I suppose the real question is… How can you pass up seeing DJ Kreemy (Karim) spin and dance all decked out in one of his all pink outfits (down to the watch even!)? There was quite a line for the Artemide party once Karim was spinning, and it was really quite odd trying to explain to this older french couple that may have just happened to wander through Soho at the right moment what it was exactly that people were lined up for… Also hilarious to see more beefy guys in super tight tees, this time green with I <3 LED on them and serving appletinis… The Cadmo lights by Karim were quite beautiful as well, honestly i liked them far better in person than i had in photos that had been circulating. Take a peek at the grassy window display, Karim in action, the lighting, and the I <3 LED bartenders on the next page!
Amazing that Kartell is celebrating their 60th birthday this year! 1949 - 2009! To celebrate their design week party was “Kartell, 60 Years of Design! What a wonderful world!”. Such a classic design powerhouse ~ it was fun not only to see some of their new pieces launched this year, but also their great color sorted displays, playful human cut outs, great use of mirrors, and perhaps my favorite unexpected detail… beefy guys in very tight I <3 Kartell Lights shirts, complete with their lighting collection on their backs. I couldn’t help but as the nice server to pose for me to share his shirt with you! So click on to the next page to take a peek at the Kartell soho show room and the scene tonight!
I love the work of Sanna Annukka. I also grew up loving Marimekko before i even knew what it was (i have the very beat up kids stuff to prove it somewhere). And when Sanna Annukka designed an animal themed print for Marimekko… yes, i pretty much got super excited. And then today… while exploring the meatpacking districts design week happenings and wandering into the Playful New Finnish Design Shipping Container (regulars will already know my fascination with shipping containers for anything other than shipping)… and then getting to see the Sanna Annukka’s Marimekko Kaneleen kutsu pattern in person… and being handed a press kit IN A BLACK AND WHITE TOTE OF THE FABRIC… yea. I was pretty much on cloud 9. I’m totally making that tote into a throw pillow. A throw pillow with handles. That can be hung on the wall when not in use?
BUT back to the point at hand ~ Sanna Annukka’s Marimekko Kaneleen kutsu pattern is stunning ~ and i’m so thrilled to have access to the press photos to get to see all the products and patterns up close! And to share them with you! (as well as photos of the totes that the lady was kind enough to let me photograph and pick through in the shipping container) But also, the story behind this pattern is quite lovely as well…
So here’s the story from the press release:
Sanna Annukka has created for Marimekko a series of expressive designs full of meaning, telling stories from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The Kanteleen kutsu fabric depicts forest animals that have, enchanted, gathered to hear the joyful tunes played on the kantele, a plucked string instrument, by Väinämöinen, the main character of the Kalevala. Väinämöinen, a shamanistic hero, had made his instrument from the jawbone of a giant pike. Mugs, tea towels and other ready-made products feature individual animals ñ birds, squirrels, bears ñ picked from the Kanteleen kutsu fabric. The Sampo, a wealth grinding magic mill with a multi-coloured lid, is featured in the impressive Taikamylly fabric and matching cushion covers, plates and trays. The Ihmemaa art print, sold by the repeat, shows the landscape of Kaleva, the Land of Heroes, and Lake Alue. In the depths of the lake, a whitefish has swallowed fire fallen from the heavens. The series also includes the Onnen helmet duvet cover design, which tells of how Väinämöinen, moved as he played the kantele, cried big tears that flowed into the sea and there changed into pearls.
See all the many many pics on the next page!
There are some things you can read about and only when you play with it and get to take it apart in person do you fully understand how awesome it is. It also doesn’t hurt to first see it in an awesomely large grouping arranged like a sculpture on the 3rd floor deck of the The Standard, New York with all of NYC as the backdrop… and then again back down on the ground in a shipping container both intact and taken apart…
Of course i’m talking about Artek’s 10 Unit System by Shigeru Ban! Both Artek and Shigeru Ban are known for their love of beautiful simplicity, functionality, and sustainability ~ so it’s no surprise that this 10 Unit System emobodies all of those qualities wonderfully. “Systematizing, Standardizing, Making It Accessible.” This is the chair who’s motto is boldly “One chair is enough”… and being constructed of 10 identical L shaped pieces, one can create chairs of varying designs, stools, coffee tables, and even combine them for benches and more. When feel like a quick change, simply rearrange the pieces! These are made from ProFi, an environmentally friendly wood-plastic composite - non-toxic, sustainable, and recyclable, it utilizes the surplus materials from the label stock production of UPM. (Artek also used this material for the Artek Pavillion that was sold by Sotheby’s as well as floor tiles.)
Take a look on the next page for images from the The Standard, New York deck ~ in the Playful New Finnish Design 09 shipping container ~ up close ~ press photos ~ and even the really fun propoganda cut/paste/photocopy zine looking booklet!
The Bd Barcelona Tout va bien ~ a collection by Antoine + Manuel. While wandering ICFF, i was immediately drawn over to e Bd Barcelona for the Jamie Hayon Showtime chairs in new colors… and then mesmerized by this new cabinet! Being human, its near impossible to not attempt to make a story out of random snippets ~ personally i initially assumed it would be some crazy myth or fairy tale… but the woman at the booth informed me it was far more fantasy and artsy and no real meaning… but fascinating details none the less…
Bd Barcelona describes it as: “Rarely does a graphic designer (two, in this case) go into the field of furniture design. We have to go far back in time to find them, to the times of the high and low reliefs. This is exactly what Antoine Audiau and Manuel Warosz have done, a couple of extraordinary Parisian graphic artists who sign their works as Antoine+Manuel. The cabinet they have designed for this new collection brought out by Bd Barcelona design is a surprising mixture of applied arts, hieroglyphic language, contemporary graphics, fantasy and optimism. It is produced with the quality of yesteryear but using today’s technologies in two versions, Basic and Top, distinguished by the shape of the top and because the more exclusive option also offers the possibility of choosing the colour in accordance to the RAL colour referentes.”
Check out close ups and press pics on the next page!
Stand out at ICFF that i walked away still lusting after? Shimna! Based right here in NY, their tag line is “avoid the aesthetic of the moment” ~ and it just about sums it up perfectly. It’s like rustic meets modern ~ but not rustic modern. Soft and cozy meet hard and rough ~ but not hard and cozy. Outdoorsy meets urban chic? The only descriptions i can give you sound ridiculously juxtaposed ~ but they have struck a beautiful balance in their juxtapositions that i’m in love with. I can see their pieces in my rustic modern loft… or my modern ranch/cabin in the woods…
OH, and i didn’t even get to talking about the 80$ ebay stuffed rabbit they placed on the bright red couch yet. Details like that really draw everyone into a booth… even adorably mesmerized babies (see pic on next page to make sense of this!). Also the bed, those drawers are slanted! So from afar, you wouldn’t even guess there are 4 large drawers of goodies hidden beneath ~ it just has sleek lines underneath… and then next to your head there are drawers for your glasses and jewelry… but not for your partner/lovers. They even have gorgeous updated variations on what felt like a trunk that evolved into a seat/coffee table that still opens up to provide tons of storage space… and apparently coyotes went from near extinction to overpopulation ~ so they are doing their part by using some of the special culled coyote skins on their cozy chair… and the couch is incredibly comfy/cozy and mounted on gorgeous woodiness… anyhow, see the juxtaposition of press and real world photos on the next page!
I’m extra giddy about this one ~ my old grad school friends from the Domus/Milan days ~ Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales ~ you may remember them as Toronto based Hero Design Lab which did the playful NotConcept series with NOTCOT a while back… have their first series of products Hero 365 showing at ICFF 09!!! Their first two products are the RC-1 Rain Collector and the DR-1 Clothes Dryer. With these “Extraordinary resource saving objects for everyday life” ~ they have taken simple ways to save energy and water, revamped some traditional concept, and made them beautifully functional. Take a look at more pics of these pieces on the next page!
And on living vicariously ~ having never had a booth of my own, it’s been so fun to share in their excitement watching people react to their products after seeing sketches and the progress on these pieces over the last few months ~ hearing their stories of the drive to NY from Toronto with their booth components ~ and seeing how beautifully it all came together! Also ~ because of them, i got to meet Dan Funderburgh!!! (He stopped by and was chatting with them about the product while i was there! And i got all excited!)
I’ve been obsessing about vertical gardens lately ~ and while most get complex drip systems, bricks of earth magically suspended, and pretty thick installations… i lit up when i stepped into the Valcucine showroom for the Surface Magazine and saw this brilliant idea of a metal grid with little pots hanging from them filled with everything from herbs to strawberries!!! And it looks pretty awesome? Also between all the luxurious sustainable kitchen and furniture ~ they debuted and let us sample the delights of Valcucine’s Riciclanta sustainable slow food kitchen… really delicious asparagus soup shots and soup spoons of salad bites… the chefs on hand were incredibly sweet and friendly too! Also really cool to see the little wet pots in person! I think i’m finding it much cuter than the eva solo one i just bought as far as use of space, and the same concept pretty much. See pics of it all on the next page!
My kitchen is DONE!!! So, a few weeks ago you saw the unboxing of the Kohler Karbon Faucet and Smart Divide Sink ~ well many an early morning, some banging, bashing, painting and more later… the 30s kitchen has had all its tiles ripped out, plumbing cleaned up, granite counters installed, and sink and faucet have been Kohler-ized… and i LOVE it.
Really it’s one thing to play with the Karbon at trade shows, but to have been actually using it ~ doing dishes, filling pots, spraying people, etc… it’s awesome! (i highly recommend playing with one!) ~ And the Smart Divide sink having a lower divider means far less splashage as i’m cleaning and moving things between the different sides…
As for how decisions were made… Yes. I became that girl in the ads who basically walked around with a faucet and designed counter around it… So see the advert, and the whole process from start to finish on the next page!
It’s not often shower head innovations catch my eye recently ~ but the latest Flipside from Kohler is definitely an interesting shift from the “Handshowers” (ok, i had no idea that was a term till i was reading the press release, but thinking about it, i dont know what i’d normally call it?) where you normally turn the ring on the showerhead to switch between different settings… and the water always comes from the same sprayface. In the case of the Flipside, there are 4 different sprayfaces, and each mode has a K name (Kohler does love their Ks):
• KOVERAGE - for a traditional, everyday shower with maximum water coverage that is perfect for the morning shower routine (green)
• KOTTON - streams a layer of dense, soft, enveloping downpour of relaxation that caresses your skin (yellow)
• KOMOTION - a drenching spray that delivers an exhilarating, circular pattern to refresh the senses after a tightly-wound day (pink)
• KURRENT - provides a focused and invigorating massage spray to target tired or aching muscles (blue)
See more pictures and more info on the next page!
I love the fractal nature of succulents. And continuing from yesterday’s post… while the plumber was working on the kitchen (Kohler goodies nearly installed), i ended up getting some cactus soil (and juice) and a few more succulents ~ and my mom donated some of her overgrown succulents that were spewing out of their pots to break up ~ soooooo, more fun pics of some inspiring patterns and colors! How crazy does that gummy one look? See more pics on the next page…
UPDATED!!!! Just add more at the bottom of this post since i just ran out to the japanese nurseries to see what i could find… (jump directly to the new pics here)
So many puns. Must resist the puns. Let’s just say its been a sucky day and leave it at that? Soooooo anyhow, on friday inspirations/distractions/obsessions… finally made it over to Rolling Greens Nursery in culver city, and it is TRULY mind blowing. So much beautiful stuff ~ not to mention the layout of the 4 tiered huge sections set into this pretty steep hillside ~ and the big sale (50% 1000$ pots and such)… i was like a kid in a candy store, oooohing and ahhhhhing over all the incredible plants, and then gave in and bought a bunch of succulents that i couldn’t take my eyes off of… and before i planted them (slowly working on the back yard now) took a bunch of pics. The details are just so fascinating!!! Also found a really cool flower you’ll see at the end of the pics on the next page as well…
As promised ~ i just got an email filled with the images of the full Tord Boontje 2009 collection for Bisazza. So, while i won’t be able to make it in person, on the next page you can see the 3 new pieces that Tord Boontje designed with the beautiful Bisazza tiles. I must admit i’m a huge boontje fan for his usual beautiful nature inspired clean vectory patterns ~ and this is about as pixelated as you can get from that. I love how they look like mosaic blocks, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that there are drawers and shelves and goodies hidden within them! Don’t hate me for saying this (or blame the heat) ~ but the vertical pieces do remind me conceptually of that IKEA Malm headboard with the hidden roll-out shelves ~ of course with more beautiful materials and mosaics applied! I’d love to have one of these as a side table, or behind the couch… and the coffee table, filled with spirits is just breathtaking as well…
Take a look at all three pieces from various angles on the next page ~ as well as the full press release!
Ok ok, i really should go to sleep ~ but finally cleaned through about 2/3s of many many emails in my inbox, and amongst them was this really cool one from Postfossil who is launching a new collection at the Salone Satellite 2009 in Milano next week! So before i leave you, here is some fun eye candy to enjoy! See more of the new collection and more details on the next page!
On NOTCOT firsts ~ i have never really remodeled a house, taken apart a kitchen, installed a faucet, carried a sink… so for those who have, don’t mind my silly excitement at some of the more mundane aspects. Also, i’ve been far too distracted playing with the sculptural Kohler Karbon Faucet, i mean sure, i’ve poked at it at design fairs, but the booth folks sure give you funny looks if you stand there reshaping it too much. Would it be weird to have this designer faucet as my desk/fidget toy? Its so beautiful! And mesmerizing to play with? Also since earlier Kohler ads ran on NOTCOT a few months ago ~ i’ve been wanting to try those Smart Divide sinks with the shorter dividers ~ cookie trays sticking out of the sink - no more!
I’ve never unboxed a sink or a kitchen faucet… ever! So naturally you get to check it out with me! Consider this the first in my latest hands on offline project ~ more updates to come soon ~ but for now, feel free to take a peek at how fun the products are in real life on the next page!
i totally geeked out about the Karbon on Numb3rs over at H2OVisions