Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Art of Bonsai

Mario Komsta is a Bonsai Artist. Outstanding!

H by Harris Quilted Leather Jacket with Attached Backpack

An interesting new quilted leather jacket with attached backpack has been released by H by Harris. The quilted detail sits throughout the jacket and backpack. The backpack is attached by a zip fastening onto the back of the jacket. An interesting piece, executed in some great premium leathers. The jacket is now available from Browns.

via: highsnobiety.

Gardener 10th Anniversary Exhibition Preview

We get a first detailed look at the Gardener 10th exhibition that we have been reporting about heavily these last weeks. Taking place at De La Barracuda in Los Angeles, the exhibition will showcase many old and many new figures by the Hong Kong based artist Michael Lau. Collaborators include Terry Richardson, The Hundreds and many others. The artist has been referencing streetculture and action sports culture for many years already, along with other inspirations such as music. The amount of figures, collaborations and special product being released for the occasion is definitely amazing, so we can only advise you to pass by should you be in the area.

via: highsnobiety.

Courier: First Details of Microsoft's Secret Tablet

It feels like the whole world is holding its breath for the Apple tablet. But maybe we've all been dreaming about the wrong device. This is Courier, Microsoft's astonishing take on the tablet.

Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the "late prototype" stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers. They're connected by a hinge that holds a single iPhone-esque home button. Statuses, like wireless signal and battery life, are displayed along the rim of one of the screens. On the back cover is a camera, and it might charge through an inductive pad, like the Palm Touchstone charging dock for Pre.

Until recently, it was a skunkworks project deep inside Microsoft, only known to the few engineers and executives working on it—Microsoft's brightest, like Entertainment & Devices tech chief and user-experience wizard J. Allard, who's spearheading the project. Currently, Courier appears to be at a stage where Microsoft is developing the user experience and showing design concepts to outside agencies.

Microsoft has a history of collaborating with other firms, especially in the E&D division: Zune and Xbox have both gone through similar design processes. (And plans for the Microsoft Store leaked through a third-party agency were confirmed as genuine prototype layouts and concepts.) This video is branded Pioneer Studios, a Microsoft division within E&D that specializes in this kind of work, working with another agency that's a long-time Microsoft collaborator on confidential projects.

The Courier user experience presented here is almost the exact opposite of what everyone expects the Apple tablet to be, a kung fu eagle claw to Apple's tiger style. It's complex: Two screens, a mashup of a pen-dominated interface with several types of multitouch finger gestures, and multiple graphically complex themes, modes and applications. (Our favorite UI bit? The hinge doubles as a "pocket" to hold items you want move from one page to another.) Microsoft's tablet heritage is digital ink-oriented, and this interface, while unlike anything we've seen before, clearly draws from that, its work with the Surface touch computer and even the Zune HD.

via: gizmodo.

Supreme x Damien Hirst Decks Part 2

Judging from these images that Andrew Bunney presents from a recent Supreme Japan shoot, you can expect a second run of Damien Hirst x Supreme Skateboard Decks. The decks seem to be coming with the iconic Hirst dot design. Nothing has been confirmed so far...



The latest from U.K.-based company Vado is this modern, digital basin mixer, which fittingly mixes not just your water temperatures. The new v-touch mixer lets you control water flow and temperature using a touch-pad.

Via: trendir

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Original Fake Dissected Companion Keychain

Announcing the release of the Original Fake Dissected Companion Keyholders. After previously coming out with the Companion keyholders and the Chum keyholders, the Dissected Companions are up next. They come in three colorways and are available at Original Fake retailers now.


Tokidoki x Karl Lagerfeld

Tokidoki, the Italian Manga inspired label, is about to release a new Karl Lagerfeld mini collectible figure. The figure comes in the full Karl outfit, is limited to 1000 pieces and will go for around 190 USD upon release this Holiday season. The figure will be available at Tokidoki flagship stores in New York, Milan and Los Angeles, as well as at specialty retailers such as colette. The K Collection by Karl Lagerfeld will also come out with matching t-shirts, featuring the character version of the designer.


Annie Leibovitz to design for Louis Vuitton

Photographer joins guest designers to help Louis Vuitton raise money for the Red Cross.

Iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz and British artist Damien Hirst are just two guest designers creating their ultimate piece of Louis Vuitton luggage for charity.

Along with Vuitton creative Director Marc Jacobs, who has created a travel trunk for his dogs to fly in luxury in the hold of a plane, Leibovitz has designed a red-lined back pack filled with compartments to transport camera equipment.

Damien Hirst has designed a tall black trunk lined in blue microfibre with several small drawers inside to house his surgical equipment (used when creating his art).

The pieces will be auctioned on 17th November at Sotheby’s to mark to 150th anniversary of the Red Cross..

via: elleuk.


“In the line of the variations around Pantone, a personal project carried out by artist Nico189. Baptized “PANTONECANS®”, An object which is not intended to become a commercial product.”

Via: fubiz


Scott Jarvie will be exhibiting his atlas chair at this year's 100% design london. the design is derived by projecting flat angled planes through a volume and using the intersecting elements to generate the profiles that create the sections of the chair. this allows complex surface geometry to be rationalized to planar surfaces, providing sculptural possibilities while utilizing materials efficiently, developing a system that facilitates construction.

Monday, September 28, 2009


OPRÉ / Twenty120 from Harder on Vimeo.

A short film by Justin Harder.


Atmo.Sphere is a poster series by graphic designer and artist Sabato Urciuoli. These posters by the Turin-based designer are intended to explore elements of both architecture and physics, and are limited to 100 pieces each.

Via: definitivetouch

Friday, September 25, 2009

McDonalds: Free Coffee Pole

As part of a national campaign promoting McDonald’s restaurants, a downtown Vancouver lamppost became part of an out-of-home (OOH) optical illusion, appearing to pour coffee into a giant cup on the sidewalk. At the time, McDonald’s was giving away free small cups of its brew for a two-week period, in an effort to attract new breakfast customers. Ad firm Cossette’s Vancouver office developed the concept for a lamppost near 6th Avenue and Cambie Street. The post was wrapped in brown vinyl to resemble poured coffee, while an oversized carafe was attached to the end.
Elsewhere in the city, a transit shelter was turned into an ‘hourglass,’ with an ever-diminishing number of coffee beans reminding customers of the promotion’s short-term nature.

Advertising Agency: Cossette Atlantic, USA

view more

Taxi Canada: MSN

Beautiful design and animation from TAXI Canada for MSN

Level Green - Visualizing Transport Sustainability

Level Green explores the concept of sustainability in relation to the environment, economy and society. Located in Wolfsburg - Germany, the exhibition presents 25 interactive installations renders this highly complex topic tangible.

The series of physical data sculptures and embedded interactive media screens structure the multitude of related themes, while offering users a way of accessing relevant information that relate to one's common behavioral habits in the context of sustainable living.

By J. Mayer H. Architects and Artcom for Volkswagen. Via


xtraNormal brilliant little free service for creating and scripting your own mini web movies, quite fun, quite flexible and thankfully fairly quick to render (no waiting 3days for a render ala' Verizon movie maker viral).
Also check the wonderfully insightful client V designer video!

Blu and David Ellis

A collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Touma – ‘Private Mini Exhibition’ @ Fewmany (9.28)

Touma will open his new Mini Exhibition @ Fewmany on September 28 @ Fewmany in Shinjuku. The show is the official debut of his Kazumouse figures in Japan which have previously been released in previous countries. Other limited-edition releases include his new Baby Knuckle Bear and the Danke Schoen bear fig (new colorway ?).

One of the highlights of Touma’s show are the customs (below and after the jump). This time around he’s focused his work on multi-color rainbow style pieces. Based on the pics he sent over, Mao Cat, Kazumouse, and the new Danke Schoen figure are the stars this time around.

via: vinylpulse.

Designing Obama

The Design Director of the Obama campaign, Scott Thomas, has collaborated with artists and designers to create Designing Obama, a chronicle of the art and design from the historic campaign. The 360-page book is full-color and hardbound, highly crafted with an embossed sleeve. Forewords written by Steven Heller and Michael Bierut.

Available for preorder.

Via: simplescott

Skaters Make Downhill Neon Video Game

Just SICK!!!

Sebastian Onufszak

Sebastian Onufszak has updated his own portfolio with new & fresh eye-candy.
It goes this way long !

Takashi Murakami: in the court of the king of cute

The Takashi Murakami circus has hit Paris, and soon it is coming to Tate Modern. Murakami, Tokyo’s reigning King of Pop Art and Japan’s answer to Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons, is in Paris for the opening of his new show at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin. Huge 6m canvases cover every wall, emblazoned in minute detail with tens of thousands of tiny smiling daisies and madcap cartoon characters in psychedelic colours. Entering the gallery feels a bit like stepping inside a heavily subversive comic: too much and it could do your head in.

Young Japanese artists, members of Murakami’s crack team, are still beavering away on these paintings when I visit the gallery days before the show’s opening. They work in complete silence, up ladders or kneeling on the floor, trying to complete the paintings before the deadline. Working agonisingly slowly, millimetre by millimetre, using brushes as fine as eyelashes and wearing white gloves, they work in teams, on rotation 24 hours a day, to execute Murakami’s artistic vision. The end result, immaculate, precise and finished with a thin coat of varnish, hits you hard between the eyes with its hallucinogenic impact. In the background, running around like demented cartoon characters themselves, are Murakami’s fawning courtiers, his media co-ordinators and their various assistants, fussing over a series of interviews that he has granted and over what the great man is to eat for lunch.

Murakami is only 47, but he is already turning fatalistic. The art world wunderkind, whose tripped-out paintings, psychedelic mushroom installations, hypersexual giant cartoon figures and cute figurines are celebrated in grown-up museums, sold for millions in galleries and splashed all over Louis Vuitton handbags, is thinking about his posthumous reputation. This Paris show consists largely of self-portraits — a completely new departure for him — because Murakami believes that the real battleground for artists lies not in the time when they are alive, but in the future after they are dead.

“Important artists such as Van Gogh and Warhol all left self-portraits that later appeared in their retrospectives. I realised I had not done enough [to provide for exhibitions after my death] so I decided to make some,” he says.

Murakami appears in his paintings as a cartoon character, his chubby round face topped with a playful little ponytail, perky eyes laughing behind round spectacles and a little goatee beard. Beside him are his favourite candy-coloured cartoon creatures. There is Mr DoB, a round cartoon creature with googly eyes and sometimes a devilish grin with razor-sharp teeth, who was originally inspired by a combination of Mickey Mouse and a range of historic Japanese cartoon characters. Mr DoB is apparently Murakami’s alter ego. Then there is Kaikai, a rabbit-suited juvenile, and his snag-toothed sibling Kiki, all of them floating among a frantic mass of his trademark anthropomorphised smiley daisies. Murakami seduces not with subtlety but with shock and awe. It all looks slightly demented, which is the impression one gets of a lot of Murakami’s work.

Millions around the world, however, admire and covet it. At the Basel art fair this summer, his piece Simple Things, made in collaboration with the American record producer Pharrell Williams, sold for $2 million (£1.2 million) in the first 40 minutes of the fair. It consisted of a 6ft sculpture of Mr DoB’s head. Inside its open mouth were placed various essentials from Williams’s life, including a bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion, a can of Pepsi, a condom, a cupcake and a bottle of Heinz ketchup, encrusted with 26,000 diamonds and gems.

This autumn Murakami will occupy an entire room in the Tate Modern show Pop Life. “There will be a collaboration with Kanye West [the American rapper], a cabinet piece and a new video work with Kirsten Dunst in a collaboration with McG who made Charlie’s Angels,” he says. The exhibition explores how artists since Warhol have used business and glamour to create a public image. It was originally called Sold Out, but some of the artists objected. Murakami wasn’t one of them.

Just what is this guy on? “Actually I don’t take drugs. It’s really my weak point. I have no experience of them. I once tried some kind of ganja in Nepal, and I was very ill. I used to drink a lot but then I got gout so I’ve stopped that. I’ve become oddly pure,” he says with a little chuckle. As he talks, the constantly buzzing team of assistants come and go like little worker bees, whispering questions in his ear and consulting among themselves, but Murakami seems able to zone out, closing his eyes as he ponders questions.

Perhaps he developed this ability to blank out the attentions of excessively attentive women in childhood. Born in Tokyo to a taxi-driver father and a housewife mother, Murakami was taken as a child to exhibitions of Japanese and Western art by his mother. Afterwards he was expected to write a kind of critique of the exhibitions. Failure to do so sometimes meant no supper. “It was terrible. I remember it so well, although my mother says she doesn’t remember. It’s my trauma ... My father drove a taxi at night, and in the daytime he used to watch TV documentaries on the Vietnam War and describe aspects of the war to me in huge detail. It was a kind of complex of his, and it made me think about war a great deal.”

Brought up on TV science fiction cartoons and comics, Murakami left school wanting to become an animator. He enrolled at Geidai, the most prestigious art university in Japan, and took 8mm animation classes outside school. His workload was heavy and he developed an extraordinary work schedule that involved painting with intense concentration for 40 minutes and then sleeping for ten, seven days a week, from 6am to midnight.

Then, after four years of undergraduate work as a student of the Nihonga style of painting of the Meiji era (1868-1912), followed by two years of graduate work, three years of doctoral coursework and two years of dissertation writing, he realised that actually what he wanted to be was a contemporary artist.

Murakami is known as a kind of artistic archaeologist of the Japanese national character. His work is inspired by Japan’s manga-obsessed subcultures, the geeky stay-at-home generation known as otaku. These are Japanese men and women, aged anywhere between 18 and 45, who live, often still with their parents, glued to their computers or manga comics, from which they derive their excessively cute and often highly sexed fantasies. Cute is big in Japan and Murakami’s work is nothing if not cute. Japanese cute can also be dark though, and having grown up in the aftermath of the Second World War and the American occupation of Japan, he still battles with the demons of Americanisation. “After the war Japan became supported by the US. As a country it was not complete ... You could say our culture is dark.” He acknowledges that his work reflects Japanese society inasmuch as it presents vacant smiles and happy faces on the surface that mask dark and unexpectedly erotic elements beneath.

Of course his work is inspired by many other things, including the surrealism of Walt Disney’s animations, the films of George Lucas and almost everything about Warhol. But Murakami has a heavily academic bent too and maintains his interest in Japanese art history, (his Paris show includes a series of paintings in homage to Ogata Korin, the 17th-century Japanese painter), particularly the Nihonga style of painting, on which he wrote his PhD thesis.

None of this matters much though to those who covet a Murakami-designed Louis Vuitton accessory or one of his DoB keyrings. You don’t need a Japanese-English dictionary or a knowledge of Japanese art history to appreciate one of those. “My audience is very varied and includes specialist [collectors] and non-specialists, as well as children and students. I want to make things that can be easily understood by young people ... My work looks very simple, but honestly underneath it is complex.”

Murakami literally has a factory, called Kaikai Kiki, with 120 on the payroll, plus another 100 freelancers, who collectively help him to execute his artistic vision. With offices in New York and Tokyo, the factory churns out not only the paintings, sculptures, animated films, feature films and collaborative designs with fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, but also manages all things Murakami, the merchandising of a range of towels, purses, soft toys, everything from soup to stickers.

The business seems to be enormous, and Murakami is worried that it is getting too big. “We get good fees for the art works and so on, but I’m employing so many people. I’m always having to think about how we are going to survive commercially. Damien Hirst created a kind of art industry and I followed in his way — that is the way to survive — but now that market is slipping away and so we have to think of new creative ideas, in fashion, TV, and so on. There are many possibilities.”

He works all the time, although his work schedule has changed slightly: he now sleeps for seven hours a day, divided up over 24 hours into three chunks of two hours, two hours and three hours. “I don’t have a wife or children. All my focus is on work, and this is complete fulfilment for me. Actually I couldn’t imagine ever having a family ... I want to keep on creating but my fear is, how long can I continue? I’ve survived for ten years, but I’m not sure I can survive the next ten years.

“My generation is the geek generation and many are dead before the age of 50 through addictions [alcohol, overwork]. I feel like an old man. My inspiration is shrinking, my concentration is not good. I am tired.”

No wonder Murakami is beginning to think about his artistic life after death.

Takashi Murakami Paints Self-Portraits is at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (, from today to Oct 17. Pop Life: Art in a Material World is at Tate Modern, London SE1 (020-7887 8888;, from Oct 1 to Jan 17

via: timesonline.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Neu Case

Andreas Shabelnikov (of Digital Abstracts fame) has been busy the past months setting up his interactive agency in the French Riviera: Neu Case

Studio Minister Updates

Mike Sullivan is responsible for Studio Minister, an independent graphic design and communication studio based in Glasgow, UK ; Specializing in identity projects and designing usable, highly accessible branded online applications & websites.


Hirzberger Events - Digital Wallpaper from Gregor Hofbauer on Vimeo.

By Strukt.

Via: trendsnow

great cover~

Clipse x KAWS Complex Magazine Cover - October/November 2009.

Via: complex


Steenstra GCM, founded by renowned Dutch car designer Cor Steenstra is in process of making electric supercars full of style and performance. The Styletto is intended to be a Super Sports Car that would go past 200mph on near-zero emissions. Steenstra hasn't revealed much details yet and is looking for an investor to make this project a reality. If all goes well, the car is likely to make a debut at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concourse d ‘Elegance.

Via: randommization