A beautiful ride

cruiser-skateboard-01

Skateboarding – cruising stylishly through an urban environment, leaning on style, history and culture – what’s not to love? Unfortunately for me, I’ve never really got on with skateboards – I think I missed the optimal learning window in my younger days (when injury consequence played little part in anything) and haven’t since taken the time to address it.

There may be hope for me yet however – in the form of a brand new skatepark here in Lewes, due to open this weekend. In our small(ish) town it has become somewhat of a talking point and it has been great to see the redevelopment of an unloved area put to such great use. Not only is it actually a really good functional design (so my ‘informed’ sources tell me), it also looks great – seamless curves and organic shapes of smooth concrete create a beautiful architectural style of their own – beauty born from function to create an urban playground.

Whilst it’s no surprise that urban skate culture is typically dominated by strong contrasting colours and edgy graphics, it’s interesting to see an environment specifically designed for this culture serving both its audience aesthetic leanings and those of the wider community – the organic form of the stark urban design feels instantly part of the surrounding river and green grass environment and ’natural’ in its siting – lovely.

So, if my minimalist design ideals are met by the environment, what then to try and ride there? Enter Cruiser Skateboard, a design collaboration between Brazilian design studio Saint Studio and designer Guilherme Wentz. Shaped from reforestation wood, the board is inspired by traditional designs from the 1970s with the pared-back design a bold counter to the styling of more contemporary boards. I love the confidence that comes from a carefully executed design such as this – the perfect combination of form and function – just the deck, trucks and wheels* looking well, effortlessly stylish. If I were to skate, this is one board I’d certainly want to ride – beautiful.

So, just maybe there might be a little hope for me yet, even if it’s just standing around with good looking equipment…

*Apologies for the blatant use of terminology I clearly have very limited knowledge of – it’s mainly to add effect.

via minimalissimo

cruiser-skateboard-02

cruiser-skateboard-03

cruiser-skateboard-04

cruiser-skateboard-05

Smart move?

Nokia-3310-1

For anyone with an eye on current activity in the technology world, it will come as no surprise that the legendary Nokia 3310 ‘feature’ phone has been relaunched by Finnish tech company HMD. In what has been called a ‘bold’ and ‘clever’ move, the launch comes nearly 17 years after the handset’s initial release. Mobile phone users of a certain age (myself included) may have owned one, and will almost certainly be aware of – or wasted many hours playing (myself included) – the now cult game Snake.

In search of a Neue world

Neue - 01

My everyday life is full of ‘stuff’. Stuff comes in, stuff goes out, but it’s the quality, well-designed and built-to-last things that remain – the things I really want around me (and if I’m truly honest, the list is pretty short). Unfortunately, the ‘under the hood’ story of many consumer products today often tells a tale of cheap, synthetic materials that ultimately define a short product lifespan. You’ve got to wonder at how much more care and attention we would place on our ‘stuff’ knowing that it was built to last with the consumer and the environment at the core of the design process.