CAN'T WAIT [i heart huckabees*movie out soon] great cast, great design, what more do you want? the entire ad campaign is gorgeous, so i hope the movie turns out just as well. watch the big trailer and listen to the noise it makes when the names come and go. it sounds like tiny plastic chips falling off a ledge. so sweet.
the real burning man (without all that hippy crap)
BURNING MAN [ben*scott beckerman] beckerman's pieces at troy in soho are amazing. he laser cuts wood with this heat torch-thing (yeah, i know, real technical huh?) and designs images onto various wood "canvasses". beckerman hasn't replied to my email yet but when he does i'll let you know how he does it.
shiny things rule
gold and silver seem to be the rage in fashion so of course, design is jumping on the band wagon. i'll have to say though- i'm all about this trend. metallics are always hip and if i can have a gold orange juicer than by god, i'll take one! the bling bling medallion is kinda preachy for my taste, but i threw it in for good measure, because i can.
HOLLA HOLLA [bling bling medallion*frank tjepkema] i can't pronounce his last name to save my life and yeah, it's kinda preachy with all those logos, but it's funny and shiny. win win. (fyi...it's a bunch of corporate logos if you can't tell...)
TEENY TINY TOYS [mikro house*sam buxton] found this at moss. it's like a tiny house set for grown ups. you can't really do anything with it, but who cares? bet it'd look cool on a shelf or a desk. comes in silver and gold and is tragically cute.
GOLDEN BOY [juicy salif*starck for alessi] anything starck touches turns to gold, so why not a juicer? available at moss, it's worth its weight in well, gold.
BOUNTIFUL BOONTJE [garland (in silver)*tord boontje] tord boontje can do no wrong. well, except for making a cheap plastic version of his GORGEOUS garland. available in copper and silver, it's a must if you've got bare bulbs. i mean come on, who lives with bare bulbs? what's wrong with you?
JERKS [gold ipod mini*apple] this company consistently screws me over, but i love the gold and silver ipods. i'm a sucker for metalllics...
SHAMELESS SELF PROMO [utensilo*vitra] yeah i work for them, so what? you wanna start somethin? dorthea becker's chrome organizer is perfect. i don't care if it's cheating, i'm promoting it anyway. ha.
web of design
i spent a lot of time in front of a computer looking at design sites. i've seen em all and believe me, there are a lot of crap sites out there. but there are also some great ones. cream of the crop? core77- a new york based design site with links to other great sites like designboom, design addict, mocoloco and apartmenttherapy- although core77 is the clear winner.
boring walls suck
yeah, so maybe my own walls aren't this cool, but if i had more money they would be. i love that designers are taking on walls as a design medium. especially when they cover them in things like cardboard. check out mioculture.com for the best of this bunch. if you have a few extra bucks grab a few feet of this stuff and do a wall. who wouldn't want birds or recycled waste paper above their bed? so cool.
YOU'RE THE DESIGNER [paint by numbers wallpaper*jenny wilkinson] so what if marianne rohrlich at the times already covered it. it's cool enough to mention twice. you paint in the spots with paint provided in the kit. awesome. i wonder how good it looks up close though...
i like things i can see through. seems like most contemporary designers do too. check it out. fun. neon. clear. cool.
WAZZUP [mapell chairs*waazwiz.com] yeah i know. i should be slapped for that, but i couldn't resist. the company is seriously called waazwiz. these chairs are great. so simple but so stylish. i'd take one in each color for a home office or hip kitchen.
the john deere effect
THE WILLIAMSBURG-ING OF DESIGN [hipster culture's impact on contemporary design*from bedford avenue to mainstreet america]
as much as i'd like to, i can't blame ashton kutcher for everything. i mean i guess his ceaseless support of the trucker hat phenomenon really marked the END of the hipster look being cutting-edge, but come on- did it have to suck design in too?
from bedford avenue to the streets of milan, the influence of hipster culture can be seen in the newest and most successful product and furniture design. at this year's design shows in new york, denmark, italy and germany (whose shows tend to be a bit more out there, but not necessarily "hip") the floors were marked by designs clearly branded with the mark of the hipster. by all this i mean the propensity to take low budget living, a disdain for coporate society and traditional values and turn it into a high end product.
the best example would be lorena barrezueta's 'gourmet dishware' on display at williamsburg's own, the future perfect. barrezueta molded porcelain into the shape of chinese takeout containers and throwaway take-out dishes and turned it into hip, expensive diningware. she even dipped the edges of some in gold leaf for godsake. charlotte friis, a young danish designer even made a chair of cow hide with edgy tatoos on it. seriously, anti-estab furniture now too?
while i could rant for hours about how lame this is, the movement has managed to produce some cool stuff- i mean, i really do love barrezueta's takeout dishware, just not edged in gold leaf. my favorite piece of hipster furniture would be stud, by touch design studios in brooklyn- a stool and table combo made of simple, no-fuss interlocking 2x4s. doesn't get any cooler than that.i guess if you can't be hip, at least your furniture can.
CLEAR WINNER [nessino lamp*artemide] i wandered into artemide this weekend during a massive greene street design store binge and fell in love with giancarlo mattioli's nessino lamp all over again. there's a reason moma puts things in its collection- and this clearly has icon written all over it. you've gotta love that psychedelic mushroom thing it has going on. would be a great addition to a monochromatic restaurant design, perhaps if the blue water grill every decided to go mod they could replace their gorgeous red chandeliers with hanging nessino lamps.
design across the bridge
of course williamsburg has a hip design store. williamsburg has a hip everything. but on the corner of north 6th street and berry in brooklyn is quite possibly one of the best little design stores in new york. yes, mxyplyzyk and moss get all the fame, but the future perfect, run by dave alhadeff, is catching up.
alhadeff's eye for up-and-coming local furniture and product designers is phenomenal. the lesser known (but almost always guaranteed to soon be well-known) inventory rotates but is anchored by a smart collection of better known contemporary design hits like the superordinate antler chandelier by jason miller, lorena barrezueta's gourmet dishware (porcelain molded in the shapes of actual take-out containers) and D-Print wallpaper. the future perfect is certainly hip enough to deserve the hype.
PAPER WEIGHT [the neo tokyo collection*anvil paper]the redwood city, california based designers of anvil papers are pros- their bold, graphic designs bring new life to wrapping paper. sensing a need for well-designed gift wrap, anvil entered the wrapping paper world in 1999 and have been winning design awards ever since. their award-winning neo tokyo collection caught my eye at last year's gift fair in new york and can now be found in stores like loom and spacial, etc in brooklyn and alphabets in manhattan.
a few of my favorite things
what better place to start than with designs that hold a special place in my heart? the following represent principles, aesthetics and ideas that mean something to me- for this reason i've chosen to list my favorite designs, in no particular order, to give an idea of what i think is good design.
IN THE BEGINNING [dcw*charles and ray eames] this is where it all starts. post-modernism's obsession with bent plywood began here; charles and ray eames were masters of simplicity and form. most, if not all, contemporary designers owe quite a bit to the designs of the eameses. this husband and wife duo managed to make simple materials and simple forms popular, not to mention iconic. their designs continue to be reflected in works by contemporary design teams like blu dot and offi.
FRENCH MADE [square vase*ronan and erwan bouroullec] simplicity and elegance in one modern shape. perfection. period. if you don't already know the brothers from paris yet just wait- you will. ronan and erwan bouroullec already have their own book, from phaidon no less, and a slew of manufacturers (from vitra and cappellini to magis and issey miyake) lining up to commission their work. you can see their projects in detail at www.bouroullec.com
TUNE IN TOKION [south cover issue*tokion] anything by tokion makes my list. their commitment to creativity, best seen in each issue's incredible layout, the editors' unbelievable design radar and their annual 'creativity now conference' are unsurpassed. pick up an issue now. you'll be glad you did.
LOOKS GREAT SOUNDS...? [radio*tivoli] tivoli's retro/modern look almost makes me forget about how bad the sound is. while tivoli claims to be in the same class as other little radios that could (see: Bose), it's ability to knock your socks off with its superior sound quality remains to be seen. but so far it's doing a good job of being seen, period. this little guy is hip enough to have sponsored some of the swankiest parties for this year's icff. let's hope tivoli finds a way to master sound the way they've mastered slick throw back design.
GOOD READ [magazine sofa*twentytwentyone] i can't stress enough my love of compartmentalization. anything with enclosed storage space has a special place in my heart. twentyonetwentyone's magazine sofa might fall short in the comfort department but scores bigtime for its design principles.
ROCK OUT [rar*charles and ray eames] this is quite possibly my favorite chair of all time. it doesn't get any cuter than this. there is a reason why the eames' designs live on in every hip thai restaurant in the city- they are chic, cheap and add instant design credibility to any establishment. now if only you didn't feel like you were going to tip over when you sit in them...
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT [lit close*ronan and erwan bouroullec] i like to think of myself as the president of the bouroullec's fanclub. or at the very least, their number one groupie- the parisian duo speaks to my love of compartmentalization in a way no one else does. in all likelihood one would feel quite claustrophic in an enclosed bed, but when it looks this cool, isn't it worth the risk?
THE WALL [brick*bouroullecs] the boroullecs always know how to make boring shelving not so, well, boring. i was lucky enough to see the foam prototypes and even at their earliest conception the brick shelves managed to contain the most important design fundamentals. these guys just don't mess up.
GONE GINGKO [montague:glam*twenty2] twenty2 just couldn't go wrong at this year's icff-along with 2x4 and flavorpaper, the new design team lead the way in the graphic wallcovering craze. their montague wall coverings may have jumped on the gingko leaf band wagon, but who cares? they're cool enough to make you forget
BERGDORF DARLINGS [maxwell:terrain*twenty2] metropolis picked up on twenty2's hip line of wall coverings in may- ever since then they've expanded the line and made the front windows of bergdorf's. mission accomplished.
REAL CHAIRS HAVE CURVES [panton chair*verner panton] it doesn't get any more iconic than this chair. verner panton's designs have become part of the modernist canon- and rightfully so. his dedication to the marriage of form and function sealed his place in the design hall of fame. you can see this chair everywhere from hollywood to the gap. there isn't a single market that hasn't discovered panton's skill in creating objects that are both functional products and stunning works of art.
THE SWEDES ARE COMING [garland*tord boontje] while boontje may be one of the many designers to come from the land of ikea, he is rightfully a step above the rest. murray moss was quick to snatch these lightbulb accessories up- and with good reason. boontje's ability to add elegance to everyday objects is unsurpassed. his commitment to intricacy and delicate design deserves to be mentioned in a class of its own.
TOUGH LOVE [tvac*ron arad] i can't get enough of this chair. i'd fill my home with them if they weren't so damn uncomfortable. i love ron arad's contribution to vitra's standards collection, but please ron, please design a version with cushions.
NEWCOMER [georgie*todd seidman (pratt grad student- icff debut)] georgie stood out among a crowd of cardboard benches and stools in the pratt booth at this year's icff. seidman's table echoes classic nelson designs but adds a seductive twist to an old standard that makes the most beautiful shadows. well done for a first timer.
BEST OF THE RETRO [ball chair*eero aarnio] i love anything womb-like and eero aarnio's ball chair is the epitome of maternal seating. even more so than knoll's womb chair, aarnio's classic design remains both the grooviest and most soothing way to kick back in style.
AL-GEES [algues*bouroullec brothers] while no one seems to know how to pronounce them, everyone knows that they want them. i'm predicting it's going to be one of vitra's most successful products in years- if not in retail sales, in commercial use. it's got 'hip restaurant design' written all over it. are you listening, karim rashid?