Long before Droog, Koolhaas and Boontje, the Dutch had a much more classic design icon in their city-friendly bicycles. Now the Canadian company Jorg & Olif has brought a version of the bike stateside with the introduction of their Citybike to the U.S. market earlier this month. Featuring extended handlebars and a step-through model for skirt-wearers, the basic upright design makes riding a bike a much more civilized-feeling experience. The wide saddle increases comfort, while fender and chain guards, as well as coat/skirt guards, protect clothing from snags and splashes and pre-installed lights add safety at night. Updated for areas with hills, Jorg & Olif adds Shimano internal hub gear systems in one, three and eight speeds. Other perks include an in-wheel locking system, a built-in kickstand, wheels engineered for a smoother, faster ride, a sturdy rear rack with a strap and a traditional Dutch bell. In addition to quality contruction and smart design, Jorg & Olif also round out their commitment to aesthetics with a line of acessories that add panache to a bike ride. From a simple black helmet ($195) to the "Citybag" (it's $115 and clips to the rack and can also be worn as a shoulder bag), Jorg & Olif are making bike riding more accessible to urbanites who believe in all the ethics of bike culture but who'd rather not have to roll up a pant leg. Starting at $795 and going up to $1,295 depending on gears (only three and eight speeds have hand brakes), all bikes come with a pump. The Oma has a step-through frame and comes in extra-small, small and medium and the Opa comes in medium, large and extra-large. Order by emailing info [at] jorgandolif [dot] com or calling 604 877 1850.
Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography is a collection of contemporary photography from 121 living artists who have contributed to the international art photography scene in the last five years. The latest installment in Phaidon's lauded Vitamin series (which also includes titles Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting and Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing, Vitamin Ph) features photographers chosen by a distinguished panel of 78 critics, curators and fellow artists. The artists selected represent over 30 countries and run the gamut from established artists like Tacita Dean, to emerging talent and newcomers to the art world. Vitamin Ph features an introduction by art historian TJ Demos who explains that "photography, through its growing diversity, illustrates the many ways that we are different, helps us to understand those differences and connects us to the global world." CH favorite Anthony Goicolea (whose film The Septemberists we covered recently) is included, as well as Nikki S. Lee's amazing "Projects" in which she performs and embodies various identities from an exotic dancer to a yuppie. See more images here. Vitamin Ph is available from Amazon. Yto Barrada’s “Papier peint (Wallpaper)” Elinor Carrucci’s “First Tears Over Another Man” Anna Gaskells’ “Untitled Tim Lee’s “The Jerk, Carl Reiner, 1979
Designed by Kathleen Walsh for Walteria Living, this charming Nite Lite is pre-cast in bisque porcelain and comes with a detachable linen 'lampshade'. Our little chihuahua stands 7.5" tall and is approximately 4" wide at the base. 7.5 w bulb. $149, Buy it at BASE
Blank note cards with a black tissue lined envelope featuring an engraved skull design. Perfect gift giving for the Absinthe-inclined. Each card is 5.5 x 7.5 in a black boxed, exquisitely packaged, set of 12. $58, Buy it at BASE
A Midwest photographic publication project featuring the work of three progressive photographers, each featured in their own separate volume: Kelli Connell (Double Life), Justin Newhall (Historical Marker) and Brian Ulrich(Copia). Striking and original images of Midwestern life as seen throught the lense of this exceptionally talented trio. Beautifully packaged. $30, Buy it at BASE
This collection of camouflage patterns features a royalty-free DVD that can be used for web pages, graphic design, 3D mapping, desktop wallpapers etc. The data is provided in both EPS and JPEG file format. 8.5in square. $49.95, Buy it at BASE
From Southern California designer and motorcycle enthusiast Mitchell Binder. A sterling silver skull on a plain sterling chain, much like we imagine a biker might wear. Chain is 19" long. $215, Buy it at BASE
This week CH highlights our favorite innovations from Popular Science's Amazon.
During its heyday in the 80's, Factory Records worked with some of the most brilliant graphic artists around, including Peter Saville, Den Kelly, Mark Farrow, 8VO and Barbara Kruger. Their stylish design is almost as iconic as the era-defining bands (Joy Division, New Order, etc.) that are synonymous with the Manchester-based label. The upcoming new book, Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album,is the first to document the graphic legacy with every single piece of their graphic output, such as reproductions of flyers, rare record sleeves and posters organized according to the famous Factory catalogue system. Due out at the end of this month, pre-order it from
Using nanotechnology based on the Lotus flower's nanostructures that slough off water and dirt, the NanoNuno umbrella (â‚¬50) wicks away water and dries with little more than a simple shake. Though you may have seen this little example of practical hi-tech elsewhere, for city-dwellers who think a mud room is a bar or for those of us who have a general prejudice against the annoyances of carrying an umbrella, the NanoNuno is an innovation that eases the hassles of winter weather. via Urban Daddy
Like the essential Pantone color guide, Type Selector is a swatch-style tool for choosing type. Featuring 226 fonts divided into categories, each entry includes dummy text and examples in different weights and styles. In-house designers at CH HQ appreciated the handy form factor, that the publishers chose to pair down font choices so you don't have to look through every font and that you can hold the book up to the screen. But the format's also difficult to flip through and the list price of $50 may be a bit steep for a device with multiple free alternatives. Pick it up from Thames and Hudson or Amazon.
Chicago-based furniture company Ooba (makers of the decidedly un-precious conversion kit ($250) which extends the usefulness of the bassinet by transforming it into a play table and toy bin. In keeping with their mission to "create a simpler and more insightful experience for modern living," they balance form, materials and function with sustainability. Also recently debuted, Ooba's Nest Crib converts into a day bed as your child gets older, somewhat easing the $2300 price tag. Available for pre-order now, the Nest Crib is available in walnut or maple veneers. via Notcot
As autumn begins to give way to winter, dreams of mountain riding start to set in. Rome is a young snowboard company founded by a couple former Burton board-makers who wanted to get back to the roots of snowboarding—before the days of endorsements, media and big business. Their product is targeted at the 100 day per season rider and those of us who wish we could get that many days in on the slopes. This season Rome has a new limited edition board, Headroom. Like Agent (which I ride) it's a park focused board that performs surprisingly well all over the mountain. In fact, it has the same composition as the Agent, but with a unique nose and tail shape for better park performance. Only 500 boards were made and they're only available in 154 or 156 lengths. The base graphics are an homage to Coke's 1980s digital spokesperson Max Headroom. The Headroom is available this month for $470 at select retailers including tightboards.com.
Undoboy, a talented NYC-based designer, sent us an email recently warning us he's unleashed his latest work: Super-Bastard Box Art Characters. 16 4-inch characters come in a box. The sturdy cardboard dolls have a character painted on each of their four sides and feature different pop-culture icons. The detachable heads and legs can be mixed and matched for added fun. Born Chean Wei Law and raised in Malaysia, Undoboy is rapidly making his presence felt with his off-the-wall creations that blend his artistic talent and wacky sense of humor. Super-Bastard Box Art is available for purchase online at Karmaloop.
Leni the Pug: The Comet Christmas Caper is a new illustrated holiday 'tail' chronicling the adventures of Leni (a female Pug), who leads a pack of pooches to help Santa find Comet the reindeer and deliver his Christmas presents after the magic sleigh crashes in a Central Park dog run. Written by Keith Fiore, Illustrated by Alex Sacui, and self-published by Keith and his wife Nicole, it is not only a tale for kids but also an inspiration for those who dream of bringing their own stories to life. The book features witty verse and a good narrative, accompanied by 30+ illustrations. Printed on Japanese art paper, it is housed in a special first edition case and limited to 5,000 copies. Available online for $34.50.
Richter Studio in Providence, RI has created these politically-charged American Gulag bracelets and necklaces. Realistic representations of barbed wire made out of rubber or sterling silver, the idea was inspired by Russian gulags and is intended to make a statement about certain practices of the Bush administration. Bracelets range from $14-$225 and a percentage of sales is donated to human rights organizations.