A Client’s Desire for Lake Views and Privacy Lead to a Striking Japanese Home

Scape House by Kouichi Kimura Architects

Located in the beautiful surroundings of Japan’s Kansai region, Scape House sits on a hillside overlooking Biwa-ko, the country’s largest lake. With so many houses nearby it was important that this building could make the most of its view without opening itself up too greatly to the neighboring homes. Designed by Kouichi Kimura Architects, this recently completed home aims to incorporate as much light and scenery as possible through versatile living spaces and windows while still allowing its homeowners a sense of privacy.

Scape House by Kouichi Kimura Architects

Scape House by Kouichi Kimura Architects

Scape House by Kouichi Kimura Architects

While it seems that the focus of this project was very much based around creating a home that was comfortable, private and rich with versatile spaces, I have to say that I find the building’s sober exterior to be particularly striking. It’s slender, almost Tetris-like, shapes form a distinct look and its combination of different greys add variety and texture to a bold exterior.

Scape House by Kouichi Kimura Architects

You can view more images from inside Kouichi Kimura’s Scape House here.

Philip Kennedy

October 22, 2014 / By

Seams is a Playful Celebration of Ceramics, Color, and Process

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Seams is a collection of five molded ceramic tableware centerpieces designed by Benjamin Hubert Ltd for the Italian manufacturer Bitossi Ceramiche. This project came about as part of the studio’s research into creating mass-produced products with one off details by manipulating a traditional ceramic manufacturing process.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

In the ceramics world, seams are a common unwanted side effect created during the casting stage of manufacturing. Typically they’re trimmed off before the piece is set, but the studio thought that by including them in this work these small imperfections might actually enhance the final outcome. I think it’s a really nice touch and that the seams add a unique decorative detail that celebrate the process of how the work was formed. To get a better sense of this process you should check out the short animation below:

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Benjamin Hubert Ltd is a London based studio founded in 2007. Comprising of a team of industrial designers, researchers and engineers who work across a broad range of sectors including furniture, lighting, consumer goods, architectural installations and interior design.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Bitossi Ceramiche are a world-renowned manufacturer of ceramic-ware who have been making work since the 1920s. Based in Florence, the factory have collaborated with a whole host of famous designers in the past including people like Arik Levy, Fabio Novembre and the Bouroullec Brothers. This collection was completed earlier this year and is Benjamin Hubert Ltd’s first collaboration with the company.

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

Seams by Benjamin Hubert Bitossi

More projects from Benjamin Hubert Ltd can be seen on their website.

Philip Kennedy

October 21, 2014 / By

How Might We Grow Plants In Space?

Plant for NASA

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.

Plant for NASA

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.

Plant for NASA

Plant for NASA

Plant for NASA

You can view more images from the project here.

Philip Kennedy

October 15, 2014 / By

‘The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records’ is the Ultimate Cabinet of Wonder for Vinyl Fanatics

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

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.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

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.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

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.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

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.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

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 Two (1928-32)

The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records Volume 2, 1928-1932 is released November 18. Volume 1 can be purchased here.

Philip Kennedy

October 14, 2014 / By

Timo Lenzen’s Black and White Posters Will Really Catch Your Eye

Timo Lenzen

German graphic designer Timo Lenzen really has a gift when it comes to creating eye catching posters. The Frankfurt-native has an impressive portfolio of work and his collection of poster designs really grabbed my attention. Not only has the designer produced an impressive quantity of work but so much of it looks amazing and demonstrates his gift for variety and diversity. I was particularly taken by his restrained use of black-and-white.

Lenzen says he enjoys working in a wide range of media and is excited to explore the possibilities that this allows him. If you take a quick skim through his website you’re bound to spot this wide range of media he’s talking about. He’s worked in everything from animation and illustration to typography and space.

Timo Lenzen

Timo Lenzen

I particularly love his poster “The Noble Experiment”. It was designed for a competition run by the blog Totally Drunk and presents an expression used by president Herbert Hoover during the Prohibition Era. I love his typography and the hazy black-and-white sits perfectly with the look and feel of the era.

Timo Lenzen

You can see more from Timo Lenzen on his website.

Philip Kennedy

October 13, 2014 / By

Artist Luka Fineisen Brings Bubbles To The Gallery With A Beautiful Installation

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

I know what you’re thinking and no, somebody hasn’t been blowing big bubbles in an art gallery! Sure I featured Nicholas Hanna’s incredible bubble devices a couple of weeks ago but these are very different types of bubbles. In fact, they’re not even bubbles at all, they’re beautiful sculptures made from plastic by the talented German artist Luka Fineisen.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

Fineisen’s work is frequently interested in the scientific world, with her ambitious sculptural projects often investigating processes like thermodynamics and other similar instances of transitional found within nature. I love how she takes the ephemeral beauty of a bubble and then captures it to last forever. The results are rather striking and no doubt are even better in real life.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

You can view a PDF of the artist’s work online here. Feel free to also thank me for not making a ‘pop art’ joke throughout this post!

Philip Kennedy

October 10, 2014 / By

Organize Your Desk With Blocks by Kukka

Blocks by Kukka

I always get an urge for new stationary at this time of year. Perhaps it’s to do with the back-to-school energy that’s in the air. Maybe it’s to do with Winter’s fast approach. Or perhaps it’s just to do with how brilliant stationary is and I really shouldn’t have to make excuses for why I get an urge to covet pretty things!

Blocks by Kukka

So if you’re like me I’m sure you’ll love Blocks by Kukka. Designed by the Israeli/British designer Rona Meyuchas K., the product consists of a set of wooden blocks that can hold everything from pens to post-it notes.

kukka_-_block_5

Composed of four basic shapes, the set modulates to create a range of products, with sets being able to assemble together in a range of combinations. Inspired by the wooden blocks that the designer’s children played with; each one is made from natural beech wood that will darken naturally over time. It’s a beautiful collection and it’s bound to be a wonderful companion to your office or studio desk.

Blocks by Kukka

Blocks is available to purchase here.

Philip Kennedy

October 8, 2014 / By

‘All the President’s Children’ – A New Series of Paintings by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President’s Children is the name of a new series of paintings by the Canadian artist Jaclyn Conley. Beautifully loose with vivid colors, Conley’s work is just a joy to see. For Conley, her starting point is always photography and she is constantly in search of suitable images to use as starting points for her work. Through her collecting and archiving of old images she then begins to find links and connections between certain images. Through these associations, a starting point for a new body of work slowly starts to emerges.

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

This current series is based on images sourced from the Presidential Library Archives. Here, Conley has focused on the faces of children in crowds. She crops these from photographs of large crowds at political gatherings. The results are great. Her paintings are pared down and refined, almost to a point of abstraction. It’s a wonderful series and I highly recommend you check it out in full on her website.

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

All the President's Children by Jaclyn Conley

Philip Kennedy

October 7, 2014 / By

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