In the near future, will we be able to efficiently brew our own beer at home with little expertise, fuss, mess, or loss of space? Most probably. Brewbot is a “smart brewing” appliance that is currently being funded on Kickstarter. At the time of writing, they have £56,328 pledged of their £100,000 goal and they’re only 9 days in to their 30 day campaign. Brewbot is small, easy on the eyes, and users can control and monitor it with their smartphones via bluetooth. The makers – six beer-loving designers from Belfast – recently moved their operation to Portland, OR and appear to be in the final phases of development. Right now, a £2,000 pledge rewards funders with a Brewbot shipped with a fermentation tank and a sweet-looking reclaimed wood facade (£1,600 without the wood). Pricy, sure, but the prospect of making 20L (capacity per batch) of my own beer whenever I feel like it is pretty attractive. I also trust the cost will drop if and when production gets streamlined. Will we end up seeing these in restaurants down the road as bartenders get into brewing signature batches? I hope so! Watch the video above (hooray for the Irish accents!) and check it out in all its glorious promise here. Bonus: if you’re one of our Portland readers, it looks like you can eyeball a working Brewbot in person at Bailey’s Taproom. Have a pint of whatever it is and let us know what you think!
(via) Designers at Italian firm Saporiti have created a modular bookcase of typographic cubes that can be ordered letter by letter (A-Z) to the customers desired specifications. The project is fittingly called “ABC”. The cubes, which come in 11 different colours, can be re-arranged and stacked in myriad ways, like an anagram. It doesn’t have to be square like the arrangement pictured above. Its modular nature means you can stretch it as wide and as high as your walls and ceilings permit, allowing for quotes, statements, even the alphabet.
With the aid of New Zealand’s Tui Brewery, a group of guys play the joke that dreams are made of on their friend Russ (and his nonplussed spouse) by re-doing all of the plumbing in his house with cold beer, even the shower. Top marks to the Kiwi in the Vancouver Canucks hat at 4:04. Way to represent!
(via) Englishman Peter Bellerby and his artisan crew at Bellerby & Co. Globemakers sure make some fine-looking, hand-crafted globes! That 1.5m high sphere that the woman above is painting with Sennelier watercolour pigments is called “The Churchill”. It’s made of hand-finished cast aluminium and it costs £54,000. “I have no interest in doing this to make a product that we can sell to someone who we can mug,” Belleryby says. “I want to sell something that is really good that people appreciate.” Make sure you watch the mesmerizing short film about the Bellerby and his teams’ process. Fascinating.
Just the other day I was having a beautiful bowl of ramen at Marutama in the West End. I opted out of the “extra noodle” option and five minutes in I was already done with all the noodles and pork and left with a brimming bowl of hot, delicious chicken broth. I usually put my mouth on the lip of the bowl and slurp loudly in the traditional way, but I always feel a little self-conscious bringing it up to my face and making the indecorous racket. I’d been supplied with one of those tiny spoons that you normally get at noodle joints, but what I really wanted – half-seriously – was a straw…
While hardly the proper way to eat ramen (“First, caress the surface,” according to Tanpopo in the scene above), they would accelerate consumption considerably, which is the soul of ramen in the first place. And so the internet giveth: product designer Julian Lechner has created chopsticks that are also straws. They’re just a proposal in development at this point, but I can imagine these being available everywhere, yesterday.
(via) Viennese designer Francesco Morackini put together a gorgeous liquor-distilling kit using basic household (cooking pot, fondue stove, fruit bowl, watering can). “Producing schnapps, liquor or alcohol is very restricted by the law in most countries,” says Morackini. “The separated elements are legal but put together the objects become illegal. I wanted to explore the limit of legislation.” Sadly, his “Prohibition Still” was built for a design competition (which he won) and is not for sale.
An Etsy seller named Chris Cushingham in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (natch) is making awesome-looking custom record player consoles designed to hold a record player, tuner, speakers, and about 75 records. They’re made out of corrugated cardboard and walnut, and come complete with secret compartments hidden behind the speakers. They can be constructed to fit the size of your equipment, or sold with new record player and speakers included. The cost? $1,730 CAD, plus shipping.
(via) Last year Milwaukee-based photographer Nick Olson and fashion designer Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs to build a glass-fronted cabin on a particularly pretty piece of the Olson family’s ancestral lands in the mountains of West Virginia. Why? So they could take in the sunsets. What they came up with is gorgeous; the frontage is a puzzle of antique reclaimed windows found at garage sales and in old barns. And the interior is just as pretty as the view (looking in is just as transfixing as looking out). If we were ever to score a few acres on Pender or Savary, this would be pinned to the very top of our idea board and circled in red ink.
Our friends at Victory Gardens are set to retail a new line of garden boxes. One of them is a result of a collaboration with the good folks at Railtown’s Union Wood Co.. All are perfectly suitable for patios, back-yards, rooftops or anywhere else that you’d like to grow some of your own food. Check it out:
“All of our boxes are hand-made by our friends at Union Wood Co. in Vancouver BC, made of untreated cedar and are available with or without castors. Boxes can be delivered right to your door, with everything needed to go inside: Soil, veggies, etc. We also have a whole lot of services that compliment these beds: If you want to grow food, we can help every step of the way. Included in our range of boxes are: Small Utility Boxes and Standard Utility Boxes, as well as a feature collaboration with Union Wood Co., on a Premium Garden Box.”
They’re about to launch their online shop, but as we wait for that to happen you can ring their bell for details and pricing via email: team [at] victorygardensvancouver.ca.
This upside-down outdoor shower from Viteo might seem a self-indulgent desire on an overcast Thursday afternoon, but there’s a lot of summer left and it’s a world of randomly accessible garden hoses here in Vancouver. When you step on it, your weight opens a valve and the water shoots up a few meters before falling back down like rain. When you’re finished, you just step off. The cost, should you play in such a league, is $825. Get yours here.
A new book celebrated the photography of American actor, filmmaker and artist Dennis Hopper is due out at the end of the summer and we wants it. It’s called Dennis Hopper – On The Road and it “runs the gamut of 1960s counterculture and film culture, taking in Warhol’s Factory (where Hopper spent much time), film shoots, street scenes, road trips and of course the classic portraits of movie stars, musicians, artists, bikers and activists, from Martin Luther King to Allen Ginsberg and James Brown.” If you’re galavanting around Spain this summer, you can see 141 of his shots – taken with a 1961 Nikon mounted with a 28mm lens – together with clips from his many films on the walls at the Museo Picasso in Málaga (exhibit open until September).
Bonus: one of my favourite scenes from Apocalypse Now, when Sheen meets Hopper…“The heads. You’re looking at the heads. I, uh – sometimes he goes too far, you know – he’s the first one to admit it!” Amazing.
Are you a typeface lover? Check out this two volume set Type. A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles from Taschen. Volume 1 covers 1628 to 1900, and Volume 2 goes from 1901 to 1938.
This book offers a connoisseur’s overview of typeface design, exploring the most elegant fonts from the history of publishing. Taken from a distinguished Dutch collection, this exuberant two-volume edition traces the evolution of the printed letter via exquisitely designed catalogs, showing type specimens in roman, italic, bold, semi-bold, narrow, and broad fonts. Borders, ornaments, initial letters, and decorations are also included, along with lithographic examples, letters by sign writers, inscription carvers, and calligraphers.
We eyeballed it when it first came out in 2009 but we haven’t seen a copy since except online. We’d much rather purchase it from a local bookstore (ever the hunt) than have it arrive in a wrapper on our doorstep, so if you see a copy (ideally both volumes) around town and don’t pick it up for your own enjoyment, please give us a shout!
We’ve tried to find out where we can get one of these lovelies in Vancouver, but it looks like it’s only online from West Elm. It’s a solid acacia wood body save for the 3″ high metal drawer insert. The cost is $140.