Latest in designer collabs for Target is Dror. While most of the new collection is more pillows, bedding, little stationery accessories ~ the one piece that really caught my eye are the Nesting/Stacking Bookcase/Shelves! I wonder if they could also be little stools as well? While i’m not sure that i love how they look stacked, i do love that they stack and nest! So multipurpose, and easy to move? Take a peek at some of the larger pics on the next page, and browse the full collection here.
The reusable bag trend is a bit out of control. They are pretty much the new t-shirt as far as things to put your graphics on. In concept, i love it ~ less plastic bags, less waste, but then a new problem has cropped up, i think i have an unhealthy amount of reusable bags and tote bags that i love too much to part with, but there is no way i can use that many at one time, even with piles in every house, car, bag, etc… What i HAVE needed lately are throw pillows though (i’m working on figuring out what to do with my empty room, so far stuck an ikea couch/bed and a big desk to play with in there)! And whether you want to call it a new way to reuse cotton tote bags, or recession chic, or multipurpose bag/pillow covers… once the random idea popped up i had to try it!
Tote Bags as Throw Pillows! I grabbed a few of my throw pillow inserts that were floating around and some of my favorite tote bags (it’s especially good for those bags you love that are a bit thin material-wise as good functional totes). They don’t look half bad, give me an excuse to SEE some of the graphics i love but tend to end up in a closet, and they are actually really comfy!
Now the part i haven’t tackled/resolved yet ~ do i alter the totes? Remove the handles? Or cut the handles and tie them to close the cushion covers? Or add zippers? Or just make custom perfectly sized cushions for them in a light fabric i dont mind having show? That way they can always be swapped back to being used as totes again? Truly multipurpose? Or do a slight stich across the tops to sew them in that can be easily removed when needed?
Take a peek at more pics on the next page… and i also got curious whether all those reusable shopping bags works nearly as well… so you can see a pic of that too…
First spotted at the Areaware booth at ICFF, then again at the Designboom Local show ~ how adorable are these nesting “Step Stools” tables by Paul Loebach? The design is so perfectly cute, and the color palette really makes it pop! … in a refreshingly green playful minimal sort of way. “Hard Maple, Birch Plywood - Inspired by the simple versatility of American Shaker furniture, these nesting stools pull out to make a set of steps.” See more images of it from both shows on the next page!
I have had a thing for awesome classic-esque black wood chairs with a twist… i went through classics, was tempted, but wanted more. And then i walked into the Design House Stockholm event at NY Design week, and just gravitated to these 4 Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist - and just FYI, i love almost all things DHS, so i knew i hadn’t seen these before, and just kind of wandered past the door list and right over to them. They are such a fun twist on a classic! Here’s their description:
“Not every chair is created equal. Especially not Family Chairs by Lina Nordqvist, a foursome of traditional Swedish stickback chairs. Separately they present themselves as individuals, unique chairs aspiring to be something more than just pieces of furniture. Together they form a boisterous family, with each one displaying a distinctive character. Even the horizontal spindles between the chair legs play their part in the game. “I’m fascinated by objects, and I like it when they have their own special individuality, something beyond mere technical function. That’s why I decided on a graduation project at Beckmans College of Design in which I transformed something well-known and traditional into something unexpected.” It’s no surprise that Lina Nordqvist’s Family Chairs seem to be made for the stage: she has already pursued a career as a professional set designer in the Swedish film industry for several years. Family Chairs will be available in natural wood and in a black-lacquered version.”
See the many pictures on the next page! Which is your favorite? I also have a thing for playfully mismatched chairs…
IKEA PS Collection 2009 is stunning ~ those of you following NOTCOT.org may have seen a bit of this collection as it launched in sweden ~ and as the playful animations about the design stories behind the collection began to circulate. While the anticipation for this collection is not yet over (the collection wont be available in the US until August 2009) - but it’s official US launch was at ICFF, so i finally got a chance to check it out in person! This year the theme is “Never Ending Design Stories” - the press release says: “The new collection is all about stories. Stories about our roots, of empowering people, of innovative ways of minimizing the use of resources and maximizing our responsibility for our world.” And the products reflect this beautifully with so many playful, unique, pieces that manage to dance the line between mass produced and full of character. You can see some of my favorites above ~ and on the next page take a peek at pics from the IKEA booth at ICFF 09, as well as the full catalog of products, and a peek at the history of the PS collection.
I have to admit this up front because i felt so silly about it ~ when i was trying to start catching up on what ICFF goodness to share, i couldn’t get this insane reflective jellyfish-like icelandic lamps out of my head, so i start photoshopping pictures, and then researching online, only to find that it had already been on NOTCOT.org #20302… So yes, even I can’t keep up with absolutely everything anymore, and truthfully, it was even cooler in person!
Now for those who don’t know, these lights are Illuminant by Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir out of Iceland ~ and there is no actual LIGHT in the light! It is like a jellyfish of reflective fabric ~ reflective strands hanging down and bundled above the more classically shaped lamp shade ~ and on the floor is a high powered LED light, simply shooting light up inside of it, and the result is this ethereal glowing free flowing creature… and to change colors, you simple put glass filters on the lights. (Literally just put a glass disc on the top of the light source) Now, imagine a forest of jellyfish in the ocean… can you imagine these installed in an array of sizes and heights hanging from trees in a garden party?
Take a look at the various pictures on the next page!
i could also totally see these installed in a rave/burning man type situation evolved into a visual/sound installation where the lights pulsate with the music and possibly even push bursts of air upwards to create perfectly timed motion in the tentacles of a forest of these… how fun would that be to watch?
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 VÃ¤inÃ¤mÃ¶inen, the main character of the Kalevala. VÃ¤inÃ¤mÃ¶inen, 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 Ã± birds, squirrels, bears Ã± 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 VÃ¤inÃ¤mÃ¶inen, 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!