1. Alonso-list

    RCA graduate Tomás Alonso commands a lot of respect here at It’s Nice That. We can’t help but admire the way he makes functional furniture in new and exciting (but often deliciously simple) ways. Sure, it helps that his products look really good, but it’s Tomás’ commitment to function over form that we appreciate the most – if it doesn’t do the job properly, he won’t bother making it. You can see this commitment to function throughout all of his work, but his ongoing project A Frame Tables highlights it the best. It’s a series of foldable trestles that can be stored flat when they’re not in use, meaning you can fit a beautiful piece of furniture in even the tiniest of spaces. No big deal? You try finding space to eat dinner in a typical London flat.

  2. List-neapolis

    Parisians Ill Studio play with typography, photography, installation and art direction to create slick, creative surprises. They seem happiest when blurring lines and merging disciplines, so we won’t do them the injustice of pigeoning-holing them here. Suffice to say they have made some very nice stuff for some very big clients, and have turned our heads many a time before. Most recently they’ve self-published a a very nice looking book: Neapolis. Featuring works and words from a range of world class photographers, critics, sculptors, choreographers and designers it’s sure to be a fascinating read. With a bold yet minimalist design, this book oozes quiet confidence.

  3. Love-and-rockets-list

    When a long-running comic book series rejects the timeless universe to embrace aging, the gradual crow’s feet and readjusted dreams can be incredibly moving to follow. Love and Rockets, first drawn and stapled together by brothers Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez in 1981, is currently celebrating a remarkable 30 years as a trailblazer in alternative comics with a retrospective at San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. The series has not only embraced aging, it’s aged brilliantly itself.

  4. List

    When photographer Brian Aris first met Debbie Harry in 1977 he didn’t know that much about her and scribbled down the phrase “punk princess” in his diary after the shoot. He could never have predicted that he had just met one of music’s next big icons whose career with Blondie would explode over the next few years– nor did he realise that as her star rose he too would continue to photograph her and her band for decades to come.

  5. Binet-list

    If you’re one of the greatest living architects looking for a photographer to document your masterworks, you’re going to need someone who’s very good with their camera indeed. Having invested countless millions into a luxury building project nothing less than perfection will suffice; which is where Hélène Binet comes in. She’s photographed the buildings of innumerable great architects, from Le Corbusier and David Chipperfield to Alvar Aalto and Zaha Hadid.

  6. Kqlist

    In among the rise of niche magazines, there are certain titles which though I can appreciate their design values and content selection, the subjects won’t ever fully resonate with me. Not so (I hope!) with the newly-launched Kindling Quarterly, a Brooklyn-based title which aims to create “a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from our cultural landscape” by “playfully assessing and celebrating the multitude of experiences that form contemporary fatherhood.”

  7. Main

    Before you cast your judgement and think this is probably a stupid attempt at recreating one of the most loved animated films of all time, let me reassure you that this is a project so well thought-out and meticulously put together that when watching it, you kind of forget that it’s not the real thing. To cut a (two year) long story short, film-makers Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta have re-made Toy Story using official merchandise, a lot of craft ,a handful of willing actors and the entire audio of the original film. It is, in short, genius – the car chase at the end may as well be the real film, I’m not kidding.

  8. Inbflat-list

    It’s impossible to imagine a world without Youtube now. There used to be a time when homemade films belonged at weekend screenings with your grandparents and music videos lived only on a place called MTV. Remember that? But now we have a beautiful online repository for stifled creativity and Justin Bieber fan videos and our lives are that little bit richer for it.

  9. List

    Red Stripe has good prior form when it comes to embracing creative advertising campaigns but even by their own high standards their latest effort is really something. By rigging up an east London mini-mart with all manner of musical tricks, they created an interactive installation whereby the shop burst into song (The Specials’ A Message To You Rudy) whenever a customer took a Red Stripe from the shelf. It’s really cleverly done and the reactions of the customers are a joy to behold, plus it’s been documented in a way that means you didn’t have to be there (a common problem with these kind of installations).

  10. Main

    Some artists choose to approach galleries to get their artwork seen, some choose to mingle in arty places and talk their way to the top. But as the wind changes and the art scene shifts like a huge, unpredictable tectonic plate, we find an increasing number of artists who have made a substantial name for themselves from meme factories such as Reddit (“the front page of the internet”).

  11. Opinion-list

    Editor Rob Alderson looks at the Design Museum’s shortlist for this year’s Designs of the Year and picks who he’d like to see scoop the gongs in each category. But is he right? You can join the discussion using the thread below.

  12. List

    Who knew slow motion skateboarders in white plastic overalls being pelted with colourful water balloons would be the perfect accompaniment to ambient electronica? Well, directors Lamar + Nic knew. That’s why they went and made a video out of it. It’s simple, a little surreal and must have been extremely fun to shoot. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a craze because one thing I do not need is an unexpected water bomb hitting my face as I ollie, nollie, slide and grind across London, thank you very much. But lovely to look at it happening to others.

  13. Burtynsky-list

    When you look at a photograph by Edward Burtynsky, it’s customary to be overcome by the sheer scale of his work. He deals with big subjects – industrialisation, economic growth, the prevalence of oil and the mechanised mining of our earth – and his trademark panoramic shots add a breathtaking sense of perspective to them. Who else would you get to shoot vast mining craters in Australia, the ship-breaking graveyards of Bangladesh and the rapidly-expanding industrial districts of China?

  14. Hlt-list

    Italian Illustrator Jonathan Calugi goes by the alias Happy Lovers Town and creates, among a whole heap of illustrated treats, some really beautiful geometric patterns. His clean, crisp style of image-making lends itself naturally to producing repeat motifs and his expert use of colour complements them perfectly. We’re particularly keen on his textile designs for Scraf and Fabbriks, which seem to reference both mid-century American and futurist image-making techniques respectively but maintain a completely contemporary flavour. Even when repetition isn’t required, Jonathan can’t help but arrange his characters and other elements from his drawing into complex patterns, as can be seen in his work for 9Volt. It seems like a pretty compulsive habit, but one we look forward to seeing exploited again and again.

  15. Zimoun_list

    We’ve featured his work before and here we are featuring it again, but we reserve the right to feature it as many times as we like, as we really can’t get enough of the masterful kinetic sculptures of Swiss artist Zimoun. According to his admirers, Zimoun “is best compared to a watchmaker of a self-reproducing time, constructing his own gauging station.” But as far as we’re concerned, it really isn’t as complex as all that; Zimoun’s appeal comes from his ability to turn simple, functional objects into extraordinary sensory experiences.

  16. Main

    Sup Magazine has long been known for being one of the most pleasurable, informed music magazines out there. This is partly due to their selection of the most exciting, fresh musicians and partly to its absolutely brilliant art direction. The man behind this visual feast of a magazine is Eric Wrenn, a New York-based art director who has also worked for such trendsetters as Opening Ceremony and Wood Wood, and has contributed his skills to Mother, Barneys New York and Wolff Olins. We don’t know how he does it, but with the help of photographer Milan Zrnic, his Midas touch is helping to make worldwide publications and advertising look exciting, appealing and fun.

  17. List

    There’s no real need for us to talk about how great Nadav Kander is, to talk about his exceptional commercial or award-winning personal work which marks him out as one of the key photographers working today. His new show which opened in London last week is a stunning series of nudes which seeks to redress the visual hegemony of the airbrushed human form with which we are bombarded. All the models are auburn-haired and their bodies are coated in white marble dust and shot against a black background, emphasising every inch of their forms. In most of the images the faces are hidden, referencing classical sculptures, and there are touches of the bizarre, from unnatural stances to the odd appearance of a small white mouse.

  18. Pereira-luckman-lax-list

    Despite overflowing with architects and designers, Los Angeles has been always been a surprisingly staid city when it comes to urban innovation. A potential upcoming exhibition at the A+D Museum will reveal some of the visionary projects and discarded dreams that have floated around the City of Angels but for some reason or other never progressed beyond the drawing board.

  19. Main

    There’s nothing quite like brand new stationery –unused rubbers, sharpened pencils, unused felt-tips, it’s giving me tingles just thinking about it. So when you think you can sap joy simply out of a colour-coordinated pencil pot, you may be surprised to see this absolute game-changer of a series by Australian designers Daniel To and Emma Aiston. More desk installation that stationery, this utterly beautiful set of objects are not just immaculately made, but are photographed so well they could be pieces of fine art.

  20. List

    Berlin-based studio Stahl R only launched last year and yet already their portfolio is full to bursting with interesting, exciting and eye-catching projects. Formed by former HORT art director Tobias Röttger and Royal College of Art graduate Susanne Stahl, who previously worked at Fons Hickmann m23, there’s clearly a huge amount of expertise involved, but even with this in mind a romp through their varied work is a genuine pleasure. From catalogues for the Goldrausch organisation that promotes female artists to a MeteoPoem a programme which visualises weather conditions – to create “an emotional and intuitive model of weather” that goes beyond mere symbols – their work is intelligent, beguiling and stylish without being try-hard trendy. We’re looking forward to seeing how their second year pans out.

  21. Sovchoz-list

    Sometimes a person is born with so much talent bestowed upon them that their very existence makes you struggle to breathe. Every time I look at Sam Vanallemeersch’s illustration I feel as if all the air has been sucked out of the room and my stomach falls away, provoked by the knowledge that I’ll probably never be able to come close, in anything, to the level of excellence he manifests in each drawing.

  22. John_m

    I don’t need much of an excuse to write about the fantastic Django Django, but John Maclean has given me a brilliant one. First, I enjoyed watching the beautifully shot promo for Hand of Man, complete with absurd picnic cutaway (skip to 1:25s all you impatients), but my real joy came in discovering that the director is not only the brother of DD’s drummer, but even more importantly was part of timeless indie heros the Beta Band. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I then learnt that John also was nominated for a BAFTA for his short film Pitch Black Heist, starring Michael Fassbender. John, sorry for being totally naive to your being – I hope this post goes some way to stopping others also being blindfolded.

  23. List

    The shortlist for the Terry O’ Neill Award – one of the most prestigious prizes in photography – was announced yesterday and once again the competition has thrown up some extraordinary imagery. The breadth on display is really impressive, from portraits of nativity play stars to terrifying African soldiers and landscapes both rural and urban, vibrant and silent. It was great to see one of Andy Rudak’s cardboard scenes make the cut (whose work wowed us back in October) but it’s hard to have a favourite among such a high-quality selection.

  24. Main

    Animals, people, buildings – all things we see pretty much every day. But through the lens of Will Sanders these things become something much funnier, much weirder, much brighter — surely the mark of a great photographer? Expecting lots of photography books from his bookshelf? You’d be wrong. Cue kids books, novels, and a healthy dose of short stories – could this be the nicest photo of a bookshelf ever sent in? I’m willing to place my bets. Please welcome, Will Sanders…

  25. Web-things-list

    This week Things falls down London’s coal holes, wanders through the woodland of Berlin and ends up on the beaches of Melbourne plus ironic word games and perforated pink philosophy.

  26. Weekenderlist

    Lean back and close your eyes, block out any extraneous noises and focus on being calm. I’m going to take you deep into your subconscious to help you reveal your inner Weekender. As the silence and calm envelops you I want you to imagine the most shameful event in your life, the soiled jeans or public nakedness that still haunts you while you sleep. Grab hold of that event with both hands, hold it aloft and tell it that it doesn’t define you, it can’t own you and it will never bring you down. SNAP! Now open your eyes and think about the stupid thing you’ve just done. What’s wrong with you? This is The Weekender and your wilful introspection isn’t welcome here. Now pick up your damp trousers and join me in the land of frivolity and joy. Shabba!

  27. Wilfridwood-list

    It’s been over three years since we caught up with legendary model-maker, illustrator and ex-Thatcher parody-er Wilfrid Wood, but he’s been very busy fashioning the very finest satirical sculpture known to man. What with all the Olympic action last year he was commissioned again and again to render leaping anthropomorphic athletes for magazine editorials as well as a blue, balloon-faced Tom Daley posed in his skimpy diving pants. He’s also done a couple of exceptional homages (perhaps piss-takes) of rock and roll legends Paul McCartney and David Bowie as well as a bare-armed Bieber that we can’t stop laughing at. Keep ’em coming Wilfrid – nobody does it quite like you.

  28. List

    How do we define our relationship with art history? Is in fact the very term misleading as a singular, should we think and talk about art histories instead as some theorists suggest? I don’t have the space or the intellectual credentials to explore these ideas but a new show opening in London today has as interesting take on the art/art history connection. Painter Martin McGinn’s series Volume 1 features still-lifes of art history tomes rendered as objects for artistic interpretation in their own right, as objects.

  29. Main2

    Craig Green was the talk of the town a few years back when he smashed his seriously impressive St Martins BA final collection out the park. Now he’s reached such heights that even The Daily Mail are interested in him (for perhaps the wrong reasons) and is once again setting Twitter alight with fashion bloggers clamouring to write about his A/W 13 collection first. So why all the hype?

  30. List

    Often it takes a trademark parental mix of cajoling and threats to get their offspring to nursery but youngsters at this centre in Paris can’t take too much persuading. That’s because architects Hondelatte-Laporte have included a huge yellow giraffe as part of the building’s structure whose legs you have to walk through to enter, and whose head peers over the surrounding neighbourhood. The Giraffe Childcare Centre also boasts a huge white bear and a set of concrete ladybirds crawling up one of its walls.

  31. Rockingknit-list

    The association between knitting and rocking chairs is powerful and longstanding. It’s common knowledge that all knitting takes place next to log fires under the watchful but cataract-ridden eyes of octogenarian grandmothers as they rock gently back and forth. But the latest groundbreaking output from ECAL students Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex takes that stereotype and smashes it to pieces, removing the knitting from the hands of the oldies and mechanising it for ease.

  32. Rb-list

    Since being one of our 2009 Graduates, Rose Blake has given us a fair bit to rave about. Founder of the ingenious Studio Music, member of film collective This Is It, creator of Playlist/Painting, maker of enviable t-shirts and illustrator for a number of top-notch clients such as The New York Times, its a wonder she’s had time to update her website.

  33. Main2

    Just before Christmas we posted about the triumphant moment when Obama stepped into the studio of one of the most famous photographers working today. At the time, we didn’t think anyone cooler could possibly be invited in and Terry had nowhere to turn, but how silly we were. Lena Dunham, whose premiere of the second season of GIRLS aired last night in America, made time to step into Terry’s studio yesterday and proudly stood where hundreds, nay thousands have before her in front of his notoriously honest lens.

  34. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Romain Lenancker, aka Lenancker Romain, an art director and set designer with an almost unparalleled eye for composition. With a client list to kill for, Romain, who splits his time between Stockholm and Paris, has recently updated his website and although it’s high end stuff, his portfolio is living proof that it is possible to marry the needs of demanding commissions with arresting, thoughtful imagery. He’s particularly adept at using a limited colour palette to maximum effect, letting his superlative attention to detail capture and hold the viewers’ attention.

  35. Salt-list

    SALT is a cultural institution in Istanbul that merges a contemporary art space, architecture and design gallery and a scholarly archive; designed to promote research and experimental thinking across art and design. Straightforward enough, but how do you go about branding an institution that operates in a constantly shifting and evolving landscape and aims to promote a diverse range of? The idea of a permanent static identity just doesn’t seem to fit.

  36. Megg-list-5

    Turning beloved children’s book characters into depressed junkies is always going to be a gamble. Simon Hanselmann’s Megg and Mogg comics are tragic, sick and sort of sacrilegious – they’re also absolutely wonderful and have been my favourite thing on Tumblr for many, many months now.

  37. List

    It’s not often that we see interesting takes on the"contact us" section of a website but Dark Igloo have previous when it comes to not doing things by the book. The New York-based studio relaunched their online presence last year and its new layout helps do their myriad interesting branding and design projects justice. But it’s when you come to try and email them that things take a turn for the weird and wonderful, because rather than being directed to a dry list of contact details, you’re instead plunged into a fabulously retro game where you need to fly an envelope around a race rack thereby unlocking the email address you need. It’s a really fun concept rendered with the kind of faithful nostalgia only true game-obsessives could manage and it’s always great to see a company which prides itself on creativity and ideas put that commitment into practice in unexpected ways.

  38. L_l-list

    Between them, Swiss designers Loris Jaccard and Livia Lauber have worked with an awe-inspiring list of fashion and furniture clients including Martino Gamper, Tom Dixon, Established&Sons and Michael Kors, Nina Ricci and Prada. It’s testament to their remarkable skill that they’ve managed to keep such high-profile clients and collaborators over the years, particularly given their distinctly unorthodox approach to their practice.

  39. List

    “There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, that’s a fact,” sang Katie Melua a few years ago showing a blatant disregard for the meaning of the word fact. But here’s a Chinese-linked bicycle fact for for you, there are 760 bicycles in Ai Weiwei’s latest sculpture at the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy. The extraordinary walk-through piece on a raised stage in the gallery references some of the iconic artist’s previous work and questions our relationship with mobility, consumerism and mass manufacture. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Melua!

  40. List

    Some products are very difficult to market, no how many clever ad types you gather together for some blue-sky thinking, and the iron is probably near the top of that list. Representing the nadir of all household chores, it’s just not very sexy – it essentially just has to blast hot air onto clothes, nothing more, nothing less. Huge kudos then to the folk at Philips in Russia who produced this short, snazzy video showing some kind of ironing maverick pressing faces from famous paintings into a sheet. Gasp at this skill, guess what the artwork is as they take shape and respect the rarity of an interesting, absorbing ironing ad.