COOL THING WE WANT #430 | This Lovely Three-Storey Treehouse In Rural Wisconsin

April 18, 2014 

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(via) This three-storey treehouse at Camp Wandawega in Wisconsin was built around a tree as a tribute to the camp owners’ father, who had built a swing on the tree before he died (and the tree had fallen ill with Dutch Elm disease).

The tree comes through the house’s deck near the ground level, and it breaks through the upper floor in three spots. At two of those points, the arms of the tree are sawed even with the floor, while the third pierces it and extends out the window. Reclaimed wood was used for much of the construction and the interior features nearly all vintage and repurposed items. Stumps of the trees were fashioned as side tables, and a hanging antler chandelier was made from old shed found at the camp.

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COOL THING WE WANT #429 | This Bird Flipbook Machine By Artist Juan Fontanive

April 17, 2014 

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(via) Beyond being transfixingly pretty, this machine flipbook by artist Juan Fontanive also makes a mesmerizing racket, of a sort similar to that of the old flip machines that would list arrival times at airports before life went digital. And if you dig butterflies more than hummingbirds, you’re in luck

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COOL THING WE WANT #428 | “Open Door To Solitude” In The Colorado High Country

February 19, 2014 

(via) This. “Every couple of months, 68-year-old Ed Zevely rides into the Colorado high country to camp for weeks at a time—and he does it completely alone. Through thunderstorms, open meadows and treacherous passes, he finds his own patch of serenity. Far from the modern world, it’s a place where the only goal is to move and breathe, and where you can truly understand the difference between loneliness and solitude.”

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COOL THING WE WANT #427 | A Superdesk That Would Seat Each Of Our Contributors

February 13, 2014 

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(via) New York City creative agency The Barbarian Group commissioned Clive Wilkinson Architects to create a 1,100 ft long “superdesk” so that every one of the company’s 125 employees could share the same desk. Of course ours would need to be smaller, but constructed so that there was room for it to grow.

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COOL THING WE WANT #426 | Newfangled Door That Folds Open And Closed By Touch

February 11, 2014 

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Just when you thought the world’s design minds had thought up every idea for the humble household portal, along comes Austrian artist Klemens Torggler and his Evolution Door, which folds open and closed like an origami dream.

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COOL THING WE WANT #425 | A Tiny Cabin In The Wilderness That Skirts Permit Rules

January 27, 2014 

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(via) This little cabin designed by Finnish escapist Robin Falck was a solution of sorts to getting around government regulations that require a building permit for residential structures over 100 square feet (the same red tape exists here). His two story cabin has a kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, and a ton of natural light, not to mention a kickass outdoor deck. “Nido”, as the cabin is called (meaning “Bird’s Nest” in Italian), took just two weeks to build, and sits in the peace and quiet of a rural archipelago.

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COOL THING WE WANT #424 | Two Nights In This Inspired Treehouse Outside Seattle

January 16, 2014 

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(via) This Parthenon-inspired treehouse called the Temple of the Blue Moon was built outside Seattle in 2005 by Pete Nelson and his wife Judy. They’ve since built five others on their property – each of them unique to their respective trees – and opened them up to the public as a bed and breakfast called Treehouse Point.

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COOL THING WE WANT #423 | An $11,000 Japanese-Inspired Cabin In The Rainforest

January 8, 2014 

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On Oregonian boat-builder named Brian Schulz took a year and a half and a mere $11,000 to build this gorgeous, Japanese-inspired home in the woods near Cape Falcon. From My Modern Met:

It all began one day when Schulz found a brass sink at a local recycle center and immediately started fantasizing about building a home around the object. He wound up fulfilling his dream on an affordable budget by carefully salvaging materials for construction and items to adorn the house. He also did a fair bit of traveling and meeting people who offered anything from handmade paper lanterns to allowing him to actually haul trees from their property. Schulz says, “With deep enough pockets a person might be able to duplicate such a structure by writing a large check to a talented builder, but that would risk missing the point entirely… Whether or not one believes that turning a log from beside the house into the house itself imbues it with some mystical qualities, it is undeniable that the pursuit of local materials connects more deeply to your landscapes, your neighbors, and yourself. The simple act of searching adds richness to our lives. To reiterate: You meet people, you discover new places, you have adventures, you learn things, AND, you come home with beams, windows, doors, and shingles.”

We’ll take ours on Savary Island, thank you very much.

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COOL THING WE WANT #422 | A Speaker That We Can Get Comfortably Numb Inside

January 6, 2014 

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(via) Only two of these spherical sit-in speakers, dubbed AudioOrbs, are up for sale via Indiegogo for $15,000 each. The 18 speaker beauties are made by the same audiophiles who created the 4ft wide Wall of Sound iPhone dock. “Fitted with Tempur pillows that adjust after the shape of your body ensures that not only the design gives the Orb a floating expression, you will feel like you are floating when inside the Orb. Inside the Orb the outside world fades away, ideal for relaxation.” We haven’t heard it, but it sounds fantastic. That was a play on words. Good day to you.

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COOL THING WE WANT #421 | A Convertible “Workbed” That Flips From Sleeper To Desk

January 2, 2014 

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(via) Space is something of a luxury in Vancouver, which is to say that most of us don’t have much of it. Mira Schröder, the designer of this convertible “workbed” with side drawers, might be naturally sympathetic to our situation. Either that or she’s a Randian pro-family capitalist fifth columnist workaholic who wants everyone who lives alone to be tethered to their tasks. Either way, we like the look of it and the ease with which it flips.

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COOL THING WE WANT #420 | Italian-Made “Goggle Jacket” Redux For The West Coast

December 29, 2013 

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The “Goggle Jacket” was created in 1988 for the new class of drivers participating in the revived Mille Miglia, the (ahem) dangerous Italian road race that had its heyday between the two World Wars. The functional coat – complete with hinging goggles built into the hood and a watch window on the wrist – was invented by textile innovator Massimo Osti as part of his company’s sponsorship of the 1988 race. It retains the low, multi-vent seat, fitted gloves, and classic lines of the 20′s and 30′s racing aesthetic, and there’s just something alluringly rogue-ish a la Porco Rosso about the over-sized goggles (you just know that Han Solo would have rocked it better than his Hoth parka). The video and images above are the jacket’s 20th anniversary retrospective. As you can see, the updated coats look pretty badass. The lining parts are detachable and the fabric covers are soil pigment-treated “Tinto Terra” GORE-TEX, which gives the complete package a naturally antique look and feel. A swell fit for Vancouver! It’s just too bad they cost $1,550.

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COOL THING WE WANT #419 | Florentine Coffee Mug That Doubles As Hand Warmer

December 27, 2013 

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Coffee and tea drinkers have a tendency to cup both hands around their mugs in order to warm them. It’s a personal, very human gesture of thanks that is repeated on cold mornings the world over, an expression of appreciation for whatever hot and restorative thing has just arrived. In Florence, designer Sabrina Fossi has created a vessel for such moments. These ergonomic beauties with hand inserts are hand-made in the nearby town of Montelupo. They’re currently selling online for €44.00.

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COOL THING WE WANT #418 | A T-Shirt That Recalls Vancouver’s Strip Clubs Of Old

December 13, 2013 

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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Vancouver’s strip clubs are endangered species. Where once there were very many, now there are very few. This limited edition list shirt “celebrates the No. 5 Orange’s endurance and longevity in a climate where other clubs of the same nature are dropping off like, well, stripper clothes.” It was a collaboration between Gastown’s Sharks + Hammers, the infamous No.5 Orange at Main & Powell, and the good folks at Hornby’s Dipt.

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