Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ought, Islands & Makelike

Weekly Update 2017-25: Arriving on the West coast with some beachy tunes by Ought, biking around Stanley Park and enjoying its shape, and simply adorable illustration, wallpaper and brand strategies from Makelike in Portland (whose office I am visiting tomorrow!)

Music: Ought
They may sound like strange 70s psychedelic rock, but this band was actually formed in 2011 in Montreal. I've been listening to their entire sophomore album Sun Coming Down since I arrived in Vancouver. It has some weird dissonant sounds as well, which makes me think it'll be an even better fit for Portland during the rest of my vacation.

My top songs are Beautiful Blue Sky (the gateway song) and Men For Miles (has a sort of Franz Ferdinand feel to it).

Well, can I say that I accomplished the Vancouver part of my trip? With even a visit to Surrey to hang out with my roommate's beautiful and kind parents, I packed a lot into only three days. Gastown, Yaletown, Granville Island, Richmond, Stanley Park, East Van, Kerrisdale, Canada Place, The Seawall, and of course Surrey. I'm happy to be able to spread out my activities a little more on the Portland leg of my trip.

I'm currently working through all the things I want to visit in Portland with one half of my brain as I write this with the other half of my brain. I know I want to see some sights in the Southeast “quadrant” of the city, so I'll see what's around that area for tomorrow.

Random Thought:
After biking around Stanley Park today, I started to contemplate about what sorts of geographical landscapes make for the best human use. Not that we should then make excessive artificial versions of that landscape everywhere, but just perhaps what sorts of shapes make good cities. I'd like to write a blog post on such a thing. Take the shape of Stanley Park for example:

Yes, totally looks like Daffy Duck. But beyond that, I actually loved the shape from an experiential standpoint. When you get to the inside of “Daffy's neck”, you can see all the way down the bottom of his beak to the tip of it. And when you get around the perimeter to “Daffy's Beak”, You can see what's happening down the way at his forehead. Same sort of thing when you reach the back of his head; you can see what's going on down his neck. So if mankind were to create these sorts of islands, or more preferably if I were to move somewhere with a natural one such as this, I could enjoy it moreso. I will say that one bike ride around the island was not nearly enough. The terrain changes all sorts of interesting ways, each one beautiful, there are historical statues and points on interest, there's a splashpad, a pool, a lagoon, and so much more. It's really lovely.

Shoutout to my awesome dad who, before my trip, lovingly and skilfully shaved a piece of my phone case off that was blocking part of my phone camera. Non-darkened corners of the screen brought to you by my dad.

Inspiration: Makelike
Makelike is a studio that I am lucky enough to be able to visit tomorrow morning in Portland for a studio tour. Founded in 2000, they also launched a product line in 2009 and work in textiles and patterns for wallpapers in interior design. And all of their work is extremely charming. Check out this awesome label they made for Andy Ricker's Pok Pok chain specializing in the best Thai food I have ever tasted.

They have multiple different ones for the different flavours of drinking vinegar; but I can only get about five different ones at the stockist in Toronto, so I'd love to see the other flavours they have. I also purchased the apple flavour for my mom for Mother's Day because we had shared a pineapple shrub last time we went to Portland. Yum!

The principals are Mary Kysar and Topher Sinkinson, along with Hanna Durighello, and I'm not exactly sure who I'll be meeting since I was only successfully able to contact them via their Facebook page. But nevertheless I am so excited to meet them in person and see their work up close in person. They run a studio and a shop, so I am excited to see what kinds of stuff they have in there as well.

Another lovely project of theirs is the branding for a sort of ecologically-driven think tank event in California. These are some brand options. The top one reminds me slightly of the typography in Wes Anderson movies.

Process doodles! So lovely.

See more of their work here.

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