10.31.2007

Make No Bones About It: Here's 74 Skull Products

Death Becomes You - cool things with skulls!

In honor of All Hallow's Eve, aka Halloween, combined with the giant skull craze (that's the craze which is giant, not the skull), I thought I'd share with you a few spooky items on the market.

Each adorned in some capacity with a skull.

That's 74 different things with skulls on them. Seventy-four.

From clothes, to pillows to chocolates.

For people, pets, babies and burning.

Click on the item of your choice above to learn more about it and for a link for purchase.

Boo.

10.30.2007

Staying Cozy For $360 bucks, $45. Or $19.95. The Shivers, The Slanket or The Snuggie?

Note this original post was written long before the Snuggie entered the market and compared only the Shivers with the Slanket. It has since been updated.




Three executions of the same concept. And what a difference marketing, pric epoint and quality can make. The latest entry is selling the most despite the fact that the other two were available long before. That's what late night tv and an under 20$ price point can do for you.

A cozy sofa blanket with sleeves to wrap you in warmth. Similar designs, different materials and different price points make them appeal to entirely different audiences.

Luxe: The "Shivers"
designed by Thélermont Hupton.



A super luxurious version and my personal choice if I had to wear a throw blanket as apparel. An elegant lambswool version complete with fringe in a lovely grey and costs approx $362 USD.



Thélermont Hupton's design is informed by the rituals and changing patterns of everyday living and investigated through form, materials, arrangement, and expression. Experimental ideas are resolved into simple but commercial solutions that are accessible, relevant and practical.
100% Lambswool.
Delivery approx 5 weeks.
Dry clean or handwash in cold water.
Buy it Here.



Average (meh) : The Slanket


a casual polyester microfiber, comes in 12 colors options and costs $45 USD


slanket.jpg


Made from super-soft polyester microfiber and sporting two oversized sleeves, the Slanket is certainly a wonder. The sleeves allow for much greater motion than a normal blanket - think flipping through a magazine, changing channels, or grabbing another Oreo from underneath the covers - and a large, 95"x60" footprint makes sure you stay cozy, no matter what you're doing.
Buy It here.



Ghetto: The Snuggie



Available in the fewest colors, made with the least fine material of the three, the late night commercial wonder, the Snuggie, has kicked the Slankets ass due to marketing savvy (only $19.95 and a free book light to boot) since this post was originally written.


Want one? God forbid you do, but you can buy a Snuggie here.

Finn Magee's Flat Life Products. Coming Soon To A Wall Near You.




For The Flat Life project at the Designers in Residence exhibition at the Design Museum in London, Finn Magee was commissioned to develop posters along the theme of designers in residence.



He wanted the installation itself to be an advertisement for the products, so the light was ‘unpacked’ and the clock was ‘hung’ at the gallery entrance.

 


And the exciting news is that the Flat Life posters/products will soon be  are now available for purchase.

Flat Time:


Flat Time uses a custom crystal oscillator circuit which works with US and European power supplies. (Most bedside clocks rely on the frequency of the mains power supply to keep time.) They even programmed some greeting text into it. See if you’re late by checking the poster. The image of the radio alarm clock that uses a 7-segment LED display to tell the time.

 

And in black:


Flat Light:



The productive atmosphere of a desk light without the bulk. Flat Light was initially produced in black in a limited edition of 50. (These have sold out.) New colours were added with the 'Powder Coated' series. This title references the distinct colours produced by powder coating, a process used to finish the metal parts of domestic and industrial appliances. The RAL colours used are 3028 (Pure red), 6037 (Pure green), 5015 (Sky blue) and 1003 (Signal yellow). The LEDs in the poster illuminate the printed lamp.



Flat Sound
The latest addition to the Flat Life series. It's an image of a speaker that delivers a crisp, clear sound.



All the Flat Life Products can now be purchased from Finn Magee's Online Store.

About the designer:
Finn Magee graduated from an Industrial Design BA at the National College of Art and Design, Ireland in 2004. He realised he was interested in more than just the object and its manufacturing process, and wanted to explore the social context and values associated with products. An MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London fostered his interest in advertising and the construction of meaning through image.

Finn's RCA show investigated the potential of advertising techniques in product design, in particular looking at how mechanisms such as juxtaposition, humour and surprise can function in products as opposed to adverts. Finn’s Flat Life Lights are currently in development with Artemide, an Italian lighting company. He has exhibited at Design Mai in Berlin, the Salon di Mobil, Milan and the Design Museum, London.

Contact Info:
t: +44 (0) 7718990408
e: finn@finnmagee.com

Photographs: Emma Wieslander and Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad
Photographs of photographs: Luke Hayes

10.29.2007

Michel Gondry's Dream for Motorola didn't fly. Care to submit yours?



In early 2007, Motorola hired visionary artist Michel Gondry (as well as some other directors) to produce a film based on the experience of their new phone, the Motorola Razr2.

Here's Gondry's esoteric film, The Dream.
I've posted it as a low res file so it doesn't take forever to view. To see the hi-res versions, click here.


Not without its controversy, Motorola and Gondry didn't exactly see eye to eye (read article here). The ad never ran and instead, the bizarre spot with the couple on the subway platform throwing their phones like ninja death stars ran (seen below).



But back to Gondry's film and the chance to make your own...

The site includes stills as well as a video of the making of the film.





You can even view Gondry's sketches for the spot here.



In addition to films by Gondry, Tarsem and more, they invite you to make and submit your own film.
Here are the requirements:



They supply you with images and script formats.
So, have at it! And good luck...

Click here to learn more.

NYC TAXI logo design debacle update.

David Dunlap's engaging and controversial series about the NYC Taxicab Logo design debacle has come to an end. Final reader's submissions were posted on the 23rd. For those who didn't get to see them, they can be seen here.

See What's Been Stirring At WOK






New versions of WOKmedia's ‘Made in China’ series of furniture.

The work, featuring traditional Chinese furniture embedded with hand-carved wooden toys and finished in white lacquer, is a result of their extended stay in China as part of a collaboration with Contrasts Gallery of Shanghai.

This series of work debuted at Design Miami last December.


They describe it as "Seemingly innocent children toys act as a kind of space invaders emerging from a world hidden inside our childhood memories. Specifically invading antique Chinese furniture, starting to threaten their traditional past."


and as "Revealing a surreal and terrifying landscape of derailed trains, drowning babies, crashing planes and wild dinosaurs."
 


The most recent additions to the above installation are the following :


Limited edition series of WOKmedia's ‘Made in China’ collection.
Each piece is unique, featuring traditional Chinese furniture embedded with hand-carved wooden toys and finished in white lacquer.

 above: ‘GRR’


above: ‘BOW-WOW’


above: ‘BOO-HOO’


above: ‘CLANK’

Who is WOKmedia?

Julie Mathias and Wolfgang Kaeppner established WOKmedia in 2004.
They are based in London with a production studio in Shanghai.

Wokmedia’s work is primarily concerned with the emotional dimension, an archetypal memory or a physical sensation. Often they survey a state of in between where chaos is showing structure and confusion is beginning to make sense. Where out of devastation and destruction emerges a new world. A world embedded in their childhood memories when emotions were not expected to be filtered, when make-believe was not equated with lunacy.

Julie Mathias
julie@wokmedia.com

Wolfgang Kaeppner
wok@wokmedia.com

London
Studio
WOKmedia
2 Leswin Place, Unit HQ
London N16 7NJ

Shanghai Production
WOKmedia
Rujin Road 500 (South)
Shanghai


10.28.2007

Eurochocolate Festival Souvenirs:
(yes, of course they are chocolate)



If you missed this year's Eurochocolate festival which just ran in Italy from Oct 13th- Oct. 21st, you can still get your chocolate fix thanks to some of the fun products from the festival, now available online here.

Check em out:


Above: Chocprin (chocolate aspirin)



Above: Chocopower (chocolate batteries)


Above: Cazzuola (comes in many flavors)


Above: Tavoletta's Chocolate Cellphones (many different flavors)


A little bit about the festival:

The Eurochocolate festival of Perugia 2007 has its core center in the historic center of the city, from Rocca Paolina up to the squares and the internal areas: Carducci Gardens, Piazza Italia, Piazza della Repubblica, Corso Vannucci, Via Mazzini, Via Fani, The Terrace of the Covered Market, and Piazza November IVth.

The kermis Eurochocolate Perugia 2007 has earned in a couple of years the sympathy of the people asserting itself as the most popular festival of the chocolate and the most followed by Italians, making of Perugia the European capital of the chocolate. For nine days the Umbrian chief town transforms itself for the occasion in a huge open-air pastry-shop for the delight of all the greedy persons and the slaves of cacao.

At Eurochocolate Perugia festival will be organized dozens of big events concentrated on the "food of the gods" with exhibitions, laboratories, internships, cooking classes, tasting, expositions, banquets, celebrations and the final prices: Eurochocolate Awards.
Each year new themes and entertainment are developed like for example "the prisoners of the chocolate" of the 2001 edition, and the activities of the section "Ciok si Gira!" dedicated to the cinema of the 2002 edition.
For all the tourists the occasion is without any doubt a good one to discover the most remote corners of this antique medieval center and to enjoy the famous Umbrian hospitality.

Buy the above chocolate goodies (and more) from eurochocolate here.

10.27.2007

6 Ways To Wood Floors (Without the Wood)


Fancy Friggen Flooring & Radical Rugs

Wood floors or carpet?
Why choose one when you can have a carpet that looks like a wood floor?

Here are 6 different examples by six different designers.

From the new plynyl floor mats by Chilewich to the tromp de l'oeil look of Yvette Laduck's Woody Wood rug, you can have the look of wood made of anything but wood.

In vinyl. Or silk. Or leather. Or hand-tufted wool.

Click on the above rug for more information and a link to purchase.

prices vary wildly.

See more of my Fancy Friggen Flooring & Radical Rugs list at ThisNext.

Leopard's Blue Screen Of Death Installation Fix


Yes, I had pre-ordered Mac's new operating system, Leopard (10.5) so it would arrive oct. 26th and I could be an early adopter. Sure enough, it came yesterday via fed ex around approx 10:30 am.

Like an excited über goober, I immediately opened it and began the install process.

Okay, not true, I cleaned off my desktop first, tossed some useless files, and verified permissions, and then I began to load it.

In retrospect, I might have wanted to check the discussion boards on Apple first (always a smart move when a new piece of software hits the market) because I'd have seen the numerous posts from panicked mac users pleading for help with what turned out to be a big problem for thousands of new Leopard owners.

Because there's one mighty big bug when it comes to installing this puppy.... and that's the dreaded "Blue Screen" that appears and seemingly 'breaks' one's computer, rendering it unable to do anything else ...even eject the install disc). I can guarantee you that many a mac folk was desperately calling tech support and borrowing friend's computers to log onto the apple tech support.

And I was one of them.




Above: a screen grab of the tech support forum for the new Leopard Operating system shows that over 12,000 people have read the post regarding the dreaded "Blue Screen of death" as of 8:00 am california time this morning

It's pretty funny actually... sooo many people have experienced this during their initial install that it's already been given an acronym.... the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) and appears on posts and discussions boards in numerous online forums.

The good news is the fix was relatively easy (if you call taking approx 6 hours to install a new OS easy).
Seems there are two ways to get past this.

One way, and the way that worked for me... was to simply re-install it as "Archive And Install" as opposed to the usual install which yeilded me the BSOD. (By the way, I did have to force eject the disc using the ol' paperclip method, insert it and start up holding down the alt key so i could choose the disc over the hard drive for my next install).

The other way is to go into UNIX through your terminal utility and remove a few files.


Now, I do not have an intel basd mac but instead have a dual 1.8 mHz G5, perhaps that's why the archive and install fix worked for me. I think the intel-based MAC users have to actually enter as single-user mode and delete some code.

If you are stuck on the blue screen and nothing seems to work (not even reboot or disc eject) do not fear, the fix is here.

That being said, there are a few other little bugs (like the inability to delete mail from an IMAP account), but other than that, it's pretty darn impressive.

Inked Oinkers: Tattooed Pigs by Wim Delvoye (UPDATED PICS)





Tattoos have become less of a taboo and far more mainstream in the past decade. Two reality shows are focused on tattoo artists, many magazines are published specifically about the craft and tons of products have hit the market that either sport tattoos or are tattoo-inspired, be them dishes, furniture or clothes. To see many available products with tattoos, real or otherwise, click here.



Belgian artist Wim Delvoye launched an Art Farm Pigs Growth Fund whereby people can invest in his swine farm outside Beijing in China. This farm, established in 2005, has nine boars and sows which are tattooed with a variety of designs created by Delvoye and three other tattooists in residence. “The pigs art fund will be an official Chinese company which I hope to launch in the next few weeks”, he says. “The new bonds and pig farm shares scheme make the mechanisms of the art market so transparent”, he added.


above: The gates to Wim Delvoye's Art Farm and some of the inked oinkers.

“This initiative is in its early stages”, said Mr Delvoye’s assistant Gianni Degryse. “We may set up a similar bond scheme for the pig farm. People may even be able to purchase one of the animals”.

A vegetarian who tattoos live pigs, in the name of art. Wim claims it's ‘Because they grow fast and they are so much better to tattoo than fish.’



above: Louise, a stuffed pig (yes, sorry folks, she's no longer with us) sporting her Louis Vuitton Tatts.

Below are live pigs with Wim's artwork permanently inked on their backs. Project and photos taken at Artfarm China in Yang Zhen, Shun Yi District Beijing, China.

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF WIM DELVOYE











above: Wim at work

Jonathan West of Vice Magazine asked Wim a few questions:

Vice: Why did you start tattooing pigs?

Wim: I started tattooing pig hides, which I’d get from the slaughterhouses, in 1994. It was only in 1997 that I started to work on live sedated pigs. I tattoo pigs because they grow fast and they are so much better to tattoo than fish. I tattoo them when they are young and I like the way the artwork stretches and distorts over time. Essentially, we invest in small tattoos and we harvest large paintings.

Have you ever tattooed a person?

Yes, of course. I have tattooed art critics, art dealers and art collectors, and lots of butts. I come across my needlework everywhere I go. Some designs I try for the first time on people and, if they work, I will surely re-create the tattoo on a pig.

To the close observer your work is laden with contradictions. For example, aren’t you a vegetarian?

Yes, I am a vegetarian. I am also very, very clean. I wash my hands like 100 times a day.



See a more recent post about his tattooed stuffed pigs and tattooed pigskins for sale here.



PART 2: Updated post on more Pig tattoos and pigskin art by Wim Delvoye




Wim Delvoye has done several interesting art projects. Tattooed Swine is just one of them.
Visit the artists site here.
To see more of his work, visit the Sperone Westwater Gallery by clicking here.
C'mon people, it's only a dollar.
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