Monday, April 30, 2007

Anteeksi: FormFoam

The 'FormFoam' chair by the Finnish group Anteeksi is a true DIY adventure. Tiny pins create the chair's delicate details, while giving the piece an overall finished look.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Frederik Molenschot

Want to beat those rainy day blues? Look no further than your own patio with Frederik Molenschot's 'Solid Poetry' tiles. When they get wet, a pretty pattern appears. (via core 77)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sparks: NONdesigns Bubbles

Every Friday I feel like I should be posting something a little more inspiring than just the latest cool product. Like many of you, I like to use my weekends for more creative pursuits and would appreciate seeing something amazing to get me going.

So, starting today I'll be posting Friday Sparks. Some posts will still be cool designs - although they'll have to be truly ingenious to make the cut - but many will be outside the product realm. The focus may be a fascinating designer (like Terunobu Fujimori), new materials or just simply a wondrous sight.

We're starting with the creative team at NONdesigns. Well known for their hit TOPO table from last year's ICFF, the LA-based designers also work on a number of awe-inspiring installations. One of my favorites is BUBBLES, an interactive project consisting of 16 inflatable balloons packed into a 25'x50' space. To manage their tight environment the bubbles inflate and deflate in reaction to a visitor's movements. I just love these majestic balloons and they look so beautiful all lit up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Meet the new Swedish label Paperhead. I really like their chairs, especially the low 'Bull' seat shown above. Their website doesn't have much info, but you can still look at all the pretty pictures.

Design Friday

Jill from Mod Livin' sent over a note about a new series of events starting at her store called 'Gallery Mod Livin'. Every last Friday of the month (starting tomorrow) the store will be hosting a theme based show. Tomorrow's spotlight: Art Deco. For the uninitiated, Mod Livin' is one of Denver's design meccas and Jill is just about the nicest person you'll ever meet so make sure to stop by tomorrow night from 6-10, 5327 E. Colfax Ave.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sound Chair

Matthew Plummer Fernandez's 'Sound Chair' is the 3-dimensional interpretation of a sound wave graph brought to life. Visually - it's lovely, conceptually - it's intriguing, but the thing just looks uncomfortable and I'm pretty sure I would end up breaking all those little tips offs one way or another.

Studio Libertiny: Honeycomb Vase

This is impressive. Studio Libertiny teamed up with 40,000 bees to craft this amazing vase made of honeycomb. The Dutch designers made a vase-shaped hive to help guide the form, and over the course of one week the bees worked their magic. (via dezeen)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lene Toni Kjeld

A few years back while visiting Montreal, I came across a semi-demolished house in the middle of downtown. Layer upon layer of wallpaper was left exposed, creating a crazy mixture of patterns and offering a glimpse of the structure's past.

I found the assembly to be quite beautiful, which is probably why I am so drawn to Danish designer Lene Toni Kjeld's collection. With patterns flowing on top of one another, her wallcoverings offer the same sense of beauty and history. While the designs may not be everyone's cup of tea, the patterns do give your walls a chance to create an interesting story of their own.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Some Assembly Required: Takehiro Ando

I know felt has been one of the materials du jour lately, but I just don't think I'll ever get tired of it. It's way too versatile and, in many ways sustainable, for it to be purely dismissed as a trend. That being said, I love the new 'Cuma' and 'Cross' products being shown by Takehiro Ando at the Salone Satellite in Milan.

The felt shapes come in packs of 20, 50 and 100, allowing the user to create their own fun forms. Whether that be a curtain of crosses, a lampshade of clustered cumas or a circular throw is up to you. Whether you want to pay roughly $1 a piece for a felt cut-out is also up to you - but hey, why a put a price tag on fun? (via pan-dan)

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Kitchen Lab

When I first saw the 'Flow' kitchen by John Arndt, I thought it looked like a crazy science project. Now that I've actually read about it...well, it's kind of true.

The recent Eindhoven graduate created a complete kitchen unit based on the simple principle of symbiosis. Water dripping from your dishes feeds the plants below and helps keep your counter top containers cool. Waste is immediately composted in it's own little holder, guessed it...fresh soil for your herbs.

While at first I wasn't too excited by the aesthetics of the system, now that I've seen how much thought went into the design, I think it looks pretty darn good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spotted in Milan

Since no one offered to send me to Milan, I guess we're going to have to rely on the keen eye of others to help spot the best of the best being shown in Italy. Two interesting designs that I've seen so far are these great chairs by the ever popular Bouroullec brothers and the 'Insert Coin' shelving system by Nils Holger Moormann. Continuing with the trend of adjustable furniture, this wall unit allows you to slide the shelves into any of the pre-made slots, offering endless combinations and a very snappy bookshelf. (Chairs via Reluct and Shelf via Core77)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Adrian Rovero

Nice ceramic containers from Adrian Rovero. Nothing fancy, just a simple spool-inspired design and a cork lid.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ohio Knitting Mills

I'm already on the look out for shops to visit when I head to NY next month and right now Ohio Knitting Mills in Brooklyn ranks pretty high on my list. The shop carries sweaters which were made at the Cleveland, OH factory from 1947-1974. Luckily for us, the company saved samples from each line they produced, offering us a wonderful (but limited) supply of of these wild patterned beauties. (Via Designer's Library)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Steven Haulenbeek

Here are two interesting projects from Chicago-based designer Steven Haulenbeek. 'Object Frames' are a clever combination of shelf and frame, perfect for displaying your most treasured knick-knacks.

Haulenbeek's 'Paraseat' is another smart design based on the simple observation that the places where people most often wait, (bus stops, subways etc.) are located next to poles. The solution: a portable little seat that slips onto a pole and self-supports your weight. No more questionable subway seats or city benches for you! (via Core 77)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reminder: Call for Entries

Don't forget: if you are student or designer living in Colorado, submit your work for an upcoming exhibition at the P Design Gallery in Denver. For more info click here. Deadline for the student show is May 11th - get designing!

Designer's Delight: Bouf

Here's one for all the little guys. With more and more folks delving into the world of design, it's only appropriate that marketplaces will develop to support them. Enter Bouf: "an online venue to buy and sell limited edition, custom-made and highly unique products, from fashion, food and furniture to gadgets, footwear and gifts." Bouf is to the contemporary designer what Etsy is to the DIY crafter. The shop is still pretty small, but I don't think it will take long before the masses discover this wonderful resource. (Above photo: Tyred chair by Play Design, available at Bouf)

Sägen Butik

Growing up along the New England coast, I spent a lot of my time on the beach collecting colorful bits of sea glass. On a very lucky day, I would find a worn down piece of porcelain and wonder where that little treasure had floated in from.

Perhaps it coast of Sweden, where the crafters of Sägen Butik transform broken shards of ceramics into beautiful necklaces, rings, earrings and more. Getting a little nostalgic for my ocean days, I snatched up the necklace above, but they have many, many wonderful pieces available in their online shop. (Via the blog of all things beautiful, Bloesem)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Terunobu Fujimori: Future Friend

I'd like to think that if I had the chance to meet Terunobu Fujimori, we would become good friends. In Japan Fujimori is a well-known figure, however he doesn't really seem to have received the international attention he deserves. In stark contrast to the high-tech image of modern day Japan, Fujimori chooses to work with natural materials - stone, wood, tree bark and most notably, plants.

His structures have included everything from pine trees (above) to roofs and walls covered in chives, dandelions and grass. Don't mistake Fujimori for a green roof guru though; his work is more the result of his aesthetic intentions than energy saving ideals. His style reminds me of houses from a lost world - in a sort of surreal, storybook fantasy, dream-treehouse kind of way.

Fujimori is also one of the founding members of the Roadway Observation Society (ROJO), a group of friends who seek out and document the often overlooked little details of our urban landscape. I love these ROJO photos, it's inspiring me to start my own band of merry wanderers right here in Denver. Maybe I'll even send Fujimori a letter.

Monday, April 09, 2007

GAMplusFRATESI Ant'ique

Fun new wallpaper from the Copenhagen team of GAMplusFRATESI (made up of Gam Stine and Enrico Fratesi). From a distance their 'Ant'ique' paper looks like a typical baroque pattern, however upon closer inspection you discover the motif is really made up of thousands of ants. I love it! The only thing that could enhance my love would be to see the pattern in a few different colorways - the overall gray tone makes it seem a little washed out. But then again, love is never perfect.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gesine Hackenberg

Kleinoden means 'little treasures' in Dutch, which describes the work of Gesine Hackenberg perfectly. Her brooches remind me of the tiny tins a baker may use to cook up a mini-cake or bon-bon. As if that wasn't charming in and of itself, Gesine uses Japanese Urushi lacquer in her work, which gives each piece a distinct retro twist. (via the wonderful dutch blog grijs)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I love discovering designers who are coming out with creative and interesting re-use products. Because I've got to tell you, looking at the gluttony of junk out there everyday can make a blogger feel blue.

Not the case with Swiss designers, 366cm. They can make pretty trash cans from scraps of paper, elegant candlesticks from old bottles and colorful picture frames from used telephone cards. Yeah, they're pretty great. Their processes aren't complicated and some of the items you and I could probably make at home. To be honest though, I probably wouldn't take the time to make a frame or a coat hook from an old calling card, but I'm sure glad there's someone who does.

Check out their 'Bobby' decanter as well...not a re-use item, but clever all the same.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Austrian Design: Two for Tuesday 2

My friend Jamien used to have a nice collection of vintage suitcases that I admired from afar. So when I first saw the slick 'Sitbags' by the Austrian group Maybe Design, I fell in love with the idea of taking an old hardcover case and giving it new life. Close the lid and you've got an uber-cool side table, pop the top - and voila, instant upholstered chair.

Austrian Design: Two for Tuesday

Here we have the 'Cool Water' vase by Austrian designers, nono.pd-no.nonsens. Modeled after the hot water bottles of yesteryear, this porcelain vase comes in a variety of colors and textures to help make even your gloomiest days bright again. After all, flowers make everyone feel better, right?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Austrian Design: Polka

Another Austrian gem is the design firm Polka Products. You may remember me writing about their colorful 'Doosey Lights', but Polka actually makes a full line of products, ranging from furniture to tableware. Two of my favorites are their glass carafe and breadbasket. The carafe is a great all-in-one item, with a little cup resting on top doing double-duty as a stopper. The breadbasket is another clever piece - a cloth napkin with an interior wire frame. Now you can play with your food and it's container too!