We’ve entered 2010 and there seems to be a renewed sense of optimism in people, especially with the creative people I know. Personally I know I’m trying to channel that feeling into something that not only enriches what I do, but helps other people as well.
A recent trend I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is a rise in contemporary artists creating covers and illustrations for classic books. The first person I can think of who did this was Shepard Fairey who worked for Penguin and more recently Sam Weber’s amazing interpretation of Lord of the Flies. Both of these were extremely beautiful and gripping, exactly what you need to get a young person to read them. But it got me thinking… What if we took this idea and applied it to textbooks?
When I was in high school I dreaded opening my textbooks. They were filled with ideas, which at the time, I didn’t think were interesting or important. Who cares about the Revolutionary War? I’ll never need to know about alkaline levels in metals. But what if these topics were presented in an entirely different matter all together? What if textbooks were designed and laid out like an issue of Monocle, with interesting graphics, beautiful photographs and written in a way that was interesting to young people?
Unfortunately I don’t even think textbooks are going to make it very far in the future. My boyfriend’s little brother already uses a netbook for his classes, which is where the future of textbooks lie. So that’s a place where designers should start to step in and take action. If future children will be learning on tablet computers then we should begin to create the appropriate interfaces to enhance their learning.
These are the kinds of things I believe that design can and should accomplish. I think the biggest roadblock though is getting it through the minds of government officials and big businesses that by creating well designed objects that the world will be a better place if they embrace these ideas. Change is what we make it.
I know, I just posted about really expensive speakers and now I’m posting about $1600 bicycles. What can I say, I like fancy things? Anyhow, the bike you see above is from a company called Bertelli that makes one-of-a-kind bicycles, all hand made by an Italian guy named Francesco. The bikes are put together in New York but the pieces they’re made up of are from all over the world, bits and pieces of new and old merged into one. No matter what though, no one in the world is going to have a bike exactly like yours.
The one you see above is my absolute favorite thouhg. It’s called Domenica and features a Viking frame, a black Brooks saddle, vintage white MIchelin tires and my favorite part, a rare Titan stem (handlebars) frome the 60′s. The handlebars are definitely what make me want this bike.
Be sure to check out the rest of his designs as well, they’re all beautiful and drool worthy.
Back in September I wrote a little post about Joey Roth and the beautiful Ceramic Speakers he created. I thought they were extremely well done but at $500 they’re not exactly in the black foxes budget, nor probably would ever be. Well this is one of those crazy times where I was actually sent the crazy ass thing I wrote about. And so I don’t get sued by whoever, I didn’t write about the speakers in order to get a pair, I never thought I was going to get them and I giggled for 4 hours yesterday when they showed up on my doorstep. Clearly this was not part of a grand master scheme.
Yes, I guess this is kind of a bragging post, but I’m so excited to share these that it can’t be helped. The first thing I’d say about the speakers is that they’re huge, way bigger than the site makes them seem. I thought they would fit in my hands, but you definitely both hands to get these guys together. The materials feel wonderful, especially the ceramic speakers which are totally flawless.
As for the sound, I’ve been listening to all kinds of music and they’re amazingly crisp and clear. I’ve been listening to old favorites and hearing sounds in songs that I’ve never ever heard before, I was totally shocked. And that’s the really important thing, right? I mean yeah, they’re gorgeous, but the fact that you’re getting such amazing sound out of them is the best part.
If I had a spare $500 to drop on a new pair of speakers, I would buy these in heartbeat. These are definitely not for the average Joe Schmoe, but if you’re someone with discerning taste in the areas of design and sound quality, these are the way to go. Plus you’ll be helping out an independent designer who’s trying to make a living, which I definitely think is worth something.
Thanks again Joey for sending me these, I’m still giggling over them, they’re the best late X-Mas present a boy could ever ask for.
On the last #musicmonday I was expressing how much I’m in love with the new Owen Pallett album, Heartland, so I have a little bit of proof to show exactly how great it is. About a week ago the folks at Yours Truly put together a little Twitter contest to be a part of intimate studio session with Owen, so basically a tiny, private concert (insert me being insanely jealous). Owen, along with his fellow musician Thomas, played some of the songs off of new album and they sounded great. The song above is Lewis Takes Action and is one of my favorites.
Heartland comes out on January 12th here in the States and on the 18th in Europe, so be prepared. There’s also another video of the guys performing which you can see here.
Last November my favorite architect Masamichi Katayama and his team at Wonderwall designed Nike’s first flagship store in Harajuku and the largest in the nation. In it’s usual way, Wonderwall has yet again an absolutely amazing experience, from a chandelier made of 500 white shoes, wall tiles that resemble the soles of sneakers, and a sculpture made up of Dunks that look like a giant fossil.
The building itself is three stories tall, the first floor is the Runner’s Studio, the second is dedicated to the NIKEiD store and the third for the BootRoom. The BootRoom is dedicated to football (soccer) and even features astro turf around the perimeter so you can try out the shoes. I really wish Masamishi would adopt me.
Cool Hunting has a nice inside look at the store as well with some nice photos of the space. They also did a short profile of the store along with a short interview with Mr. Katayama. Check it out under the cut.
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