Dream Whip #14
1/4 Size, B/W, paperback, perfect bound
$10 in stores/$8 from Microcosm
Driving and sleeping. Sleeping and driving. When you've been on the road for a while, you can't really tell the difference between them. Even when you're not moving, your body is buzzing. Bill Brown talks about this and other traveling truths—like how the epic lateness of Amtrak trains alters your perception of time—in his new mega-issue of Dream Whip. Brown has been publishing accounts of his travel adventures in this zine since 1992 and I've been reading it since somewhere not too long after. He, like other favorites Aaron Cometbus and Al Burian, has a traveler's spirit. A kind of endless patience for anything that may or may not happen (including waiting 12 hours for a train in the middle of nowhere) coupled with a joy for life's simple pleasures (like staring out train windows, late night truck stop coffee and pie, riding around on bikes and buses, etc). Brown is funny, insightful, and romantic. At the beginning of a freighter trip across the Atlantic, he describes the first night in his room: "My cabin has a bed and a couch and a coffee table that's bolted to the floor. Those bolts worry me. They mean there are days on this ship when the furniture needs bolting down. I slept on the couch last night. Maybe that's out of habit. Maybe because I'm more comfortable on couches...I consider sleeping on the couch every night, like I'm couch surfing across the Atlantic Ocean. That's a couch surfer's dream, after all, catching a ride on some couch that'll take you around the world, like some slacker Magellan, mooching a circumnavigation." So good!
Everyday I scream, "DESIGN OBSERVER IS BORING!" Do we designers hope that something will rub off on us if we keep reading these lackluster established designers? Do we believe that their list of credentials and validation by (boring) publications and (boring) big-time clients somehow imbues them with talent? Why do we doubt our own taste, only in the presence of these professional mundanities?
Continue Reading Design Observer Sucks PLUS Two From The Vault
I am totally addicted to Instructables, a seemingly endless and always updated site of user-uploaded documentation for how to make just about anything imaginable (and then some!). For us print fetishists, there's plenty of entries for making books or using books to make other stuff. I just found one that shows how to make this cool little origami mini book. User ericsnapple's instructions yield a 12-page book without using any cuts or tape or staples. I bet you could vary the size with some fooling around. A lot of work for a large print run but I'd be into making a wee edition of something out of this.
Please Let Me Help
By Zack Sternwalker
8.5 x 5.5"
B/W, perfect bound
Ha! This book is hilarious. I just got off a red eye flight from San Francisco and was keeping my super cool looking seat neighbor awake with my giggling as I read it. Please Let Me Help is a collection of letters from our hero Zack Sternwalker, a recently unemployed and divorced fellow who's gained a bit of weight and had to move back in with his mother. He spends his now ample free time drinking lemonade, shooting sparrows at the bird feeder, practicing the oboe, and writing screenplays. Please Let Me Help is a collection of his letters suggesting various inventions, screenplay ideas and employment opportunities to all manner of people and corporations including Tom Cruise, Harley Davidson, Irish Spring soap, and Canada. One of my favorites is an impassioned plea to the port-a-potty company to let him put a vase of fresh flowers in every portable restroom. He also includes with each letter, as a sign of his good faith, a drawing of a vampire. Seriously, this will crack you up. I bought my copy at the wonderful Needles & Pens. Also look on the Microcosm site.
This lovely magazine table is hand-made in India out of sheesham wood. It's a solid, more classic play on the Offi magazine table theme. You can flip it around for the magazine rack on either side, use it as a bench or coffee table, or flip it on its side as an end table or computer stand. You could totally work this into a slick modern look, a funky ethnic look, or EVEN a more standard contemporary decor.
Available in the UK for £189.00 at FurnitureToday
Flickr Finds: Vintage Italian Adult Photo Comics
Alphabet: An Exhibition of Hand-Drawn Lettering and Experimental Typography is showing at the Cooper Union, check out some examples on their site. On view October 11 - 27, 2007.
I know it's early in the day for me to be telling you where to go at 6pm, but I trust you will be able to handle this information....
Our friends at Capricious magazine are launching their 7th issue at 147 West 29th street 5th floor between 6th and 7th aves from 6-9. Drop in, let them know how rad they are and grab an issue! Flyer below:
I love reading i-D. I learn something new every time. My favorite thing to do is lounge on my couch with a big cold lemon-lime seltzer and the new i-D and read that thing cover to cover. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I'm in school right now and have just come from taking a test so my mind is totally in note-taking mode. Here is a list of things I have learned from the World Wide Web issue of i-D: John Waters describes his style as "disaster at the dry cleaners," Designer Siv Støldal's raincoats can be turned into tents—the more coats you have, the bigger your tent, Naomi Campbell is... whoa, Sonia Rykel is rad, the 60th anniversary of Dior at Versailles looks like it was insane in its fabulosity, I could go on... Also in there is Pharrell Williams, new fashion from Antwerp, London, and the ITS competition in Trieste, shoots inspired by www stuff like facebook, google, modems, computers crashing, downloads, etc.
On a more sober note, I also just bought the new Adbusters. It begins with an excerpt about our disturbing fascination with the cult of celebrity from Al Gore's book The Assault on Reason. There are a couple articles about America's financial disasters: one on the national debt and the other on the cultural and environmental costs of constantly living and shopping above our means. More on rethinking our alliance with Israel, marketing guru Bob Garfield, and thoughts on Maxim's Sexy Israeli Soldiers story.
Doingbird issue #12 is finally out. Yay! Model Natasha Poly is on the cover, shot by Alasdair McLellan. Inside are contributions from some PF favorites: Ann Demeulemeester, Collier Schorr, Helmut Lang, Kim Jones, Taryn Simon, and Vashti Bunyan. Find this beautiful Australian magazine online here or at your cooler newsstands.
Minimalist Desk How-to. A reader on Instructables shows how to make your own desk with a simple trip to the hardware store and the curb on big trash night. Mr. Mcginnis and I have made our own versions of this desk on multiple occasions and love it.
Check out the funky and colorful Buk magazine rack designed by Rodolfo Bonetto, which kind of looks like a giant letter "U" refrigerator magnet. Two of these on the floor would work marvelously as book-ends for a long row of magazines-or books I suppose (if you're into keeping those sort of things). You could also use them as bookends on a shelf, but I like the architectural look of magazines lined up against a wall. Online it looks like plastic, but it's actually made of super-durable Rotomoulded polyethylene, a material used in boat and airplane construction.
Available for $149 at Generate
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