Named almost consecutively (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) as the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine, Noma is something beyond a restaurant. They’re best known for using locally foraged foods as well as their experimentation with food, using science and research to create startling dishes unlike anything you’ve seen before. To this end, Noma now has a “science bunker”, a series of refrigerated shipping containers which allows them to conduct experiments to discover new flavors. Scientist and research manager at Noma Arielle Johnson sums up the objective of the space quite well.
“It’s at some midway point between a test kitchen and a ‘lab’ lab,” she says. “Hopefully [the Bunker is] more like a kitchen. But we’re not actually producing dishes, we’re producing knowledge. In that sense it’s like a lab, but it’s a different discipline than a chem lab would have, it’s very much informed by the test kitchen and the service kitchen.”
You can read the full feature over on Eater.
UK-based illustrated Stephen Smith has been working under the name of Neasden Control Centre for almost 15 years. One of his most recent projects has been illustrating the menus for Artisan; a hip restaurant and bar in the Northern-city of Manchester. NCC’s approach here has been to serve up a delicious selection of hand-drawn type; presenting a great choice of ‘A’s’ that no doubt echo the variety of choices found within the menu.
This is not the first time that NCC has worked with Artisan. When it opened last year he worked on the overall identity for the space. Bringing site specific artwork, illustrations, installations and murals to every corner of the Spinningfields located space. The restaurant covers a vast 12,000 square foot area, so it must have been a massive undertaking for the one-man studio. You can see more shots from the interior on his website.
I also think that his work for the set-menus is just as strong and, while I was going to put this down to his excellent choice of a bold black-and-white palette, it’s clear to see that the lunch and kids menus work just as well in color. His choice of bright primary colors add just the right amount of cheerfulness for day-time dinning. I think they look great.
More work from Neasden Control Centre can be viewed on Stephen’s website.
A few months back I came across Adrián Zorzano and his work and was immediately impressed. An indomitable designer, the range of work he creates spans from print design to posters to digital and photography. His eye for offbeat layouts and compositions is stunning which leads to a quirkiness overall. Looking at his portfolio you get a sense that he might get bored fairly often.
This week he’s created a neo-Memphis looking wallpaper that has a dreamy, avant-garde feeling to it. I love the colors, the detail in the marbling, and the overall composition is quite striking. Adrián describes his wallpaper as an interplay between physical and digital.
The main idea of the project is the combination of something that it´s not a photography by itself, its more the result of a process made by hand and then captured. This is also combined with random and colourful digital forms trying to figure out the relationship between something that it´s been made digitally with something real, and then seeing how do they coexist together.
I’m pretty novice when it comes to museums and galleries in New York. I’ve been to the big ones like MoMA and The Armory, but it wasn’t until recently that I read there was a museum in Queens dedicated to the work of Isamu Noguchi. The Noguchi Museum opened in 1985, the museum is truly unique because Noguchi himself designed and curated the space, the only one artist created space like this in the U.S.
Writer Daniel Waite Penn recently visited the museum for Cereal Magazine, penning a lovely piece that explains the mystique of the Noguchi’s works and the space they permanently inhabit.
Polished sections and geometric slices are cut into the remaining swathes of their rough, unaltered surfaces, dubbed by Noguchi the ‘skin’ of the stone. Crowbar chips and dynamite holes are evidence of the quarrying process, embracing found qualities alongside a determination to shape the raw material into art. This juxtaposition of deliberate geometry with natural and accidental irregularity gives these works a powerful formal tension, showing Noguchi at the height of his creative powers. He was a veteran artist by the time he made them, and they evince his lack of interest in notions of perfection – a theme he had pursued diligently in earlier phases of his career.
The next time I’m in New York I’m definitely making a special trip out there to visit.
The spoon. It’s a ubiquitous tool that perhaps most of take for granted. I looked up the definition of a spoon (because when was the last you did that?) which states it is “an implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring, and serving food.” And if there’s anyone who’s testing this definition it’s probably Stian Korntved Ruud, an Oslo School of Architecture grad and former intern at Tom Dixon. He has a wonderful ongoing project simply titled Daily Spoon, where obviously he creates a unique looking spoon every day for one year straight.
By repeating the production of a spoon every day for a longer period of time (365 days), the goal is to challenge and explore a spoons aesthetic and functional qualities. I make all the spoons in a traditional way with only hand tools. The point of this is to actively cooperate with the material, in this case wood. In a modern industrial production the machines overwrites the wooden structures and natural growth pattern. When using manual hand tools my hand collaborates with the wood structure during the forming process. This underpins all the spoons unique qualities.
Stian has made big spoons and small spoons, wide spoons and knobby spoons. There are spoons with spikes and spoons with holes. His creations, although all quite beautiful and considered, begin to feel Seuss-ian in their variety. It’s incredibly impressive that he’s been able to create such a diverse number of shapes where I think a lot of people would have given up after doing 50 or so.
If you’re interested in following Stian’s progress you should visit his Instagram where he posts spoons daily, or on his website.
I came across this old piece by Banksy the other day and it reminded me of how funny the guy is. If you haven’t visited his site lately you should take a minute and see what he’s been up to. I found a bunch of new street pieces I hadn’t seen before.
I don’t understand the kind of people who appear in this video, or who appear in Kinfolk, whom the video was shot for, but I’m certainly fascinated by them. They live privileged lives that most of us can never imagine having, and for me personally I love having a voyueristic spotlight into their worlds.
Directed by Chris and Sarah Rhoads, the feature shows the life of a Yippy looking family at their lovely home in Venice Beach, California. It’s a well shot video featuring gliding steadycam shots of beautiful interiors and a charming backyard space that’s so very Venice Beach. Again, I have no idea who these kind of people are, but this gives a good look at life on the West Coast and the types of folks who reside here.
Editor’s Note: I was informed of the couple’s identities so I thought I’d clear up the mystery. The man is John Moore, who helped found the Hollister brand under Abercrombie & Fitch, who also runs The Pop Studio, and designs a fantastic menswear line called M.Nii which just won GQ’s 2014 Best New Menswear Designer of the Year. His partner Hannah Henderson and he run General Store, a fantastic home good shop in Abbott Kinney. Quite a prolific duo!
I had never heard of Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum until discovering these excellent photos of it. Taken in 2011 by the LA-based photographer Elizabeth Weinberg, these images show the Jerko on its madden voyage. The vessel is an incredible two-story houseboat which boasts its own homemade rain-harvesting system as well as solar panels and a composting septic system. It’s a pretty incredible construction! I hope the city still continues to make space for people and projects like this!
Weinberg’s photographs capture the energy that this vessel seems to have brought to the area; despite it sailing on one of New York’s most environmentally disturbed waterways – Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. While I can’t seem to find any information about the Jerko after 2011, I think it’s great to see people making a real effort to be energy efficient in a city as large and as polluted as New York.
You can view Elizabeth Weinberg’s full series of images on her website.