Monday, May 24, 2010


You still have couple of days to catch Philippe Halsman's exhibition JUMP in Laurence Miller Gallery, New York.

Quirky and fun-filled series of fifty vintage photographs were taken by Philippe Halsman five decades ago of movie stars, politicians, royalty, entertainers, artists, and authors, all jumping before Mr. Halsman’s camera. He called the series “Jumpology.” The extended series has never before been exhibited in New York.

Philippe Halsman, with an unsurpassed 101 LIFE magazine covers to his credit, had the bold and unconventional idea back in the 1950’s to ask the famous and prominent people he was commissioned to photograph for the likes of LIFE, LOOK and the Saturday Evening Post, once the formal sessions were over, to jump! The results were amazing, as each subject interpreted this bizarre request in their own unique way, often defying their typical public image. We see Richard Nixon as he floats twelve inches above the floor with a peaceful smile on his face, a far cry from the scowl many of us ultimately remember him by. And there is the rather large Jackie Gleason, in a handsome dark suit and his fingers extended wide, defying gravity as he lifts off, and from somewhere off-camera we can’t help but hear “To the moon, Alice.”

Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Salvador Dali, Weegee, Jack Dempsey and even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor agreed to take a leap of faith. In that era of live television along with the popularity of the big glossy magazines, one’s image was not nearly as protected and shaped by handlers as it is today. There was a feeling of innocence, a desire for spontaneity, and Halsman, with his playful and charming personality, knew he had to get almost everyone to oblige his demand: JUMP!

Philippe Halsman was born in Latvia in 1906, and began his photographic career in Paris in the early 1930’s. He emigrated to New York in the fall of 1940, as Paris fell to the Nazis. He soon became one of the most prominent photographers in America, his photographs published widely and regularly. He died in 1979. His photographs have been collected and exhibited by museums around the world.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Our friends from a10studio, with offices in Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City, has sent us an exciting news about their recent work. It's a project they did for The Museum of Agriculture in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Agricultural production is one of the most internationally recognized emblems of Mexico, and particularly of the State of Sinaloa. The state of Sinaloa is known as the "granary of Mexico" because it is the producer of a big variety of food. Its efficient fields have become national leaders in their yields.

Because the economy of Sinaloa is sustained by its agricultural activities, the project seeks to recognize it and promote it, through a work that displays objects related to branches of technology, history of agriculture and agronomy as well as agricultural ways which sustain the economy of Sinaloa. Through the creation of the Museum of Agriculture the city government tries to allow the public to learn more about the forms of production in the locality, while recognizing both the agricultural practice as such, and those who make possible such a noble activity.

Project Brief


Through agriculture, man has colonized the territory for centuries, creating irrigation systems and by planting with geometric laws. He has de-naturalized the natural areas through the planting of natural elements; the distance that is between the planted trees or plants depends on both the size of the crop itself as the collection systems used. Each plantation produces a texture and color over the territory.

Agriculture industrializes, the landscape urbanizes.

a10studio proposal's outside is as important as the inside. There are no objects and an external reality, but a continuum between forms that wrap and un-wrap, that close and open, that focus and serve as a focus. The architecture as this, expanded in reality, in the middle, through the environment, is an extension. The environment in which it appears is a field.

They present 3 key strategies for the development of the project:

_Operative Topographies


_Active Ecology

The spectacle of nature and city become now comparable.


Based on the topographic analysis of the site, we suggests a strategy of folding, cutting and movement of the territory. Such movements define platforms developed as programmatic scenarios, functional plateaus exacerbating their flexible surface condition, either as slipped and extended surfaces [dynamic soil], or as extruded surfaces [located reliefs]. In both cases it is manipulated landscapes that refer to the nature of vacant spaces, and ultimately, the very definition of landscape as a background, as construction and stage at the same time: landscapes within landscapes.

The ground respond to a willingness to overlap, the reliefs to an interlock.

These topographies form in any case, new geographies on the ground; mineral and vegetal landscapes in which the movements and flows are articulated by a manipulated geography and a generated space.


We are used to think of architecture in function of the place, meaning that it could find the keys with which to tackle the project. There are many ways to anchor to the site. The whole place has gone from being understood as a landscape, whether natural or artificial, and it has ceased to be the neutral ground on which man-made architectural objects stand out, to become the object of primary interest and focus of attention. Thus, changing the point of view, the landscape loses its momentum and becomes an object of possible transformations, both at the architectural level, neighborhood and city-level.

The architecture starts a process of artificial blurring with an obvious interest in incorporating a natural condition, both in terms of composition as constructive (proposed construction system of rammed earth walls, to emphasize the use of existing assets in the site as well as develop strategies for sustainability and passive ecotechniques), in search for environmental sensitivity and a formal complexity that responds precisely to the values of the Culiacan society.

The project seeks to build a complete redefinition of the place, offering primarily the invention of a topography. So with this double movement, from the nature to the project and from the project to nature, we seek to rescue a "ecomonumental” condition.

An architectural proposal characterized by:

- Address both what is between things as things in themselves: public space [a hall, a plaza, a terrace] is therefore the primary object.

- The identification of the variability, the change as a key ingredient of architecture. With emphasis on the design of objects rather than the definition of definitive architectural programs.

- The commitment between scales. The project its determined and affects many areas beyond those granted by reason of mere physical contiguity. A project with translation capability, traveling between scales.

- Understand and feel simultaneously different scales and fields of perception and action.

- Acting on the near, immediate, tactile, and understand at the same time many other receptacles and dimensions that get modified with user actions, it is a flexible work program for the upcoming years.


To the old nostalgic or pseudobucolic ecology (freezing landscapes, territories and environments) we propose a bold ecology; reclassified to be reformulated. Based not in a fearful and non-intervention purely defensive -resistant- but in a no-tax, projective and rating -(re)promotive- intervention in synergy with the environment and also with new technologies. Not only possibilities but (re)positivist.

a10studio proposes:

- An ecology where sustainability means interaction.

- Where Nature is is also artificiality.

- Where the landscape is topography.

- Where energy is information and technology the vehicle to development.

- Where development is recycling and evolution is genetic.

- Where environment is the field.

Where retain involve always intervene.

The selection of vegetal species to exhibit took into account the degree of maintenance as well as the main agricultural products of the state of Sinaloa and the natural species of native vegetation. In this way we achieve that public space becomes in a same gesture an inside museum-park-public space. Presenting the exhibiting object in real time with their processes and characteristics of agricultural activity, where the user can directly see how these are conducted and its temporality. Species selection also took into consideration the color palette that these species may have throughout the year generating a "living park" an ever-changing exhibition and intervention which always seem dynamic and not static representation of agricultural processes.


architectural project: a10studio + lab07

project team: Mariano Arias-Diez, Luis Alarcón, Carlos Marín, Hugo Sánchez, Mia Modak

type: institutional, museum and park

location: Culiacan, Sinaloa (Mexico)

area: 45,000 m2

project year: 2010

client: Instituto Municipal de Planeacion (IMPLAN) de Culiacan

status: Competition finalist


landscape architecture: Hugo Sánchez / ENTORNO taller de paisaje

structural engineer: Ing. Fernando Alvarez / Construcciones FASA

rendering and digital visualization: Carlos Marín / lab07

lighting design: a10studio

contact a10studio:

_Sierra Guadarrama 85-1, Col. Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico .D.F 11000, Mexico

_Isla Santa Catarina, Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

tel. +(55), +(624)



Check out the story boards. We love how the thought has been put to every single detail:


Monday, May 17, 2010

Peppersmith chewing gum with clever packaging

Two friends, Mike and Dan, started a refreshing business and presented a refreshing chewing gum Peppersmith. They've set a bunch of noteworthy values and promise that while they can't promise they'll do everything perfect they do promise they'll always do their best to do the things right. As far as we can see, they're doing great. I'm personally not a big fan of chewing gums, however, for Peppersmith I'd be willing to give them a second chance. The natural gum + intelligent design packaging wins me over every time.

Sweetened with wood sugar from beech trees and peppermint grown in Hampshire (there are also no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or aspartame), it's touted as the first British all-natural chewing gum that's also approved by the British Dental Health Foundation. Besides that, the packaging itself will make you buy at least one pack of Peppersmith. Each box slides out of its case to reveal a moustachioed icon like Salvador Dali and Charlie Chaplin – the moustache being a sly riff on the company's stylised mint leaf logo. Lovely attention to the details (and very useful one) is that they equipped each gum case with small slips of Post-It-like paper to wrap up used gum.

Currently available in peppermint flavor, coming soon you'll also be able to try Peppersmith in Spearmint, Cinnamon and Fish & Chips (huh?). If you've tried them, let us know how they taste.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BETTER CITY, BETTER LIFE - Shanghai Expo 2010, UK Pavilion

We absolutely love the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010. Mastermind behind it is Heatherwick Studios, run by acclaimed architect Thomas Heatherwick.

The Pavilion's design seeks to engage meaningfully with the Expo's theme, "Better City, Better Life". It veers from the expected trend of digitally-driven pavilions and explores the relationship between nature and cities. The Pavilion is made up of two interlinked elements, the Seed Cathedral and a multilayered landscape covering 6,000 square meters.

The cathedral itself is 20 meters high and is formed from 60,000 7.5 meter-long transparent fiber optic rods, which draw light into the interior by day and at night become illuminated via inside light sources. The rods, or "optic hairs," also sway in response to the wind to bring dynamism to the structure. The overall design riffs off the mission of London's Kew Garden Millennium Seedbank, which seeks to collect the seeds of 25% of the world's plant species by 2020. It sits on a multilayered landscape continues the cathedral's texture, covering 6,000 square meters. Made of a special artificial grass, it is intended to be a welcoming and restful space for Expo visitors.

Heatherwick Studios won the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office's commission to create the Pavilion, besting other top name competitors like Zaha Hadid Architects, John McAslan + Partners, Marks Barfield Architects, Avery Associates, and DRAW Architects with dcmstudios.

Shanghai Expo runs from May 1 to October 31, 2010. See also our article on EXPO 67.

See the video. It lasts 10 mins, but it's worth it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rock Me Baby

The summer has arrived to Baja California Sur. With an average of 86 F / 30 C in May there are several ways to enjoy your day. The best one (obviously) is at the beach... And the other, our personal favorite, is at your garden, on a hammock, with a nice easy drink (mojito, michelada, a glass of wine or a fresh lemonade...) reading your favorite book and listening to some nice tunes, like The Bird and The Bee.

Today we fell in love with this knotted hanging chair by Anthropologie .

See also a hanging chair from collection Garden of Eden by Ontwerpduo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Windcuts [] consists of various experiments that turn quantitative sensor data into visually compelling physical instantiations. Wind movement measurement data, such as wind direction, velocity and temperature, was used as the foundation to generate a 3D form, which was then physically drilled out of a piece of wood.

The direction of the physical line corresponds with the direction of the wind. The width and speed of movement reflects the wind speed. The temperature is mapped unto the height. The materials ‘surface plateau’ height represents zero degrees Celsius. So when the shape dips below the surface, it means the wind’s below zero degrees.

Images and articles first seen on el conTEXTO

Monday, April 26, 2010

Origami soap packaging by La Compagnie de Provence

Sometimes the best surprises come in little packages. To coincide with its 20th birthday, Compagnie de Provence has added a substantial 180g version of its iconic vegetable soaps to the ranks.

Each bar, made according to Marseille tradition from local natural ingredients, comes with a tiny instruction card so that once undone, its wrapper can be transformed into an ocean-inspired piece of origami.

With eight fragrances to choose from, there's an entire menagerie waiting to be revealed, from swans to sea lions, and even a whale. Designed by Studio Plastac .

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Future of Reading: Popular Science+ on Mag+

We love to read. We do it on-line, but we also love to hold the printed book or a magazine in our hands and flip through pages, smell the ink... As internet and new media devices develop and offer more engaged reading experience - as for example now new iPad, reading on-line becomes more and more attractive. True, you can't smell the ink (yet), but there are some projects at work which are making on-line reading (or reading on a device) more and more appealing. We have been writing already about digital magazines as seen by Mag+, and we've got an exciting letter from them - their fist Mag+ digital magazine is live: Popular Science+.

Mag+, Bonnier’s digital magazine platform, is a project that began months ago in a collaboration between Bonnier’s global R&D task force and BERG, a London-based design studio. It is now an ongoing project across all Bonnier titles in the U.S. and Europe to rethink the way magazines can be read on a new generation of full-color, touchscreen tablet devices. It’s been a fascinating journey with only 60 days available since Apple announced the iPad in San Francisco. They’ve had 6 editorial teams in 3 countries working together to re-imagine the form of magazines. The feedback from the Mag+ video was encouraging and since then they have been deconstructing tons of magazines, used more whiteboard space than any project before and building many many prototypes. They can be really proud of what they've have achieved together with the PopularScience+. And - without a doubt - there is a lot more to come.

Their design vision was to create a digital magazine, which should feel like if you are touching the actual magazine, using your natural body language – not looking through the screen and layers of buttons.

Popular Science +, the first digital magazine to emerge from Bonnier's Mag+, is a new way of experiencing magazines on digital devices and a first step toward our vision of what digital magazine reading can be. The Popular Science+ digital magazine features simple, fluid swiping motions let readers move horizontally through stories, while vertical scrolling allows them to read an article without interruption or distraction. In the app's unique Look mode, users can tap the screen to make the words disappear, highlighting the magazine's big, bold photos and illustrations. Another tap returns to Read mode.

The Bonnier Mag+ platform and the Popular Science+ magazine are based on 6 design principles:

1. Silent mode. Magazines are a luxury that readers can lose themselves in. Mag + has fewer distractions than the Web. It allows readers to lean back, away from the browser, and just focus on the bold images and rich storytelling. Reduced complexity increases a reader's immersion.
2. Fluid motion. Magazines are easy to browse, and Mag+ replicates that with a story-to-story navigation that's more like a panning camera than a flipping page. As we say, "Flow is the new flip."
3. Designed pages. Magazines are defined by their carefully conceived layouts that give readers an immediate understanding of the content and why it matters to them, a quality that got lost on magazine Web sites. Mag+ brings design back to digital publishing.
4. Defined beginning and end. Unlike the Web, magazines have a defined storyline and flow from front to back. Mag + returns to the notion that something can be, and wants to be, completed. It's the end of endlessness.
5. issue-based delivery. One of the great joys of magazines is that feeling of anticipation when a new one arrives. Mag+ maintains that by delivering full issues at once with all the same content as the print edition, and on the same schedule.
6. Advertising as content. Relevant, attractive advertising is as much a part of the magazine experience as the editorial content, and Bonnier wants Mag+ advertising to include both pin-ups and applications readers can appreciate.

Mag+ live with Popular Science+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Follow Bonnier and Mag+ here:, and check out Popular Science+ digital magazine on iTunes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Sweat - Exercises for Gentlemen

The reprint of a century old fitness manual for working man "Exercises for Gentlemen. 50 Exercises to Do With Your Suit On." inspired a fashion shoot inside the headquarters of The New York Times. We love the photo shoot and idea, photos by Matthew Kristall.

About the book:

Laugh your way to a better you! For those too busy to go to the gym, try some of the fitness advice provided in this 1908 classic revisited. In today’s challenging business environment, the achieving executive needs every possible advantage, fitness included.

If gym fees and personal trainers do not fit into your schedule or budget, Exercises for Gentlemen offers just what the trainer would have ordered. With excerpts and original illustrations from The School of Health—the classic health reference of the early 1900s—here is a "practical course in physical culture" designed as a fitness program not even requiring a pair of exercise shorts, let alone joining a health club.

What results is both an entertaining glimpse of times gone by, and an exercise regime ideally suited to the modern man with neither the time nor the inclination to change clothes when he steps out from the busy office. This book contains detailed guidance on everything from knee bends and arm bends to proper posture, bathing, and homeopathic remedies—all to be taken with a suitable dose of humor.

A daily regime of a mere fifteen minutes of be-suited exercise is guaranteed to "reduce undue fullness at the waist, square the shoulders, round out the arms, improve leg development, and, in short, make a more graceful, strong, and symmetrical man."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gone With the Wind

Milan is so hot right now! And we're in love with Nika Zupanc's newest collection Gone with the Wind, featured at Milan´s International Design Fair 2010 (Salone Internacionale del Mobile) as well.

Collection information by Nika:

This year’s edition of Superstudio Più will again be marked by the intriguing spirit of Nika Zupanc. With her exhibition Gone with the Wind, Nika Zupanc continues to be sincere while uncovering the excuses for a socially acceptable status quo.

By positioning archetypes that are considered feminine in the carefully selected centers of public attention, her chillingly beautiful forms become emerging reference points. Her battles are of a higher style, and so the presence of famous female literary heroines remains mandatory.

The entry point to the world of Nika Zupanc – a frame for her gallery and a prism for readings of her work – is also a metaphorical structure. It is a tiny house driven by toy-like windmills on the outside and with a big bang of connota- tions from the inside.

The Wind Pavilion stands as an icon evoking a sense for nature. With it, Nika Zupanc embraces the issue of responsibility by introducing the elegance and poetry of creative expression into predominately technical solutions.

Like so many magic pavilions in the past, this one is also outfitted in one of the latest wonders of the industry – the unique modular façade system Qbiss by trimo. Optically smooth surfaces, unique rounded corner elements, and “shadow joints” allow great freedom of expression and enable an optically enchanting combination of an inclined grid and an attractive landscape of 45 restless windmills.

Inside the Wind Pavilion Nika Zupanc put her newest family of objects on display. This time they came to address you as advocates of a sort because they present a case for new symbolic and emotional readings of design, and are told through elements of modesty and self-reliance.

Instant fave!

You can see more on Salone 2010 on Dezeen.

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