Magis was incredible this year, so many stunning pieces. Perhaps the most experimental and fascinating was the Sparkling Chair by Marcel Wanders. It’s like the PET water bottle chair of sorts… complete with mock-labels matching frizzante water… There was even a pop up space in Tortona with walls covered in prototypes, sketches, and more, and to see the process to find the perfect weight, colors, concepts were truly inspiring! This is his lightest chair yet, weighing in at under 1kg ~ and it finds its strength not in the material, as much as it does the air and pressure within (imagine your bottle of sparkling water before you open it?) While i’m not sure how i feel about the material chosen, it is interesting to see that its blow molded, and really that the concept plays on the idea of lightweight/minimal material usage in combination with the strength of air pressure… without having that terrible feeling of inflatable furniture? Take a peek at lots of angles of it in person, sketches, prototypes ~ as well as a video of him chatting with Fabio Novembre about it (while seated ON the prototype!) on the next page!
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On standouts at the Fiera this year ~ the green and wood combination pulled me right in. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti for CASAMANIA, the BEK is a small but eye catching table. It looks like an excellent option to live underneath my Droog parasol. The main feature of this table is concentrated it is leg, composed of two identical metal elements: the combination of these two halves creates a unique object, perfectly adapted to be mounted between the table and its base. The series, including the BEK chair, were designed in 2009 but now for 2010 they are available in this new shade of green that looks super nice combined with natural wood. Additionally the matching BLOOM bookshelf is adorable as well! See images and more info of both on the next page!
While rushing to a Molteni/Ferragamo event on Montenapoleone the other night (which was definitely a fire hazard with the number of people crammed in the store!) ~ i was pleasantly surprised and amused by the Citroën DS3 Design Driver ~ a huge red lamp serving as a lounge as you popped out at the Montenapoleone metro. A lamp that sized ~ wow ~ you just can’t help but smile when you see it!
According to FuoriSaloni - “The most refined heart of the city, Piazzetta Crocerossa, on the corner with Via Montenapoleone, will stage Citroën DS3 Design Driver, an original installation which will be used to unveil the latest creation to come out of the Citroën stable, the DS3, launched on the Italian market on the 21st of March. The installation bears the signature of the architect Fabio Rotella, whose aim was to create an “Open Air Living Room” where a six-metre-high lampshade covers and illuminates a lounge area… The large lampshade is reminiscent of the Venini lampshades hosted by Citroën in the lounge area as a valuable testimonial to a major name in Italian design. The unmistakable creations of the historic glass maker illuminate the exquisite chairs, recreating the atmosphere of an ideal lounge in which to meet and share ideas, projects and creativity.”
See more images of the stunning lamp on the next page!
Perhaps one of our favorite finds while running around Ventura Lambrate ~ the amazing AXECHAIR! As part of the Made In Arnhem (Netherlands) exhibition Weltevree presented their beautiful AXECHAIR designed by Floris Schoonderbeek (whose Dutchtub, we loved and lusted after for some time now!) The AXECHAIR is a chair made of wood and cast aluminum, with a surprising use of existing axe handles by Swedish company Gränsfors, Gränsfors Bruks has manufactured axes and hatchets in Sweden since 1902. The unambiguous and powerful joints are directly derived from the way axes are made.
Floris Schoonderbeek on the Axechair: “Gränsfors is an inspirational company in terms of both its technology and its culture. The Axechair is actually a statement of identity - a statement about Gränsfors, the company and the village. And this has produced a practical chair, sturdy yet elegant.
On random ideas ~ i secretly wish they would do a version of this with the American Axes - Best Made Co! Can you just imagine how fun the incredible boxes would be? And the fun colored handles? Ahhh, a girl can dream! But firstly, check out the amazing pics (both from the booth, as well as making of pics!) on the next page of the AXECHAIR!
p.s. Just noticed the standalone page (with minimal information) on the Axechair: “The Axechair reflects this trip to Gränsfors with ice fishing, axe throwing and spending a Sunday afternoon on the ice. Back in Holland, Floris started to design the chair with the gathered materials from Gränsfors. Axechair, a romance between Dutch elegance and Swedish axe construction.”
Spotted at Milan Salone Satellite 2010 ~ Fresh From The Mint ~ Six graduates from Academy of Art and Design Offenbach, Germany showcased their unconventional and diverse approaches. Loved the material combination designer Nico Reinhardt for his Stooltypes_01-04! Take a peek at closeups on the next page! It’s also fascinating to see how they are put together!
While exploring Milano Salone Satellite 2010, i was taken by Frame Series, the premiere collection of Rends Design, the design duo Masanao Furkawa and Kaori Akiyama! The quality of the pieces feels incredible ~ so strong, yet delicate in the curvature. With simple elegant lines and a strong japanese modern aesthetic ~ the piece i’m most lusting after is the sofa! Sadly, they didn’t have a prototype of that pieces at the show! The Easy chair is even more comfortable than it appears, and they truly had to pry me out of there after a full day of walking the show floor! Take a look at the images of the collection (and a few fun booth pics!) on the next page…
(On a quick silly side note/disclaimer, Leo and I were actually looking for our grad school friend, Masa, and this ended up being his booth! But no one was in the there at the time! But we loved the collection! It was pretty funny when he finally called, and we looped back to find his booth number, only to realize it was his work we already liked while passing by!)
Ahhh, Veuve Cliquot ~ they’ve become one of my design week staples around the world ~ that shade of Veuve yellow is starting to feel synonymous with inspiration, i guess they’ve trained me well! For the salone 2010, they’ve launched two new designer collaborations in their Clicquotsphere. The first is The Tasting Gloriette with the Campana Brothers (a playful modern twist on the gazebo of sorts, using coiled thin metal to mimick and overgrowth of champagne vines on a bent wood base… resulting burning man yurt style contraption to relax under and a central nest cradling a champagne bucket). The second is “Once Upon A Dream” by Mathieu Lehanneur ~ a retro futuristic looking bed ~ that is SO much more than a bed. It’s more of a luxury sleep experience created to help you get the best rest physically possible, optimized for jetlag recovery ~ through special lighting, white noise balancing, ideal temperatures, and curtains to create that womb like effect… there is even a plant hanging beside you which is used to control the lighting (coolest living light switch?) ~ and its even designed in conjunction with sleep scientists! Sadly, the best sleep is apparently alone, so this bed is just for resting! Both of these pieces will be installed in the Veuve Clicquot Hotel du Marc which is opening in spring 2011 (and it’s not a hotel at all, so much as their super guest house in Reims)… and in full Veuve Clicquot fashion ~ the champagne never stopped, the music was fun, the food was delicious, and they had unexpected surprises like keys you could try your luck to unlocking prizes… and even a special mailbox where you could write postcards which they will mail from Reims! See lots of pics on the next page…
It’s not often that the rear of a sofa draws you in… but with Nika Zupanc’s new Modesty Sofa, its hard not to look! The way the black sateen bow pops off the bent wood is just stunning. As she describes it. “In a world of demanding circumstances, this is a noble move. In spaces hungry for some identity, a discreet black ribbon comes as a pleasurably stimulating theme.” Also check out the black aluminum legs on the modesty sofa~ and the silk upholstered seat and backrest are lovely too! Not to mention they are housed in a life sized dollhouse of an exhibition space in Superstudio Piu covered in golden pinwheels… pics on the next page!
Popped by the De Padova opening tonight and can’t get Patricia Urqiola’s Lavenham Executive chairs out of my head. They describe it as “For dining and meeting tables, or behind a desk. Lavenham Executive reprises the quilted pattern on the back of the chassis of the Lavenham chair. A versatile, transformable seat: nude, with a small cushion, or covered with a matelassé housse, put on or removed with a single gesture. The base plays with the materials and finishes. The legs are in oak-stained ash wood, while the swivel version has a base in aluminium, polished or with white or black satin paint finish.” It’s like hypermodern chanel quilting as you approach it, with a satiny eggshell matte when you settle into it. Each of the different bases give them such a different character… i’m craving them for a fun dining/conference table look. See more images on the next page!
I currently have a thing for super multipurpose furniture… especially the type that is versatile and beautiful enough to fit in both inside and out! Launching at the Salone in Milan in a few weeks ~ here is a peek at Expormim’s new “Nido” by Javier Pastor. Isn’t it just perfect for the simple mod california house… or out on the deck? And it’s so very NOTCOT, coming in only black and white! See a close up on the next page…
So many adventures today! So many firsts! And finally met so many incredible people i’ve talked to for years digitally… but even with all the Altitude Summit madness underway, i couldn’t resist hopping in a car to check out the Absolut Vodka filmmakers of the first ever Sundance Opening Shorts Program party at Easy Street’s The Sky Lodge in Park City presenting “I’m Here: A Love Story In An Absolut World”, a short film directed by Spike Jonze. And while it may be 2:30am… and i’m freshly curled up in a hotel room robe photoshopping into the night as usual… and needing to put the finishing touches on the 8am keynote panel presentation i’m doing with the lovely Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, and Heather Armstrong of Dooce… how could i pass up sharing the magical snowy wonderland i crossed the mountains to experience before my nap? From ice furniture (made by Newport Beach’s Ice Bulb) out in the patio, in the snow, with heat lamps and a fire going… to the first cosmo i’ve had made with SNOW… and peppar-y icey shots with salted cherry tomatoes to keep me warm… and some of the biggest Absolut bottles beautifully lit from below and glowing like lavalamps… and endless beautiful hors d’œuvres circulating… I know i’ve stated on twitter that i nearly avoided real “winter” all together this year, but i’m really glad Altitude Summit and Absolut brought me out to Utah this weekend and let me experience what i hear will be some of the most incredible powder of the season. So take a peek at the next page for how fun it was… and i guess i should go take a little nap before the talk!
p.s. The Icebar was one thing… but the Ice Furniture outdoors with fire in the snow… were dare i say, even more unforgettable?
So much i want to share with you from the last week or so, and as usual having trouble catching up ~ sensory overload! Inspiration OD? So i'm just going through pictures and will share pieces with you as they get me all giddy again. Firstly, being invited out to Sweden for the Absolut Art Collection celebration is a dream come true on so many levels ~ Absolut Ads were one of my earliest obsessions of where advertising met art, the ads were on my walls, i had the books and museum/art collection cds (totally need to find that when i get home), postcards in my notebooks, i probably even discovered a few artists through them (imagine 10 year old me?)... and over the years i've definitely grown up following the art they've enabled in so many mediums as i've also progressed further into the tech/art/ux/online/new media worlds... It's incredible that this weekend was celebrating 30 years of Absolut's creative collaborations! And the talks with their global marketing heads about the history and philosophies of the brand as well as the panel discussion with artists who have worked with them in the past on "Commissioned Art - Career boost or selling out?" was inspiring and thought-provoking for sure... but before we even delve into all of that... you know i fixate on the visual... and i had to show you the brilliantly simple portable/modular panel set up they popped up inside the Lydmar Hotel Restaurant!
Basically it is a series of two layered panels ~ lots of hinges... striped, in the front, had openings to expose the pink layer behind and also served as a frame for the flat panel TV behind. The A shaped stools were close didn't perfectly match the Absolut A, but the designer did say that it could be said it was inspired by the Absolut A (with a wink). Also adorable was that the stools also apparently make great little tables while the Absolut team had lunch perched on the audience set up of a rainbow of Starck's Kartell Ghost chairs... Apologies for being too mesmerized and immersed in conversation to take pics while they were taking it down, but it was impressive how quickly they collapsed it all before dinner! Take a closer peek at the set up on the next page...
aren't the A's a little sesame street? I kept thinking, and today is sponsored by the letter A! (and A is for Absolut?)
So since that top picture is what i am literally lying in bed staring at as i write this post (yes, i went to paris/versailles for barely 24 hours, and am now in stockholm)... and since it's already 4:30am, and i'm kind of on a chandelier high (they are kind of mesmerizingly stunning, and at the moment, i just feel drawn to standing directly under them and looking up)... figured i'd show you the crazy contrast between chandeliers from Versailles and the various more modern chandeliers here at the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm. More to come on the Lydmar soon, but it has definitely jumped up on my list of favorites quickly ~ there's something so nice about their eclectic mix of modern and woody and i'm completely smitten by the bathroom, particularly the lighting! But first... go see the rest of the modern chandelier mandala pics on the next page!
Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
I love libraries, books, bookshelves, and since i was a little girl i've always wanted one of those massive libraries with a rolling ladder to climb and slide around on... maybe that's part of the inevitable draw i have to leaning bookshelves. Combine that with a sleek, slim, modular swedish design in stunning blacks and whites and you've got me. When i came across the Swedese Libri shelving unit at Tom Dixon's The Dock. Favorite aspects, they are slim, yet wide enough to stack my favorite bigger design books every which way interspersed with objects, and simple enough to fill a wall with half a dozen units and still have it look beautiful... or even attach them to each other for non-wall-leaning freestanding units. It's always bad news when you see, fall for, and already envision exactly how something would fit into your space. Take a peek at more pics of it in context, in real life at The Dock, and product shots ~ on the next page!
I love bent plywood, and i love simple multipurpose pieces that are incredibly versatile... and when i spotted John Green's Embrace shelf/table at Tent London out of the corner of my eye, i was smitten. And i wanted a few! Basically they are a pair of tables that can be interlocked to form a lovely floating shelf with room for magazines/etc to rest on the side. The first use case that popped into mind with this was - bedside table! And laptop resting in the shelf, such that when it got too hot on my lap in bed, i could grab the tray and flip it over my legs to lazily laptop in bed! With my current offi one i never know where to put it when not in use! It's too shallow for a side table, to big to slide under the bed.... this would be perfect! And its so beautiful! No wonder why its been winning awards!
"Inspired by the comet logo and created by Design Research Studio under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, Veuve Clicquot presents The Comet. The Comet is a natural evolution of Tom's original creation the Comet Lamp." (Which we gave away to a luck reader earlier!) I've always loved geodesic structures, and to have this large igloo like cave of a space in that vibrant Veuve yellow ~ and filled with perfectly stacked bottles of champagne... it was just a delightful space! Also unmissable from afar as you wonder what the bizarre yellow structures are as you enter from the bridge...
I suppose i shouldn't be too surprised to find myself coming from the history and source of Veuve Clicquot having just participated in harvest, only to be mesmerized and inspired once again by their design collaborations... on random thoughts, these comet structures would make for a very cool fort if i was still a kid... or maybe a sanctuary or work space? tree house? Unfortunately there weren't really any kids at the VIP event, but i bet they would have made for some adorable pictures! See lots of pics of the structures and some other Veuve details on the next page!
Perhaps the coolest random goodies yet... Ford & Ching (Previously FordBrady, but Brady has moved on and Ching has joined Ford) ~ while at Dwell on Design this morning, i got a branded marshmallow in a box ~ a very cool little wooden box cut to perfectly fit a single marshmallow. A marshmallow i couldn't bear to eat until i had thoroughly photographed it to share with you! (As it was publishing, i devoured it. it was delicious.) While i hate to admit it, i was far too excited by the adorably cool boxes and chatting with both Ford & Ching that i don't have the name of the awesome wood loving designer behind the boxed mallows, but i'll be back there tonight and quite a bit this weekend, so i'll come add that later... but first things first ~ check out the awesome branded mallow in a box on the next page!
UPDATE!!! The awesome woodiness is by Andrew Riiska ~ and his blog has some fun behind the scenes look at his gorgeous tables as well!
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.
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 so much to show you its hard to know where to start ~ especially when all i want to do is curl up in bed, stare at the view, and pass out! Sad to be leaving NY tomorrow already, but will definitely be back soon! SO, for starters, it only made sense to run a hot bubble bath to figure out what to write, and that lead to taking pics in the bath, and then of course i had to give you a peek into my favorite part of The Standard New York... while i did tour the facility (both open, and not - the roof is so awesome!) with Andre Balazs the other day, that will have to wait. Prioritizing, what you really need to see first is the TUB! You can literally open up the slats so from the tub you can watch the skyline ~ which is stunning whether its day, sunset, night, etc... or i guess you could watch tv too... or chat with whoever you have in the room with you. It's also such a deep massive tub you could easily sink into it, or fit a bunch of people in, whatever suits you.
So take a peek of the view from the tub ~ and around the room and various details that have caught my eye. While there are 16 different room layouts/color schemes in the hotel ~ of the ones i toured, this one is definitely my favorite! Take a peek on the next page, and view shots to come...
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!
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!