Like each year in COOL HUNTING’s history, 2018 offered an immensely varied collection of content—from Escher wallpaper to hydroponic vertical gardens, Apple Watch upgrades, sustainable architecture and beyond. With this in mind, it’s always fascinating to explore our analytics at the end of the year and find what resonated most with our audience. Sometimes expected, oftentimes surprising, the results are always insightful. Once again, we’re delighted to see evidence that our readers are engaged, discerning and ultimately curious.
There’s an inherent magic to the rolling green hills of the Scottish Highlands. Nature imparts peace, beauty and—of course—an imprint on the whisky produced throughout the region. With their brand new distillery—which looks as if were pulled from the pages of Tolkien—The Macallan‘s facility rolls directly into the landscape of their 370-acre estate. It’s by far the most beautiful, future-forward and unobtrusive distillery for a single malt scotch brand. Imagined by the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners architectural firm, it marks a £140 million investment from The Macallan’s parent, Edrington. And after three years and six months of construction, it’s ready… Read more.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is a major update to the now four-year-old device series. Having wear-tested one for the last week I definitely feel it’s well worth the upgrade for existing users and finally the right time to get an Apple Watch for anyone who has been on the fence. Valuable new health features, a louder speaker, thinner case, haptic crown and faster overall performance are all benefits but it’s the larger screen that makes both new and old features alike really come to life. While all elements of the WatchOS were redesigned for the 30% larger screen on the Series 4, it’s the new watch faces I’m most enamored by… Read more.
“We’ve built these overwhelming lives for ourselves. Our bodies and our houses have ballooned. Many of us have a desire for a simpler life with less stuff,” TreeHugger founder Graham Hill says as he looks out over the green valley behind his new minimalist house in the dreamlike Haiku community of Maui, Hawaii. It’s the perfect place for the challenge he set upon himself: build a minimalist, sustainable house for a whole family. Hill finished this “Ohana” house project, LifeEdited Maui in January. It is a prototype for an off-grid residence, barely connected to any communal power or water system… Read more.
The name Maurits Cornelis Escher (more commonly known as MC Escher) is intrinsically linked to the concept of infinity. An exploration of repetition and impossibility permeates his artwork—derived from science—creating worlds that are as surreal as they are realistic. His work is still relevant today; reflected in everything from video-game backgrounds to data visualization. In reality, Escher’s creations are the results of studying the laws of physics and optics, and also the arabesques that he admired in his travels along the Mediterranean coasts. The late Escher’s artwork now makes for a brand new wallpaper collection (set to be unveiled at Milan Design Week) and we were given the chance to preview it… Read more.
There’s one window into TriBeCa’s Farm.One, a series of hydroponic vertical gardens producing greens for some of NYC’s best restaurants. That window, however, faces into the building and walking by it gives reason to pause. There, just beyond the glass, is tier upon tier of rolling racks with rare herbs and spices and even edible flowers. There’s no natural light, only the power of regulated LEDs. Several water-based nutrient systems cycle through—moderated by about five of the 11 or so employees at the company. Ultimately, it’s a pesticide-free destination focusing on about 100 ingredients at a time, all of which have unexpectedly pronounced flavors… Read more.
Working with Arc’teryx brand Veilance for three years, Taka Kasuga is the Design Director in charge of both maintaining and evolving their apparel. While countless brands are working in the realm of tech-meets-style now, Veilance has been in the game since 2009 (not to mention Arc’teryx was founded in the early 1990s). Known for being technically-driven yet luxurious, Veilance’s sleek and sophisticated silhouettes make their products just as wearable in the city as in the wilderness. This is tech-forward performance apparel without unnecessary zips, pockets and logos—opting for clean lines and a high-fashion attitude. And, they’re one of the first brands to do it. But given the increased competition, it’s hard to stay in the lead… Read more.
There are a few things you don’t expect to find yourself feeling in the automotive world. One is that a vehicle that’s less powerful would turn out to be your favorite. But hats off to Land Rover for making that happen, because it means that their new Range Rover Sport P400e hybrid could very well be a no-brainer purchase. Mind you, if you have $95,150 for the forthcoming, 2019 hybridized Range Rover, you have a lot of options already. And the fact that the hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport won’t feel like you’ve made some grand bargain—because it’s the most un-hybrid-like hybrid we’ve driven… Read more.
With his father owning a roasting company, founder and CEO of Slayer Espresso Jason Prefontaine grew up quite familiar with the coffee bean. Prefontaine eventually became an espresso machine importer, selling and servicing machines. He then opened a roasting company and learned everything more he could about making coffee. The deeper he got into the world… Read more.
The oldest running motorcycle brand (established three months before Harley Davidson) Husqvarna started as a rifle-maker in 1689. Their logo—which often gets mistaken for a crown—is a gun sight at the end of a barrel. Declining in sales pushed them to produce motorcycles in 1903. It was the release of the brand’s 1955 Silverpilen (Silver Arrow) that epitomized their Swedish form and function style… Read more.
For many red wine lovers, Silver Oak has become synonymous with luxuriant bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon over the last 45 years. These food-friendly, dynamic vintages hail from quality fruit met with virgin oak. Often, Silver Oak wines are consumed on special occasions—a reflection of their magnificence. But to truly understand what sets the brand apart requires a visit… Read more.