Thinking outside of the box is so twentieth century. A new take on the subscription service craze taps international design stars such as Arik Levy and Aldo Bakker to create a unique and original object that is delivered to your door on a monthly basis. A vase, a mirror, a candle holder...the ninth and latest box contains Black Out Light, a nifty flashlight designed by 5.5 designstudio.
Did you know that it's possible to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds? Learning that fun fact led Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, then students at UC Berkeley, to conduct a series of experiments in the kitchen of Velez's fraternity house. They ended up with a bucket of oyster mushrooms and ultimately a new career path as full-time urban mushroom farmers. Their Oakland, California-based company, Back to the Roots, sells compact mushroom-growing kits and a fish tank/aquaponics system that grows herbs in its lid. "Our mission is to make food personal again," say Arora and Velez, "through the passionate development of tools that educate and inspire, one family at a time."
A new documentary tracks down and catches up with Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes. Since retiring his beloved comic strip on New Year's Eve 1995, Watterson has lived a very private life in a town outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Dear Mr. Watterson, funded largely by Kickstarter backers, takes a closer look at why his illustrated tales of a boy and his stuffed tiger (who just happen to share names with a couple of famous philosophers) continue to resonate with fans of all ages. "This film is not a quest to find Bill Watterson or to invade his privacy," say the filmmakers. "It is an exploration to discover why his 'simple' comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today."
What began with a pot of chili, a food photography assignment and a Reddit post soon took on a life of its own for Tyler Capps, the graphic artist and self-taught cook behind Cooking Comically. "I come up with the recipes, cook them, photograph them, draw on them, eat them and share them," he says. "Not necessarily in that order." His web-based collection of illustrated recipes such as Trustfall Chicken, Mash-Tatoes and Bolognese for Days is now available in book form with the publication of Cooking Comically: Recipes So Easy You'll Actually Make Them (Perigee). Break out the spatula and pass the Sexy Pancakes. Notes Capps: "If you aren't having fun when you cook, you're doing it wrong."
Airbnb is always expanding its fun-to-browse, globe-spanning menu of unique accomodations--now the company is looking to tap into its creative customer base for some cinematic fun. Launched this week, Hollywood & Vines will create a short film directed through Twitter and crowdsourced through Vine, the six-seconds-or-less video platform. Ready for your close-up? Act fast. Follow @Airbnb for your shot directions (such "On a floor indoors, a piece of paper slowly crumples itself into a ball."), make a six-second Vine that corresponds to the shot, and tweet it with the tag #AirbnbHV before midnight on August 27. The best Vines will be compiled into a short film that will air online and on the Sundance Channel on September 12.
The last weeks of August never fail to incite nostalgia for childhood summers spent at Kamp Krusty, where we roasted pine cones (yum!) over a campfire of burning, gasoline-soaked tires. If you enjoyed that classic Simpsons reference, pitch a virtual tent at the Simpsons Drawing Club, a collaborative tumblr where artists and cartoonists such as Jack Teagle, Kelly Walton, and Benjamin Wright are joined by an ever-changing line-up of guest artists in putting their own spin on the world's most famous animated family. Our assessment of the site? To quote Mr. Burns, "Excellent!"
Several years ago, in the course of redecorating her Brooklyn apartment, artist Shanan Campanaro discovered that her paintings could be transformed -- with her Central St Martins-trained eye and a bit of computer manipulation -- into mesmerizing abstract wallpaper patterns. An enthusiastic response to her own living room walls and a few commissions prompted her to create Eskayel, a collection of custom wallcoverings that has rapidly expanded into fabrics, rugs and decorative products such as enchanting pillows, scarves and stationery.
You may know Paul Budnitz as the brains behind cult "art toy" maker Kid Robot (versions of the company's Dunny and Munny figures are in the collection at MoMA), but the artist, author, and filmmaker is also a passionate cyclist. That lifelong hobby led him to found Budnitz Bicycles, which prides itself on creating the "lightest, fastest, and most elegant city bikes in the world." The custom-built-in-Vermont dreamcycles -- available in colors such as Ultramarine, Racing Green Special and Butterscotch Glitter -- are pricey ($2,600 and up) but built to last a lifetime and then some.
Prepare your inbox for personal e-mails from the likes of Girls creator Lena Dunham, fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, photographer Catherine Opie, and basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. These are just some of the creative types that Miranda July has rounded up as collaborators for We Think Alone, a new project that she created for Sweden's Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall. It only exists in your inbox, where a themed compendium of 10 emails (all written before the project started and categorized by July according to genre) will arrive each Monday from July 1 through November 11. Sign up by typing your e-mail address into the pink blob and then wait for the first installment (genre: "an e-mail about money").
With a career that began with acclaimed children’s books, surged into iconic 1960s protest posters, blossomed into lavish books of erotica, and included dalliances with architectural design, advertising and sculpture, Tomi Ungerer evades easy description. The Alsatian-born illustrator gets his close-up in Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, a documentary that opens in New York and Los Angeles this month, with more cities to follow. Says director Brad Bernstein, "Once you start digging into Tomi's personal history and then start studying the body of his work, you realize quite quickly that he has visually captured on paper every moment his eyes have witnessed."