Art, Books October 15, 2010 By Cheri Caso

Photography by Lyle Owerko

Photography by Lyle Owerko

boomboxtitle The Boombox Project
Do you remember? It was an unforgettable time. The kind that, in hindsight, you can say, “something really unique was happening then”. But the late 1970s was a time when people with very little, especially in New York City, were just making the best with what they had: each other, music, and a new type of portable sound system — the boombox.
     In Lyle Owerko’s new book The Boombox Project, the New York-based photographer intended to turn subject into art, and photograph his personal collection of radios. But once he started hearing stories about his topic, the outcome shifted dramatically. In this book, you are invited to listen in on some of the most iconic MCs, musicians, and artists of that generation, recollecting about life on the streets and how the boombox grew to be so much more than just another radio. Filmmaker Spike Lee starts the book off with a foreword about Joe Radio, the first guy he ever saw listening to a portable radio on the corner of his Brooklyn block. From there, Owerko reveals stories from the likes of LL Cool J, Fab 5 Freddy, Kool Moe Dee, and Rosie Perez about their first encounters and experiences with the boombox. All their memories share a common thread: community. Today, we hear so much about sharing online, whether it’s music files or social networking. But the true pioneers of electronic sharing came from the boombox generation. It was a time of great creative growth.

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Design October 7, 2010 By Cheri Caso

filler171 Naoto Yoshidayoshida cover Naoto Yoshidafiller171 Naoto Yoshidayoshida title Naoto Yoshida
When industrial designer, Naoto Yoshida saw how much wood is wasted in the furniture-making process, he decided to give it a new life. The son of an award-winning furniture maker, Yoshida’s company recycles piles of beautiful wood scraps — once used as firewood or thrown away — to make unique everyday objects. His latest design, WrapWrap, mixes old-world craft with technology, allowing you to adjust your obtrusive iPod headphone wires to the perfect length. WrapWrap comes in walnut, oak, rosewood, or wenge, and is also available in medium and large sizes for desk wires (think mouse and firewire cables) and thicker electrical cord management.
     Mr. Yoshida hails from Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan — a region rich in woodcraft tradition. He is also the executive officer of mickle, a design collective of local craftsmen and artisans who focus on connecting the community with artists and their work.


Design September 15, 2010 By Cheri Caso
Myojo Pendants by Futagami x Masanori Oji

Myojo Pendants by Futagami x Masanori Oji

futagami title Futagami x Masanori Oji

When Masanori Oji set out to attend a metal workshop taught by the president of Futagami, a unique collaboration was set into motion.

     Oji is one of Japan’s most prominent young designers. Originally trained in architecture, his transition to product design found him working mostly with materials like paper, felt, and wood to create simple, award-winning designs he calls “Living Products”. Mr. Oji had wanted to design a brass bottle opener and saw the Futagami workshop as the perfect opportunity to learn about brass casting from one of the nations oldest metal ware manufacturers. Futagami has been hand making brass, bronze, and tin products for over a century in Toyama-Takaoka City.
     Upon completion of the workshop, Masanori proposed to design a unique line of brass livingware for Futagami, who accepted graciously.
     In 2009, Futagami released a series of celestial brass bottle openers and trivets designed by Masanori Oji. Iconic shapes of the Sun, the Milky Way, and the Crescent Moon, invoked both modern and antique flavors in polished and textured brass. The collection was a great success, winning an award from Interior Lifestyle in Tokyo that year.

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Design August 19, 2010 By Cheri Caso

foggo cover Cameron Foggofoggo title Cameron Foggo
Over the last decade, New Zealand design has emerged on the worldwide stage. As a country that remains committed to the preservation of its pristine land, this ideology is often relayed in it’s design approach: modern simplicity combined with eco-conscientious, locally sourced materials.
     Cameron Foggo is the latest designer to join the ranks with David Trubridge, Simon James, and Fearon Hay Architects — all locals who have made great contributions to the New Zealand design scene. Foggo’s furniture designs are understated gems that mix clean lines with traditional materials. Starling is a chair built with hand-turned white ash and New Zealand portage leather. The goal was to create a lounger with a simple skeletal frame that did not cause a visual partition and block the flow of a space. The Liaison Chair and Sofa have comfortable feather-filled cushions and can be custom built to any size. All of Foggo’s designs utilize components and materials made in New Zealand and are assembled on the South Island.
     Foggo is the creative director at NoNN, a multidisciplinary design studio located in Christchurch. He is also working on a series of modular architectural homes and “bacshes” (small beach houses) that will launch in 2011.

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