Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Melanie Bilenker

In Victorian times people would keep lockets of hair belonging to their lost loves. Today, we have artist Melanie Bilenker, who creates an amazing line jewelry following in this bygone tradition. Images of simple moments are captured in resin and drawn with delicate detail using strands of the artist's own hair. Her line includes rings, pendants, and my favorite, the brooches above. (Via coolhunting)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hella Jongerius: Worker Chair

Hella Jongerius seems to be the designer du jour lately. While some of her products are a little trendy for my taste, her 'Worker Chair' is a classic. The combination of mix-matched textiles, aluminum connectors and sturdy wooden frame create quite a striking character. Polished, yet with a homemade touch. Staunch, but welcoming. Beautiful, but expensive. $50,000 at Moss.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Flavor Sampler

Just a quick note to say I am almost done with the interview I did with Flavor Paper founder, Jon Sherman. It will be posted in the next few days (I mean it this time). This is a shot of the Flavor Lab with Onda in Saltwater Taffy on the production table.

Trashformaciones: Bathtub Chair

I love this recycled bathtub furniture by the Spanish design collective Trashformaciones. In 2003, the group created over 40 chairs to be used as outdoor seating for a park in their hometown town of Castellon. They then invited local artists, architects and students to help paint/decorate each piece. The result is a colorful, creative solution in urban enhancement. Their website has several other interesting re-use projects, including an impressive structure made from washbasins. (Via neorama)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Finds and Open Project #2

I love looking at other people's sketchbooks. Seeing how people's ideas translate onto paper -whether it be doodles, collages or precise blueprints. Journals let you see an artist in his/her most uninhibited state and that's what makes it so exciting. My friend Arden and I used to sit for hours making collages, while drinking tea and listening to records. These images are from the 'My Moleskine' exhibit in Japan.

OPEN PROJECT #2: I'd like to put together an online show of people's sketchbooks. I'm going to start with my own friends, but I'm spreading the call to all of you as well. What makes the web such a wonderful place is the sharing of ideas, and that's ideally what designklub is all about. If you'd like to participate send me a photo from your journal with a sentence or two about the work, yourself, your breakfast - I don't really care. Once I get a good number going I'll post them at Flickr and open the gates for our online enjoyment. To join in, email me here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Rephorm: Dialounge and Steckling

Two great products by the German company Rephorm. The 'Dialounge' is a weatherproof interlocking recliner which takes the fine art of conversation to a more intimate, relaxing level. Made with built in cup and magazine holders these chairs are perfect for hours of leisurely lounging. (Hopefully they're comfortable too.)

Next up is Rephorm's 'Steckling' pots. Designed to slip over your balcony railing, these little planters are an apartment dweller's dream come true - given you have a balcony, which I don't. However, the pots are easy to maintain and less cumbersome than those bulky old window boxes.

Tagged! by Domino

I’ve been tagged by Catherine at Domino magazine in a little game of internet show and tell. I’m supposed to reveal 5 interesting things about myself – here goes:

1. I own two cookbooks: ‘Everything Tastes Better With Bacon’ and ‘The Garden of Vegan.’ Every year I host two dinner parties centered around each theme. My friends pick which party they want to attend (it’s pretty much divided down party lines with the veggies/vegans at one and the meat people at the other). The vegan party is always delicious and the bacon party is always a little disgusting (but delicious). And yes even the desserts have bacon - this year I made a bacon apple pie!

2. I have an irrational fear of moths. I think it’s their unpredictability that unnerves me.

3. I can’t decide where to live. So far I’ve tried Boston, Austin, DC, New Orleans and Denver and I’m still not settled. Ideally I want to live somewhere that is: warm, by the ocean, affordable and in a decent size city. Any suggestions?

4. I like NASCAR, much to the embarrassment of my friends. If I had loads of money I’d rent an RV, travel the NASCAR circuit for a summer and write a book about it. If any NASCAR representatives read this, want to sponsor my dream? A design girl travels with the NASCAR guys!

5. My friend Becky and I are co-captains of a kickball team called 'Science for the People'. Our team colors are midnight blue and fuchsia and our team pattern is argyle.

I’m going to tag Anna of Sub-Studio, the ladies at Sabine Brandt, Fieltromania and Face Hunter. Posts to come later!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bocci Lights

Anna from Sub-Studio Design found some of the prettiest lights I've seen awhile. I guess they're not new, but they're new to me. The 'Bocci' lights by Omer Arbel are glass pendants which have frosted interior cylinders. The imperfections and bubbles in the glass allow each light to cast a unique glow. The truly amazing effect though comes when the pendants are clustered together, as seen above. I'd like to have a bunch of those for my next party!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Caro Baertling

Nice embroidered jewelry by Dutch designer Caro Baertling. I especially like her 'badges' (right).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Friend Swap

OK - I want to up the ante with the swap project I mentioned below. I would like to find a group of friends somewhere out there who would be interested in doing a 'Friend Swap.' My friends and I will put together a project (or many,many projects) - maybe crafts, maybe a photo book, maybe mix tapes, maybe some embroidered tee-shirts... maybe all of the above. Meanwhile, somewhere across the globe, you and your creative friends are busy working on your own fun projects. When we're done, we swap. It's like an adult version of pen pals, but taken to a new, way more awesome level. Send an email if you're interested. (I think you're in for a treat.)


I regularly tempt fate by resting cups on the arm of my couch. It has, occasionally, led to disaster. The sofahanger by Vanpey is a clever invention which makes this balancing act a bit more stable by creating a flat service for all your sofa necessities. Custom made to fit your couch. (via NOTCOT)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Valentine Swap

I can't believe I missed it! The folks at Free People are organizing a Valentine's Day craft swap and the deadline to sign up was Friday. Zut Alors! I think this is such a great idea and full credit goes to the creative folks over there for coming up with this fun project.

However, since I missed out on their swap, I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who would like to trade with with the Free People swap it can be anything based on the Valentine's theme...artwork, craft projects, mixed tapes - or all of the above. I hope it's not too terrible of me to continue with this idea, but who doesn't want a special holiday package? It's like having a secret admirer half way around the world. If you are interested send me an email at: design(dot)klub(at)yahoo(dot)com. You can also click on my profile and email me directly from there.

The Grass is Greener

I first saw the work of Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The artists use grass as their canvas - imprinting images onto the living surface through the simple mechanism of photosynthesis. The results are stunning and what's more impressive, the artwork evolves over time as the grass is allowed to dry up and slowly fade.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fog Magic: Anna Dove

I'm not usually a fan of traditional floral patterns, but Anna Dove has taken the vintage look and given it an updated twist. Her collection of textiles and wallcoverings have a spooky quality that's really intriguing. Each pattern seems to have a story to tell. 'Rose Garden' offers a glimpse at the forgotten courtyard of an English manor. 'Night Light' is a shadowy scene which has the viewer wondering what is happening just beyond the light's glow.

In a time when dispassionate products are being churned out by the truckload, I appreciate it when a designer offers a little substance behind his/her designs. Thankfully, Anna Dove's patterns speak volumes.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Michelle Caplan

I'm off to a friend's birthday party, but here is another birthday you won't want to miss. Michelle Caplan is an amazing mixed media collage artist based in LA. In honor of her 30th tomorrow, she is offering 30% off everything in her online store. Oo-la-la. Happy Birthday Michelle.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mobile Dining

Thanks to designklub correspondent Jesse for pointing out this one. When I first saw Nobuhiro Teshima's Mobile Dining project, I admittedly glanced at the seemingly bulky frame and passed it right by. But Jesse's enthusiasm made me go back for a closer look.

'Mobile Dining' offers more than just storage space. It actually contains a full scale fold-out table which reveals itself through a series of ingenious accordion extensions. And while the table does seem to sit a bit low, what apartment dweller doesn't want a magical table for hosting the occasional large dinner party? Or for crafting and board game tourneys? The key is, space, and this clever little cabinet offers a lot more than meets the eye.

Mod Livin'

Attention all Denver design lovers: Mod Livin' is having a 'make-up' holiday party tomorrow night starting at 7pm. Their last soiree was cancelled due to the blizzard and even though the snow is still on the ground, by now you should have dug out your car...Mod Livin' will be serving up champagne and hors d'oeuvres as well as a generous 20% discount. 5327 E. Colfax Ave.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Textile + Music

I just discovered the wonderful patterns of Japanese textile designer Yuji Mizuta. His company, Textile+Music, has been creating fabrics since 2001 and his collection has grown to include a line of bags, pillows and lovely little journals. His work kind of reminds me of Alexander Girard's - a definite vintage twist. I especially like the 'Gulliver's Travels' and 'Insist On a Right' collections...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Walter Chen

Joining the ranks of Ana Hagopian in Barcelona's jewelry scene is Walter Chen. To say Chen is a wizard with paper may be an understatement. I can't even make a decent paper airplane and here he is crafting amazing pieces of jewelry (reversible jewelry). I found both Ana and Walter through the website Trace Paper - a paper fanatic's dream store.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blogger Blues

Is saying that Blogger is ruining my life being too dramatic? Probably. But nevertheless their new version is giving me headaches. I'll keep posting, but the layout may be a little crazy until I get everything straightened out.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ceramics for Breakfast

I was just checking out the results of the MACEF 'Ceramics for Breakfast' competition over at designboom. They've posted 240 of the best entries, so you can scroll through and pick your favorites. The two projects I liked would probably win top marks for "cute" - we're not talking earth-shattering design here, but fun ideas nonetheless. My "winners" are below:

' milk moments ' by : laura strasser + milia seyppel from germany

'parlez avec moi ' by : xinhe jiang + zhuo wang from china

Vincent Van Duysen

These bowls by Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen are beautiful. What an elegant combination - a matte earthenware container topped by a sturdy wooden lid. With prices in the $150-250 range, these lovely bowls will have to go on my 'Someday...' kitchen list. But for those of you ready to make them your own, they're available at Moss. Lucky ducks.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Somewhere near Siberia

Look at what the folks at Reluct found. Images of forgotten Soviet bus stops by Christopher Herwig. This description of the photos offers an interesting glimpse of the history and design behind these amazing structures.

"For the most part Soviet architecture and design is remembered for its heavy block buildings and functionally Spartan designs. Its overpowering desire for conformity left little room for individual creative freedom. One would think that the Soviets would have come up with one universal design for this community structure – simple, functional and cheap to mass produce.

However, in many instances this was not the case, much time, effort and imagination went into many roadside bus stops. The sky was the limit with different shapes and design– blocks, domes, columns, towers, A-frames and archways, even ones shaped like birds, yurts and hats. If the bus stop was less bold and daring with its architectural design then the creators would often attract attention with decorating the structure with murals or mosaics."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Symbol by DESU

O.K. See what happens? As soon as I write about how there are no clever coat racks I come across another gem. This one is the 'Symbol' coat rack by DESU. Made from powder coated aluminum, this little rack gets around the standard ugly syndrome by hiding its hooks. When you need one, you pull it down -when you don't it's a nice decoration for your wall. Well done DESU, simple, functional and above all, not ugly. Available in monochrome or color.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sushi for Sitting

I love these 'Sushi' chairs by the Campana brothers. Inspired by patchwork bedspreads found in their native Sao Paulo, these chairs are not only a color explosion - they actually look quite comfortable too.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Best of Boston: Vessel

Another stop on my Boston design tour was the Vessel store in Chinatown. I feel kind of bad that I didn't take any photos of Vessel products (I'm a big fan of Vessel's fun, affordable line of home accessories), but it was a nice surprise to see they carried other designer's work as well.

This was my first, in-person glimpse of both
K Studio and Bev Hisey's products and I have to say I was quite impressed by the craftsmanship of both. While Bev focuses on simple, clean cut designs (above) K Studio offers the homemade touch with their cute embroidered imagery and use of organic materials.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Best of Boston: Marimekko

Here is a design round-up from my recent trip to Boston. First off, the Marimekko store in Cambridge was a dream. They had so many beautiful items including bedding, clothing, ceramics, trays, notebooks - it was enough to make a Markimekko fan lightheaded. The staff was also very friendly and helpful in answering my questions. They even participated in a mini-conference call to my friend in Denver who has been wanting a panel of the Ho-Hoi fabric for as long as I can remember. After much discussion among the group, we all agreed on the colorway below.


'Moment' and 'Focus' mugsPretty pillows in the store (photo:

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Not sure if I'll get to posting again until Sunday, since hopefully I'll be heading into the mountains. So here's two for tomorrow. I first saw Metaphys on MoCo Loco last year and have been checking in on the Japanese company ever since. Their 'Factory' and 'Frame' planters are perfect for adding some green to the great indoors. The pieces can be stacked, hung or simply laid flat on your coffee table.

Another nice Metaphys item is their 'Node' wall outlet. You can't use it in the US - but in Japan they have flat plugs, so they get the stylish outlets. The smart little system allows you to fit numerous plugs within its grooves and it can sense/warn you of upcoming power surges.

Hug Mug

Oh, will it ever stop snowing in Denver? At least the cold weather = more hot cocoa. The king of chocolate himself, Max Brenner, has made cozying up with a cup even more enjoyable with his wonderful 'Hug Mug'. The handle-less cup fits perfectly in your hands - just right for those days when the snow just keeps coming. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's a Doosey

Take the classic lampshade, add a few more classic lampshades and then spice them up with a pleasing assembly of wild fabrics. I like it. The 'Doosey Lights' by POLKA are a fun take on the traditional lamp. Every light that's produced is limited edition - when they run out of one fabric they add in another, so you never know which creative combo you are going to get.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Architecture Against Death

Most people imagine their later years in a nice home, surrounded by comfort and calm. Not so if you live in Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gin's 'Reversible Destiny Lofts'. The architects have created a nine-unit building in the Mitaka suburb of Tokyo which aims to keep its elderly residents on their toes. Filled with bright colors, the lofts also have lopsided floors, hidden electrical switches and absolutely zero closet space. "[The apartment] makes you alert and awakens instincts, so you'll live better, longer and even forever," says Arakawa. That's a lofty promise, but an intriguing idea nonetheless.

One to Watch

David Wiseman may have only graduated from RISD a few years ago, but he is already producing some of the most sophisticated and elegant work around. David’s designs are carefully crafted from materials such as porcelain, bronze and crystal. Inspired by nature, many of his projects take the form of delicate branches and flora (as seen in the commissions above). In the ceiling project alone, he used over 500 unique porcelain blossoms and 100 plaster branches to create this mini-masterpiece.