Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Add GIF animations of Cardinal Tetras swimming in a loop, to your blog. The site is in Japanese. Unless you can read the language, scroll down for the HTML script. Just copy, paste and enjoy!

for more mindless downloads, check out the Uniqlo Calendar.
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Transformer boxes are painted with silhouettes of Ultraman monsters, on the streets of Sukagawa (Fukushima prefecture) in Japan, the hometown of sci-fi special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya (who was the FX director for the Godzilla movies).

(as seen on PinkTentacle)
+  more 'intensity' with Tadanori Yokoo 

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From the amazing Culver City based team of Capacity (who recently completed the very 'cable' network package for NBC), here's a look at their anime adventure. Enjoy.

MOVIE as seen on Boards
Capacity - Upgrade Mobilize

+  we also liked Kosai Sekine 
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Monday, September 28, 2009


Last month, we featured a Lego House  being built in the UK. Sadly, the wonderful project has come to a crashing end. UK television personality James May who steered the project, saw to its completion but was unable to find a buyer. The main goal was to transfer the entire building to a legal site since there was no permission to build on the current site, in the first place. It seems Legoland showed some interest but the high cost of transportation diminished their interest in the project. The 3.3 million bricks will however, be donated to charity. Here is a gallery of the final product and its demolition.

+  read more about the house HERE
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Created by Rymdreglage - Daniel Larsson and Tomas Redigh.
+  more lego adventures HERE

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Designed by Romain Delambily with music by Paul Malburet, and powered by Allan Durand, Incredibox is an addictive and mindless site, featuring a series of looped audio samples you drag and drop onto sleepy eyed characters. Looking like a Beatles cartoon (remember that TV series?), each new character may be associated with loops which include an instrument, percussions, chorus and voices. There are even 2 bonus intermissions containing new characters plus a shuffle mode.

Ah, the things we do for repetition.
+ more 'mindless' entertainment. This time with some undead characters from Japan. 
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Sunday, September 27, 2009


Swedish student designer Mae Yokoyama  invents a new way of harnessing the sun's power, and still look good doing it. Ultra thin solar panels cradle your neck and shoulders, harnessing energy during the day. Come nightfall (if you're still wearing them), your face gets an accent light via tiny LEDs disguised as pearls, everywhere you go in the dark of night. Lighting you up like a Christmas tree!

"Turning energy into beauty."
 We like eco-chic. Might come in handy at Halloween. (Photographer: 1 and 2 Andreas Nyquist, 3 Mae Yokoyama)
+  for a more subtle adornment, try jewelry that gets you where you want to go.
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2008 ad campaign expounding the benefits of a Visa debit card. Brilliantly photographed by Dan Tobin Smith but I am unsure about the campaigns messaging and its success. Still, worth a look.

Photography : Dan Tobin Smith
Set Design : Rachel Thomas
Art Direction : TBWA Chiat Day
Retouching : Martin Pryor

get your 'head'-line analyzed HERE 
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Saturday, September 26, 2009


Move over Segway (P.U.M.A.), here comes the next generation of compact personal movers, the U3-X from Honda. Looking like a very modern unicycle, you simply place your body weight in the direction you would like to go, even sideways. The single wheel on the U3-X is made up of many tiny motor-controlled wheels, packed inside the bigger wheel, allowing the device to swerve in any direction. Topping out at a top speed of 3.7 mph, Honda hopes one day, the small, safe and unobtrusive device will be zipping up and down streets and even indoors. The U3-X weighs in at under 22 lbs, runs on a fully charged lithium-ion battery for an hour, and requires a minimum height of 5 ft to operate. (Wait a minute, how about maximum weight or how wide someone's a**...oh never mind)

Video showing the workings of the uni-wheel plus a demo, below.

There are currently no plans for marketing the device but Honda plans to debut the U3-X at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009. (BTW the man demonstrating the device in the pictures is the Honda President Takanobu).
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(Hmmm I guess I'm on some eco-trip this weekend)
Here are 2 new cellular products geared towards the eco-chic, carbon footprint conscious, Hybrid driving 'Loca'-vores  out there.

Novothink's Surge  is a hybrid solar charger case you attach your iPhone and iPod Touch too. The integrated solar panel on the back of the case allows you to charge your device solely from sunpower without the need for any other energy source. However, for convenience, there is an additional USB cable that can help charge it should the sun suddenly disappear! Retails for $70 available from their site.  (There are similar products already in the market, like this charger available for $27  from Amazon)

sidebar : I am not an iPhone person. I just thought this would be a good eco alternative to providing 'joos' for your device. Maybe one day, I'll give in. Until then I am cell-free by default :)

Samsung/Sprint's Reclaim  is a new eco-conscious smart phone, primarily made of corn-based bio-plastics, 80% recyclable and apparently, is chock full of nifty features.

"Although there may be some criticism on the sustainability factor of the maize-made material, you can’t deny that Samsung has made giant efforts to produce a product that is not only green, but also services the needs of today’s consumer. Most of us rely on our cellular telephone as a way of staying connected to the different types of communication we have grown accustomed to, and thankfully the people at Samsung equipped the Reclaim with a QWERTY keyboard, 3G network, GPS and one-click access to social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. They have also eliminated the paper manual and its recyclable packaging is printed with soy-based ink. In addition to the “green” materials used to produce this phone, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse also announced that $2 of every Reclaim’s sale would go to the Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program." - inhabitat.com. Retails for $49.99.

sidebar : a step in the right direction for others to follow. Apple, your move?

+  if the sun starts to heat things up in the near future, we just might have to start burrowing. 
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New word. New diet. New goal?
Coined by Jessica Prentice from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005, Wikipedia defines Locavore as “someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles.”

Why become a Locavore?

You help the environment. Decreasing the distance food travels releases less carbon emissions, and small farms often plant diverse crops which reduce soil degradation.

You help out farms. Over 90¢ of every dollar you spend at a farmers market goes directly to the farmer who produced the food. When you buy produce at a grocery store, vegetables farmers get only 21¢ of your dollar.

How to become one?
Join a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) group, eat in season, request it at grocery stores, start small and plan your meals. The USDA defines a CSA as “a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation…in return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season.”

A few tips:
Don’t be scared of a little dirt on your vegetables. Ask questions. You may be surprised to find that your organic apple from Whole Foods traveled three thousand miles to reach the store. Try new foods. Remember that even if something is in a package and looks clean, it might not be healthy. Trust your local farmer instead.

(the above was adapted from an article by Gina Marie Cheeseman for Jolly Green Girl)
+  and when you get some local bacon, here's a guilty pleasure.

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"Ever wonder what happens when we toss old cell phones in the trash? Take the paper we read in the morning, and the jeans and t-shirts we wear. Have you ever considered what impacts these products have on the environment, from beginning to end? INFORM’s Secret Life Series is a collection of videos that highlight the environmental impacts of everyday products we all use."

The Secret Life of Cell Phones was created by Azimuth Media and Off Ramp Films.
see also the secret life of a volcano, Kilauea! 

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Friday, September 25, 2009


Learn Something Every Day  is a self-initiated daily project created by a immensely talented design studio based in the UK, Young. Users are invited to submit lesser known facts, which are then interpreted into doodle-like illustrations, posted onto their site daily. "The best fact will be made into a super special poster at the beginning of each month, with the winner getting a free poster."

Do check out their design work and portfolio on their site.  Some excellent work.
+  explore the work of a hairdresser turned designer Dima Loginoff 
PH •


It seems British Airways truly dig Darth Vader's management skills and leadership qualities.
In a recent article published in their Business Life site , they go on to highlight his more positive attributes which make him an 'unlikely business guru'. Indeed. Here are some salient points:

His underlings were undoubtedly devoted to him, "excusing his occasional lapses of mood — a strategy that stood Apple boss Steve Jobs in good stead as he created an empire built on cutting edge, planet-changing technology."

Perhaps his sense of style and that mask enabled an air of mystery. "If people can’t read your face and don’t know what you’re thinking, they can experience an uncomfortable sensation that puts them on the back foot — perhaps US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s famous bob and huge dark glasses were influenced by Darth back in the 1970s…"

Lord Vader, like any good leader, is "decisive, swift to act, has a variety of skills (he doesn’t just sit behind a desk, he gets out and flies a fighter ship alongside his junior pilots) and is driven by an insatiable desire to succeed."

Unfortunately, he's human too. Well, behind the mask at least. He allowed family issues to clooud his judgement and, "in the end, revealed himself as a sentimental pussycat and showed a modicum of remorse as the empire crumbled. Sometimes, you just can’t let the mask slip."

"HR would have a field day with the Star Wars villain, what with his bullying and torture of staff who displease him. Not to mention the corporate responsibility and PR problems that go along with building something called the Death Star."

more Lord Vader (vs Eddie Izzard/Lego) 
crazy Vader Robotic Arm for sale HERE 

PH •

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here's a collection of images that don't need any introduction because they either say a lot or have nothing really to say. Actually they're the bottom of the barrel, the leftovers while cleaning up my folders, the Table Scraps. Enjoy the inspiration!

care for a swim in your dumpster ?
+  how about a 3-way, Eames style ?
• PH


Google API's are no longer just for encoders and programmers. With the advent of Web 2.0 and the availability of Google's 'on-board' tools, companies and individuals are conjuring up mashups of digital creativity. Whether it's marketing their online store through an adaptation of Google Maps or the use of YouTube Annotations to create their website, these experiments of customization and remixing are definitely the ones to watch, in the near future.

Here are 3 good examples:

Uniqlo 1000 makes use of the Google Maps API and Flash video to show people all across Tokyo trying on their clothing in a creative way.

North Carolina-based ad agency BooneOakley makes use of YouTube annotations to create their website entirely within YouTube videos.

I think this is a great alternative to 'About Us' pages on design house websites. Gives them something to do!

+  try out an online Typography tool, WORDLE .
• PH

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I miss Gil. 'He funny!' This one's dedicated to Frances Schifrin.

+  more animal hijinks

• PH

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


...or オオカミとブタ!
This is brilliant. A stop motion adventure by YouTuber "dokugyunyu". Check out his (or her) site too.
more stop motion, this time by Thiago Maia.



Yet another RAM intensive app you really don't need but WANT! This time it's the UNIQLO CALENDAR that's available for download (I think. The instructions are confusing) I love the way the time lapse is shot; the way everything looks minature and how humans appear 'avatar'-like.

+  just in case you missed it the first time, here's the Uniqlo Clock.
• PH


Thomas Boerboom is a designer from the Netherlands. As his site is still under construction, there wasn't much information I could gather about this very 'different' project. Nice photography. He did however blurb a little about his little feathered friend, the budgie.
"I've examined to what extent it is possible for humans and animals to come closer together, and how to realise that. As a result of my research I tried to become best friends with a budgie. In the end this resulted into an instruction guide as well as an instruction dvd in wich I demonstrate step by step how to become best friends with a budgie. The guide consist of three chapters; communication, body language and recreation. By means of observation and imitation I've implemented these three terms to create a band between me and my budgie."
more images of birds and other animals, see Charley Harper

• PH


Space Shower TV
is Japan’s largest cable/satellite music channel. Here are 2 spots/IDs; "We Love Music, We Love Peace" created by Kōki Tange (Yellow Brain) and "Guitar" directed by Koichiro Tsujikawa.
+  I love Hirst
• PH 


I'm all about new modes of moving humans around efficiently, producing small (carbon) footprints, here and there.
I doubt if Oneone is going to be around soon but this Segway P.U.M.A. might just be zipping into your parking spot (a fraction of it) in the closer future. Looking like a cross between a wheelchair and a horse-drawn carriage (without a laboring beast), at least this evolution of the Segway doesn't have one towering above other pedestrians, looking like a busker on stilts/wheels.
My one concern though is safety, especially on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where douchebags run amok in their gas guzzling SUVs, flouting the 'no cellphone' rule. The original (tall) segways might enable higher visibility but when the design starts to involve seats and windshields, you start to become 'more like' the other car drivers and motorists. And without ABS brakes or a protective shell, I'd probably only drive this around the farm! Meh.

from Dapper Scout:
"As a technology collaboration between Segway and General Motors, the Segway P.U.M.A. Prototype represents the next step in the evolution of the personal urban transportation vehicle and as of now, it’s the only one of its kind.  The Segway P.U.M.A. is currently configured for two people and features a proprietary dynamic stabilization system that uses angular rate sensors and accelerometers to identify orientation and send power to the motors, as necessary, to ensure proper acceleration and balance.  The P.U.M.A. has a top speed between 25 – 35 mph and an approximate travel range of 25 – 35 miles.  An intuitive steering console allows users to accelerate and brake by simply pushing away or pulling in the steering console as appropriate.  And with a Lithium Ion battery and regenerative braking capabilities, the Segway P.U.M.A. is both cost efficient and environmentally friendly, requiring only about $0.60 worth of electricity for a full charge."

+  read more about this HERE
• PH

Monday, September 21, 2009


Architects: Matsys Design

Year: 2009
Location: 37°46′20.10″N, 117°31′57.38″W
Exhibition: Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates at the University of Toronto
Description: In Frank Herbert’s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel” and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.


Japanese town logos - official symbols designed to communicate the identity of each municipality — come in a vast array of shapes and colors. Many of these municipal symbols incorporate typographical elements (particularly kanji, hiragana, katakana, and Roman letters) into their designs. In most cases, the stylized characters are straightforward and easy to spot (even if you don’t read Japanese), but sometimes you have to bend your eyes to see them. The more complex logos encode the name of the town into a puzzle-like symbol that begs to be deciphered. Here are a few typographic town logos that make clever use of hiragana and katakana characters.

The design although modern could well be inspired by the family crests or Mon used in the Tokugawa Shogunate era, still widely used today. The next time you enter a Japanese restaurant with the short curtains draping the entrance, look for the symbols on each panel. If it's a reputable (traditional) establishment, they should be able to tell you what those symbols stand for.

(original article from PinkTentacle)
+  be more inspired with 39 Visions.

• PH •

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Photographer Jan Verburg shoots skinny fashion girls with Russian circus freaks a la 1995 MTV Europe VMAs. Well almost. Spread found in Buffalo Magazine.

+  more moody photography with Jeremy Cowart

• PH •


An amazing designer and a good friend of mine, Frances Schifrin is also an ardent reader (sigh I wish I could have her patience). Here are 3 books she recommends:

+   The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Fantastic book! Has all the elements and more that make it a incredible crime novel. The first 25 or so pages are tough to read. But keep going! It gets so good that you can't put it down. A complex novel, with elements surrounding modern day computer technology, stock markets, and magazine journalism is juxtaposed by finding out about a crime that occurred in 1966. You fall in love with the characters as you battle their journey to unveil the truth.
Frances rates this 3.5 out of 5. (Own it for $16.47).

+   My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Great great book. Jodi Picoult is an unbelievable contemporary writer dealing with tough issues of today. She raises a lot of questions. And each paragraph ends with a profound physiological intensity. The ending without revealing is...
Frances rates this 4 out of 5. (Own it for $19.40)

+   Little Bee : A Novel by Chris Cleave
I was so surprised by this book I had no idea what it was about when I bought it. A story about a little Nigerian girl and her journey of survival. Warning: This is a gut wrenching book filled with sadness and beauty.
Frances gives this book 4 out of 5 too. (Own it for $16.32)

Thanks Caca for your helpful reviews.
+  if you missed Wallander on PBS, read the books - brilliant sleuthing!


Ladies and gentlemen, may I present THE designer of all that Mad Men 50's illustrations you love...Ms. Dyna Moe ! Yes here she is in all her glory. (Thank you Frances Schifrin for the contrib). If you're like me, you'll want to click every thumbnail and savor every frame (and desktop wallpaper) that Ms. Moe has created and posted on every social network, from her flickr page to her site. Enjoy!

(BTW it's Emmy night, Congratulations Mad Men!)
+  in case you missed Mad Men-ing yourself the first time around, here's Dyna Moe's spiffy online tool again. We love you Ms. Moe!

• PH •


Joey Ellis
created these 'scary' monsters, to teach his son the alphabet. Joey is a graphic designer and illustrator for Hawse Design in Charlotte, NC and loves Walt Disney.
"My son James is beginning to study letter forms. He's a visual kid (as most kids are) and really likes monsters. So, I designed some Letter Monsters to help him in his studies. I'd like to share these Letter Monsters with others who may be learning their letters."

+ you can view the entire typeface on Joey's Flickr 
+  check out some old skool artwork HERE


The Sears Tower in Chicago opened its new set of glass balconies for public viewing. “The Ledge,” as they’re collectively called, hangs 1,353 ft in the air. With transparent walls and ceilings, visitors say its like floating in the sky, and the view is, of course, spectacular. Apparently the glass floor can withstand five tons, but just to be safe, jumping up and down is probably not advised.


Campaign created for Disney MGM's Star Wars Weekend. We like.

+  more Star Wars HERE and HERE
: PH


MUSIC VIDEO : Maledict Car by Jemapur
DIR : Kosai Sekine

Yes we've all seen the kaleidoscope/reflection technique used extensively in film and television. In Jemapur's trippy music video, Kosai Sekine employs this effect creating new dimensions, new worlds and perspectives of everyday life, people and places. Fantastical yet simple.

+ evoking a similar feeling - Röyksopp's Happy Up Here.

: PH

Saturday, September 19, 2009


5 short videos reveal a Tokyo neighborhood in transition. Monzen-Nakacho lies low, laced by canals that flow into Tokyo Bay. A refuge from bustling Tokyo life yet now experiencing a change which includes fewer children, dying businesses and a lack of faith.



I discovered Charley Harper years ago, while thumbing through a copy of Dwell. I was drawn in.

Mr. Harper's clean and simple representation of animals, objects, and environments coupled with a subdued palette, take on more than just an iconic or typographic appearance. They capture a movement or gesture of an animal, bringing his illustrations to life. Whether it's a crocodile sitting quietly in the water, waiting for its prey or even the provoked behavior of a finch, as it battles with its reflection, Charley Harper conveyed these moments of nature, exquisitely.
"When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe."

Mr. Harper passed on in 2007. He was 84. His legacy lives on in a book by Todd Oldham "CHARLEY HARPER AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE" (get this book and other publications by Mr. Parker at My Amazon Store for $32.97). Here too is a short movie that showcases the artist and his work.

A true genius.

+  savor more delightful work from Aardman with Creature Discomforts.

•> PH