Friday Finds 10.2.09
Amanda: Magic Dots
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I'll be the first to admit that sometimes it's imperative for your sanity to just space out for a minute. Hence the Magic Dot flash app created by Cesmes—aka programmer Sampo Pihlaja. It's like digital mitosis, and the colorful and slowly shifting forms lull me into an often much needed Zen-like dream state.
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has been in the news a lot lately--understandable since his new book, Bicycle Diaries, was recently released. I read this story in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back but its main question has stuck with me since: What make a city livable? In the article, penned by Byrne himself, he identifies his ideal metropolis as somewhere large enough to allow anonymity yet emotionally warm enough that people make eye contact, a place that offers a sense of security but has enough chaos in it to make it sexy. It's a great read and he concludes with a great point: "The perfect city isn't static. It's evolving and ever changing, and its laws and structure allow that to happen."
Jordan: Breakfast Machine
This made me stop my blogroll scroll for a bunch of reasons, not least of which was how much it reminded me of the opening scenes from two favorite films from my youth: Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and Back to the Future. As a kid, the thought of having elaborate contraptions to make your toast and squeeze the OJ seemed like pretty much the neatest thing ever (along with, you know, that bright red bike and a time-traveling DeLorean). The Breakfast Machine, by Yuri Suzuki and Masa Kimura, makes it happen—that long-standing dream to complicate the simplest tasks with an intricate series of chain reactions can be an amazing/ridiculous reality that actually exists outside of a beat-up VHS tape. I love that this thing takes up an entire room! I don't speak Dutch so unfortunately I can't understand the video, but this project must have been so much fun to work on. Doc Brown would most definitely approve, and Rube Goldberg would be proud. (A little Google search turned up a great Gizmodo post, Top Ten Rube Goldberg Machines Featured on Film: Goonies! Edward Scissorhands! Uh, haha...Ernest Goes to Jail?!)
Kathryn: A Whole Mess of Things
Yesterday won my "Best Day of the Year" award, with intense competitors surfacing on the same day. It started off with a lovely commute through the glorious clear sky warmth of the-closest-we-ever-get-to Indian summer. Upon arrival, Miyoko presented us with the largest chocolate-covered donut I've ever seen (delicious!), which was immediately followed by Kyle's arrival and return from paternity leave (KB back in d'house!). As exciting as that start was, I totally geeked out when Jeremy Leslie's tweet popped in, announcing his latest post covering Neville Brody's redesign of Arena Homme. This really capped off the day! Neville's work (above) has been inspiring me since the early days of his album covers for the post-punks, to his art direction at The Face, to his innovative (yet quite useful) fonts for FontShop. It's a thrill to see him tackle editorial work again! Sidebar: If you're in London, see Neville's Freedom Space, commissioned by the Design Museum for the Super Contemporary show, which ends Sunday.
I've been trading emails back and forth with my emeritus Dwell colleague Geoff Manaugh, who you likely know writes the splendid BLDGBlog. I usually consume my BLDGBlog in big gulps, surveying a dozen posts in one sitting as opposed to checking in day by day. I love the full immersion in Geoff's bracingly alternate-architectural reality, so you'll have to forgive me for sharing a link many of you may have seen already. It's a table by Berlin-based architect Daniel Dendra, whose joinery is a 3-D mapping of what Cairo sounds like. Crazy, but just the kind of thing I go to the erudite Mr. Manaugh to see. Gulp away.
Image courtesy Daniel Dendra of anOtherArchitect