Dreams do come true. That’s right, LEGO is planning to release a Back to the Future set inspired by the classic 1985 film starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. The set found its feet in LEGO’s CUUSOO initiative. Besides creating their own original sets, LEGO accepts ideas from designers who think they can come up with the next best LEGO-based product. The BTTF set was one of four ideas uploaded to LEGO’s site; from there people could browse the prototypes and vote for their favorite one. After gaining 10,000 supporters, LEGO reviewed and considered it to become the next CUUSOO set to be sold in retail. Imagined by designers m.togami* and Sakuretsu (collectively known as Team BTTF), the Back to the Future Time Machine won and here is LEGO’s exciting announcement:
After analyzing the supporters of the Back to the Future project, we learned that this product has a broad, worldwide appeal. The model presented in this project is built very closely to the LEGO Group’s design standards and has therefore provided a strong base to design the final product. It has a high play value and it fits well with supporters’ price expectations.
For these reasons, the Back to the Future project has passed the LEGO Review, and has been selected for production as the next LEGO CUUSOO set. The final product, pricing, and release dates are still being determined.
To explore the other contenders in this round’s CUUSOO competition and to learn more about LEGO’s review process, click over to the company’s blog post. I’ve added some images of the prototype BTTF set in the gallery below; browse Team BTTF’s CUUSOO site to read more about their idea and to see more pictures. Keep in mind the final product may not look exactly like what you see here, but LEGO is working with the idea’s inventors so it’s OK to get a little giddy if you want. Video announcement after the break.
Though it may not be able to hit 88MPH, a LEGO Back to the Future Time Machine set is just what the Doc ordered.
Do you want to own a piece of Fringe lore before the series comes to its epic conclusion? FOX, Gallery 1988, the Paley Center for Media, and The Mission Continues are teaming up to make that possible. The ”Fringe Benefits Project” lets fans of the show vote for their favorite Fringe events and the top five moments will be reimagined by local artists and designers as pieces of art in the form of hand numbered limited edition poster prints. Once the five scenes have been selected, they will be showcased at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills will also have the artwork on hand beginning January 9. Buy up the fan-made posters and all proceeds will be donated to The Mission Continues, a charity that encourages and aids volunteerism by disabled and wounded veterans.
To vote from 31 of the most memorable Fringe episodes, head over to the Fringe Benefits website. The first poster (pasted above) is already highlighted and it celebrates the complete awesomeness that was the season 2 episode “White Tulip.” The limited copy is yours for $30. Fringedom, have at it.
Even if you aren’t a Windows aficionado, you should take an hour out of your day to watch this. Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management for the Windows User Experience Team, took the stage at UX Week 2012, a user experience design conference. His presentation is called “The Story of Windows 8,” it details how Microsoft reimagined Windows for the next wave of PCs. He travels back in time to 1992, the year the Start Menu, Taskbar, and many of the other familiar facets of Windows were born. “They were designed to help people do things with computers that they did in 1992, not necessarily with what people do today with PCs, tablets, [and] phones today,” admits Harris. And this is what compelled the company to radically re-engineer the OS. Many things have been updated and refreshed over the years from Windows 95 to Windows 7, but “the basic elements of the user interface have remained the same,” he explains. Instead of waiting to be engulfed by the modern, his team decided to reimagine Windows by defining what is modern.
Over the course of the presentation, Harris gives a grand tour of Windows 8, interweaving and fully detailing the OS’ design principles (namely do more with less, authentically digital, pride in craftsmanship, fast and fluid, win as one).
He makes it a point to highlight the progression of Windows and what makes the latest release stand out from all the others. But what’s most fascinating about this intellectual and informative presentation is its overall theme which Harris calls “familiar usurped by modern.” Before diving into the OS, he spans the video game, smartphone, and automobile industries to compare and contrast “familiar” products and ideas to “modern” ones. It’s a course in shifting the status quo, being bold by leading by example, what it means to think and be modern. For design enthusiasts it’s a captivating watch, and along the way you might just learn all about the painstaking, detail-oriented effort that went into the making of Microsoft’s new OS.
A buddy of mine Adam Levermore is a talented graphic designer whose previous work includes officially-licensed Battlestar Galactica propaganda posters, travel posters for the Firefly film Serenity, the Super 8 iPhone app, and posters for The Guild, Team Unicorn, and The Nerd Machine. Since Marvel announced they are making a live-action series for ABC called S.H.I.E.L.D., Levermore has made it his mission to get noticed by the powers that be to get hired as the show’s graphic designer.
So what did he do? He very quickly whipped up a short film called S.H.I.E.L.E.D. to serve as a live action resume of sorts. He stars as a potential recruit to become a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s production design team. His previous work, aforementioned above, is highlighted and he also designed most everything you see in the clip from the ID badges to the dossiers and even that crude drawing of the Avengers. It all came together thanks to donations from fans of Levermore’s work, an entertaining script written by Amy Berg (Eureka, Person of Interest, Leverage), lead actress Taryn O’Neill, and composer Bear McCreary. In addition, friends of mine Jared Hoy and Andrew Seely offered their directing and producing expertise (respectively) to the project. To learn more about S.H.I.E.L.E.D., check out Levermore’s detailed blog.
YOU can have a helping hand in getting Adam Levermore attached to Marvel’s upcoming drama by sharing the short with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, whatever you’ve got. But first give it watch yourself; it’s the most entertaining “resume” you’ll likely come across. Plus it’s Marvel related so come on!
Seattle-based illustrator Dain Fagerholm has blessed the world with what he calls his “stereographic drawings,” animated GIFs that trick your eyes into seeing a crude 3D effect by quickly switching between two similar images drawn from different perspectives. He’s got a blog that is filled with these shifting images that evoke childhood memories in all of us. I’ve shared some of my favorites in the gallery below. Click here to see the rest of Fagerholm’s collection.
Between September 8 and September 13, 1500 pairs of the 2011 Nike Mag sold on eBay. In total, the eBay auctions over that ten-day period raised $5,695,190.53; all proceeds are going to Michael J. Fox’s charity for Parkinson’s research. But it doesn’t end there. Remember that Google founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki have offered to match all donations to the Foundation up to $50 million through the end of 2012. With that taken into consideration, the grand total morphs into a whopping $11,390,381.10. What an impressive feat for sneakerheads, Back to the Future fans, and the Parkinson’s community!
The celebration doesn’t end here. It continues after the break where you’ll find four “official” Nike videos providing behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the shoe from the future. Now all we have to do is wait until 2015 when the real Nike Mag comes complete with auto-lacing.
That last post detailing the launch of the 2011 Nike Mag Back to the Future sneaker is filling to the brim, so I’ve decided to make a new landing for all the latest on the greatest shoe never made (until now, that is).
The auction kicked off September 8 at 8:30PM PST and it will last for ten days. Every day 150 pairs of the sneaker will be made available at eBay. Here’s a link to the Nike Mag-eBay portal. There you’ll be able to view and bid on the shoes, ranging in size from 7 to 13. After a quick glance, most of the shoes currently hover around the $2,500 price point. But don’t let those early tallies fool you; British rapper Tinie Tempah won the first Mag on-site at the Nike launch event with a winning bid of $37,500, and bids on eBay have reportedly reached the $75,000 mark. So unless you’re willing to drop thousands for the shoe from the future, pass your time by drifting your eyes to the next paragraph.
Last night Michael J. Fox appeared on the David Letterman to detail the shoe and it’s release. After showing it off, he announced that Google founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki have offered to match all donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation up to $50 million through the end of 2012. So even though you sit there in frustration knowing that owning the Mag is a pipe dream, you can rest assured that all of the money exchanged over the course of the 10-day auction is going to a great cause. If you’re itching to donate to Parkinson’s research in other ways, visit www.michaeljfox.org. Watch Fox’s Letterman appearance after the break.
And finally, the last topic that must be discussed is the marketing campaign behind the Mag release. Check it:
When the original Back to the Future creative team learned of Nike’s desire to support Fox’s foundation with the release of the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes, Executive Producer Frank Marshall joined the effort. A concept was hatched to develop a ‘Lost Scene’ to honor the original Back to the Future films and characters, capturing Doc Brown’s efforts to make Marty ‘fit in’ during his visit to 2015. [via Nike]
And so Back For The Future was born. BTTF executive producer Frank Marshall directed the short film and Robert Zemeckis (helmer of the trilogy) came back to EP. Also returning is the mad scientist himself–Christopher Lloyd as Doc Emmett Brown and Donald Fullilove as salesman Goldie Wilson III. SNL castmember Bill Hader and basketball star Kevin Durant also star in the video embedded after the break. Below, find even more stills of the glorious Mag.
Cudder continues to support his now nine-month old sophomore release Man on the Moon II with the music video for his anthem “Mr. Rager.” The clip is directed by Jérémie Rozan, founder of the high-end fashion brand Surface to Air. Cudi collaborated with Rozan to design an exclusive limited line of leather jackets. The jackets (which are featured in the video) are now on sale at the flagship Surface to Air retail shop that just opened in NYC’s trendy section Soho. To celebrate Fashion’s Night Out, Razon (and perhaps Cudi) will be on hand at the grand opening of the store tonight where the music video will be screened for those in attendance.
DatNewCudi has the scoop: “The limited edition “thriller” style jackets retail for $1,200 and feature red quilted shoulder pads, internal red pockets, quilted lining, Surface to Air logo on buttons, zips, hot stamped logo on the leather and Red quilted shoulder pads and of course is 100% leather.” Two different vairents called “Fire Jacket” and “Champ Jacket” are part of the initial release. See pics below. And don’t pass over the violent music video above; in it Cudi takes on a fashionable gang. There’s a twist ending and a super cool blink-and-you-miss-it cameo to boot!
Update: Turns out Cudi did show up at Surface to Air last night! Hear him talk about the importance of visuals attached to his music after the break.
Back to the Future fans and sneakerheads, listen here. Nike is about to drop some major news: the Air Mag sneaker, as featured and worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II, is set to slip into reality. The glowing, auto-lacing sneaker from the future will hit the market today (well maybe not precisely today, but you know what I mean).
So here’s the relatively short story. Ever since these shoes made an appearance in the movie, BBTF buffs and sneaker collectors alike have been praying for this very day to come. In May 2009 Nike filed a patent describing “an article of footwear with an automatic lacing system.” Late last night Nike sent out urgent invitations inviting guests to attend a product unveiling. The invitation was in the form of a black box and enclosed was an iPod shuffle and a written invitation. The audible notice was a personal message from Dr. Emmett Brown stating, “Welcome to Los Angeles. If my calculations are correct, over the next 24 hours you are about to see some SERIOUS SH*T!” The card said, “IT’S ABOUT TIME. Tinker Hatfield, VP of Design and Innovation at Nike, cordially invites you to an unveiling that could change the course of time.” Other BTTF related goodies came inside, including a sleek pair of metal shield glasses.
And that brings us to right now. Moments ago a teaser video was uploaded to YouTube by one DocEmmettBrown88 glimpsing us inside “McFly’s Closet.” This sneaker is real people, and it’s coming soon. Park here, and as soon as official word comes from Nike following the announcement event I’ll update this post and splay all the release and pricing details for you. While you’re waiting, drool in anticipation by replaying the teaser
above (now after the break) and then jump after the break to watch the Air Mag in action, circa 2015.
Update: Here’s the official launch info straight from Nike: “1500 pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG will be auctioned on eBay with all net proceeds going directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Each day for the duration of the ten-day auction, one hundred and fifty pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes will be made available via eBay’s Fashion Vault. The auction starts September 8, 8:30PM PST, and will end September 18. Thanks to a previous 50 million dollar match given to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, all donations will be matched, effectively doubling the contributions from the auction.”
Nike goes on to describe the shoe’s aesthetic: “The first rechargeable footwear from Nike, the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes were designed to be precise replicas of the originals from Back to the Future II. The aesthetic is an exact match, down to the contours of the upper, the glowing LED panel and the electroluminescent NIKE in the strap. The only deviation from the original is additional foam support in the ankle and toe box for increased comfort. The 2011 NIKE MAG illuminates with the pinch of the “ear” of the high top, glowing for five hours per charge.” Not a single word about the auto-lacing feature. Bummer!
Nike CEO Mark Parker said this at the launch event: “We wanted to translate the excitement people have for the ‘greatest shoe never made’ and for the Back to the Future into positive action. But the long term objective is to raise awareness so the Foundation can achieve their goal of eradicating Parkinson’s disease.” Fox, the actor who played Marty McFly back in 1989, added: “This project is exciting to me because it brings together three very passionate audiences: the Parkinson’s community, the sneakerheads and Back to the Future fans. With their support we can accelerate our objective of finding a cure for Parkinson’s.” He is the featured guest on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight on CBS; he’s expected to detail the Air Mag during his interview.
An astute Nice Kicks commenter posted, “Shitttt. You cant camp outside of eBay!” That’s right–this item is certainly going to be a hot commodity when it hits the auction site and it’ll be extremely hard to get if you’re not extremely rich. At least all the money is going to a great cause. Ah well, a boy can still dream of a future where everyone sports super cool auto-lacing sneaks. Perhaps that day will come when it’s supposed to–in 2015. Get a closer look at the shoe in the gallery below, and after the break you’ll a find a third related video.
From design and filmmaking collective MK12 comes this disturbingly bizarre short film that serves as “an homage and/or affront to a great American tradition: the Intermission Reel.” MK12 further explains the inspiration behind this odd masterpiece:
Those who weren’t making out in the back of the family Buick between films at the drive-in will remember them: poorly-spliced, underexposed & overplayedgrindhouse reels of sickly green hot dogs,unprovoked pizza-groping, ice cream sundaeswith a vomit of pale, lifeless toppings, and perversesight gags featuring animated snacks in PG-13scenarios. MK12 interested themselves in this format, and envisioned its slightly darker, but perhaps more-to-the-point, R-rated cousin.
MK12 teamed with cel-frame animator TJ Fuller to give birth to the cast of live-action and stop-frame characters featured in the short Follow the Sun. It was made to serve as an opening act to FITC’s tenth anniversary conference in Toronto. They were also commissioned to brand the design and technology-based festival.
Glean what you will from this disturbing tale of dancing snack foods. A making-of video lingers after the break.
A group of students at the Utrecht School of Arts in the Netherlands spent five months creating this visually stunning animated short titled Mac ‘n’ Cheese. They say the visuals were inspired by Valve’s Team Fortress 2 and the short film Meet Buck. The synopsis goes like this:
When you find yourself running scared and running out of energy, there’s only a few options left to outrun your opponent through the southern desert. Stopping at nothing, watch these two guys wear each other out and rip through boundaries hitherto unbroken. Enjoy the ride!
It’s trippy, man.
The creative minds at Sumo Science at Aardman have constructed a short film called Gulp, the world’s largest stop motion video. It was shot using the Nokia N8 smartphone which features a 12 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics. A very tall crane was also used to help shoot the various scenes; the largest scene stretches over 11,000 square feet! It was done on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales. It only makes sense that the same group behind the world record-breaking ‘largest stop-motion animation set’ is also behind the construction of the world’s smallest stop motion video which can be seen here. Nokia’s phones might not have been all the rage in the States, but you cannot deny the delicate precision of the cameras built inside them. Jump after the break to go behind-the-scenes of the impressive Gulp.
Sony Style is a thing of the past. On April 1 Sony opened to the public the very first, totally redesigned Sony retail experience in Los Angeles and they’re calling–drumroll, please–the Sony Store. The press release details the new design quite nicely:
The new store was designed in collaboration with Klein Dytham architecture (KDa). It features a bright, open, inviting space, with products displayed on tables so that consumers can personally interact and engage with them like they would in a home environment. The layout of the store is flexible, with movable interior walls and changeable color schemes so that it can be adapted and reconfigured to highlight specific products, services, or content to engage and delight customers with fresh experiences each time they return.
The wide open store packs some really cool electronics, all made by Sony of course. Inside you’ll be able to interact with 3DTVs, 3D-capable Vaio laptops, PS3 games (with Move), digital cameras, Google TV, and so on and so forth. You’ll also spot the RayModeler, “a futuristic 360-degree display prototype that projects a 3D image that can be seen from all angles.” In the music section you can test out the Walkman and compare sound with Sony’s catalog of headphones; customers are allowed to test out the headphones on the Walkmans and their personal MP3 players. The TV section is walled with the latest and greatest Sony HDTVs and what’s neat is that every set’s price and specs are digitally labeled in the right-hand corner of each screen. And then there’s The Cube, a personal home theater dumped in the middle of the store.
The new Sony Store sounds like tech heaven, doesn’t it? Watch the video above to get a feel for the new design, and if you live in LA you can experience it first-hand by visiting the first rebranded store which is located at the Westfield Century City mall. In time all Sony Style retail locations will switch over to the new moniker, and the company plans on unleashing these new retail experiences nationwide and internationally after gaining customer feedback from the LA launch. Official PR after the break.
In honor of April Fools Day the team at Hulu has redesigned the video streaming website to show what it would have looked like if it existed way back in the dial-up days of 1996. Notice the basic text, HTML frames, the page counter (stuck at 54), a ”Sign our Guestbook” button (that brings you to the Simpsons episode “April Fools Origin”), shoutouts to Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, and the currently under construction Geocities neighborhood notice. Shows like The X Files and Sliders take center stage at the top of the page. And I won’t tell you what happens when you go to play a video. Find out for yourself at Hulu.com.
Enjoy this stop motion-enhanced Plasticine model in action!
Today Google dipped its paws into the art industry. Art Project is “a unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail.” In short, over the past 18 months Google’s traveled to 17 art museums around the world and captured super high resolution images of famous artworks. Now online users can take 360 degree tours of individual galleries using the same Street View click, zoom, and pan techniques most are used to using when navigating Google Maps. Google hit up many world renowned museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, State Tretyakov Gallery, and Van Gogh Museum. And check this: each of the 17 museums hand-picked one piece of artwork to be photographed using gigapixel technology; these super super high definition selections contain around 7 billion pixels allowing users to explore them in extreme detail. For example, the people hidden behind the tree in Ivanov’s ‘The Apparition of Christ to the People’ suddenly become visible thanks to the gigapixel capture. In addition to browsing the beautiful works of art, Google is enabling users to create their own collections, share them with others, and make them sociable with commenting support.
Head over to http://www.googleartproject.com/ to check it out! Look after the break for official PR and some videos detailing the project.
Food for thought: Libraries are dead because of the digitization of books; with instant access to high definition galleries are museums on their way out now as well?
META ALERT! This visually splendid music video directed by Mathieu Wothke is unlike any other you’ve seen because it puts you into the director’s head and takes you on a journey through the process of making a music video. In other words, the music video gets put together in the music video. Have you given you a headache yet? Just watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.
Oh, right. The song is “Very Busy People” by The Limousines but in honesty you’re watching for the behind-the-scenes magic, not the music itself. Unless of course this is your cup of tea…
Designer R.D. Silva has created the most bare bones record player you’ve probably ever seen. I mean just look at it. A motor that turns the platter sits in the middle, the pivoting arm and needle hang off to the side, and the built in speaker and controls are housed in small compartment below. Its minimalist design is simply elegant…and I want one.
Rhythm of Light, a psychedelic lamp created by Dutch designer Susanne de Graef, is made up of five concentric aluminum rings with hundreds of multicolored strings attached. These strings, which are threaded throughout the lamp and are spaced slightly apart from one another, move up and down since there’s a counterweight that hangs at the bottom. Says de Graef, “Light is movement, it has its own rhythm. I designed a lamp with its own rhythm. The user decides the rhythm of the lamp by moving the lamp up and down, the layers mingle, the light gets diffused and the layers turn into a game of colours.” The strings represent the properties of light, and the lamp taken as a whole comments on the cyclical rhythm of time. Neat-o. Pictures below, video after the break.
“Ring” is a futuristic lamp created by Italian designer Loris Bottello and obviously inspired by the world of Tron. It’s lit by bioluminescent polymers and its intensity can be adjusted by rotating the disc. By design, the energy is transferred by brush contacts on the outer copper ring. Aesthetics and functionality aid each other in this bold concept that I want by my bedside stat.