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Gift This: Where Philippe Starck Hangs His Hat

(Stefano Guidani)
Of chapeaux and Chapos. FLOS CEO Piero Gandini and designer Philippe Starck (Photo: Stefano Guidani)

What does a self-described “modern monk” like Philippe Starck do when he feels the urge to jettison his headwear—perhaps to work “naked in the bedroom”—but doesn’t want to clutter up one of his “collection of cabins in the middle nowhere”? The designer simply tosses the hat on a “Chapo,” his latest creation for FLOS. The clever, LED-illuminated table lamp not only transforms any hat into a lampshade but also serves as a handy (heady?) charging station for portable devices, thanks to the USB port in the base, where a soft-touch switch makes it possible to control the lamp without disturbing the hat. “When Alec Guinness, James Stewart, and Fred Astaire got home in the evening, with a sharp and elegant gesture they would throw their hat onto anything within reach,” says Starck. “So why not a lamp?”

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New Museum Offers Gift That Keeps On Giving: Tattoos by Amanda Wachob

amandaGive ’til it hurts this holiday season, by bestowing the gift of a tattoo session with Amanda Wachob. The Brooklyn-based artist (pictured at left, inflicting ink upon an unsuspecting orange) has partnered with New York’s New Museum to offer a dozen tattoo sessions as part of her “Skin Art” project. For $500 ($400 for museum members), Wachob will tattoo the human canvas of your choice with one of 23 unique designs chosen from a menu of colorful abstract squiggles and brushstrokes she created exclusively for the museum. The experience will be made all the more indelible by a special edition of prints, 20 per session, that visualize the tattoo process: Wachob has worked with neuroscientist Maxwell Bertolero of UC Berkeley to develop colorful ways of capturing the unique time course and voltage levels of her tattoo machine as it inks. We hear sessions are going fast, so e-mail store [at] newmuseum.org to reserve a session.

Favorite Thing: 365 Typography Calendar

2015typographycalendarOnly 44 calendar shopping days ’til 2015! Keeping track of time takes on a typographical twist with the 365 Typography Calendar, which sets each month in a different typeface. The calendar is the brainchild of Pentagram veteran Kit Hinrichs, who produces it through his San Francisco-based design office. “So many people, designers included, have no idea who designed the beautifully crafted typefaces that are very much a part of our everyday life,” he says. “I wanted to enable people to become more aware of type as a designed object.” The dozen typefaces celebrated in the 2015 edition are “a lively mix of classic and revival typefaces, along with distinctive display faces by some of this generation’s best type designers,” and in addition to holidays, the calendar notes the birthdays of the type designers along with their brief biographies or explanations of what inspired the design.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

Kickstart This: Stickable Pixels

pixel art

Return to a simpler, eight-bit way of life, be the next street art sensation or just get your Ellsworth Kelly on with pixel art. Seattle-based startup 1×1 has taken to Kickstarter to make its colorful, self-adhesive squares a reality. A $30 pledge will get you a box of 14,800 pixel stickers that can be applied to glass, metal, or any other smooth surface. Budding pixel artists have until November 10 to back the project.

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.

Pass the Mvstard: New Design Marketplace Debuts

mvstard

Between Quirky and Kickstarter comes Mvstard, which aims to offer a new way to discover, shop for, and support design. Launched last month to coincide with London Design Week, the web-based platform was born out of a frustration with the current process for getting product to market. “We found it difficult to introduce new products at a sensible cost without scale, and tough to get scale without big investment,” says founder James Coombes. “We believed there was a better way.” Sign up to help solve the chicken-and-egg scale issue and directly support designers by committing to pre-purchase products you love. The opening selection includes an iPhone-charging desk lamp, a mobile made of varnished leaves, and a nifty cast-aluminum stool.

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.

The Business Card of Dorian Gray

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

www.robwilsonphotography.co.ukOur papergoods-obsessed friends at Moo.com are taking a walk on the Wilde side, conjuring the business card of Dorian Gray—actually, it’s a pair: one for his Victorian gentlemanly side (at right) and another for his libertine persona (above). The debauched Englishman is joined by other duplicitous characters, including Dr. Jekyll (a.k.a. Mr. Hyde), Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman), and Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) in a cheeky set that launches Moo’s line of square business cards, “created to help people to standout and showcase their creative passions, which are often separate from their daytime jobs.” The cards’ distinct shapes ensure that Superman, who is either too cool for eyeglasses or able to put on contacts incredibly fast while confined in a phone booth, won’t mistakenly hand out a Clark Kent card and blow his capeless cover.

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

Vik Muniz Designs Perrier-Jouët Bottle

muniz
From left, Perrier-Jouët’s Cellar Master Hervé Deschamps and Vik Muniz.

pj vm bottleVik Muniz has demonstrated his range with raw materials that range from diamonds and caviar to dust and recyclables plucked from the world’s largest garbage dump. The Brazilian artist’s latest project returned him to the luxe end of the spectrum, via Art Nouveau flourishes and blush-hued bubbles. Muniz designed the bottle for the 2005 vintage of Perrier-Jouët’s Cuvée Belle Epoque Rosé. The limited edition, released this month, began as a scene crafted from scraps of gold: a dreamy meeting of a gilded hummingbird and the Perrier-Jouët anemone that has graced every Belle Epoque bottle for more than a century. The scene was photographed and applied by Muniz to the Belle Epoque bottle via a gold plate on which the hummingbird—seemingly, depending on how much of the salmon-hued wine one has consumed to that point—flies toward the anemones in the foreground. Notes the artist, “Much as Perrier-Jouët has long embraced Art Nouveau’s love of nature and enchantment, I took the idea of captivation in a natural setting as the inspiration for this motif.”

Favorite Thing: Normal’s Bespoke Earphones

(James Ewing Photography)
(Photo: James Ewing)

Your personalized playlists deserve to be heard through tailor-made earphones. Treat yourself to a pair of Normals ($199, including shipping and tax), made using “nerdalicious software and 3D printing to sculpt each one-of-a-kind pair” by Normal. Ear measuring not required. The startup, based in a hybrid factory/retail store (pictured) “on the elf-ear-shaped island of Manhattan,” has created an app that makes getting fitted for your bespoke earbuds as easy as snapping a photo of each ear. “The result is a premium sound made for the strange pieces of cartilage on either side of your head,” notes founder Nikki Kaufman, a Princeton grad and veteran of Quirky. “And no one else’s.”

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.

Favorite Thing: rOtring 800+

800+In 1928, rOtring debuted the world’s first nibless fountain pen and laid the Bauhaus-influenced groundwork for a legacy in writing utensils. The latest addition to the German company’s collection of cult creative tools is the 800+. Created to enable designers to “think on paper + think on digital,” the ultraprecise mechanical pencil doubles as a stylus. Rationalize the price ($85.00) by considering its unique hybrid nature—and all the time and energy you’ll save not having to swap utensils as you go from paper to touchscreen.

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.
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Favorite Thing: Jack Headphone Stand

Nancy Lazarus journeyed to the Javits Center for the summer 2014 edition of NY NOW, the Market for Home + Lifestyle (formerly NYIGF) as the UnBeige judge for the Bloggers’ Choice Awards, which highlights “urgent, odd, and delightful design” from among the more than 150 exhibitors in the Accent on Design category. Here’s her pick.

jackWhile scouring the Accent on Design aisles of the NY NOW trade show, which wraps up today, we came across a product that literally stood out: the Jack Headphone Stand, our choice for the Bloggers’ Choice awards. Designed by Brooklyn-based ModProducts (a.k.a. ModKo), the Jack Headphone Stand is the optimal storage and recharging station for headphones and small mobile devices when it’s high time for a digital break. It’s made from polypropylene and rubber in orange, yellow, white, or gray, to fit the color scheme of any desk or night table. All wires remain hidden behind a cable pass-through, leaving you with a clutter-free space. The Jack will make its first stand at retail in time for the holiday shopping season.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

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