Wandering past the Alessi store on my block, i stopped and did a double take as i saw the Alessi Miniatures ~ particularly the "juicy salif" miniature citrus-squeezer by philippe starck for alessi from 1990... Honestly, of all of them, it seemed the most usable... can't you just imagine using it to fresh squeeze some mini kumquat juice into a shot glass for some designer shots? While i'd heard about these, the images online (see next page) really don't do them justice, it's seeing it next to the original that makes it that much more fun! And at a mere 2" x 1.8" - h 4.5", it could even make for an adorable christmas tree ornament!
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SETCAST is a new gorgeous bone china collection from London architects, voonwong&bensonsaw. "The SETCAST collection is the result of a close collaboration between voonwong&bensonsaw and one of China's most distinguished manufacturers of bone china, Asianera, based in Tangshan, the porcelain capital of northern China. Together, the companies have developed a collection that makes the best use of bone china's excellent light-reflective properties and also moves away from traditional decorative tableware to focus on striking new typologies that make a bold statement."
My favorite part of the collection is definitely these Molecule Dishes ~ in Large ($90), Medium ($75), and Small ($65) available at Merchant4~ they are extremely affordable, and the simple clean packaging would make them great gifts for almost any occasion! See more images of the full collection as well as a peek at the factory (which is going GREEN in 2009!) on the next page...
I was just floored when I saw WASARA over on Swissmiss' blog. WASARA is a line of the prettiest disposable paper tableware that you've ever seen - I would throw a party just so I could use these. It's not just paper plates either, it's bowls, mugs, sushi plates, serving platters...With the desire to be as sustainable as possible, WASARA is made from reed pulp and bagasse (sugarcane waste).
From WASARA's website: "Underlying the concept of WASARA is the legacy of Japanese aesthetic and value sense. Japan has a tradition of good manufacturing backed by excellent skills and techniques, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit of hospitality and courtesy. These are essential for days of spiritual fulfillment. While a WASARA is a paper dish good for one-time use, we would like it to represent those quintessences of our tradition."
WASARA will be available for purchase at the end of August 2008.
"Garden's dwarfs are back, but with a brand new role: "guard dwarfs". With an attitude that could hardly be defined as friendly, they shine thanks to the luminescent resin with which they are produced. Absorbing the light for a few moments they release it along the night, becoming small presences in the dark."
See more pics on the next page!
Candela was acquired by Oxo, and seeing these new Flare lights as rechargeable ambient lighting to replace/accompany candles, i couldn't resist. While i've always loved Candela's playful kids slug looking lights and the taller lights, i never knew what i'd really do with them. But in the new products since Candela met Oxo, you can immediately see the more mature, versatile, hyperfunctional designs which have emerged around the same technology. The Flare, DemiGlow, and Luau (how fun would it be to run around in the woods with that lantern?) are a gorgeous addition to their family of products, and the Flare look so perfect for everywhere from dinner on the patio to lining around your pool... i finally ordered some... so on the next page see a full unboxing, including an upclose look at what's in the box, how the lights are put together, and how they light a hallway.
One thing that blew me away on the user experience of the design... these lights run on rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries (which are replaceable), and they are charged by simply playing them on their base, which also doubles as a carrying tray. The lights also have adorable on and off buttons on the base. What i love is that - regardless of whether the light is on, when you place it on the base it goes off... as soon as you lift it from the base it lights up. And silly as it sounds, there is something magical about that interaction. Likewise, if there is a power outage, or you unplug the base to carry the tray, they will all light up. View the unboxing on the next page, and view the full selection of Oxo Candela Lights!
NOTCOT Note: This is the fifth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
On ultimate accessories, one of the more interesting ways to bring some green into your home is definitely in the form of terrariums (especially over cut flowers!). And your terrariums can be filled with anything from cacti or venus fly traps to flowers or bonsai... one of my favorite designs which manage to be both minimal and somewhat traditional, yet so organic and fluid feeling is definitely the blown glass terrariums of Esque at A+R. As described on the site - "Esque Design in Portland: Justin Parker and Andi Kovel blow recycled glass into purposeful sculptures that are as elegant as they are otherworldly. Case in point: These crystal-clear balloon terrariums, which frame your favorite succulents, flowers or other life into a world of their own."
NOTCOT Note: This is the first in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! Don't worry, as with any sponsored content ~ they basically give me an excuse to do a fun series of posts - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help keep the site free! And in all honesty, i'm kind of excited to be sponsored by Infiniti's new G Sedan... i've been lusting after the G Coupe for years...
So to kick off this new series, here is a product review i've saved specially for this occasion! The sleek, sexy, new Acuity office chair from Allsteel! It is the first chair design by Design Continuum Italia, the Milan-based product innovation firm headed by founding partner Bruce Fifield, and from the look of the video on the design story (embedded on the next page), they really put the users first and designed around the needs of your body.
First impressions? Out of the box, the luscious white leather and the gorgeous metal curves looked incredible ~ and on my first spin, i instantly felt more productive - it gave me this Dr. Evil meets retro first class airplane seat feeling. And then i looked down and saw the controls, simple, adorable icons just where you needed them, allowing you to shift up/down, forwards/back, and a variable lever for the level of resistance tilting back. And the CASTERS! Looking closely, the icons and the caster are my favorite design details of this chair... Skip ahead and you can see many a product shot as well as close-ups of my favorite details on the next page - including the buttoning system used to attach/remove the leather jacket.
P.S. Can you believe this gorgeous chair is also Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver by MBDC? No PVC, Recycled content above 45%, more then 90% (by weight) recyclable, fair labor practices and socially responsible initiatives are followed...
My fascination with porcelain and the way light dances in and off of it has yet to subside... latest to catch my eye was in C magazine, the Lynn Lanterns from Williams Sonoma Home. "Hand cut in a beehive motif, our lanterns cast light and shadow in lacy patterns on tabletops and terraces. The glazed white porcelain has tea-stained wicker handles and removable bottoms that allow for easy placement and lighting of candles. Candles not included." See larger image on the next page.
Velcro. We've all used it, but have you ever thought about what you can build out of it? After getting settled from all the traveling, and finally having some time in the midst of this TasteSpotting situation (which i'm sorry i can't talk about yet, but will try to tell you what i can when possible)... i finally manage to wrangle my lost ICFF images out from Aperture (it kind of ate them in the midst of the madness) ~ so here i'll be catching up on some of the fun stuff i wanted to share from ICFF 08.
Back to velcro, though, when at the Conran Shop's ROJO Exhibition party curated by Nani Marquina and Luis Eslava ~ everything was red! And i was enamored by Luis Eslava's Face to Face lamp constructed of velcro strips ~ as well as his velcro space dividers which were used in both white and red throughout the exhibition. See more images from the exhibition as well as close ups of the velcro on the next page! I've been really curious to go buy velcro strips and have fun with them for new office dividers lately...
We came across this Bait Lamp designed by Henrik Pedersen for the Frandsen Projekt at ICFF, and i must admit, it didn't look like much to me, until i lost Dan, only to find him with the booth guy playing with this lamp... and then it suddenly became really sweet. It has a carbon fiber rod, and on it is a movable brushed steel weight, and using the weight as a counter balance you can slide it along the lamp to adjust the height of the lighting, and the carbon fiber rod will naturally adjust its curve!
Really, you need to see it in action to make sense of it... so luckily we made a quick video clip you can check out to illustrate how it works. Unfortunately there is minimal information on the the Frandsen Projekt site, but we did find it in the catalog/pdf. Watch our little video on the next page!
p.s. we're internally debating whether the lamp we saw is the same lamp in the press images, but the booth guy gave us the press kit saying it was in there, and this is the closest thing to it........ it is a bit weird that the press image has the shade hanging so much lower, perhaps that's adjustable?
Finally! The Vitamin I.V. Plant Pot ~ self watering via I.V. bag... is available for purchase! It sure seems to be larger than i initially imagined, and is priced at 160 pounds. It's available in classic white and limited edition black and included with the lightweight fiberglass plant pot is a height adjustable metal rod, a refillable I.V. bag and a flow regulator that allows you to set watering rates to suit your plant. See close ups on the next page...
ICFF previews are filling the inbox, and i'm getting giddier every day as we close in on NY Design Week (still kicking myself for not being able to make it to Milan this year!)... Check out the Abyss by Osko & Deichmann and Atomium by Hopf & Wortmann, both for Italian company, Kundalini.
These pieces will be a part of the Water Air Exhibition at 477 Broome Street, NY from May 17th through 20th from 12pm to 9pm. See more images of these gorgeous lamps (in and out of context!) on the next page...
On more packages to play with upon returning to LA... Here is the Sorapot unboxing that i've waited 3 years to do (i first read about it over on Cool Hunting in 2005)! Joey Roth was actually my first NOTCOT reader i ever met, and i'm ecstatic to finally see his masterpiece in my hands (and not on a computer screen!). So amidst all this u-haul unloading, unpacking and playing 3D tetris with boxes... here's a quick unboxing of this beautiful new teapot. So industrial, yet elegant... and i even have
... I have yet to brew my first sorapot of tea - more to come on that later... But for now - check out the freshly launched official Sorapot site! On the next page see the unboxing of it out in Topanga Canyon... a few sneaks peeks for you of the factory in the making... and a refresher diagram of the making of the Sorapot and how this is a testament to the power of design blogs to help small designers get out there!
I need to build a house/room around a bathtub one of these days... and i'm madly lusting after this Sorgente Tub, by Teuco. It completely submerges into your floor, and has water flowing to the brim... AND 8 hydrosilence whirlpool jets... *swoon*. It can even be covered with the same material that surrounds it - and of the options, Slate Grey Natural Stone option is just beautiful... but i imagine the oak-wood, teak, and pierre gris would be incredible too. via Trendir...
Take a look at the close ups of the tub, tiling, and other playful collages on the next page!
The Union Bench by swedish i do design. I wish they replaced public benches everywhere! And i'd love to have one in my courtyard/waiting room/etc. The outdoor model for this is made of concrete with wood seating, and the indoor version made of Glass Reinforced Plastic and finished with a comfortable leather cushioned seat and will be launching at this years Salone Satellite in Milan. I love that with no real front or back, and so many ways to sit on it (whether hanging off the edge, or straddling one of the in betweens)... its really created a unique communal yet private space, perfect for groups, loners, and even those with strollers to easily sit down and take a break. Take a look at further images in more situations, with no people, and of the different models... after the jump!
Mobius Climbers from Landscape Structures! Is there simpler more intriguing surface? My future backyard will definitely need one of these... essentially it is a giant sheet of annodized aluminum with rock climbing styled hand holds so kids (or you) can climb up, down, and all around any side (well, i guess its only really ONE side) of it... It is available in 4 configurations to accommodate various budgets ~ 3, 6, 7, and 12 panel options. My only disappointment with this is that you can't climb a full loop and go around and around since the two ends go into the ground (so really this isn't a mobius strip so much as a crazily bent sheet), but with a little imagination i supposed you can assume that where these go into the ground they pop out into another yard and continue the loop. Also cool could have been if it was in a loop AND you could unzip it down the middle for an even larger mobius strip! More images after the jump!
DayNa Decker makes some breathtaking Candles - i mean Chandels. What's the difference? According to their site, it's their patent pending wood wicks, which not only create mesmerizing wide flames, but also crackle like a wood fire. They are also handmade right here in LA! The come in a range of sizes, from the perfect size to line around your bathtub, to huge centerpieces, they will certainly set the mood. I'm personally most drawn to the layering of the black within the solid clear glass candle... see a plethora of images after the jump!
On new luxury collaborations for 2008, French designer, Jean Marc Grady, has designed a service accessory range for Moet & Chandon including buckets, drink cooler, bowl, candlesticks and platters. What struck me with this collection is the interesting integration of technology in the bucket. There is nothing to draw you right to a drink bucket in a dark night club like a sparkling bottle of champagne, literally glowing... and as soon as you pick it up from the base, the light stops. This one will certainly create quite the dramatic lounge experience, and between the black lacquered exterior and the reflective gold interior filled with shimmering ice and a bottle of Moet & Chandon, there is no way anyone will be able to take their eyes off it. More closeups after the jump ~ and unfortunately there are no pics of this one in the wild yet, but i'd love to do a photo/video shoot with it a lounge/bar someday!
It's incredible what can be done with raw silkworm chrysalises. While at FORDBRADY last week for Dwell's cocktail party, i was immediately drawn to the work of Angus Hutcheson. He creates some breathtaking lighting pieces by wiring up hundreds of silk worm cocoons for wall, floor, ceiling, and table lamps, which come in both white and black, and the natural variation in the cocoons creates such a mesmerizing effect, particularly when casting fabulously dramatic shadows. The only thing that i couldn't help feeling was... what if they missed one! What if one of the moths was waiting to emerge... and found myself peering into all of the tiny chrysalises. Images below of the lamps, as well as a roundup of from Angus' collection.
Lobster Chair! Designed by Lund & Paarmann for the Verikon Furniture. Fun how this chair feel part egg shaped coziness, protected by a woody exoskeleton with the plush leather within. "The shell is laminated, bend wood with a walnut veneer at the back. Inside the shell we have used Pantera foam, as it is very durable and probably the least damaging foam regarding our environment. The swivel base is chrome-plated steel. The fabrics and the leather we are using for Lobster are of the very best quality."
Nothing like the use of aged polaroids in a beautifully styled site to grab my attention, and i couldn't resist posting these once i saw them over at Decor8. Introducing Harmonie Intérieure, a french line of sticker/decals and prints. What i like first and foremost is certainly the little touches in their site design (see an image after the jump), and while the wall sticker trend is getting a bit tired (although i am certainly having quite a bit of fun with with the vinyl cutter and inventing my own), they certainly have a lovely twist on this, adding enough of their own character through beautiful typography and illustration, cheeky french sayings, and dainty adorable stickers for cups, mugs, boxes, laptops, etc.
Arne Jacobsen's world famous 1958 iconic Egg Chair makes me feel like i'm 5... spinning round and round in my grandmother's egg chair ~ this design icon will forever make me think of her. Can you believe that it's turning 50 this year? For its golden anniversary, Fritz Hansen is launching a limited edition Egg Chair with engraving and book, here is an excerpt from the press release, and after the jump are many pictures of the chair past and present!
The world famous Egg chair designed by Danish Architect Arne Jacobsen in 1958 and manufactured by Fritz Hansen will launch its 50th Anniversary in 2008 with 999 limited edition designs. The limited edition collection will for the first time include chocolate brown suede on the back and dark chocolate brown leather on the front. The sophisticated combination of leather and suede is perfectly complimented with a base in solid bronze; hand polished to create a unique finish. The bronze base will darken in appearance, becoming more beautiful over time. Each of the 999 Eggs will be individually engraved, under the seat cushion, with a unique number and a brief text about the history and origin of the Egg chair design. A special, limited edition 50th anniversary book will also accompany the chair.