Wednesday, April 30, 2008

busta rhymes + linkin park video drops

the busta rhymes + linkin park [mike shinoda] video is edited and hitting the airwaves! busta rhymes, mike shinoda, nooka! check it out!

ghostly swim, nooka and the sounds of nooismo

our friends at ghostly records have launched a mini-site in conjunction with the cartoon network's adult swim! there's a free downloadable album of their artists with tracks from matthew dear, deastro, michna, tycho, school of seven bells AND more! their line-up is the sound of nooismo™.

also, they are selling some nooka zubs on their site for the launch of their new animated series: BoyCatBird.

ghostly swim is here

the ghostly store here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wallpaper quotes me [am i famous yet?]

i've been a bit disappointed that nooka had not been in wallpaper magazine as they are perfectly matched aesthetically, so i was excited when my press peeps arranged an interview with them a few months back. it was phone interview, which is always difficult for me [and i was dog sitting, the doorbell rang, the dog was barking – not at my best]. i was looking forward to finally being in the mag and waited for the article to come out – and it did this month in their may issue! no images of my watches but they did use a quote from me in the text. i'm told it's very cool and hope others think so too.

special thanks to matt and joe at rawinformation and josh sims of wallpaper!

Monday, April 28, 2008

graduate show season

it is that time of year when the design schools all host the senior thesis shows of their respective departments. the first one i attended was for the IDC program of Parsons [where i taught one semester a few years back]. IDC= intergrated design curriculum and the students may attend classes from any of the disciplines Parsons offers – basically build-your-own-major. the group is small, but i was very impressed with the overall quality of both the work and execution.

highlights from the foto, right to left from the top:
henshin fashion project by masaaki sato. the male model in his look-book is wearing a nooka!
supra functional by caroline pham, impractical objects for a gluttonous society.
jeremy goodwin's furniture to create more social spaces,
polina ulendeeva's wonderful educational toy that teaches children about the major organs in the body [no web site yet]!
ariel mai newlands's immigration game for the NYC tenement museum. her site here.

check out the show while it's up at 66 fifth avenue in new york city!

Friday, April 25, 2008

nooka nooka spotted!

this was caught on the surveillance camera in our stockroom!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

this is pretty amazing

it's in japanese, but it's an underground bike park [chika-churinjo].

poptank and real music

i have recently taken a non-paid position as creative director for a game startup called poptank which will produce game software where the user actually gains musical skill while playing! i can't get too deep into it, but i'm now looking for C++ interns and illustrator/animator interns. we can pay people with experience, but this is a self-funded startup and we need to be creative with compensation until we get financing.

(i should add that this in addition to nooka and berrymatch)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

green concerns

i've been green when it was a hot topic the first time around as a child in the early 70s. this has filled me with varying levels of anxiety at different points in my life, from being macrobiotic in my teens/early 20s to having a career crisis of conscience in my late 20s thinking that design is the devil's work producing disposable culture!

i now have a more optimistic view on design as a discipline and understand the importance of contributing to the evolution of visual culture. who knows – it may be the designers that figure out how to communicate with the first extraterrestrials that land on earth for formal contact!

this wider view has not freed me from ecological concerns, and i have always produced minimal packaging for my nookas – sometimes more successful for one line and not another. for example, the leather strap models all come in a slim padded fabric wallet that can be reused for pencils, make-up, jewelery and also for keeping your nooka. our zubs are made out of a minimal amount of acrylic plastic and double-duty as display cases.

are these ideal solution? no. but here's the problem i'm putting out in the blogosphere in hopes that someone can help us improve:
design websites, newspapers and news media often feature the NEXT green solution. for example, corn or soy based plastics, cool recycled materials etc. AND i'm sure dupont or monsanto and the chemical concerns of the world also have new materials touted in press releases.
can a small start-up like nooka have access to these materials?
do any of the affordable alternatives have partners in china where most manufacturing is done? i ask this because we have had ZERO LUCK finding answers to these questions and we are very pro-active in research [try to get a person in dupont to direct you to a marketing person who knows of a new material reported in the press!]

i am sending our production designer to dusseldorf this week to go to interpack, the international packaging fair in order to find the answers to the above questions, but if anyone reading this has any insights or contacts to share – please do.

also: i contacted the american plastics council which spends millions on television and print advertising to see if they had field staff to send to schools and companies to educate about environmental issues and new developments [the paper companies all have these kinds of programs], and i was shocked that they do not.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

i-D magazine

thanks super fashion stylist for i-D magazine london UK! may 08 issue.
watch featured available here, but the fotos do not do justice to the neon red/orange of this particular zub.

i can't believe how the early 80s NYC east village look is soooo back again....i think i may need to post some pics of me from that era!

Monday, April 21, 2008

busta rhymes and mike shinoda

it's funny, i just got an update on the busta rhymes + mike shinoda [of linkin park] collaboration and noticed that i'm wearing the same nooka today as busta is in the video! more on their song together here. there's a link in mike's blog to the video preview.

i'm wearing a t-shirt from ghostly records and green mihara pumas from a few years ago.

grand sounds in the nooka studio

i must say, i have a great knack for predicting music success. i predicted that tainted love by softcell would be an unprecedented hit in 1981 when it was still an indie release as well as predicting scissor sister's fame after seeing them play in a dive bar on pearl street a year before their first single in the uk – and i'm happy to see the musings in my past music reviews for the presets coming to form.

and the theme is "grand vision". there are bands that just have fun and find fame in the process, and others who have a grand vision of their sound. i heard that in scissor sister on a crappy sound system in a dive bar and i hear it in these two bands below.

the presets when i first heard beams by the presets i felt that they were another band like cut copy that produced great sounds, especially as remixers for other people, but had little to say on their own. after listening to it more and more, the girl and the sea became my favorite song of that year and i had a feeling that there was a lot more to them than what was heard on beams IF they got into more songwriting. well...apolcalypso is exactly what i expected in that direction. this album has everything, dance beats, atmospheric sounds, actual songs, and great production without sacrificing that indie feeling modular records is so good at! it's like speak and spell by depeche mode had a baby with duran duran, and the baby's nanny was Fischerspooner.

midnight juggernauts here is another australian act that sounds like they're from williamsburg brooklyn. dystopia is a grand endeavor – though the sound is electro, it's more like the gothic/scifi local synthpop of the early 80s in NYC that never really caught on anywhere with a real 2008 production budget. there is something reminiscent of sparks but somehow less contrived and more future-forward. they actually sound a bit like visage. i actually imagine this band eventually morphing into an arena rock band producing scifi inspired heavy metal...but that may be 5 years off for them. i can see them doing fun covers of the sweet or even queen. all-in-all, a very fun album.

Friday, April 18, 2008

coming soon, nooka nooka

here's a preview of what the package will look like. coming in may!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


this past weekend i went to vancouver which is in the vast northern territory know more commonly as canadia [or candaland]. it is a unique city in the sense that nobody seems to work – literally 98% of the buildings in the city are residential, and a good portion of the units seem to be empty, yet the shops are full of shoppers, the restaurants are full of diners, and the streets are full of porsches.

i was told 2 different explanations:
a] everyone reverse commutes to work in the suburbs,
b] most of the money is made from marijuana trade, so no need for fancy office buildings.
i also suspect that a lot of the condo units are investment properties for people in hong kong, singapore, korea and japan.

good food, great parks, skiing accessible by city bus – what more can one ask for! definitely worth a visit.

and if you want to buy nooka there, check out illustrated example for zubs at 227 carral street and design house for leather strap models 1110 mainland street. for other shops in BC, check the where to buy section on

Monday, April 14, 2008

color story sage

as an experiment, i gave my interns the challenge of telling a color story for our zubs. 2.0 was given the color sage.

Den här Nookan påminde mig om en dryck vi har i Sverige som bryggs på träskvatten värmt i heta källor. Jag tror det kallas grönt te här

you can buy the model featured here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

last grey blog for a bit

totally by chance, everyone in my studio dressed in the same color palette today – spooky huh?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

nooka pairings

restaurants offer up pairing menus to push certain wines, so i'm gonna share some of my nooka pairings with you:

the silver sneakers are my new favorite shoes, the mini cooper edition from tiger onitsuka...they are actually very comfortable to wear as well. at first i though a mirror faced nooka with a metal mesh strap would go best with these shoes, but i opted for the white zirc which captured the dynamic white accents in the footwear. any white nooka would go well with these snazzy kicks! pants by uniglo.

i've been obsessed with grey clothes for a long time. it's actually quite difficult to find neutral grey clothing in the US [grey here tends to be greenish or bluish, so I fill up in japan!], and so it was natural i created a grey line-up for nooka – and they go great with my new dark cool grey shoes from around-the-shoes. well-worn grey jeans from united arrows green label.

UPDATE: looks like gap has a lot of neutral grey this season...but that means actually going to a gap store if i want to check it out....i'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

nooka japan hanami etc.

a busy tokyo friday night [march 28th] yamada and i went to the sakura café event at tokyo midtown but it was cancelled from the rain, the party moved inside where there was enough free campaign to keep people happy. we then moved to the issey miyake curated show at 21_21 design site which was very good for the most part. the dyson inspired fashions presented on mannequins made from dyson parts was strangely haunting as it made me contemplate whether or not robots will develop a need for fashion. it was great to get a personal tour of the show by masato hatanaka who created the sound installation for one of the pieces. there was also a lovely watercolor by isamu noguchi and a sculpture version by Dui Seid [i don't remember seeing any paintings at the noguchi museum in NYC...i should visit it again]. then off to the re-opening of the claska hotel which was forced to renovate after a routine building inspection to strengthen the structure against earthquakes. they have 2 full floors of gallery space, one with a "sound installation" which was clearly a sponsored piece to sell the speakers and soundsystem, and the other a show/shop for japanese craft that fit the design of the hotel interiors [which are really nice]. i would love to stay a at the claska [they get a mostly foreign clientele from coverage in the wall paper guides] but it is too far from everything. also, the roof garden view faces the wrong direction, away from the city – missing some great vistas [my biggest complaint about tokyo is getting around – it's exhausting, time consuming and expensive. one really gets spoiled living in NYC which is so compact even when you add brooklyn and queens]. saturday i broke- down and went shopping [i wasn't planning on shopping this trip as i get very over stimulated when i shop, ruining my concentration powers for work, but my meetings were all's also market research. my friend gordon joined me on my spree which included japanese pop music and kooky sunglasses before we met my friend akiko for lunch. i then bought 2 pairs of shoes, picked up a ds2 game for joseph in nyc, and went back to my hotel to rest before dinner in daikanyama with mr. nagae, mr. osugi and their wives at IN, perhaps the best sushi restaurant i've ever eaten at [mr. osugi is a regular and it was my 2nd time with him there]. they also have hachiman imojochu which is near impossible to find and my favorite since drinking it with robb of at a tachinomiya in ebisu 2 years ago! nagae and osugi have been friends since they were teenagers and i've been friends with nagae since he hired me as creative director for new york zoom, a studio i ran in nyc from 1997-2001. i stopped by at stich, which sells nooka, to see how they were doing. i then stopped by shinjuku 2-chome for a nightcap and met 2 of the principal dancers for pina bausch who were in town performing. i was surprised how star-struck i was! i'm a big fan of their work. also, it was very interesting to fill in the visual details of two people i've seen over the years only in silhouette on a distance stage – like zooming in on a digital photo and finding details/elements you didn't notice when you took the picture. we drank and bar hopped til 5:00 am, which is very rare for me. we had office hanami on sunday which i was so exhausted for. yamada had a great space staked out for us in inogashira park, but the weather did not cooperate – it was cold, and then it rained – so we eventually moved to an izakaya specializing in hokkaido cusine [seafood, deer meat, raw horse meat, and sake from that region]. we all got quite drunk with exception of soichi [of fareast recordings] who falls asleep if he has even a drop of alcohol. the waiter/owner of the place is a master sake server, creating the most pronounced meniscus on the glass AND masa i've seen. the guestlist at this point dwindled to just machan and katsu of madbarbarians, soichi terada, artist ogazawara and his wife who spoke not a word, yamada, the beuatiful elle usui, and freelance graphic designer mr. hayashi. i was so overtired, i felt none of the alcohol and strangely had no hangover monday morning which i used to pack, visit the office one last time, buy design reference books at kinokuniya, check out of the hotel and get to narita for my flight back to nyc on which i typed this blog entry.