Best of CH 2014: Most Popular

From a Moog Music factory tour to MINI's Superleggera Vision and Van Cleef & Arpels' Midnight Planétarium, the articles you read most this year

Sometimes it’s easy to predict what will be a hit on the internet (kitten GIFs never fail) and, while we like to think all our CH articles are equally enjoyed, some get picked up and spewed all over the web—much to our delight. (This year, some Tweets from the likes of Chris Hadfield and Neil DeGrasse Tyson gave us a healthy boost.) From watches adorned with shooting stars, interviews with artists, vibrators on jewelry and travels all over the globe, there’s oftentimes no telling what will get readers clicking. Here are some of the best performing articles on Cool Hunting in 2014.


MINI Unveils Superleggera Vision Concept

On the eve of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy, MINI unveiled its Superleggera Vision, the first formal collaboration between the brand that loves to motor and the legendary Italian coach-building firm Touring Superleggera. The open-top, compact two-seater roadster is born from a British-Italian romance, and the concept car inherits the best that each of its parents has to offer.


Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication

In addition to telling time by way of a shooting star that rotates along the outmost area of the face, the Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Planétarium more prominently features an accurate rotation and representation of the Earth and the five other planets visible from here around the sun—Mercury in 88 days, Venus in 224, Earth in a year, Mars in 687 days, Jupiter in 12 years and Saturn in 29. It’s a very complex watch and a true display of supreme watchmaking. But as complicated as the piece is—with 396 parts to the movement—it’s also beautiful.


Interview: Gary Taxali

Finding inspiration from commercial work while maintaining a sense of integrity in the art world is no easy task, but Toronto-based artist Gary Taxali proves it’s not only possible but, at times, beneficial. We caught up with Taxali as he wrapped up the finishing touches on the “Unforget Me” from his Toronto studio. Delving into his signature process, the benefits of working with the right art directors for clients like Cinelli, GQ and Converse and his unexpected role in Canada Post’s stamp collection, the artist does not shy away from taking chances and working with the consequences. Just don’t put a blank piece of paper in front of him.


Giraffe Manor, Nairobi

Set on 12 acres of private land within a 140-acre indigenous forest, Giraffe Manor is an ivy-covered 1930s colonial mansion-turned-hotel, with stunning art deco interiors to match. But the true stars of this classic Kenyan home are the 10 rare Rothschild giraffes that roam the property—and aren’t shy about sticking their long necks straight through windows, doors and balconies in search of a nutritious treat. Here, feeding the wild animals is actually encouraged.


Six Piggy Banks for Adults

Wondering why most piggy banks seemed to be designed with kids in mind—we scoped out more grown up alternatives that eschew the traditional format. While a plain Mason jar will suffice, there’s no harm in gathering your loose change in an attractive container that adds some flair (and fun) to saving.


Dan Gluibizzi: Between Friends

Sex, bongs and the internet—these are the motifs explored in the watercolors of Portland-via-New York artist Dan Gluibizzi (pronounced “glue-busy”). Gluibizzi’s solo exhibition “Between Friends” features his most recent studies, many of which are modeled from images he discovered through Tumblr. Explaining his chosen title, he tells CH, “We live in a world dominated by social media; everything is constantly ‘between friends.’ That term is sort of slightly nefarious, something’s going on, it’s between friends. Or, we’re in this time of data collection and what is private? ‘Oh, this is between friends,’—but everyone knows it’s not between friends. And I think that’s what fascinates me about the adult content that is posted and viewed online.”


Vesper, a Discreet Vibrator Necklace

Crave’s high-quality adult objects stand apart from the majority of the market for their innovative and sleek design, from leather bracelets that turn into handcuffs to a near-silent vibrator that also works as a flash drive. Their newest addition Vesper similarly doesn’t disappoint in its sophistication: it’s a slim vibrator that also functions as a necklace.


Moog Music Factory Tour

A few years ago, Moog Music moved its headquarters closer to downtown Asheville and the River Arts District to be more involved with the community. Four vacant buildings were renovated into an all-in-one space that serves not only as a factory, but offices and retail space as well.


Sip Smarter with the Viora Coffee Lid

With a conventional coffee cup lid, even the slightest jolt can send scalding liquid out of the porthole, only to be caught by the dish-like design, awaiting a second opportunity to splash onto you. Further, the lid traps all aromas inside, rendering your $4 pour-over barely more flavorful than a mediocre, sub-dollar cup. To address all this, Seattle-based Vaporpath recently launched the Viora Lid, the first well-considered design innovation in the field in decades—aside from Smart Lid’s heat-sensitive option, of course.


Seon Ghi Bahk: Fiction and the Fabricated Image

Nylon threads and neatly erupted charcoal bits take over in “Fiction and the Fabricated Image“—an exhibition by South Korean artist Seon Ghi Bahk. The show explores the interplay of nature and civilized culture.