We’ve recently been working with artist and handbag designer Kyoko Wainai on her new identity and website. Her bags have a sumptuous quality using vintage kimono silks and handmade fabrics, yet are designed for daily wear with functional silhouettes and details. Having just finished a shoot with photographer Céline Bodin to document the collection, we’re excited to launch the site later this summer – more soon!
Slurp! Honoring the Ramen Bowl
7 April 2017
Last week saw the closing night Ramen Fest for our exhibition Slurp! Honoring the Ramen Bowl, curated by Kiku Obata and organized by Craft Alliance Center for Art and Design. The exhibition featured bowls by leading American ceramicists, including Dan Anderson, Linda Christianson, Blair Clemo, Brett Freund, Randy Johnston, Nina Lalli, Beth Lo, Lee Love, Warren MacKenzie, Ron Meyers, Malinda Reich, Suzanne Marie Sullivan and others.
Ramen has become an international food sensation with hundreds of cult shops popping up around the globe and infinite varieties of noodles, broths and toppings. There have been serious debates over authenticity, origins and proper ways to eat this dish. At the center sits the Ramen Bowl, a simple ceramic vessel of humble beginnings, simple markings and glazes, but with careful consideration to shape, size and rim, that allows one to intimately inhale the aroma and slurp away with chopsticks and a deep spoon.
At the closing night Ramen Fest, Bernie Lee of Hiro’s Asian Kitchen prepared ramen and served it up in the bowls purchased from the exhibition. Thank you to all the potters, Craft Alliance, Hiro’s and everyone who attended.
Type Design in the Mountains
26 October 2016
In September we participated in TypeClinic, the international type design workshop, run by Tomato Kosir in Triglav national park, Trenta, Slovenia. Before coming to the workshop you had to have formulated what kind of typeface you wanted to design.
Our intent was to create a quirky characterful contemporary grotesque that we could use in the studio. The workshop was intense but in a good way, starting at the very beginning with sketching letterforms, getting the proportions, stem widths and shapes right before transitioning to the computer.
Over the course of the work, after continual refinement, we managed to have the lowercase and half of the uppercase alphabet. Post TypeClinic we are continuing to finish the rest of the glyphs so will have the first weight of Noa to use – watch this space!
Washington University’s Sumers Recreation Center
30 August 2016
We have just completed wayfinding and signage for Washington University’s new Sumers Recreation Center, a 60,000 square foot athletic complex for students and athletic teams. We’ve been working with architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson over the past two years on the project and are excited to see the first signs installed – more soon!
Revisiting Mt. Sterling
29 April 2016
Photographer Mike Sinclair returned to Mt. Sterling last week to document how the revitalization efforts have progressed over the last three years. On his first trip in 2013, he photographed the town prior to most work commencing, documenting the existing conditions and character of the place (more about the project here).
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite photos from both trips: the hand-made signs in the courthouse; a WPA mural in the post office; the earliest buildings constructed around the time of the Civil War; and some of the more unusual structures around town. The photographs capture this small Midwest town that our team has loved visiting over these past few years.
Painted signs in Provincia de Pinar del Río, Cuba
25 April 2016
Travelling in Cuba earlier this month, one of the most noticeable sights was the hand-painted signs. Without corporate branding, there seems little need for commercial printing, so most signs, whether at a small shop or government sponsored, are made by hand. Yet despite the inconsistencies, there’s consistency, as if one person painted them all – with similar colors and styles, they read as another unifying element of the landscape.
Please Touch Arrives
13 April 2016
The new book documenting the Gateway Foundation’s public sculpture collection and most notable project, Citygarden, has just arrived. Published in collaboration with Prestel and launching at this week’s London Book Fair. Read more about the project here.
Talk at University of Arkansas
07 April 2016
Yesterday, Kiku gave a talk at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture. She discussed the studio’s work and her own background, including her early work as a photographer. In pulling together slides for her talk, the team saw many of her early photographs for the first time, most shot in the early 70s in San Francisco and the West.
Passing Through at Schema Projects
4 March 2016
Schema Projects’ new exhibition, Passing Through opens today in Bushwick. The Brooklyn-based gallery, led by artist Mary Judge, is devoted to works of art on paper. Curated by Jeanne Heifetz, the exhibition includes works by 13 artists all working with thread and paper. It also marks the opening of the Schema Projects ‘Sculpture Space’ with the temporary installation by Barbara Campisi. We designed the gallery’s new identity which launched in January. Read more about the project here.
Gardens without a Garden in Kyoto
1 March 2016
With little private outdoor space, Kyoto’s gardens spill out onto the street. From neat and ordered to free and wild, the potted gardens transform the quality of the busy streetscapes. They are a reminder of nature that we rarely see in such dense urban spaces, as well as the people living or working in the buildings. While a city’s sidewalks are increasingly designed to be ordered and uniformly groomed, these gardens reflect a more informal, personal approach that celebrates a love of plants and home.