Abandoned shipping containers turned into a creative hub and outdoor event space on Lisbon’s northern edge
by CH Contributor in Culture on 22 August 2014
by Ross Belfer
In Lisbon, cultural prowess and creativity are as omnipresent as the prego sandwiches and Super Bock found on nearly every street corner. The Portuguese capital city has seen a surge in new innovative enterprises opening over the past year, indicating a slow crawl out of economic turbulence. From graphic design outposts and street art galleries to communal workplaces that double as event spaces, local entrepreneurs are going out on a limb and opening new creative labs and social spaces across the city, including Village Underground Lisboa.
Village Underground Lisboa is the city’s newest creative workspace-meets-cultural venue, an open-air complex consisting of a Tetris-like stacking of 16 shipping containers transformed into office spaces and positioned in a massive open courtyard in the Lisbon Carris Museum. Having opened in May 2014, the space has recently become a hotspot for start-ups, designers and creative agencies aiming to achieve the delicate balance between private office space and a social environment, and is adjacent to the boutique and restaurant-laden LX Factory.
To get the skinny on the Village Underground Lisboa, we sat down with the space’s branding manager Daniel Kisluk and Joao Pedro Silva of Enchufada Records to discuss the inspiration behind the complex, its relationship with the local music scene and all the new and exciting projects on the horizon.
Given the trying economic situation in Portugal and Lisbon, how did the Village Underground Lisboa first come to open?
Daniel Kisluk: Village Underground Lisboa is an ambitious project established by the talented entrepreneur Mariana Duarte Silva in collaboration with Village Underground London. Given the economic situation in Portugal, now is a crucial time to establish a community of creative people working together and supporting each other in various business areas. While the country is looking forward to recovery, we see a trend in locals taking advantage of opportunities to initiate creative endeavors in Lisbon. Village Underground Lisboa is a place to be the glue for connecting the right people to the global community through art, music and culture.
The city’s music and cultural scenes are thriving right now, simply because artists are focusing on their craft.
The Village Underground Lisboa appears as a space organically built for creatives and artists. In what capacity does the space interact with the local music scene, and how does it relate to what’s happening in Lisbon today?
DK: Lisbon sits in the middle of the cultural music capitals of the world, with a multi-ethnic population bringing their musical influences from the studio to the streets—whether it's Angolan Kuduro and Zoukbass, psychedelic Latin-jazz fusion or minimal house and techno music. The city’s music and cultural scenes are thriving right now, simply because artists are focusing on their craft as opposed to looking for jobs, because there really aren’t any.
Any plans for a cross-collaboration between Village Underground Lisboa and Enchufada Records?
Joao Pedro Silva: Last month, we teamed up with Village Underground Lisboa for the Global Village, a weekly festival every Friday in July showcasing several artists from our roster, including DJ Marfox, Branko, Riot, Rastronaut and Kking Kong, and offering sunset performances free of charge—a perfect way to cap off the week.
How do you see Village Underground Lisboa developing over the next year, including exciting plans for expansion and new events?
DK: Considering we first unveiled the space only a couple months ago, there are several exciting plans and projects slated for this year and to be revealed over time. For now, we are continuing to invite young and creative people to join our project and take a part in the reviving of the underground creative community of Lisbon.
Images courtesy of Ross Belfer
Customized for the perfect fit and heightened safety on (and off) the streets
by Katharine Erwin in Design on 22 August 2014
Bell Helmets, the all-American helmet company—has spent the last 60 years protecting racers and enthusiasts from head injuries. In various disciplines ranging from self-powered to gas-powered sports, Bell has positioned itself at the forefront of helmet technology. Now the company is taking "custom fit" to a whole new level with their new 3D imaging which conforms helmets to each customer's unique head shape. This process takes just a few minutes and ensures a perfect fit by capturing the shape of a rider's entire head using the latest scanning technology.
Bell's goal was to make a customization program that could be used for all riders and cost less than $1,000. The company spent over a quarter million dollars in R&D to create the system with the goal to make a comfortable helmet with uniform contact using energy management material. "Every head is asymmetrical," says Mike Lowe, Bell's Vice President of Power Product Creation, but until now standard helmets have been symmetrical and come in set sizes. If these sizes don't fit correctly, padding was added—or taken out. "It is a big misconception that more pads make for a better fit; they are actually less stable," says Lowe. "With time, the thicker padding will sag out or lose shape."
Older methods of custom measuring involved tape measure readings that only covered the circumference of the head—not giving an accurate measurement of a person's entire head. Sight lines are also an important consideration, and Bell's custom fit not only nests the head in a helmet, but "can position the head for the best field of view."
To promote the new technology, Bell has deployed a van outfitted with the 3D scanner. Its team has been traveling the country, from race-to-race, measuring riders for helmets. For street and track helmets, the rider first puts on a "head sock" made of thin neoprene. (It's a rather tight fit and looks a little like a surf cap.) Then the rider sits in a chair not dissimilar from a barber's. Next, one of Bell's custom fit technicians holds up a scan device and after taking an initial scan, the real scan begins—for which the chair rotates while the handle reads the rider's head. Within seconds, the rider's shape appears on the computer screen, and the scan is done.
Bell can also fit dirt helmets that have an opening for goggles. The scan is just done on the opening and follows the eye socket line to create the most optimal amount of peripheral vision. The data is then given to Bell, who produce the helmet within four to six weeks. Lowe and his team follow up with each customer, making sure that they're satisfied and understand that parts of their "crooked bumpy head have never felt a helmet there before and might feel weird at first," laughs Lowe.
The 3D system will launch locally at retailers near Bell's headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, with other dealers rolling out the program around the US throughout 2014. Bell is currently in the validation testing for ski, snowboard and bicycle custom helmets.
Images courtesy of Bell Helmets
Style-conscious products with plenty of space for storage
by David Graver in Style on 21 August 2014
It's very easy to look and feel weighed down when carrying around cameras, multiple lenses, or even a laptop. To combat this, NYC's ONA began producing simple and stylish bags, with functionality at the forefront. With a similar aesthetic to that of fellow camera bag makers Langly, ONA's offerings feature room for a laptop, a camera body, several lenses and all the necessary accessories without looking clunky. Though slightly bulky in shape (a quality almost impossible to avoid in camera bags), the Campus Bay and the Bolton Street bags are both comfortable and easily organized. To further sweeten the deal, the bags are crafted from premium waxed cotton or supple, full-grain cowhide leather.
ONA's most recent release, the satchel-style The Prince Street, dropped this week. It's handcrafted from premium Italian leather and incorporates antique brass closures. While it carries the charm of a vintage messenger bag, it's entirely functional.
Check out the full range of ONA's products online, where prices start at $129.
Images by Cool Hunting