While i've never been a huge embroidery fan, Megan Whitmarsh's little yetis and lilliputian people rocking out have always been so adorably amusing. These were spotted over at Synchronicity at CAboom, and definitely made me giggle. Take a look at the rest of these silver and gold little guys with their crazy geometric/neon clothes and patterns popping off mini canvases on the next page!
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If i had a pool, i'd love to have it surrounded by a few of these Inflatable Pool Lounger/Chairs by PAD Outdoor. Such a sleek simple idea ~ aluminum frame (see it exposed on the next page!) ~ and although its only a prototype, you can buy them over at Ford & Ching and they will even customize them in an array of colors...
I didn't know what to expect when i heard CA|Boom had moved from barker hanger (which i love!) to that abandoned feeling Robinsons May space in Beverly Hills... and from March to the same dates as the Dwell on Design Show... but i had to check it out none the less. It takes a few minutes to cover - but the thing worth seeing is the art! A few great local galleries are showing some fun work... like Thinkspace!!!
That piece above is one of a series by Brett Amory in his "Waiting" Series ~ and it's absolutely STUNNING. A must see in person. There's just an incredible way it pulls you in ~ beautiful color palette ~ and then as you get closer you notice the details and emotional distance between the 3 tightly seated communters who float like an island in the space... Love the hoodied guy too... There's something terribly fun about the shift to seeing more art works with the beautiful illustrations/characters woven into larger more complex and/or abstract pieces coming in... leave it to Thinkspace to lead the way. Take a look at a few of their other pieces showing at CA|Boom which also caught my eye on the next page!
LA kids - if you're not on the Sour Harvest list, you should be. It's far better than asking me what shows are happening each week!
The one thing that i couldn't get out of my head after leaving Dwell On Design - Woolly Pocket Gardening Company, and they adorably cool recycled plastic felty living walls/vertical gardens and planter pockets! It's a brilliant concept that really softens up a space, and such a fun subtle texture to add both indoors and out. These pockets are ready for planting, come in a variety of sizes... and can be both lined on the interior base (so they wont leak onto your walls/etc) or unlined for outdoor use. "Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. They`come in two styles: those designed to be placed on horizontal surfaces, and those designed to be hung on walls for vertical gardening. You can use Woolly Pockets both indoors and out; they have built-in moisture barriers to help protect furniture, and they're equally at home outside in the elements"
Also - how adorable is that logo and tag??? Their website + blog have adorable photography as well ~ but for some first hand looks at them, check out more pics on the next page of the various setups and colors all over the Dwell show ~ not only at their booth, but also found at the VIP section and throughout the Outdoor section. I have so many ideas for movable gardens in my patio as well as covering some walls now! See the pics...
How perfect would the small table top ones be for fun succulent filled gifts???
Phone Lust! Crunching to get this post sorted out before i run to LAX to pick friends up... and because of that i wasn't able to make it out to London today for the HTC Hero and HTC Sense launch! Fortunately Dr. Justine (yes! my little sis is all done!!!) was able to spare a few hours, hop out of oxford, and out of the academic world to go see what all this mobile fuss was about. And get pics to show me what i was missing. As usual, you can get all the technical details on any site, but she got us those key moments and details i love seeing... like the expressions the C-level presenters have, and the presentation graphics they used... and quotes about things like Drunken Thumb and Teflon fingerprintlessness and how 'fun people make fun phones, nerdy people make nerdy phones' (yes, this is a "fun" phone). So on the next page you'll see a bunch of hands on pics of the new phone, as well as my favorite snippets of her press event experience.
As for the phone lusting ~ the new HTC Hero is like a super thin keyboardless version of the G1 (in shape!) ~ and it is running Android, with their new HTC Sense experience that takes it to a whole new level (keep in mind HTC are the guys who even skinned windows mobile to a point where i loved looking at it, and the UX, until you realize its still win mobile under there, too bad they couldn't hide everything?) ~ Its most appealing feature is that it is truly PEOPLE centered, in that instead of looking for your friends on twitter, facebook, flickr, address book, email (of various accounts)... it sorts the content by PEOPLE! So you can see all of a person's feeds/interactions with you in one place. And it sounds like it does it pretty easily too ~ get your account info in and the phone does the rest and updates it regularly and syncs people up. Now if that meant all those people i'm bad at officially putting in my address book can have their info sucked in from facebook/linkedin etc ~ that'd be awesome. (p.s. while it does apparently magically sync matching names on its own, you can decide which get paired or manually sync for people who like pseudonyms on various accounts.)
OK ~ go see the pics!
With so many lost souls out there "finding themselves" via quarter, third, and mid life crises these days... i loved the idea of reminding us all that "not all haystacks contain needles". It's not about looking hard enough to find what you want... if its not there! Usually. Really its about looking in the RIGHT places? Making smarter decisions as we "grow up"? I love this one as a reminder to look up to when you're faced with more opportunities than are feasible, as it alleviates some of the guilt in turning a few down.
Rant aside ~ these pieces by Damien Correll at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City broke the black + white + teal color palette a little, but his illustration/graphic style is so playful its easy to forgive him and try to find meaning within his could be random juxtapositions. See the rest of his work on the next page!
On more favorites ~ it was such a pleasure to see Dan Funderburgh again ~ and then literally stand and lose myself in his latest wallpaper pattern. Everyone at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City worked in black and white + one color (Faesthetic style!) ~ and this time the color was their choice of teal. Well, Dan Funderburgh loves the black and white (me too!) ~ but when presented with the teal paint options at Home Depot ~ he couldn't resist using a splash of Ariel's Song. Yes. The Disney paint colors for Behr... from the Princess collection. I think it's the color of her tail? So his black and white wallpaper, with laser-cut/burnt out black and white pieces in black frames... got their splash of color with the Ariel's Song painted side of the wallpapered coffin. He always did find the most intriguing ways to create serenely complex edgy compositions that make your head spin if you look long and hard enough. So take a look at things up close on the next page... it was particularly interesting to watch people pose for pictures with his Ariel tail colored coffin face.
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!
There is something undeniably amusing about dragons... and girl scouts? Especially when put together by Amanda Visell and her Switcheroo! Unfortunately i was still in NY when the big Dragon Scout vinyl toy release and party went down, but i was giddy to come home to a surprise package from her with one of the Green Dragon Scouts ~ with one girl scout freaking out, and one in its belly, and a little fire! Take a peek at these two taking over my pool table, the gorgeous packaging, and a peek at the customs made just for the show on the next page!
Is it possible to completely fall for the way someone sees the world? Because i want to live in the world that Kevin Dart has created for Yuki 7 - filled with non-stop jetsetting adventures through the 60's where "everyone should be SUPER cute" in adorable bikinis and gorgeous clothes and armed to the teeth while relaxing and calculating devious schemes and brilliantly daring escapes in mid-century modern furniture if not laying on the beach. If these feel familiar, we did an amazing giveaway of the series of 4 Yuki 7 posters over the holidays. (I'm still jealous of Jory for winning!)
Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7 - This is the second book from Fleet Street Scandal ~ it is built around the fictitious world of Yuki 7 ~ and they brought together some incredible artist friends to help bring her story to life. From an awesome action packed trailer (you may have seen as .org # 22010 - but its also on the next page!) ~ to absolutely stunning interpretations of this silver screen siren. See a peek at the t-shirt and into the book on the next page!
Can someone please turn this into an animated series or movies? It's as if they pulled out my favorite parts of the old Bond films that the new ones lack... just add some mind blowing gadgets in perhaps?
I totally flipped out seeing a quote from myself on the back cover! Definitely a NOTCOT first, and i'm so honored to be there! The doodle and signature/note inside the book also made my heart skip a beat... See the pics on the next page already!
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.
So, as i'm sure you may have picked up by now, i've been back in NY at a not so designy conference and checking out some random events (like polo and Aston Martin) ~ and some guy wrote in criticizing my lack of "quirky posts about cleverly designed knick knacks" ~ while personally, i find the cut in half aston martin very quirky and cleverly designed... i also found some pics just before i left of my little Staples shopping spree with regards to their new OXO for Staples exclusive line of office products! You may have seen them over at NOTCOT.org #21648 earlier, but you've got to check them out up close too! I love the line, particularly the little magnets ~ all products have the signature OXO rubbery grippiness, and clean solid designs. The scissors i hadn't realized have a little switch where upon flipping it they can close till the tips CROSS - switching into BOXCUTTER mode! Genius really... also, watch out if you ever see someone running at you with closed scissors... So take a look on the next page to see close ups of the ones i purchased, as well as the POS displays... apparently pens and highlighters are even on the way!
Here's a $5 off $15 coupon too! expires 6/15/09.
A Rolls Royce engineer's wife mentions that she doesn't know where to put her purse when she's in the car. Solution? A purse pop out section of the back seat complete with wings to support the width of the purse, and as soon as it senses your purse, it automatically has a piece that slides up to give it a little squeeze and hold it in place. Yes! I'm serious. There's a video on the next page to show you. And in case you are wondering, their design team is a tiny 10 person team in the UK, and the only woman is their color & trim specialist.
Ok so to backtrack a bit ~ this morning i was invited to the Rolls Royce 200EX preview in Beverly Hills. This concept car launched in Geneva and is currently making its worldwide debut city by city ~ and will go into production in 2010. While i've never quite been a Rolls kind of girl, i was impressed with the details, and it was fascinating to see and hear the design stories. So for this post, we'll focus on the details, and work out to the car and event itself through pictures on the next page...
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.
It's always such a pleasure to go visit the DesignGlut booth at ICFF ~ i'm not sure how to describe it other than delightfully edgy ~ it is so playful, yet realistically dark ~ basically i always end up wanting everything ~ and as silly as Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark may seem, they manage to pull it off this playfulness with more charisma and seriousness than you may expect from a design duo selling your eggs pants. Their photo shoots and booth design were stunning as always, and they're even launching a new product... the Candlestrip ~ just like what it sounds like ~ candles with plug bottoms, ready to stick into almost any outlet (i still think they were pretty risky to have outlet plates as well as candle prototypes in the same booth waiting to be plugged together!) ~ but basically the candles go into a power strip like holder!
Take a look at some closeups of the new goodies, and their fun booth on the next page!
i hate that every time i see them i feel like i need to buy a few dozen more hookmakers!
I've written about quite a bit of packaging design, and alcohol packaging in particular often has some beautiful designs, but i think this is a first where the detail that grabbed me most was the cork! Once we popped this cork, i couldn't help but spin it around and around, and as we drank the bottle the question really became, who's chasing whom?
This is the cork of the André Balazs Sunset Beach Rosé ~ which is a collaboration with his long time friend and local Long Island winemaker, Christian Wölffer. Apparently vines planted at his Sunset Beach hotel will also contribute to future réserves. The label is also a fresh, beautiful water color representing that French Riviera/Miami lifestyle ~ lounging on towels with toes dipped in the water, raising glasses of Rosé as the bartender wades into the sunset behind with tray over his head? Cute label ~ rumor has it the girls on it are his daughters? Anyhow, take a peek at more pics on the next page...
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!
Walking by the Stella McCartney store in the meatpacking district you can't help but notice, stop, stare and giggle at the window filled with inflated dinosaurs ~ some even taking over the heads of mannequins while others swoop down on those with their arms raised... It's bizarre to say the least, but part of me can't help but wonder what it takes to get hired to come up with and execute THAT idea. It sounds like it'd be terribly fun! See more pictures on the next page... the close ups crack me up.
if you're in need of fun attention grabbing playful ideas like these, we should chat!
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!
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!