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Fatboy. Great Furniture Or This Decade's Bean Bag Chairs?

If you're not familiar with Fatboy, you either never shop for modern furniture, have never read an online design blog or you live under a rock.

Fatboy, which has a fabulous name and a logo eerily similar to Levis (the vertical red tag sewn onto the item) began with one item, appropriately named The Fatboy. Not unlike a bean bag chair from days gone past, this was a rectangular blob of sorts, foam filled and came in fun bright colors.

Okay, I got that. Great for kids' rooms, basements, the occasional "fun' office work environment for places like ad agencies and design firms that fancy themselves "hip". I even thought it was great fun that Marimekko got on board with their fabrics.

But somehow, it's blown up into a big ol' trend. They now make everything from Fatboy Junior to ottomans, pet beds, and have just introduced a rocking chair and a hammock.

Now people seem to be jumping on this foam-filled bandwagon like I can't believe. Am I missing something? Aren't these just large, fairly ugly, cheap-looking products? Or are they icons of design?

I do love both the pet beds for cats and dogs because they make wonderful sense. Comfortable, spongy and washable. But their products for humans are costly. These aren't sold for 45$ each like the old bean bag chairs of lore, but instead are hundreds of dollars.

Are they worth it? I can't help but feel like they'll appear in hundreds of homes and offices this year only to be seen left in back alleys near trash cans and crack houses five years from now, just like those bean bag chairs with little white styrofoam balls spilling out from the seams.

Call me a snob, but their newest items, the rocker and hammock just look ugly to me.

Will I be purchasing a fatboy? Fat chance. But what about you? What do you think?

Slip a letter on your finger.

We certainly see a lot of posey rings around these days.Stamped silver seems to be all the rage. But here's something new and unique:

Love Letter Rings for guy and gal. The Perfect valentine gift.For both of you.

Love Letter Pair of Rings by C Baran-

Colleen Baran of Vancouver has created rings that can hold hand written love notes. Better yet you can customize them.

Encased in translucent plastic and sewn together, she says they are 'wearable' art.
Available on Etsy, she has received lots of acclaim from bloggers and art shows alike.

Why not get something original this year? Besides, if you ever break up, you can customize it to hold hate mail too.

Click here to purchase

Drink and Shoot. Absolut Lomo.

Absolut Vodka is inviting people to upload their interpretation of AbsolutLomo, taken I assume, with a lomo camera. With an online gallery of submissions, you can see that Vodka mixes well with photography.

Click here to visit the site.

You'll be inspired to run out, buy some Absolut and shoot.

Go Ahead, Call me Trailer Trash: The Bambi Airstream Trailer

Airstream's Bambi Trailer has a 75th Anniversary edition that will make anyone who has ever pooh-poohed a trailer think again. This special edition was designed by vintage trailer restorer, David Winick.

Designed to appeal to even those with the most discriminating tastes, this beauty is outfitted with stainless steel and wood accents, a plasma tv and all the comforts of home. Only 75 of these were made and all are sold.

Just looking at it makes me want to travel the country.

The following photos are courtesy of Airstream and David Winick:

From the airstream brochure:

Unfortuntely, the special edition Bambi trailers have all been sold and can no longer be found at RV dealers on the Airstream site.


Today's pick for Most Bizarre Product: A Combination Indoor Waterfall and Plasma Tv.

A Waterfall+Plasma TV in one (The Plasmafall?). I'm so dumbfounded, I can't even be witty.

From Astute Advance contemporary products come these custom waterfalls designed with plasma tvs.

On their site, under their custom products category, comes the following:

Custom Waterfall Fountains

Allow your imagination to flow freely. We will work with you, or your designer, to ensure that you have the most eye-catching and well-designed water feature available. Whether for residential or commercial applications, your project will be handled by a team of professionals that will walk you through all stages of planning, fulfillment, delivery and installation. We offer only the finest materials and components to assure that you are satisfied with your purchase for years to come.

See the variety of completed custom projects in the photos below. Note our capability to build waterfalls with plasma screen back drops. This is an excellent way to call attention to your display and present an energized verbal and visual message by simply connecting a DVD player or other video source. It is a great application for lobby or wait area to extend your advertising or training message. Plasma screens are available in 42" to 60" models and are size specified by the customer up to the dimensional limit of the fountain.

Custom models have to be quoted based on the requested dimensions and requested options. Contact them with questions. Phone 734-332-9228 between 11am and 6pm EST Mon thru Sat.

If you never saw this...

In celebration of the upcoming Oscars and numerous other award shows, here's a reminder as to why you should respect the technical awards as much as the non-technical awards.

Ryan is an Oscar-winning animated documentary about the influential Canadian animator Ryan Larkin. Larkin now lives on skid row following years of drug and alcohol abuse.

The film animates an actual interview with Larkin, conducted by the film's director, Chris Landreth.

Ryan won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Animated Short, and the 25th Genie Award for Best Animated Short. The film was also very well received at the Cannes, Venice, Sundance and Toronto film festivals.

Below is the entire short in two parts:


So, after a long and competitive festival,
The Sundance Film Festival of 07
breaks records with sales to the motion picture industry.


Because there were so many excellent entries.

And, because I have this long complicated theory as to how the internet and streaming video sites like You Tube, Revver, Greenimation etc. have created a climate that's receptive to indie films as having commercial potential. But more on that some other time.

I was up late last night watching the Dailies on the Sundance Channel as they ended the 10 day event and had the good fortune to get glimpses of many, if not all of the following award winning entries.

It's really a banner year.

So, give it up for the following 2007 Sundance Award Winners:

Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Jason Kohn, director

Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Christopher Zalla, writer/director

Audience Award: Documentary
Irene Taylor Brodsky, writer/director

Audience Award: Dramatic
James C. Strouse, writer/director

Directing Award: Documentary
Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine

Directing Award: Dramatic
Jeffrey Blitz

World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary
Eva Mulvad & Anja Al Erhayem, directors

World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic
Dror Shaul, writer/director

World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary
David Sington, director

World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic
John Carney, writer/director

Excellence In Cinematography Award:
Heloisa Passos

Excellence In Cinematography Award:
Benoit Debie

Documentary Editing Award
Hibah Sherif Frisina, Charlton McMillian
& Michael Schweitzer

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
James C. Strouse, writer/director

Special Jury Prize Documentary
Charles Ferguson, director

Special Jury Prize for Acting
Jess Weixler
Tamara Podemski

Special Jury Prize For Singularity Of Vision
Chris Smith, director

Special Jury Prize World Cinema:
Shimon Dotan, director

Special Jury Prize World Cinema:
Gela Babluani & Temur Babluani

Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking
Don Hertzfeldt, director

Jury Prize in International
Short Filmmaking
Radu Jude, director

Honorable Mention In Short Filmmaking
Ray Tintori, director

Mariam Jobrani, director
Marjan Alizadeh, director
Joerg Wagner, director
William Lorton, director
Tom Brown & Daniel Gray, directors

New Duvet or Giant Ugly Napkin?

Today's New York Times ran a story in Sunday's Business Section about a duvet cover that doubles as a bib for eating breakfast in bed. The product’s designers, Olga Bielawska and Astrid Schildkopf, came up with the idea in late 2005. They had sold approximately 20 through their own website, and it is now being manufactured by a German company and is available in US sizes as well as European.

The fabric of the duvet has an nondetachable bib sewn into the top of it that can be unfolded and tied around your neck, thus keeping crumbs out from beneath the covers.

They opted for a red and white checked fabric, purposefully remniscient of a picnic tablecloth or an italian bistro. A bit of lace was added making it- as the designer described "evocative of the hearty, meat-centric breakfasts that a grandmother might make."

Here's The Article from Sunday's NY Times

Personally, I'd much rather invest in a nice bed tray like the one below by Offi.
Or better yet, get your lazy ass out of bed and eat at a table.

The author of the article declined to say whether or not they thought this new product genius or ridiculous.
It's clear where I stand, er....recline.

New Re-issue for Herman Miller

Mid-Century Modern Furniture is Still Going Strong.

Herman Miller has just announced the re-issue of the classic George Nelson Swag Leg Chair.

Hot off the presses from Herman Miller!

Herman Miller, Inc., Brings Back a Nelson Classic
January 26, 2007

Nelson Swag Leg Collection reflects growing appeal of mid-century modern design

First launched in 1958, the swag leg group by George Nelson is an expression of his philosophy that design is a response to social change. Now, almost 50 years later, Herman Miller is honoring Nelson's straightforward genius with the reintroduction of select swag leg products.

The timeless appeal of the collection has led to the revival of chairs, tables and an elegant desk that can be used separately or together in either a residential or office setting.

The collection is known for the distinctive design of its legs. Nelson insisted that they be metal, machine formed and pre-finished. Swaging--using pressure to taper and curve a metal tube--proved the best way to produce the legs, which are 16-gauge steel and have adjustable glides.

"The decision to bring the swag leg group back has been warmly received by the A&D community," said Gregg VanderKooi, Herman Miller product manager, Classics. "We think each piece in the group is exceptional, but the chair is the focal point and is getting an incredible response."

The chair's most notable feature is the separate molded seat and back. "Nelson wanted the chair to flex and move with the user," adds VanderKooi. "He also realized that the slit between the seat and back prevented heat build-up, even before this issue was on the radar."

The chair has received the most significant makeover, moving from molded fiberglass to an environmentally sustainable polypropylene to conform to Herman Miller's strict guidelines for sustainable design. The chair currently is available in white, but additional colors, including black and gray, or a combination of any two colors for the seat and back, will be available this spring. The legs are available in chrome, white, or a black finish.

The group also offers a choice of white laminate or walnut veneer for either the round or square table. The Nelson desk has been fitted with a cable access hole for wires, two pencil drawers, and cubby holes decorated with brightly painted hardwood dividers. Chrome legs are standard on the desk and tables.

Delta Short Film Contest Winner

Congratulations, Phillip Van, the winner of Delta's Fly in Movies competition!

Five cutting-edge short films made their mile-high premiere on board select Delta flights and here at

High Maintenance

by Philip Van is the winning entry in Delta's In flight movie contest.
Watch it and you'll see why.

Now, thanks to you, Phillip Van wins an impressive prize package including $10,000 cash, a trip to Sundance, a pair of round-trip international tickets for any Delta flight, and a $2500 Gen Art membership. Basically, Phillip Van's career is ready for takeoff.

See more of his work here.

Annie Does Disney

Stars Play Out Disney Park Fantasies In New Images
Unveiled by Annie Leibovitz

(get your first peek here, they don't break until March issues)

Photography Featuring Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé and David Beckham Kicks Off Disney's 'Year of a Million Dreams'

To launch Disney Parks "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, spectacular new images were unveiled today featuring the work of acclaimed photographer Annie Liebovitz, and starring Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, Beyoncé taking a spin in a giant teacup and David Beckham slaying a dragon.

Leibovitz's images also fulfill one of Beckham's "dreams," as the Disney Parks project is his first endorsement since signing a contract to play professional soccer in the United States.

In addition to the three debut images, Disney Parks has commissioned more images by Leibovitz that will feature other celebrities in classic, Disney fairy tale settings.

Asked by Disney Parks to lend her vision to the campaign, Leibovitz has created inspired images of storybook fantasy come to life. Her photographs for the campaign embody the captivating, narrative style indicative of her world-renowned work.

"I'm really delighted to be part of the 'Where Dreams Come True' campaign," said Leibovitz. "We live in difficult times and I feel, especially as a parent, that keeping dreams alive is one of the most important things we can do."

Each image features a scene with the featured celebrities transformed into the role of a fabled Disney character, expressing their own dreams and imagination.

* As Cinderella, Scarlett Johansson is seen running down a flight of stairs as the clock strikes midnight with her glass slipper unknowingly left behind. The tagline reads, "Where every Cinderella story comes true."

Befitting a true princess, Johansson wears a stunning, one-of-a-kind Harry Winston tiara – a dazzling piece in platinum with more than 62 carats of sparkling diamonds and valued at $325,000. The dress worn by Johansson is a custom-made, Cinderella-inspired gown designed by Nicoletta Santoro.

* David Beckham plays the part of the gallant Prince Phillip from "Sleeping Beauty," atop his trusted steed fighting the evil dragon. The tagline reads, "Where imagination saves the day."

"There were many Disney characters I liked as a kid," said Beckham. "Now my sons love the Disney characters and it's a big part of their lives, a big part of many children's lives around the world. So to be part of that is an honor and very exciting.

"I love going to Disney, I'm like a big kid," he added.

* Beyoncé appears as "Alice in Wonderland," twirling in a teacup, accompanied by Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter and Lyle Lovett as the March Hare. The tagline reads, "Where Wonderland is your destiny."

"It's two great imaginations coming together – Disney and Annie Leibovitz," said Lovett. "To be along for the ride really is quite something, just knowing that you're going to be part of a great Disney character. And then when you step into the imagination of Annie Leibovitz, you know you're in another world."

"The 'Where Dreams Come True' campaign is about the imaginations and dreams that are inside us all," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "By capturing these transformational experiences, these emotional images communicate a powerful concept. Working with Annie Leibovitz was a natural fit – Disney is known for immersive storytelling and Annie is a masterful artist whose photos speak volumes."

The campaign premieres as a special insert in the March issues of Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, W, The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler and Cookie.

As part of the "Where Dreams Come True" initiative, Disney Parks introduced "The Year of a Million Dreams" (Oct. 1, 2006-Dec. 31, 2007). During this 15-month, first-of-its-kind celebration, more than one million very special dreams are being granted to guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. The celebration also is highlighted by the debut of innovative Disney attractions and entertainment spectaculars at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

For more information about Disney Parks, "The Year of a Million Dreams" and "Where Dreams Come True," guests may visit

First and Ten, time to drink again!


With the Super Bowl coming up, I thought this was genius. Designed by Michael Kritzer of Georgia, USA, this is simply one of his interesting product designs that doubles as a problem-solver.

The following is taken from his own personal site:
The beertable is all about fun, relaxing, sports, and, of course, the beer. Designed to be a centerpiece for a sports get together, the beertable offers usable tabletop space for magazines, chips and dip and while isolating the condensing beer in individual insulation containers. The sidebar of the table can even be used as a towel rack for napkins.

Made out of molded plastic, the beertable is a low cost furniture solution that can fit into either a contemporary or modern home. The beertable can also be made in the colors of certain beer companies or even ones favorite sport team to help garner brand loyalty and pride.

The six inverted stainless steel lined containers function as mini insulators to help keep chilled beer nice and cool. The silos can fit almost every standard sized beer bottle and when all six silos are filled with bottles, the resulting look resembles a clean/control esthetic that brings resolution into any room it's placed in.

The beertable relies heavily on the sports theme as a design element. Sunday afternoon football, chips, dip, and once again the beer, are all guiding inspirations for the beertable.

Unfortunately, I think it's only a prototype and is not available for purchase.

But be sure to check out Michael's site, he has lots of wonderful designs and has received many awards.

Today's Best Product Design Pick: Ceramic Cone Speakers

Ceramic Cone Speakers by Broberg & Ridderstråle

These cone shaped speakers with ceramic housing won the best product design award from Wallpaper magazine for 2006.

Based on the fact that they project upward when lying in the corner of a room and this is optimal from an acoustic standpoint.

Which is what you buy speakers for, right?

Broberg & Ridderstrale

Meet David Tomb. His Artwork Is The Bomb.

above: Still Lives in Living Color, 59" x 58.75" Oil paint, alkyd glaze, pastel on canvas, 1988

Looking to collect work from the next great artist? Here's one.
A California native and resident, Tomb (which DOES rhyme with Bomb) has mounted solo exhibitions at the Fresno Art Museum, and the Artists’ Forum, among others. He has participated in group shows throughout the United States. His work is included in the collections of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Fresno Art Museum, and the Oakland Museum.

So, what are you getting her/him?

I'm bummed at all the crap people are posting on blogs and sites for V-day gifts. Just because it's red or heart-shaped doesn't mean it's a great gift! Here are some gifts that truly are unique, memorable, hip or collectible. No crappy gold-filled jewelry or heart soaps on here. Just the good stuff.

Starting with a droog signature vase made from your own signature to naming a star after your significant other, you can purchase all these great gifts just by clicking on their images.

Seriously Good Valentine's Gifts

See more of my Seriously Good Valentine's Gifts list at ThisNext.

Give the man a hand. Or leg. Or back. Body Painter Guido Daniele.

These amazing images of Guido Daniele's painted hands are only some of his amazing work. He's created many images for ad campaigns over the years and his work just keeps getting better.

Cool City Plates, This one is Los Angeles

City Plate - Los Angeles :: Rios Clementi Hale Studios

I like maps. I like dishes.
So, I like map dishes.

This cool limited edition plate of Los Angeles will be available early february.
Just click on the image to pre-order now.

UPDATED 2012. Whatever Happened To "Wash Me"? Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art.

Most of us have fought the urge to trace 'wash me' on the filthy car window of some random automobile with our finger. Some of us have even given in. But it takes a little more willpower for Scott Wade.

You see, Scott Wade doesn't just want to write on a dust-laden window, he wants to paint. And paint he does.

In his recreations of famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer, Boticelli, Gauguin, Van Gogh - even the classic kitschy Dogs Playing Poker, Scott turns the removal of dirt into an impressive medium. Take a look at these:

Other images include portraits of famous people, friends and landscapes:

You can read more and see more about Scott Wade and His Dirty Car art right here.

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C'mon people, it's only a dollar.