editor's notes archive

This week editor’s note is dedicated to one of our gurus: Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Obrist is artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries in London. 

One of the reasons why we like him so much is his Instagram Post-it project.

Obrist uses the virtual platform to post pictures of Post-in notes (and other bits of paper) which artists have inscribed with various sayings, quotes, and drawings. All important contemporary artists – from Marina Abramovic to Damien Hirst to Kanye West – have contributed with a note, and Obrist calls his incredible Instagram collection "The Art of Handwriting."

We strongly suggest to check out and follow his Instagram account for fresh daily inspiration.

This week we say "bye" to astronomical summer, time to go back to school? In case you wanna learn something cool in great environment environment - check out Strelka Institue for Media, Architecture and Design - one of the rare schools that is officially also a bar. Maybe that's why it's in Domus's top-100 best architecture schools in the world?

Founded in 2009 in the very middle of Moscow it's a place to learn and hang out in great company the whole year long!

But no need to travel to Russia yet, wherever you are you can  follow news of their post-graduate research program on speculative urbanism or just watch some summer program lectures available on facebook page. Read some articles in the magazine, get books of their own publishing or  listen to DJ sets!  

And after that you will for sure have something to talk to the patrons of that bar when in Moscow ;)

Take a bicycle and transform it into a device for cooking and selling pig heads. This is what Alexander Groves and Azusa Murakami did together back in 2011.

Husband and wife, the English and Japanese duo shapes compelling narratives and design processes, while exploring with unusual materials: recycled hair, glass, plastic… “We are interested in the future of resources,” they say.

In a very short sentence, Studio Swine breathes to discover new ways of transforming the undesirable into the desirable.

Finally, never miss one of their movies! Each of Studio Swine’s design projects is part of a wider narrative that can be better grasped and understood through their movies!  

Before we forget, “Swine” stands for:”Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers”.

Here is their website.

Today, from our guru section, we present to you Maria Popova, a Bulgarian-born writer, blogger, literature and culture critic. 

She has previously written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, The New York Times and is mostly known for her blog Brain Pickings (founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online).

In Maria's own words:

“Brain Pickings is a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful.”

This week we feature in our editor’s note HOMI Smart.

HOMI Smart is an experimental format born two years ago within the Milan based lifestyle fair HOMI.

It lives both online and offline, it’s a place of physical and virtual encounter.

HOMI Smart is a Twitter magazine but also a biannual event where designers, makers, students and companies are brought together through a dense program of workshops, debates and exhibitions.

The fourth edition of HOMI Smart will take place next September, 15th – 18th, at Fiera Milano.

Today we introduce you Ailadi Cortelletti.

Designer, interaction designer, illustrator, artist, traveler, correspondent of this mag + lots of other (fairly fascinating things).

She was born in the Alps, studied in Milan, then some time at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Shanghai, some other places we forgot. Currently living (and drawing and making beautiful animation) in Hong Kong.

Her website is quite lovely, there you can find all kind of different works, animations, pixels, installations, visual thoughts, posters, commercial work.

If you want to dive into Ailadi’s magic world, the best thing to do is to follow her social media accounts. On Twitter she is @ailadi, and the same account is used on Instagram.

We enormously enjoyed her “1 year of daily GIF as journal” (very curious to see what’s next), and we end this note with a quote from her side: “I love anything that makes eyes flirt with the mind”.

This week we focus on Bruce Mau Design (BMD).

The multidisciplinary brand design firm Bruce Mau Design was founded by the Canadian designer Bruce Mau (co-founder of the Institute Without Boundaries, author of the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, co-creator with starchitect Rem Koolhaas of S, M, L, XL). 

As a design studio, BMD offers: brand positioning and messaging, visual identity systems, physical environments, consumer packaging.

Clear, sexy, ahead: BMD is committed to crafting unique, sustainable, future-oriented and impactful design solutions embedded in cutting edge narratives.

“When everything is connected to everything else, for better or worse, everything matters.” (Bruce Mau)

This week we talk about Paola Antonelli. A very important figure in today's art, design and architecture world (and in our guru section as well). 

She is currently the Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design as well as the Director of R&D (Research & Development) at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City.

Her objective is “to change the perception of design, making sure that people are aware of the importance of design in everyday life. Without design, innovation would be futile, because no one would be able to use any new inventions.” (source Wikipedia).

She responsible for immortalizing such icons as Pac-Man, the "@" symbol, and Björk's Biophilia app in the museum's archives.

Here an article with some of her thoughts on curating, MoMA and design in general.

This week, our editorial note is dedicated to Hiromi Ozaki (aka: Sputniko!).

Before to start any kind of explanation, please take a look at this video, The Moon walking machine. Not enough? What about this other one: The Menstruation Machine?


Half Japanese, half British (a curious blend of Japanese pop and British black humour), she studied Mathematics and Computer Science at Imperial College in London, followed by a Master in Design at the Royal College of Art. 


Thanks to this mixed background, she loves to create machines, robotics, music, videos, stories related to technology, contemporary culture and lots of other things. 

Having to choose a couple of key words, we would probably choose: “playful” and “cross-boundary”


Currently, she is the director of the Media Lab’s Design Fiction group, which creates projects to stimulate discussion about the social, cultural, and ethical implications of emerging technologies. 


Of course, we love her (and her work) very much. As a last link, here you have her impressive website.




This week we want to talk about LOVE WATTS.


LOVE WATTS is a project by Jordan 'Watts' Watson, a contemporary-art curator, director, consultant, and tastemaker for the unconventional.


He deconstructed the laws of a conventional art gallery using just his Instagram account. Watts and his small team sort through hundreds of artist portfolios and submissions to select emerging artists offering them a place in his accessible online art fair. 


His curated curated content has now gained an audience of 1,700,000 followers, ranging from teens and average people to not-so-average celebrities, collectors, and world-famous artists.

This week we present to you Palais de Tokyo; one of the largest and most important centers for contemporary artistic creation in Europe.


The Palais de Tokyo occupies a monumental building which was built in 1937 for the Paris International Exhibition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life, entirely renovated in April 2012.


According to their website: “It is a place dedicated to both emerging and established artists from France and around the world. The Palais de Tokyo’s programming is punctuated by thematic and monographic exhibitions, large-scale artistic interventions, and carte blanche invitations to artists who take over the entirety of the space. Each season is accompanied by completely new transformations within the Palais, as artists welcome visitors into the heart of their practice, renewing their relationship to art.”.


The museum’s Instagram and Twitter feeds are always very creative and motivating, up to date and reflecting perfectly it’s concept and vision.

Every week,

We will present one of the 500's.

Why he or she is there,

Why one should follow this specific account.

In our second note, we want to talk about Jessica Walsh.

Jessica Walsh is an American graphic designer, art director and illustrator based in New York.

Basically, what launched her into the firmament of design superstars at age 25 was her partnering up with Stefan Sagmeister, one of the most influential graphic designers of the past 30 years. In 2010, after 2 years spent working as a designer at the firm Sagmeister Inc, the agency changed its name to Sagmeister & Walsh and the announcement was made public with this photo.

She immediately became – and still is – graphic design’s ‘It’ Girl.

Her social media feed is simply perfect: beautiful, inspiring and witty posts on Instagram and Twitter.

Every week,

we will present one of the 500's.

Why he or she is there,

What are the reasons to follow this specific account.

Our first choice is John Maeda.

Wikipedia comes to help:

John Maeda is an American executive, designer, technologist. His work explores the area where business, design, and technology merge. He is Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic where he seeks to address the diversity gap in tech by exploring how inclusion can be a key ingredient for success in the technology industry.

We fell in love with him when we first bought "Design by Numbers" (it was 1999, actually a century ago). If we have to suggest one of his books, we would choose "The Laws of Simplicity". A must-read for any person interested in contemporary design.

Here you have the link to his website, while here you can see one of his presentations at TED.

His tweets are always sharp, deep, fascinating windows to new perspectives. Not to forget his poetic images shared via Instagram.

"Our economy is built upon convergent thinkers, people that execute things, get them done. But artists and designers are divergent thinkers: they expand the horizon of possibilities."
--John Maeda