Beastie Boys' cover art, 1927 London on film, the $325,000 burger and more in our weekly look at the web
by CH Editors in Link About It on 18 May 2013
1. The $325,000 Burger
Researchers in the Netherlands have been working tirelessly to create an entire hamburger's worth of beef muscle tissue from laboratory incubators. An expensive process, the point of their efforts is to give legitimacy to the research, which is supported by animal rights and environmental groups who see vitro meat as a more sustainable and humane alternative to traditional husbandry.
2. Shanzhai Biennial: MoMA PS1
Summer in NYC means Sundays at MoMA's PS1. Be sure not to miss this multi-genre project from New York's art trio du jour, Shanzhai Biennial. Taking a subversive approach to luxury branding and bootlegs, their PS1 project features Chinese model Wu Ting Ting lip-syncing a copyright-circumventing version of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" in an overtly branded dress laden with misspellings. Look out for more industry-shaking pieces from Shanzhai Biennial in the coming months.
3. It's a Punderful Life
Mixing farcical wordplay with clever commentary, graffiti artist Hanksy has made a fine career off of the lowly pun. As the artist prepares for his first LA solo show, Hanksy has released a hilarious video with Pharrell Williams and i am OTHER that talks about his obsession with puns and celebrity culture.
4. London on Film: 1927
Ever wonder what London was like before the advent of Pret a Manger and the Gherkin? This color video from pioneer filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene, filmed in 1927, gives a unique first-person perspective of driving throughout the Big Smoke. The contrast of modern and antiquated technologies is stark, as bright red double-decker buses plastered with advertisements zoom past horse-drawn carts over London Bridge. Peering into pre-war London's streets and landmarks from such a participant's perspective makes us feel like we're on our way to Downton Abbey.
5. Unusual Museums
What is a museum, really? We often ask ourselves that question in our coverage of institutions dedicated to pinball machines, planetarium projects and all things banana. The inquiry is also the subject of an insightful essay this week from Network Awesome, the expert curators and fellow collaborators who recently brought us a week of design-related programming.
6. Talib's Magnum Opus
Born and bred in Brooklyn, rapper Talib Kweli grew to hip-hop fame alongside Mos Def with Black Star, but truly went global with his 2002 hit "Get By." Taking a closer look into just what made the song so damn good, Complex's mini-documentary offers insight from those who helped Kweli turn the Kanye West-produced beat into his own magnum opus.
7. Created by mashup geniuses The Hood Internet, Album Tacos is just what it sounds like, a Tumblr devoted to the Photoshopping of tacos onto album covers. The Photoshopped brilliance extends from Trinidad James' devoting a crunchy one to Ricky Ross gazing endearingly at a deep-fried friend. This is pure internet gold.
8. The Cave
By nature we're drawn to see inside the lives of those we look up to, but rarely do these opportunities come around. "The Cave" however, offers a curious, insightful and rather ominous look inside the den of celebrated design critic Steven Heller. Directed and edited by Heller's own son Nicolas, the short film pans through the cluttered room exposing uncountable treasures from decades past.
9. Behind the Counter
Record shops are a place of worship for so many, yet so few of them survive today. To pay homage to their influence and knowledge ,The Vinyl Factory introduced a new film series where choice shops give a run down of their top five vinyl releases of the week. First up we meet Jack Rollo of East London's impeccable Kristina Records.
10. ONDU Pinhole Cameras
Wood, magnets and a single screw stand behind Elvis Halilović's line of pinhole cameras. With a range of sizes made to fit everything from 4x5 to 35mm film, ONDU is an example of sustainable, beautiful and naturally crafted technology. Now on Kickstarter, photo enthusiasts can hep Halilović scale production by pre-ordering a camera for themselves.
11. Beastie Boys: The Cover Art
Transcending genres and decades, the Beasties' impact on music and culture cannot be overstated. With the passing of beloved musician, filmmaker and activist Adam Yauch (aka MCA), many have reflected on the band's history. In this short video, the artists behind the group's album covers discuss their artwork, each revealing a unique period in their own history as well as American culture at large. The video is part of a larger tribute to MCA and the band's visual history from Juxtapoz.
12. Cue the Hue
The tech lighting system and corresponding app from Philips that links your lights to your wireless devices is taking its connectedness to a new level. Partnering with web-works-for-you startup IFTTT, users can create "recipes" for their web and lighting systems. For example, your Hue bulbs may blink blue if it's going to rain while geofencing technology means your lights turn on before you open the door—all without pulling out your smartphone.
A first-hand look at the award-winning trio's four new designs to debut at ICFF
by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 17 May 2013
For over five years now, NYC-based design studio Rich Brilliant Willing (RBW) has been on our radar, conceiving and debuting beautifully creative lighting, seating and table designs each year during NYC Design Week. In 2011 RBW made their ICFF debut with four products in a tiny 10' x 10' booth, for which they won Best New Designer. Now in their third consecutive year at the fair, the design trio—Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alexander Williams—boasts a 400 sq ft. presentation space to introduce their most ambitious product launch yet, a collection of four new designs in the lighting and table categories.
The centerpiece of the show is, without a doubt, the Gala Chandelier, a modular LED chandelier system comprised of hand-blown frosted glass bulbs—specially made for RBW in Vermont—and an elegant aluminum beam. Resembling hanging fruit, the individual bulbs can be rearranged horizontally to create a number of cluster formations. And, by using low wattage LEDs, the entire chandelier is supported with little more than suspension wire, drawing very little attention from the lighting structure itself.
The smallest addition to the RBW line is the new Monocle, a rotating mounted fixture made of milled aluminum and topped with 3D printed (by Formlabs) and acrylic lenses for ambient and directional light. Again we see RBW implement high powered LEDs to maximize light and minimize power usage. Although sitting nearly flush with the wall, the Moncole's clever design allows the base to be rotated while remaining visually stagnant. The light module itself can also be tilted to accomodate various types of lighting needs.
Although perhaps best known for their lighting, RBW has taken some strong steps in recent years to solidify their position as a comprehensive home design studio. Last year at the 2012 ICFF they introduced the Fawn Table and Cask Stool. This year RBW will introduce the Plinth table, a massive solid wood table made in Pennsylvania. Referencing—and in some ways taunting—the traditional conference table that fills corporate offices around the country, the study Plinth is big, beautiful and curvaceous.
Using the same five-axis digital milling machine used to the create the Fawn table series, the Plinth can be adjusted in size and proportion with the tweak of a CAD file. "We're really interested in combining very old hand workmanship with digital manufacturing techniques. And because our interest was so strong we were looking for a way to experiment with and express that, so a series of tables in different shapes and sizes seemed like a great way to do it," Williams told us. Using American walnut, natural oak and burnt oak, the three component (one top and two legs) Plinth is formed by machine and finished by hand, achieving a strikingly consistent finish, much like a handmade surfboard.
Rounding out the 2013 addition to the RBW line is the Akoya pendant lamp, which takes its name from the Akoya variety of pearl. With a pristine parchment shade handmade in New Jersey and hand-blown frosted ivory glass bulb made in Vermont, the LED lamp is perfectly minimal, plain and simple. The beautiful basic-ness personifies the collection really—a delicate balance between machine and man-made, modern designs.
For those visiting NYC's ICFF, find Rich Brilliant Willing and their entire collection of lighting, seating and tabel designs at booth #1826. Those unable to visit the fair can find more information online directly from RBW.
Plinth images by Graham Hiemstra, all others courtesy of RBW
Brooklyn's cheeky illustrator looks to the ladies of the internet for colorful inspiration
by CH Contributor in Culture on 17 May 2013
by Gavin Lucas
Intrigued by the Tumblr-girl phenomenon—where images of girls are posted online and then endlessly reblogged on various Tumblr sites—Brooklyn-based illustrator Jon Burgerman has decided to join in. Only instead of simply reposting selected images of girls he sees on various Tumblr sites, he's been drawing them and then blogging the resulting colourful, playfully irreverent images. “I draw girls I see on Tumblr and place them back onto Tumblr. I try to post one every day,” says Burgerman of the project's simple premise.
A self-initiated (and self-explanatory) project, Burgerman's new Tumblr blog—dubbed Drawings of Girls I've Seen On Tumblr—has been up and running for a couple of weeks now and features images with titles such as "Girl Looking Tough," "Girl With Lots Of Tattoos," or "Girl With Harry Styles." He tells us, “It's a mix and flattening of a variety of images of models, [girls in] adverts, celebrities, self-taken shots, etc that all borrow the same visual language from each other and hanker for the lingering gaze of the viewer.” The idea is, he adds, that the new blog acts as a kind of “visual discussion of this cultural trend.”