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Friday Finds 12.04.09

Stay toasty during these increasingly chilly days with a heaping helping of links, served hot off the Internet by a few members of the Dwell team.

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Sarah: Pictory

This Friday I have to give a shout-out to the launch of a fantastic new web publication called Pictory. Founded, designed and edited by Laura Brunow Miner (former editor-in-chief of JPG Magazine), Pictory features photos stories submitted by readers, which together form collaborative photo essays based on a theme. The first Pictory theme is "Overseas & Overwhelmed," in which 25 readers have each contributed a photo and caption that encapsulate culture shock. The site itself is a beautiful thing to behold, and having gotten a little preview of some future themes, I can say with certainty that the content to come will not disappoint. Photo by Kevin Meredith

Miyoko: San Francisco's Hallidie Plaza

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Photograph by Adam Lau. Image courtesy The Chronicle.

Recently, we've seen a lot of efforts to revitalize San Francisco's public and semipublic spaces, from the Pavement to Parks program where concrete corners are now planted lush with life to the Art In Storefronts project that allows artists to temporarily display their works in vacant storefront windows. This week, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the proposal to turn the city's Hallidie Plaza into a more-welcoming and better used entrance to the city for tourists heading to Powell Street and Union Square. The idea is create a 480,000-gallon reservoir and deck, and while the public has responded with mixed reviews, at least its design is on the city's mind.

Jordan: Bob Dylan Revisited 

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I'm a holiday nerd, and Bob Dylan's really be getting me into the festive spirit this year (go figure...). First he released Christmas in the Heart, an off-the-wall-cool collection of winter classics as only he could do. Seriously, check out the be-wigged Bobby D in this video for “Must Be Santa”, it's completely bizarro and lots of fun. Now, Bob Dylan Revisited, a new hardcover book from W. W. Norton, offers an illustrated take on 13 of his timeless tracks. The lyrics alone always paint such vivid stories, but this looks like a neat visual collection that I wouldn't mind finding wrapped up under the tree.

Amanda: Slideshow of Redesigned Nabakov Book Covers

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The Gift, redesigned by Rodrigo Corral. Photograph by Alison Gootee.

This was posted on Design Observer last month, but I just had the opportunity to enjoy it this week. Writer John Gall, who is also the art director for Vintage / Anchor Books, asked a plethora of talented people (Chip Kidd, Carin Goldberg, Michael Bierut, Duncan Hannah, among others) to redesign 21 of Vladimir Nabakov's book covers. Noting that Nabakov was an avid butterfuly collector, Gall asked each designer to encase his or her creation within a specimen box. The results can be viewed in this slideshow, which is accompanied by an introductory essay by Gall. via Maud Newton

Aaron: Paintings by EVOL

Once the Design Miami action had cooled down, I got a chance to wander around the Wynwood Art District of Miami yesterday. In addition to much gallery-hopping, I spent a lot of time at the

Scope Miami

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EVOL, "Simplon Strasse"

, a contemporary art fair. One of my favorite pieces came from EVOL, a Berlin-based artist who spray painted buildings onto cardboard, or rather, used the rough cardboard itself as the canvas from which to create a building. At first I thought that the works were a kind of collage, mapping warts-and-all boxes onto urban spaces. But closer inspection revealed that EVOL had taken spray can to broken down box and created two-dimensional buildings that suggest at once the temporary nature of architecture and the crushing monotony of some many urban high-rises. Suggesting a kind of paranoia, malaise and contempt for what appear to be second-rate apartment blocks, EVOL has rendered the torpor of European suburbs in a compelling fashion. EVOL's work is being presented by Wild-Gallery Berlin and Scope Miami runs through Sunday. 

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