Parking Day LA 2012

With many people in pre-dawn lines waiting to pick up their brand spankin’ new iPhone 5s or glued to their windows waiting to catch a glimpse of Endeavor as it flew over LA, the crowds for Parking Day LA 2012 were not huge this morning.  Nonetheless, LA designers did not disappoint as there were still a few great pop-up green spaces spread across town from Culver City to Downtown.  We were lucky enough to be involved with two parklets this year, so here are a few of our favorite shots.

de LaB continued its tradition of hosting a parklet in front of popular Silver Lake eatery LOCAL.  This year the provocative pop-up park was designed by the Art Center grads at The Rare Studio.  Soft Publics was an edible, “sittable” pop-up green museum disguised as a construction site.

Culver City-based landscape architecture firm AHBE also built their perennial parklet near Helms Bakery in Culver City in front of everyone’s favorite purveyor of sweet tasty treats, Coolhaus.  “Parkside Confessions” gave passersby an opportunity to share their thoughts on urban green space, making the journey from teepee to tree of life.

The LA Times ran a great preview yesterday with a rundown of parklets across town and there will probably be more coverage of the best of Parking Day LA later today or this weekend.  Also, stay tuned for more info about the three permanent parklets that will be announced later this fall as part of a City of LA pilot program that hopes to set the rules and in turn encourage more permanent parklets throughout the city.


Summer Adventures 2012

As is tradition, we shut down Secret Agent PR HQ for the month of August and took some much-needed time to catch up with life.  Here’s a quick recap of our adventures and what inspired us on our travels this year.

Agent C spent some time exploring closer to home in the OC before heading back to Paraguay to catch up with some of her old students.  No photos of Paraguay since she had to travel without any steal-able devices, unfortunately.  As a last hooray, she also made a jaunt northward to Portland where she was inspired by the robust architecture, design, and fashion scene.  She also became addicted to Stumptown coffee.  She’s currently in rehab.

Agent J headed home to the Mother Land and the beautiful isle of Cephalonia to outfit her family’s newly completed home Villa Ersi.  Between assembling furniture and filling up the new pool, she spent her time beach hopping and acquiring a ridiculously golden Mediterranean tan.  She also managed to squeeze in a trip to the famed Athens Monastriki Flea Market.  From antique books to rotary phones, there is nothing that you can’t find here if you’re willing to endure bustling crowds, sweltering heat, and soaring prices.

I headed to the Great White North to explore Quebec.  Most of my time was spent eating but my one design discovery was the amazing Solair chair.  I had no idea that these babies were designed in the 70’s by two Canadians from Montreal.  Knock offs were on corners and front porches throughout Quebec City.  I was happy to find them sold at OK in Silver Lake.  Once they passed the most important test (snooze test by Cael), we scored a couple for our newly renovated front garden.

For more photos, check out our gallery.  And that is the story of our summer.


Spotted: Zoku Mod Pop(sicle) Machine

Ah, the popsicle.  The quintessential summer treat.  Cold, sweet, refreshing…what could be better?   Uh…designing your very own colorful edible work of art and then flash freezing it so you don’t have to wait.  Fantastic idea, Zoku!  The Quick Pop Maker is this New Jersey-based company’s first major product, but we can’t wait to see what they make next.  We see a popsicle party in our near future…

The Quick Pop Maker is one part fun science experiment and one part well-designed kitchen tool, flash freezing liquids to make popsicles in minutes.  (It’s not recommended to put alcohol in the Zoku for obvious reasons…we checked!)

Obsessed as we are?  Check this out.

You can get molds to customize your pops too. (Seriously, just look at them. We’re sold.)

Zoku Character Kit (photo by Zoku)

And if ridiculously cute is not your thing, you can always try these healthy versions.

Cucumber Mint Margarita Quick Pops (photo by Zoku)

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles (photo by Bakers Royale)

Mango Lassi & Strawberry-Honey Yogurt Popsicles (photo by Desserts for Breakfast)

Double Rainbow Quick Pops. Photo by Zoku


Spotted: The Hive

Hanging Cloud Lamp, Hae Young Yoon, The Hive

Thanks to a random but kind comment on Facebook, we just discovered and are totally buzzing about The Hive, a Cebu-based design house that acts as a habitat for designers and artisans.  The company made waves in March at Manila Fame when it showcased a bright bunch of young and exciting Filipino designers.  We love the aesthetic and the fact that many of the designers use local materials.  Japan, Korea, watch out!  The Philippines has a bad ass new generation of creative talent coming up fast.

Here’s what we’d put in our imaginary house:

Danny Fang, The Hive

Hong Kong-based Dutch designer Danny Fang takes Filipino Salago pulp and adds some gold leaf bling to create the Checkmate King pendant.  *Love*.

Kenneth Cobonpue, The Hive

 

These little piggies are designed by The Hive’s founder Kenneth Cobonpue.  The Animal Farm planter, made of crushed local stones, is the perfect addition to the urban patio barnyard.

Hae Young Yoon, The Hive

The light and fluffy Hanging Cloud Lamps by Hae Young Yoon have us dreaming of our upcoming summer respite.

Luisa Robinson, The Hive

And Luisa Robinson‘s Secret Garden mixes metal with roses way better than Axl ever did.  Table runner, wall sculpture, or….dress?  Either way, we covet.

 


Spring and Summer Redux

It’s mid-July and we haven’t been to the beach yet!  That should change shortly, but before we shut down HQ for a few weeks for our annual summer break, we wanted to share a few shots of what we’ve been up to since we last posted.  Our yearbook, if you will.  And what a year!

Let’s see, we started by throwing a party (for ourselves)…

And later hung out with a World Champ

Biyamba, sumo champion, LA Bloom

Then we headed to NYC…

When we got back, we launched the 2nd Annual LA Design Festival from one of the city’s best roof tops

Before buckling down for the biggest modern design show in the nation (and hitting a few parties)…

But really, most importantly, we met Walter White.


Spotted: BNIB

Even though I have yet to meet many of our neighbors at the the Lacy Studio Lofts, that doesn’t prevent me from eyeballing their spaces whenever I rush by or let Brutus take a pee break.  I’ve often wondered what the big food truck-looking van outside was all about since it definitely has not been serving up snacks.  And now I know.

For my hipster, biking friends of the dude variety, BNIB is a must-see.  Part magazine, part retail gallery, BNIB stands for “brand new in box” and this upstart brand peddles only the best and hippest in accessories, shoes, and other little goodies for the Calif-urban man (who I imagine must have stubble, no collar ever, a coffee obsession and a bike).  Among the most conversation-worthy finds at BNIB (besides the sweet man shoes): the Equilibryum bracelet which the guys at BNIB swear works way better than its less attractive QVC cousin (we’re skeptical, prove it!), the hot ass man technology like these Oma Monarch speakers, the undeniably manly Insight candles, and the Mister SF Bracelets (wait, are these seriously manly?)

So while the BNIB food truck won’t be dolling out any snacks any time soon, it will be making the short trip down Lacy Street to park out side the Secret Agent PR – Attack! Marketing party tonight where it will be serving up hot shoes and delicious accessories for the dudes.  So if you’re planning on stopping by our office-warming sumo-meets-secret-agent shin dig this evening, be sure to check out the BNIB shop and grab some nosh from the real food trucks outside, rain and windstorms not withstanding.

And if you can’t make it, then make sure to stop by BNIB’s first brick and mortar space, fondly known as the BOX, to get your shop on, boys. (We won’t make fun of you if you by the Mr. Beads Bracelet.  Promise.)


Go: Dwell + Marin Magazine Marin County Home Tour

Photo by Matthew Millman

Fans of modern architecture already know that Marin County is veritable trove of mid-century finds.  Eichler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Raphael Soriano, John Bolles, Francis Joseph McCarthy, Cliff May, and Claude Oakland have all designed homes in the area (or a Civic Center, in the case of FLW), not to mention a new generation of local architects who are taking up the modern mantle.  Later this month, arch-nerds, mid-century fanatics, and lookiloos are invited to get their design fix on the 2nd Annual Dwell+Marin Magazine Marin County Home Tour which will take visitors inside ten of the most notable homes in this picturesque area, starting in Cavallo Point on Friday, April 27th with a Meet the Architects reception for true devotees.  The self-guided tour which takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 28th and 29th from 10am to 4pm will explore Southern and Central/West Marin, respectively.

We wish we could go, but we can’t.  So you guys go and let us know what you think!

Check this out for more information about modern Marin County architecture, in case you’re in the market to buy one.  Or buy tickets to the tour here.