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Durable, Modular Bags from Unit Portables

Lugging laptops and documents is easy (and stylish) with these sturdy, waterproof satchels

by Paul Armstrong in Design on 22 September 2014

Bag Design, Bags, Laptop Accessories, Luggage, Travel Accessories

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Unit Portables makes bags for those truly looking for form and function, and the latest range from the Stockholm collective—launching today, 22 September—does not disappoint in either area. With sleek lines and an almost military aesthetic, the new collection includes a laptop bag, backpack and messenger bag created from the brand's (now) signature waterproof, high-density polyester canvas.

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All units have an outer grid system that enables smaller units to be attached, allowing users to get creative with combinations using super-strength snap fasteners. The soft wool linings and grime-resistant outers make the bags especially durable and enable the separate elements to maintain their look and feel while still protecting your precious cargo.

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Unit Portables founder Andreas Ehde is excited about the new range—and for future products to be made in collaboration with design agency Veryday. "We never feel done. With the updates for A/W14, we have come a long way since our initial launch. Our next focus in the near future will be to extend the modularity by introducing more stylish and functional Units to the family, extend our presence and visit new territories," outlines Ehde.

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The laptop bag is sized for the average 13" and 15" laptops and comes with a protective A4-sized document pocket that closes with a clever zipper. The unit also features the external strap design enabling further items to be carried on the exterior of the item. Similarly, the messenger bag also has a detachable strap and two strong sewn-in handles. Each bag boasts the laboratory-esque badge that denotes its unique unit number and description.

The new collection is now available from Unit Portables online.

Images courtesy of Unit Portables

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ListenUp: The Mixtape Project

For London Design Festival 2014, designers like Tom Dixon and Industrial Facility made playlists for #SuperStimuli

by CH Editors in Listen Up on 21 September 2014

LDF 2014, London Design Festival 2014, Faye Toogood, Industrial Facility, Mixtapes, Playlists, Spotify, Tom Dixon, Gary Card

For this year's London Design Festival, the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch played host to four different designer installations for "Super Stimuli," a show curated by biannual magazine Modern Design Review (check out our Instagram of Michael Marriot's lamp). Right next to the Ace, new vinyl-only store Sister Ray offered a musical accompaniment to "Super Stimuli" with The Mixtape Project, which showed off playlists created by 15 London designers and studios. Throughout the week, we Tweeted some highlights from the extensive list, which can be perused on Spotify (save for some songs that aren't available on the platform).

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Egyptian Lover: Freak-A-Holic

Set designer Gary Card opted for what is a certifiable deep cut with Egyptian Lover's 1986 electro-dance jam "Freak-A-Holic." (The song was originally intended for the soundtrack to Prince's "Purple Rain.") The LA-based Egyptian Lover (born Greg Broussard) packs his video for the song with all good things '80s: big hair, lots of gold rings, back-up dancers and an endless number of kitschy ancient Egyptian props (aside from the colorful blown-up balloons) that are—to bring things full circle—worthy of one of Card's more cartoonish sets.

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Destroy All Monsters: Child of the Night

Design studio Industrial Facility, who works closely with brands like Muji and Herman Miller, prefer old school simplicity and anonymity to designer stardom. For their mixtape, founders Sam Hecht and Kim Colin selected a disc's worth of songs from Detroit "anti-rock" band Destroy All Monsters (which included contemporary artist Mike Kelley as a member, who Colin later worked with for his piece "Educational Complex"). DAM only officially put out a one-hour cassette of their recordings, but Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore later released a box-set of their early music in 1994. "Child of the Night," a lo-fi, stripped down spoken word lullaby is a good track to ease into the journey.

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Max Normal: Good Old Fashion Loving

Many people don't know that before Die Antwoord, there was Max Normal. "Good Old Fashion Loving" is one of the more toned-down tracks from the experimental hip-hop South African four-piece, giving off some Nujabes vibes. This tune was selected by furniture designer Faye Toogood, who's been a regular collaborator with Opening Ceremony and other fashion brands like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. She's got a quite diverse playlist, meshing together tracks from Nirvana and Portishead to Montreal electronic musician Valentin Stip and even a gospel song from LaShun Pace.

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Dusty Springfield & Burt Bacharach: A House Is Not A Home

"A chair is still a chair, even when there's no one sitting there..." This 1964 ballad, written for Dionne Warwick and sung live in a duet by singer-songwriter Burt Bacharach and Dusty Springfield, is the perfect classic song befitting the classy items by London brand Minimalux (founded by Mark Holmes from Established and Sons). Their beautiful, polished items are just as timeless as the rest of their song selection, which ranges from film composer Ennio Morricone's "Giocoso Gioioso" to Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude."

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The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset

British designer (and now influential powerhouse) Tom Dixon used to be a touring musician, playing bass guitar for a band called Funkapolitan—which even led to an appearance on Top of the Pops. Dixon's mixtape was by far the most representative of old-school east London vibes, featuring the likes of Buzzcocks to Roxy Music to James Blake. We settled with jamming out to The Kinks' 1967 beautifully touching single "Waterloo Sunset."

ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.

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Link About It: This Week's Picks

Tomas Maier's desk, posterior portraits and a museum for worthless but sentimental objects in this week's look at the web

by CH Editors in Link About It on 20 September 2014

Art, Museums, NY Times, NYC, News, Photography, SF, Exhibitions, Films, Websites

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1. Tuchus Acceptance

Last week Vogue caught onto the (not exactly new) butt phenomenon and declared we are currently living in the "official era of the big booty." Yet between all the Photoshopping, implants and photos of Kim Kardashian's enviable tuchus, it's easy to forget that they come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Refinery29 celebrated all butts from the "round booty to the pancake-ier shape" to the "cellulite, stretch marks and age spots" by photographing (with no Photoshop) 30 women's derrieres and asking them how they feel about their behinds—a playful and still admirable move in the battle against body-shaming.

2. The Desk of Tomas Maier

Bottega Veneta's celebrated Creative Director Tomas Maier keeps his primary office in NYC rather than Milan. The latest video in a NY Times fashion series documenting the creative spaces of designers narrows in on Maier's two desks and everything you can find on them. The location is noticeably void of personal objects and clutter, but what happens to be there does define what the brand will be putting out next.

3. Edward Snowden as Citizen Four

Filmmaker Laura Poitras was already many years into making a film on life and national security in post-9/11 America when she was contacted by an anonymous whistleblower going by the name Citizen Four. This individual turned out to be none other than Edward Snowden. After repeat meetings with him in Hong Kong, and an international blow-up that would soon occur and sweep the media, Poitras created CITIZENFOUR, a film making its debut at this year's New York Film Festival. While the highly anticipated documentary is guaranteed to be controversial, it will also certainly shed new light on Snowden and the system surrounding us all.

4. Alison Bechdel's Genius Grant

In 1985, cartoonist Alison Bechdel created a film formula (now known as the Bechdel Test) in her comic "Dykes to Watch Out For." Her three questions to each movie—Does it have two female characters? Who talk to each other? About something other than a man?—have altered the way films are viewed and made. Films that pass the test are said to be more successful than those that fail—just another way in which a concept originally known in feminist circles has made its way to the mass psyche. And now, 29 years later, she has been awarded a grant (known as the "genius" grant) by the MacArthur Foundation—an organization that "supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world."

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5. Postcards for Ants

Cape Town-based artist Lorraine Loots started a year-long project, titled "365 Postcards for Ants," for which she painted a miniature picture every day. Any subject is possible—from a vintage Yashica-D camera to a saxophone—and the beauty is in their immaculate details, while the wonder is in their teeny, tiny size.

6. MIT Media Lab Gets Fit

Cutting-edge research laboratory (and experimental playground) MIT Media Lab will be adding health and well-being to their areas of interest. With help from a $1 million grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MIT Media Lab has launched a wellness initiative that will explore the relationship between technology, the workplace and health. Hopefully they'll start by tackling bad posture and repetitive strain injury caused by time spent in front of computers and smartphones.

7. Museum of Important Shit

Packrat or not, each of us owns useless objects of immense sentimental value that would be devastating to lose. Whether it's the ticket stub from your first concert or a postcard from a past relationship, these things matter. Artist Nick Cave agrees. His upcoming exhibition will include user-submitted photos of such items, alongside those selected by celebrity curators, all inside the Museum of Important Shit.

8. Rickshaw Bagworks Reflective Backpack

We've long been impressed by San Francisco's Rickshaw Bagworks. And now, thanks to their reflective material-woven backpack, the fandom is growing stronger. The tweed textile is woven with rugged reflective yarn, making riders more visible on their bike. Safe-cycling couldn't be easier.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.

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