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This typographic map reduces London to the sum of its named places. The icons, symbols and hard lines representing churches, streets, rivers and parks have been expunged from the map, leaving only letters. London’s burnt off the earth yet it still exists as a psychogeographic entity recognisable by familiar place and word if not by objective figure or form. The map was an award winner at London Design Week 2007 and now a limited edition lithographic print of 100 is for sale. The poster is a wall-filling 60 by 40”, a scale that seems appropriate for the sprawling immensity of the city itself.
These cool table lamps from the BlankBlank design studio resemble upturned iPods, emitting notes of light rather than those of music. Entitled ‘Low Frequency’, the lights come in a range of designs and colours. As the BlankBlank team says:
“The light consists of 6 white planes whose reverse sides are printed with vivid colors that reflect colored light onto the preceding planes, as well as through the translucent enclosure. Front and back planes are available in light or dark wood laminates”
The One Shot.mgx Stool by designer Patrick Jouin is now available at Unica Home. This rare piece is a portable, fold-away seat that was originally presented as a concept at the Del Mobile exhibition in Milan last year. The seat unfolds at the push of a button so that the legs entwirl outwards. This sturdy and stylish stool is perfect for jaunts out to the country to paint with a suicidal Dutch friend that you are sharing a house with in Arles. And don’t worry when he cuts his ear off, that’s totally normal.
These three carnets are covered with a charming French design reminiscent of the wholesome 1950s. The three designs feature floral patterns, a feather quill and an early modern motif featuring school kids arranged as if they were players on a fuseball table.
Visionaire’s latest limited edition issue features a decorative set of 50 russian dolls designed by such luminaries as Kurt Vonnegut, Rita Ackerman, R. Crumb and Chino Aoshima. The collection is released at an initial price of $175 but as the stocks dwindle the sale price rises, so these toys represent a fantastic investment as well as an irreverent snapshot of our times.
The Black Honey Bowl by Arik Levy is based on the hexagonal pattern of the honeycomb. The combed effect provides the shell with structural integrity as well as an intricate and delicate motif dripping with the sweetness of honey.
The release of this rare, collectible laptop bag has been timed to coincide with the Japanese tour for Beck’s latest album The Information. The bag is a limited edition luggage concept designed by Beck and French artist Genevieve Gauckler (who has also designed the album sleeve for Beck’s album). The bags come with a 150 page sketchel book featuring images from around 180 global artists.
This monograph records Gallery Yujiro’s inaugural exhibition of last year. The exhibition, entitled “The Universe in a Handkerchief”, featured contemporary photography, mixed media pieces as well as digital sound sculpture. The intent of the show was to explore the humour and meaning inherent in whimsical moments of existence, in the patterns created by subconcious & idiosyncratic behavourial traits. The title of the show comes from an apocryphal collection of Lewis Carrol’s juvenilia and other, marginal, fragmented work. Comes with a reflective essay by show curator Anthony Spira.
This multi-layered glass self-portrait of Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami is a limited-edition reproduction of an original 1960s piece. Upon each pane of glass is impressed a single colour and single pattern so that when the panes are aligned a coherent image can be seen. The three dimensional play of light and colour as one’s eye moves across the work evokes Tanaami’s psychedelic background as well as the youthful verve of his days as Art Editor of Japanese Playboy.
The Art-o-Mat Books are 200 unique flip books showcasing art from members of to the AIC (Artists in Cellophane) organisation. Each book is unique and includes 18 different and original artworks from artists such as Christian Pietrapiana, Guy Boutin and Nell Whitlock.
The Arts Council have produced a range of limited edition travel wallets designed by some hot contemporary artists. The wallets are standard British Rail size so perfect for credit cards or your London Oyster Card. Tracy Emin has done one, featuring her infamous pet cat Docket, as has uber-lesbian Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. The wallets are available at Oxfam stores in Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove (my ‘hood!) for a limited period of time, and will also be released to the public for free at a couple of PR stunts ’round the nation. If you can’t get to any of these places, then they’re also on Oxfam’s Ebay shop, but be quick – some of the best designs have already gone!
This innovative lamp is based on the aesthetic of the chemistry flask and glows with a simple, white light through the acid-etched glass. The Airswitch lamps are turned on and off by placing your hand above the light – the closer your hand to the lid, the dimmer the lamp gets, and vice-versa.
These chic, modern designs make functional clothes baskets an integral part of a well designed room. Made of a soft rubber with a brash sheen, the baskets concentrate on deep, autumnal browns lifted by blasts of sharp yet bright coolness from the pictorial representations.
These lights glisten like winter flowers suspended on ethereal branch-like wires. The light element uses translucent envelopes fitted with electroluminescent film upon which one can write messages that will glow in the dark with a soft, ambient light. Using a dry erase marker, the messages can be wiped clean or kept on as long as one desires. The lights stand on either white marble blocks (recovered from the making of the Arco lamp) or a bundle of pure wool felt moulded into unique shapes.
These photo albums are wrapped in a soft fabric for a look halfway between a wallet and a moleskin journal. Suitably, these albums are small enough to carry around with you in your pocket or bag. They all come from Stacyhandmade, a designer/artisan who also makes wonderful, felt covered coptic journals in the style of the ancient Ethiopians or Egyptians, filled with smooth, sturdy handmade paper. The photo albums come in a range of covers, all possessing a stylish verve with fresh, pronounced colours.
The Wurst Gallery, that’s who. Last month they announced a load of one-off art products based on the theme of man’s best friend. Luckily there’s still quite a few of these unique artworks left.
The German Shepherd
This piece is entitled “A Policeman’s Best Friend”, it includes a B&W can with a bold logo and motto emblazoned onto it. Inside, a lump of Chris Ofili-esque ‘poop’, that seems to be made from papier-maiche. This one is designed by Emil Kozak, costs $100 and is available here.
This paper-like, tulip-leaved locket of love belies its rather strange origin. Though it looks soft and silky, the necklace is actually made from Hytrel, an industrial byproduct usually discarded in the process of manufacturing something else entirely. Studio 1a.m., left-field design group from Chicago, have embraced these emitted shavings and used their completely random and unique shapes to make a stunningly simple and sculptural necklace.
SuckUK’s Solar lamps are back. The sun jars sell out immediately wherever they go on sale but i’ve tracked down a supplier who still has a few left. They are made from an old fashioned killiner jar – traditionally used to store jams – a solar panel, rechargeable battery and an LED light. Simply leave the jar out in the sun during the day, and watch it come on as it gets dark. Perfect for those late summer nights when you don’t want the sun to set.
This is one of the most vibrant of Domestic’s Vinyl Wall Prints, a mix of fireworks exploding and silver sparks leaping upward like mackerel. It reminds me of a recent advertisement for Sony Bravia, where a bunch of Glaswegian tower-blocks have been rigged up with paint bombs. This wall graphic springs out like a geyser from its source, perhaps as the visual manifestation of an imagination busy at work at the desk. In this sense it reminds me of RW Buss’ ‘Dicken’s Dream’, the unfinished painting of a dozy Charles Dickens surrounded by the wonderful characters he is dreaming of. Perhaps this wall decoration will inspire you similarly.
British publisher Penguin have released a line of classic books with blank covers so that you can design your own front-page. You can send in your cover and Penguin will display the best submissions on their website and on flickr.
Craig Atkinson’s limited edition run of sketch books is just about sold out at Cafe Royal bookstore near Liverpool, but there are still a few of these one-of-a-kind books available. Each book is a unique record of sketches focusing on the household, featuring TVs, Polaroid cameras, garages, games consoles amongst other things. The paraphenalia of domesticity is lovingly rendered, yet tinged with a comical irony that subtly distorts and estranges familiar objects. The detailing on the electrical appliances for instance, dates the items as slightly retro in our streamlined age, and due to the fine relief of graphite these details stand out vividly. That which once made an item cutting edge now historices not only the item but our relationship with it.
Sam Buxton’s latest take on the Mikrocube template is a garden to go with the much larger Mikrohouse. It follows the same principal as the house in that it is formed from a single sheet of steel which can be folded flat, or unfolded to create a box structure with intricate, foliate patterns of well-tended foliage . This is Paradise in the original Persian sense of an enclosed garden.
The Piece and Peace greetings card is one of the latest productions coming from Japanese graphic design duo D-BROS. The card recycles a variety of discarded mixed media to create a rough yet charming assemblage. Torn magazine pages, a tea doiley, lined paper and a Polaroid are amongst some of the scraps used to achieve the unified whole.
The final, and best (not to mention most expensive) bag featured today belongs to the Queen of Britart. WhiteCube Gallery in Hoxton Sq has its hands a very limited number of these exceptional, individual designs.
Onwards and upwards then, this day bag from London style Guru Lulu Guinness retails at £175. Perfect for travelling, the day bag comes emblazoned with a print of assorted travel documents – a boarding pass (going from London to the World), a UK passport as well as a postcard from Lulu herself.