The idea for Mary Shelley’s most famous novel, Frankenstein, came to her in a dream while summering in Switzerland with the notoriously melancholy poet, Lord Byron, and the manic creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction, John Polidori. As you do when you’re bored, conflicted writers obsessed with the occult on holiday, you hold a competition to see who can come up with the best horror story. Mary’s tall tale about a hideous creature created by a science experiment gone awry clearly won.
We’re all for trial and error, and as our favorite visionary architect and staunch advocate of pushing the limits, Bucky Fuller, said “there is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” A boundary pushing bout of genius is the hope when you’re a castle-builder looking to change the world, but there’s a fine line between botched and brilliant (ahem, Lady Gaga). Click through to check out twelve extreme experimental designs that we think are too brave for their own good. Let us know in the comments if you agree, then tell us what modern buildings you think should have been left on the design world’s equivalent of the cutting room floor.
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Attention design geeks: Our friends over at Unbeige tipped us off to the fact that some kind, British soul has uploaded all six episodes of famed product designer Philippe Starck’s reality show, Design for Life, for your viewing pleasure. While the opening credits are a tad aggressive, the premise is pure fun: 12 contestants from the UK are competing a six month stint at Starck’s Paris design agency. And if his first quip is any indication — “I am a type of new bottle opener, I am a sort of door just to open your brain.” — the superstar will provide plenty of odd, quotable moments throughout.
As a Core77 review of the show points out, “Design for Life isn’t perfect. It has its chest pounding moments — chief among them a long but only casually developed thread about sustainability that never goes anywhere — but Design for Life makes one thing abundantly clear: Starck (now 60) is the closest thing to the Beatles design has ever had, and in the increasingly fractious world of the web, the closest it may ever have.”
Watch all six episodes before they’re taken down after the jump.
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The latest reason we wish we had an iPhone? 24 Hours: The Starck Mix, a free iPhone app tied to Wallpaper magazine’s new Starck edition. The application provides a live stream of a 24-hour soundtrack, selected, arranged, composed and mixed by Soundwalk, a new media company know for their cutting-edge audio tours, for Starck.… Read More
“I don’t feel like I look like the other perfect little pop singers. I think I’m changing what people think is sexy.” Immortal words from Lady Gaga, 2009′s poster child for avant-garde pop and the Ambassador of No Pants Land. Surrounded by a latex-clad coterie nicknamed Haus of Gaga (loosely modeled after Warhol’s Factory), Gaga’s remarkable wardrobe is like architecture from outer space. So what cutting-edge designers and architects might the Lady be referencing? Our speculations after the… Read More
In case you weren’t around for the original explanation of this recurring feature, the idea of Design Porn is to find cool stuff that either makes us drool or giggle — ideally both. If you happen across something that you think deserves a mention here, shoot us an email to tips [at] flavorpill [dot] com. OK, enough foreplay already. Enjoy this week’s five finds after the… Read More
Two weeks ago we found ourselves with more to do than time to do it in, but we did our best in five consecutive days. The New York Photo Festival was back in Brooklyn for the third year; Asian Contemporary Art Week was taking place from uptown to downtown; and Design Week was packing visitors into stylish shops in SoHo and the Meatpacking District.
We looked at art and design, made new friends at parties, ate and drank way too much, and took photos everywhere we went. We caught British book publisher Chris Boot at his Gay Men Play show in Dumbo, actress Lucy Liu at the Paper! Paper! show at Chambers Fine Art in Chelsea, and designer Philippe Starck at Material Connexion’s super-cool showroom in Murray… Read More
Some things remain unaffected by this bad economy: Porn sites. Gossip Girl plots. Lady GaGa’s trampy wardrobe. And lucky for us, the New York Times reports that this year’s Milan Furniture Week somehow managed to sidestep you doom and gloom you might have expected given all of the “design boom or bust” conversations floating around as of late. Sort of.
“Behind the bravado, some manufacturers cut costs by introducing fewer products than usual, and designers swapped sob stories of canceled projects and dwindling royalties…There was also an uncomfortable awareness that the investment decisions to green-light this season’s new products and ventures, like Skitsch [a new Italian furniture company], had been made over a year ago, when the industry’s prospects looked very different.”
While the market might be tougher, it wasn’t any harder for us to find an overload of virtual design candy to drool over. After the jump, join us in a game of What We’d Buy for Our Apartment If We Had a Citibank Bonus. Enjoy!
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<span style=”Verdana;”><strong>Starck speakers on the market: </strong>Attention last-minute holiday shoppers: design star Philippe Starck just came out with an aesthetically pleasing and minimalistic set of wireless iPod speakers. Starck is known for his ability to combine the everyday with his artistic visions, but with a suggested retail price of </span>$1,500, you better hope you’ve been… Read More
Design god goes slummin’: “Walking into Big Lots on Vine Street, just blocks from the swank interiors he created for the restaurant Katsuya and the nightclub S Bar, Philippe Starck appears a bit wary. ‘Can you live elegantly and economically?’ he asks, surveying the store’s vast array of closeout merchandise for the first time. ‘We… Read More