Brand-awareness ads in magazines rarely come as simple, bold and minimalist as this two-page spread for the Italian bicycle maker Bianchi in the Dutch cycling mag Soigneur. Aside from logotype and slogan on aquamarine-like blue, the pages are blank. Love love love the color.
The Domino Sugar Factory in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, ceased operations years ago, but the massive building and it’s iconic logo-sign near the East River are something of a New York City landmark. In fact the refinery has been officially recognized as an historic landmark by the city. The factory is undergoing a long process of renovation that will change it into shiny, new mixed-use property filled mostly with condos and office space. That vision involves demolishing some of the building. A group of activists have been fighting for years to save the more of the property as an historic landmark. To that end, this DIY “Save Domino” sign made from string-lights was put on the side of an apartment building near South 3rd St in 2007. The red-lighted message has become a kind of neighborhood meta-landmark of its own. There’s a great short video of what the factory looked like inside before renovation started..
This installation by legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is currently on view at the Mori Art Museum, at Roppongi Hills, in Tokyo, and it’s really a special treat – it’s an awesome, immersive experience in a large dark gallery. Kusama’s illuminated dot-pattern sculptures have an organic shape and are similar to a non-light series she created for Louis Vuitton stores worldwide in 2012 as as part of a global campaign. That work coincided with her major (and long overdue) retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York City.
We recently stopped by the restaurant Mohawk Bend in the Echo Park neighborhood near Silver Lake in Los Angeles. The restaurant lies at a spot on Sunset Boulevard near Mohawk Street and where Sunset curves or “bends,” hence the name. The space is beautiful, especially the back room, a cavernous space that’s filled with natural light during the day and by night glows with a beautiful fireplace flanked by stacked firewood. The place is a combination of contemporary high design, industrial patination, California beachwoodiness and 1970s-retro vintage modern. The food is pretty damn good, too. Their burgers were super yummy.
Last weekend Global Graphica paid a visit to a new design exhibition at the New Museum’s Studio 231. The show is titled “Adhocracy” and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s a fascinating survey of the work of designers, architects, hackers, makers, artists, technologists and programmers around the globe who are redefining design and how things are made and used. These practitioners are working either independently or collaboratively, in academia or within commercial or corporate organizations, and sometimes illegally, as part of a DIY underground of people who fix public infrastructure that local governments neglect. It’s also a look at how sustainability, re-use and recycling, open-source systems, life-hacking and the economics of design are being addressed. Among the highlights is a working 3D body scanner called “Be Your Own Souvenir” that feeds data to a 3D printer to make a resin model of a person, and a short film documenting a group who secretly broke into the Pantheon in Paris at night, where they staged film events, built their own secret members lounge, and fixed the broken clock atop the historic building, which hadn’t chimed in four decades.
Photo credit: New Museum
Our hearts have gradually been won over by the craft, quality and personality of Inventory magazine. It seems that there are zillion niche independent “lifestyle” magazines in the world already and — in spite of the Internet — more seem to quixotically appear each month. The magazine is more about the life style of some of the lesser-known people creating and influencing the art, fashion/style and culture we consume. But it’s also about creativity and engages in whimsical exploration of design like in this Illustrated Examples feature titled “Automobiles.”
We were pleasantly surprised to find this massive street-art mural by the American artist and street-art rockstar Alec (a.k.a., “Alec Monopoly”) in the lobby of the outrageously epic and luxurious W Hotel in Seminyak, Bali, in Indonesia. The artwork includes many of the iconic characters and celebrities Alec has included in many of his street artworks over the years, including actor Jack Nicholson, 1960s fashion model Twiggy, and Rich “Uncle” Pennybags (sometimes called “Monopoly Man”), the character from the Monopoly board game and the image Alec is most associated with.
The big sound board set up at the Bowery Ballroom in New York always looks so nice lit up in the darkness of the club. If we could, we’d buy one of these and mount it on the wall of our office as a piece of ready-made art and at night we’d turn off the office lights just to see the sound board it in its light-emitting glory.
Pictured below is the entrance to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin building, or Berlin State Library, in the German capital. The building is a sprawling piece of post-war architectural modernism by architects Hans Scharoun and Edgar Wisniewski. It’s an architectural landmark that’s a bit under-appreciated compared to Berlin’s other, more famous and iconic structures. The library is aging — some parts not as handsomely as others — and thus undergoing some renovation, as the photos attest. The massive library is captured beautifully on film as one of the principal settings of German director Wim Wenders’ classic 1980s movie “Wings of Desire.” See film clip below.
Partner in crime Moritz was wearing such a superdope graphic t-shirt on a recent night out on downtown New York City, that we asked him to model it for us. The tee design is a brilliant, whimsical image with a kind of retro English, possibly Edwardian quality to it, like something we’d expect to see on the cover of an album by a band like the Walkmen or Bombay Bicycle Club.