Note Design Studio’s office, based on the Neutral Color System

It’s practically unheard of for me to upload so many images for a single post, but I love every single shot taken of Note Design Studio’s office that why hold back? Take the full tour!

Note Design Studio collaborated with Sørensen Leather, a Danish supplier whose past collaborations boast names like Norm Architects, Kinfolk and Fritz Hansen, to create The Colour Box based on the Neutral Color System (NCS) which is used the world over for color communication. Note Design Studio says,

"Our concept is based on the idea of redefining natural leather. In a common sense, we easily define natural leather in tones of colors that range from brown to black. But our approach has been to look into nature itself, to find the true colors in nature, and to define and collect them into a harmonious scale."

I find the collab to be a very natural partnership as NDS has always used color in a bold way, and on a different scale that most. Previous projects of theirs proves this to be so.

Details of the beautiful Bollo chair (also seen here) designed by Andreas Engesvik for Fogia.

Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen.

The Subversive Fantasies of Ren Hang (1987–2017)

Aperture remembers the surprising, defiant work of the Chinese photographer. Despite China’s strict censorship, Hang’s playful vision cleverly pushed the limits of self expression.

By Stephanie H. Tung

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14

One of China’s most distinctive young photographers, Ren Hang makes cool, saturated images that are tightly composed and lit with stark flash. Prominently featuring red lips, black hair, and supple flesh, his photography creates a world where sex, desire, and the joy of voyeurism create a visceral effect. Although most of his recent solo exhibitions have been held outside of China, viewers have gravitated toward his work when it has appeared in group shows in Beijing and Shanghai.

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2014 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2014

Born in 1987, Ren Hang left his home in Changchun city in Northern China to study advertising at the Communication University of China in Beijing. He began photographing his friends as an escape from the tedium of class. Using a small Minolta point-and-shoot camera, Ren Hang acts as director, moving hands and legs, lifting girls on top of girls, and arranging flowers on top of men. The subjects are all close friends or models he interviews beforehand who trust and respond well to the photographer’s demands. The resulting photographs—untitled and dated only for convenience—do not consciously attempt to address queer identity in China but rather function as a form of play or performance in a place where any explicit declaration of same-sex orientation is still considered risky and nude photographs are routinely labeled pornographic.

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14

Since his first photographs from 2008, Ren Hang’s images have shifted from seemingly candid shots of individual nudes to more complex compositions involving groups of people interacting with each other and props. Though he acknowledges a debt to the frank displays of sex by photographers such as Juergen Teller, Nan Goldin, and Araki Nobuyoshi, Ren Hang identifies most with the dark absurdity of Shuji Terayama, a filmmaker best known for his surreal theater and cinema. Like Terayama, Ren Hang explores the erotic through startling juxtapositions that evoke fantasies: “My work is all about sex, lust, and porn,” says Hang, “but I’m not quite at the point where I can make people feel desire yet.” Though Ren Hang’s photographs often depict same-sex relations, in his work gender and sexual preference dissolve as he directs the models into provocative arrangements and compositions. The nude bodies become so strange and fluid and bare that it is difficult to pin any label on them.

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2013-14

Ren Hang has learned to adapt to the censorial conditions of working in China. He develops and scans his film at private studios to avoid obscenity charges and has become keenly aware of the potential for censorship. Still, he is often harassed online, and his works, when on public view, have been spit upon or taken down, leaving only empty frames. Yet when asked if he wants to continue working in Beijing, Ren Hang responds: “Yes, of course; even though China refuses me, I don’t care. China is still pretty conservative, but it’s the same elsewhere, and not even young people are exempt [from sharing these views]. As long as I like photographing, then I’ll still photograph.” Precociously self-aware, Ren Hang is part of a new generation of young photographers in China daring to push the limits of society from within with bold, defiant work.

Stephanie H. Tung is a PhD candidate focusing on modern and contemporary Chinese
art at Princeton University. She was a contributing author to The Chinese Photobook, published by Aperture in 2015.

This essay was originally published in Aperture Issue 218, “Queer.”

The post The Subversive Fantasies of Ren Hang (1987–2017) appeared first on Aperture Foundation NY.

Sites We Like: Monogram Project & Concourse

This week we wanted to shine a little light on two neat projects we noticed — both of which are also using some great web type on their sites, of course.


Concourse website

Concourse is a newly-launched website that lists available work space for creative projects, which had an early role (along with its creator Sarah Calvillo) in our Typekit Marketplace video. Sarah uses Brandon Grotesque for her headers and Usual for the body text, leaning slightly towards lighter weights for both (with the exception of those bold subheads) for an airy, open feel on the page.

Monogram Project

Monogram project homepage

The Monogram Project is the undertaking of designer Hope Meng, who is working her way through the alphabet in two-letter combinations that put a fun and imaginative spin on ligature design. Her site uses Proxima Nova for all the text. The classic sans-serif looks especially graceful in the headers and also makes for clean body text, neatly keeping the visual focus on her awesome monogram designs.

That’s it for this week! Share sites you like in the comments, or send suggestions our way on Twitter or Instagram.

Typekit Instagram page

We ❤️ type on Instagram. Find us there!

Arquetopia Foundation – Puebla & Oaxaca, Southern Mexico

Open Call: Arquetopia Foundation – Puebla & Oaxaca, Southern Mexico
All Self-Directed & Instructional Artist & Writers Residencies:
Summer and Fall Sessions 2017
Deadline: Apply Now through Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spaces are limited. Our committee processes all residency applications when they are received vs. after the deadline has passed.

E-mail Chris at for more information.

Founded in 2009 in Puebla, Mexico, Arquetopia is an internationally established, award-winning nonprofit arts and cultural foundation with a social scope that emphasizes critical thinking through artistic practices. Our Artist-in-Residence Programs are the largest and most reputable in Mexico and Latin America, with an array of contents anchored in a solid structure of collaborations with prominent cultural institutions, renowned experts, and notable artists in Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico. Our resident artists have come from nearly 60 countries on six continents, and many have returned multiple times. Our residency programs offer competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists, designers, curators, art historians, art educators, writers, journalists, and cultural researchers age 23 and over.

We are currently welcoming applications for the following residency programs offered Summer and Fall 2017:



1. ArquetopiaSUMMER 2017 Special 3-in-1 International Academic Program (June 5 – July 17, 2017) – Puebla
Arquetopia’s flagship residency: a prestigious 6-week critical program that offers competitive professional opportunities for local and international emerging and mid-career artists, curators, art historians, and students age 23 and over. ArquetopiaSUMMER 2017 will focus on the relationship between individual art practices and the visual history of violence. How is the discourse of violence institutionalized? How is violence affecting art production systems and influencing art markets? How has violence become an important part of the visual history of Mexico? How is the normalization of violence through aesthetic principles critical to understand intention and representation?

2. Art, Design, or Photography Production Residency – Puebla
Self-directed sessions of 4 to 12 weeks in the majestic central historic district of Puebla. Various techniques and resources offered.
3. Mexican Ceramics Special Artist Residency – Puebla
Self-directed sessions of 6 to 12 weeks in the majestic central historic district of Puebla, Mexico. Residents produce work either on-site or at a prominent ceramics factory studio in the central historic district of Puebla, working alongside the factory’s artists.
4. Printmaking Special Artist Residency – Puebla
Self-directed sessions of 4 to 12 weeks in the majestic central historic district of Puebla. Residents produce work at a prominent printmaking museum and studio in Puebla’s central historic district.
5. Art Educators Special Artist Residency – Puebla or Oaxaca
Develop new art education projects with students, exploring diverse pedagogic techniques with multiculturalism in southern Mexico’s schools or prominent museums. Self-directed (though staff-assisted) sessions of 4 weeks in the magnificent city of Puebla or the countryside of Oaxaca, extendable for 1 to 8 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency.
6. Art History or Cultural Research Residency – Puebla
Explore magnificent southern Mexico’s unique archives and resources from pre-Hispanic to contemporary, in the majestic central historic district of Puebla. Self-directed (though staff-assisted) sessions of 3 to 8 weeks in the magnificent central historic district of Puebla.
7. Writers Residency – Oaxaca
Self-directed sessions of 3 to 8 weeks in the beautiful countryside of Oaxaca.

1. Gold Leafing and Estofado Instructional Artist Residency – Puebla
With master instruction, learn Gold Leafing (Gilding) and Estofado techniques in the majestic central historic district of Puebla, with time for independent production, at a prominent art museum in Puebla’s majestic central historic district. Sessions of 3 weeks, extendable for 1 to 9 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency.
2. Natural Pigments Instructional Artist Residency – Oaxaca
With master instruction, learn to create and use a variety of Natural Pigments in the beautiful countryside of Oaxaca, with time for independent production. Sessions of 3 weeks, extendable for 1 to 9 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency.
3. Novohispanic Arts Instructional Artist Residency: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, or Graphic Arts – Puebla
With master instruction, learn one of four Novohispanic art techniques: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, or Graphic Arts, in the majestic central historic district of Puebla, with time for independent production. Extendable for 1 to 9 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency.
4. Mexican Textiles Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving, Embroidery, or Tapestry – Oaxaca
With master instruction, learn to create traditional Mexican Textiles (back-strap weaving, embroidery, or tapestry) in the countryside of Oaxaca, with time for independent production. Sessions of 3 or 4 weeks, extendable for 1 to 9 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency.

Visit the Arquetopia website at
E-mail Chris at for complete inclusions, fee, and terms.
Complete and submit the Arquetopia Artist-in-Residence Online Application Form, following the instructions on the web page.
Following selection, applicants are notified immediately via e-mail.

Arquetopia is distinguished worldwide for its array of unique residency programs with substantial content. In contrast to various property rental schemes, tourist resorts, B&B’s, and sublets elsewhere, our residency spaces function exclusively for productive art professionals, writers, and researchers and are built on structured, informative programs; a network of collaborative workspaces, institutions, and studios; and individualized project support.

Arquetopia is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our diverse local and international community. Arquetopia’s resident artist and staff backgrounds vary in all aspects. As part of Arquetopia’s mission is to promote diversity, Arquetopia actively fights discrimination by offering access to its programs and activities without regard to race, color, gender or gender expression, national origin, age, religion, creed, or sexual orientation.

Dispersion makes it crazy easy to get that bouncing ball delay sound

You know the sound. Bah bah bahb bh bh bhbhbbbbdddd… And you’ve heard in … some track. Somewhere. Okay, you know, words really aren’t the greatest thing for describing particular audio effects. So just listen:

The “bouncing ball” delay is just one of the sounds available in Dispersion, a new thirty-dollar audio effect plug-in for the Mac. You get organic sounding delays that are all synced together to match a groove. That gives you tight choruses and stereo widening, nice crunchy-grainy delays, and other shuffles and diffusion and, you know, delay sounds. It’s an especially nice combination of very useful delays, in a compact package.

Because this is Sinevibes, you can also assume a Mac-centric design sensibility and brightly-colored, simple, visual interface and animations – whether you have a lower-res display or nice new Retina screen.

But don’t let that simplicity fool you. You can program up to 16 delay lines, all with this special “time spread” formula, plus damping at the low and high end, variable feedback (gradual or stepped), and modulation.

Good stuff. My go-to delay these days has become Replika XT from Native Instruments, just because it has just about every delay mode I can imagine – but this has its own unique sound and might break me out of Replika a bit! Congrats to Artemiy Pavlov for another instant classic. Check it out:


The post Dispersion makes it crazy easy to get that bouncing ball delay sound appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

friday finds.

white house with orange door. / sfgirlbybay

this week i’m feeling all the california vibes, mostly inspired by this sunny orange door at madre — a very cute kids’ shop. also, the sun finally came out here in socal which i have sorely missed this month. we need the rain so i’m not really complaining, but i do prefer walking the dog under a warm, sunny sky. let’s hope for sunshine this sunday, too — it is the oscars, after all and we don’t want those starlets dripping in anything but diamonds, dahling. have a great weekend all, xo victoria

  1. would you have the guts to paint your front door bright orange? it looks so fresh and cheerful!
  2. i love the pop of orange via this vintage portrait painting featured on great a design*sponge home tour.
  3. don’t you sometimes wish we still dressed so glamorously? she looks like she just landed in california via nyc.
  4. as a native of the sunshine state, i’m very tempted to grab one of these California Oversized sweatshirts.
  5. super inspired by these bright and cheerful interiors photographed by sofi sykfont.
  6. i really love the fresh look of white beadboard and white printed paneling like this.
  7. this is one of the cutest front porch makeovers i’ve ever seen — adore the orange and blue color combo!

vintage portrait painting via design*sponge home tour. / sfgirlbybay

vintage model and orange tree. / sfgirlbybay

black and white california swearshirt. / sfgirlbybay

art and decor photographed by sofi skyfont. / sfgirlbybay

white beadboard and white paneling. / sfgirlbybay

orange and blue front porch decor. / sfgirlbybay

New Talent: Lauren Maccabee on portraiture and working with Martin Parr

Law Holt for issue 33 of Oh Comely
Law Holt for issue 33 of Oh Comely

Lauren Maccabee graduated less than two years ago but has already built up an impressive CV. She has shot images for Oh Comely magazine, Astley Clarke, Puma and Le Coq Sportif and worked as an assistant at Martin Parr’s studio.

Most of Maccabee’s commissions to date have been for magazines and fashion brands. She shot some striking images of Mulberry’s latest collection for Interview magazine this month and has worked on a number of shoots for Oh Comely. Images of musician Law Holt (top) and models Alice and Lily Colfox (below) feature a lovely use of lighting and colour.

Maccabee hails from Manchester and studied photography at the University of Brighton. She has been taking pictures since she was in secondary school – “I think it mainly grew out of a frustration with wanting to go to art school, but never being able to get instant gratification from painting or drawing,” she says. “I borrowed a friend’s SLR camera and started to take a few pictures … and it grew from there.”

She landed a three-month internship with Martin Parr’s studio after graduating and was later offered a job assisting the photographer on shoots around the UK. “It was so lovely being there and I definitely learned a lot,” she says.

Vivienne Westwood for Oh Comely
Vivienne Westwood for Oh Comely

“Working for someone like Martin really loosened the way I shoot,” she continues. “I realised that I can just take a portrait where everything isn’t completely straight, or completely sharp. The way he works is capturing the weirdness of the everyday and seeing his images, you suddenly start to pick up on things he might shoot, which helped me shoot in a different way as well. I certainly don’t try to shoot like him but it was a helpful experience.”

She also learned about the business side of photography: “They taught me things like how to name images, how to back up your work and how to deal with clients … the kind of real world things you don’t get taught at uni.”

Maccabee experimented with fine art photography while at university. She also captures still lifes, landscapes and street scenes but says her favourite work is portraiture. “I really enjoy talking to people and engaging with people and making work through that…. Photography can be a lonely thing – especially fine art photography, where you have this idea in your head and you think research and develop it on your own. Unless you’re at university, and you have a crit group around who you can talk to about it, it can become quite isolating.”

Alice and Lily Colfox for Oh Comely magazine (styling by Rachel Caulfield)
Alice and Lily Colfox for Oh Comely magazine (styling by Rachel Caulfield)

There’s an intimacy to many of her portraits, suggesting a comfortable relationship between photographer and subject. “They’re the type of portraits I want to capture, where someone feels comfortable with you in the room,” she says. “That relationship between photographer and sitter is a massive thing for me … to be able to get someone to relax, and to photograph them in maybe a different way to how they’ve been photographed before, is quite a special thing.”

One of her biggest sources of inspiration to date has been her younger sister, Isabel. Maccabee has photographed her sister for eight years and her images document her growth from a 12-year-old girl into a young woman studying at university. It was this that sparked her interest in shooting portraits – “I think documenting that [growth] and seeing how she changes over time as she goes travelling and goes to uni made me realise why I love doing this.”

Isabel. From an ongoing personal series
From ongoing personal series, Isabel

She regularly posts new work on Instagram and many of her commissions now come through the site. She was recently commissioned by dn&co and Redbridge Council to photograph people living in Ilford and this year, plans to develop more personal projects in between working on commissions.

“Making time for projects like that [outside of freelancing] has always been really hard … especially somewhere like London, because it is really expensive. I have to do a lot of work to be able to live here,” says Maccabee.

“When I first started freelancing I would say yes to everything. I’d be shooting two to three times a week and then you need to factor in editing time – but you worry you might not have any work next month. Now I’m kind of booked up for the next two-ish months, I can be a bit more selective.”

Offering advice for emerging photographers on finding work, she says: “A lot of people think there’s this formula to getting work but the way its happened to me is just putting my work out there, being open to things and being friendly with people. You might be on a shoot that’s not that well paid or for a great company, but you might meet someone on the shoot and it can lead to something else.” It’s wise advice – and an approach that has paid off for the photographer so far.

Portrait of Eva Kaper
Portrait of Eva Kaper

New Talent is part of Inspire, a year-long partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. More advice and inspiration for creatives using Facebook and Instagram is available at You can see more of Lauren Maccabee’s work on Instagram @laurenmaccabee

The post New Talent: Lauren Maccabee on portraiture and working with Martin Parr appeared first on Creative Review.

Sad Topographies: A Collection of Dismal Places to Go When Feeling Low

The names of routes and places often tell short stories, providing glimpses into their history in just a handful of words. But not all of these are happy tales, as Cape Disappointment, Pointless Mountain, Loveless Lake, Hopeless Way and Camp Suicide Road can attest.

These and many similarly dismal-sounding roads and locations can all be found searching Google Maps or simply visiting the thematic Instagram account of @SadTopographies. Australian artist Damien Rudd seeks out depressing names, from rivers and lakes to islands and mountains, adding them to this growing collection.

But one has to wonder: what did someone go through before landing on Broken Dreams Drive or Suffering Street? When did they give up on Despair Island? What were their dreams on Nightmare Island? What (or who) came to an end at Termination Point?

And, once named, why would anyone want to travel along Why Me Lord Lane, Emptiness Drive or Shades of Death Road? The tagline of Sad Topographies is “Somewhere to go, when you’re feeling low,” which could be a clue. Perhaps the point of these places (including Pointless Mountain as well as Mount Disappointment) is in part that things can always be worse. It is at least a thought to keep in mind when crossing Murderer’s Creek on Murders Kill Road.

Handmade Ceramic Blooms and Succulents by Owen Mann

Self-taught artist Owen Mann creates ceramic blooms from dozens, and sometimes hundreds of petals, each hand-formed to mimic the appearance of peonies, dahlias, and spiraling succulents. Simply painted in cool shades of blues and greens, the porcelain flowers look as if they were freshly plucked from the garden. You can see more of Mann’s faux flora on his Instagram, and purchase the pieces on his Etsy shop. (via So Super Awesome)