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Designers Search For a Way to Confront the Immigration Crisis

L-R: Ezio Manzini, Rachel Lehrer and Ker Thao (Photo: Mashal Khan)

Design is something that most of us have a vague interest in, if only while furniture shopping. But what does a plebeian like me, to whom design still relates to physical products, make of the changing definition of the word? What do all the thousands of students entering design school every year really do? Surely they can’t all be trained to design pretty wall hangings? Sometimes the words “social impact” creeps into my mind and I think of things like this utilitarian tent-cum-jacket meant to shelter refugees fleeing war, but that’s as far as my imagination stretches.

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These Aliens Tiki Mugs Want to Infect You With Booze

(Mondo Tees)

State of the badass art!

No offense, G.I. Joe hoverfoil, but the best Christmas gift I ever got was the Gremlins tiki mug that Mondo made last year for screenings of the Xmas classic at Alamo Drafthouse. Until now, I didn’t think anything could replace this Gizmo-gone-wild in my heart or on my tiki shelf, but Christmas is coming early this year. Today at noon CST, Mondo’s website will sell the first of its new batch of mugs, inspired by the Xenomorph in James Cameron’s classic, Aliens. (Of course, the facehugging beast was first designed by the late, great creature creator HR Giger for Ridley Scott’s original.)

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Gig Alert: Ghosts of Death By Audio Past, and Bad Kids Go Out at School Night

(Flyer via School Night!)

School Night! with Active Bird Community, Mannequin Pussy, GTY, In India
Monday February 27, 8 pm at Baby’s All Right: FREE with RSVP

LA is invading Brooklyn with an installment of School Night!, a weekday showcase featuring cool bands and presumably some awkward schoolgirl attire, put on by Chris Douridas of LA’s coolest college radio station KCRW.

RSVP and get in the door free before 9:30 pm. After that you’re on your own– even so, the show will only put you out $5. Brooklyn Brewery has volunteered to play the coolest lunch lady ever and hand out free beer, which you too can partake in as long as you can get your butt in the door between 7 pm and 8 pm.

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This Week: Art Fair Affairs, Club Kid Portraits, and Anything But Trash

(image via Volta NY)

Volta NY
Opening Wednesday March 1 at Pier 90, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 5.

Now is the time for art fairs aplenty, and Volta NY is just one of many. Volta stands out singularly (ha) because they focus on solo artist projects only. Though they’re all about solo stuff, by no means are they taking a minimalist route. At Pier 90 you can catch not only the water, but the work of artists from 38 nations shown by 96 galleries and art spaces across 5 continents and 36 cities. You needn’t be a math whiz to figure out that is a lot of art to place your eyes on. Only not literally, that could cause vision issues and probably a lot of side-eyeing. If you stop by on the first night, it’s free to enter, but any other day it’ll cost you $25.

This is Volta’s tenth year of existence, so you can expect they’re pulling out all the stops this time. This week you can also catch The Armory Show (ticket bundles are available, which get you into Volta and Armory) and SPRING/BREAK, in a new location in Times Square. If you wish, you can pop around the piers all weekend for a veritable art adventure. The art doesn’t stop there: the Architectural Digest Design Show will be from March 16-19, also on the pier. And we can only wonder: will The Mars Volta be at Volta NY?

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At the Drone Film Festival, Hum-Drum Movies Won’t Fly

In just a few short years drones have gone from novelty to nuisance, swarming local events and crashing into apartment buildings. But don’t pull out your old Little League bat just yet– drones can also be great tools for filmmakers. As any Casey Neistat fan can tell you, you can get some jaw-dropping shots with even a low-priced model, a smart phone, and some spare time. 

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‘Desert X’ Plants Richard Prince and Other Artists in the Middle of Nowhere

Phillip K Smith III

If you’ve ever been out to the California desert for a sound bath at the Integratron, you know it’s filled with wacky art: at the Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum you can see a tower of toilet bowls and other wacky installations that Noah Purifoy– an “outsider” artist in the literal sense of the word– installed in the middle of nowhere over the course of 15 years. The 10 acres that were his canvas resemble a demented, decaying miniature golf course, or a Burning Man camp from years ago that never got burned.

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Before You Go Back to Your Urban Garden, Get The Lead Out

Don’t get too excited. Up close and personal with a soil sample from McCarren Park (Photo: Jamie Cone, 2015)

Hey, I hate to be the one to tell you, but this fancy schmancy Spring weather? Yeah, it’s a total tease. Like, check back in 24 hours and you’ll see what I mean. Still, nothing should stop you from getting started on your backyard or finding out how to get involved in your community garden. Well, except for frost. Yeah, come to think of it frost will pretty much kill the fruits of your backbreaking horticultural efforts no matter what. Besides, according to Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) there’s one thing you absolutely must figure out before you plop down any seedlings: Do you know what’s in your soil?

“Everybody should be testing their soil before they garden,” said Allison Currier, an organizer at NAG. “North Brooklyn especially. That’s because if you’re a resident of Greenpoint or Williamsburg, in all likelihood you’ve got some lead on your hands.

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Teriyaki On a Treadmill! Conveyor-Belt Sushi Rolls Into the Flatiron

The Boston location of YO!. (Photos courtesy of YO! Sushi.)

Between London’s Wagamama, which opened on 26th Street in November, and L.A.’s Sugarfish, which opened on 20th Street around the same time, the Flatiron has seen an influx of cult sushi imports. You can add another one to the list: Another UK brand, YO!, is set to bring its conveyor-belt sushi to the suddenly happening hood next month.

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A Poke Bowl Spot on Canal Street Is Doling Out A Cult Soft-Serve Flavor

A Dole Whip at Lappert’s Ice Cream.

There are certain types of soft-serve ice cream that rarely exist outside of their natural habitats: Just try finding gold-leaf soft-serve outside of Kanazawa, Japan, for instance. One of those soft-serve rarities is Dole Whip, a mid-’80s invention of the Dole Food Company that first appeared at Disneyland, where devotees continue to queue up for it at Adventureland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Seriously, here’s a typical line there.

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