Let the Dwell staff send you into the warm embrace of 2010 with the last installment of Friday Finds for this year. Happy holidays!
Jordan: Wants for Sale
What a brilliant little barter system set up by a New York couple at Wants for Sale! The artists, Christine and Justin, will paint an Item on their personal wish lists then sell the picture for the exact price it takes to make it theirs, from a Miniature Tulip Chair for $227.58 to a Sham-Wow for $28.30. I seriously love this idea. There's also a Flickr page dedicated to splitscreen shots showing the Want and Bought together, like "An All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet", "A Juicy Steak" and "One Month's Rent". You can sign up for updates on the latest paintings, too. via Kottke
Sarah: Gift Ideas from Core77
In case you are in the same boat as me with holiday shopping (as in, haven't done any), one place I'd recommend looking is Core77's annual list of 77 Gifts Under $77. It's full of original gift ideas of all kinds, some design-related and some just generally interesting or cool. One thing to remember as you look: Holiday shopping means obtaining items for other people. You can indulge your own desires once the gifting task is complete.
I've just started this well-received bit of nonfiction and am already engrossed. Journalist and cultural critic Sarah Thornton dives into the art world, taking as her subjects seven iconic locales within the contemporary art milieu: the auction, the crit, the fair, the prize, the magazine, the studio visit and the biennale. Though I'm just a dozen pages in, Thornton is erudite and lively--an apt explainer and accessible guide through the demimonde of gallerists, collectors, and the occasional poseur.
My colleague and Dwell's photo editor, Amy Silberman, pointed me to this GOOD magazine video that asks: What if a sensor on the street knew exactly which parking spots were free? Better yet, it also proposes being able to pay your parking meter by iPhone and adding more funds with the touch of a screen--thus eliminating the need to make the mad dash to your car to drop in more quarters only to find that you were two minutes too late. The idea seems a ways away from becoming a reality, but it's an interesting infrastructure idea.
Amanda: Slideshow of Knitted Science
Okay, so obviously I like weird stuff. Discover Magazine does too, apparently. I love this slideshow of knitted science oddities, made by crafty people with a gift for rendering anatomical and biological principles using the raw power of yarn. Maybe I could have been a better Chemistry student in high school if I'd had a sweater depicting the periodic table of elements. Doubtful, but I needed all the help I could get.
Another great release from Tashen this week, Alex Steinweiss, Inventor of the Modern Album Cover, follows the artist's career in illustration, graphics, and commercial art. The book is a warm tribute to his most recognized and noted work of designing album covers, to which he is credited for inventing in the 1940s. The special art edition, limited to 100 copies, is signed by the artist himself and is accompanied by The Firebird Suite print, which was originally created as the cover for the 1957 release of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet.
Michele: Etsy's Color Tool