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Thierry Boltz and Claude Saos of design outfit Boltz & Saos bike daily, so when they set out to make a wooden bike, they weren't messing around with gallery pieces. Their design for the WOOD.b, in fact, utilizes both wood (an ash plywood) for the "tubing" portion of the frame and high quality steel from Italy's Columbus for the bases and fork. The hybrid design, they say, allows the bike to be comfortable, dynamic and sturdy enough to actually use—as well as making it and its mechanical parts easily maintained at a typical bike shop. Currently, they're offering four base models—but the bikes are made to order and customizable. 

WOOD.b are handmade in France and available on demand at bsgbikes.com.


BSGBIKES-woodb from BSG BIKES on Vimeo.

Leave it to the Swedish to come up with a series of drawstring lamps made from a sun-shielding waste material. The textile gurus over at Svensson Markspelle developed a fabric with a self-supporting infrastructure, allowing Merry-Go-Round to make a light with an ever-changing shape. The Drawstring Lamp invites play and interaction with your standard inanimate object. In a variety of colorful combinations, these lamps filter light so their color and draping look effortless, proving that lighting can be more than functional and morally eco-conscious—it can be sexy.

Merry-Go-Round Drawstring Lamps are 340€ at merrygoround.se


Maria Pergay, Red Pouf

Co-founder and former director of Design Miami Ambra Medda (who also happens to be married to OK Go singer Damian Kulash) is going digital. Her latest venture is L'ArcoBaleno, a design e-commerce site with editorial features which launched June 19.

Medda, co-founder and creative director of the new Berlin-based L’ArcoBaleno, tells us ”L’ArcoBaleno will reflect the entire spectrum of design—that includes collectible objects, but also fashion, food, music, architecture, art, and technology. Our hope is that it will influence the global design conversation, and inspire and engage collectors, curators, and devotees of creative fields." 

L’ArcoBaleno is obviously drawing on Medda's passion for exciting contemporary design and her well-earned connections in the design and gallery universe. The shop launched with work from presenting galleries such as Galerie Kreo, Demisch Danant and Galerie Patrick Seguin. And the site's advisory board includes heavy hitters such as designer Tom Dixon, fashion designer Reed Krakoff, publisher Martina Mondadori, musician Pharrell Williams, and gallerist Alexander Dellal.

The site specializes in modern design, offering highbrow furniture (the chaise from Poul Kjærholm, above, lists for $65,000), ceramics, and lifestyle products such as bicycles by Velorapida ($2,260), and sunglasses by Conservatoire International de Lunettes ($360). The emphasis of the Objects section is on gallery-quality design objects and furniture.

While few of us may be ponying up for a Max Lamb Poly Dining Set, we can dig into the site's magazine-style features for free. For launch, Medda interviews designer Tom Dixon, whom she's known since childhood, in the Features section. Destinations is a bit like a global gallery guide. And Designers has bios on everyone the site might be carrying from Yuri Suzuki to Humans Since 1982. The L'ArcoBaleno blog might be our favorite bit, it features a recipe from Alla Carta's Martino Gamper, and endorsements of baskets from Botswana and a studio visit with the great Ana Kras.

So far, so good. 

Visit L'ArcoBaleno online.

As part of an exhibit at this year's Design/Miami Basel fair celebrating Swiss design and promoting tourism, seven designers were given discarded gondolas from the Verbier resort in the Swiss Alps and told to use the materials to create new work. Some kept the basic form of the gondolas and created rocking benches and tables, while others deconstructed the cars entirely, creating new installations that only vaguely suggested the shape of the classic gondola. The seven designs will be shown during a brief tour of Switzerland, and auctioned by Christie's to raise funds for the Make-a-Wish foundation. [via Yatzer / photos © Annik Wetter]

Photos by Yewon Kim

Chicago is awash in street fests each summer, but the Guerrilla Truck Show, hosted by Morlen Sinoway Atelier during mega trade fair NeoCon each year stands out for its relaxed vibe and focus on creative work from small studios. Hundreds of designers and artists from Chicago and beyond show their latest projects and current wares from rented Ryder and U-Haul trucks. As one attendee noted Tuesday night, "it's a bad day to move out of an apartment in Chicago." As usual, we were inspired and enlightened.

Father's Day isn't nearly the stumper it used to be. Just think about the availability of fashionable ties and handmade socks in today's online marketplace. But if one is still in need of inspiration, take a look at our suggestions for gifts that dads will likely enjoy for years to come. Yes folks, it's NoMa's first Father's Day Guide. 


Outlier Ultrafine Merino T-shirt, $98 at outlier.cc
This comfortable lightweight tee has the right stuff to become a summer favorite for minimalist dads.

Imperial Shave Bundle, $30 at ImperialBarberProducts.com
Simply great shaving products in masculine packaging are a no brainer for fathers with stubble issues.

Front Loading Toolbox, $89 at bestmadeco.com
A legit metal toolbox that can go to the workbench or the art studio. Hands-on dad, we've got your number.

Nothing Belongs to Ebbets: Navy Noma Script Fitted Hat, $49 at nothingmajor.com
The captain of your squad deserves some Noma flannel up top.

Single Slash Wallet from Winter Session, $49 at winter-session.com
Handmade dad gear for under $100—dads who decry bulging back pockets will thank you.

Jacob Bromwell + Winter Session: Covered Flask, $195 at winter-session.com
Pure copper flask in handmade Horween leather cover suits dads with Americana style just fine.

Normann Copenhagen & Rikke Hagen's Whiskey Tumblers, $50 at aplusrstore.com
Glassware that looks to future makes sure that every toast your modernist pops proposes is optimistic.

French Jump Rope, $35 at kaufmann-mercantile.com
If dad longs for the days when he could float like a butterfly, skip the gym membership and get this.

Brooks Bicycle Messenger Bag, $305 at modern-bike.com
Why mess with the rest? This bike bag from the century-old Brooks is downright manly.


Whole Larder Love, $35 at wholelarderlove.com
DIY hunter-gatherer and Aussie father Rohan Anderson has written a how-to manual for cooking dads with farm-to-table tendencies.

Photo by: Dexterity Press, 2013 | Rodan Release Party poster

Images courtesy of Dexterity Press

Rodan was only active a few years, but the Louisville, KY-based band made quite an impression on the underground scene of the early '90s with powerful but precise compositions which played with extreme dynamics and time signatures. The band's music lurched like a goliath insect—and appropriately its album art for debut Rusty featured a butterfly in flight.

While guitarist/vocalist Jeff Mueller continued in bands such as June of 44 and Shipping News, he eventually focused on art and design, setting up his own printing press studio in Chicago—before moving to New Haven, CT—with his wife Kerri. Rodan's Jason Noble passed away in 2012, so tragically he won't see the release rarities album Fifteen Quiet Years, due out tomorrow, June 11, on Touch and Go/Quarterstick Records. Its cover features a cicada, which seems particularly apt for a band's work unearthed after so many years.

Nothing Major caught up with Mueller to find out more about his bug obsession, printing biz, and Fifteen Quiet Years.

I remember you were really into insects during the Rodan years—I mean visually. I think perhaps you had some bug art in your pace in the Rocket House, my memory can't be trusted.
That's true —there were also crayfish, bird and/or rat skeletons, cicadas, a small frog, one rhinoceros beetle, monarch butterflies, and an egyptian luna moth. All found in the "no longer alive" category, even the skeletons. After their capture, I would preserve them in glass collages using water-born polyurethane to hold the subject in between layers of cut glass. There would often be other small objects like a mono-ear piece or small rubber pig or paper mai-tai umbrella also included in the composition —these items, I think, would be included to give the deceased a source of entertainment, hopefully garnering a post-humous chortle.

What kind of things usually find their way into your printing over the years?
Lots of stuff: appropriated historic anatomical engravings, primates eating delicious iced cream cones, greyhound skeleton, lanterns, ornithological imagery (found, as well as Jeff-generated illustrations), wood, upside-down/foot-up pied metal type, old and new song lyrics, various patterns built using Adobe Illustrator, etc.

What's Dexterity Press and how long have you been doing it? Is is your main gig?
What kind of printing equipment are you using? Where is your studio?
Dexterity Press is a letterpress printing studio my wife Kerri and I opened 13 years ago. It's my main, 9-5 work these days - though that's only been the case since we moved east three years ago. Our first ten years in Chicago were always supplemented by other jobs—painting Chicago north-side houses with Dan Grzeca was key to keeping us alive while things were VERY slow in the early days at our shop. We are now located in New Haven, CT—in the old A.C. Gilbert building complex, where Erector Set toys used to be manufactured. We print on a Vandercook Universal 1 and a Chandler and Price 10 x 15 platen press.  

You recently printed the Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary posters. What else have you been working lately that's music related?
We printed an Allen Ginsberg/Arthur Russell 10" a year or so ago now for Presspop Gallery, Tokyo. We printed a compilation 12" called "Eight Trails, One Path" for Three Lobed Recordings last year—that was fun because Casey Burns did the art, and many great musicians were involved. We printed an insane looking Mick Barr 12" for the energetic New Haven label Safety Meeting Records. We printed matchbook-style CD jackets for Christian Frederickson. We've been reprinting and retro-fitting Rachel's and June of 44 CD/LP jackets for Touch and Go/Quarterstick records, trying to figure out special-packaging manufacturing methods that can be done entirely in-house for less cost. We printed LP/CD jackets for a great Louisville band called Coliseum. Most recently, the Rodan record took over our studio for a couple weeks.

What was your involvement in the design of the new Rodan rarities album Fifteen Quiet Years?
Jason and I talked about grabbing graphic bits and pieces from our previous releases and collaging them into the new record design; the nuts and bolts of the art was already done, it just needed to be messed with and changed-up some. I did the new layout and created the cicada on the cover. The Quarterstick staff (Corey Rusk, April Sims, Adam Reach, and David Babbitt) helped proof-read and assisted immensely with pre-press. (Rodan members) Tara (Jane O' Neil) and Kevin (Coultas) kicked in with motivational speak and congenial/positive attitudes, sweet love.

Contact Dexterity Press, or browse the Dexterity Press Etsy shop.

Between the elegance of Moleskine and the ruggedness of Field Notes, there are literally reams of bound paper out there to save your brilliant thoughts and sketch world-changing ideas. But what if a notebook, a tool of the creative class, actually sparked creativity? Chicago artist and toy designer Shawn Smith’s Resketch project, currently on Kickstarter, not only records but elicits ideas from users with a series of creative prompts, pages with images, characters and creative inspiration sandwiched between multi-colored, multi-textured stacks of resourced paper. “As far as we’ve come with digital media, it’s still not as direct as pencil, pen, and paper,” says Smith. These sleek, environmentally friendly tomes manage to foster the sense of discovery that might lead one to furiously scribble inside a notebook in the first place.

Resketch books (7 x 9-inch, between 85-100 pages, and coil-bound with a thick chipboard cover and back) are currently available on Kickstarter; backers can also opt for the Artist Cover series, featuring prints from Art Baltazar, Andrew Bell, Chris Ryniak, Mig Reyes, and Smith.

Justin Porcano, the product designer behind Wallhub, was in a brainstorming session when he realized the light switch plate was an incredibly underused structure. So he gave the switch plate a second functional purpose by adding simple hooks for things we grab on the way out of the house, like keys, mail, and umbrellas. And best of all, because the Wallhub is built to fit on a standard switch plate, there's no additional wall damage from hooks or other hangers.

The Wallhub comes in three styles to fit most light switches.

The Middle Mind Project, Gus Gavino's independent motion picture studio based in Chicago's Logan Square, takes an unusual approach to documenting artists, experimenting with the narrative format, and producing something contemporary, refreshing, and original. Nothing Major is thrilled to present some of our favorites from the series which has included Ray Noland, The Post Family, and Plural

See more of the Middle Mind Project online in its archives Tumblr. 

Today, we're featuring MMP's video on Veronica Corzo-Duchardt ("Cuban-American artist, designer, teacher, and collector of things") and her Winterbureau design studio. Corzo-Duchardt (who has MFAs from the SAIC in Visual Communications and Writing) designed for V2 Records, Surface, ENK International, and Sony Music. Side note from the director: "The low voice you hear throughout the piece (starting at 00:57) is her grandfather speaking to her. At the end of the film you hear them saying they love each other before saying goodbye. It's from an audio recording she did with him some years ago."


Look for a MMP video premiere on Nothing Major soon.