Design Porn: Star Trek Cradles, Grass Chairs, & Barbie Foosball

Very un-child friendly Klingon baby accessories [via Boing Boing]
Reminisce about the days of cell phones past [via Wired ]

Licorice seating is oh so sweet [via OnSiteStudio]

A kid-designed elementary school we wish we were young enough to attend [via Coolhunter]

Give anti-feminist Barbie a good kicking [via… Read More

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Cultural Consumption: 4 World Cities and their Best Museum Stores

Spending an afternoon with abstract expressionists, batting ideas back and forth about the latest Bacon exhibit or wandering through a Warhol gallery, can be trying to say the least. Growing up with global capitalism, it’s hard to turn our backs on the mantra ‘spend, spend, spend’, especially now that shopping is the new religion. That, my friends, is what museum stores are for. Enabling us to get the best of both worlds in a heady combination of art, design and spending, museum stores let us feel all warm and culturally enriched inside whilst still feeding our consumer cravings. Here, we run down the best that the culture capitals have to… Read More

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Book Within a Book Within an Invisible Library

I’ve often wished that I could have read the first few pages of the ingeniously-titled “Life of Packaging – Fragments of an Autobiography: Volume IX – The Styrofoam Years.” This fictional title, brought to life in the fictional pages of Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up! , along with “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” in Philip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle, and the host of metafictional books conjured up by Dickens, Stephen King, and Haruki Murakami in their own novels, have eluded the general public for the simple fact that they don’t exist — they are perfectly-formed fragments of the fantasy world that the author dangles tantalizingly in front of the readers, but that is never fully graspable.

Until now.

Readers, take my hand as we go through the looking glass and emerge in a reality where these metafictional titles really do exist, courtesy of the Invisible Library. … Read More

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Don’t Rock The Boat: Mary Mattingly’s Waterpod Project

When one imagines boat living, images of gleaming mahogany surfaces, crisp billowing sails, and spotless navy deck shoes come to mind. Yet Mary Mattingly’s Waterpod Project couldn’t be farther from that Cape Cod fantasy. For the summer, Mattingly (a working artist) along with a team of other artists, scientists, engineers and sustainability experts, will be living and working on the Waterpod, which is currently docked at South Street Seaport. (It will be moving to various other locations around the city as the project continues.)

Her team has created a living space-cum-art gallery which is entirely self-sufficient: they will generate their own electricity through pedal bikes, grow their own food and vegetables, recycle and purify their own water, and even have four chickens on board to provide them with the requisite eggs for breakfast. Astounded by the ingenuity and scale of this project, we jumped on board to check it… Read More

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Prep is Dead. Long Live Prep!

When we read that brand we love to hate Abercrombie & Fitch have, as a result of devastating losses, decided to close their diffusion line Ruehl, we were delighted to  see the demise of what they so humbly describe as “the aspirational Greenwich Village lifestyle.”  Yet, no sooner had our eyes widened in childish glee, did we stumble across a party invitation for this weekend amongst our emails, suggesting that guests come in  “Hamptons chic” to a party on a Manhattan rooftop. A contradiction in less time than it takes to throw on some Capris and slide into your Oxford button down? Hardly. There has always been a tension between the prep-haters and prep-lovers, between the haves, and the have-yachts. Here, we run down the history of prep and its competitors through the ages. … Read More

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One Dress, 365 Days: An Interview with The Uniform Project’s Sheena Mathieken

Back in high school, wearing the same thing twice in a row was considered a cardinal sin. Some of you may even remember Mean Girls-style rules being arbitrarily enforced — pink on Wednesdays, sweatpants on Fridays, free-choice never. Unfortunately, many of us have subconsciously carried this doctrine into adulthood, keeping track of what we wear and when, never liking to be seen in exactly the same ensemble. All this, coupled with our modern obsession for fast, disposable fashion, makes Sheena Mathieken’s Uniform Project all the more daring and exciting. Since June 1st, for the next year, Sheena will be wearing the same black custom-made dress, in an effort to raise money for a children’s education project in India, and to raise awareness about fashion sustainability. Intrigued by the project, we sat down with Sheena on day 16 to discuss inspiration, donations, and the little black dress at the center of it… Read More

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Home Alone: Q&A with Tze Chun, Director of Children of Invention

Child abandonment and abuse has become a rather tired publicity trope, as demonstrated by the hordes of misery memoirs that grace the bookstore shelves. Recently, however, the tide has turned, and a host of provocative, thoughtful and altogether more engaging artistic offerings concerning the complexities of family life and childhood have come to the fore. Earlier this year, Polly Stenham’s new play Tusk Tusk , in which three children are left alone by their unstable mother in a new flat for days on end, received critical acclaim in London. Now, Tze Chun’s film Children of Invention (which screens at BAM tomorrow night) explores similar themes, albeit across the Atlantic, and with a pyramid scheme and the immigrant experience thrown into the mix. We sat down with Tze, the writer and director, to discuss the inspiration, challenges, and children that make this film so… Read More

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Trend Watch: How to Steal With Style

As pop culture fans, we have many things to thank Winona Ryder for: showing us that bitchiness can be cool in Heathers; proving that a deep brunette will never really look convincing as a blonde in Edward Scissorhands; inspiring the most creative amendment to a tattoo we’ve ever seen. Yet what we really should be applauding Ms Ryder for, are her trendsetting ways of… Read More

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Sign of the Times: How To Save Print Media

Newspapers and magazines really are in a sorry state. With publications closing left, right and centre and no one being able to understand the New York Times, it seems that print media outlets are having to come up with gimmicky ploys to keep the pundits reading. This week, the Guardian invited an 8-year-old to come and edit their G2 section, and last Wednesday Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz ditched their regular writers in exchange for Israel’s finest authors and poets, who covered that day’s news. Even British Vogue is not immune, with editrix Alexandra Shulman writing an open letter about ridiculously small sample sizes in a move  that is being characterized as a bid for publicity. Intrigued by these developments, we tried to think up our own ingenious tricks to keep publications in print. … Read More

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Do You Think I’m Sexy? Ask Calvin Klein, Dov Charney, and the Man on the Street

American Apparel’s desire to replicate desire in their ads knows no bounds , and whilst Abercrombie and Fitch’s prejudiced hiring policies (including relegating staff to the backroom if they haven’t got ‘the look’) has garnered criticism, it doesn’t stop the brand’s continuing success. Even the UCB parody of Dov Charney — the executive of American Apparel- and his questionable photography process is funny precisely because it is so close to the bone. It seems that, where once such images of exploitation and overt sexuality would have feminists and queer theorists brandishing their bags of flour , nowadays we’re far too postmodern to get all hot and bothered by the relentless media focus on bodily perfection. After all, Eva Herzigova’s iconic Wonderbra advert is now considered so legendary, it’s the subject of media studies classes rather than feminist… Read More

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