Moisés Hernández.


© Moisés Hernández.

Mexican designer Moisés Hernández’ dipped his Immersed Birds collection in dye to emulate the plumage of tropical fauna. The wooden birds are based on the form and colouring of toucans, hummingbirds and Mexican quetzals – chosen for their bright, contrasting feathers.Hernández used computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) technology to mill soft, continuous wooden shapes that replicate the structure of the birds’ bodies. Exaggerated tubes form tails, while slender spikes make for beaks.

The designer then developed an experimental painting technique that immersed sections of the wood in coloured water. This allowed Hernández to create overlapping and contrasting layers of colour, and play with transparency – leaving the grain of the wood visible beneath the dye.

“This way, the birds acquire a duality where handmade and machine-made complement each other, resulting in three decorative figures,” said the designer, who has exhibited his work around the world.


© Moisés Hernández.

Via Dezeen. Moisés Hernández’ site is full of wonders, oh, have a visit!

Not Quite A Babelfish…

A science-fiction staple has inched closer to reality with the reveal of a prototype in-ear wearable that translates languages almost instantly.

Acting in a similar manner to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s babelfish or Star Trek’s Universal Translator, startup company Waverly Labs‘ Pilot earpiece sits in the ear to translate spoken foreign languages to the wearer.

This is pretty exciting! You can read much more at Dezeen.

Oh. So. Cool.

I want one!


Made for Ikea’s Space10, this is the Growroom, specifically made for cities, it can grow a communities worth of food and herbs. I’m not urban, but I still want one. The best news? Space10 and architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum have open sourced this, so anyone can make one.

You can see the specs at two places: one, two.

Kiikers gonna kiik.

Kiikers gonna kiik. Eesti Kiikingi Liit/CC BY-SA 3.0.

Kiikers gonna kiik. Eesti Kiikingi Liit/CC BY-SA 3.0.

Extreme swinging! Oh gods, that looks like so much fun! I was one of those insane swingers in my younger years, swinging is best when you’re upside down on the upswing, and I’ve wrapped a few chains in my time. I’ve always loved swinging, it’s always felt extraordinarily satisfying. I still love swinging. There was a set of swings across from the school here in town, and I’d always have to stop and have a swing. I think swinging is a particularly good activity for those of us with extreme stress problems – it gives you a comforting action, akin to rocking, and allows you to become fully focused on your physical self, and have complete joy in that. I wish I had a swing set.

…Meanwhile in Estonia, thanks to a cultural love affair with swings, going over the top has developed into a serious extreme sport.

Kiiking, as the sport of extreme swinging is known (“kiik” is “swing” in Estonian), is fairly young, having first been introduced in the early 1990s, but it has deep roots in Estonia’s cultural past. “Wooden swings are traditionally a big part of Estonian culture and all around Estonia you can find different wooden swings (they are called ‘village swings’) where all the people from surrounding places came together during celebrations or just to have fun while swinging and singing,” says Raili Laansalu, a kiiker since she was just 8 years old, and whose family currently runs the premiere website for the sport, To this day, communal wooden swings can be found in towns and villages across the country, so it’s perhaps no wonder that some Estonian daredevil would be the one to invent a way to go over the top.


As Laansalu tells it, a man named Tarmo Männigo attempted an arc over the spindle of both of Kosk’s swings. Männigo was able to conquer the first swing, which stood about 2.5 meters tall, but when he attempted to swing around the second, which stood slightly taller, at 2.7 meters tall, he couldn’t quite get over. It became clear that the taller the swing got, the more difficult it would be to complete a circuit over the spindle, which meant that there could be competitive accomplishments, and thus, a new sport was born. “We, who are kiikers so to say, like to say that “kiiking” starts when your legs are higher than your head, before that it is just swinging,” says Laansalu.

By 1997 Kosk had continued to refine his vision of kiiking as a pastime, and he invented a telescoping metal swing that could be raised and lowered safely, to allow for variable skill levels. The design has continued to be refined over the years, and the height of the swings increased. The spindly metal forks and system of support wires of modern kiiking swings are a far cry from Kosk’s original rustic inventions.


At least in Estonia, where kiiking is most popular, the rules of competition are regulated by the Estonian Kiiking Union (Eesti Kiikingi Liit). Kiikers set a certain height for the swing that they will then have the chance to try and round using just the momentum from their body. Should they swing all the way around at the stated height, they can try to go higher. “[For example], I set my first height at 4 meters. I make one spindle so I am allowed to choose a new height. For next one I choose 4.20 meters. I also complete that so I choose now 4.50 meters. If I do not complete 4.50m, my end result will be 4.20m,” says Laansalu. The competitor who can flip around the highest swing wins. According to Guinness World Records, the current champion kiiker cleared a 7.15 meter swing in 2015.

Indoor kiiking is also an option. Eesti Kiikingi Liit/CC BY-SA 3.0.

Indoor kiiking is also an option. Eesti Kiikingi Liit/CC BY-SA 3.0.

You can read and see more at Atlas Obscura.

A Fitting Trump Logo and Two Border Walls.


© Tucker Viemeister.

American industrial designer Tucker Viemeister has designed a logo for Donald Trump based on Nazi insignia to reflect the billionaire’s “racist hate mongering”.

The logo, featuring a tilting letter T inside a white circle on a red background, resembles the swastika symbol used by the Nazis.

Viemeister created the logo in April last year, before Trump became the Republican party’s official presidential nominee, posting it on Twitter along with the words “I hope they [Trump’s supporters] don’t like it!”

He also published the design on his website with a short statement that says: “Design can show what bad things have in common, like this logo I created for Trump’s campaign of bigotry and violence.”

Following Trump’s inauguration as president and his introduction last weekend of the controversial executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries entry to the United States, Viemeister said the logo had new and sinister relevance.


“Obviously the logo is a spin on the Nazi insignia because there is a correlation between Trump’s racist hate mongering and the Nazis,” he told Dezeen.

“I’m worried that his followers will adapt it for the very opposite reasons I made it,” he continued. “They might like that connection with those white power fascists.”

“I wish I could make something that would help those followers become more inclusive and tolerant so that we can all work together to solve the issues that we all confront.”

Via Dezeen. Tucker Viemeister’s site. Moving on to the fabulous IKEA border wall! Simple! Inexpensive! Can be put together with one hex key! Only two people required!


Washington (dpo) – “Too expensive!” “Too complicated!” “Unrealistic!” – This is the sort of criticism US President Donald Trump is currently facing over plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico. An offer from home furnishings brand, IKEA, could solve all of these problems with a single blow.

The Scandinavian furniture maker has offered the USA a practical, ready-made solution with “Börder Wåll”. All they need to do is pick it up in a van from the nearest IKEA branch and put it up where they want it to go. Totalling US $9,999,999,999.99, “Börder Wåll” is significantly cheaper than a conventional wall. Estimates suggest that a conventional wall would cost between US $15 and $25 billion.

According to government press secretary, Sean Spicer, President Trump is currently inspecting the offer:


The simple, Scandinavian designed border wall (with a 5 year guarantee) is primarily made of pressboard with a birch effect and can be assembled with the help of a hex key. A 12,000 page instruction manual with easy-to-understand pictures makes construction child’s play – as long as there is not a single screw missing.
“However, assembly requires two people: one person can hold the wall while the second screws it together”, it states in IKEA’s offer.
The basic model of the wall is 33ft (10 m) tall and 1,954 miles (3,144 km) long, although the height and length can be extended as desired.
IKEA has already announced that it will design other products in the next few weeks that will be compatible with “Börder Wåll”. According to inside sources, this includes products such as the “Gåwk” watchtower and the “Råtåtåtåtåtå” spring-gun.

Via Postillon. German version here. (No, this is not for real. There’s no Ikea border wall, okay?)

Then there’s the wonder of The Pink Wall:

Mexican firm Estudio 3.14 has visualised the “gorgeous perversity” of US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the countries’ border.

In response to the controversial proposal, a group of interns at the Guadalajara-based studio came up with a conceptual design that would celebrate Mexico’s architectural heritage.




The giant solid barrier would run 1,954 miles (3,145 kilometres) uninterrupted from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and be painted bright pink in the spirit of the 20th-century buildings by Pritzker Prize-winning Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

“Because the wall has to be beautiful, it has been inspired in by Luis Barragán’s pink walls that are emblematic of Mexico,” said the studio. “It also takes advantage of the tradition in architecture of megalomaniac wall building.”

Estudio 3.14‘s Prison-Wall project – developed in collaboration with the Mamertine Corporation of the United States – was undertaken to “allow the public to imagine the policy proposal in all of its gorgeous perversity”.

Visuals show the barrier traversing hills, desert, a river, and the border city Tijuana. The structure would also incorporate a prison to detain those attempting to cross into the US.

“Moreover, the wall is not only a wall,” said Estudio 3.14. “It is a prison where 11 million undocumented people will be processed, classified, indoctrinated, and/or deported.”

The team suggests that the wall could employ up to six million personnel. It could also incorporate shopping centre straddling its width, and a viewpoint from which US citizens could climb up and look down onto the other side.

A series of graphics to accompany the proposal range from posters calling for workers, to US currency emblazoned with the wall’s pink trail.

Via Dezeen. Estudio 3.14.

Don’t Call It Fashion.


Raw Meat, Cabbage, Moldy Bread, and other things that have inspired Japanese fashion label CUNE.

Don’t call it fashion. At least that’s what Hironori Yasuda will tell you if you ask him about his label CUNE, which he started in 1994. If anything, they’re “barely clothes,” he says.

Yasuda isn’t swayed by trends. He makes what he wants, and each season he picks a seemingly arbitrary theme, one that typically has no place in the world of fashion, and designs his entire collection around it. He doesn’t think about who would wear his clothes, or how they would wear them. In fact, he even says “you don’t have to buy them.” But with two stores in Tokyo, one in Fukuoka and a thriving online shop, people seem to like his bizarre creations.

You really need to click over and see all the stuff, it’s amazing. I love the red cabbage dress, and I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Same with the meat jacket pictured above.

It’s all at Spoon & Tamago.

The Best Bookstore Ever.


A bookstore you can sleep in. My dream come true. The Book & Bed Hostel is established in Tokyo, with another one now in Kyoto. Your sleep cubicle comes equipped with an outlet, a light, a privacy curtain, clothes hangers, and a wireless connection. There’s also beer.


Book & Bed is a self-described “accommodation bookshop” with beds built into bookshelves. When the first Tokyo location opened last year, bibliophiles were obviously overjoyed because, for the first time, it was socially acceptable to wander into a bookshop, pick up a book, and then doze off to sleep. Now, the popular concept hotel is getting a 2nd location in Kyoto.



beds are embedded into bookshelves and surrounded by over 5000 books.

Rates are low and start at just 4,445 yen (about $40) for a compact bed. But if you’re a light sleeper, or privacy is your big thing, the Book & Bed hostel may not be for you. Sleeping areas are semi-private with just a curtain separating you from other book dwellers. And bathroom areas are shared too. In fact, the bookshop hostel doesn’t promise “a good night’s sleep.” Instead, the promise “the finest moment of sleep”: dozing off in the middle of your treasured pastime, immersed in books.




Book & Bed.

Book & Bed on Instagram.

I think I’d want to stay…for always. What a wonderful idea. Via Spoon & Tamago.

A Most Colourful Labour of Love.


In Afghanistan, several men are at work in a smoke-blackened room. They sit between buckets of thick grey paint, working on benches made of dark grey stone. Lonely beams of white light shine through skylights in the vaulted ceiling onto stacks of clay tiles coated with a fine layer of grey dust. Monochromatic as the scene may seem, these men have one of the most colourful jobs in the world: making tiles for Herat’s Jama Masjid (Great Mosque).

This is an amazing story, and an astonishing labour of love and art, and the saving of living history. You can read and see much more at BBC.

An Artificial Leaf.

Credit: TU Eindhoven / Bart van Overbeeke.

Credit: TU Eindhoven / Bart van Overbeeke.

This is wonderful, on the science and design fronts. A small artificial leaf, with very large potential.

Using sunlight to make chemical products has long been a dream of chemical engineers. The problem is that the available sunlight generates too little energy to kick off reactions. However, nature is able to do this. Antenna molecules in leaves capture energy from sunlight and collect it in the reaction centers of the leaf where enough solar energy is present for the chemical reactions of photosynthesis.

Light capture

The researchers used relatively new materials known as (LSC’s), which are able to capture sunlight in a similar way. Special light-sensitive molecules in these materials capture a large amount of the incoming light that they then convert into a specific color that is conducted to the edges via light conductivity. These LSCs are often used in combination with solar cells to boost the yield.

Thin channels

The researchers, led by Dr. Timothy Noël, incorporated very thin channels in a silicon rubber LSC through which a liquid can be pumped. In this way, they were able to bring the into contact with the molecules in the liquid with high enough intensity to generate chemical reactions.

While the reaction they chose serves as an initial example, the results surpassed all their expectations, and not only in the lab. “Even an experiment on a cloudy day demonstrated that the chemical production was 40 percent higher than in a similar experiment without LSC material,” says research leader Noël. “We still see plenty of possibilities for improvement. We now have a powerful tool at our disposal that enables the sustainable, sunlight-based production of valuable chemical products like drugs or crop protection agents.”

You can

Backing Black Business.

CREDIT: iStock.

CREDIT: iStock.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) just launched a database of black businesses to support, with the goal of “[building] long-term economic power for Black communities.”

On Monday, the organization unveiled, an interactive map and directory of online stores where customers can purchase food, health and beauty supplies, entertainment, and lifestyle goods — all from retailers owned by black people. The site also includes nonprofits, and allows business owners to add themselves to the database.

The full article is at Think Progress.

I clicked over to, and while I’m not in LA or NY, plenty of business owners have online shops, and after perusing a few (I got completely caught up in Loving Anvil, and am plotting on when I can spend money there) I don’t think I’ll have any problems at all, supporting black businesses. The site is brand new, so a bit rough, but there’s a lot to explore!

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Plains Taco features elk meat and duck fat. It can be garnished with a plethora of tasty ingredients. RoseMary Diaz.

The Plains Taco features elk meat and duck fat. It can be garnished with a plethora of tasty ingredients. RoseMary Diaz.

First up, Frybread. If anything is holy, it is wonderful frybread. Makes me long to be back at the Oceti Sakowin camp, stuffing myself on Melania’s frybread. If there were gods, this would be their food.

Of all the foods most commonly associated with Native American culture, frybread has long been at the center of the table. From one end of the continent to the other, from region to region and tribe to tribe, there are hundreds of recipe variations on the tempting and tasty treat.

Whether inspired by ingredients found close to home or by those from locales a bit more exotic, each of our gourmet variations on frybread bring a creative alternative to the classic treat, and can be down-sized for snacks or appetizers.

Plains Taco


2 pounds ground elk meat

2 tablespoons rendered duck fat (may substitute grapeseed, olive, or sunflower seed oil)

2 tablespoons red chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste


1 cup endive leaves, rinsed, patted dry, ends trimmed

½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

¼ cup diced scallion

½ cup grated provolone cheese

¼ cup pine nuts, whole or coarsely chopped


½ tablespoon sliced or diced habanero or serrano pepper

In a large skillet, heat duck fat to melting, or add oil of choice. Heat on medium-high heat for several minutes. Add meat and sauté until brown. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well, and break up any big clumps of meat.

Spoon meat mixture onto prepared fry breads. In order given, add equal portions of garnishes to each fry.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Prairie Taco


4 quail, fresh or frozen and thawed

1 tablespoon sunflower seed oil

4 strips bacon

¼ teaspoon ground sage

Salt and pepper to taste


½ cup tomatillos, quartered

¼ cup sliced green onions, including stalks, rinsed, trimmed, and patted dry

½ cup sunflower sprouts

½ cup grated smoked gouda

Bacon from pan, crumbled or coarsely chopped

¼ cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted

In large skillet, add oil and quail. Roll quail in pan to coat evenly with oil. Place bacon strips along sides of quail and cook over medium heat, turning quail after three to four minutes. Increase heat to medium-high/high, and continue cooking quail just long enough to brown, about one to two minutes on each side. Remove from heat, place on paper or cloth towels to allow excess oil to drain. Continue cooking bacon until brown and crisp, then remove from heat and drain on towels. When cool enough, remove meat from quail in long, downward, stripping motions. Spoon onto prepared fry breads. In order given, add equal portions of garnishes to each frybread. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Rosemary Diaz (Tewa) also has Frybread rules and a recipe for basic frybread at ICTMN, which is sporting a brand new look. Given all the pheasant hunting which takes place here every year, I’d be more inclined to substitute pheasant for the quail in the Prairie Taco, but frybread and its toppings is a matter of endless variation, so go Native, and have fun!

Next up, one of the best ideas I have seen in a long while, with superb design: A Reader.


All images © Paco Ulman.

First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts have designed and created a shelter titled ‘READER’, a place where people can get away from their daily routine. Among other structures developed by the students, the shelter is located in the national park Lahemaa of North-Estonia. READER was constructed within five days and is made of pine plywood panels. The whole construction stands on three beams supported by nine adjustable legs on the ground. The exterior appears to be a basic cube, whereas in the inside visitors experience the undulating cave-like contours.
People are invited to enter the shelter to escape from their hectic lives into the pages of fiction and fantasy. The winding contours inside the shelter are an attempt to imitate the pages of a book, and metamorphose from a wall into a bench that seats three people. The ribbed walls usher in diffused sunlight which makes the shelter a comfortable niche, where anyone can come with a book and forget about all their troubles.

All images © Paco Ulman.

All images © Paco Ulman.

You can see more images at iGNANT.

Then we have some video game history, with Howard Scott Warshaw:

Via Great Big Story.

And finally, Sea Turtle conservancy!

Via Great Big Story.

A Highly Satisfying Sofa.


All images © de Sede.

This sofa would make the category of Best! for me. Peoples’ views, ideas, and feelings about furniture are near endless, and highly individual. I don’t like furniture much, it makes me restless. My idea of necessary furniture is a drawing table and chair. Then again, I’m also good with spreading out all over the floor, provided it isn’t crowded with furniture. I’m seldom happy with any configuration of furniture in a room, so the less there is, the better for me. Which brings me to this couch:

The innovative sofa DS-1025 by Swiss design company de Sede reminds us of mountainous ridges relocated to a living room. The furniture consists of two ingenious elements that can be arranged in different ways, resulting in a classic double-seater, a seating-pyramid or a small atrium. Designer Ubald Klug works as an interior decorator and designer in Paris and is known for his remarkable textile design. Klug says: “For me, innovation is all that counts.”

If you click over to iGNANT, you can see the nine different ways this sofa can be put together, and changed from one to the other at any time, for a different look and feel to your sofa. Or it can be split into four very comfy chairs. This is furniture after my own heart, one that caters to restless creativity, and is easily conformable to mood or activity. Awash with curiosity, I clicked over to de Sede, and looked at all their sofas. Oh! Go look, and be sure to mouse over all of the photos – many of their sofas are configurable and some have moving parts! They are all a delight, and there isn’t one I’d turn down.