1. GQ's Man of the Year: Noel Gallagher
Known as much for his ability to say almost anything as he is for a batch of successful tunes, Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher has been selected as GQ's man of the year. In an interview that accompanied the announcement, Gallagher once again admits how he really feels with quips, gems and plenty of expletives on the current state of culture. From Coldplay's rider request for seeds, to radio station focus groups, there's plenty of hilariously accurate insight streaming from that Gallagher brain.
2. Superyachts by Zaha Hadid
The unstoppable London architect Zaha Hadid has dreamed up a very real family of superyachts for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss. Her concept yacht—a 420 foot beast with ethereal detailing—has informed the design of a five-yacht series, each around 300 feet in length. The unmatched design is equally technical, rendering it capable of particularly demanding ocean conditions and spontaneous Atlantic crossings. These yachts stand as architecture's latest dabble in streamlined transport, an architectural fad that's survived decades of evolution, and one that Hadid and Blohm+Voss will surely keep alive for decades to come.
3. Wonderful Wilton Way
Last summer's Olympic Games in London were a success for both the city and the UK at large. While it brought many visitors to the Big Smoke, more importantly it brought tourists to the eastern side of the capital, an area often overlooked by tourists. With a bustling DIY sector and urban resurgence, the team at Monocle turned their lens on the east borough of Hackney—specifically Wilton Way—profiling the contributing factors of this micro-neighborhood's distinctive approach to community and retail. A street dear to Cool Hunting and one we've profiled in various forms in the past, Wilton Way and its residents are a steady source of creative inspiration that serve as a model for any developing area.
4. Professor Hiroshi Ishii at the MIT Media Lab
Any look into the brilliance that's happening day-to-day at MIT's Media Lab is a welcome one, and their latest offering is an exciting video about the researchers making the next wave of technology that will allow us to remotely manipulate information. At face value, expert user interface designer Hiroshi Ishii's new 3D motion sensor project is nothing short of amazing. The motions and spacial differential of an object are represented in real time by a 3D model: Wave your hands across the sensor, and a real wave crosses the 3D space.
5. 2013 L'Eroica Vintage Bike Race
Each year vintage cycling enthusiasts gather in Tuscany for a celebration of the region's white gravel roads and Italy's historic relationship with the sport. The festivities culminate in L'Eroica, a 38 km race with a specific set of rules: Only "heroic bikes" (those built before 1987) are permitted, and gear shift levers must be on the down tube of the steel frame-only bikes. This year photographer Julian Darwall participated and shot the event in bright, beautiful form. The saturated images give insight into the crowd, showing aficionados of all ages and their exquisite cycling kits, classic frames and archival components.
6. Music and Success
Could playing music be the key to success in any field? This recent New York Times article addresses the link in light of the overwhelming amount of successful people who are also (if not professional, proficient) musicians. Woody Allen plays clarinet in a band, while Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen plays guitar, but it's not just creative fields; Condoleezza Rice trained to be a concert pianist. The examples are seemingly endless as are the explanations for the role of music and success. While in some ways it helps foster certain problem-solving abilities, it also offers a release from competition.
7. Textbook Dropping Drones
Australian startup Flirtley has developed new flying robots, all for the sake of mail-order delivery in Sydney. These drones will be dropping books, in conjunction with textbook rental service Zookal. The world's first unmanned aerial delivery technology, Flirtley's flyers will cut down the price of same-day delivery service to a fraction of what it currently costs. The robots are hexacopters; with six battery-powered rotors and a clutch that releases the goods upon delivery. Unmanned flying devices are presently illegal in the US and other parts of the world, giving Flirtley a head-start on perfecting the model before it goes global.
8. Hellicar & Lewis: Feel TV
Hellicar & Lewis work within the digital and physical worlds to create a sense of play. Their latest project—an interactive broadcast called "Feel TV"—shows how by creating a feedback loop between people, space and technology, a traditional television program can be re-contextualized in real time to create an endless amount of unique experiences. Designed for Nike as part of their Feel London series, the live broadcast (which aired online last Thursday) was, as Pete Hellicar explains in an interview with Dazed Digital, "like X-Factor, QVC and pirate radio all put together in one big, massive, lovely joyous bimble!"
9. Kinetic Wind Sculpture
If there's one artist capable of putting human feeling into design, it's Anthony Howe. His kinetic wind sculpture series, which he crafts in his workshop in NYC, is alive with an almost unearthly beauty. Howe makes the metal part of the natural landscapes—where his iron statues sit—using reflective surfaces and calming, hypnotic motion. His iron work is so mindful of the wind that it almost seems to control it. To give you a sense of the feeling his work evokes, note that Howe will be featured at next year's Burning Man with the largest kinetic wind sculpture in the world. Check out the sculptures in action in the Creators Project recent look at his work.
10. The Banksy Art Stand
When Banksy makes a move the world runs wildly after him. That's what makes his latest prank the best of his New York excursion to date. The artist quietly set up a Central Park art stall, where he sold original works for $60, unbeknownst to passers-by that they were real Banksy works. A few people ultimately took pieces home, the first of which haggled for a 50% discount. The stall closed with a total earning of $420, in stark comparison to one 2008 canvas of his which sold for $1.8 million. Banksy's been tearing up NYC and there is still more to be expected, but we can't imagine anyone will reap the benefits like those Central Park buyers.
11. Tino Sehgal's Exhibition of the Year
By now, the name Tino Sehgal is ubiquitous through the art world and beyond. With an incredibly established resume for a 35-year-old artist, he's only continued to sky rocket upward through 2013 as winner of the Golden Lion. And with his current show—which opened 27 September at Beijing's Ullens Center for Contemporary Art—Sehgal has essentially delivered his own eternal stardom. His largest and most comprehensive Asian exhibition to date (and what critics are calling the must-see exhibition of the year) the show's premise is slightly difficult to elaborate on. Sehgal is known for his performance art installations, or interactive "constructed situations," but there are no pictures or videos to be found as recording devices are not allowed. Word so far is that the UCCA show is reminiscent of a religious experience, but you'll have to check it out yourself.
12. A Conversation with Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon's aesthetic may have become a lot glossier since his days creating furniture from scraps of found metal during London's post-punk DIY era, but the insightful and eccentric designer hasn't changed his outlook much over the years. As he tells Port Magazine, he still prefers to approach any field with an experimental nature and childlike eyes. With his loyal pooch in tow, Dixon discusses the oddities of his name being used as a tool, life without a career plan and his recently published book, "Dixonary," which charts the narratives behind his 30 years of work.
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