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Eye Candy 2011: 50 Visual Trends of 2011

Throughout 2011, we covered the latest and greatest in modern architecture, automotive design, photography, fashion and more.  At the end of the year, we like to look back at the most visually striking advancements in design culture and share our favorites with TheCoolist community.  These 50 images represent our favorites from the Lamborghini Aventador to the new Stuttgart Library.  Enjoy the eye candy– we certainly did!

Earth from Below: Photography by Steven Alvarez

For the past 15 years, photographer Stephen Alvarez has been exploring and photographing caves around the world in a visual series he calls “Earth From Below“.

Local Rock House – New Zealand

One of the world’s most stunning beach houses was built on a foundation of locally-sourced, naturally claimed rocks.  The Local Rock House is as sustainable as it is stunning.

Modernist Cuisine Cookbook

Might this be the most beautiful cook book ever produced?  The six-volume, 2400 page Modernist Cuisine Cookbook may also be the most informative, but those live-cut cross-sections are completely drool-worthy.

Seven Deadly Sins Wine

We suggest pairing that modernist cuisine with a wine so flavorful it is sinful.  The Seven Deadly Sins Wine series is inspired by each of the seven delectable deadly sins.

BMW 328 Hommage Concept

75 years after the release of the original, BMW revealed a modern take on its forefather, the BMW 328 Hommage Concept.  Can I get a test drive?

Dune House by JVA + Mole Architects

The Dune House by JVA + Mole is inspired by the rolling dunes of the beach it sits above.  Part sculpture, part architecture, entirely cool.

Brightness Dawn by Setareh Mohtarez

Designer Setareh Mohtarez puts a galaxy of inspiration into her dresses featuring prints of the night sky.  This is “Brightness Dawn” by Setareh Mohtarez.

VONDOM Vertex Chair by Karim Rashid

Design superstar Karim Rashid fashioned these faceted design chairs for VONDOM.  We’re surprised they didn’t appear for a cameo in Tron Legacy.  They were produced prior to 2011, but our look at faceted design was not.

Pagani Huayra

One of the world’s most elusive and lustworthy automobile manufacturers revealed their new supercar in 2011, the Pagani Huayra.

Paper Leica M3 Pinhole Camera

Can’t afford a pricey-yet-cult-obsessed Leica M3 of your own?  Print out this paper Leica M3 pinhole camera and snap away on the cheap.

Cafe Scorpio Motorcycle by Deus Bali

The Cafe Scorpio Motorcycle by Deus Bali is a bike like it was meant to be, broken down to the beautiful basics.  No flash, no frills, just the slimmed down sex appeal that would make a fashion model jealous.

Finca Bellavista Treehouse Village – Costa Rica

A real life Swiss Family Robinson exists in the jungle not far from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  Finca Bellavista is an English-speaking modern-day commune in the canopy.

Continental Bounce Photography by Magda Biernat

Photographer Magda Biernat hit 17 countries over a three year period, documenting the silent stillness that is common across borders.  “Continental Bounce” by Magda Biernat is both haunting and beautiful.

Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments by Jan Kempenaers

No, that’s not a monument to the king of the ring wraiths in Lord of the Rings, it’s one of the many Abandoned Yugoslavian Monuments as photographed by Jan Kempenaers.

Alloy Yachts Vertigo 220 Superyacht

From its design to its technology to its sheer size, the Alloy Yachts Vertigo 220 Superyacht is amongst the most stunning sea vessels of 2011.

The World’s Largest Wind Tunnel

You’re looking at the world’s largest wind tunnel, a massive structure spanning 43 feet in diameter.  If the economic bubble hadn’t burst by now, SUV’s would have continued to grow to use all 43 feet.  Okay, maybe.

Classic Car Photography by Ken Brown

Ken Brown’s classic car photography is amongst the best we’ve ever seen, and we respect it even more having learned about his rather ingenious technique…

2011 Paintings by Francoise Nielly

A long-time favorite of TheCoolist, Francoise Nielly has released a new collection of her visually stunning portraits for 2011.

Nooka Zizm Watch

The Nooka Zizm Watch features a futuristic, faceted face and a look like no other watch on the planet.

Pohutukawa Beach House by Herbst Architects

This beach house near Auckland, New Zealand is a temple to the Pohutukawa trees above and around it.  The top level rises above the canopy, while the lower levels are clad with a glass-walled viewing of the natural beauty of the trees themselves.

Washington Metro – The World’s Most Iconic Subway?

In April, while covering the DC International Film Festival (courtesy of Saab), we found ourselves falling in love with the design of the Washington Metro all over again.

Orime Mouse by Elecom x Nendo

Continuing our fascination with faceted design, we immediately loved the Orime Mouse by Elecom x Nendo.

Federico Cabrera Fashion Photography

Fashion photographer Federico Cabrera has a special post technique that makes his images stand out from the rest.  These wild, kaleidoscopic images are pure eye candy.

Moto Undone by Joey Ruiter

It’s the un-cycle, a bike that takes the visual character of a traditional motorcycle away whilst giving it a fresh perspective.  It’s the “Moto Undone” by Joey Ruiter.

Invisible Shoes by Andreia Chaves

Designer Andreia Chaves revealed a new version of her invisible shoes, this time chopping the exterior and leaving a spidery, geometric structure.

Ring Mirror Installation by Arnaud Lapierre

Artist Arnaud Lapierre recently showed his Ring Mirror Installation in Paris, France.  Inside and out, this reflective sculpture reflected the world around and within it.

Shipwreck Art Gallery by Andreas Franke

You’ll need a good set of SCUBA gear to visit this underwater art gallery.  The Shipwreck Art Gallery by Andreas Franke uses a downed ship to host a collection of his photographs.

Kalaam Light Painting 2011

Julien Breton, also known as Kalaam, continues to release stunning images of his light painting calligraphy.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’or Blanc

How do you make an already amazing Bugatti Veyron more incredible?  Add this stunning L’or Blanc paint job featuring ceramic white detail.

10 Zombie Proof Concepts for Zombie Free Living

This “urban security suit” is one of ten items we suggest for surviving the zombie apocalypse in style.

The Gallery Inn, San Juan, Puerto Rico

We’re including this one for sentimental purposes, but TheCoolist’s Mike Payne and Rachel Schroeder spent their honeymoon at what might be the best boutique hotel in Puerto Rico.  Read our review of The Gallery Inn, Old San Juan.

The Gardens of Marqueyssac

If you find yourself wine touring in central France, be sure to visit this meticulously manicured garden, the Gardens of Marqueyssac.

Shanghai Musuem of Glass

From art to industry, glass is used everywhere but not properly appreciated.  The Shanghai Museum of Glass sets out to change that, while its display items and structural systems rely on the use of glass.

Ralph Lauren Classic Car Collection

This Bentley Blower is a part of the amazing car collection of fashion magnate Ralph Lauren.  Check out a wider look at the Ralph Lauren Classic Car Collection.

O House by Philippe Stuebi Architekten

The front facade of the “O House” is its namesake, a perforated privacy screen and a strong exhibition of the character within.

MB&F HM4 Razzle Dazzle Watch

Our favorite watch from 2011 returns with a limited edition styling.  The MB&F HM4 Razzle Dazzle Watch is inspired by the decal-laden bombers of WWII.

Nike Mag 2011 “Back to the Future” Sneakers

These Back to the Future sneakers are modeled are the shoes worn by Michael J Fox in the second installment of the BttF film series.  We loved them then, we love them now.

Ford EVOS Concept Car

Ford’s styling department pushed the envelope with this aggressive new concept car, the Ford EVOS.  The exterior is just as aggressive as its on board technology and next gen drivetrain…

Meat America by Dominic Episcopo

From Lincoln to Elvis, Michael Jackson to Texas, photographer Dominic Episcopo explores the iconography of the USA and its strange obsession with meat.

Technology in Fashion: 10 Tech Trends of Tomorrow

In this feature, we explored the tech of fashion, 10 ways technology is a driving force in the trends of tomorrow– including that laser suit above.

Crsytal Bubble Portable Homes

A European company has begun producing clear “luxury tents”, a collection of wild looking Crsytal Bubble Portable Homes.

The Postcard Inn – St. Petersburg Florida

A vintage Florida hotel has been rehabbed with the aim of maintaining the vintage appeal of the original, the Postcard Inn of St. Petersburg, Florida.

1964 Alfa Romeo TZ Coupe

The 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ Coupe was one of many vintage stunners sold at luxury auctions in 2011– but this curvy Alfa was amongst our favorites.

Hayashi Natsumi’s Levitation Self Portraits

On the lighter side, self-portrait artist Hayashi Natsumi has created a large, playful collection of levitation portraits.

Stuttgart City Library by Yi Architects

Yi Architects recently completed the new Stuttgart City Library, a brilliant open structure that would make MC Esher proud.

Splinter Wooden Supercar

This stylish sports car has a hand-made wooden fiber body.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The splinter wooden sports car was part of our exploration of 10 hand-crafted works of functional art.

Andrew Brooks Landscape Photography

There’s something dream-like about Andrew Brooks Landscape Photography, the type of classic shots that would really warm up our office walls.

Frank Lloyd Wright Lego Architecture – Robie House

Fusing two of our favorite subjects, LEGO once again joined the estate of Frank Lloyd Wright to immortalize the architect’s work in plastic bricks.  Awesome.

Epic Photography by Christian Stoll

Photographer Christian Stoll captures the world from perspectives that expose its epic nature.

Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini revealed a new bull in 2011, the Lamborghini Aventador is at the peak of its supercar offering.  The details?  O to 60 in 2.8 seconds, 217 mph on the top end.

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Thanks for joining us for a look back at design culture in 2011.  What’s your favorite?  Did you favor something we didn’t include?  Share it in the comments or tweet us @thecoolist!