While trying to kill time in TriBeCa between meetings, i followed a recommendation to check out Playing Mantis for some fun wooden kids toys… and found the most amazing chess set of hungarian hand carved little knights… as well as these knights on horses. As you can imagine, it took a while to pick the perfect one, and i settled on this guy, because i simply had to get some close up pics to share with you!
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On NY Design Week must sees… Merchant No. 4 Secret Shop is a MUST! Sadly it closes tomorrow, but you’ve still got a day! So get on it! I’ve always adored the wonderfully curated collection in the online store, but to see and touch and play with it all, i felt like a kid in a candy store. The products are even more incredible in person ~ in design, colors, packaging and more ~ few stores have made me want nearly everything! Cheri Caso’s beautiful selection of design objects of wood, glass, and porcelain make for a breath taking collection. So for a peek at the wonders that lie within… as well as the teak ice cream scoop, measuring spoons and cake knife i fell for… see it all on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT
Fun on so many levels ~ let’s start with the packaging on the latest Jawbone bluetooth headset ~ the Jawbone ICON! Touted as the World’s First Intelligent Headset ~ it’s been great having it able to literally TELL me how much talk time is remaining, who’s calling, etc ~ i can even change voices and add apps! Their new MyTalk system allows you to Personalize & Update your headset. But back the packaging ~ seldom does packaging tell you about itself and its creation process like this one… apparently “Jawbone ICON’s compact eco-friendly package is 100% recyclable, and took many months of research, design, & engineering to perfect.” And when you see the close up pics of the way it unboxes, it’s impressively efficient with space and materials, and an incredibly beautiful box! From nice matte sleeve, to the box “lid” of molded paper holding the various ear piece options… to the pull tab to free the charger/cable from the paper lining below… it’s fascinating to see how it all unfolds. See the details on the next page as well as a peek at the Bombshell itself! Tiny, golden, functional jewelry of sorts…
MIO debuted their new “Design On The Go” Collection ~ “featuring products that move with their owners and become part of their every day lives.”… As Isaac Salm said “We are extending MIO’s product line from the home to the rest of your life.” A true lifestyle company! This new collection includes bespoke 2000+ hats, tyvek Loop Cut jackets, and my favorite the Pop Up Bicycle Baskets and Pop Up Baskets. The bike baskets ship flat and are made of laser cut powder coated steel and come in the prettiest black, white, and green options…
On more, MUST SEE IN PERSON if you have the chance, products ~ add Paperself Eyelashes designed by Ting Yu Wang to the list. “Inspired by the art of Chinese paper-cutting, Eyelashes blend an element of traditional culture with contemporary design. Intricately cut and delicately pretty, Eyelashes are available in three styles, each infused with symbolic meaning rooted in Chinese culture.” What was really striking was to see these on in person (even lovelier than i’d imagined, especially the smaller ones just on the outer corners)… and to get a peek at their beautiful packaging and POS display! So tempting, and i’ve never really been into false lashes, but between Paperself and Shu Uemura, how tempting is it to wear these mini works of art for a day or two? Take a peek at the close ups on the next page!
It was absolutely breathtaking to see the Lladró Parrot Party Collection in person (They launched in January at Maison et Objet). They are spectacular, and they truly capture those moments of curiosity, intrigue, and playfulness parrots are known for… and the pairing with such modern yet simple shapes and colors, mixtures of matte and glazed glossy porcelain goodness create such fascinating contrasts. This is apparently the first collection in the Lladró Atelier concept, “a world of new experiences in porcelain under the guidance of Jaime Hayon, conceived to showcase the creative potential of the brand’s designers.” As a contrast to the usual press photos, and while i still insist these are worth seeing in person if possible ~ take a peek on the next page of how incredible i found the details and lifelike character of the Parrots!
p.s. So far when asked what my favorite thing is at ICFF ~ this is what jumps to mind!
Popped by the adorable store at the Standard NY Store today and got a peek at the new limited edition artist scarves in person. They are adorable, feel so soft and perfect to brighten up your day ~ a perfect pairing to the stunningly sunny day in NY today! A follow up to their artist t-shirts collaboration last year, The Standard has commissioned three artists representing LA, NY and Miami—Thomas Campbell (for CA), José Parlá (for Miami), and RoStarr (for NY) to design art printed on a limited edition run of silk-cashmere scarves (100 pieces of each produced). While they aren’t in all the Standard Hotels’ stores yet ~ they can also be purchased online! Perhaps i shouldn’t be surprised anymore that the California ones seem to always be my favorites… take a peek at the beautiful scarf display in the NY store, how they wrap it if you purchase it there (adorable tote graphics!), and more scarf details on the next page!
Got to love a good room divider, and often they are not nearly as fun as they should be! Enter ~ SWARM for Council by Mike and Maaike! In playful, happy colors with a chaotically orderly pattern… and apparently there is even a large installation of it outside the ICFF Theater! “Swarm is a space divider that offers great flexibility in density and scale, enabling the creation of light-filled, intimate spaces within open environments. The term Swarm describes an aggregation of animals (insects, fish, birds and microorganisms) of similar size and body orientation, generally cruising in the same direction. The Swarm space divider displays a similar behavior, softening spaces, fading in and out, creating texture and motion. The self-standing units blend together when arranged in groups.” See more pics on the next page!
Spotted across the street when we were in Milan ~ Fritz Hansen had an incredible display not only showcasing the new NAP chair by Kasper Salto… but the whole process, from inspiration boards to prototypes to failed tests and more! It’s an inspiring way to see how much work and testing goes into a product that ends up so simple, functional, and beautiful. See the full walk through on the next page!
When i visited the Oakley HQ a few months back, one of the things i quickly became obsessed with was this artist edition Antix Oakley collaboration with Mambo. Yes, its from fall 2009 ~ but how did i never notice? And how did no one tell me about 1) how amazing the concept is and 2) how cool the packaging is~ particularly in how it opens! It’s fun enough i even had to make a little video for you on the next page so you can understand what i’m talking about! But first, back to 1 ~ the concept! Why do i not have more toys that serve a higher purpose… like holding my sunglasses on my desk and looking pretty cool while doing it? With details down to certain toes being lifted up, thumbs to hold it in place, a little red tongue… It’s a stunning toy. And a mind blowing glasses holder. And we haven’t even gotten to the beautiful art work adorning all sides of the box, the sunglass’ sleeve, and the sides of the glasses themselves. See more of Flavien Demarigny, franco-hungarian artist, born in Santiago, aka Mambo’s work here. As for the details i can’t stop gushing about on this stunning Oakley artist collaboration… see the pics and video on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT.
Found at Agape’s showroom at this year’s Salone was a interesting combination between modern rustic and stylized high tech, Patricia Urquiola’s 2008 design “Vieques” bathtub and Gwenael Nicolas’s recent addition to his “Sen” faucet program created also in 2008 for the Italian company, which will be finally opening an Agape store in NY May 17th during design week! It’s absolutely breathtaking the way the faucet functions… and would be a perfect match with the matte black japanese “tools for men” featured earlier… even though first out in 2008, seeing it in person just made me want it that much more… take a peek at close up images of this beautiful line on the next page!
It’s that time of year again ~ IKEA’s spring/summer goodies are out, and i’m once again fascinated by what they are doing design wise for low cost outdoor solar lighting. Here’s what they had going last year ~ and to be honest, and an upclose look at them unboxed… and a year later, the ones in my patio, some are holding up ok, some really just dont last long lighting the world up at night anymore. Perhaps i need to swap some new rechargable AA’s in. I’m intrigued by the new additions this year though ~ from floor lamps and desk lamps to pendant lamps and even snake like lighting tubes… do you use them indoors? but in strategic locations that get lots of light? They are apparently approved for outdoors, so it could make for a cute little patio set up… and it looks like you might even be able to turn the table and desk lamps on and off… so charge them up and only pull the switch when you need it outside? (Will this make the battery last longer?)… take a peek at some larger pics on the next page!
Packaging based impulse buy at Whole Foods when i got home… “Clean Air Tree” ~ a biodegradable potato waste pod containing spruce tree seeds in a soiless growing pellet in a biodegradable growing pot… complete with an FSC paper booklet printed with veg based ink… sealed in a compostable corn starch sleeve… super green packaging? And apparently when you plant/buy one, they do too… but unfortunately their website seems a bit broken, so i couldn’t register my pod yet… See the next page for the unboxing… start at planting… and lets hop there are sprouts soon! And someday perhaps a tree…
Across the street from my milan hotel was a store front i must have walked past every day, and then one day stopped dead in my tracks when i suddenly noticed HOW these bags and ottomans and more were made… they all use the same simple leather units to build them up! I imagined the packaging being a DIY stack of leather pieces with instructions on the many possible configurations. What a beautiful and unusual use of leather…
Turns out these are the brand new Pinetti products experimenting with materials and shapes creating collections like “Hook” trying to interpret our contemporary lifestyle. The Hook collection makes use of one single leather module without the aid of glue or staples, to create several different types of handmade objects. Pinetti, a handmade leather goods manufacturer based in Bergamo, just north of Milan combines tailor made attention and tradition, inspired by the high quality of its raw materials to satisfy the requirements of the contemporary lifestyle. Take a peek at the shop display and details on the next page!
On unexpected packages that arrived ~ a Polaroid SX70 Original from the Impossible Project ~ as well as a pack of the PX 100 Silver Shade / First Flush… The IMPOSSIBLE Project - “In October 2008 The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid production plant for Integral Instant film in Enschede (NL) and started to re-invent and re-produce a new intant film for traditional Polaroid Cameras.” ~ in addition they’ve been fixing up vintage polaroid cameras… “Polapremium SX-70 cameras are NOT new, but we did our very best to make them look and function like unused cameras. Nevertheless we cannot avoid that some cameras will have some minor cosmetic signs of their former usage.” and i couldn’t resist trying it out… so here’s a first look at the details and a test pic of the first flush on the next page!
p.s. there’s something fun about having a polaroid camera ~ since polaroids were an inspiration in the design of NOTCOT.org…
Wow, what a week it was last week ~ volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, threw a little kink into what started to feel like a never-ending adventure across asia and europe, and early on in the trip, i decided to travel with only my blackberry curve, no data plan - only sms and international email - also, no iphone… and figured i’d be so busy, i’d survive just fine. Somewhere while i was diving in Indonesia, HTC contacted me and offered to send over an HTC Legend to try out (knowing i’d been lusting to try out the unibody phone and opitcal trackball in person)… they were even kind enough to send it over to my hotel in italy, along with an italian SIM card… with data! After 3 weeks traveling without using maps/internet/etc on my phone, i thought i was fine… good to disconnect a bit!
HTC Legend shows up ~ pop sim card in ~ start playing with maps and internet and gps and twitter and youtube videos and more… i’ll admit it, it made life 110% easier, nearly instantly. I’ve learned my lesson. Super snappy connection to the digital world 24/7 - it’s not an addiction… its convenience… like being able to go get lost and not need to ask for directions b/c your phone always knows where you are… or being able to go out to drinks, and keep checking in on the status of closed airports and volcanic eruptions and ash clouds and book/change flights while in the middle of an insane italian club? Excessive, but it certainly helped keep the panic of being stranded in europe indefinitely to a minimum… so, THANK YOU, HTC, for reconnecting me to the digital world when i needed it most! Things got a little stressful as people were hopping 22 hour consulate bus rides to London, rushing on packed trains to madrid and rome, booking private 737’s from newark to heathrow… but it’s good to be home!
And beyond the awesome functionality of the phone ~ the internet browsing seems FAR snappier than my iphone and i’m in love with the screen and trackball! Also, every designer i ran into at design week couldn’t help but comment how the phone was nearly more mac than a mac! It feels SO good in your hand, and the single piece body of the phone is just lovely… take a peek at the bunch of pics on the next page of it compared to my mac book pro at my last lunch in Milan at a cute little cafe in brera…
Hope. After a night of endless events, too many people, and walking all over the city… i must admit walking into a room of HOPE lamps really did make me light up… i was just giddy at the sight of them all together! And then i had to go directly under one to see how it looked from below… Luce Plan’s light designed by Francisco Gomez Paz and Paolo RIzzato, and winner of the 2010 red dot design award, Hope was born in 2009 as a modern reinterpretation of classic chandeliers. The design is a combination of a steel structure with polycarbonate arms and plastic Fresnel lenses to create a refraction effect equivalent to that of glass.
There is something so versatile and enamoring about this lamp, in person they just draw you right in… fun to see the way the family has grown and evolved from the original modular design. This year Luceplan proposed four new versions capable of satisfying a variety of demands.The large suspension lamp with 105 pairs of illuminating lenses can be enlarged upon request for special projects. This is the perfect solution for public spaces where a sparkling and joyful effect is desired. The wall model is smaller, with three pairs of lenses, while the ceiling model has 12 pairs of lenses. Finally, the floor version completes the Hope family: polished stainless steel tripod supports 18 pairs of illuminating lenses. See more pictures from the Luce Plan event as well as all the new Hope family on the next page!
p.s. also walking past the dark lobby of a beautiful old milanese office building, i stopped dead in my tracks when i saw a large hope pendant in the center… it looked stunning!
As design week comes to a close, but not the trip (we’ve been hostages of the volcano), i’m still sorting and posting much of the fun stuff discovered this week! Here’s a favorite photo from Milano Salone del Mobile 2010 this 4am. Staring at it ~ Leo, who’s been amazing helping explore and cover design week with me, and i joked that in a way, this image epitomized the key elements of the design week chaos…
Milan Design Week = beautiful objects + flowing libations + a sea of humanity
Bottega Veneta Home Collection was one of my happy surprises this Salone ~ i showed you the fun pop up shop with an incredible curated selection of goods from Japan as well as exclusive and my new favorite Wine Opener i couldn’t resist there… well here is a look at the beautiful leather seating collaboration with META and Poltrona Frau (with classic Bottega Veneta woven pillows!), beautiful Murano glassware (with the bases etched with the iconic weave pattern), stunning Intreccio Svanito porcelain tea services in collaboration with German porcelain manufacturer KPM (with what almost look like charcoal rubbings of the iconic weave)… Creative director, Tomas Maier says “Many of the new furniture designs came out of customer requests, so they feel like natural next steps. Philosophically, the collection reflects Bottega Veneta’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers with pieces that are versatile, understated, and beautifully crafted.” I had no idea that you can buy or order these in any of their stores… take a peek at the beautiful pieces on the next page! (I’m lusting after the couch and glassware…)
On designer impulse buys this week ~ the last place i expected to buy a matte black silicone painted japanese wine opener… was when popping over to check out the Bottega Veneta Home collection opening reception in their pop-up shop… But there it was, amongst a series of irresistible black metal minimalist beautiful pieces i had to talk myself out of, until i ended up with simply this “OWL” Wine Opener by Hagino Mitsunobu… the inner spike within the coil is lovely! I’m quite smitten by it, and as i write this post, i finally just tried it out! (It’s been a busy week!) In addition to the many closeups, unboxing pics, in action pics and more on the next page… also take a peek at the other pieces from the collection i was tempted by on the next page…
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!
On amazing surprises, i never expected a quick rush out to the Bottega Veneta launch between a cocktail appointment and dinner would prove to be one of the most inspiring experiences this trip! Also… totally tempt my shopping gene… Bottega Veneta featured a pop-up store store filled with unique, pleasing and travel ready items, which are apparently not readily available outside of Japan, as well as a small collection of Bottega Veneta products designed exclusively for the occasion by their creative director Tomas Maier. Simple, beautiful, and irresistible… housed in their new Milan office near Lido… and sadly only open for a few days! The products were absolutely stunning! And i totally gave in and bought an amazing wine opener… so FIRST, take a peek at the pop up shop offerings on the next page… and more to come on the wine opener and actual home collection (which is also totally lustworthy)…
On adorable irresistible impulse buys ~ i’m totally carrying this Ele Funnel back in my luggage. Thai Qualy Design, had the most adorable (and adorably packaged) Ele Funnel! The graphics are great, the plastic feels so nice in your hand… you can even hang it on the wall… see lots of pics unboxing it 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.”
One of the objects that caught our attention at the Ora-Ito showroom in zona Tortona was the cool looking Furtivo (very appropriate) knife, designed for french knife makers, Forge de Laguiole, with its all black metal minimalist styling and carbon fiber inlays makes it a very desirable pocket friendly accessory. See more pics of it on the next page!