By Tom Ran

Published: April 12, 2013 under Good

IDEAS CITY 2013 - Discover Untapped Capital


Cities are confronting enormous challenges, socially, economically, and of course environmentally. The root cause of this is population whether it’s over populated or in decline like Detroit, urban centers are in search of solutions to resolve these issues.

To address these problems, New Museum launched IDEAS CITY in 2011 bringing together creative minds to explore new concepts around arts and culture as the key to improve life in cities. The festival returns May 1st for four days with the theme “Discover Untapped Capital.” The festival describes the theme as “resources that are under-recognized or underutilized in our cities.” The program include conferences, workshops and a street fair on Bowery with participants that include + Pool, Architizer, Bike Mind, Cabinet Mag, Friends of the High Line, Kickstarter, StoryCorps, Snarkitecure, Red Hook Criterium, and much more. Visit IDEAS CITY for the full list of programs.

Read More

by3191 Found Collecion

By Tom Ran

Published: August 28, 2012 under Good

Square-Bottomed Basket from the Found Collection.

Photo: by3191

3191 miles, that’s the distance between Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon. For Maria (MAV) and Stephanie (SCB), 3191 has been a personal project of theirs since 2007 beginning with a series of morning diptych photos from their respective coast that evolved into a book. Projects continued to grow through the years with an evening edition and more recently a quarterly publication. Their latest project is a departure from publishing and ventures into clothing and found objects. Last Friday 3191 launched a couple of collections to their shop including their second Found Collection with a range of simple and timeless items. Plucked from obscurity and brought into the world of 3191, MAV and SCB gives life back into these forgotten or neglected objects. Blankets, woven baskets, ceramics and others items are revived to show their true beauty. Only five days into the launch and most of the inventory is sold out. There are still a few remaining items left. Sign up for their newsletter to receive updates on the next collection.

Read More


By Tom Ran

Published: August 6, 2012 under Good

Left: Revo Heritage Radio Right: Revo K2 Radio

Photo: Generalgood

An online shop needs to have a point of view now more than ever if it wants to stand out from the pack. The best way to do this is through their range of products. This of course, is easier said than done. Generalgood, from the U.K., is giving it a go with its newly minted shop that just launched last month. They carry everyday goods from around the world with an attention to quality. Their selection include familiar brands like Snow Peak and Postalco from Japan and Miller Goodman blocks from the U.K. with some surprises like Revo, a stylish audio company from Scotland and Reiss an Austrian based enamelware manufacturer. The initial offering is a great start and we’re eager to see what other products will include.

Read More

Knowhow Shop

By Tom Ran

Published: July 8, 2011 under Good

Joshua Howell, Justin Rice and Kagan Taylor from Knowhow Shop

Photo: Knowhow Shop

Co-ops have long been associated with grocery stores and apartment complexes, but the idea is expanding into more innovative ways of running businesses. A group of enterprising U.C.L.A. architecture school grads recently got together to open Knowhow Shop, a common space for builders and creators to come together and make things. Without having to invest in costly equipment, members have access to heavy duty machinery including professional wood working tools, metal working equipment, CNC machines, and a laser cutter. The 1,800-square foot space doubles and triples as a studio and art gallery. Knowhow has also embraced its community, participating in a couple of NELA Second Saturday art openings. Most recently with their Garden Show, where they invited artists and designers to exhibit their work ranging from patio furniture to innovative planters. Knowhow Shop is located in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood and is open from Tuesday to Sunday. (via T Mag)

Read More

Fire Escape Farms

By Tom Ran

Published: July 7, 2011 under Good

Triple Base Gallery

Photo: Triple Base

Triple Base, the San Francisco based art gallery that strives to assist young artist, is on hiatus for the summer. Instead of leaving the space dormant, Fire Escape Farms has taken over. With the rise in the public’s consciousness of where our food comes from and the popularity of urban farming spilling over into the consumer sector, a market has grown to support this shift. However, some may not be so privilege to have a plot of land or a yard to start a garden, especially for urban residents. That’s where Fire Escape Farms come in. Naya Peterson started the store in 2009 after returning from Napa. She was not finding the necessary supplies for what was needed. So after a bit of researching and traveling she pulled together an inventory of tools and supplies for the urban farmer. It’s a one stop shop for the beginners and seasoned vets, stocking everything from seeds to kits.

Read More


By Tom Ran

Published: June 7, 2011 under Good

Toms Shoes

Photo: Toms Shoes

For the past five years TOMS Shoes has been known as the for-profit company using the “one for one” model. Every pair of TOMS sold, a pair shoes would be given away. Founder Blake Mycoskie announced at SXSW earlier this year that the company will enter its next chapter by introducing a new product. TOMS will no longer be just a shoe company, but will following the same goal as before using the “one for one” model. Over 90 capsules were dispatched across the country landing in various retailers, sealed and ordered not to be open until today. Mycoskie will lead the initiative by unveiling its contents at 10:30am PDT.

UPDATE: TOMS launches TOMS Eyewear

Read More


Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

 Read More


By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

 Read More

M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

 Read More