Viewing entries in
Inspiration

Stockholm, Sweden (8/27/2017)

Comment

Stockholm, Sweden (8/27/2017)

Earlier this summer, I traveled to my family's homeland of Stockholm, Sweden for a week full of strong coffee and slight breezes. The Swedish summer is my ideal climate, and I found Stockholm and her archipelago just as agreeable. All in all, a wonderful vacation, made wonderful twice over by the gorgeous environment, both urban and otherwise. 

Enjoy some of my favorite photos from the trip below. Adjö, Sverige - I'll see you soon. 

DSC_0672.jpg
DSC_0680.jpg
DSC_0728.jpg
DSC_1022.jpg
DSC_1031.jpg
DSC_1055.jpg
DSC_1179.jpg

Comment

Highsnobiety: Meet Kevin Starr, Venture Capitalist and Secret Sneakerhead

Comment

Highsnobiety: Meet Kevin Starr, Venture Capitalist and Secret Sneakerhead

My third article for world-leading lifestyle publication Highsnobiety, talking sneakers, business, and life with Kevin Starr of Third Rock Ventures, the Boston-based VC firm behind many of today's most innovative biotech companies.

Kevin wears Chrome Hearts and Y-3 sneakers to board meetings with Nobel Prize winners. We should all be like Kevin. Read the full story on Highsnobiety via the link here.

Special thanks to Kevin Starr and Chris Danforth for making this possible. 

Comment

"Salt:Vanity" by Murray Fredericks (2017)

Comment

"Salt:Vanity" by Murray Fredericks (2017)

Over the decades, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has fallen in love with the salt flats of his native Outback. During his first visit in 2001, Fredericks reported experiencing an intense calm - a sense of diminutive oneness, the kind that could only be felt by a small being below an infinite sky.

The enchantment was cast.

In the years since that first fateful visit, Fredericks has returned time and time again to these limitless horizons - only this time, he brought a mirror. The resulting photographs, part of Fredericks' now-showing "Vanity" series, are as surreal at that first trip so long ago: in this unflinching flatland, simply reflecting anything different is jarring if not wonderful.

I'll skip the art history critique - "Vanity" is damn cool to look at, and should be revered for that quality. Even more impressive: every single image in the series is the result of physical, not digital, manipulation. With a simple tool and a simple landscape, Fredericks makes images that would challenge even Photoshop savants. 

Check out more selections from the series below, then visit the artist's website here for more. 

Comment

"Flowerprint" Adds 2,000 Bouquets to Milan Office Façade

Comment

"Flowerprint" Adds 2,000 Bouquets to Milan Office Façade

As part of this year's Milan Design Week 2017, Italian architecture studio Piuarch collaborated with renowned landscape architect Cornelius Gavril to cover its Milanese office in a cascade of 2,000 blooming bouquets. The flowers were hung using a storied technique where live stems are grafted onto the vines of potato plants, creating a wholly organic look while still juxtaposing the suspended bouquets with the ground they're floating above.

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

The result: an ethereal façade that livens up one of Milan's historic streets. Visually, "Flowerprint" is a Magritte painting rendered in leaves and stems - "Golconda, 1953" meets the gardens of the Villa d'Este. If you're in the area, enjoy the Instagram fodder. However, if you're either off the continent or can't make it to Milan before the flowers wilt, enjoy the photos below.  

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

(source:  designboom )

(source: designboom)

Comment

12 Architects Craft China's "Bamboo Bienniale"

Comment

12 Architects Craft China's "Bamboo Bienniale"

Last year, 12 architects from all over the globe were invited to the remote village of Baoxi — in an area south of Shanghai, still untouched by China's building boom - to demonstrate the viability of bamboo construction. Bamboo, the rapidly-growing reed native to China's forests, has long been posited as building material, but this inaugural "Bamboo Bienniale" (one every two years) is perhaps the first step towards realizing its true potential. In a country choked by smog and cement, this naturally-occurring, biodegradable material could present a novel solution to urban China's notoriously polluting behavior. 

In the present, however, the Bienniale's mandate (and gorgeous mountainous setting) create some truly stunning visuals - architectural yet organic, urban but at home in the wild. See more photos of the Bienniale structures below:

international-bamboo-architecture-biennale-xitou-village-china-designboom-09.jpg

 

A list of all 12 architects and their structures, courtesy of our friends at designboom:

Ge Quantao (China) - bridge
George Kunihiro (USA) - existing ceramic workshop
Li Xiaodong (China) - bamboo product research and design center
Simon Velez (Colombia) - boutique hotel
Anna Heringer (Germany) - youth hostel / design hotel
Kengo Kuma (Japan) - contemporary celadon ceramic museum
Keisuke Maeda (Japan) - invited ceramist workshop
Mauricio Cardenas Laverde (Italy – Colombia) - eco-energy efficient experimental house
Suk-Hee Chun and Young-Chul Jang (Republic of Korea) - bamboo restaurant
Madhura Primatilleke (Sri Lanka) - public ceramic workshop
Vo Trong Nghia (Vietnam) - welcome center
Yang Xu (China) - art hotel

 

Comment

Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, and Back Again

Comment

Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, and Back Again

Last weekend, some friends and I shot selections from the Greats SS17 collection around the University of Michigan. While Ann Arbor has its fair share of coffee shops and bike commuters, it's still a long ways from Brooklyn, NYC - unless you can find another way to bring the two together. After a long day of shooting, I channeled the Empire State of Mind to make some my own styling inspiration collages. Check out the results of my first big photography project below:

Royale1.png
Maddy1.png

 

Many thanks to Erika, Eli, Matt, Maddy, Joe, and many others for making this shoot possible. 

 

Comment

Chicago, IL (2/26/2017)

Comment

Chicago, IL (2/26/2017)

Last weekend, I visited the city of Chicago on my school's spring break for a long weekend of touring and fun. Given Chicago's reputation for grand architecture, the Midwest's own metropolis provided an excellent venue for some long photo walks.

If you'd like to read more about what I did, check out my Wicker Park shopping guide here. But, if you're more the "worth 1000 words" type, simply scroll down to see some of my favorite photos from the weekend below:

DSC_1479.jpg
DSC_1419.jpg

Comment

Photos of an Abandoned Japanese Theme Park, Taken Just Before Demolition

Comment

Photos of an Abandoned Japanese Theme Park, Taken Just Before Demolition

As part of his photo essay "Ask The Dust", French photographer Romain Veillon traveled to Nara, Japan to photograph the city's abandoned amusement park, "Dreamland", just before it was demolished last October. Naru Dreamland opened in 1961, but after years of stiff competition from parks such as Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan, finally closed its doors in 2006. It lay abandoned for 10 full years.  

"Nature reclaimed the park, which disappeared slowly under the vegetation, and created an even more magical and unique atmosphere," said Veillon, speaking to seminal design magazine Dezeen. "But even this abandoned time had to come to an end." 

Just before that time came, Veillon entered the park to document its verdant decomposition. The resulting images are both surreal and serene: vines crisscross coasters; shrubs block in bumper cars. Every photograph projects an uneasy contrast of power and decay - where nature was once beaten back, it has returned with forceful grace to reclaim the park. 

In an era rife with anxiety over our planet's future, Veillon's photos tell of a salient, if uncomfortable, fate: nature will be fine without us. It is humanity - the easily overgrown, the readily absorbed - we should be worried about. Check out the rest of the photos in the series below:

Comment

"Flower Beards" by Geoffroy Mottart (2017)

Comment

"Flower Beards" by Geoffroy Mottart (2017)

While Belgian artist Geoffroy Mottart's latest work is far from "subversive," his guerilla style (wait for night, act, retreat) seems the stuff of freedom fighters instead of a self-described "artiste floral." However, his latest work (best known as "Flower Beards") is every bit as revolutionary as his tactics imply.

Flower Beards is a series of floral arrangements decorating busts and statues throughout Belgium's public parks. The project's motivation? "I realized that most people pass by these statues without paying attention to them," says Mottart. Like the weather-beaten busts that line walkways in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, these public tributes often fell in the blindspot of many who walk by. However, thanks to Mottart's arranging skill and artistic vision, they have received new life.

Enjoy more images of Mottart's project below, and be sure to check out the artist's website here.

geoffroy-mottart-flower-busts-designboom-02.jpg

 

 

Comment

"La Linea Roja" by Nicolas Rivals (2016)

Comment

"La Linea Roja" by Nicolas Rivals (2016)

With neon tubes and the Spanish countryside as his lonesome companions, Paris-based photographer Nicolas Rivals painted a journey. Titled "La Linea Roja," Rivals' photo essay contrasts the iridescent glow of manmade light with the eerie stillness of the hinterlands at night. The results are alien, even chilling: artificial shapes glow with inorganic intensity, both a part of and wholly removed from the plants and trees they've invaded as support.

Yet, despite the almost predatory discomfort one feels watching the lights in the darkness, there's a subtly-attractive, even futuristic quality to Rivals' photos. How many movies portray man augmenting nature? How many rock album covers create similar scenes? Even as cruel, glowing, geometric fangs stare back from a once-tranquil forest, it's hard not to feel awed by their possibility. View the rest of the photos in the series below: 

All photos courtesy of the artist and DesignBoom.com.

 

Comment

[INSPIRATION] Updated

Comment

[INSPIRATION] Updated

Every so often, I update the [INSPIRATION] section of this website with the most recent collection of photos and videos I've found around the Internet. Today is one of those times. Check out the [INSPIRATION] tab above or just click the link here to see what's new.

Comment

THE PLAYBOOK: A Great Escape In Hudson, NY

Comment

THE PLAYBOOK: A Great Escape In Hudson, NY

Sometimes, you just gotta get away. For the latest edition of THE PLAYBOOK by Greats Brand, Mr. Elliot Aronow (stylist, entrepreneur, and AirBNB enthusiast) takes us through a very special 48 hour journey in and around Hudson, NY. If you're a fan of gourmet burgers and changing leaves, this "downtown of Upstate" is for you.

Caught the travel bug? Check out the piece at the link here, then stay tuned. This week's entry is only the first of many "Great Escapes," hand-tailored guides profiling the best long weekend spots in and around the Brooklyn area. Pack your duffel, grab some shoes, and enjoy the trip.

 

Comment

Self-Loathing Ninja Slippers

Comment

Self-Loathing Ninja Slippers

This week's featured outfit: technical athleisure and the Nike x ACRONYM Air Presto. I pared down the rest of the look to draw attention to the shoes, but made sure to choose pieces with tech detailing (minimal branding, matte neutrals, synthetic fabrics) to play up the context created by the ultra-functional Prestos. The result is somewhere between Arc'teryx and Nike Pro Combat: functional credo, fashion execution, and overall one of my favorite new looks. 

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

The techwear nerd in me wants to use these DYNE Tech Chinos as a foundation to go full GORE-TEX ninja, but every ounce of that Deus Ex internal monologue ends the moment I look down.

I'll put it bluntly: for ninja shoes, the ACRONYM Presto is awful at not being seen. 

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

That's not a bad thing - I actually think the "Neon" colorway rocks. Of this season's three Nike x ACRONYM colorways, this one is undoubtedly the icon. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's objectively one of the strongest Presto colorways ever dropped. Ever since Common Projects started the #whitesneakertrend close to a decade ago, there's been a disturbing lack of risktaking in footwear. Most major collabs are now popular silhouettes decked out in Switzerland-level neutrals, then labeled as valuable due to a "limited release" rather than deriving value from their design merits alone.

Egregious examples include the Livestock Samba, which is - wait for it - a black adidas Samba.

In this context, the Nike x ACRONYM Presto is a breath of fresh air: bold, daring, and still supremely wearable. Paired with these DYNE Linus Sweats, it's a tech-inspired casual shoe rather than a Blade Runner prop. That being said, the shoe sings against all black: the iridescent contrast colors shine like a solar flare against skin-covering neutral pieces, and with a plethora of white/black details to break up the lava lamp toebox, look like deliberate complements rather than a gasoline spill. In short: they look sweet. 

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

Which is good. Since you'll be seeing them a lot. 

Seriously. Dressing in all black then strapping into biomorphic mid-tops does feel unquestionably cool, but every now and again, you catch a flash of pink/yellow as you reach down to check your texts. In these brief moments, you grapple regret: the realization sinks in that the limited release you proxy shipped from Germany is a triathlete nun away from Nike's UNLIMITED colorway, and suddenly, you're just a nerdy dude who bought zip-up ninja shoes.

Limited edition zip-up shoes. 

That are visible at night.

You're just a nerdy dude who bought useless ninja shoes.

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

Photo credit: Kristen Eisenhauer

But hey, once the self-loathing subsides, you've got a Nike x ACRONYM Air Presto! And that's not nothing. In fact, in a year saturated by Yeezy drops and yet another "luxury" Air Max, it's one of the best sneaker releases of 2016. Stay tuned for a full review coming soon. But until then, thanks for reading.

 

Comment

Guest Post: Derin Özen Photography

Guest Post: Derin Özen Photography

As the second installment in the ongoing "photography feature" series, we'll today be highlighting the work of my friend (and fellow Wolverine) Derin Özen. Derin is a rising junior at the University of Michigan studying Industrial Engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, and playing music, especially guitar and piano. Oh yeah - and he also takes some seriously beautiful photos. 

Derin is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and has traveled all over both the Old World and the New. His life, travels, and the people he meets are captured in his work, presenting an expansive and yet uniquely personal visual diary. Out of thousands of shots from every corner of the globe, he chose his 23 favorites to present here today.

Without further ado, the photography of Derin Özen: 

DSC_4702.JPG
DSC_4703.JPG
DSC_5914.JPG

A special thank you once again to Derin Özen for providing the images for today's feature! If you're interested in more of his work, follow Derin on Instagram (@derinozen1995) or reach out to him on Facebook

 

The Dystopian Wonderland of “Playtime” (1967)

The Dystopian Wonderland of “Playtime” (1967)

In the middle of France’s “Trente Glorieuses” (“Glorious Thirty”, the Marshall Plan-funded period 1945-75) boom years, a sharp-witted filmmaker challenged the status quo with what would become one of the biggest cinema flops of all time. “Playtime”, a three hour long, nearly-wordless comedy, would take three years to film and bankrupt the companies that funded it. But 50 years later, the film routinely ranks as one of the greatest movies of all time. How has one of the most significant commercial failures in the history of art emerged with a positive legacy? Simply put: by introducing uncomfortable ideas to an era that desperately needed them.

At its heart, Playtime is a story of conflict. Director Jacques Tati returns to the screen to play the character of “Monsieur Hulot,” an affable-but-antiquated Frenchman who audiences first met through the big-screen comedies Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot and Mon Oncle. In both films, Tati juxtaposed the humanistic tendencies of Monsieur Hulot with the modernist idiosyncrasies of “Trente Glorieuses” society.

The conflict on screen is one of hubris versus wisdom: in Tati’s films, the self-importance of postwar life is made farce simply by comparing it to reasonable human behavior. Film critics applauded Tati’s filmmaking prowess and skillful observations of society. Audiences laughed along as Hulot stumbled through vacation clubs and molded plastic kitchens. After all, Vacances and Mon Oncle lampooned specific sectors of life. There was a safety to the scope of the parody: Tati’s films always provided a disconnect between the environments on screen and the 24-hour life audiences lived. Until Playtime, that is.

Playtime is Jacques Tati’s most ambitious film. To realize his vision of a sanitized dystopian Paris in an age before CGI, Tati literally built it. Over five months, an army of more than 100 construction workers built a massive city set comprising over 15,000 square feet in the center of the Ile de France. Tati dictated every inch of the set’s construction, visiting factories, offices, and housing complexes all over Europe to inform his precise designs. The estimated cost: a staggering 17 million euros (over $30 million USD today, not including the $3+ million USD for mid-filming set repairs).

Screenshot (85).png

Tati’s devotion to uncompromised writing borders on the insane, all to accomplish what he saw as the perfect portrayal of a compromised modernity. Just watching the film, audiences sense that Tati spared no expense realizing his vision. Interiors are geometric. Exteriors are fluid and spotless. Tightly-choreographed scenes include layers of background visual gags that reportedly took dozens of takes to satisfy the very man who acted in them. Intricate steel and glass skyscrapers were constructed to pull off a single visual gag involving characters’ reflections. The end result is a sandbox for Tati’s reflections on the inflated modernity he saw engulfing the better natures of the French people. To Tati, the boom years – and the ridiculous lifestyle they created – couldn’t last. But his monument to them, a mirror to society every bit as reflective as the buildings he painstakingly constructed, rings eternal. Enjoy some stills from the movie below, then rent the HD remastered version (released 2014) on Amazon at the link here. As the world again appears engulfed in technocratic madness, Playtime is worth your time.