Friday Finds 6.5.09

This week in the editors' jaunts around the World Wide Web shared in international flavor (perhaps it's a summer travel bug). The team turned up finds from China to Japan to Mexico, and all across the US by way of a David Lynch road trip project. Check it out.

geninne birds1

Sarah: Geninne's Art

I found this art work while hunting bird illustrations on the web and was captivated by the detailed, playful, colorful illustrations that merge a sort of aged old-timiness with modern hand craftedness. Geninne is an American artist who lives in Mexico with her family (learn more about her at her blog), and it's clear that much of her inspiration comes from the brilliant colors and vibrant atmosphere of her adopted home turf. She also keeps a blog for her sons, who are aspiring—and very talented—illustrators in their own right.

Sam: Hida Online Shop
This collection that Enzo Mari designed for Japanese manufacturer Hida debuted in the US three years ago at ICFF. I was looking forward to seeing them again this year, but to no avail. The company is based in the Gifu region of Japan, an alpine area known for its woodcrafts. The pieces in the collection are made from a soft cypress called Sugi. The pieces are compressed in molds, which renders the soft wood more durable and also gives it an incredible silky texture. I'm especially fond of the sleeping bag on a wood frame vibe of this loveseat and this incredible series of side chairs. Mari's design have a childlike playfulness that masks the incredible craft and slick Italian modernity behind the pieces in this collection. Somebody import this already.

Jordan: Interview Project
This is a little bit of a departure from design, but I'm quite taken this week with David Lynch's online Interview Project, which just launched on Monday. Road-tripping 20,000 miles across America and back again in 70 days, David's son Austin, his friend Jason S., and a tight video team talked to regular folks they found along the way about their lives. Each conversation is edited and aired as a short four to five minute episode and a new installment will be posted every three days. The site itself is also worth navigating, with short audio clips from upcoming interviews, pics, and a map charting the route. It's a fascinating slice-of-life and inspiration for an eternally expanding tome of as-yet-unwritten short stories. Says the man himself, David Lynch, about the endeavor: "It's something that's human, and you can't stay away from it." Indeed. I'm definitely hooked.

Aaron: Koolhaas's Charred CCTV Building

My favorite design story of the week is also from one of my favorite magazines: The Economist. It deals with the present state of Rem Koolhaas's recently-charred Television Cultural Center building in Beijing, weaving together popular sentiment toward the eyesore of an edifice, the state-run television channel and how the over-budget behemoth came to be in the first place.

Miyoko: International Plastics Design Competition

While reading Core77 this week, I came across a great post describing the entries of the International Plastics Design Competition: "The designs submitted reflect the reality of plastic's ubiquity, spanning everything from boring but important (insulated railroad track joints) to sexy and high-profile (Herman Miller's Embody chair), with dozens of shades in between. Medical devices, sporting goods, industrial equipment, consumer products and more are all represented." Vote online for your favorite design now through June 21 and use the free Expo Pass you'll receive for casting your ballot to see the entries June 22-26 at NPE2009 in Chicago.

Image: Three Little Birds second edition print by Geninne

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