Our friends over at People will always need plates have freshened up their site with some lovely new bits and bobs. Perfect timing if you fancy ordering up some sublimely elegant Christmas gifts. (And who's to say those gifts can't be for yourself?)
We were wandering about the web today, and passed by Michael Surtees rather lovely DesignNotes blog, in which he'd just posted about the Typographic Walking Tour of New York that he'd done on Saturday.
It was organised by Tobias Frere-Jones from type foundry Hoefler & Frere-Jones, using the research he'd done for their wonderful typeface Gotham, which is based on American architectural signage.
Surtees has a fantastic Flickr set from the tour, and there are links to other sets on the H&FJ blog.
Deep yumminess. (And it reminded us of the Public Lettering walk that Phil Baines put together a few years back.)
Hmm. Wonder how much a flight to NYC is right now...
We're creatures of habit here at We Made This, so the weekend found us making our way down to London's southbank for a bit of food and culture.
We kicked off at Borough Market. If you're ever down that way round lunchtime, make sure you find the place that does the chicken wraps - they're utterly delicious. And go rather well with a Berry Bliss smoothie.
We then ambled down to the Tate Modern for their Global Cities show, which you can still catch if you get along there in the next couple of weeks (it runs till 27 August). It's a fascinating show, though it was the historical and sociological stuff that really got us going, rather than the art pieces.
Sunday then found us meeting some friends at the Design Museum, which is currently showing an interesting Zaha Hadid show, and a huge exhibition of Jonathan Barnbrook's work. We're not massive fans of Barnbrook's style (it's just too damn hectic for our simple tastes), but his dedication to creating design with a social conscience is brilliant.
In the cafe there's also a small exhibition of the Blanka posters created for the 50th Anniversary of Helvetica, and our favourite is the one by... Oliver Jeffers.
We headed back along the southbank having been tipped off that Stormtroopers had been seen outside County Hall.
They're there as part of the Star Wars show (careful, noisy link) that's on at the moment. We didn't linger, as that whole particular bit of the southbank is a grim tourist trap (which is a massive shame considering how wonderful the section by the Royal Festival Hall is). But, if we had gone into the show, we would have seen yet another bit of Jeffers' work, in the form of his customised Darth Vader helmet for Toys R Evil.
It was a bit of a weekend of South Kensington fun (see below), as we headed back there on Sunday to check out the Leonardo da Vinci show on at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The show is a collection of his drawings from his notebooks, grouped into four loose themes. It's not a huge show, but there's a fair amount to get through, and it's all fantastic.
You can't help but think, particularly in our vacuous celebrity-obsessed times, that here is a guy who deserves real adoration. Architect, scientist, painter, thinker, general all-round genius; his sketchbook pages themselves are works of art, despite quite evidently being working drawings.
The show runs till 7 January. Go get some inspiration.
And, the prize goes to... Richard Rogers for the New Area Terminal. It' s an impressive building, though essentially a giant shed; we would have gone for Zaha Hadid's revolutionary design for the Phaeno Science Centre (shown above). It's a simply stunning building which rewrites the way architecture works, and is seriously tempting us to make a weekend trip to Wolfsburg.
Check out the Channel 4 site here, and the RIBA site here. The exhibition of the shortlisted buildings continues at RIBA's headquarters until 25 November.
Seems you can hardly turn a corner in London without bumping into a power station full of art (see below).
After the success of the Tate Modern at Bankside, the Serpentine Gallery has decided to get in on the act, and has created its first major off-site project, with an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art at Battersea Power Station.
China Power Station: Part I is the first part of a three part show (Part II is in Oslo next year, and Part III in Beijing in 2008). The show is mainly video art, with a few installation pieces thrown in; but frankly, the real star of the show is the iconic building itself.
We headed over there yesterday afternoon to take a look. You need to pre-book tickets (here), and you get given a time slot to turn up. We got there at the start of our time slot, which meant just a short wait - a couple of hours later the queue was stretching right around the building.
It's an invaluable chance to get a proper look at the place before the developments start, and it really is quite stunning, feeling a lot like the ageing skeleton of a once great beast. We can't help feeling that it should perhaps just be left as it is, as a memorial to the excesses of the industrial age.
Friday evening saw us gallavanting across to the Tate Modern to check out the new turbine hall installation by Carsten Höller. He's created a series of slides that run from various different levels of the gallery, and we were frankly rather excited at the prospect of hurling ourselves down them. So it was more than a little gutting that they were fully booked for the evening. From the screams of the people who did get to have a go, it sounded like the installation was successful, certainly as a thrill ride.
It no doubt will just add fuel to the fire on the discussions about the Tate Modern being more of an art theme park than a high-brow gallery. Personally, we love the Tate, and think it's great that the turbine hall installations draw in large crowds of people who might not otherwise set foot in a gallery.
A deliciously sunny day, a new camera, and the opening of Rem Koolhass & Cecil Balmond's new pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery: the recipe for a grand day out in London.
We'd seen the mock up of how the pavilion was going to look on the gallery website, and were wondering how the ethereal jellyfish / amorphuous gas cloud / sci-fi forcefield concept was going to translate into a physical reality. In the flesh it doesn't quite live up to that promise of being something otherworldly; but is instead just a rather groovy outdoor café. We particularly loved the seating inside. We're going to head back one evening this week to see what effect a bit of lighting will have on it.