And you thought having your phone stolen was already scary, it’s soon going to be the key to your house. However, like all the reasons you can’t live without your phone, August is going to be so cool that it will be worth the added risk. Designed by Yves Behar (is there anything this guy can’t do?) the August Smart Lock allows you to keylessly and codelessly get in and out of your house, but more importantly it allows you to do the same for guests you want while keeping out guests you don’t want. Surely that’s more worthy of the word ‘smart’ than a fridge that tells you you’re out of that rare variety of kale.
It works with your existing deadbolt, and you can still use your key if you want, but why would you when August can tell when you’re close and unlock the door for you? That would be like using stairs to get into an elevator. Get ready to have all your delivered packages left inside the door, and never having to worry about getting your key back from that insane ex-roommate of yours. (Sidenote: August is only functional in the Fall.)
We knew a professor who had so many things on his mind, he once walked out of the changing stall with nothing on his business. He did however have his trunks in his hand, and we’re willing to guess that if they were Apolis trunks, the lady lifeguard may have been two units less offended. Apolis seems to get better and better at what they do, and their men’s swimwear is no different. For this season’s Chambray Swim Trunks they partnered with a local manufacturer in LA who has been making board shorts for lifeguards since the 1960s.
You probably wouldn’t call these board shorts now though, as they’re shorter and more fitted (like how board shorts used to be). Men’s swimwear jumped in price and attention a few years back, but we’ve had these for a short while now, and they wear and soften delightfully with use - and they also get a fair amount of attention. We still like our Onia trunks, but the Chambray can take a little more abuse.
Apolis aims to be “a socially motivated lifestyle brand that empowers communities worldwide,” and with that in mind, most of the prices for their wares are very competitive. These trunks fit great, have excellent style and are made well… just don’t forget to actually put them on.
Many (many) years ago, I borrowed a watch from my friend Andrew Stephens. I had it for so long he suggested I just keep it, which I did - if memory serves it was a Timex. Its appeal lay in its simplicity: it had a white face, and black hands, black numbers and a black band… it was perfect. Being worn on a young wrist, it was inevitably destroyed. Years later, I bought a similar looking St.Moritz, which too was eventually abused into oblivion by ‘all conditions’ wear. Now after years without an analogue wrist adornment, I am thrilled to wear a perfectly simple Braun by Dieter Rams timepiece.
While ‘time’ and the action of checking it, is not normally associated with peacefulness, calm and pleasure, those are the feelings I now have when I peer down at my left wrist (which certainly beats panic and stress). It’s hard to believe that something so simple could give such pleasure, but it’s exactly that perfect simplicity and unobtrusiveness that is so pleasing.
All of this series is based on Rams’ designs from the 1970s and all are as understated as everything else he designed for the company where he was Head of Design for almost 30 years. The man probably dreams in bar code.
Different folks are looking for different things from a hotel at different times. The bottom line is you want somewhere that makes you feel good given whatever state you find yourself in: cool factor (feel good about yourself), comfort & pampering (body feel-good), not too hip-sketchy (not feel bad), able to do bathtubs full of blow, while eating sinks full of caviar, filming vines full of porn (feel really good temporarily). Well, we’re here to tell you that Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square perfectly checks a lot of these boxes. We’d recently enjoyed the new property Hotel Le Germain Calgary with great vigor, but the Maple Leaf Square still impressed.
Opened in 2010, the design features in the hotel and rooms specifically are clean, well thought out, and precisely executed. The Groupe Germain always makes a big deal of their bathrooms and they’re no different in Maple Leaf Square. We would be tempted to say they’re the highlight of the rooms, but really the rooms work so perfectly as a whole.
This Germain specifically has sports inspired artwork in all the rooms. Which makes sense as it was a 3-way partnership with the developer and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and is conveniently located close to the home venues of The Leafs (NHL), The Raptors (NBA) and TFC (MLS). But if you’re not taking any sports in while in Toronto, the location probably isn’t as ideal as some other luxury hotels in the city. Although, if you’re snorting lines of beluga caviar, physical location may not be as important to you as the palatial bathrooms.
Think of how many unaware friends, coworkers and family you could send a message or a letter to in Sigmund Freud’s handwriting - making a subtle point without the reader being aware. The irony of penning Dear Mother or Dear Father is too loaded to discuss, but talk about an appropriate font choice. Right now on Kickstarter, you can back Harald Geisler for $10 and you’ll get to write anything you want in Sigmund Freud’s handwriting!
Not to mention that Freud had fascinating penmanship, and it will make a perfect looking typeface for when you want to show something handwritten - you could even use it for your electronic signature on pdfs.
The Freud Museum in Vienna supports the project and even provided Harald with documents of Freud’s in order to get an exact replica. And if you’re a shrink or therapist of any sort, imagine what it says about you if you don’t get it… psychoanalytically.
Danny Daniels taught a Rationalism Phil class in University in his final year of teaching. He talked about tepid coffee in a parallel universe, and the fact that we could never be sure whether there was a saber-toothed tiger outside in the hallway. He would also shout obscenities at anyone who fell into his trap when he asked if anyone could properly conceive of, and picture 10,000 marbles. “How can you be so sure that you’re not picturing 10,001!?” he would scream. The wonderfully digestible World of 100 Series by graphic designer Toby Ng makes it much easier to comprehend various stats about the people who live on the planet, imagining the world as a village of 100 people.
The bright, simple and clever infographics cover a variety of areas including money, sexual-orientation, literacy, freedom, religion, water and fear. With any luck, Toby Ng will produce more, as they’re an easy and quick way to get a basic level of understanding about important issues, without being concerned about whether you’re imagining exactly 11,437 marbles in a cup of tepid coffee, enjoyed by a hallway roaming saber-toothed tiger, writing long sentences.
Sydney has its unrivaled beauty, but Melbourne is the sporting, fashion, music and arts capital of Australia (certainly according to Melburnians). In the Prahran District off Chapel Street you will find The Cullen Hotel, which is one of three wonderful hotels owned by The Art Series Hotels Group. The Cullen is named after Australian Artist, Adam Cullen whose unique art is found throughout the hotel lobby, hallways and rooms. His bold pop style gives the hotel a personality that fits the vibrant neighbourhood and its independent feel.
The hotel rooms are top-notch with kitchenettes, high-end furnishing and wonderful views of the city. Have loose plans? Make sure to take advantage of their current promotion: upon checkout if nobody has booked the room, you can stay an extra night on the house!
They have bikes and smart cars available for hotel guests, and at check-in you get a map of at the local hotspots – galleries, bars and cafes. The 109-room Cullen Hotel is a short walk, or an enjoyable 10 minute train ride to the CBD (Central Business District) for serious TCB-ing.
Feeling Sneaky? The Art Series Hotels hung an original Banksy in one of their hotels. If you could successfully steal the painting out of the hotel you would fill your pockets with a $20,000 bounty - assuming you guess which one it is. (The Hotel suggested this is not to be encouraged… but what would you do with $20k?)
The Cullen comes in at a surprisingly economical price, providing great bang for your buck given all the hotel has to offer. A great stay for the experienced traveler who appreciates the finer things in life.
(Adrian Fluevog - Civil Writes)
Two things are immediately certain: you’re reading this sentence, and you’re lousy at resewing buttons on your shirts. Well, thanks to an innovative little fastener, that’s one more thing that you will never have to do again (or call your mum about). Tic was invented by three wonderful Swedish people and it allows you to fasten your shirt button back without the use of needle and thread - it takes nine seconds, it’s easy and good as new. It’s so awesome, that for the first time in your life, you’re going to be dying for one of your buttons to fall off, just so you can use it. It’s time to get more aggressive when changing.
Like the trusty cardigan, outdoor vests come back into style again and a again with a vengeance, but never completely go out of style - which makes it a solid investment (assuming you select a basic colour). There are several good ones to choose from out there, but the Broadmoor Quilted Vest from J.Crew comes in only navy or (2nd choice) olive, has a standing collar, and is the perfect weight and width to keep you a little warmer on blustery days, while still being thin enough to fit under any of your jackets or coats.
The fit is great and doesn’t add width to your shoulders or puff out your torso, and it’s got a fantastic inside patch pocket which is perfect for keeping your empty shells or Leatherman when you head back to the city. If it’s not an exact fit for you there are adjustable button tabs at the back waist and both colours have a contrast charcoal lining (just in case anyone things olive is too feminine). The great thing about these vests is they can be worn over a t-shirt, or over a shirt & tie and under a suit jacket - in fact, just about the only thing they can’t be worn with is a 1980s life preserver.
We’ve had this massive book for ages, but couldn’t seem to review it because we couldn’t stop looking at it. Roman and Williams is an interior design firm made up of husband and wife team Robin Standefer and partner Stephen Alesch, that has been a powerhouse in creating iconic spaces for over a decade now. After they were production designers on Zoolander they rightly decided to put their energies into spaces that weren’t going to be torn down in 6 weeks. After becoming close friends with them on set, Ben Stiller hired them to design his living spaces and even writes the foreword in this incredible 320 page tome. Things We Made is a thorough, wonderfully enjoyable journey with the designers through some of their most breathtaking yet comfortable spaces, many of which you’ll recognize including The Ace Hotel in New York, Stumptown Coffee, The Standard New York, and of course Kate Hudson’s and Ben Stiller’s places (we were just there last week).
The thing that stands out right away is how different each of the projects are from one another. As Stiller alludes to in his foreword this is possibly because of the differences in the partners, and their ability to start the process traditionally and then proceed to mess things up.
One thing the reader may notice when looking through the images, but will certainly notice when physically in the spaces themselves, the self proclaimed non-experts are comfortably imperfect. Many other design firms try to nail the same aesthetic but can be guilty of being mistakenly perfect which often results in a space that is too curated, and cold & presumptuous.
What we do know is that the places featured in the book that we’ve been lucky enough to spend time in, are special and you just know it when you’re there, even if sometimes you don’t know why. All we can hope for is that the duo put out another book in 2022 with 10 more years of work, and then open a school so it multiplies.