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!
Ok, i kind of freaked out a little when i saw the new Freitag Reference collection Limited Editions over at 10 Corso Como, and instantly needed the laptop sleeve. This feels like a classier more refined Freitag than what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. I had a Freitag wallet that was worn pretty thin through high school, and let’s just say that was about a decade ago… The messenger bags were usually pretty heavy and not so lined… still truck tarps though! These SILVER limited editions pulled me right over… and they are lighter and lined with a nice light yet sturdy canvas. The Laptop sleeve also fits my requirement of no zippers… and has a magnetic clasp! Also the metal logo is darling… So it turns out that this is part of a limited edition series, 34 numbered silver pieces for 10 Corso Como, and gold pieces for Colette. How i never heard about them till now, is honestly, a little embarrassing. Apparently they dropped mid January… But better late than never? And i’m grinning and playing with the sleeve as i write this! Also incredibly tempted by the overnighter bag… and i’ve been scouring the net to find more pics to see what else is in the collection, and came across HopeHope’s post mentions that this is a sneak preview of the collection to appear in Fall 2010. In addition to the laptop sleeve and overnight bag, i saw a larger tote, two wallets, and two ipad sized handbags… from the HopeHope pics it looks like there are messenger bags, vertical totes with pockets, and more. See closeups of the laptop sleeve and a peek at the overnighter… the details are stunning.
On random adventures today, went to go find the Dom Pérignon Black Box by Marc Newson collaboration ~ special travel/gift packaging for the Dom Pérignon 2000 vintage. While i love the colors and playful way it photographed… i must say, as far as product collabs to save for years to come, this one feels a bit like plastic packaging, versus a solid reusable champagne cooler like some of his previous 3 collaborations? This polycarbonate black box is designed to play with the iconic shape of the bottle, and keep it perfectly chilled for any occasion, with a design that is said to “resists the wear and tear of transport and keeps Dom Pérignon perfectly chilled, even in the hottest destinations.” It does look awesome in pictures though, and i love the green on black! Also you have to check out the coolest robot of a street art piece i ran into on the way there too!
On fun exciting new things ~ in the midst of this travel fest ~ Adobe Creative Suite 5 is coming!!! And Linhchi and i have been super thrilled to get an early sneak peek at it to play with in order to spice things up for the week (maybe longer, we’ll see how it feels!) So to celebrate Milan Design Week and the fun new features of CS5 ~ we went for a splash of color, some water colored goodness, and GOOGLY EYES! That, yes, totally move and follow you around and stuff… you’ll see… they should be popping up as house ads around the sites! And the new tags are filled with links to some of my favorite furniture features of the past… and i absolutely LOVE how CS5 + Linhchi + NOTCOT photos = pretty painting styled imagery! So for more on before and afters, take a peek at the next page!
Also ~ this little project is part of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 launch campaign across the web, and i’m apparently also going to be a judge on the 5 weeks of 5 Competition Hosted by Adobe running over at Behance! The public link for the contest doesn’t seem to be up yet, but i’ll update this when there’s more info!
While in Stuttgart, i had a field day going to toy stores! Germans seem to have far more fun toys ~ particularly wooden ones and i adore their amazing puzzles and stunning miniatures! After falling for the bowl of Japanese Wooden Tops (which i can’t seem to give any away so far, they live on my table and are far too fun!) ~ i think a fascination with unique tops is growing! Quickly! So when i encountered 1000 Schoen in Stuttgart, it was hard to resist buying up the pile you see above! The incredible wooden ones are made by Mader Kreiselmanufaktur, and their site even shows them being made by hand! Absolutely fascinating! The other type i fell in love with are these metal and metal/wooden tops that initially look like gears! For the wooden ones with metal tips and a bent metal rod included, you basically insert the rod into two holes in the top, twist to wind it up, and when you let go, the tension gives you incredible spin! The flowery gear you hold between two fingers and blow to get it spinning super fast, and drop it and watch it go! The man at the store mentioned it’s great to use a straw to keep blowing on it to keep it spinning. Take a peek to see them all close up on the next page, as well as a video of some in action!
As we warm up to Milan Design Week, it’s been awesome having a few days to just catch up with the city! On todays few hours of walking/shopping ~ here’s more randomness that caught my eye besides the Hermés Paper Sculptures! From slightly evil wooly sheep ~ to the milan marathon i ran into by the castle and throughout the city ~ to the giant camera lens screens at Tod’s ~ to rekindling my door knocker and gargoyle obsessions ~ tv sunglasses! ~ the blue cubes popping up around sculptures being restored ~ awesome signage ~ and these beautiful linen lamp like structures that fill Monte Napoleone, some designed by fashion designers!… and so so much more! See it all on the next page!
I forgot how lovely it is to just wander in Milan ~ spent a few hours today walking all over, and inevitably stumbled across a few things too inspiring and fun not to share. Like these Hermés window displays i ran into on Via Spiga! Inspired by fables and fairytales this series of beautifully intricate overdressed animals coming out of gilded frames ~ love the way the colored paper is juxtaposed with the black and white storybook illustrations! See more on the next page!
A selection of the latest drinkable delights over at liqurious. Click on the images to find out more.
Picked up a NaoLab NaoLoop ~ 90% because of the packaging (after all its pretty much a fancy elastic loop), at Magazin ~ while i was hunting for designy/unique stores in Stuttgart that i’d never seen (my favorite finds? Ikarus, Manufactum, Grüne Erde, 1000 Schoen). The use of layered cardboard is certainly a bit excessive, but intriguing, and a fun idea on ways to packaging other notes for mailing… take a peek at the unboxing on the next page.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum ~ you’ve seen the elevators and tornado and while the cars and exhibitions are amazing, there are so many parts of the architecture that were surreal and beautiful! From the way they play with the constant combination of sun and artificial lighting, to the way the building is constantly leading you to swirl downwards from past to present, to the engraved concrete markings to denote what section you’re in, to the horse ~ the first… pre-automobile? It’s much like a car museum meets history museum meets sweeping art gallery filled with surprising textural juxtapositions at every turn… so take a peek at the next page for a full gallery of images ~ it’s less about the cars and more about the amazing images the space creates for you.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum houses an incredible amount of automotive history, unexpected surprises, and is in and of itself an absolutely mind blowing architectural space. That being said there are a million and one different posts i could write about it, and none would do it justice fully. So, let’s do this my way and start with my favorite detail… the ELEVATORS are amazing! When you enter the space, you can see straight up to the roof (and a peek at the sunlight coming in) as floors spiral all the way… you could even say the ceiling has a Mercedes-Benz star inspired shape… and then you notice what look three like vertical tracks going up… and these awesome metal pod (with abstract ghost like eyes/shape) moving up and down… it’s surreal. A bit overly concrete feeling (gave me a similar vibe to Oakley HQ’s entrance)… there was something very sterile/scifi feeling about the entrance space. I could have stood there and stared up at the mesmerizing symmetry of it all for ages. So see more close ups of it in action on the next page!
p.s. Also amazing are those giant panels… the ones that look like concrete? they arent. That’s how they move cars into the various floors.
p.p.s. Additionally, when it comes to ventilating the space and quickly dealing with a fire/etc… this building is the official world-record holder for the World’s Largest Artificial Tornado! It’s over 100ft, generated from the center of the roof… i’ve just updated the post with a few videos on the next page…
As with most car design studios, Mercedes-Benz’ Stuttgart Design Studio has a room with huge lustworthy displays, their Powerwall ~ which allows for 1:1 scale high res imagery of car images and renders, video conferencing with their studios around the world, and more. The most unique and beautiful aspect of their setup is their custom physical interface for Autodesk Showcase, which allows you to control the 3D renders! A light table with objects each encoded on the bottom… you can swap cars on the table to change colors, spin the car to spin the model, zoom/pan/tilt, and even change the clear acrylic blocks to swap the scenery… amazingly fun and beautifully executed! See more images of it on the next page.
p.s. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed in the studio (yes. they took our phones and cameras!), but we did have one awesome photographer indulging even some of my randomest requests… So images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz…
As you’ve noticed by now, i have been recently fascinated by the world from above ~ and not in just a google satellite view ~ but amazing views of cities and the in betweens as dramatic sunsets and sunrises hit them… So thanks to Mercedes who was incredibly kind to bring me to Stuttgart to learn more about their world (even when i needed to come from Singapore and leave to Milan)… here’s another installment of what my friend and i have been calling Operation Window Seat! Doing it backwards, on the next page you can see pics as i come in to Milan from Stuttgart… then Stuttgart on my way from Singapore… amazing how the terrain changes ~ and the lighting!
Check out some of our latest posts over at NOTCOT.org. This week’s picks include stunning architecture and interiors, some playful items like the AK-47 Aqua fire and a bit of tech, like the iPad teardown. Click on the images to find out more.
While checking out some of the new malls that popped up in Singapore since my last trip ~ came across the adorable new Atomi in Mandarin Gallery ~ specializing in “Japanese Designs x Comfortable Lifestyle”. Irresistible were the beautiful pearls by japanese parisian Miya Shinma (grew up in japan and studied perfumery in paris) ~ the Perle Parfumée was designed in Paris made in Japan. Basically these spheres (housed in a wood box sealed with wax paper) are scented… and you can leave them in little dishes or satchels around the house ~ and every 4-5 months, if needed, you can refresh them with essential oils. The whole box would make such a lovely gift! Take a peek at close up pics on the next page!
p.s. Also a fun idea ~ her scented fans!