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Only the coolest people get to sit in the wicker peacock chair
11.04.2015
09:07 am

Topics:
Design
Pop Culture

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Though the argument could be made for Eero Arnio’s “Ball Chair,” the coolest chair of all time is the “Manila” or “Philippine,” better-known-as the wicker peacock chair.

The chairs which originally came into vogue in the United States in the early 20th Century when they were imported from the Phillipines, became a staple for photography studios as well as parlors and smoking rooms in wealthy homes. The throne-like chair, made of sturdy but lightweight material, was valued for its exotic look.

In the first half of the 20th Century, the chair was often associated with Hollywood celebrities who were regularly photographed in them. In the latter half of the Century, it came to be associated with hipster youth, as well as the Black Power movement—thanks to a very popular poster photograph of Huey P. Newton.
 

 
Today, many people associate the chair with Morticia Addams of the Addams Family, many often describing the peacock chair as a “Morticia Addams chair.”
 

 
The chair has been a part of our pop cultural landscape for over 100 years and according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, it’s seeing a resurgence in popularity.

The peacock chair can make anyone look absolutely regal. Even Al Di Meola.

Enjoy, here, this treasury of wicker peacock cool:
 

Marc Bolan
 
More famous folks in the wicker peacock chair after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
A gorgeous pair of human-sized pneumatic wings
10.30.2015
11:20 am

Topics:
Animals
Design

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Wow, wow! Laughing Squid hipped me to these jaw-dropping pneumatic articulating feather wings by Alexis Noriega. They were made for her kickass Halloween costume. I can’t wait to see the final product. Noriega says she’s going to post a step-by-step tutorial soon so folks can build their own pair. Excellent.

I wonder how much time and money was put into this wonderful creation? Probably LOTS.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Polaroids of Desire: Architect Carlo Mollino’s secret stash of erotica (NSFW)
10.28.2015
10:27 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Sex

Tags:

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The architect and designer Carlo Mollino had a secret life—one that only came to light after his death in 1973.

Born in Turin in 1905, Mollino first established himself as an architect designing a house in Forte dei Marmi–a seaside resort and commune enjoyed by Thomas Mann and Aldous Huxley. By the 1930s, he was acclaimed for his Fascist House in Voghera and the Art Deco concrete and glass Farmers Association Building in Cuneos. His most famous work was the Equestrian Centre in Torinese, which was demolished in 1960.

Mollino was also a designer of furniture—one of his tables sold for $3.8 million in 2005—and described himself as an adventurer, a racing driver, an athlete, a skier (he designed two ski lodges in Aosta Valley and Piedmont), a poet, a writer, a student of the occult, occasional drug addict, professor, artist, photographer and bachelor. Surprisingly for such an enterprising life, Mollino lived nearly all of his days at his father’s house, who considered his son a “fantasist,” a “dangerous erotomaniac” and “feckless.”

In the early 1960s, Mollino bought his first Polaroid camera and developed a secret passion for creating erotic photographs. On certain evenings he would be driven down to Turin’s red light district where his driver negotiated to hire “ladies of the night” for a brief photographic session at his small city apartment—a villa he actually never lived in which was designed to be a “house for the warrior’s rest,” now the Casa Mollino by the Po River. Mollino dressed the women in clothes he had bought, then posed them against specially constructed backdrops filled with his furniture designs. The portraits range from Pirelli calendar titillation through lingerie catalog to the more painterly and artfully contrived. These images were supposed to be his idea of what a “warrior” would appreciate—however, the photographs remained secret until after his death.
 
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More of Mollino’s erotic Polaroids, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Vintage ‘Op art’ book covers from the 50s, 60s and 70s animated with psychedelic results
10.16.2015
11:10 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
Design

Tags:


 
German motion designer Henning M. Lederer animated 55 retro “Op art” book covers from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The results are beautifully psychedelic and quite hypnotic.


 

 
The animation, after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Killer 70s horror-themed motorcycle toys: Scare Cycles!
10.12.2015
11:45 am

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Design
Pop Culture

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The Ideal toy company produced a line of Evel Knievel themed “gyro powered” motorcycle toys from 1973 until 1977, the year Knievel attempted to beat Shelly Saltman to death with a baseball bat. Needing a quick replacement for their motorcycle toys, Ideal rolled out a line of “Scare Cycles” in 1978. These were the coolest toys ever in 1978. There were three characters in the series of monster-themed bike riders: Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Grim Reaper. Somehow the horror of monsters on cycles was deemed more palatable to children than the real-life horror of a baseball bat-wielding stunt-monster on a bike.
 

 

 

 
Dracula rode a “Dracucycle”—a coffin on wheels. Frankenstein’s monster rode a “Frankencycle” with skull handlebars and a tombstone backrest. The Grim Reaper rode “Boneshaker,” a three-wheeled hearse.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Sesame Street ‘original 69 monster’ T-shirt fail
10.02.2015
11:44 am

Topics:
Amusing
Design
Fashion

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This T-shirt featuring Cookie Monster is commemorating the birth of Sesame Street in 1969.

But something is a little bit off about this.

This had to have been intentional, right? Right?

I know none of our readers need this fail explained. Quite simply, your humble Dangerous Minds correspondent is a giggling 12-year-old boy.

The shirt is available as part of a package of Sesame Street commemorative shirts being sold through Amazon.

H/T: Marc Masters

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Your favorite movie villains are now IKEA instruction manuals
09.28.2015
09:26 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Movies

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Artist Ed Harrington has scores of horror and pop-culture-themed illustrations on his website, Instagram, and Tumblr pages, most displaying his keenly sick sense of humor.

I really love the guy’s work, but my favorite pieces come from a series of IKEA instruction manual-style renderings of infamous movie villains.

I’m not totally sure what IKEA instruction graphics have to do with horror icons, but if you’ve ever have to cobble together a piece of furniture using one of their assembly diagrams, you know there is definitely a sense of dread attached. A bag full of hex bolts is as real-world horror as it gets.

Each of the pictographs assigns a bullshit Ikea product-esque faux-Swedish name to its subject: Jason Voorhees becomes “Vörhees” and Freddy Krueger becomes “Krugr.” The “Krugr” piece is a gem: the step-by-step icons illustrate the famous jump-rope chant from the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies (“One, two, Freddy’s comin’ for you. Three, four, better lock your door…”) Brilliant.
 

 
Anyway, these illustrations are the bomb dot com. Check Harrington’s website for more fun stuff.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Crash: Apocalyptic J.G. Ballard quotes about cars on traffic signs
09.16.2015
12:59 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Design

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In 1965 the British Road Sign project was launched, introducing Great Britain to a multitude of new road signs as well as two ubiquitous two new typefaces (Transport and Motorway), all of which were designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert, who basically invented modern road signage in the same act. It doesn’t matter if you live in the U.K. or the U.S. or the European continent—if you’ve been in a car, you’ve seen their two-dimensional pantomimes (example).
 

 
2015 being the 50th anniversary of the British Road Sign, this summer the MADE NORTH Gallery celebrated the design landmarks with a project in which they invited “leading British artists and designers to transform the familiar circle, triangle and square signs.” The participants were encouraged to “create their own content for the signs developing concepts that evolve from current signs function of instructing people of speed limits and directions to poetically disrupting our everyday with designs that makes us stop, look and think about design and our environment in a slightly different way; less instructions and more pauses for thought.”
 

J.G. Ballard behind the wheel of a 1904 Renault Park Phaeton, 1971
 
Possibly the most intriguing entry came from the well-known British designer Jonathan Barnbrook, whose past projects include the album art for David Bowie’s 2002 album Heathen as well as his 2013 release The Next Day; he also collaborated with Damien Hirst on his restaurant Pharmacy. Barnbrook crated two “anti-signs,” if you will, signs that could never serve any proper public service but whose very inutility prompts the viewer to engage with them in a more conceptual, artistic way. More interestingly, Barnbrook’s two signs incorporate lengthy quotations from the patron saint of automobile crashes, J.G. Ballard, the one man on earth who might fairly be said to disagree with the need for traffic signs to prevent fatal accidents.

Both signs are essentially illegible in the usual sense, and simply offer up a perverse Ballard sentiment about cars in forbidding combinations of red, white, and black. The first features a sentence from Ballard’s interview in Penthouse, which appeared in the magazine in the September 1970 issue (incidentally, three years before the publication of Ballard’s magnum opus on automobile accidents, Crash, but the same year as Ballard’s thematically similar multi-media work The Atrocity Exhibition).
 

 
For the record, the full line is “A car crash harnesses elements of eroticism, aggression, desire, speed, drama, kinesthetic factors, the stylizing of motion, consumer goods, status—all in one event.” You can read Ballard’s full Penthouse interview here.

Barnbrook’s second sign appropriates a comment about the eventual demise of cars (one that has proven to be not very prophetic at all) that comes from an essay Ballard wrote for the Autumn 1971 issue of Drive called “The Car, the Future”:
 

 
This sign is far more cluttered, with too much text really. The quotation reads as follows: “The car as we know it is on the way out. To a large extent, I deplore its passing, for as a basically old-fashioned machine, it enshrines a basically old-fashioned machine, it enshrines a basically old-fashioned idea: freedom. In terms of pollution, noise and human life, the price of that freedom may be high, but perhaps the car, by the very muddle and confusion it causes, may be holding back the remorseless spread of the regimented, electronic society.” You can read the full essay “The Car, the Future” here.

After the jump, director Harley Cokeliss’ 17-minute meditation on Ballard’s “Crash” thematic, featuring an appearance by Ballard himself…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
1957’s ‘House of the Future’—according to Monsanto and Disney
09.04.2015
02:16 pm

Topics:
Design
Science/Tech

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Photo: Ralph Crane, LIFE Magazine
 
From 1957 to 1967, in Anaheim’s Disneyland, there existed the “House of the Future,” a creation of the plastics division of Monsanto, in order to demonstrate the wondrous uses to which plastic would be put in the decades to come. Today the house seems like a relic, a path not taken, much like Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 concept that was unveiled at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

Monsanto’s house was also called the “Plastic Mushroom,”  owing to its design, it seems, which required that four wings flare out from a concrete stump in the center. (As with The Jetsons or Star Wars, gee-whiz futurism apparently resides in buildings being perched on top of other things.)
 

 
The Monsanto domicile was featured in a November 11, 1957 story in LIFE about “New Shapes for Shelter” in which the following description appeared.

“Plastic Mushroom,” Monsanto Chemical Co.‘s experimental house, consists of only 20 molded pieces. Whole house rests on a 16-foot-square block of concrete. The four wings are cantilevered from utility core in center. Floors and ceilings are foot thick, of rigid urethane foam set between reinforced plastic panels. The 1,300-square-foot house has two bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen and two baths. All fixtures, like bathtub and sinks, are molded plastic.

After the “House of the Future” was torn down in 1967, Disneyland visitors were deprived of the chance to tour it for themselves—until now! The Disney History Institute (not affiliated with Disney) recently posted a “Virtual 360° Flythrough” on YouTube that will allow you to take a tour of the premises. After you hit play, you have the option of grabbing the frame and swiveling your point of view around so you can see everything in the home. It’s best if you keep the point of view directed at the direction you’re moving, most of the time.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Artist carves pearls into teeny-tiny skull jewelry
08.27.2015
12:52 pm

Topics:
Design
Fashion

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Normally I’m not a fan of skull jewelry designs, but these intricately carved pearl skulls are really, really well done. Tokyo-based jewelry designer, Shinji Nakaba, creates these delicate-looking skull rings and skull brooches.

I’d love to see an entire skull pearl necklace by Nakaba, but sadly I didn’t see one on his website. Hopefully he sees this and considers making one. Now that would be a statement necklace! Exquisite stuff, but since no prices are listed, I’m assuming the prices must be astronomical.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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