Inside Japan’s KitKat Factory

From the carpark to the chocolate tank room, baking line, moulding queue and beyond, this series of videos takes viewers on a tour of the KitKat factory in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture. Beginning with intense hygiene and cleaning rituals, the videos are “weird and wonderful” and entirely enthralling. See them all at Core77.

Nilotica Goddess Glow

$42

Part moisturizer, part illuminator, Nilotica Goddess Glow feels soft and nourishing—neither caked-on and dry, nor greasy. The subtle hint of sparkle creates delicate radiance, while the rosy tint gives color. It’s free from synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol, sulfates, triclosan and gluten—and it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

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Tavares Strachan and SpaceX Send Art to Space

On Monday, 19 November, SpaceX will send its Falcon 9 rocket into space. But, this time the launch will be adorned with a Tavares Strachan sculpture of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr, the first African-American NASA-trained astronaut. Sadly, Lawrence Jr never made it to space (he died in a jet crash in 1967) but, thanks to this collaboration, a 24-karat gold bust of his likeness will …

Land Ark’s Mid-Century Modern-Inspired RV

Referred to as the “Draper,” Land Ark’s latest RV pairs mid-century angles and materials with sophisticated spatial management. From an exterior panel that drops into an elevated outdoor patio to a sleeping loft flooded with natural light, indoor and outdoor frequently engage. There’s a walk-in shower, convertible couch and large kitchen, too—but it’s the white-washed pine and elegant proportions that truly impress. See more photos and …

Gravity Images Reveal Lost Continents Under Antarctica

For four years, the European Space Agency’s Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite accumulated data on Earth’s gravitational field. Now, scientists are using that information to best understand what lies beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets. Here, they’re learning that East and West Antarctica bear fundamental differences, including lithosphere thickness. Underneath the former, there are actually several similarities to the continent’s closest neighbors. Read more at VICE.

Tracing the Influence of Early Black Designers

In a new exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center, titled African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race, the influence of black designers is traced, from 1900 to 1980. Jackie Ormes’ highly sought-after Patty-Jo Doll, based on her cartoon character, is on display. As is work—for Coca Cola and more—from the country’s first African American-owned advertising agency, helmed by Emmett McBain and Thomas J Burrell. “It’s …

Buy Guide

The latest additions to our shoppable directory

Designer Room Cat House

$369

This minimal cat house—made from plywood and a black aluminum frame—is ideal for indoor or outdoor felines. Cozy but not claustrophobic, the house features a half-wall for entry/exit, as well as two windows—for views and ventilation. At 18 inches tall, it’s available in finished or unfinished wood.

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58mm Lens

$80

Compatible with any of Moment’s photo or battery cases, this 58mm lens is a high quality telephoto attachment that improves your phone’s camera capabilities. This means users can capture 2x or 4x on a dual-lens phone (with the help of their nifty app). Whether it be on an iPhone, Pixel or Galaxy, the lens’ focal length allows for compelling portraits and sharp images—even from a distance.

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“Glass for Good” Hand Wash

$15

A limited edition collaboration between SFMOMA and method, the reusable crystalline Glass for Good Hand Wash features a copper-tone pump top. Accompanying the vessel, Method includes a plant-based, biodegradable violet noir fragrance soap, which they refer to as “a subtle medley of violet leaf, lavender, and cedarwood.” Most important, proceeds from sales will benefit SFMOMA’s educational initiatives.

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The Japanese Garden

$70

Across 300+ pages, garden designer Sophie Walker explores the magic of the Japanese Garden—from 800 years of history to the various aesthetics and philosophies incorporated. Undeniably, the Japanese garden is an art form of its own, and a living one. This book features 100 examples—with accompanying essays and notes by artists, architects and more.

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serpentwithfeet: bless ur heart (acoustic)

Brooklyn-based artist serpentwithfeet (aka Josiah Wise) breathes new life into “bless ur heart” with a just-released acoustic rendition. From Wise’s LP soil, the original and highly theatrical track sheds its layers as Wise lets his delicate vocals rise in a tender, moving and transcendent way.

Your Smith: The Spot (Young & Sick Remix)

Your Smith (aka LA-based singer/songwriter Caroline Smith) released her debut EP, Bad Habit, earlier this year and much of its thoughtful, playful ethos and sonic palette honestly remind one of Sheryl Crow’s debut Tuesday Night Music Club. Dutch artist Young & Sick took EP-standout and lead single “The Spot” and gave it a disco-driven, dance-worthy remix. It’s an uptempo cocktail party track that will have hips …

Unagi’s Design-Forward Electric Scooter

Ride along with zero emissions and speeds up to 15mph

Even though electric scooters have gained so much popularity, they don’t look much different than the manual ones from a decade ago. Now, however, the design-forward, zero-emission Unagi is hitting the market to elevate the humble scooter with the help of Japanese TORAY carbon fiber and more. Beyond the sturdy material, there’s plenty of clever design throughout the Unagi; from the 6.5-inch rubber tires with built-in air-pockets (to prevent flats …

SG Lewis feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: Dusk

London-based SG Lewis (aka Sam Lewis) has just released another enthralling track, this time teaming up with fellow British DJ/producer and vocalist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs for “Again.” The song is from the second chapter of Lewis’ three-part concept album Dusk, Dark, Dawn and is a textured electronic track that’s a little heavier than the releases from Dusk. Still, it’s warm and rich—thanks in part to the tender …

Regina Spektor: Birdsong

Regina Spektor drapes serpentine vocals atop fingerpicked acoustic guitar to form “Birdsong.” This latest track from the singer and multi-instrumentalist appears in an episode of the new Matthew Weiner show The  Romanoffs on Amazon Prime. It’s brief, clocking in under two minutes, but uses every moment for a considered beauty that’s undeniably Spektor.

MIT-Developed Atolla Personalized Skincare

Monthly tests and a proprietary algorithm result in fully customized products

Founded by Meghan Maupin and Sid Salvi, with Dr Ranella Hirsch, Atolla brings a scientific method to skincare—removing trial and error, and drastically reducing waste. By using machine learning and a proprietary algorithm, the team at Atolla creates serums that are crafted specifically for each user—tracking changes in skin’s moisture, oil and pH levels due to diet, weather, allergies and more. Currently funding on Kickstarter, the fledgling company is offering …

Hyacinth + Bamboo Candle

$55

With 60+ hours of burn time, this hyacinth and bamboo candle boasts fresh and clean floral notes. Made in Brooklyn, it’s crafted from natural soy wax, with a cotton wick and housed in a 100% recycled glass votive. Additionally, the Starling Project endeavors to help organizations like UNICEF offer solar power systems to communities in developing countries. They’ve raised over $250,000 so far.

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“Music Keeps Me On Track” Print

$500

Unique thanks to Stephen “ESPO” Powers’ hand-drawn embellishments (aka all those little notes and sketches covering the piece), this print will resonate with art and music enthusiasts alike. With pencil-drawn cassettes, microphones and ESPO’s familiar sweet and sometimes sarcastic lettering, this four-color screen-print measures 24 by 24 inches.

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Welcome Soap

$42

Shaped like a freshwater bream, this Welcome Soap is moulded with a Kashigata, and replicates the popular fish-shaped Taiyaki cake. Available in three colors, each one boasts a different fragrance: red is pomegranate, white is lily blossom, and black is brown sugar. With lovely, minimal packaging, this soap-on-a-rope is made in Japan.

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Glass Teapot Set

$4500

With the filter built into the lid and a body made heat-resistant glass, this teapot is foolproof. Included in this set are two green teas—Sencha Unro and Gokujo Genmaicha—which can be brewed for a single cup or a big batch. Appropriate for teabags or loose-leaf, this 750ml pot will elevate tea time.

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Velvet Baseball Cap

$95

Made in the very same factory that manufactures caps for major league Japanese baseball teams, Poten’s caps are crafted from unexpected fabrics—like this lush velvet iteration. A soft, treated cowhide sweatband complements the 100% rayon velvet body, which comes in three sizes and elevates the entire concept of a baseball cap.

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