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Eclipse

Eclipse by Stephane Vetter

Like half the town country planet we went to see the eclipse, as it passed over us on August 21st.

However, no picture we took was even remotely as stunning, as photographer Stephane Vetter, who fused night and day images he captured at a single location at Oregon’s Magone Lake, the night before and during the day of the total eclipse.

via Colossal / Photograph © Stephane Vetter

2017-09-05T20:35:39+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Big Thinking|Comments Off on Eclipse

A Quick (Rainy) Stop in Kassel

In June the documenta 14 opened in Kassel, Germany with 160+ international artists presenting their works at over thirty venues, public institutions, squares, cinemas, and university locations.

Passing through town one rainy night, I had a chance to see Marta Minujín’s “The Parthenon of Books” – modeled after the temple on the Acropolis of Athens. A work in progress, formerly or currently forbidden books from around the world give this Book Parthenon it’s shape.

Documenta 14

Documenta 14

2017-09-05T14:09:42+00:00 August 28th, 2017|Big Thinking, Design|Comments Off on A Quick (Rainy) Stop in Kassel

Safety Dance

When was the last time you actually paid attention to the safety videos the airlines show at the beginning of the flight? For me that was recently. (Now I might be late to the party, not having flown with Virgin Atlantic before, but I was pleasantly surprised.)

According to an article in Digital Synopsis, Virgin Atlantic hired director Jon M.Chu and a team of acclaimed choreographers, producers and dance stars to produce a safety video that people actually wanted to watch. 36 dancers spent 26 hours on set, using 14 different dance styles including broadway, contemporary, jazz, tango, b-boy and break dancing.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look. Over 12 million people did, without being on a plane…

2017-09-05T14:18:23+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Design, Videos|Comments Off on Safety Dance

Employing Algorithms for Unique Designs

Nutella, the delicious hazelnut spread, is already considered a bestseller by the “consumers” in our house. But earlier this year Ferrero, the manufacturer of Nutella, with the use of an algorithm, created 7 million unique jars in hopes to further appeal to its consumers.

Similar to the Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which made a big splash when it swapped its famous logo with the most popular names, Nutella also had specialized jars in Europe that swapped the logo for different messages in the past.

However, this time keeping only the iconic logo in place and pulling from a database of dozens of patterns and colors, the company created seven million unique Nutella jars, each with a code of authenticity, hence the name for the campaign – Unica.

Ogilvy & Mather was quoted on dezeen.com “We think Nutella can be as special and expressive as every single one of its customers. With this objective, Nutella Unica was born – the first limited-edition made by seven million different jars. Dozens of patterns, thousands of colour combinations, one special algorithm.”

Some of those jars are pretty cool looking, but for us it’s mainly what’s inside that counts.

Image & Video via dezeen.com

2017-06-06T14:43:46+00:00 June 5th, 2017|Design|Comments Off on Employing Algorithms for Unique Designs

Support

Until November 26 two large hands are emerging from the Grand Canal at the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel in Venice, as part of Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn’s monumental installation titled ‘Support’ which highlights the very real threat climate change causes to the city of Venice.

To quote an article from urmagazine: “Reflecting on the two sides of human nature, the creative and the destructive, as well as the capacity for humans to act and make an impact on history and the environment, Quinn addresses the ability for humans to make a change and re-balance the world around them – environmentally, economically, socially. Support sees Quinn reflect on and readdress these global issues by echoing the meticulous execution and technique of the Masters of the past to create a powerful and unique sculpture which will be displayed during the Venice Biennale 2017.”

The artist’s website currently features a video showcasing the installation process.

Support by Lorenzo Quinn – Venice Biennale 2017 from Lorenzo Quinn
Image via urdesign courtesy of Halcyon Gallery and Lorenzo Quinn

2017-05-23T08:49:52+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Big Thinking, Design, In The News|Comments Off on Support

Sweet Dreams

After reading at The Verge about Ford Motor Company’s latest product invention, I have to admit, I checked the publishing date to make sure it was not an old April fools joke I was falling for.

The car company designed a smart crib – The Max Motor Dreams – that replicates the soothing vibration and hum of a car’s engine to put babies to sleep. The smart crib comes with an app that track your car’s route and movements, to replicated the driving sensation. Plus, the rim of the crib is lined with LED lights that simulate streetlights.

The Max Motor Dreams crib was not intended for sale, but rather as part of an ad campaign to promote its Max line of cars.

However, due to popular demand Ford says it is considering mass production, until then you will have to rock your kid to sleep the old fashioned way – or take them for a ride around the block.

Image via Ford Max Motor Dreams

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Big Thinking, Design|Comments Off on Sweet Dreams

A Daily Dose of Tiny

We do love small things or everyday objects that get new meaning in context. So it should be no surprise that the discovery of Tatsuya Tanaka’s daily photographs depicting tiny diorama-style figures surrounded by every day objects have been a pleasant surprise.

These are just a few of our favorites, to see them all, visit Tatsuya Tanaka’s website or Instagram.

Images via Instagram

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Big Thinking, Design, Humor|Comments Off on A Daily Dose of Tiny

Samurai Jack is Back

samurai-jack-1

Samurai Jack, the critical acclaimed animated show about a samurai, up-rooted from his own time, on a quest to travel back and defeat Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, ended suddenly in 2004 without resolution.

Twelve years later, Jack is back and the final chapter of his journey is darker than ever. Jack, who up to this point has been battling Aku and his robotic minions, is now faced with the Daughters of Aku, seven young women who’s sole purpose it is to destroy Samurai Jack.

samurai-jack-3

The shows creator Genndy Tartakovsky said in an interview with Polygon that he always planned for this season of Samurai Jack to be the darkest yet, as this marks the end of Jack’s journey, and Tartakovsky wanted to explore themes and acts that he couldn’t before.

“In my perception of the show the darkness was surface,” Tartakovsky said. “It was dark because the show was sad, but it didn’t go down into the soul. Here, we get to go all the way to the bottom. The haunting of the past and the self, is a pressure that you either need to forget or grieve. He’s traumatized and he cannot let go.”

samurai-jack-2

Just like the original 52 episodes, the new season maintains the iconic series’ beautiful, artistic style with intense action sequences filling the screen only to zero in on certain aspects of the scene.

Samurai Jack’s fifth and final season started airing March 11 on Adult Swim.

Images via YouTube

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Design, Videos|Comments Off on Samurai Jack is Back

Commercials for Nicer Living

trees-unsplash-natalie-thornley-148086

NPR’s All Things Considered asked listeners to write and send in scripts for commercials that celebrate the small things in life, then turned five submissions into radio spots.

The idea originated back in 1972 when NPR’s Susan Stamberg encouraged listeners to write commercials for the things that matter – live’s simple pleasures. Back then listeners promoted things such as taking a walk, love letters and cumulus clouds.

Forty-five years later the more than 2,000 submissions included pitches for bonfires, breezes, silence and simple kindness.

The spots that were produced were non-commercial commercials for Puns, Trees, Nothing, Ear Scratches and Yummy Words. Below is just one of them – Trees – Submitted by Adam Drake of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

My favorite part is hands-down the disclaimer: Trees may not be right for everybody. Side effects include tree houses, tire swings, fruit, shade, and woodworking. Please consult your biome before selecting a tree. Not every tree is right for every biome, enjoy trees responsibly.

Of course the radio ad for doing nothing rings especially true these days… Click here to listen to them all.

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 February 27th, 2017|Humor, Inspiration|Comments Off on Commercials for Nicer Living