Friday, February 29

9Hotel by Castel Veciana


9Hotel combines a traditional facade and historic surroundings with a totally updated and modern interior, designed by Castel Veciana.

The simplicity of its design and colors; whites, blacks and wood, create elegant spaces that offer the guest a contemporary ambience without renouncing comfort. All these things will make the visitor feel as if they are really in a very special place… a secret corner in the center of Paris.









via coolboom

Roving accomodation: m-hotel, London, United Kingdom

Tim Pyne Associates create the m-hotel for use in vacant sites

This innovative concept for a temporary apart-hotel called m-hotel is due to be realized in London this summer. The idea is that it arrives in units (each 500sqft), which slot into a steel frame. The outside is branded using bus-film technology, so that the building can be given an appearance specific to each site, and obviously an appropriate brand which fits the building's particular clientele.

One of the m-hotels has been designed in an eye catching, striped design because it will be full of city businesspeople. It stays for a few years (between 7-10), and is then broken down and trucked off when the site owners want the site back. It is an apart-hotel because London is increasingly being inhabited by European businesspeople who need places to live which are not hotels. Lost in Translation was accurate; you can do about 5 days before going crazy.

it is a new use for all those car parks in emerging areas (e.g. Shoreditch) which the site owners are sitting on waiting for the land values to rise. The first m-hotel will be in Hoxton, London, adjacent to the Shoreditch Goods Yard. It has an 8-year lease. Work is due to start in Summer 2008 and be complete by the end of the year.

via WAN

Thursday, February 28

Bags Of Swedish Style


Photos by Knotan

Since we happened to mention some rather stylish bags by Cala & Jade from Norway the other day, we felt it only fair to mention our favorite bags from their Swedish neighbor Sandqvist.

Anton Sandqvist established the Sandqvist brand in 2004 with the aim of designing and producing stylish, clean and functional laptop bags. We love the minimalistic Scandinavian style of the resulting Sandqvist Workbags line. Bags that also happen to be made of highly durable industrial materials, despite their good looks.

With a desire to be more elaborate with form and materials, Sandqvist launched a new fashion accessory line at the end of last year. Influenced by vintage as well as contemporary design, the new range has a certain modern elegance whilst still maintaining a smart functionality for every day life. Take a look at the new Sandqvist Accessories line below and read about the inspiration behind the design of the new Arne bag:


Story of Arne

When Anton Sandqvist was a kid in the early 80's, his family used to spend their Summers renting a farm cottage on a Swedish island called Vinön,. His father’s best friend used to stay with them for at least 3 weeks every Summer. Anton remembers how he would arrive in his Chevy Camaro, the fat wheels spinning on the muddy yard when it was raining. He taught Anton and his brother how to shoot an airgun and he frequently contributed to their collection of empty beer cans.

His father’s friend was called Arne and his luggage for the whole summer consisted of one bag and a fishing rod. The Arne bag was designed from Anton’s vague memory how his father’s friend’s bag used to look.




Canvas Flatcase

Large Workbag


Color Chart


"Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today" opens this Sunday, 2 March 2008 at MoMA. On view through 12 May 2008, the exhibition explores artists' use of readymade color—from car paint to colored tape—featuring works by 44 modern and contemporary artists including Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Angela Bulloch.

"Color Chart" takes as its point of departure the commercial color chart, an item that openly attests to the status of paint as mass-produced and standardized. The exhibition examines two separate but related meanings of readymade color: color as store-bought rather than hand-mixed, divorced from an artist's subjective taste or decisions; and color found and appropriated from everyday life—fluorescent bulbs, car color, or computer color, for example.


Also, this Saturday, 1 March 2008 from 9pm-1am, PopRally, the ongoing event series for young New Yorkers at MoMA and P.S.1, in conjunction with the "Color Chart" exhibition, presents a dance party with a lineup of deejays from DFA Records. That's right, a dance party at MoMA. The evening includes an exclusive preview of "Color Chart" before its official opening to the public. The deejays to be featured are Juan Maclean, T&T (Tim Goldsworthy & Tim Sweeney), Holy Ghost!, Justin Miller and Jacques Renault.

Attendees are encouraged to wear bright and bold colors. There will be an open bar and guests will receive a colorful custom-made gift designed by PopRally and DFA. Unfortunately, the event is sold out, best use those connections.

colorch3.jpg colorch4.jpg
Color Chart
Opening Reception: 1 March 2008, 9pm-1am
2 March-12 May 2008
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019 tel. +1 212 708 9400

via Cool Hunting

Nokia morphs itself from within

By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website, in San Francisco

Nokia's Morph concept of a credit card-shaped phone

Nokia is the world's largest mobile phone maker and with more than one billion handsets shipped is by extension the world's largest computing platform.

Every day Nokia sources 329 million parts and builds a million phones in 100 plus handset models and distributes these phones in 70 different languages to 150 countries.

But as phones become less about making calls and more an extension of our connected lives, Nokia is transforming itself from a hardware company into something more converged. It's not the parts that matter but what use those parts are put to.

"We're not a cell phone company we're a software and services company as well," Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president at Nokia, told BBC News.

He said: "We are already living in the converged world; the spearhead consumers, about 200m people, are using their devices to be present in the internet 24/7, using their handsets as multimedia computers."


For Mr Vanjoki Nokia's transformation is just another change in direction for the firm.

"The company was established in 1865 and since then we have changed the course of the company several times from the original wood chip factory, to what is our main business, monetising our software know-how by selling devices."

He added: "It's very obvious in a converging internet world that when software, media and hardware come together it allows us to monetise our know-how in multiple ways."

To aid this latest genesis Nokia has invested in research centres around the world, building relationships with universities and academic institutions.

In the UK Nokia has partnered with Cambridge University and is focusing on the application of nanosciences to the mobile phone market, and has partnered with Professor Mark Welland, one of the world's leading nano experts.

Earlier this week the firm unveiled Morph, a concept phone that revealed the company's long-term ambitions; a mixture of high technology and services.

Morph is the product of nanosciences - a handset that can be folded, stretched, used to sense the world around it, and deliver the high end functions of a future communications device.
Morph is a beguiling vision
Technology editor Darren Waters

In the US Nokia has built a research centre in Palo Alto, at the heart of Silicon Valley. This centre is focused on developing internet and web applications, leveraging the local talent and expertise found at Stanford and Berkeley universities.

Professor Henry Tirri, head of System Research Centers, is tasked with fostering the collaborative research between Nokia and partner universities worldwide.

"Our research scope is very wide - but we're not focusing on display, radio technology or battery life - it goes from nanosciences in the UK to services and software in Palo Alto."

The research centres work outside the roadmap Nokia has for handsets, looking at future technologies and applications from one to three years ahead, three to eight years and beyond.

"An enormous amount of the patents found in today's handsets originated in Nokia's Research Centres - from the interface design to improvements in audio quality on the phones to applications."

These devices can connect the physical world with the digital world
Professor Henry Tirri

He added: "A lot of things that you will see in the future, as Nokia moves to be an internet company, will come from the research labs."

Mr Tirri said: "Nokia sells 18 phones every second of every day; that is a humungous computing platform.

"Voice is one function of these devices, but we are moving to a data centric world. These devices can connect the physical world with the digital world.

"But what are the services which will marry the two?"

One such project trying to do just that is under development at Palo Alto. Nokia's researchers are using the GPS technology in some of their phones to help create a real-time picture of traffic flow.

The lab is working with Berkeley University and state authorities to trial software on mobile phones which will hopefully lead to a better understanding of how traffic moves through a system, and ultimately lead to better information for motorists as they drive.

Mobile phone getting information about its location via its camera

Dr John Shen, head of the Palo Alto Research lab, said his team was helping Nokia's development as a services company.

"We see the intersecting of the internet and mobility. Nokia has been a device company and that will remain a lucrative business for years to come, but instead of waiting until we have to change, Nokia is looking ahead and making changes now."

He said the focus for the firm was a "total solution", encompassing hardware and software, but focusing on a "compelling user experience".

"The company that understands the end user experience is going to have an edge," he added.

In Palo Alto 50 researchers are working on future mobile services.

Professor Tirri said the challenge for Nokia as it alters its focus was dealing with the issue of scale, and how best to use the information in the digital world that phones were able to gather in the physical world.

Nokia's Morph
Morph is a future concept phone based on nanosciences
"If one billion devices each produced one message every minute, it would swamp the network capacity.

"And what do we choose to measure in the physical world? We could measure everything, using the camera and sensors like GPS, which is perfectly possible.

"But the challenge then is indexing that data. How do we sort and deliver that data back to people?"

"And then there is a humungous user interface problem - how do keep the experience simple enough for consumers?"

Dr Shen added: "When technology is below the user requirement, technology drives the industry.

"But once you cross over to the mainstream then you have to look at services and the user experience.

"The real focus now is compelling user experiences. It has to be user experience driven rather than technology driven."

via BBC

Tuesday, February 26

onigiri house, nks architects

Onigiri House, Oita, Japan. Built: 2005 The entire house is made from Cedar.

More photos, text and link below.

The small wooden house located in the countryside village was designed for an old couple. The design purpose was to create the maximum volume within the limited cost, and to interweave the house with the surrounding nature.
Because the region is famous for the cedar wood production and for the shipbuilding, we decided to use the thick cedar board of 50 mm x 245 mm x 4 m as the structure usually used for the ship scaffolding, which was comparably low cost and high quality. The simple tube shape with the quasi-triangular section was chosen for creating the maximum interior volume and for the structural stability. There are the structural connection boxes and the small windows at the top and the two-bottom facets part of the tube.
Through these windows the light and the wind are introduced into the interior, while the tube end has the full opening towards the nature. Since the flooding has happened occasionally in this region, the house is elevated on the foundation poles. The shape of the house seems to be a kind of ark.

NKS Architects

Photos: Kouji Okamoto

Another wicked cool house: Norimaki House

A nod to The Coolhunter….