Ten years ago, Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, visited Amsterdam. After days spent wandering the cobblestone streets, he was left with one prevailing observation: The city was dominated by bicycles. A vast majority of Amsterdammers—55 percent according to the Earth Policy Institute—peddle to and from work. A trend of that scale doesn’t go unnoticed—not by Forbes, at least. “I like going to a new environment and looking at what humans have created,” he says. “Amsterdam just isn’t a car culture.”
For all of modern science’s advancements in unearthing the secrets of the universe, the human brain remains an area of great mystery. The deep subconscious, memory storage and retrieval, the source of emotion—all are subjects in which experts are admittedly ignorant. But David Eagleman, fiction writer and neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, is a little less ignorant than most.
Pummeled by the economic slump, Chinatown is set to receive a shot in the arm this June with the launch of Art in Storefronts. The program, initiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom, attempts to revitalize economically burdened neighborhoods by giving vacant and neglected storefront windows a Joan Rivers-quality facelift with San Francisco-based artwork. The selected artists -- priority given to locals -- will have a unique opportunity to stimulate their community from within as well as gain exposure for their work.
General perception states science and art are mutually exclusive fields. Bay Area artists Paul Baker and Chris Angell beg to differ. In their art show “Celestial Navigation,” March 17-21 at the Live Worms Gallery, Baker and Angell begin to blur the dividing line. Baker, a self-described “scientific artist,” combines exotic materials like jade, mercury, petrified mammoth tusk, and laser beams to create ornate machines resembling a Niels Bohr experiment. Multi-award-winning assemblage artist, Angell constructs raw-looking sculptures from slightly modified found objects. It’s the ultimate confluence of science’s imaginative side and the meticulousness of art -- and solid evidence that they are each other’s muses.