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.

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