Graphic Design: Now In Production

Last night I attended Graphic Design: Now in Production at The Hammer Museum. The international exhibition explores how graphic design has grown in influence over the past decade. Featuring work created since 2000 the exhibition explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, and posters, film and television titles, as well as branding programs for corporations, subcultures, and nations.

In 2000 I wasn’t interested in graphic design quite yet, I was too busy memorizing anti-flag lyrics and doing all things I thought were punk rock. It was educational for me to see the evolution of graphic design in such a short time. I can imagine if you were already a working artists in 2000 you would have experienced this growth in real time, however I’m playing catch up. I was also pleased to see a lot of work I haven’t yet seen online. I highly encourage you to check it out. The exhibition will be here in LA till January 6, 2013. Admission is $10 and free on Thursdays.

Graphic Design: Now In Production – Film & Television Titles from Art of the Title on Vimeo.

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Product Placement: Spoonflower

Spoonflower is an online resource to print affordable custom fabric and digitally printed wallpaper designs. I’ve talways wanted custom WoodSmithe wallpaper around the office and at these prices it’s finally possible. What do you think? Do you know anyone who has ever used spoonflower?

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Architext 002: Deconstructive Curiosity (or Taking Stuff Apart)

Dissecting things to see how they are made or how they work is built into WoodSmithe’s DNA. This week to take a look at the work of Gordon Matta-Clark and Rachel Whiteread as it embodies this same sentiment of curious deconstruction. Both artists’ work takes the form of interventions on buildings that were either abandoned or about to be demolished. Contemporary British artist, Rachel Whiteread made impressions of space around or inside of objects, everything from room interiors to the space beneath chairs. Formally trained as an architect and a member of the Anarchitecture group, Matta-Clark’s interventions were more active. He cut into walls, floors or through entire houses as if he were slicing bread, revealing a sectional look at the building after decades of use.

This work allows us to see these buildings in a way that we aren’t used to seeing, the inner workings and details of them complete with the scars of living they’ve received over the years. Revealing, documenting, and recording details of structures that are soon to be gone creates an important dialogue about land use, building longevity, city planning, overbuilt and under-occupied neighborhoods that could otherwise be forgotten post-demolition. These images are reminders once the buildings themselves have been erased.

If Matta-Clark were alive and working today or Whiteread was doing projects in the US where do you think they would set their sites? On the empty sprawl of over-speculated housing developments in South Florida and Arizona, or possibly decaying buildings in Detroit? Are there other solutions or uses for these abandoned places than art interventions?

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Meet our Neighbors: Matt Crooke

Photos & Interview by Nina Hans

What is fifteen52?

Fifteen52 is better defined by our concept rather than any specific line of products or services. Simply stated, our number one goal is to offer our customers whatever is necessary to make them feel they own truly unique automobiles. We manufacture many automotive and automotive lifestyle products. We also build cars for special customers such as VW, Ford, Chevy, Ken Block and various other special customers. Our main focus is our line of wheels which spans from cast alloy wheels to our forged and modular wheels that cost a pretty penny. We also manufacture various exterior and interior products as well as do consulting on the side for some of the companies we build projects with.

How did you get into cars?

I’ve been into cars as long as I can remember. My father owns a ’73 Camaro that he bought brand new when he get back from Vietnam. My grandfather owns a ’59 corvette that he’s owned since it was brand new. My family has always kinda been into cars, but it kicked it off for me when
I was working at a smoothie joint and some of my buddies there were into Volkswagens. I got my first job in the automotive industry in 1999, I was 16 years old running a shop based out of Berlin, Germany. I was the United States side of the company until I left in 2006 to pursue an opportunity in the music industry.

What do you enjoy about building cars in Los Angeles?

I take inspiration from so many different places, I treat automobiles just like any other artform. Cars are my canvas, but it’s interesting when you are dealing with a canvas on wheels because to have something tangible, the cost is so much greater than your standard canvas. The fun thing is being inspired in different ways through the large community I have here in Los Angeles. The fellowship I have with friends to push and encourage me is huge. Realistically, living anywhere else outside of downtown LA doesn’t give me the inspiration I need to go outside the norm, as I aspire for fifteen52 to be a different type of company in the automotive world. Overall I think Los Angeles is an amazing place and it’s motivating place to live and work, but mainly because of the people that are here. Growing up in LA was interesting, I’m always the one guy that’s from Los Angeles, in Los Angeles. It’s a melting pot that’s growing a ton all the time. There’s a lot of diversity here in regards to what people do and it drives me to be a better person and work harder everyday.

It kinda sounds like a cheesy soap opera but really all our lives are cheesy soap operas when you get down to it. It’s important to me because every single thing I do boils down to the people around me. I realize the main cornerstone of the automotive industry is just a piece of metal with tires, but whether it be cars, a shirt, jeans, drums or guitar, those or just the catalysts that bring us together in our communities.

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I’m sure by now you are aware of our obsession with coffee. We all have always loved coffee and since the completion of Handsome Coffee last February, together we have consumed about 36,500 oz. of it (Yes, I actually just did the math). However, I remain clueless on how to make my own cup of coffee at home. Which is why I was very excited when I stumbled upon this beautiful tutorial from Hufort. Hope you enjoy:

A Chemex Method from hufort on Vimeo.

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Inspiring works: Wood Shaving chair

Jamie Shaw and Marjan Van Aubel have been developing an exciting new material from waste wood. Understanding that there is 50% to 80% of timber wastage during normal manufacture, they looked at ways of incorporating waste shavings into design using bio-resin. A curious chemical reaction occurs when it is mixed with the shavings, expanding it into foam. By adding colour dye and varied-sized shavings from different workshop machines, a colourful, lightweight and mouldable material was created, reinforced by the fibres in the hardwood shavings. The porridge-like mixture of resin and shavings was slapped on to the underside of the chair shell by hand, building up the material wherever extra strength was required. The mixture then foamed explosively to create its own exuberant form, anchored by the simple turned legs of American ash.

well proven chair from Marjan on Vimeo.

If you’re going to be in the UK the project is showing at Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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Product Placement: Richer Poorer

As you saw yesterday we just finished up a P.O.P. display for the rad folks over at Richer Poorer. They were kind enough to give us some of their stylish socks so the WS guys have been wearing them day in and day out. Ladies, I also heard a rumor that womens styles will be coming out in the near future. They have a variety of graphic patterns and colors all designed by their in house designer Joe Tornatzky and best of all most of their socks are made right here in the USA!

Check our Richer Poorer here in LA at American Rag or check out their full stockists here.

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Richer Poorer Sock Display

We partnered with Richer Poorer, to re-design their P.O.P. display. Previously, Richer Poorer had made their displays in-house but came to WoodSmithe in hopes of stepping up their game in design, production and function. We set out to design a display that could hold their desired sku count of socks (in this case 72), would be flat packed/ready to ship and would compliment their manly aesthetic. Concepts were presented and RP decided on the design you see here. Socks can be accessed from all 4 sides, it’s assembly is a snap and it allows for the socks to be in plain view at retailers. We are pretty stoked on how it turned out. What do you think? Do you have a pair of Richer Poorer socks yet?

Click here to see more images.

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Steve Jones’ West Hollywood

Steve Jones created bettershelter, a boutique real estate development company that creates innovative residential communities and homes. bettershelter has been instrumental in the transformation of Northeast Los Angeles real estate and pioneering the notion of what a flipped home can be.

Prior to real estate, Steve worked in the surf industry for over 25 years, most notably at Quiksilver Inc for over 20 years.Steve is a founding member and President of the NELA (North East Los Angeles) Business Culture, a grassroots organization based in Los Angeles. Additionally, Steve teaches design courses in the fashion department at Orange Coast College. Steve can be found every second Sunday at the Rose Bowl flea market.

Here’s a few of his favorite places to eat, drink and play in West Hollywood:

1. New Image Art 2. RRL 3. Plummer Park 4. Laurel Hardware 5. Sunset Marquis pool 6. Salts Cure 7. Paul Smith

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ARCHITEXT 001: In praise of impossible ideas

I wanted to start this section of the WoodSmithe blog with an endorsement of and look at architectural fiction. Countless designers, artists and architects have allowed their work to travel beyond the confines of the buildable. Buildings without floors, massive city-scale bubbles, walking cities; all visions unhindered by the capabilities of contemporary construction and even the laws of physics. Projects that typically only exist on paper and yet have a far-reaching influence (sometimes farther even than built work) in architectural design spheres. The value of this thought experiment is unquantifiable but promotes design innovation and moves us toward architectural possibilities of the future by theorizing about places that will never or at least, do not yet exist.

Included here is the architect whose work first introduced me to the beauty and usefulness of the unobstructed architectural thought experiment, Étienne Louis-Boullée (I know I’m not alone on this one). In one of his most famous works, Cenotaph for Issac Newton, Boullée sought to create an epic scale perfect spherical universe in which to encompass the empty sarcophagus of Newton. I’ve juxtaposed these hand drawings from the 1700s with the fictopial building configurations of contemporary photographer Filip Du Jardin whose work plays with the idea of the double take. By that I mean his configurations are almost believable and yet on second glance one realizes that something is off and a little fantastical. One wonders though why couldn’t these places exist?

For me, these impossible places and spaces excite emotions. Maybe I’ve always wanted to live inside a magic realist novel, wrapped in the folds of the Borgesian infinite. For now, I’ll settle for striving to think outside the established ‘possible’ and hope to create objects and spaces that similarly touch the heart.

Would you visit these places? Live in them?

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