Brains & Pencils

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hello!

The Mondays Unplugged blog has now been transported to a new place – Brains & Pencils. It’s authored by Rochelle Martyn and its purpose is to inspire, provoke and encourage art and creativity to boldly lead change through ideas that matter and connect with people. You can also follow on Twitter @RoxMartyn

Thank you for showing an interest so far and we hope you continue to follow.

Monday Collective

 

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Monday Collective Blog Changes

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello!

If you’ve noticed a silence, aside from being busy designing, we’ve been reflecting on the postings of the past year and working on a strategy to improve our blog (as well as our web site, to follow too). We’ve really enjoyed doing our blog so far and we’ve had some fantastic feedback that’s been great for business. We want our content to be of value to followers, and for these to grow. As with most things in life, it’s a moving experiment. We learn and evolve. From now on, the blog will shift beyond our own cultural insights and experiences and also involve sharing and critiquing other interesting insights, ideas and topics that connect design and business. They’ll be shorter and more frequent, just the way we all like it. We’re picking up the pace and you’ll be seeing the changes very soon.

Thank you for following

Monday Collective

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Cultural Connectivity

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We’re loving exploring the neighborhoods of NYC, there’s always something new to discover. We’re interested in what’s popping up on a local level, as emerging trends often start here. And when it comes to those related to food, well, we’re all over it.

Butter Lane Cupcake shop in the East Village, NYC offering cupcake baking classes

Butter Lane Cupcakes is a tiny shop in the East Village that we stumbled upon recently. NYC has plenty of cup cake shops, but this one has a good twist. The owners have chosen to ditch the dyes and artificial additives and focus on natural and local ingredients such as real vanilla bean, organic butter, pure cocoa and fresh fruit. The truth, they taste really good  (based on a vanilla cake with strawberry topping). In addition, they offer baking classes for groups so that you can create your own iced gems. You may bake with friends or people within the local community.

Menu board at Butter Lane showing the many flavors including seasonal specials

Aside from being cupcake lovers, we love Butter Lane for being in touch with a growing theme around co-creation and community connections. Butter Lane brings people together through a shared, creative experience. The small, local guys are right on it. For anyone living in New York City, a kitchen with enough room to bake is one thing, one that unites a few friends over the process is just double the indulgence. Who and what will be next?

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Cultural Connectivity

Monday, October 24, 2011

We’ve spent the past few weeks delving into cultural happenings, one has created impact and left us debating. Those of you that live locally may have experienced this, or maybe not. This one’s for those who didn’t get Unplugged in NYC.

Exterior view of the mobile structure of the Lab, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow. Photo: Paul Warchol

We’ve been watching BMW of late, its a brand that’s doing great things to gather collectives, explore new ideas and get connected, and naturally Monday Collective is  into that. The BMW Guggenheim Lab parked itself conveniently, for us, in the East Village for a little over two months, but it’s on the move to Berlin now. It’s a mobile laboratory led by teams of emerging talents in urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education and sustainability. The goal of the Lab is to explore new ideas, experiment, and discover forward thinking solutions that improve city life. The theme for this first leg (there are three themes, each on a two year cycle, total journey of six years) is Confronting Comfort, which explores “notions of individual and collective comfort and the urgent need for environment and social responsibility”.

Interior view of the discussion setting at the Lab. Photo: Paul Warchol

We love that BMW has created an ideas based Lab, enabling the public to participate, engage and get inspired by the ideas that are generated. A lively bunch of talks, debates, yoga, comedy, games, meditation, workshops, screenings, demonstrations… there really was something for everyone. Great job BMW for connecting and inspiring ideas!

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Cultural Connectivity

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We’re back on our theme of Cultural Connectivity and how design can transform objects, buildings and places to engage and connect people with what’s going on around them at street level. We’ve been roaming around the city and found some interesting sights to share.

The North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition has collaborated with the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn and the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program to create “Plan Ahead”, an environmental street art installation by the famous graffiti knitter Magda Sayeg. It’s a year long installation of 300 iron rods on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn between South 5th & South 6th Streets, which are covered in colorful knit fabric. Magda “brings a sense of humanity back to the concrete and steel of the city” and we never knew that steel railings could look so cool.

“Plan Ahead”, an environmental street art installation by graffiti knitter Magda Sayeg.

We were also wondering through Astor Place and to our delight came across “Flaming Cactus”, art installations by Animus Arts Collective, which debuted at FIGMENT 2011 and were recently adopted and expanded upon for this years “Summer Streets” program. The lamp posts have been transformed with thousands of fluorescent colored cable ties which create neon psychedelic cactus plants. A reference to The Day of the Triffids soon passed when we realized they couldn’t move, talk, or eat humans. It helps to be a little crazy if you’re a designer, we forgive ourselves (daily).

“Flaming Cactus”, art installations in Astor Place NYC by Animus Arts Collective.

What we love about both of these examples is how our city environment constantly changes and surprises us. The necessary, yet rather mundane looking, objects that surround us can in fact entertain us with a little imagination applied. We like how interesting and unexpected materials and colors are coming together to enhance what already exists. If you can’t build something entirely new, why not make a difference by transforming something to be more aesthetically interesting to the human eye?

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Playful Experiences

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We often hear people talking about what they’d like to do outside their daily work, dreams or hobbies they’d like to pursue. Sometimes we’re surprised by hidden talent that’s expressed during after hours. Playful Experiences can not only delight the person that creates them, but also those that get to experience them.

Nathan Sawaya, a former lawyer with a fascination for creating Lego sculptures after work, has become a well known artist and recently expanded his impressive collection of brick art from North American to Australia. The Art of the Brick exhibition in Federation Square, Melbourne (yes, one of us is on the ground here right now) features large scale sculptures from apples to humans by the New York based artist.

Some of Nathan Sawaya’s Lego sculptures on show at Federation Square, Melbourne.

We’re big fans of Lego, it’s been around since the 1940’s and has become an international, timeless iconic brand with a diverse subculture spanning movies, games, video games, books, competitions, stores and even themed amusement parks. Its audience ranges from kids to adults, with objects and themes designed to entertain all imaginations.

Sawaya’s playful and whimsical interpretation of a person swimming.

Sawaya takes his inspiration from getting out and about, experiencing daily life and expressing this through his brick art. “Many of my works center on the phenomena of how everyday life, people, and raw emotion are intertwined…” His creations capture architecture, people, scenes, objects… and in keeping with the playfulness of Lego, Sawaya’s brick art is often whimsical.

Monday Collective’s Rochelle making friends Down Under.

Lego and Sawaya are a great example of how Playful Experiences can create powerful emotional connections that people identify and engage with. A timeless iconic brand combined with a passionate creative mind can produce wonders for us all to enjoy.

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Emotional Connectivity

Friday, August 19, 2011

A good design idea is all about powerful storytelling, rooted in a concept that emotionally connects with, and entertains, your audience. Achieving Emotional Connectivity is no easy feat, you often have to think differently and explore intellectual curiosity to new levels. Sadly, one of the few designers that did is no longer with us, but we’d like to continue to celebrate his brilliance.

The Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has just finished but will leave a lasting impression in many minds, including ours. This is a breathtaking example of a great idea executed to perfection. McQueen’s designs are distinctive, elaborately crafted, masterpieces that tell a powerful and timeless story. In McQueen’s own words “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish rules but to keep the tradition”. McQueen expressed his intellectual curiosity through his captivating designs and dared to be different, and his work will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

Some of McQueen’s elaborately crafted creations using elements of nature.

Not that we have any particular favorites, as it’s all brilliant, but we do have a lot of heart for design that’s inspired by nature. McQueen themes this as Romantic Naturalism and describes this greatest influence, or at least the most enduring, in a way that inspires us to celebrate nature more through design… “I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by that”.

McQueen’s Romantic Naturalism collection on display at The Met.

Emotional Connectivity is something all designers should be searching for, whether fashion, graphic, interior… it’s all about telling a powerful, emotional story that connects with people and leaves a lasting impression. There aren’t many designers that have done this as effectively as Alexander McQueen and we’d like to think more will emerge to take bold steps, dare to be different and truly entertain us.

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Creative Connectivity

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We specialize in connected brand design ideas, so we have an obsession with discovering all things that connect, especially those that are highly creative and often a little obscure. So our theme of Creative Connectivity is getting our brains firing on all cylinders again as we discover new places to expand our connected knowledge.

Talk to Me: Design and the Communication Between People and Objects is a new exhibition at MOMA in New York that explores the communication between people and things. All objects go way beyond what meets the eye into a discovery of engaging  interactions and connectivity, whether it’s emotional, sensual or intellectual.

There are many great exhibits here, but in the interest of keeping this post short (short for, we’re busy) we are teasing you with just one. PostSecret started as a community arts project spearheaded by Frank Warren. About 6 years ago he handed out 3,000 blank postcards to strangers, asking them to write down a secret and mail it back to him. Today, Warren has received 450,000 postcards, with around 1,000 new cards arriving to his home every week. Bet the mailman loves him. The postcards have been assembled onto a website, which has received more than 250 million hits since launch.

A diverse selection of cards from Frank Warren’s Postsecret project.

What we like that it’s a collective of diverse secrets gathered from strangers and shared in a way that allows people to express themselves and get more connected to other human behavior. Each one triggers a different emotion, whether it’s serious, funny, touching, shocking, sad, rude… these are real secrets, people finding the courage to share what may strike a chord with others. This exhibit clearly connected with the visitors too, as it was the one that attracted the biggest crowd. We came across a few shockers that kept us there for a bit longer than expected, these will probably be secrets repeated many times over a drink or two with friends. Go find some secrets too!

Creative Connectivity encourages us to explore ways in which we can interact with what exists around us, whether it’s people or objects, helping us identify design ideas of the future.

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Collective Creativity

Thursday, July 21, 2011

At Monday Collective we are forever on the hunt for exceptional creative talent and it often comes from unexpected people, places and groups. We believe in entrepreneurial thinkers, people with big ideas, that believe in the concept of Collective Creativity as a means of bringing together the best individual talent to form a greater creative movement.

T.A.G (Teen Art Gallery) is a new art collaboration founded by teen artist Audrey Banks, who has set out to rebel against the frustration of exclusivity within the art world in New York by encouraging emerging teen artists to share their creativity with the people. The exhibition runs from July 7-August 4, 2011, at the Open Center in New York, and is titled Creating Tomorrow. The works show a diverse range of genres and mediums, including abstract paintings, traditional figure studies, collages, documentary, art photography and sculptures. The youngest artist is 15 and the oldest is 20, and this gang of teenagers that Audrey Banks has pulled together has put on a professional looking exhibition. Good on you Audrey, we’re looking forward to tracking what’s next for T.A.G.

A: Michelle Moy, age 17 “Wave of City Lights”

B: Baraka Clacken, age 17 “Gachuu”

C: AJ Burhle, age 16 “Untitled”

D: Eve Peyser-Sappol, age 17 “Ruth”

We love discovering emerging creative talent and seeing others realize their big dreams in a way that inspires new thinking, creates enjoyable experiences and builds creative movements. Great things can be achieved with Collective Creativity, which is also the concept at the heart of Monday Collective.

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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Monday Vision: Playful Experiences

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The experiences that make you smile are often the most rewarding. So when we find these moments, we like to share them. Playful Experiences can help create happier moments for everyone, and it’s something we often forget to do when we’re up to our necks in daily routines. We’re giving you a smile break…

Miami based experiential art duo FriendsWithYou are having their first New York solo exhibition at The Hole and it’s titled “ :) ”. Their toy-like art style caught our attention at The Highline a couple of Monday’s ago and we wanted to check out more of their happy work. Their :) gallery exhibition brings us a crowd of smiling faces and an interactive “experiential wonderland” in collaboration with Native Shoes.

‘Rainbow City’ at The Highline from Miami based experiential art duo FriendsWithYou.

Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III formed FriendsWithYou on a mission to spread the idea of “Magic, Luck and Friendship” around the world. As you walk into the newly transformed studio space you enter a garden of colorful delights, where you can jump over smiling puddles, look up at giggle sticks, stare at splattered happy wall pieces, grinning ghosts, smirking smoke flumes, happily rolling eyes and heads… and a massive, energized, inflatable sculpture. It all sounds a bit crazy, and it is, but it’s fun and liberating – the kind of experience we like.

A selection of ‘smiles’ from FriendsWithYou’s exhibition at The Hole, NYC.

What struck us most is how the simplest things with a twist of humor can really tease a smile and export you into another world. A simple design can spread a smile far and wide and be a welcome contrast to the increased complexity and confusion we have around us today. Everyone deserves a break to enjoy a simple Playful Experience.

A massive chandelier of an inflatable sculpture fills a room at The Hole, NYC.

At Monday Collective we think it’s important to give yourself space to smile. We take time to experience what’s going on in the world around us, so that we get in touch and connected with what matters most to people. :)

Monday Collective specializes in connected brand design ideas. Our on-the-ground discoveries, insights and ideas help others get in touch with people and the world we live in. Get in touch with Monday Collective through more@mondaycollective.com.

 

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