Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Rapha rides for Japan, Maeda on craft, dry-transfer Field Notes and more in this week's online snapshot


1. Vinyl Factory

Celebrating “the tangible and the rare in an age of rapid digital consumption,” the label The Vinyl Factory has popped up at London’s St. Martin’s Lane Hotel with a shop showcasing their extensive assortment of records and limited-edition box sets—from Bryan Ferry’s Kate moss-graced albums to prints of Grace Jones by Chris Levine. The temporary store will be in the hotel’s Front Room through 29 May 2010.

2. Wilhelm Scream

Playing to a sold-out audience in Brooklyn that included Bjork before inspiring more buzz at SXSW recently, 22-year-old classically-trained pianist James Blake has been winning music-nerd hearts with his ethereal dubstep and slow-paced riffs on soul and R&B that evoke everyone from Bon Iver and Antony Hegarty to Jai Paul. While we’ve been hooked on “I Never Learnt to Share,” his new video for “Wilhelm Scream” makes a good excuse to check out his intensely-detailed production style and effective use of silence.

3. Rapha Rides For Tohoku

To do what they can in light of the recent disasters that continue to unfold in Japan, the bike gurus at Rapha have organized worldwide charity rides. If you can’t cruise for a cause, you can still make a donation through the Rapha website, which they will match.

4. John Maeda: Atoms + Bits = the neue Craft (ABC)

Billed as an “interactive lecture,” starting 23 March 2011 and running through 31 December 2011, Adobe’s online museum presents an exhibit featuring a “digital representation” of RISD president and technology theorist John Maeda speaking on the relationship between old-world craft and our digital age.


5. Insight Lights

Belarus design firm Solovyodesign recently produced a very thoughtful lightbulb. Shaping the twisted contours of a normal compact fluorescent bulb into the shape of a human brain, the industrious design couple offer a beautiful rethinking of the CF bulb while making a humorous play on the classic “good idea” lightbulb bit from Saturday morning cartoons.

6. Doug Aitken’s Patterns & Repetitions: James Murphy

In a recent installment of artist Doug Aitken’s video series (bringing conversations on “nothing less than the future of art itself” to the NYT), LCD Soundsystem James Murphy keeps it down-to-earth, opening up about the mundane sounds like refrigerator hums and snowbanks that inspire his music.

7. The Power of Babble

Deb Roy of MIT, has been videotaping the last three years of his son’s life. In an effort to better understand how humans learn language and how to improve the ways we can teach it to machines, Roy has logged over 120,000 hours of footage from cameras placed all over his home. Wired talked to Roy about how the project has helped learning about speech and given birth to some interesting new methods for handling huge amounts of data, including fantastic search functions that have potential applications for research and online.

8. Any Color You Like (Pyramid IV)

Multidisciplinary artist Dev Harlan combines a foam and plaster sculpture with 3D video-mapping to fully-engaging psychedelic effect.


9. Hunter Outerwear

Any rainy day in NYC showa how successfully Hunter has been in helping to introduce wellies to the urban masses. Their Fall 2011 collection of peacoats, waxed-cotton jackets and trenches may see them similarly influencing inclement-weather toppers, posing the question, as a Twitter friend asked is it “
like cooler Barbour

10. Dry Transfer Customizable Field Note Notebooks

Field Notes, known for their elegantly functional note-taking products, released a set that includes dry-transfer lettering, allowing users to customize the titles.

11. The Internet is Over

While Oliver Burkeman won’t ruffle the feathers of anyone working in the digital space (or under 30), his reporting on SXSW’s interactive festival this year addresses the many issues raised—from game theory to biomimicry—by the ever-more-tenuous division between offline and online life.

Bobos out. Huffington Post, Biz Stone and The Rise of the Crocus Class

Attempting to define a post-Bobo class in light of the recession, Haydn Shaughnessy explores a “
new naturalism
” that encompasses economies based on sharing like Zipcar and Groupon, signaling a shift away from a focus on ideas to personal responsibility and actions.