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May 15, 2009

Things are fairly quiet in the west coast design world this week, as all the activity is concentrated in New York for the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Dwell's editor-in-chief, Sam Grawe, and assistant editor Jordan Kushins, have entered the fray at the Javits Convention Center and they'll be reporting back throughout the weekend and into next week about their finds both on the show floor and out in the rest of city, where ancillary events and parties are filling up every free minute. Until then, here's the weekly round-up of out blogospheric discoveries:


Sarah: Masakatsu Sashie Art Works

Via Rob Walker (whose site Murketing is a whole other Friday favorites post unto itself), I came across Masakatsu Sashie's site and work—a vast portfolio of paintings from the last 13 years of the artist's career. Until this year, I wouldn't have called them "Wall-E-esque" since that artistic rendering of the post-apocalyptic future of garbage hadn't become a point of reference. But I suppose now I would—Wall-E crossed with Japanese illustration style and the sometimes unsettling detail of sci-fi. It's really neat to look back through the years of his work to see how it's evolved from soft focus and cloudy hues to sharp lines and bold colors.

Nicole: Millimeter/Milligram goes International [Online]

Lately there have been many aspects of my trip to Seoul last year that I’ve been pining to revisit. One of them is the design shop Millimeter/Milligram. While there, I nearly bought this store out of its inventory, and still felt I needed more. I received good news this week: they now ship internationally.

Miyoko: Proposal for an Aquatics Complex at the 2016 Olympics

While I love the outdoors and all things nature-related, I sometimes have a hard time getting excited about landscape design. Pruned, however, is one site that always captures my curiosity and continuously presents new ideas about outdoor spaces. One of my favorite posts this week proposed a new idea for the Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic Games bid, specifically the aquatics complex design. The post points to inspirations such as BIG's Copenhagen Harbor Bath, Wilk-Salina's Berlin Badeschiff, and White Arkitekter's Kastrap Sea Bath (which I recently visited and am writing about for our July/August issue) and proposes an aquatics center in Lake Michigan. Not next to Lake Michigan or near Lake Michigan but with the closed-container main pools submerged in the lake and the practice lanes in the open water. It'd never fly, but I love this kind of thinking.

dwell fridge

Ashley: You Are What You Eat

I really enjoyed GOOD magazine’s Picture Show this week, “You Are What You Eat,” by Mark Menjivar. It’s an interesting look at what people (mostly in Texas) are consuming. Can you spot the snake? Quote from the photographer: “It is a Bull Snake. I met this woman out in the desert. She had plans to make a walking stick out of the snake and still had not gotten around to it! She was pretty wild.” Ironically, this week also brought news of the dark side of office refrigerators, when a whole corporate team had to evacuate a building due to mold in the fridge. (Above, I took it upon myself to photograph the mini-fridge on Dwell's 3rd floor—fortunately very clean!.)

Aaron: Loreak Mendian's Hitchcock Graphic Design Finds

Last week I came across the Basque clothing company Loreak Mendian and in exploring their site I found their blog. Though I don't speak Spanish, I've loved cruising the site for the photos, graphics and and other tasty visuals. My favorite post, and one that sent me rushing out to watch the great John Frankenheimer's 1966 film Grand Prix, was this one on the opening titles work of graphic designer Saul Bass. The post includes clips from Vertigo and Anatomy of a Murder as well (bravo James Stewart) but Grand Prix was the revelation for me. Bass' opening titles for Grand Prix are incredible, but his montages of the racing throughout the movie are well worth a view. Other highlights include Yves Montand with a case of ennui, Antonio Sabato with case of looking-for-some-action, James Garner with a case of man-that-dude-looks-American and Francoise Hardy with a case of all of the above. You can watch it instantly if you've got Netflix.

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