A Perfect Studio: Allandale House

In my never ending quest for the perfect place to work and chill, I ran across this vacation home gem from architect, William O’Brien Jr. (more on him below).
The place oozes calm and light and with a spectacular grove of silver birch (my favorite tree) just outside, it is PERFECT. I also imagine it’s on the banks of a tranquil lake…

Photos by Peter Guthrie


William O’Brien Jr. is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and is principal of an independent design practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His practice was recently awarded the 2011 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers. Last year his practice was a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, and was recognized as an inaugural winner of the Design Biennial Boston Award.

O’Brien has taught previously at The University of California Berkeley as a Bernard Maybeck Fellow, and was the LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University. Before joining MIT, for two years he was Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin where he taught advanced theory seminars and design studios in the graduate curriculum. At MIT O’Brien currently holds the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair, and teaches design studios in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. He was the recipient of the 2010 Rotch Traveling Studio Scholarship which funded research and travel for an advanced design studio in Iceland.

O’Brien pursued his graduate studies at Harvard University where he was the recipient of the Master of Architecture Faculty Design Award. Prior to graduate school he attended Hobart College in New York where he studied architecture and music theory, and was the winner of the Nicholas Cusimano Prize in Music. After completion of his graduate work he studied in Austria as the recipient of the Hayward Prize for Fine Arts Traveling Fellowship in Architecture under the sponsorship of The American Austrian Foundation. He has been named a MacDowell Fellow by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and a Socrates Fellow by the Aspen Institute.

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Arrivederci YSL: Stefano Pilati’s Last Collection

Although I’m not one to post fashion shows (as there are many other sources) I thought it was fitting to show Stefano Pilati’s last show before the return of Hedi Slimane to YSL (albeit for the first time for women).
The show is IMMACULATE and definitely the best from the house under his watch. From the stunning makeup to the sinuous chainmail dresses and vertiginous metallic heel shoes. It’ll be interesting to see how this is topped next season…

Chain mail dress_YSL F/W 2012

On Cloud 9: Berndnaut Smilde, Cloudmaker

BERNDNAUT SMILDE is a prolific young Dutch artist from Amsterdam who deals with transitional spaces, corridors, staircases and well, clouds. Beautifully momentary clouds that are created through the alchemy of smoke, moisture, and spot lighting. As Smilde himself says of his installations, which were developed for the online gallery probe, give form to “physical presence found within transitional space.”

Minimalist Design: Nike Flyknit Series


NIKE has come out with various innovations this past week, one of which is the astonishingly minimal series, FLYKNIT, utilizing the most homespun of concepts: CROCHET.
Not your ordinary needle and thread, this is a micro-engineered upper utilizing resistant yet pliable material ideal for continual wear. Four years in the R+D phase, it is a masterful innovation in minimalist footwear, not quite as reductionist as the Swiss protection sock but certainly perhaps more practical. The single layer construction whittles the weight down to just 34 grams for the upper for a total of 160 for the entire shoe! Now that’s FLY.

Barefoot in the Park: Swiss Protection Sock

On the heels (excuse the pun) of the barefoot trend such as Vibrams 5-fingers shoes come the Swiss Protection sock developed with Kevlar (of bullet proof vest origins) and laminated with PVC for further protection. Not for everyone but possibly the solution for a variety of water sports and such. Running on tacks and glass is probably not recommended.
It brings new meaning to casual and “socks with sandals” notoriety and may become as annoying as the ubiquitous Croc but comfort is obviously the new black. Enjoy.
See more at:Swiss Barefoot Co.


Apocalypse 101: Blizzard Blanket

REFLEXCELL is a unique material that with its triple ply construction and use of reflective foil material offers TWICE the warmth-to-weight ratio of goose down! The construction is also elastic due to the crimping and thus contours to the body therefore optimizing its warming effect. Too bad it doesn’t feel as cozy as down but when the chips are done and you’re in Survivor mode, this is definitely the way to go. Besides, it comes in fun shades like optimal orange (visibility) and army green (camouflage) alongside spacy silver.
Following exhaustive in-house testing and trials performed by the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Blizzard Survival Blanket has been endorsed by the US Army Medical Center Directorate of Combat and Doctrine Development and is the only blanket used to train Army medics in the treatment of hypothermia.
Don’t leave home without it…
More at BLIZZARDSURVIVAL


Rick Owens + Michele Lamy Unplugged

I’ve always admired free spirits as the ultimate expression of life. Perhaps because I feel the conservative constraints imposed on everyone rather acutely. Take for example the incredible fusion of Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, locked in creatively and otherwise. A fascinating look at their dynamics and of course, their incredible works.
I have included some stills as I was not able to insert this video from “Another Mag” but have this link here:
http://www.anothermag.com/video/embed/148?shareurl=http://www.anothermag.com/exclusives/rick-owens
More: Rick Owens


Alexandra Pacula: Nightcrawling

Alexandra Pacula is a Polish born NYC artist and is a winner of the Saatchi showdown 2008.
“I suggest motion in order to slow down the scene and capture the fleeting moments, which tend to be forgotten,” Alexandra Pacula says. “By interpreting lights in graphic or painterly ways, I create a sense of space, alluding to a hallucinogenic experience. I want the viewer’s eye to travel within my composition and experience a familiar exhilarating event of an actual nightly excursion.”
“I am fascinated by the ambiance of the city at night and its seductive qualities. The breathtaking turbulence of speeding vehicles and hasty pedestrians evoke feelings of wonder and disorientation. The vibrant lights become a magical landscape with enticing opportunities and promises of fulfillment.”
Getting lost in these intoxicating visuals is a pleasure…


Light Years Ahead: Man Ray

The prolific Man Ray continues to fascinate with his sheer modernity, taking the jazz age to its ultimate apex. His brilliant portraits are shocking in their contemporary aesthetics that seem to transcend time itself. A perfect example is his photo of the beautiful and bright photographer and muse, Lee Miller. SHOT IN 1929.

To Live and Drive in LA: Chris Burden’s Metropolis ll

The performance artist/sculptor continues his odyssey with this 5 year project that has been unveiled at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
The work looks at our future cities in an innovative kinetic sculpture that, truth be told, brings out the little boy in me…the mesmerizing <>.
Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings. The loud racket produced is meant to simulate the stress of living in the 21st Century. Love.

Metropolis ll. Photo by E. KOYAMA

SEE IT IN MOTION BELOW:

For more see:
LACMA

Kiss the Future: The C1 Motorcycle


I haven’t been this excited about an urban vehicle since the BMW C1 covered motorbike 10yrs ago (it was dropped for the North American market and simply vanished)…Now comes the C-1 from LIT MOTORS in San Francisco.
Fully enclosed with gyro stabilizer wheels and sunroof, it is quite the machine. Different versions of the C-1 will be available for different markets. The model aimed at First World countries will have an 8-10 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The vehicle will incorporate electric hub motors in both wheels, at least one of those motors being a high-performance Remy HVH unit. The top speed should be at least 120 mph (193 km/h), with driving range for the higher-end model expected to sit at around 150 to 220 miles (241 to 354 km) per charge.
The price is, however, very high still. They are now working on a hand-built steel uni-bodied working prototype, which should reportedly be complete within about three months. Plans call for an initial run of production vehicles to be available at a price of about US$24,000 by late 2013, with that price going down to $16,000 once full production gets under way in 2014. The BMW scooter was only 4-5000$. It should ideally be 7-8000 IMO.
Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing service – she has since become “a huge proponent” of the vehicle. The MIT Media Lab also provided assistance in its design.
Should you be interested, LIT is accepting deposits…
LIT MOTORS
See it in motion here:

Add a Little Sunshine to the laundry


Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have come up with a unique cotton material that can clean itself when left under ordinary sunlight. The fabric includes a coat of nanoparticles made from a compound of titanium dioxide, nitrogen, silver and iodine. From a test experiment, the special coating was able to remove an orange stain when exposed to sunlight for just two hours. Furthermore, the coating remained intact even after washing and drying.

Researchers Mingce Long and Deyong Wu published their findings in the American Chemical Society Journal Applied Material & Interfaces. However, it is not expected that the breakthrough invention will be hitting retail shelves anytime soon.
Jioa Tong university

Red Dot Design Concept Winner: Base Impact Jersey



Designer: Riley Sanders

BASE IMPACT JERSEY
The Base Impact Jersey is an unobtrusive solution to personal protective equipment specific to snow sports. It reduces the chance of serious injury occurring, while still allowing the user to perform at their peak without being restricted by their equipment.
A personal snowboarding injury was the inspiration for an investigation of the issues surrounding personal protective equipment (PPE) specific to snow sports. The project was an attempt to develop an improved product that will reduce the chance of serious injury occurring to a skier or snowboarder while maintaining comfort and mobility.
Research methods including focus groups and one-on-one interviews with snowboarders, skiers, and industry-related professionals highlighted the need for more refined PPE specific to snow sports. The study helped the designer to understand the most common injuries that occur during snow sports, how the injuries have occurred, and the best methods for their prevention. It was made evident through the research that there was a lack of PPE that could provide sufficient support to the user upon impact while maintaining their freedom of movement and comfort.
The solution was Base – an upper-body personal protective system specific to snow sports. The patented Base protective material was developed to assist with the prevention of unnatural movements of jointed body parts. The material consists of two main components: the displacement hexagons, which determine the overall locking angle of the material, and the flexible clipping layer that holds the displacement hexagons in place. The material has been utilized in the Base Impact Jersey to protect the elbow from overextension, the shoulder from dislocation, and the back from hyperextension.

Fashion Fusion: Nick Knight

In a very poetic interpretation of flowers and their power to inspire and mesmerize, Nick Knight elevates his metier to an extraordinary level. Like a page from Li Edelkoorts’ Bloom magazine come alive, Nick Knight’s genius let’s it all unfold elegantly.



Credits:
Photography: Nick Knight
Models: Jac at IMG and Ben
Styling: Alister Mackie
Hair: Brent Lawler
Make-up: Petros Petrohilos
Tailor: Paul Strotton
Photographic Assistance: Zoe Hitchen, Laura Falconer, James Robotham and James Nicholson
Styling Assistance: Ellie Cumming and Melissa Thompspn
Runner: Shaun James and Andrew Smith
Production: Charlotte Knight