found materials.
This series of mosaic mandalas was created entirely with elements foraged on the mountain and in the valley : River pebbles and stones, shale, red rocks from the high elevations, dead branches from aspen trees, bark from evergreens, cattails from the lake’s edge, dried wild grasses from yesteryear, and cut dead branches exposing the rings of the tree’s life. Everything was right there for me, all I had to do was notice it’s potential. Over the years I have always been drawn to the infinite possibilities of geometric mandala grids. I have painted dozens of them on Canvases and Walls, designed them with colorful Vectors, and even collaborated with a friend on a Robot Rendered Series on paper. A new approach to a timeless concept.
I love that Matt was able to find this beautiful symmetry in everything he looks at. It’s kind of funny to me because in all honesty this quite a hippy dippy project, and it shouldn’t be this cool. If you told me someone made some cool “rock art” I’d probably roll my eyes. Matt’s talent to synthesize these materials into something fresh and contemporary is his true talent and I’d absolutely hang one of these on my wall.
Nicolàs Aichino and Tomas Moyano have created a pretty solid concept of what the new iPhone 6 might be designed to look like based on what’s been reported and leaked. I don’t usually see the value in posting what-if work like this but what they’ve done feels like it’s grounded in reality and isn’t aiming to be sensational.
I personally like the idea of the return to rounded corners, much like the first generation iPhone. It’ll also be interesting to see just how thin they can make it. With the supposed removal of the headphone port, using the lightning connector as the new headphone port, this would make the phone even thinner than it was before. But like any well made object it still needs to have some sort of heft and weight to it. Too light and it will end up feeling like a cheap piece of plastic.
Discovered this new mix over the weekend from BAIO, the DJ name of
Chris Baio who now goes around making great jams. Overall the mix has this really bright, vibrant sound to it which in my opinion is a perfect way to start the week out. Welcome Monday! ex-Vampire Weekend bassist
Editor’s Note: My bad, I swear I read that Ezra Koenig left the band, thus ending it. Seems I was crazy.
20Syl is the mysterious moniker of French beatmaker Sylvain Richard who recently released this killer music video for his track, “Kodama”. The video is a crazy mash up of musical instruments being played by nonspecific arms that play elements of the song while being surrounded by an assortment of interesting props. Plus it’s just a great song in general.
If you dig the video below you can listen to his Motifs EP on Soundcloud, where the track is from.
When it comes to sharply designed branding and identity one of the first names that comes to mind is Brent Couchman and his San Francisco design studio Moniker. One of my recent favorite projects they completed was the branding and identity for Teddy’s Nacho Royale, a Mexican restaurant on the Menlo Park campus of Facebook.
I think what they’ve done is a perfect mix of playful type and symbols, all presented in a clean, contemporary fashion. They specifically “developed the visual identity, signage and interior graphics with a nod to local burrito joints, while incorporating their internal culture throughout the restaurant.” Overall it’s really well done, and a place personally I would love to frequent.
You can see more of Moniker’s work by clicking here.
For the time being, “smart watches” aren’t a smart bet. So far most companies are producing mobile phones that fit on your wrist, not truly thinking of what the utility of a wrist mounted computing device should be used for. Google’s Android Wear watches seem to be the first coherent thought in this brave new world, but unfortunately it’s focused on being a cool gadget for the tech-savvy first while putting the everyday people market second.
That’s where Withings and their new Activité watch come in. At first glance what do you see? A watch. A beautiful watch designed in Paris and made in Switzerland out of stainless steel and unbreakable sapphire glass. This is first and foremost a beautifully designed object that will appeal to folks who still wear watches. Looks are deceiving though as it features a variety of helpful, tech focused features like monitoring distance (walking, running, or swimming), calories burned, and quantity and quality of sleep, all of which will sync with Withing’s existing Health Mate app.
This to me feels like the natural progression of smart watches. Be sure that they appeal to a market of people that still wear watches, a number which I’m sure is dwindling, and give them more functionality with less fuss. The less fuss? The battery in the watch will last a year, not the nightly charging that Google’s watches require. I suppose time will tell how these devices evolve.
Alexander Chen, a Creative Director at Google Creative Lab and all around talented guy, has created an interesting web app called Piano Phase.
This site is based on the first section from Steve Reich’s 1967 piece “Piano Phase”. Two pianists repeat the same twelve note sequence, but one gradually speeds up. Here, the musical patterns are visualized by drawing two lines, one following each pianist.
It’s fascinating to see something complex like Steve Reich’s work visualized. Doing it graphically and using only code is so mesmerizing, and although it’s only 12 notes repeated over and over, the phasing effect is intriguing. Check out the video below for a preview.