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May 1, 2009

It's hard to believe it's May already—the months are flying by. This week at Dwell we've been pulling together our September 2009 "Apartments" issue and looking ahead to later fall plans. Most exciting this week, we learned that Dwell has been named a finalist for the 2009 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Corporate Achievement. We're thrilled to be granted this honor, and proud to be finalists with the legendary Heath Ceramics and one of the great art institutions in America, the Walker Art Center. In other news, here are a few things we spotted on the Web this week: 

Sarah: Flygbussarna's Public Transit Ad Campaign

I often look to PSFK for super current commentary and discoveries in branding, advertising, design and tech culture. It's a finger-on-the-pulse place with a good balance of humor and seriousness. This week I spotted this sculpture of a bus made from crushed cars—quite an eye-catching image and that's just the point. The sculpture was created as an ad campaign for the Swedish airport bus company, Flygbussarna, and placed next to the highway to encourage the use of public transit to and from the airport. The 50 crushed cars that were used to build the sculpture represent the number of vehicles that would be "removed from the road" if more people rode the bus. (I hope those cars were already in the junkyard!)

Kathryn: The Paintings of José Parlá

I've always been drawn to graffiti art so I've been finding plenty to love at José Parlá's site, where his portfolio of several dozen large-scale paintings is on digital display. Parlá's work is inspired by his own graffiti sightings during various travels, and the evidence of heavy human activity in cities that shows up on urban surfaces—deterioration due to weather and traffic, faded construction paint. His so-called "Contemporary Palimpsests" are intensely layered with expression of Parlá's memory of a location, presented in a calligraphic style graffiti.

Sam: Phillip Wood

Philip Wood not only makes for a dangerous drinking companion, he also knows a thing or two about design. More than that, when you start talking design—especially after a few cocktails—he's an unparalleled provocateur. I always look forward to hearing what's on his mind, and now those of you who don't get to run into the man around town, can too.

Brendan: Nomad Ink

As some of you read on my twitter feed the other day, there is an interesting design scene emerging in Asia. In May and June of 2008, Nomad Ink, a studio based in Curitiba, Brazil, conducted a two-month research project, touring cities throughout China and Thailand, interviewing designers, visiting studios, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of Asian design. This is the second design tour by Nomad Ink's founders, Tyler Johnson and Flavia Sanches. Their first was in 2005 where they traveled for five months visiting design studios throughout Europe. Upon completion of each design tour, they lecture to design students in Brazil, continuing the conversation of design, culture and education and bridging the gap between design communities throughout the world. An ongoing collection of their inspiring research and work can be found on their website, www.nomadink.com. 

Jordan: Firekites "Autumn Story" Video

If you have a spare three and a half minutes this afternoon, click through to take a simple stop-motion journey across a series of chalkboards—very cool to watch the progression of dusty white line drawings. This stop-motion video was directed by Lucinda Schreiber and Yanni Kronenberg for Aussie quintet Firekites. Lovely music, as well. I've never heard of the the group before, but I dig 'em. Enjoy.

Miyoko: GreenBox: Pizza Box of the Future

I love leftovers when I order pizza, but I'm not so much a fan of doing all the dishes that result from Escape From New York Pizza-nights with my roommates and then the Tupperware in which we keep the leftovers. (Trying to squeeze the pizza box down the garbage shoot, since food-soiled papers are not recyclable in San Francisco, is another story unto itself.) Which is why I love GreenBox by Eco Incorpated, a pizza box made from recycled cardboard that is perforated to tear into four serving plates and then fold over itself and lock for storing the leftovers in the fridge. As long as you don't get pizza that's too greasy, you should be able to recycle the box when you're finished. 

Alexis: Ljubljana Chair

The Ljubljana chair designed by Asobi is a modular system that can be made into a lounge chair or a public bench, with multiple possibilities and variations.  And it's made from material that is 100% recyclable!  I love the way it looks installed in city squares and streets.

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