Friday, June 29, 2007

Sparks: Tunnel Vision

In 2005 sculptors Dan Havel and Dean Ruck transformed two Houston area homes into a spiraling vortex of awesome. Utilizing the structures' existing siding, the artists created a funnel-shaped hole that led users in walking upright...only to leave them crawling out the other side. The installation was made possible because the buildings were slated for demolition, which also sadly means this project has come and gone. (via designboom)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mustache Thursday

It may be simple, but I think putting a mustache on just about anything makes it look better. Above are Jonathan Adler's 'Salvador' vase and Katrin Greiling's 'Je m'appelle moustache' lights.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Play by BCXSY

The 'Play Collection' from the BCXSY is the perfect example of fun meets function. The series includes furniture and accessories which aim to increase playfulness in the home. Whether you're balancing books on the 'See-Saw' bookshelf or sliding puzzle pieces on the Play! Coffee Table, this collection of clever designs will do just that.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Golden Touch

Tea time meets happy hour with Bryony Gawthorpe's gilded mar-tea-ni glass. Why choose between high tea and the high life when you can have both? Bryony's work makes either a special occasion. Contact: Bryony Gawthorpe.


Just a quick note to share that I will now be writing in two other locations in addition to designklub. First, the mecca of design blogs, MoCo Loco, asked me to join their ranks of contributing editors, which I very, very happily accepted. Check out my posts there for the latest and greatest in cutting edge design.

Second, in my quest to get the Denver design world spinning, I'll be helping out at Mod Livin's new blog, Furnish. This site will focus more on styling tips/ideas for the home, a whole area I don't get to explore with designklub, so I'm really excited to be working with them!

Hope you get the chance to visit both sites - a full spectrum of design and decor...let's just hope my croquet game doesn't suffer from all these new ventures!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quality Time

During the Milan Furniture Fair Dutch designers Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk took a new approach in presenting their 'Quality Time' collection. The pair actually lived in their exhibition space for 10 days, inviting passersby to join them in experiencing 'the good things in life', which included furniture in the categories of Food, Play, Living and Sleeping. The collection included several quilted pieces, giving the furniture a much more personal touch. Above are their 'Quilted Stool' and 'Cubic Lathe Stools'.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sparks: Keetra Dean Dixon

Keetra Dean Dixon is moving right up the ranks on my list of designers to watch. I wrote about her 'Everything will be OK' bedspread earlier this week, but wanted to share more of her fascinating work.

Now I'm a big fan of public art in general, but I love it when installations are hidden and meant to be discovered. Much of Keetra's work aims to, "encourage patience and optimism in unexpected circumstances."

This can be seen in her series 'Little Public Plaques', in which tiny messages are left throughout the city and in her 'Photobooth' project. The booth was left in semi-public spaces with no explanation as to it's extra qualities. Users posed for photos as normal, but then received pictures which were, "analyzed and customized with forecasts consisting of patterns, symbols and messages."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Caba by Kwangho Lee

'Caba' is a Korean word meaning to cover or decorate a particular surface. Designer Kwangho Lee used that word as inspiration in creating his modular laser-cut felt system. The individual pieces are small snowflake motifs, which can be linked together to create new decorative textile surfaces.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Together with Camper

Jaime Hayon recently completed the design of two new Camper stores in Barcelona and London. In signature Hayon style, the project - entitled 'Together with Camper', includes tables from his 'Showtime' collection, the creation of several new terra cotta lamps and a poppin' red resin floor.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Everything will be OK

Sleep in comfort under the safety of Keetra Dixon's reassuring reminder. (More to come on Keetra in this Friday's 'Sparks').

Last Call: CO-Design

Just a reminder that this Friday, June 22nd is the deadline for entries for the upcoming CO-Design show: an exhibition of Colorado-based designers. The show will feature products in the realm of current, contemporary design including: furniture, tableware, wallcovering, lighting and home accessories. Both emerging and professional designers are welcomed to enter. For detailed entry info click here.

I'd also like to see a few conceptual pieces included, so send in your entries whether they are prototypes or in production!

Marcel Wanders Skygarden

The contrast between textures and materials in Marcel Wanders latest design, 'Skygarden', is close to perfect. The light is smooth and dome-shaped on the outside, while the inside reveals a richly decorated relief. Too bad the dark metallic exterior makes it feel like a lamp you would see in a hotel lobby - a simple color switch would do a world of good.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rocking Bench

It's Sunday afternoon and I sure could use this 'Rocking Bench' by James Design. Made from American black walnut.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sparks: River Glow

'River Glow' is an intriguing concept put forth by designers Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin. A runner-up in Metropolis's Next Generation Design Competition, this project aims to monitor water quality while providing some pretty visuals.

The mechanics work like this: an LED is connected to strands of fiber optics, which turn color in reaction to the water's pH level. The optics are also joined by thins strips of photovoltaics, which assist in keeping the LED recharged.

When the water's pH is OK, a green glow occurs...but when the pollution levels are high, the floating mass turns red - creating a gentle reminder of the normally invisible pollution that is all around us. While I think this project is wonderful, my first thought in seeing the image above was what if a boat ran through all these floating apparatuses? I can just see trails of red dragging from boat propellers everywhere. Could be just as interesting though... (Via Inhabit)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two for One: Keiko Okamoto

Ugh...these photos look like they were taken from a 1980's German fine dining magazine. Sadly, they are the only pictures I could find of Japanese designer Keiko Okamoto's very cool glassware. Conceived as two cups in one, the inner piece can be used along with the stem or taken out as hand held tumbler - creating a cup for you and a cup for a friend.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Duna Light

Here's another interesting outdoor light, this one by the Spanish company Marset. The 'Duna' lamp has a built-in ball and socket joint, which allows it to swing in any direction. The sand-filled flower pot style base is a nice touch.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gobble Coat Hanger

I have a love/hate relationship with coat racks. Most are way too big and take up way too much space, only to sit unused a majority of the time. The problem is, they are useful...and so the search continues for a coat rack that won't make me cringe.

The 'Gobble' coat hanger by Thomas Bernstrand is a nice compromise. The hooks are attached by elastic - meaning it's compact and unobtrusive when not in use and can expand to hold numerous items when needed. Simple, small, functional...not bad.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Corona Solar Light

ICFF is such a whirlwind - sometimes you take photos of things without writing any notes and sometimes you jot down phrases like, "awesome design," without taking any pics to remember what that amazing product was.

The latter is the case with the 'Corona Solar Light' by Shane Kohatsu, Emily Fujita and Jeremy Wilkens. This eco-friendly system harnesses the power of the sun to create beautiful outdoor lighting, which can be staked in the ground or mounted on the wall. I particularly like the wall mounted version, they look like mini-solar eclipses for your patio.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lathe Chairs

I like these chairs because they make you do a double take. We are so used to seeing complete patterns that when one gets stretched out, it's quite a surprise to the eyes. Eindhoven graduate Sebastian Brajkovic created this visual whirlwind, called 'Lathe Chairs', through the use of computer generated design. (top image by Eric Anthierens)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pixel Perfect: Guillaume Deligne

Guillaume Deligne has taken graphic design geekdom to a new level with his dpi light series. Made from porcelain by Industreal, you can select from the rough and tumble low res 72, middle of the road 144, or silky smooth 300. Pixelisation perfected.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lovegrove & Repucci

Graffiti meets the world of fine porcelain with Lovegrove & Repucci's 'New York Delft Tableware' collection. (Via yatzer)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Volant Va Va Va Voom

The customization craze continues with Patricia Urquiola's latest for Moroso. Her 'Volant' range consists of a sofa, armchair, chair and stool whose upholstery length can be adjusted to suit the occasion. If that sounds a lot like getting ready for a night on the town, well, that's exactly what the designer envisioned.

The furniture can switch from "... an elegant evening dress," where the base is hidden to a shorter number that, "bares the legs and reveals the contours of the body..." Sounds a little racy for a sofa, but I love the colors and the visible edges of the fabric.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I am so glad that I got the chance to meet Anna and Sean from Sub-Studio while I was in NY. In addition to their wonderful blog, Anna and Sean have created an Esty shop filled with beautiful screen prints, cards and much more. I just picked up their 'Abyssal' print in hot, hot magenta, but it was a seriously tough choice between that and their Visible (Invisible) series.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sparks: Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger

Recently there was quite a bit of internet buzz surrounding Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger's 'Falling Garden' installation in Venice. The Swiss artists, who have been working together since 1997, create some of the most magical and inspiring installations I have ever seen.
Their work often revolves around the idea of a garden, a place that is both a source of quiet reflection and wild growth. Each piece tells a fascinating story, but beneath each project's beautiful presentation and whimsical design, lies a deeper narrative that deserves as much attention as the artwork itself. The installations often include found objects - everything from plant life to pigeon bones, discarded cables to tiny car parts.

If you have few minutes, I recommend browsing through their website, which is filled with wonderful descriptions about the concept behind each project.

Some of my favorites include 'Heimatmaschine' (bottom image) and 'How Did the Walrus Get to Madrid'? (middle two images) The latter is part investigation expose, part ode to the displaced walrus, who found himself on the wall of the Natural Science Museum in Madrid. The artists explore the animal's origins and mythical legends surrounding walruses throughout the world.

The most wonderful artist's statement though is hidden in the summary of 'Brain Forest', shown in the top two images. A crazy collection of objects are suspended and connected to represent the wild connections of the brain.

In the artists own words, "In the rain forest of the brain, the bio-diversity of thoughts proliferates and the intellect's short-circuits whirr in your eyes. Needless to say, as time goes by the circuits get tired and nervous; there are burn-outs and failures. But chance creates the most sparkling ideas."