Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A farewell to Mirka Mora, welcoming the common weed, Kusama-designed skateboards and more

Limited Edition Yayoi Kusama Skateboards are Coming to MoMA’s Online Store

This October, MoMA will release a limited run of skateboards (500 each of two styles) designed by the beloved Yayoi Kusama. The designs Yellow Trees (1994) and Dots Obsession (2018) are classic Kusama—all spots and bright colors. Though this isn’t a first for either party (MoMA has released similar pieces based on works by Warhol and Basquiat, and Kusama made a custom Infinity Mirror Skate Deck in 2017), it is an exciting, hand-painted (Kusama painted over the digital renderings because she felt they needed to be altered a bit) drop for collectors and skaters alike to covet. Read more about the upcoming release on It’s Nice That.

Farewell, Mirka Mora

Beloved French-born, Australia-based artist Mirka Mora has died at 90 years old. After surviving the Holocaust, Mora and her husband arrived in Melbourne in 1951 and helped to pioneer a thriving arts scene in the city and beyond—specifically through her public works and association with the Heide Museum of Modern Art. Her vibrant works can be seen at Flinders St Station, St Kilda Pier, and in her own former restaurant—the Melbourne icon Tolarno. Mora’s colorful and magical work spanned painting, illustration, ceramics and more. In a 2014 interview with the ABC, she said, “Other people like to paint when they’re unhappy, but I’m not because I’m depending on my brain and my brain must be clear and beautiful. I like to be on my own because you have to grab invisible things and make them visible.” Read more at the ABC.

Common Weeds Yield Unexpected Meals and Bouquets

“This is the era of the formerly unwanted plant,” Ligaya Mishan writes. The common weed holds no nutritional or aesthetic value in traditional settings, but adventurous chefs and florists are finding a place for weeds alongside traditionally more grand flowers and ingredients. The switch is being attributed to a broader cultural moment—that our perception of beauty is changing. Weeds are an intrusive species that finds its way into places it isn’t welcome. And their presence—in nature, in bouquets, in dishes—is synonymous with perseverance, diligence, and the adage of the underdog. Danish-born chef Esben Holmboe Bang says, “A wild dandelion is as coveted as a white truffle.” Read more about the common weed’s welcoming party at the New York Times.

Dover Street Market Thrives in Defiance

Dover Street Market, founded by couple, and heads of line Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe, has found success in the retail space by defying the setting, methods, and stocking practices of traditional stores. Their brand coexists in each of Dover Street Market’s six locations with competitors and upstarts alike; streetwear, luxury, and everyday items are placed throughout the store like a bazaar: “Dover Street Market groups most of its single-brand spaces, which make up the majority of the floor plan, by creator, giving each designer permission to dream up site-specific installations. As long as they put up panels to protect walls and conform to strict size requirements, almost anything goes,” Alexandra Marshall of the Wall Street Journal writes. But the idea has become more than just a retail space; the hospitality of Kawakubo and Joffe has helped launch brands like Gosha Rubchinskiy and Jacquemus, and their fluid business style has remained relentless through trends and market crashes alike. Read more in-depth analysis at the Wall Street Journal.

Autonomous Air-Taxis May Only Be a Few Years Away

SkyRyse, a start-up founded by 28-year-old Mark Groden, is set on bringing an autonomous air-taxi to the market within the next decade. Other, larger companies (like Uber and Volocopter) share the same goal, but SkyRyse is expediting the process by installing autonomous technology into pre-existing aircrafts. Skipping the exhausting process of building out an expensive fleet, their to-market goal is much more attainable—meaning we may see pilot-less planes offering rides like Uber or Lyft in the air sooner than expected. And, the idea is in good hands: former employees from NASA, Space-X, and Boeing have jumped on board to helm the project. Read more at CNBC.

NBA Loosens Rules on Sneakers

In another move in the NBA’s efforts toward being the most player-oriented professional sports league, the association will adopt a free-for-all policy in regard to sneakers. This move will allow players to wear any colored sneakers, whenever they please—moving on from the 51% rule which required the sneaker to be 51% white if the team were home and 51% black if the team were away. Since Nike took the helm on jersey design last year, they have made it a goal to broaden team’s looks and color palettes. So, no longer does a team have to have a white home or a black away jersey—it can be green, or blue, or red, or cream (and the sneakers players wear no longer have to match). Read more about the change on ESPN.

An Onslaught of New Beverages That Defy Existing Categorization

Beyond soda, “a proliferation of beverages that don’t fit within traditional drink categories is creating tough choices for retailers, confusion for shoppers and a challenge for manufacturers,” Jennifer Maloney and Julie Jargon of the Wall Street Journal explain. From Pepsi’s offer to buy SodaStream to drinks like cold-brew coffee and kombucha defying  shopping aisle organization, consumer tastes are changing. The market has a tidal wave of new drinks as beverage giants jostle outside of their comfort zones to embrace a wane in regular sugar drinks and an interest in more experimental flavors and combinations. Read more about the industry’s fluctuations at the Wall Street Journal.

Father Turns Son’s Illustrations Into Crazy, Lifelike Animals

As children seek to replicate what inspires them in the outside world, they seem to capture it through the distortion of imagination—and developing skills. Since 2016, an artist (known only as Tom) has been turning his son’s doodles into lifelike but (obviously) anatomically-incorrect images, much to the delight of others. They’ve been posted to Instagram under Things I Have Drawn and even become a book. See more of these absurd and wonderful creatures, and learn more about the family, at designboom.

The Digital Future of Music Festivals

As new music festivals are announced and older ones fold, one thing remains consistent: attendance numbers are lower and ticket prices are higher than ever. Larger festivals don’t necessarily translate to digital content well: stages are lit for immediate impact, aren’t designed with secondary audiences in mind, and render livestreams and ripped videos almost unwatchable. Pickathon—a 3,500-ticket festival on an 80-acre farm just south of Portland, Oregon—is catering to its in-person and internet audience. The festival is adorned with installations and extraordinary stages built to let the festival’s 500-person production team, led by founder Zale Schoenborn, capture video and images to create a year’s worth of content that they hope to monetize on YouTube and Netflix to balance out their costs and hopefully break even. Read more about Schoenborn’s efforts on The Ringer.

Augmented Reality Camera Systems Give Tank Crews 360-Degree Visibility

From inside the belly of Ukrainian military tanks, VR headsets are granting operational crews real-time views of everything on the outside—no longer limiting pilots to small vision ports. Through multiple infrared cameras, this “Distributed Aperture System,” adds a “See-Through” technology to the notoriously clunky, armored vehicles. As Popular Mechanic notes, the key here is actually consumer electronics, specifically Microsoft’s Hololens mixed reality device. And it just so happens to make the outfitting process quite inexpensive. Learn more about how it all works at Popular Mechanics.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning.