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Global Affairs: A Trillion Dollar Ad Campaign

The Zimbabwean newspaper is taking a bold stance with their recent advertisement campaign. With huge murals made of the country’s paper money, they’ve printed messages like, “Thanks to Mugabe this Money is Wallpaper,” and “Fight the Regime that has Crippled a Country.” It’s startling and sad at the same time.

As reported by Creative Review: “The Zimbabwean is sold in the UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe but when entering the latter is charged an import duty of 55 per cent, making it unaffordable to the average Zimbabwean. To raise awareness of this, and to encourage more sales of the paper in South Africa, wall murals, billboards and flyers have been created in Johannesburg using the Z$100 trillion dollar note, a symbol of the country’s world record inflation. Worth less than paper, The Zimbabwean has turned the money into its advertising, hoping to raise awareness of the dire situation in the country under the Mugabe regime.” Click Read More for additional information and photos.

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Featured in: WJS FEATURES / Categories: art & design, culture, people

City Innovations: Nowhere to go but up for Detroit

Cities are hurting across the nation. But it’s encouraging to hear about the little stories that are picking up steam and presenting new ideas for rebuilding what was lost in down turning economies and unfortunate circumstances. Right now, Detroit may be one of the hardest hit urban areas, but at the same time, it is offering the most inspiring stories for rebuilding despite the suffocating challenges.

Many of these encouraging stories are seen in pieces by PSFK, the New York Times, Treehugger and other publications. Our favorite run down of the situation in Detroit comes from Dwell Magazine. Could art start another economic movement for improvement? “If the Great Recession has an unofficial mascot, it’s Detroit. Even though the once-mighty Motown has been in a slow-motion death-spin since the days of the K-car, the city’s abandoned factories and hollowed-out neighborhoods have lately been rediscovered as metaphors for the failures of capitalism—and the hopefulness of art.” Read the article [Here]

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Featured in: WJS FEATURES / Categories: architecture, innovations, culture

Travel Inspiration: Eric Demay Visits China in 50 Posts

Eric Demay is a writer and photographer who contributes to Moco Loco’s magazine review section. He recently traveled to China and captured his trip with 50 posts. That’s it. No more no less. And he nailed it. We toggled through the editorial and photos – it’s fantastic. You’ll enjoy the conversational writing and it’ll inspire you to take your own trip to China.

From Eric: “With 50 posts in total, I’m quite glad of how it all turned out. While I was initially minded to stay away from the computer and not update the blog at all, I found the opposite – with a little planning – quite possible and rewarding…” Click Read More to for additional information and a sample of photos.

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Featured in: TOURISM / Categories: culture, photography, people

wejetset reads: Next American City Magazine

We’re always on the hunt for city innovations and how various groups make their neighborhoods better – whether it’s through art, design, engineering or policy. One of our go-to publications is Next American City. It’s a reliable resource for how cities across America are finding ways to improve their circumstances. If you get a chance, pick up a copy. The editorial direction is informative and entertaining, while the layout and design is spot on.

Here’s a bit about the magazine: Next American City is a national quarterly magazine about making cities better. We observe, document and conceive realistic solutions about how to improve cities—how to ensure that future generations’ lives are improved, and not made more dangerous or unnecessarily complicated by the decisions we make. In each issue of the magazine you’ll find investigative features, thoughtful essays and interviews from the front lines of urban change and innovation.

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Featured in: ART + CULTURE / Categories: architecture, culture, photography

Global Affairs: One Blog, Censorship & China

Ai Weiwei is an artist and blogger. He contributed to the design of the Bird’s Nest Stadium in China. And, more recently, his blog has attracted a lot of attention for his steep criticism of the Chinese Government. As the New York Times reports, “Mr. Ai criticizes the government’s management of the disaster response and chides officials for still not having provided a full accounting of schoolchildren’s deaths, which he and many others attribute to poorly constructed schools.” In a phone interview he says, “I’m really tired of this bull… I went there, and I saw the school building collapsed, and next to it is a building that is fine.”

Many think Ai’s site would have been shut down by now, but it hasn’t. This article relates well with our recent Travel Chronicle featuring Mattathias Schwartz – who has also written for the Times. Looking at Matt’s impressions of China and this article, it’s easy to see the varying perspectives on a country that rails against transparency. You’re never sure what their response will be. [View the Article]

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Featured in: WJS FEATURES / Categories: culture, people

Places to See: Actual Size Gundam Coming to Tokyo

We’re huge fans of Gundam. We’re huge fans of Tokyo. Put the two together and it’s a celebration. We’ve been building the robot models since 5th grade and Bandai is fulfilling every hobbyist’s dream by building an actual size Gundam in Tokyo.

As spotted on mashKulture: “To celebrate Gundam’s 30th anniversary, they are preparing to erect a lifesize (59 ft tall) Gundam in a public park in Tokyo, where it will remain for two months. It has a moving head unit, and at fourteen separate points, the figure will release bursts of steam.” Construction begins in July and it will be located at the Tokyo Shiokaze Park in Odaiba. Click Read More for additional photos and information.

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Featured in: WJS FEATURES / Categories: art & design, culture

City Innovations: Copenhagen Harbour Bath

The creative talents of BIG & JDS Architects join forces in Copenhagen to further transform the city’s harbour. What was once an industrial port has become a major social destination for the area’s inhabitants.

As Arch Daily reports: “Copenhagen’s harbour is in the midst of a transformation from an industrial port and traffic junction to being the cultural and social centre of the city. The Harbour Bath has been instrumental in this evolution. It extends the adjacent park over the water by incorporating the practical needs and demands for accessibility, safety and programmatic flexibility. Rather than imitating the traditional Danish indoor swimming bath, the Harbour Bath offers an urban harbour landscape with dry-docks, piers, boat ramps, cliffs, playgrounds and pontoons. As a terraced landscape, the Harbour Bath completes the transition from land to water, making it possible for the citizens of Copenhagen to go for a swim in the middle of the city.” Click Read More for additional information.

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Featured in: ART + CULTURE / Categories: architecture, innovations, culture

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