Posted by Mason Currey
| 12 Dec 2013
The Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide is one of the more popular pieces of content that we put together every year, both for our readers and those of us who have the privilege—and eye—for making the selections. In the interest of capturing the communal spirit of this year's Gift Guide, the contributors will be selecting a few of their favorite picks from their cohorts' lists alongside one of their own.
In other words, hint, hint.
I know , I know—no one really wants to think about work over the holidays. But let's face it: most of us spend most of our time at work, and most of us also work in less-than-ideal environments, be it a windowless cubicle or a mercilessly exposed open-plan office. So anything you can do to improve that situation for a loved one (or for yourself) is certainly worthy of your gift-giving dollar.
Here, I have tried to suggest products that will improve one's workday in four key areas: caffeination, organization, isolation, and decoration. These critera satisfy my own personal vision of an ideal workplace: one with good coffee, a minimum of clutter, a modicum of privacy, and a few pops of colorful and/or quirky ornamentation. These gifts won't necessarily make for better or faster work, but they should at least make for more contented workers.
–Mason Currey, Senior Editor
Socks by Henrik Vibskov - I usually prefer to dress in solid, neutral colors—so I need socks like these to save me from being a total sartorial bore. $30 from Henrik Vibskov
LAX Minimalist Poster - I recently moved to Los Angeles, and this neon-colored homage to my local airport would make an excellent addition to my new apartment's decor. $159 at Zinc Details
5-Year Diary - I've never managed to keep a diary for more than a few days, but the idea of having five years' worth of notes in one volume—and in such a handsomely designed one -- makes me want to give it another go. $25 at MoMA Store
Zojirushi Tuff Mug - I don't actually have much use for a thermos, but, hey, I really like the way this guy looks. $32 on Amazon
See the full 2013 Gift Guide for more ideas →
Posted by Mason Currey
| 26 Jun 2013
I'm Mason Currey—for the past few months, I've been working as a guest editor here at Core77, and now my Core colleagues (Core-lleagues?) have asked me to write a brief post introducing myself.
So, first, let me take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my new book. It's called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, and it collects information about the routines and working habits of 161 inspired minds—among them, novelists, painters, composers, poets, philosophers, filmmakers, and scientists. If you're interested in Beethoven's coffee-making regimen, Kafka's procrastination methods, Buckminster Fuller's nap schedule, or Benjamin Franklin's naked "air baths"—look no further, this is the book for you!
In all seriousness, though, the book is also relevant to my work here at Core. As you might guess, I have always been fascinated by process—by how creative people make the time to do their work, and what rituals, habits, superstitions, and neuroses help (or hinder) their creative activity. At Core, I've been feeding this obsession with a couple of new blog series. One is the Core77 Questionnaire, where we're asking a variety of designers 22 questions about their current projects, backgrounds, working habits, and thoughts on design. Over the past few weeks, we've talked to Ralf Groene, the director of design for Microsoft's Surface tablet; Paul Loebach, a furniture and product designer in Brooklyn; and Ayse Birsel, who has named herself the Chief De:Re Officer of Birsel + Seck. We'll be posting a new interview every other Tuesday.