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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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Mediabistro Course

Create Your Own Website Using WordPress

Create Your Own Website Using WordPressStarting September 22, learn how to build a WordPress site with themes, plugins, and basic coding! Through lectures, assignments, and interactive online discussions, students will learn how to use the platform to publish pages, articles, and multimedia content, improve site navigation, and connect with the WordPress community. Register now!

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.

Smells Like…Architects! Sneak Peek at New Scent from Arquiste

architects club

Lions travel in prides and coyotes in bands, while owls gather wisely in parliaments and crows take flight in murders that are only occasionally bloody. But what is the appropriate collective when referring to architects? A pilaster of architects, perhaps? Or a cantilever? A keystone, maybe, or a spandrel? Mexican-born, New York-based Carlos Huber has settled on club, presumably the kind for belonging to rather than brandishing. The architect-turned-fragrance entrepreneur, who holds a master’s in historic preservation from Columbia, is preparing to launch the latest addition to his Arquiste line of scents: “The Club of Architects,” a woody-vanilla blend created by perfumer Yann Vasnier. The fragrance, now available for pre-order from the fine-smelling people at Aedes De Venustas, is meant to evoke a group of architects gathering in days gone by for a drink (or six) in the Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s in London. Think Art Deco splendor—dark woods, leather, velvet—meets gin fizz, a splash of citrus, and peals of laughter at jokes in which curtain walls figure prominently.

Favorite Thing: Dyson’s New Bladeless Fan

dyson fanIt was only a few years ago that James Dyson and his crack team of engineers (all of whom we like to imagine wearing jaunty striped shirts as they labor to incrementally yet significantly improve upon previously undesirable household appliances) debuted the Air Multiplier, a bladeless wonder that did for blowing what Dyson’s streamlined vaccuums did for sucking. A new range of the distinctively shaped fans is here, and it’s even cooler—literally.

Dubbed “Dyson Cool,” the new fans are up to 75% quieter than their predecessors, a fact that has not escaped the watchful ears of those at the delightfully named Noise Abatement Society, which has—with no bells and whistles—awarded its Quiet Mark to the new Air Multiplier technology. Dyson engineers managed to hush the fan by reducing the turbulence of high-velocity air, cancelling out specific tones: notably those buzzy ones at 1,000Hz, which are similar to the frequency of the noise produced by the incessant wing beats of mosquitoes. This feat was achieved in part by the addition of something called a “Helmholtz cavity,” which we like to imagine was also the name of a young Dyson’s garage band. The price for all of this innovation? Dyson estimates the R&D costs at $65 million. The desktop AM06 model will set you back $299.99, but you’ll be all the cooler for it.

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

Now Read This: David Zwirner’s Pop-Up Bookstore Returns

zwirnerbooksWhen the good people at David Zwirner e-mailed us with news of the gallery’s fifth annual summer pop-up bookstore, we briefly considered keeping the news to ourselves, so great is our obsession with admiration for many artists in the Zwirner stable (Luc Tuymans! Marlene Dumas! Richard Serra!). Somehow, we’ve managed to suppress our selfish impulses to let you know that for two weeks only—right this minute through Friday, August 1—Zwirner will offer up deals galore on a selection of rare and out-of-print books, signed artist catalogues, DVDs, and more. The David Zwirner Pop-Up Bookstore, hosted with ARTBOOK | D.A.P., will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and you know we’ll be there bright and early to ensure first dibs on anything and everything related to Michaël Borremans. OK, and we’ll probably hoard all the Neo Rauch stuff, too. Because all’s fair in love and pop-up bookstores.

The David Zwirner Pop-Up Bookstore is located at 525 West 19th Street in NYC.

Favorite Thing: Smencils

smecilsOur childhood was scented and colored by one Mr. Sketch, he of the jaunty beret and wonderfully smelly markers (we were partial to the bracing spearmint/green). The latest additions to our arsenal of fragrant writing utensils are Smencils, “gourmet-scented” pencils made of recycled newspaper. Flavors include Juicy Melon, Kinda Cola, and Razzleberry. To ensure fresh-smelling sketching, each Smencil comes tucked in its own tube made of corn-based, biodegradable plastic.

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.

Put a Balloon Dog on It! H&M ‘Collaborates’ with Jeff Koons

h&m

lisa perry koons“I have a little bit of the heebie-jeebies by ‘art inspired by fashion’—or art printed on fashion,” said designer Zac Posen during a recent on-stage conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Look no further than H&M’s new “fashion loves art collaboration” for an example of what Posen meant.

Last night the Swedish fast fashion juggernaut, the lead sponsor of the Whitney’s Jeff Koons-o-rama, inaugurated its new 57,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship by plastering the place with images of the artist’s monumental Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000). H&M has also printed an image of the celebrated Celebration series sculpture on a black leather handbag that it touts as “the ultimate art-meets-fashion statement from the ultimate post-pop artist.”
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Favorite Thing: MZ Wallace’s Artists for Haiti Tote Returns

mz wallaceArtist Raymond Pettibon‘s enchanting scrawl, a very good cause, and sequins: a more appealing trio of reasons to purchase a new tote bag we have not encountered. The accessories wizards over at MZ Wallace have gone into their capacious bag vault (which we imagine to be a milky white, high-ceilinged affair that smacks of Richard Gluckman) to reissue their Artists for Haiti tote, created in 2011 to raise funds for the nonprofit that supports education and health charities in Haiti. All proceeds from sales of the $175 nylon bag—originally in black and now in a creamy khaki dusted with bronze sequins and featuring Pettibon’s lettering on the leather handles—will benefit programs endowed by Artists for Haiti.

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

Derk Reilink Redesigns Tape Dispenser with ‘ClickTape’

ClickTape_usingit

ClickTape_Derk_ReilinkUnwilling to cede precious desktop real estate to a bulky, weighted tape dispenser nor to look upon the unsightly clear plastic one that accompanies a roll, we’ve long relegated tape to the drawer, where it spends its days in the company of foreign coins, our second-favorite scissors, and a thicket of novelty USB flash drives. Derk Reilink knew there had to be a better way.

The Dutch designer took on the challenge of building a better tape dispenser as part of his graduate studies in industrial design and engineering at the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands. “I started to experiment with basic shapes and found the shape of the tape itself to be the best shape for the dispenser,” Reilink tells us. “By taking out a section of the ring shape I could create a symmetric chain-linked design.” The result is ClickTape, a minimalist dispenser that is useful and portable—think of it as the practical, low-key sibling of the bottle for Bulgari’s Omnia fragrance.
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MZ Wallace Teams with Food52 to Build a Better Market Tote

mzw

New York City-based MZ Wallace is our go-to source for smartly designed, beautifully made bags in materials ranging from seasonless leather and sturdy canvas to quilted nylon and metallic Kevlar—in weights and colors that change with the seasons (we’re partial to a full-bodied shade of gray they call “seagull” and keep the UnBeige fleet of iPads sheathed in MZW printed haircalf pouches, but this summer is all about the Pollock-style Metro Tote). Now the company has joined forces with online culinary commmity Food52 to design a better market tote: ideally used to whisk just-picked produce from farmstand to kitchen, we suspect it will work just as well hauling more conventional groceries. But what color should it be? They’ve narrowed the field of chromatic contenders to forest green and navy blue, and the winning hue will be decided by an online vote. Make your preference known by Monday at 11:59 p.m. and be entered to win a tote before it’s released this fall.

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