There has been a lot of buzz on the internet about legendary, apple inspiring German designer Dieter Rams licensing his furniture designs to Vitsoe for international distribution and as much as I love his austere white goods and great universal shelving system I have to temper peoples enthusiasm: Rams furniture is fucking ugly* (and this is from someone who loves the very clunky, modernist end of mid Century furniture) they look weirdly like they are for hospital patients or in the case of his side tables the by-products of widget factories, have no grace or economy and stick far too rigidly to his ideas of modularity to be considered classic.
*exception is that his recliner is ugly, but it is also very good
6:10 pm • 13 December 2012 • 4 notes
If your the sort of cosmopolitan Internet person that I think a lot of us are, and you read the new york times online (until the paywall comes up) and maybe the Guardian and the occasional Washington post for your news then I highly recommend the english edition of ‘Der Spiegal’.
Considering its not so promising start as a creation of the authorities in the British sector of Germany in the post-war period, the Spiegal is for my money the best European newspaper period, which as a weekly takes a measured view on everything from art to politics to science with thoughtful long form essays and a strong centre-left editorial line that is never dogmatic and hysterical the way say the Guardian can be, check their recent year end article on German Xenophobia: nuanced, sharp, and unflinching but not hysterical or overdramatic.
but its not all about Germany (though a recent article on the new Bohemia now that Berlin’s gone corporate being Leipzig was interesting) they write just as well about broad European issues, the middle east and Africa.
Now all they need to do is make an full international version for Ipad
*plus they have one of the most batshit crazy offices of any business in existence, courtesy of Verner Panton
2:39 pm • 13 December 2012 • 2 notes
“well I mean, if I had to pick a god…
Jesus promised the end of suffering, and Odin promised the end of ice tyrants…
…and I don’t see any ice tyrants around”
— a friend weighs up the merits of paganism
12:17 pm • 12 December 2012 • 5 notes
The song reader project is a set of 20 new songs (lyrics & music) set to notation by Beck and released unrecorded to the public, and with a nod back to the hey-day of sheet music it includes lush originally commisioned artwork for each piece.
Beck’s done some interesting interviews on the project and stated that the impetus was really to create songs with no definitive performance, before the personality of the artist limited the way a song could be performed or molded to the style of the person playing at home, and second of all to write songs that have the simplicity & flexibility to work as notation, without the assistance of studio technology.
I love the idea, the songs that I’ve heard (amateurs) perform on Youtube sound great, and I’ll be picking it up
Have a listen to ‘please leave a light on when you go’ here
2:35 am • 11 December 2012 • 3 notes
Incredibly nice, very classic European derbys by Buttero, like something out of a Ghibli film
2:14 pm • 8 December 2012 • 7 notes
Ocar Niemeyer has died at 104. one of the very best, me and my brother have it in the back of our minds to one day get to Brasilia and take some great photos of some of the most monumental and incredible architecture the world has to offer.
3:44 am • 6 December 2012
I’ve done a few of these four awesome things posts: German, Russian and now I’ve gotten around to Italy which is tricky in a way because a lot of great things about Italy are almost universally appreciated: the food, the style, the classic cinema and design, and that’s leaving the enormous influence of the proto-Italian cultures (Roman, Renaissance city states)
So I’ve decided to pick some lesser appreciated, perhaps less typical examples of Italian awesomeness:
1. Nanni Moretti: Actor/director Nanni Moretti has created an vision of Italy in his films that has little to do with the buffoonish, decadent one that Silvio Berlusconi presented to the world, small dramas like ‘The Son’s Room’ & ‘We Have a Pope’ reflect on family, responsibility and personal identity in a uniquely warm, humorous manner.
2. Barena Venezia: There’s a certain flashy, neat style that people associate with Italy and generally you do see quite a bit of it when you go there, but fairly new brand Barena (which literally means salt-flats, a reference to the areas around Venice) takes its spirit from the workers and seamen of the immediate area, creating relaxed, simple, elegant clothing.
3. Bialetti: This ones a cop out because everyone knows this great and enduring piece of 1933 design, but I can’t help it: the perfect coffee maker
4. Luigi Ghirri: Like his contemporaries in America (William Eggleston, Saul Leiter) Luigi Ghirri was at the forefront of using colour as an artistic medium in photography, and although like them he used the the light and the tones to great affect, his photos maintain a unique almost zen-like sense of composure and space.
4:35 pm • 5 December 2012 • 2 notes
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Robin Scott - The left bank
1:21 pm • 5 December 2012 • 3 notes
Louis Anquetin ‘Potrait of a Woman’ 1890
3:29 pm • 2 December 2012 • 2 notes