Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Superuse is a cool website where users upload their findings of re-use/recycled products in action. I thought this photo of, "...fairy lights made from old bottles and containers" was particularly lovely. Reminds me of living on the infamous 'Street of Christmas Tree Lights' in Austin.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Parsy Debons Design

A seemingly collapsing bookcase by Parsy Debons Design. Available through Bouf.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sparks: Tokujin x Moroso

This week's Sparks goes to Yoshioka Tokujin for his recent installation at Moroso. During the Milan Furniture Fair, Tokujin transformed the Moroso showroom into a ethereal wonderland all by using the most humble of items - the drinking straw. Utilizing over 3 million transparent straws, Tokujin crafted these amazing cloud-like structures as part of an exhibition for his new Panna chair (center).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sky Letters

This is beautiful - Student Lisa Rienermann photographed an alphabet of letters which were formed between buildings and the sky. (via dezeen via slanted)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vescom: Monar

Great new vinyl wallcovering from Vescom. From a distance 'Monar' looks like a serene linear drawing, but upon closer inspection the pattern reveals a medley of imagery including robots, camels, cogs and ladies dancing. Available in 18 colors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bamboo by Committee

I need more hours in the day just to browse through all the amazing albums on designboom. Thankfully they had coverage of the Moooi exhibit from the Milan Furniture Fair where Committee presented their latest lamp 'Bamboo'. In typical Committee style, Bamboo is a seemingly simple fixture, but with a few quirky twists. It has a lacquered bamboo base and uses miscellaneous found objects as the drawstring. More subdued than their Kebab light and only a little less fabulous.

Monday, July 23, 2007

CO-Design: Best of the Rest

One more post to wrap-up the coverage of CO-Design, an exhibition running at the P Design Gallery, which features the work of Colorado designers. The top image is 'Modular Love' by emerging designer Erin Mulrooney. The piece can be transformed into a bench, singular seat or a love seat as shown. Joe Ipsen, one of the handful of student designers in the show, created 'Larch Stand', a side table with multiple branches and levels.

Art with Function is another local design team who exhibited at this year's Haute Green show during ICFF. At CO-Design they debuted a new piece called 'The Bottom Line', a storage unit made from FSC certified plywood and screen printed cabinet doors.

Friday, July 20, 2007

CO-Design: Ryan Wither

Ryan Wither is one the creators behind the beautiful jewelry line Tivi. He also designs commissioned pieces of furniture, some of which is being exhibited in the CO-Design show. Ryan's metal entryway boxes are designed to act as filters when you enter the home. One box will hold your bag, the other the mail and the last your garments. The larger piece also has a grass top which can be used as a catch all for sunglasses, keys and whatever else you want to leave at the door.

CO-Design: Housefish

I'm forgoing today's Sparks feature to continue with CO-Design coverage, although it's just as inspirational to see what people in your own community are creating. Housefish is a furniture design company located in Denver. For CO-Design, Scott exhibited several of his modular 'Key' storage systems.

Key comes in three different sizes, ships flat and is made with sustainably harvested FSC certified plywood. It also requires no hardware other than the wedge-shaped aluminum tenon keys which hold everything together. There seems to be a trend forming with 'no hardware' furniture - there were several examples at this year's ICFF. I can see why - it offers simple, clean designs that can be easily assembled and re-assembled over the years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CO-Design: Kagen Schaefer

Kagen Schaefer is the world's best secret puzzle box maker. A bold statement, but a true one. Kagen designs and builds limited edition wooden puzzle boxes (and now books) that are truly a sight to behold. Not only are his pieces amazing due to the high level of craftsmanship involved, but also for the complex system of mechanics hidden within each puzzle. In fact, some of Kagen's pieces require hundreds of moves before being opened.

At CO-Design Kagen exhibited his new Puzzle Book, along with one of my favorite pieces, the Pattern Box. Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast with Kagen where we'll tour his secret workshop!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CO-Design: INV/ALT

One of my favorite Denver designers is Angela Schwab of INV/ALT. Angela's 'Snap Cups' were a big hit at the designboom mart during ICFF - these clever little cups have built-in snaps so they can be attached to handles, wine stems or each other. At CO-Design Angela introduced the new magnetic version, which can stick right to your espresso machine. She also exhibited her wonderful cupcake plates, a fun re-use of vintage china. (Available through the P Design Gallery)

Monday, July 16, 2007

CO-Design: DoubleButter

Over the weekend we had the opening for CO-Design: an exhibition for professional and emerging Colorado designers. This whole week I will be posting highlights from the show, which runs at the P Design Gallery through August 25th.

The show includes new indoor/outdoor furniture from the design duo DoubleButter. In a departure from their traditional woodwork the pair presented a number of new pieces made from steel. The fabric on the chairs can be easily removed for cleaning and to interchange patterns. (available through the P Design Gallery)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sparks: Because We Can

This week's Sparks focuses on the wondrous work of the Oakland based design company Because We Can. They recently completed a project for Three Rings, a video game development company in San Fransisco. Working collaboratively with their clients, Because We Can designed and transformed a 3,000 sq. ft. office space into neo-Victorian, steam punk wonderland based on the Nautilus from the novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".

The project included:
  • Custom built desks designed by Three Rings employees
  • A Tentacle Attack lounge with 10-19 ft. tentacle cushions
  • The Salon, a conference/dining area with custom lighting and idea boards
  • And one amazing bike storage room, aka the Engine Room (via lfstyl)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Small Factories: Nick Fraser

I love the work being produced by the British design collective, Small Factories. One of the members, Nick Fraser, has created a clever hall stand made from industrial piping. Sure it takes up a lot of space, but this is way more exciting than your everyday coat rack.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Mobile

Chairs with built-in bookshelves. It seems like a concept that someone would have thought of a long time ago, but lately everyone is designing these multi-functional pieces. While examples like Nobody&Co's Bibliochaise leave much to be desired (I think it looks rather unkempt with the books resting at different levels), models like Nils Holger Moorman's Bookinist shine.

What's great about this chair is that in addition to being a functional piece, it has a fully developed concept with an interesting narrative. The Bookinist is the ultimate all-in-one reading rest spot. Designed like a pushcart, you can wheel your mobile library anywhere. It also comes complete with a side lamp and hidden compartments for reading glasses, pen and paper...and the all important cup holder.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hanging Gardens

Plant care knows no limits with Patrick Morris's 'Antipode Planter'. This upside down holder has an innovative watering system which promises not to leak all over your floor. Can be used in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Camouflage by Front

'Camouflage' and 'Shadow' lights by the Swedish design team Front. Both collections debuted at this year's Milan Furniture Fair, the first under the lighting company Zero and the latter as part of Front's own 'Found' series.

The common thread between these pieces is how they play with light and shadow. Camouflage is made from laser-cut aluminum, resulting in a beautiful pattern on the fixture itself as well as on surrounding walls and objects as light is cast out. The Shadow series has a more subtle approach - objects are placed in the globe, creating a soft impression of the pieces hidden within.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sparks: TransPlastic

The concept behind Humberto and Fernando Campana's latest project 'TransPlastic' is pure genius. The collection tells the fictional story of how nature reacts to the mass quantities of synthetic materials we've produced by running rampant and overgrowing it. The series is on display right now at the Albion Gallery in London and includes seating, lighting and tables.

However, when you look at the top image it is clear which pieces are the most successful. The 'Illuminated Meteors' (aka blobs of light) seem unfinished as if the bulbs themselves were an afterthought, while the single chairs are too similar in form to the original shapes. The best of the collection by far are the larger, amorphous multi-seat creations. They are the ones that hold true to the story - nature growing wild over everything plastic in its path. They leave much more to the imagination than just a single plastic chair that happens to be surrounded by wicker.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Blu Dot Podcast

I recently got the chance to interview John Christakos and Maurice Blanks, co-founders of the furniture company Blu Dot. They were in Denver for the opening of Dot Spot, Mod Livin's new store within a store which carries a full collection of Blu Dot items.

When we recorded the interview there was a party going on down stairs so sometimes you'll hear a little background music, but hey that's what makes a podcast festive. FYI- as you are listening to the interview Maurice Blanks is the first one to speak. The podcast is 13 minutes in length and you can listen to it here. (It will be published to iTunes soon).

The top two photos show items from the Blu Dot collection, including their new 'Real Good' chairs which were launched at this year's ICFF. The third and fourth images are John Christakos and Maurice Blanks talking with a crowd at Mod Livin' (sorry Maurice is a little blurry). Thanks again to John and Maurice and to Jill for hosting!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blu Dot

I don't usually write about beds, but then again I don't see very many worth mentioning. I did a double take though when I walked past Blu Dot's new collection at ICFF. Their soon to be released Nook bed has an upholstered base and headboard - a nice change from standard platform beds out there. This piece just feels cozier...especially with a Denyse Schmidt quilt laying on top.

In related news, last Friday I got a chance to interview Blu Dot co-founders Maurice Blanks and John Christakos. I'm putting the finishing touches on the podcast, but it will definitely go up this week. Stay tuned...