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Posted by Will Hudson,

This week’s Its Not Us post comes from design duo James Chambers and Tom Judd who run the fantastic 5oup.

‘5oup is the online community for student artists; a creamy blend of inspiring galleries and community frolics which make it the 5oup of the day, everyday.’

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Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Web View Archive

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    Never a brand to risk complacency, Kenzo are pushing the boat out yet again this season to scale the parameters of the online store. They’ve created an elaborate narrative to accompany the online shopping destination of their Autumn 2014 collection, cooking up a fictional exhibition of which all but one of the featured artworks is stolen by the show’s star the night before it opens. In this story the exhibition opens anyhow, and the works are replaced with film footage of the thieves – Sudanese-American model Grace Bol and her accomplice – at work, with a sack full of their booty and all.

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    When it comes to archives, they don’t get much more impressive than that of Andrea Aranow, the designer and ethnographer who has been collecting samples of textiles that take her fancy since the late 1960s. She’s made snakeskin ensembles for Jimi Hendrix, travelled through the mountains of Peru, China and Japan collecting, consulted designers from Louis Vuitton to Dries Van Noten and even curated exhibitions for the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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    Wise words here from Peckham design collective King Zog. They’re back with a new website that will fart up the nose of your website faster than you can say “rainbow gloves.” The lads – a cocktail of Ben West, Jack Slee, Josh King and Felix Heyes – have collected all their work and put it on the World Wide Web the manner of a really, really personal business card. By that I mean that one look at their new site tells you everything you need to know about this lot. They’re some of the only people who can truly pull off funny design while simultaneously being eons ahead of everyone else in the ideas department. Special lads.

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    Five years ago Dave Tomkins uncovered a huge archive of photographs his Grandpa, Stephen Clarke had taken over the years. With his Grandpa unable to remember where he’d shot these images, Dave was determined to find out more and started reaching out to the big wide world to find out more about the places pictured and what they look like now.

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    It’s Nice That favourite Christoph Niemann has been keeping very busy recently. Between creating a football web essay about Brazil’s World Cup curse for the New York Times, and delivering an incredibly inspiring speech at our creative symposium Here last month, he’s found the time to put together a sleek new website to showcase all of his spectacular work. The site is easy to navigate, and it’s big and bold and bright, and we can’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon hours than by browsing through all of Christoph’s witty GIFs and whimsical illustrations.

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    “Turn and face the strange” – that’s how David Bowie advised we all deal with ch-ch-ch-changes and we think, as ever, Brixton’s favourite son was spot-on. It’s been more than two years since we last changed up itsnicethat.com and we felt the time was ripe for a refresh. The main change sees us move away from the content grid on the homepage back to a linear, blog-style format, a lay-out with which those of you familiar with our earliest iterations will be familiar. Hopefully this makes it slightly easier to browse the articles and work out what you’ve already seen on the site.

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    Video games have come on miles since the days of perching at the end of the sofa in our living room avidly clutching a Playstation control and racing Crash Bandicoot repeatedly down the same strip of the Great Wall of China. They’ve come on so far in fact that the kids of today don’t even need controls, apps, or to download any software. They don’t even need to be kids, for Pete’s sake!

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    If you’d listened hard enough a couple of weeks ago on May 23 you’d have heard a collective gasp sweep across Great Britain as the news spread that a fire had taken hold of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Renfrew Street in Glasgow, a much-loved and iconic piece of Scottish architecture. A campaign has since been launched to restore the building to its former glory, but in the meantime, former alumni and students of the school have created the Mac Photographic Archive, a brilliantly interactive website allowing contributors to click freely around different parts of the building and to publish their own photographs of the interior.

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    Nishiyama is a silk company nestled beneath the Japanese Alps in the village of Ushikubi, and according to local legend, silk production has been rife in the region for 800 years, ever since members of the Genji Clan escaped to the village and taught locals the secrets of silkworms. The story seems more authentic than just being an old yarn: judging by the wooden looms and fairy-tale-like spinning wheels, the company’s weaving techniques are steeped in tradition.

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    If you haven’t yet found yourself clicking waywardly through to Patatap only to while away several hours idly composing beautiful melodies and weirdly syncopated rhythms when you were meant to be working towards that deadline, then frankly I don’t know what you’ve been doing. We found the website a little while back, but little did we know at the time that it was created by the spectacular mind of Jono Brandel who was also responsible for Anitype, or that it would swiftly be used to create some incredibly elaborate pieces which spread like wildfire online.

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    A good, hard pat on the back is deserved for the guys over at The New York Times for the excellent and timely new string to their online bow, The New York Times: Cooking. It is a cosy nook in the World Wide Web that offers the public a wide variety of affordable, seasonal recipes suggested by an interesting but very well-curated selection of wise, up-and-coming chefs. Currently this is just a test site that The New York Times say “will be available to approximately 10,000 NYTimes.com users. The Times will use the beta to develop insights on how users interact with the product, and to learn from those insights as it approaches the launch of the full product later this year.”

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    This is a stunning and innovative example of interactive storytelling, which focuses on the town of Thule – a municipality in Northern Greenland that was overtaken by the U.S military during the Cold War. The web-documentary by Anrick Bergman uses a combination of beautiful graphic maps, the personal memories of those who were relocated, and a stunning array of moving pictures to tell Thule’s tale.

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    Raise an earthenware mug of ale to the Nous Vous boys, as it’s time to celebrate the launch of their fantastic new website. As with all of their lovely work, this concept of this new site seems to have been approached wisely and with tactile, gentle care. As you enter, a smiling figure encourages you to use your keys to navigate your way around slowly to take in all their wonderful work, old and new.