Reviewed: Friday Likes 123: From IS Design Studio, Vladimir Shlygin, and Epiforma

From IS Design Studio, Vladimir Shlygin, and Epiforma

Friday Likes 123

We get very festive this Friday with colorful work from Lima, Moscow, and Porto.

LAD Festival by IS Creative Studio

LAD Festival by IS Creative Studio

While the logo for LAD (Latin American Design) has been around since 2012 — winning a BNAward at the time — it wasn't until this year that the organization, led by IS Design Studio's Richars Meza, hosted its first conference in Lima, Peru, the LAD Festival, and put the logo to work. The festival's identity is an explosion of bright fluorescent colors and not much more than the thunderous logo with some brief accompanying condensed sans serif type. What makes the application work really well too are the off-the-shelf materials (shown at the link) like the hats and lanyards that also come in fluorescent hues. The cliché that Latin America is colorful is very well represented here. (In a good way). See full project here.

Cacao Cultura by Vladimir Shlygin

Cacao Cultura by Vladimir Shlygin

Cacao Cultura (Cocoa Culture) is an online resource and shop by Russian confectionery and chocolate distributor Agentstvo Kvorum. The identity, designed by Moscow-based Vladimir Shlygin, relies on a small range of chocolate-chip-sized icons that dance around the wordmark along a pre-established grid (see animated GIF at the link) giving the placement of the icons some kind of structure. The customized sans serif is a little odd but I'm digging the curved crossbar of the "A"s and unexpected "R". The spare layouts are quite nice and make the chocolate icons pop in their red, mint, and brown colors. See full project

Get Set Festival by Epiforma

Get Set Festival by Epiforma

Celebrated in Porto, Portugal, since 2010, Get Set Festival is an art event that brings workshops, urban instalations, performances, exhibitions, conferences, parties, concerts, and more to the city. The festival's latest identity, by local firm Epiforma goes the full Gestalt with a geometric GET SET wordmark that drops bits and pieces as it sees fit, sometimes being more readable and sometimes plain indiscernible. The best piece of the project is the poster with the cascade-like effect, made only more attractive by the primary color palette. Bonus for creative project photography. See full project.

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Sometimes life is about climbing seven flights of stairs not…



Sometimes life is about climbing seven flights of stairs not knowing what you’ll find at the top, finding nothing at the top, and then making the most out of it.

PS: My time and brain has been seriously occupied by an upcoming move, but I promise to get back to shooting and posting regularly soon. There are a handful of you that I’m looking forward to shooting with!

PPS: I have an ambitious side project in the works that brings together a bunch of my obsessions (photography included). Hoping to unveil it in the coming weeks.

#exploreeverything #exploretoronto #justgoshoot #streetsoftoronto #torontophoto #toronto #igerstoronto #makemoments #momentwide #vscocam #scaleandsolitude #shooteditpost

Sometimes life is about climbing seven flights of stairs not…



Sometimes life is about climbing seven flights of stairs not knowing what you’ll find at the top, finding nothing at the top, and then making the most out of it.

PS: My time and brain has been seriously occupied by an upcoming move, but I promise to get back to shooting and posting regularly soon. There are a handful of you that I’m looking forward to shooting with!

PPS: I have an ambitious side project in the works that brings together a bunch of my obsessions (photography included). Hoping to unveil it in the coming weeks.

#exploreeverything #exploretoronto #justgoshoot #streetsoftoronto #torontophoto #toronto #igerstoronto #makemoments #momentwide #vscocam #scaleandsolitude #shooteditpost

A History of the Arcade and the Arcade Goer

In 1867, Victor Fournel published a work in which he described the flâneur as (translated roughly) the image of the public, of the city, the antipathies and admirations of the crowd, public esprit; basically the figurehead of contemporary urban experience. A flâneur is, by definition, a time waster: someone who uses their time not for work, or research, or study, but for urban investigation, the indulging of urban life, and the exploration of contemporary culture.

Without first understanding the flâneur we cannot understand the development of arcades. The figure of the flâneur is one typically imagined as a bowler hat wearing, cane-wielding man in a three-piece suit waltzing through the streets of 19th century Paris amidst sidewalk cafes and a young upper-class. These individuals used to wander the early arcades, spending money and showing off wealth in the pursuit of amusement and social connection. They spent their time enjoying the presence of others and engaging in the urban crowd, through the vessel of the arcade. This concept is, however, a timeless one. By Fournel's definition the flâneur could exist, as we will discover, in 19th century Paris, the video arcades of North America in the 1980's, and the boardwalk arcades of early amusement parks. 

A SOCIAL GAME WHERE YOU WERE A PART OF THIS RESERVOIR OF ENERGY

This arcade of the 19th century is more akin to a modern shopping mall than what we would understand as an arcade. The structures were essentially covered streets lined with consumer outlets such as cafes, clothing shops, and butchers, created as a means to remove this part of life from the streets. It allowed for the expression of wealth and the wearing of high fashion all throughout the year, and alienated this lifestyle from the grime and filth of the Parisian streets. The occupants of these arcades were the flâneurs, a type of urban socialite embodied by a sense of public expression and social engagement.

This arcade of the 19th century is more akin to a modern shopping mall than what we would understand as an arcade. The structures were essentially covered streets lined with consumer outlets such as cafes, clothing shops, and butchers, created as a means to remove this part of life from the streets. It allowed for the expression of wealth and the wearing of high fashion all throughout the year, and alienated this lifestyle from the grime and filth of the Parisian streets. The occupants of these arcades were the flâneurs, a type of urban socialite embodied by a sense of public expression and social engagement.

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"The lover of universal life (flâneur) enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life." —Charles Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life"

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In the 1980's, upon the creation of the modern arcade machine, these urban socialites were replaced by, well, kids. Your everyday child with pockets full of quarters, running down to the arcade after school to see their friends and play Lunar Lander or Pac-Man. These kids wanted to engage in a social atmosphere that was largely predicated around the experience of many. Everyone played the same games and tried to beat each others' high scores. It was a social game where you were a part of this reservoir of energy, responding to the ebb and flow of casual competition within a sphere of like-minded individuals. These kids are, as it were, a new type of flâneur: instead of congregating in public cafes and shopping arcades, they gathered amidst towers of arcade machines in strip malls and downtown arcades. 

Where this differs from other forms of spectator culture—sports, live music, art, film—is that you are, as a flâneur, spectating the crowd of whom you are a part. You are, as Baudelaire puts it, "a mirror as vast as the crowd itself". This common thread connects the urban socialites of the 19th century with the children of modern arcades. I find it no surprise that their architectures share a common etymology: they both bear the title arcade. This thread could be extended into the rows of boardwalk games at amusement parks which, upon their introduction in the early 20th century, marked the beginning of a transformation for the flâneur.

THE SOCIALLY COMPETITIVE URBANITE HAD BEEN DISTILLED EVEN FURTHER

The boardwalk arcade, known in contemporary culture as the realm of stuffed animals and carnies, was the point in history where the flâneur began to take a less stuffy approach to social engagement and instead opted for something more lighthearted. This version of the flâneur can take on a wide range of guises: couples, children, families, rich, poor. The evolution here is that of social class: being an organic entity, the flâneur shifts to embody the sort of person who would attend the arcades at amusement parks as it is the emerging social activity of the time. The flâneur is now the everyman, united by the common interest of play rather than the spending and exposition of wealth. Everyone wanted to have lighthearted fun, and be rewarded for their performance at some particular game rather than for how much money they have earned and spent. The shift from exhibition of wealth to exhibition of talent is an important one, and illustrates a changing mindset of social taboo and notions of play.

This shift brings to mind the equal and opposite reaction of both spending money and exhibiting talent: reward. While the earlier flâneurs were rewarded for their wealthy habits with material goods and social admiration, the creation of the casual-gamer in the early 1900's brought with it a culture of talent exhibition. These games were fun, and you could compete against each other in a way that was more than skin-deep. People had something to practice at, something to excel at even if their monetary situation wasn't exhibition quality.

When we move into the development of the video arcade, the physical reward aspect seems to disappear. When you did well at a round of pinball the table didn't spit out a stuffed bumper. The socially competitive urbanite had been distilled even further now, and only strove to get better and achieve a new high-score, that all encompassing number that evaluated how well you did.

By this point the playing of games had become more taboo to older generations. In both earlier types of flânerie the individual could be young or old, as the practices were more socially normal and society viewed them in a softer light. Possibly after the events of the 1900's "playing" wasn't an okay thing to do anymore. The world was turned inside out during that century, and playing was often seen as a waste of time, as not benefiting an individual in any way. It was reserved for children, as an outlet for the mid-century child. 

Even in contemporary culture gaming is seen simply as "playing" or an underground entity. 200 years ago you would be revered for having the ability to engage in play, as it meant that you were doing things right: you had money, you had friends, and you had fun, all while maintaining a balanced life. After two world wars and the threat of global nuclear crisis we seem to have lost our appreciation for the lighter things in life, relegating our spare time to the study of far-off conflicts and reading the newspapers of our global village.

So now we have a set of characters: the well-dressed arcade wanderer of the 1800's, the skilled arcade players of the early 1900's, and the gamer socialite of the 1980's into today. The transformation of the flâneur into this contemporary notion of a player took about two centuries, having moved through social structures and cultural boundaries. On the surface, a lot sets our caste of characters apart: income, dress, social conduct. The architecture that surrounds them holds true to the ideology of play, and so too does the outlook of the arcade goer.

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Story by Aaron Coté

Header image via Torley.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan via Roberto Taddeo.
The Pacific Mall in Ontario via Joey.

This Man Designs and Makes a New Spoon Every Day

Which do you think is trickier: Dreaming up a form for an entirely new sort of object, or re-imagining an established form factor? Industrial designer Stian Korntved Ruud recently undertook a massive project falling into the latter category. Oslo-based Ruud has become consumed with "making objects with pure functional or aesthetic features," and decided he would spend a year designing and making new spoons.

The thing is, he decided he'd design and make a new spoon every day, until he'd created 365 designs. Hence the project's title, Daily Spoon.

By repeating the production of a spoon every day for a longer period of time (365 days), the goal is to challenge and explore a spoon's aesthetic and functional qualities.

I make all the spoons in a traditional way with only hand tools. The point of this is to actively cooperate with the material, in this case wood.
In a modern industrial production the machines overwrites the wooden structures and natural growth pattern. When using manual hand tools my hand collaborates with the wood structure during the forming process. This underpins all the spoons unique qualities.

Ruud began the project in March of 2014, so assuming he's kept pace, the project should be wrapped (though he's made no mention of stopping).

You can see the astonishing diversity of designs Ruud's produced on his Instagram.

Here's to hoping Ruud continues, and/or switches over to forks and knives.

Organizing with Desktop Files

Desktop file holders work well for quick and easy access to the files a user needs most often—usually active files for bills, work in progress, etc. They also allow a user to work almost anywhere in the home and office, since they can easily be moved to a new location.

The Bigso file box shown above has no lid, which works well for users who need to see their files and want the quickest possible access to them. The handles will make it easy to move the box around. It comes with eight hanging file folders, which is about all this box will hold. That's a fairly common size, limiting the desktop space required, but it will be a little too small for some users.

The Magis XX File Holder, designed by Jasper Morrison, has the advantage of being stackable. That lets the user store more files in the same desktop footprint, but it does make the files in the lower holder significantly less accessible. Sadly, the holders are often sold in sets of four, so users who don't want to stack them (and who don't have a large available expanse of flat surface) are out of luck.

The Lee Flexifile Expandable Collator/Organizer holds standard file folders, not hanging folders. Anticipating users' varying needs, Lee makes this product with six, 12, 18 or 24 slots. The open design means it can hold varying file folder sizes: U.S. letter and legal files as well as sizes used in other countries. 

The WoodWorx StepUp file is one of many products often called step files or incline files; the angled base makes it easier to see all the files. But users who want to have their desktop files be mobile might prefer a different product; files could easily fall out the sides when this one is moved, unless the user is careful. And users aren't always careful; they're in a hurry, they're distracted, etc.

The StationMate desktop organizer would be easy to move around, since all the files go into compartments with sides. It comes with 25 PocketFiles, so it's a large-capacity product. That will be perfect for some users and too bulky for others. 

Less & More makes a smaller-capacity inclined file organizer with slots for the files. Putting the files away won't be quite as easy as with the WoodWorx StepUp file, which may frustrate the impatient or those with physical challenges, but many users will be fine with it. Buyers have commented appreciatively on the sturdiness and the high quality of workmanship.

Some users may prefer to have a lidded product; they may be concerned about privacy or dust, or they may simply be people who prefer a more hidden-away look, aesthetically. Lidded boxes also pretty easy to carry around.

This box from Snap-N-Store can hold U.S. letter-sized or legal-sized folders—a nice bit of flexibility. It stores flat, and is snapped together when needed. However, some buyers have had problems with the snaps coming loose, especially as the boxes got close to full. (Note: Users often overfill any storage container, so the design should take that into consideration.) 

Another concern has been the fit of the lid. As one buyer noted: "If your hanging files have tabs, as mine do, the box top will just sit perched above these tabs. So the top doesn't really close, it just loosely sits on the files."


Some users might want to take those active files with them when they leave their homes or offices. Rather than taking the files from wherever they're stored and putting into a briefcase, messenger bag or backpack, they could simply keep the files in a Jamie Raquel file tote. This is not a lightweight product, but it's very sturdy.

For users who want or need to protect the privacy of their files, Vaultz has locking file totes, with double combination locks, which they say are HIPAA compliant.

OneLessFile from Heckler Design could be used on a sturdy tabletop, if there was enough space, or it could just sit on the floor. It's 18.25 inches by 12.32 inches, so it might work for users who need something a bit bigger than the normal desktop file. Since it's made from heavy-duty steel and weighs 12.9 pounds, it will work better for users who aren't looking for a mobile filing product.

Seattle Artist Creates Sidewalk Messages That Only Appear When It Rains

Remember Green Street Media's no-spraypaint-necessary sidewalk advertising? To refresh your memory, the UK-based firm exploited the filthy nature of sidewalks by placing a stencil over them and blasting them with a pressure washer. With the stencil lifted, the area blasted clean spelled out their message.

Green Street Media

Seattle-based artist Peregrine Church does something similar, but using rain rather than a pressure washer. By coating the sidewalks in an invisible superhydrophobic coating applied through a stencil, he creates messages that are only visible when it rains out.

Peregrine Church
Peregrine Church
Peregrine Church

Here's how he does it, and it seems simple as pie:

So at this point we've seen hydrophobic coatings used to defeat public urinators and help get glue out of bottles. Church's "Rainworks" project, as he's calling it, has a more humble purpose: "To make people smile on rainy days."

Peregrine Church

You can see more of them here.



Iconic images from The Flickr Commons

With the announcement of our 100th Flickr Commons institution yesterday, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the stories behind iconic photos from the collection. This selection represents a few of our favorite stories, but we highly encourage you to explore the Commons further on your own.

Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley at the White House
The U.S. National Archives, Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley at the White House, December 1970. Elvis Presley was famously obsessed with police badges, owning a huge collection of them. A notable hole in his collection was a badge from the then Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (a predecessor of the DEA); he reportedly believed that “..with the federal narcotics badge, he could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.” On an overnight flight in an impromptu visit to Washington D.C., Elvis wrote a note to President Nixon requesting a meeting so he could get a “narc badge.” The visit was arranged the same day. A remarkable description of the meeting can be found here.

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California

George Eastman House, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936. This stunning portrait of the human face of the Great Depression in 1930’s America is popularly known as Migrant Mother. Commissioned by the Resettlement Administration to document migrant farm workers in California, Dorothea Lange (a remarkable photojournalist and major early influence in documentary photography) came across the destitute Florence Owens Thompson and her family, and shot a series of portraits. This image, and Lange herself, became a subject of controversy when Florence Thompson was rediscovered in 1978. About the picture, she said “I wish [Lange] hadn’t taken my picture. I can’t get a penny out of it. She didn’t ask my name. She said she wouldn’t sell the pictures. She said she’d send me a copy. She never did.” (source).

Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee  (LOC)

The Library of Congress, Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber, Tennessee (LOC), 1944. Rosie the Riveter became an iconic cultural idea in World War II in the United States. As significant chunks of the labor force were outside of the country, all parts of the population – notably women and people of all races – became involved in traditionally male-dominated fields, including aircraft and munitions factories. Sadly the name of the subject in this photograph is unknown.

03 - Sydney Harbour Bridge Construction

Royal Australian Historical Society, 03 – Sydney Harbour Bridge Construction, 1930. Although the start of construction predated the depression era of the late 1920s and 30s, the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed in the middle of the depression and was a major source of local employment. This image shows a point in construction close to where the two sides of the arch were to meet; two gigantic creeper cranes can be seen on either side. These cranes were used to lower steelwork to points below, including the deck of the bridge. An iconic structure in its own right, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was a feat of engineering at the time.

Cresent Earth rises above lunar horizon

NASA on The Commons, Cresent Earth rises above lunar horizon, December 1972. This remarkable image of Earthrise was taken by astronaut Ronald E. Evans in the command module of Apollo 17 orbiting the moon while his colleagues were descending to the surface in the lander module.

[Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris...

New York Public Library, Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris, 1883. The Statue of Liberty was not a gift from France to America – it was the brainchild of sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. He made several trips to the United States from France to pitch his idea of “Liberty Enlightening the World” to leaders of several cities. In 1872, he partnered with Edouard de Laboulaye to create the Franco-American Union, which raised funds to build the statue. In 1878 the statue’s head was on display for the Paris Exposition (the image above), and in 1884 the completed statue was on display in a courtyard next to Bartholdi’s studio – with a massive funding shortfall to get it to the United States. Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the daily tabloid New York World launched a campaign to raise funds to finish the project. Hundreds of thousands of dollars from private citizenry was raised as well as a significant donation from a laxative maker that advertised on the pedestal of the statue for a year. In 1886, ten years late, the statue was finally erected on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.

Sex Pistols i Norge, 1977

National Archives of Norway, Sex Pistols i Norge, 1977, 1977. Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols performing at the Student Union in Trondheim, Norway, 1977.

"The Tetons - Snake River," Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

The U.S. National Archives, “The Tetons – Snake River,” Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming., 1941. In 1941, legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams was commissioned by the Department of the Interior to take photographs of National Parks and reservations. This striking example of Adams’ mastery of landscape photography became one of the few images stored on a Voyager Golden Record: phonograph records containing records of life and culture on Earth and placed aboard Voyager 1 and 2.

Titanic

Public Records Office Of Northern Ireland, Titanic, 1912. Built in Belfast, the RMS Titanic was the largest ship of its era. This is an image of the Titanic leaving for a day-long sea trial, where it was declared seaworthy. 12 days later and 5 days into its maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank.



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