Found: Haptic Lab Soft Maps

Haptic Lab

There is nothing like a map to remind you of your place in the world: where you are, where you aren’t, where you’d like to be.  We’re especially fans of maps that you can curl up with, such as Brooklyn-based Haptic Lab‘s amazing Soft Maps.

This small design studio creates products, spaces and situations to promote embodiment.  Soft maps are quilted maps of some of our favorite cities and neighborhoods, including London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.  They come readymade for $450 or you can customize your quilt for any city in the world.

This is the absolute best present for the modern urbanite.  Thanks for putting these guys on our map, Soda Pop Girl!

Set Your Clocks: Pacific Standard Time Opens This Weekend

Pacific Standard Time, Creativity Online

Get ready LA, Pacific Standard Time kicks off this weekend.  The $10 million Getty-funded initiative is a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California coming together to tell the story of the birth of the LA art scene during the post war era (1945-1980).   It only took 11 years, but LA’s cultural institutions have pulled together to make an impressive show of creative force; an eight-month-long region-wide celebration of art it all its forms.

From pop to minimalism, oddballs to legends, San Diego to Palm Springs; there’s something for everyone.  Participating galleries will present more than 125 exhibitions, 50 of which will be on view this weekend.  Check out PST’s swanky site for a full list of participating institutions, a host of well-produced videos (including a great conversation between Ed Ruscha and Anthony Kiedis), a searchable map, and much more.

This initiative means different things to different people but when it’s over, one thing is for sure: the entire world will be on Pacific Standard Time.  First our own design festival.  Now our own arts-travaganza.  You see, world? Los Angeles does have culture.  Take that New York!

Been: Design*Sponge Book Signing at Anthropologie

Secret Agent PR, design*sponge, Grace Bonney

It’s no secret.  We love Design*Sponge (who doesn’t?).  We look to them for great decorating ideas.  We get stoked when our friends are featured.  They just simply rock.  So last night we happily braved rush hour traffic to attend the Design*Sponge book signing at  Anthropologie in Beverly Hills. The immaculately dressed and ever-so-lovely Grace Bonney was on hand to sign her latest book, Design*Sponge at Home, which is basically a drool-inducing anthology of the projects and personalities that have been featured on the site over the years.

Upon leafing through the book (and enjoying every last one of the 16 extra eye-popping pages), we just can’t help but wonder what it’s like to live, like REALLY live, in some of these spaces.   Clearly the photography is amazing.  The styling, impeccable.  But what do these homes look like, say, on a random Tuesday?  Does good interior design transcend drooling dogs, crayon-wielding toddlers, messy husbands, and raucous Friday night dinners?   Is it possible to live with such style without a stylist?  Either way, we suddenly feel the urge to redecorate.

Been: California Home + Design Re-Launch Party

Last night, we attended the California Home + Design redesign launch party at the Andrew Martin showroom at the Pacific Design Center.  The design community came out in force to celebrate the new fresh look of the magazine.  We’re excited to see the way the CH+D team is “respect[ing] history while blazing a new path,” and look forward to seeing the next issue!

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the full digital issue here!

Seen: Saber’s Graffiti in the Sky

Art Work Rebels over Silver Lake

Veteran graffiti artist Saber took his protests to the sky yesterday, scrawling his grievances about the current mural moratorium on the great big blue canvas above LA.  His message made the news and lit up the twittersphere. He explains exactly why he hired five private jets to tag the sky for him on his blog.  Kind of brilliant!  Where we were in Silver Lake, we managed to catch a glimpse of his fleeting “rebel artwork.”  Did you see it?

Seen: This Summer

Traditional Korean masks from street vendors in Seoul, Korea

Secret Agent PR closed down all operations during the month of August this summer to give our agents (and our clients) a much-needed chance to recuperate, relax, and recharge.   The agents traveled far and wide discovering new places, cultures, tastes, and sounds.  Here are just a few highlights of the gems we collectively discovered.

Been: SASAKI Penthouse Studio Party

This past week we stopped by SASAKI’s studio for an end-of-summer soiree.  Since Dwell on Design, the artist has been very busy working on several different international projects, including a massively interactive heartbeat drawing that he conducted via Skype between LA and Tokyo.  Besides getting a chance to roam around his studio (Kumi and I were totally busted sneaking a peek inside a closet), guests were also treated to a special live performance.  As a live drummer beat a rhythm, SASAKI stood inside a wire cube painting the “heartbeat” in white water-based paint on a clear plastic canvas.  The result: an ephemeral, evaporating heartbeat.  Quite poignant.  The clear plastic film is transformed into a mirrored work of art.

The artist is now officially a permanent resident of our fair city .  If you’d like to see more of his work, he’ll be showing his work in-studio through September 22nd. To make an appointment to visit his studio and view his art, contact him here.

Park(ing) Day LA – Local Park by Standard

If you were driving down Sunset Boulevard yesterday, it was hard to miss LOCAL PARK.  As part of the Park(ing) Day LA festivities, Standard collaborated with de LaB this year to create an unforgettable pop-up park in front of Jason Michaud‘s LOCAL restaurant.  The installation was part directive (park your car…), part invitation (…and stay for a while!), and when viewed from across the street, almost seemed like a new form of urban graffiti in the best sense of the word. We camped out all day to watch how people reacted to and interacted with the parklet.

Missed the pop-up parks on Friday?  The public gets another chance to see some of them at ArtCycle today.  Many of the parks will be setting up side by side along Santa Monica Boulevard in what organizers have dubbed “Parallel Parking.”  Kill Radio will also be showing footage of the parks at the end of the month at an event at the Bike Oven.  Huge hats off to all the Park-ticipants and Park-itects who helped reclaim LA’s streets for the people.