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Against Performative Positivity

Designer, researcher and educator Danah Abdulla on consumer capitalism, complacent convenience, political ‘wokeness’, and why we should all become design dissenters.

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Junya Racer, D+ Health In Mind

Made in Japan. Our performance eyewear system was developed over a two year technical testing period, involving NYC athletes and Japanese engineering. The frame features D+ lens technology, an adjustable hypoallergenic rubber nose pad and temple tips with a titanium core. The Health In Mind edit……

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Floating Points & Four Tet 050721 by NTS Monday

Sounds of the Forest – Soundmap :: Timber Festival

Explore the first ever forest soundmap of the world.

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As lockdowns lift, media firms brace for an “attention recession”

People have spent a year glued to screens, but now the attention boom is turning to bust | International…

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Cold Bones is an unflinching look at addiction and the path to healing

Each winter, the crosses that inhabit the sprawling cemeteries of Iceland are illuminated as a mark of respect for the dead. “I’ve always found it very comforting and beautiful, and it makes me feel close to my family and friends that are buried there,” reflects Tan Gillies.

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Helium-10000 is an inflatable puffer coat that floats like a balloon

Italian designer Andrew Kostman has created Helium-10000, an inflatable puffer jacket that can be carried around like a balloon.

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A Project of One’s Own

A few days ago, on the way home from school, my nine year old son told me he couldn’t wait to get home to write more of the story he was working on. This made me as happy as anything I’ve heard him say — not just…

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Entering the Universe of Aphex Twin

Each person’s journey with Aphex Twin is inherently personal given the broad range of music he’s made. David Brake suggests where to begin.

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The majority of us want to ditch fast fashion ‘for good’, says study

Yes to sustainable shopping habits!…

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The 125 Best Stores in America

Support your local independent menswear shops. These are the stores that are meaningful to our communities and in our lives. These are the places we all want to continue to exist. Please get out and visit these places and share the list with likeminded friends. If there’s a shop you…

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Both Glamorous And Raw, Studio Glume’s Interior Objects Embody Their Love Affair With Stone – IGNANT

The design portfolio of Chinese multidisciplinary firm Studio Glume is stunning, with furniture, objects, and artworks that are wild, playful, and sculptural.

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Slow

Bendt’s Universe

The mysterious world of young Belgian painter Bendt Eyckermans

The Lange Leemstraat is one of Antwerp’s longer continuous streets. It starts on the edge of the city center and cuts straight through the Klein-Antwerpen area, which is popularly better known as (a significant part of) the Jewish neighborhood. The street slices the segment of the Belgian city between the Mechelsesteenweg, the Van Eycklei and the Belgiëlei, in two halfs — together forming a perfect triangle when seen on a map. Most of the tall but narrow houses in the street are at least four stories high and an overall multiethnic feel prevails next to the omnipresence of the orthodox Jewish community; when entering the street one is instantly struck by a metropolitan vibe. It feels like a miniature Brooklyn in the heart of Antwerp. For me, it forms one of the many (hidden) qualities of the city with a remarkable cultural diversity and unique urban structure that was only partly transformed for the modern age.

When continuing along the street from the center, somewhere halfway at the heart of Klein-Antwerpen, the impressive 'Résidence Isabelle' arises. The street is too narrow to actually see it before being in its proximity. All of a sudden it’s just there, forcing the street into an Y-crossing. The apartment building is the kind of beautiful architectural dissonance one finds throughout Antwerp. It doesn't match with its surrounding, but fits beautifully. In today’s digitally globalized world the concept (or illusion?) of visibility is more dominant and demanding then ever. In my eyes, an organically grown, bricolaged, environment like the Belgian harbor city still cultivates the opposite: a strong sensibility for the unknown and the mysterious through its partly chaotic, partly impractical, but always deeply intriguing urban DNA.

When somewhere last year, we discovered the work of a young Antwerp-based painter named Bendt Eyckermans, a very similar feeling of mystery hit. Who was behind these striking paintings, reminding of some of my favorite magic-realistic artists, yet with an incredible contemporary perspective and subject matter? After connecting through Instagram (bless the digital age too!), Bendt agreed to meet in his studio, which to my surprise is located right there in my favorite neighborhood of the city. [ Continue reading ]

POWERMASK

by Walter van Beirendonck at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam

Last Thursday, we were finally able to see the extraordinary 'POWERMASK' exhibition at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam. Curated by none other than Walter van Beirendonck, sided by art historian Alexandra van Dongen and anthropologist Sonja Wijs, it had been on our wish list from September 1st when it opened for the public. For 'POWERMASK', the museum with a focus on ethnology gave the legendary Antwerp fashion designer a free hand to present his own unique, multi-faceted vision of the phenomenon of masks. The result is a stunning colorful display, carrying the designer's unique signature all-over, combining ethnic masks and ethnological documents with modern Western fashion, art, photography and culture — featuring the work of impressive names like Christophe Coppens, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Brian Kenny, Martin Margiela and Walter's own Dirk Van Saene.

The exhibition is both a feast for the senses and proof how relevant van Beirendonck's vision remains to this very day. He might have found a more niche position as a fashion designer (and a more invisible role as Head of Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), the exhibition, although much smaller, feels like an echo of his iconic Antwerp exhibition 'Landed/Geland' from 2001, which at that time set a new standard for fashion exhibition in terms of presenting pieces within its societal context, but still succeeding to convince aesthetically and therewith speaking to spectators in more than one way. With 'POWERMASK' van Beirendonck underlines, now more than ever, that we need powerful artistic voices like his to remind us of the unique beauty of all cultures on this planet and how exchange between them is what makes life interesting.

When in Rotterdam before the 7th of January don't miss out on this incredible exhibition! [ Continue reading ]

Fallen Bird

Another x Lennard Kok

From the moment we worked with Utrecht-based illustrator Lennard Kok for the rebrand of Travelteq in 2015, the ambition was set to collaborate again. Eventually it took another year to really sit down and discuss it. At that point Lennard confessed he wanted to explore new terrain in his artistic practice and shared his ambition to reach beyond illustration. Through our consensual admiration for certain inspirational artist editions, we set the bar at next level and eventually came to the conclusion this would mean we needed to take Lennard's clear lined flat signature and find a way to translate it into the sculptural. More so, as paradigms continue to shift under the pressures of digital globalization with significant fractures ahead of us that seem to usher in a new era, we searched for a statement that (at least in our heads) would mark the specific moment of creation.

In the dialogue that followed, we kept returning to a series of crashed vehicles Lennard had made earlier that year. When we finally started seeing the airplane out of that series as the ultimate symbol, we knew we had found our subject that represented everything we aimed for. From that moment Michiel Verweij joined the project to bring Lennard's vision to life in 3D and soon Suzan Becking formed the last element of the equation as we wanted to materialize the sculpture into the perfect paradox: a crashing plane made out of porcelain. The final quest for perfection started, and eventually took a little longer than we hoped, but Friday the 13th, at last, graphite on paper was transformed into a black porcelain sculpture which we named 'Fallen Bird'.

We are extremely proud to present the result of our shared endeavor and are very thankful for this inspirational experience alongside Lennard, Michiel and Suzan. Now it's time for this 'Fallen Bird' to find its way all over the world again... We are ready for the next one (stay tuned)! [ Continue reading ]

TOSSIJN

Make it simple.

There are few places left in Amsterdam’s most central areas that have enough character to weather the ever-growing storm of tourists and people that particularly cater to them. At times, especially in the summer, the city feels like an urban amusement park. With no end of this development in sight, the once authentic center is slowly turning into an empty shell of its former self. Fortunately, there are still some spots that offer some kind of cultural experience (let’s hope it stays that way!), with the Zeedijk being one of our favorites. Located in the small but dense Chinese quarter of the Dutch capital, the street is famous for its restaurants and supermarkets, but also for being the original gateway of heroine into the country in the late sixties — during the last few years it has also been embraced by a growing number of brands, in search of a real environment for their stores.

Among them are streetwear household names like Amsterdam’s own giant Patta, the Comme des Garçons BLACK store, and most recently Stüssy also opened its doors in the street. Next to, for instance, newcomers like Bonne Suits, who shares a space with SMIB and The New Originals. Although we appreciate these streetwear brands, for us the appeal of the street was taken to the next level by another recent addition, as in April our friend Koen Tossijn also found his way to the infamous Zeedijk and opened his first brick and mortar store ever for his brand TOSSIJN — introducing a well needed touch of understated luxury and a toned down color palette, next to all the logos and graphics at his neighbors. [ Continue reading ]

Amsterdam

by Yoshinori Mizutani

Last weekend, the Westergas area in Amsterdam was completely transformed again for the Unseen Photo Fair. Following two slightly underwhelming editions, this year turned out to be a rather exciting display of photographic work from all over the world. In spite of these fluctuating levels of inspiration to be found in the booths, there's one spot that never ceases to impress us since their debut three years ago: the booth of Antwerp-based IBASHO Gallery. For Unseen 2017 they decided to bring work by our favorite photographer under their representation; Yoshinori Mizutani, who shot the series named 'Amsterdam' during his first visit ever to the city, while the 2015 edition took place (when we were all set to meet him, but he had to cancel because of sickness - hopefully next year!).

We've been fans of Mizutani's work from the moment we discovered his iconic 'Tokyo Parrots' series some years ago and he has been expanding his impressive portfolio with one beautiful series after another ever since. In recent years he has been moving beyond figurative images into the photographic abstract, which brings new layers of depth into his artistic vision and for one resulted in our favorite Plant Journal cover till date. Mizutani's abstract work beautifully touches a similar color palette as his figurative work and therefore still shows a remarkable similar signature, which is rare. With 'Amsterdam' Mizutani focusses on one of the city's most iconic landmarks; the canals, which now a days are structurally polluted by tourists or wealthy boat owners (and their drunken friends) — yet through the lens of Mizutani all of that ugliness is filtered out, in order for abstract colorful representations to remain, revealing some of the most beautiful expressionistic photography of the famous stretches of water that we have ever seen. [ Continue reading ]

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur

Making Business Personal

The original source for a minimalistic lifestyle, Kinfolk, recently announced their latest family member in their inspirational series of books; 'The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, Making Business Personal'. Kinfolk visited over 40 entrepreneurs who offer tips, advice and inspiration for anyone hoping to forge their own professional path, all bound together in a beautiful hardcover 368 pages heavy book. Featured are names like Akira Minagawa, Armando Cabral, Ben Gorham, Britt Moran & Emiliano Salci, Damir Doma, Francesca Bonato, Joseph Dirand, Kevin Ma, Maayan Zilberman, Mette & Rolf Hay, Nina Yashar, Pum Lefebure, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Woo Youngmi & Katie Chung and many more. [ Continue reading ]

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

Cape Town's Grain Silo by Thomas Heatherwick

Last weekend, the extraordinary Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa opened its doors for the public. The museum is set to become the world's most important exhibition space for African art, and with its iconic building by Heatherwick Studio it already draws the needed attention. The London-based firm transformed the building, both on the outside and inside, from a dead industrial structure into a mind-bending icon, instantly joining the Pantheon of some of the most beautiful museum buildings to be found all over the globe. [ Continue reading ]