Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris
:

Just about a week ago, NASA christened its new Instagram account with a photo of the Earth rising over the moon taken 44 years ago during the Apollo 11 mission. While we're sure there's always a demand for vintage space photos, NASA's made it clear the account won't been limited to just archival images. This week they shared some amazing shots of a capsule landing in remote Kazakhstan as it happened, and a few days ago they documented the launch of the LADEE mission, the unmanned mission to study the atmosphere of the moon.

For more NASA imagery, check out their extremely through Flickr account



At this point in the summer, collective groans begin and people start saying things like, “Summer’s almost over, man.” Ignore the buzz kills, summer winding down is all the more reason to spend every second possible outside. And if the humdrum of the fluorescent light is tying you down, it’s time for a little motivation.

Luckily, we’re #soblessed to live in a world where inspiration is just an infinite scroll and double tap away. Follow these brands (the majority of which, we noticed, originate in the Pacific Northwest) if your life could use some fresh air.

 

Juniper Ridge @juniperridge
If you call the trails of the Pacific Northwest your “office,” chances are you’re going to have some views to share.

 

Teranishi Brand @teranishibrandBeautiful shots of Vashon Island interspersed with behind-the-scene shots into the leathercraft of Teppei Teranishi.


Almond Surfboards @almond_surfboardsThe lifestyle brand out of Newport Beach, California exemplifies the laid-back beach life.


Herschel Supply @herschelsupplyThe travel goods brand does a fine job curating customer photos and gives good reason to pack up your things and hit the road.


Wood & Faulk @woodandfaulk
In addition to documenting his craft, Matt Pierce offers clear, crisp, and relaxing captures of some of the best views Portland has to offer.


Topo Designs @topodesignsThe Colorado company’s photo feed is filled with images of its gear in use all over the world, and they’re always equally colorful and vibrant.


Best Made Co. @bestmadeco Best Made Co. is constantly releasing well-designed camping stuffs in addition to its signature axes. And they’re not afraid to take pictures of 'em.

 

Mission Bicycle @missionbicycleNon-stop photos of custom bike builds will make you want to hop on your own two-wheeler.

Poler Stuff @polerstuffThe travel enthusiasts at Portland-based Poler Stuff hold one of best hash tags on Instagram: #CampVibes 

Patagonia @patagonia Live some real adventure vicariously on the outdoor brand's feed. 

Photo by: Kriz Baronia | FLOAT

Chicago's Kriz Baronia (an alias of a fellow well-known in the city's music industry) has been posting his manipulated images of oddly fused buildings and skyscrapers with relevant quotes in a photo series he calls "FLOAT" on Instagram. Baronia joins the buildings at their mid or lower sections and places them in endless skies, giving the impression that the structures are floating alien spacecraft or hovering city drones. It's so simple and effective, we're sure there's someone else doing it, too. But who?

See more at BaronnerSpicolliCooperDraper.

We're voracious consumers of year-end lists, truth be told, but the end-of-year tradition of the time capsule sounds a little bit less Internet-only to our ears. So today, on the first of the year, we're thinking about what we might stick in our time capsule for 2012, the year in visual culture. Here's a start.

London Olympics
Lambasted on the internet with unusual vitriol, the London Olympics logo and graphics were actually pretty solid and of the moment—infused with an English quirkiness. The controversy around the country of manufacturer for the U.S. opening ceremony outfits also highlighted an unusual intersection of fashion, politics, sports, and globalism that had people talking. London's Olympic architecture was an endless source of debate and online haterade. But altogether, it also felt like London cemented its rep as a dynamic city where new design, boundary-pushing art, and thoughtful architecture flourishes.

Instagram
From day one, we were hooked on Instagram, posting photos of everything from dramatic shots of breakfast burritos to charming outakes from our 17th birthday (hashtag #ThrowbackThursday). Like no other app on our smartphone, Instagram allowed users to share what they were doing but also share their artistic vision of the world. It feels, quite literally, like an extension of who we are. Some are fleeing in light of Instagram's new user agreement terms, but many will stay and keep sharing.

Reclaimed barn wood
Did a lot of farms go out of business in 2012, because it seemed as though a lot of old barn wood was showing up in big city dining rooms? In 2012, barn wood was the star material in new retail and restaurant interiors—even homes. Call it rustic chic, call it boutique recycling, call it the last gasp of the real America, there was something about barn wood that resonated with designers this year. Look for more of it used more inventively in 2013. It isn't going anywhere, until we run out of barns, that is.

3-D Printers
Yeah, we know 3-D printing has been around a while, but in 2012 it firmly took hold of the imaginations of designers, Make magazine readers, the media, and the public at large. The Economist even devoted a special issue to the possibilities of small-scale, local 3-D manufacturing. Of course, their 3-D printing story wasn't without controversy—one could download the plans for a printable AR-15 rifle. But on the upside, 3-D printers are already showing their value in some surprising ways in small scale manufacturing—see "socially conscious design," below.

Hashtag Menswear
Blogging about menswear went from being a cult of online steez to an actual realtime phenomenon. Like an endless feedback loop, the conversation and photoblogging about men's clothes online fueled an expanded realtime culture for men to access. The marketplace is still responding and 2013 will be a year of separating the good stuff from the crap.

Socially conscious design
Designing for the developing world, the environment, and the green home bloomed in 2012. Witness the likes of foot-powered clothes washers, LED lights, and solar-powered laptops. And it was a nice feeling to read about inventive creatives putting their work to solving problems rather than adding yet another luxury dining chair to the showrooms. The challenge in 2013? To check up on these projects Fast Co Design selected and see how many come to fruition and actually make a difference.

Naturally, we're wondering what you'd put in 2012 time capsule. Let us know on the Nothing Major Facebook page.