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

April 18, 2014 


(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.


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

April 17, 2014 


(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


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

January 27, 2014 


(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.


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

January 6, 2014 


(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.


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

January 2, 2014 


(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.


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

December 29, 2013 


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.


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

December 27, 2013 


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.


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

December 13, 2013 


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.


COOL THING WE WANT #417 | A Cozy Little Cabin For Writing Alone In The Wilderness

December 9, 2013 


(via) Though it doesn’t come all that close to Dick Proenneke’s “Alone In The Wilderness” masterpiece of a cabin, “The Watershed” – a tiny writer’s retreat in the wilds of Oregon – is nevertheless totally covet-worthy. It was designed by architect Erin Moore for her mother, nature writer and university professor Kathleen Dean Moor, in 2007. The 70 sqft room is framed in prefab steel and made out of red cedar and glass.


COOL THING WE WANT #416 | New Design Turns Umbrella Inside Out & Upside Down

December 6, 2013 


(via) Japanese designer Hiroshi Kajimoto has created a new kind of umbrella. It’s called the unbrella. The design sees the well known structure of the usual rain shield turned on its head, which is to say the folding spokes are on the top of the shield rather than on the bottom. This allows for more head room within and for the unbrella to be folded and stood up to dry with the wet inside instead of outside (no more umbrella stands). And in a fierce wind, it merely blows closed instead of completely apart. How smart is that? And how have we never seen something like this come down the engineering pipe before? (Or have we, but we’re suffering a major brain fart?) In any event, the new product won’t be available until mid-February (aka the Ides of Rainbruary), but it’s available to pre-order online right now. The cost is listed at Y9,450, which works out to just under $100 CAD.


COOL THING WE WANT #414 | Han Solo’s Sweet “DL-44 Blaster” Goes Up For Auction

December 3, 2013 


The blaster that Han Solo used in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi went up for auction yesterday. Remember that scene where Lando double crossed Han, Leia, and Chewbacca and Han tried to shoot Darth Vader at the dining room ambush but Vader used the force and snatched the blaster right from his effing hand? Yeah, same blaster.

“Harrison Ford’s charismatic smuggler, Han Solo, is arguably the most popular character in the original Star Wars trilogy. The space-scoundrel-turned hero’s persona is irrevocably tied to his blaster pistol. Solo was modeled after the rogue gunslingers of the westerns that influenced creator George Lucas. This non-firing blaster was created for The Empire Strikes Back and was also used in Return of the Jedi. It would have been used in the majority of scenes that feature Han, with the heavier, live-fire weapon being used for close-up shots. Particularly noteworthy scenes requiring this lighter version are when Darth Vader uses the Force to lasso the blaster out of Han’s hand in Empire, and in Jedi when Han wrestles with a Stormtrooper to regain possession of his blaster during the Rebels’ encounter with Imperial forces on Endor. Based on the German issue Mauser C96 pistol, this piece, measuring 11 in. long, was custom made for the film from resin by casting the original hero prop from the first Star Wars: A New Hope, it therefore exhibits the same serial number as the hero prop, which is thought to no longer exist. The blaster is exactly in its original filming condition and therefore exhibits wear from use, but retains all of the original details, including the flash suppressor and scope (the eye-piece of which is detailed with reflective scotch-lite tape). The added distinction of this particular piece is that it was also likely used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, as both characters shared the same style of weapon in Empire. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from a noted Star Wars collector. To our knowledge this is the only known example of this type of blaster in private hands. This is a truly incredible item of motion picture history and quite possibly the most exciting science fiction weapon to have been offered for public auction.”

The starting bid for the gun – which doesn’t shoot lasers in real life – is $200,000, because “hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.” Pew pew. 


COOL THING WE WANT #413 | Gigantic Felt-Stuffed Couch Shaped Like A Cat In Repose

December 3, 2013 


(via) We’ve never really been cat people, but we like the idea of sprawling on top of this, a 3.5 meter long art installation in Antwerp (dubbed ”felix domesticus”) made out of felt by Belgian design firm Unfold.


COOL THING WE WANT #412 | “Go West” T-Shirt Made For Railtown’s Union Wood Co.

November 26, 2013 


Railtown’s Union Wood Co. makes a lot of awesome things (kickass aprons, an outdoor communal table for Boneta, boxes for Victory Gardens, seats for Wildebeest, and much more), so it was entirely appropriate for them to have someone else make something awesome for them. Check out their brand new “Go West” t-shirt, which was designed by Massachusetts artist Shane Swift. The hand-drawn work is now being screened on premium cotton T’s. You can grab your own either online or in the shop.

$25 | Union Wood & Supply Company | 503 Railway Street | 604 675 9033 |


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