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With all the blood, sweat and tears bands put into making an album, it follows that they'd like to present their music in a package that will stand the test of time. But encasing your album in a block of sugar, that's a statement of a different kind.

The duo Beacon (Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett) met in school at Pratt, and the former art students have teamed with sculptor buddy Fernando Mastrangelo on the case for a deluxe edition of their upcoming album, The Ways We Seperate. Mastrangelo has cast a piece of all white sugar with the acronym for the album title debossed on the front. On the back, there's an inlay where the precious vinyl will rest. You will want to keep this away from children, pots of coffee, and open flames, we think.

The Ways We Separate is out on Ghostly International on April 30th.

Well-known in design circles and on blogs for its folded polypropylene backpack and unusual iPad cover, Solid Gray looks to fill the gap in the mobile boom box market with its speaker-outfitted backpack, dubbed the Basspack. Currently just a working prototype, the collaboration with Case of Bass adds boombastic sound to the geometric backpack design. No word yet on availability or audio specs, but the very idea of it makes designophile music fans giddy, but their neighbors? Perhaps not so much.

Get more info at Solid Gray online.


The folks behind It's Nice That have just re-launched their print arm under the apt title of Printed Pages. The first issue, which is out officially today, boasts eight features including a conversation with Hanly Banks about her Bill Callahan documentary Apocalypse, a rare glimpse inside the home of Apartamento founder Omar Sosa, and a discussion with Chris Ware about visual storytelling. The new magazine comes with a very accessible newstand price of only £4. 

Head to the Printed Pages site to find a distributor near you, or pick one up from Company of Parrots

Photo by: Laure Joliet

The Los Angeles gem known as Otherwild has a new location. The hybrid retail space and graphic design studio run by Rachel Berks and Marisa Suárez-Orozco opened last year in the thick of tourist mania on Hollywood and Highland. The first incarnation was a brave move for such an earthy outfit. But the new Echo Park location with neon sign suits it much better. On a block that's both tranquil and a bit rough around the edges, the new Otherwild is stocked like a cool kids clubhouse.

Inside, Otherwild has a laid-back witchy vibe balanced with a healthy dose of modern neons and iridescent plastics. The curated selections ride the line between art and craft. There is much to see here. From cast porcelain containers that feel like a nod to Rachel Whiteread, to swirly enamel rings gripping enormous chunks of pyrite, to that white neon Shangri-LA sign, these girls have an eye for simple beauty and West Coast style. The main criteria for what is sold here seems to be a solid belief in the pieces on the shelves and a desire to support the artisans that make the work. Otherwild feels like the kind of place that actually inspires real gift-giving, because everything here is so intimate and genuine.

The space itself serves as a great backdrop for the work in the store, with a hand-stripped wall and textured floor that give the whole place a warm and lived-in feeling. Dazzling smiles and the prettiest dog on the block welcomed us in; we were offered tea and were left to happily touch every single thing in the store with the most casual of chatter. It shouldn't be a surprise, therefore, that social events are a big part of Otherwild as well. Meanwhile, the graphic design studio operates at full steam, offering services that range from wedding invitations to web design. One gets the feeling that with a simple ask these ladies would be available to dive into whatever project presents itself.

Otherwild's new shop is open at 1932 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA.

Repurposing skateboard decks as electric guitars seems so obvious and natural that we can't believe we haven't seen it before, perhaps in an old Bones Brigade video. These days, it is Buenos Aires artist Ezequiel Galasso's company Skate Guitar which turns torn-up seven-ply wooden skateboard decks into the bodies of new guitars. They look super to our eyes and sound pretty nice from what we can hear in the videos. We hope to see them soon on the JFA reunion tour.

Find out more at Skate Guitar on Facebook.

It takes a certain panache to decorate a tiny urban pad. We live in New York City and store our shoes in the stove—we get it. And Parisian designer Philippine Lemaire gets it, too. Her convertible Itisy Table for Ligne Roset is nothing short of well-polished functionalism. Flexible segments cut out of three of four table tops join and rotate around each other to create a variety of configurations from a circular clustered dining table to a linear form suited to display. Available in American walnut or sawn oak, each top is stabilized by two solid oak legs that extend from a grey lacquer-coated stem at the joint. Those of us stateside will have to wait until June to get our mitts on the Itisy. By then, we hope to have cleared some extra space from our 500-square-foot glorified closet. 

Constructed from a simple metal tube, bent just three times (for the handle and the spout) and soldered to a metal can, the x3 watering can is a stunner that still gets the job done. Its handle positions allow for carrying and pouring, which is basically what you want in a watering can. We tend to think, however, some x3s may never visit the garden, but rather take a place of prominence on the art object shelf.

x3 is $50 from kontextur.com

David Bowie is having quite a good 2013. And having recently discovered his scene in the 1981 German junkie film Christiane F. we're as obsessed as ever. We’re not alone. British designer Blam (AKA Mark Blamire) takes that OCD admiration to epic proportions with the "Changing Faces of Bowie Print" (2013). An array of 101 type styles, logos and symbols inspired by the former David Jones screen-printed onto 240gsm Mirri rainbow holographic paper, this 500x500 limited release print showcases the work of some very reputable artists, designers, and publications who are just as clearly enamoured of the legendary rocker. Pentagram, Stockholm Design Lab, Crispin Finn, Monocle, and Wallpaper are among the contributors. The print has been created exclusively for the David Bowie Is exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum which opens March 23. 

"The Changing Faces of Bowie Print" is available for pre-order for £45 at vandashop.com.

Whether it’s the scent of her shampoo, a kiss on his incredibly beautiful nose, or a marathon weekend spent together in bed watching Twin Peaks—memories of a lover tend to skip and echo in our minds like a broken record. It’s like falling in love (or having your heart broken) over and over. Parisian design studio, Happiness Factory, wants to capture those poignant moments with the Happiness Brewery Project. Send HF your sentiments and they will memorialize them, for better or worse, with a labeled bottle so that you can share the good times and the bad times—without resorting to rapid-fire Facebook posts. Have a toast, put it on a shelf for safe-keeping, or throw it against the wall.

To submit one of your cherished flashbacks, email happinessisabeginning@gmail.com


Happiness Brewery from Happiness is a Beginning on Vimeo.

The Soccket soccer ball by Uncharted Play turns the kinetic energy created in a casual soccer game into electric light. Inside, there's a pendulum-like technology that converts the ball's movement into stored electricity for an on-board LED light. Young people in the developing world where electricity availability may be spotty can play in the day and read at night. The Soccket sounds like brilliant responsible design to us. Made in America, the Soccket is launching production via Kickstarter now.

Back the Soccket at Kickstarter.com