Surface deep: A candy coated facade leaves me hungry for more

Cheese-y dreams, nature-inspired music, an N.F.T. explainer and more

Scratching the surface

Located in a buzzing shopping area, Louis Vuitton has unveiled a brand new look to their Ginza Namiki-Dori store which brings quite a shimmer to the street. The glistening building resembles a downpour of water emerging from the sky thanks to a dichroic film covering the surface which is certainly eye-catching. Though I can’t help but wonder if it’s less “architectural wonder” and more of a reflection on the desire for “content” obsessed shoppers to fill their feeds?

Architect Jun Aioki, who designed this exterior as well as many others for Louis Vuitton, seems to have gone for the style over substance route especially when you look at his previous work (in the link above). It’s hard to hate on this candy coated exterior yet I wonder if it’s taking the easy road in terms of creativity? I suppose if it’s sweets inspired appearance draws customers in, then the look is doing it’s work!

The cheese stands alone

In contrast to the saccharine sweet exteriors of LV we have this warm and inviting little cheese shop you’ll find in Madrid called Formaje. Started by Clara Diez and her husband Adrián Pellejo, the shop was built around the concept of selling cheeses that have been made sustainability and that frames artisanal cheeses as the norm.

The space was created by Cobalto Studio who used a luxurious mixture of natural materials like textured granite and wood stained in deep tones. It really feels like a natural place for cheeses to live in, and because the space is refrigerated throughout, they can be on display in a fantastic twist of merchandising. Cheeses laid out like a jewelry case! I also must mention the logo, which feels Diptyque-esque in nature, thanks to it’s organization of gracefully strung together letters.

Naturally gifted

“Musical collagist” may be the most apt title for Yosi Horikawa, a Japanese musician who makes recordings of birds, rivers, and other found sounds and astonishingly transforms them into toolkit of drums and beats. I wasn’t familiar with his work until I saw his live stream on dublab Japan, performing a brilliant set in a Zen temple in Shizuoka, Japan. When you watch and listen to his set it’s hard not to be entranced.

Honestly, he’s really only sitting on the porch of this temple with his laptop, some mixers, and a Kalimba, so it’s rather astonishing when you hear the most incredible electronic music blended with all of these natural sounds, melting into on another in a non-stop hour long set. If you’re like me and you’re curious to know more about Yosi and his approach to traveling and making music you should read this profile from Mixmag which helps make clear how his magic is made.

W.T.F. N.F.T.

I’ve stayed pretty quiet on the topic of N.F.T.s because of how wild a journey the last few months have been in the space. It’s a very new arena for art, there’s a ton of money to be made, and the environment around the endeavor is murky and complicated. My admittedly *very stupid* hot take is that N.F.T.s are nothing but expensive screensavers (lol)… so what is the deal with N.F.T.s? Well, I think no one really knows right now though Kyle Chayka, a very thoughtful writer, has put together, what I would say, is a brilliant look at where the space is at currently.

In the article he speaks with Beeple, who as you might know, sold a series of works for more than $69 million, the third highest amount ever for a work of art by a living artist. He also helps explains the world of N.F.T.s in comparison to the traditional art world as well as the concerns of the impact of Ethereum and the energy used to “mine” the digital currency you use to purchase N.F.T.s. It’s exactly the type of piece I was hoping someone would write, which is informative and insightful, organizing large pieces of an extremely complex puzzle.

✖ — A fake house (that looks like Starfox 64 might live in it) sold as an NFT for over $500k, which now means I can’t afford a house in real life or on the Internet.

✖ — I see nothing but chaotic energy when I look at this split apart, two-handed Apple keyboard. Can you imagine someone trying to learn to type on these? Wild!

✖ — IKEA collaborated with Japanese designer Gelchop who in turn created a series of lamps shaped like their iconic Allen key. You know, the little tool you use to put together all IKEA furniture. It’s bold and iconic and I want one for my apartment.

✖ — It was great to see a profile on Black potters in the U.K. who are reshaping the ceramic scene there. We enjoyed watching Freya Bramble-Carter on The Great Pottery Throw Down (which you can watch now on HBO Max btw), her work was really dynamic and playful and always surprised week over week.

✖ — Max Berlinger did a deep-dive for SSENSE on BYBORRE, a fashion brand that’s more like a tech company, who’s hacked knitting machines to make incredible fabrics, which they want to open source. I’ve been enjoying BYBORRE’s products for a few years now so it’s great to see their continued success and and continuing to push the boundaries of textile making.

✖ — Why do some toothpicks have little notches on the ends? I had no idea and the answer is delightfully thoughtful.

✖ — Here is a list of the “best outdoor art installations” as compiled by Wallpaper* which makes for a good bucket-list of things to do post quar. Related, the gigantic Marilyn Monroe statue is returning to Palm Springs, though mysteriously, this exquisite work of art somehow didn’t make it onto the aforementioned list…

✖ — I really enjoyed the feeling Bielke&Yang created for Oslo restaurant The Vandelay, so very charming and full of quirky personality. The character illustrations are very cute and the use of Out of the Dark’s ToY typeface lends such a refined touch.