Page 1



Ciao, Milano! The designers to know at this year’s furniture fair PAGE 86



78 Yves Béhar When people have said it can’t be done, the Swiss-born industrial designer has been more than happy to prove them wrong

55 Learning to Love the Arts From Abroad On-site at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s campus in Lacoste, France

84 Alberto Alessi’s Dream Factory The godfather of the Italian design factory keeps it real in the age of Ikea

58 High-Quality Design, Zero Personal Style It’s the era of the Design Within Reach home, but does having good furniture have to mean sacrificing personal style?

86 Ciao, Milano! Ronan Bouroullec, Faye Toogood, and more designers from around the world dish on the hot furniture you’ll find at April’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile 104 Green Space Look ahead to the fairest of the seasons with these inspiring interiors

66 Rocky Mountain Rustic A Telluride, Colorado home gets a contemporary update without sacrificing its original local charm 76 Light Up the Night How one giant illuminated egg gets people to see the light

INFORMER 13 Pixels & Print 19 Objects & Gear 27 Fashion & Beauty 35 Travel & Culture 41 Structures & Spaces

PLUS 06 08 10 60 113 114

Contributors Letter From the Editor Letters Notes From the Bureau This Issue’s Best Albums For Hire

Vintage Salone posters courtesy of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile




interior design

Green Space With these refreshing interiors, can spring be far behind? Page 104

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec photo by Samantha Simmons; Shakin Stevens House photo by Shannon McGrath


Ronan Bouroullec The designer looks back on 15 years of work, and ahead to Milan Page 88



Spring Awakening New looks from Italian label Co|te and Danish avant-gardist Anne Sofie Madsen bode well for SS13 Page 27

Photos by Jens Langkjaer, illustrations by Anne Sofie Madsen




DESIGN BUREAU CONTRIBUTORS Publisher & editor-in-chief Chris Force





Kristin Larson senior editor

Kathryn Freeman Rathbone associate editor

Joel Hoglund

Katie Tandy is a writer and photographer based in San Francisco specializing in architecture and interior design. Her work has appeared in Boutique Design, Time Out NY, The Huffington Post, and more. She is currently writing a modern adaptation of Pygmalion as a rock opera. In this issue, she explores the intersection of food and design with Arabeschi di Latte.

Kaitlyn McQuaid is a photographer living in Chicago and specializing in food and product photography. In addition to her work with publications, she enjoys photographing for farmers, chefs, and local businesses, and is attempting to master the banjo and ukulele. For this issue, she shot the water bottles in the Objects & Gear section.

editorial intern

Kate Chiu -----


Spencer Matern DESIGNER

Ellie Fehd

Tarra Kieckhaefer account managers

Liz Abshire, Jill Berris, Krystle Blume, Kevin Graham, Matthew Hord, Brianna Jordan, Moira Kelley, Emily Kirkwood, Cole Stevens, Bryan Tims, Natalie Valliere-Kelley, Mallory Wegner New Business Development

Shannon Painter Account EXECUTIVEs

Gail Francis, Nina Marchese, Miranda Myers, Courtney Schiffres, Allison Weaver, Xavier Winslow production manager

Lauren Carroll

Kady Dennell


DESIGN intern

Alli Berry

Jenny Palmer


Human resources


Josh Band, Aryn Beitz, Murrye Bernard, Ann Chou, Steven Fischer, Amber Gibson, Sarah Handleman, Jen Hazen, Matthew Keeshin, Heidi Kulicke, Saundra Marcel, Kaitlyn McQuaid, Sarah Murray, Justin Ray, Billy Rood, Samantha Simmons, Lauren Smith, Lesley Stanley, Katie Tandy, Dr. Rob Tannen, Mike Welton, Matthew Williams, Jenny Wilson

Marketing coordinator


Mokena Trigueros

----Assistant to the Publisher

LeeAnne Hawley

Amber Gibson is a writer, model, actress, and student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She just returned from a stint as a TV reporter in South Africa. In this issue, Gibson explores the design of NYC’s Toy Restaurant. Her writing has appeared in Chicago Magazine, Plate, Delta Sky, and Hemispheres.

Josh Band questions boundaries between reality and fiction. Manipulations such as artificial lighting and a heavy directorial hand allow “the false” to camouflage itself as “truth” in his photos. Band currently manages the Photography Department at the San Francisco Art Institute.

A one-year subscription to Design Bureau is US $80. Visit our website at or send a check or money order to: Design Bureau 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200 Chicago, IL 60601

T 312.386.7932 F 312.276.8085

Design Bureau (ISSN 2154-4441) is published 10 times a year by ALARM Press at 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200, Chicago, IL, 60601. Periodicals postage is PENDING at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Design Bureau at 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200, Chicago, IL, 60601 Retailers: To carry Design Bureau in your store, please call 201.634.7411. © 2013 Design Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. DESIGN BUREAU is a trademark of Design Bureau.




itself is up for discussion, and some designers, including furniture and interior designer Faye Toogood (p. 103), believe that designers—not brands— will lead the way in directly manufacturing and selling their work. It’s these bold, change-fueled concepts that will be displayed and feverishly discussed at the fair this year. In this issue we preview 10 designers from nine countries, (U.K., USA, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, and China) as a small representation of international design. These designers know that at Milan, they’ll take in new ideas and come away with fresh direction that their work needs to pursue. But these ideas aren’t unique to Milan; they’re starting to ripple through the design community at large. Across the world we see design taking long-term approaches to creative, financial, and environmental sustainability. Yves Béhar drives this point home in his interview, declaring that design can only improve if it fully embraces the risk required to bet on future gains (p. 78). Such progress has already been made in elevating design’s position in the world. What must it do to keep, and improve, this position? “Design is so much fun because there’s so much at stake every single time.” – Yves Béhar, p. 78 Next month 300,000 visitors from around the world will invade Milan to celebrate what’s new in the design world at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, aka the Milan Furniture Fair. The fair began in 1961, with an emphasis on Italian furniture, but has grown into an annual celebration of “what’s next” in the international design world. It wasn’t always this way. In recent history design has never played such a leading factor in driving industry and major corporations. Design’s role

Photo of Chris Force by Noah Kalina

This is the kind of dialogue that fuels us. When design revolves solely around defining luxury, it devalues itself. But when the dialogue becomes larger, leading entire industries on a global scale toward a long-term future, that’s where change can happen. And that’s when things get interesting. It’s a great time to be a designer. See you in Milan. -----

Chris Force Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

860-522-6368 92 Weston st. Hartford Ct 06120

The J. Namnoun Oriental Rug Gallery opened in Hartford, CT over 25 years ago. Joseph Namnoun places a strong emphasis on the education of his clients. There is no deception, inflated valuations or false discounts. Over the years, he has taught classes and seminars, curated exhibits and worked as an expert appraiser in the field of Oriental Rugs.



LETTErs to design bureau March 2013


DB shout-outs from the Twitterverse

Join the conversation at

DB TWEETS Our readers racked up some hefty credit card bills after our February issue featured the best retail design from around the world. We love feedback, so email us:

Feeling Uncomfortable?

“I liked reading about Rafael de Cárdenas, his pop-up shops are badass, but he lost me when he said ‘If something is comfortable, it’s ugly.’ I don’t think that’s a very smart way to approach design. In fact I think it’s bullshit.” (J.D., via Email)

Love for DB

“Just bought your latest

@JohnBeckSteel Like design? Check out @DesignBureauMag, one of best magazines out. Long live print!

magazine and am loving every page!!! Wonderful layout and content!” (E.D., via facebook)


“I really dug the copper chair on the cover of the Nov/Dec issue. I recognized it as Blu Dot even with that superskinny model folded up on it. Love Blu Dot!” (K.H., via email)

@designvidal We are patiently awaiting the @DesignBureauMag Special Edition issue. We are really, really excited to see our feature!

DB: Good eyes, dear reader! We also love the contemporary yet affordable styles from Blu Dot, which is why we thought the Copper Real Good Chair would be the perfect accent. Chair, $299,

@ettadesigns have you read this cool global #designmag from @DesignBureauMag yet? subscribe now so you’ll see their feature on me + my #ecodesign biz! @KateBuska Big thanks to @ DesignBureauMag for featuring the unique @ProvenanceHotel @WestinPortland renovation!

“Design is a blood sport. It’s hard to do and it dies on the vine every day.” industrial designer Yves Béhar, PAGE 78


Rants, ramblings, and random facts from behind the scenes of this issue

Behind the scenes of the March cover shoot We didn’t have to look far to find a stand-out location for our March cover. Interiors expert Kara Mann designed this striking red dining room. Its lacquer walls took more than 600 hours to paint, and its ceiling is actually composed of hand-tinted True Metal Basketweave tiles by

Maya Romanoff. “They are aged using a blow torch and preserved with beeswax paraffin to retain their appearance over time,” says Joyce Romanoff, president of the company. The custom finishes get the color just right, making the room the perfect space for a cover photo op.

cover image

Photographed by Billy Rood on location in Highland Park, IL. Photo assistant: Luhrs Heldrich. Model: Natalia Lalonde with Factor Women. Stylist: Michael Favia. Stylist assistant: Anthony Mugnolo. Hair/makeup: Frances Tsalas with Factor Artists Emerging. Interior design: Kara Mann. Red top and gold pants by Barbara Bui at Helen Yi (

Have a question or comment? We want to hear from you. Give us a shout at

@DEDESIGN1 @DesignBureauMag the george lois article was a great read!



design bureau recommends…

This issue has us thinking about all sorts of cool stuff to spruce up the house. (Give us your recos at

Joel Hoglund, Associate Editor

Kristin larson, managing editor

VIPP Toilet brush

J. Rusten California series desk

“I clean the toilet a lot. More than anyone I know. I’m cleaning the toilet right now, actually, and I’m doing it with serious Danish design style.” $199,

“Our intern Kate just took a great job in L.A. What better going-away present than this handcrafted Cali-shaped desk made from salvaged Claro walnut?” $2,950,


Nelson tripod desk clock “This Vitra desk clock must be mine. Because sometimes analog is best.” $395,


Phillips Hue Led Home Lighting System “An LED home lighting system I can control from my iPhone? I’m done with the Clapper.” Three-bulb kit, $199,

Toilet brush photo provided by Vipp; desk photo provided by J.Rusten; clock photo provided by Hive Modern; light bulb kit provided by


The best of the best in graphics and photos

one photographer FIVE photos one day

Nathan Michael Over the past few months I’ve spent a majority of my time documenting cities across America for a travel site. Having this routine has given me an itch to explore different communities and discover untold stories. These photographs were taken over a 24 hour period in a small neighborhood in Chicago called Englewood. CONTINUED

Photos by Nathan Michael



24 Hours


Pixels & Print


In recent years, the historically workingclass neighborhood of Englewood has seen its population empty out while its share of drugtrade-related violence has shot up. On my visit, I was most surprised by the community’s willingness to talk about family. I came in expecting a community shut off to the world, but what I discovered was a group of people fighting to stick together.

8am: Wake up and check the weather. Tidy up and head out the door. Grab a coffee to go at Heritage Bicycles. 9am: On a bus headed south 10am: Meet up with my friend Tony who works as a security guard at a local paint factory. Head east to 59th and Ashland where he shared memories of the neighborhood and growing up there. Explore. Converse. Document. Repeat. 12pm: Grab fried chicken with toast at Harold’s Chicken 

1pm: We head out toward 63rd and Ashland. More photography.  7pm: Head back home and have dinner with friends 9pm: Download images and edit content. Reflect on the day.  11pm: In bed watching Netflix. Current series: Freaks and Geeks.

Photos by Nathan Michael

Pixels & Print




Twisted sisters Belgian artist/illustrator Géraldine Georges has a magnificent way with the female form


he surreal, collage-like images of Géraldine Georges beautifully blend illustration and photography, using shapes from the female form. Her haunting designs have appeared in many places, including L’Oréal ads, the New York Times, and numerous album covers.

DB: Tell us what your process and technical execution is like. Géraldine Georges: Most of the time I do my cutouts, I draw over it and after that I scan and clean everything in Photoshop. I try as best as I can to find the right balance. I like calm and empty spaces, I like when it’s clean. It’s actually a really simple process. DB: What’s your favorite outlet for your work? Do you like doing ad campaigns as much as your personal work? GG: My favorite project was my collaboration with NonFormat. They have a way of making you work and making you evolve at the same time. DB: Who are your favorite artists and designers? GG: I mostly like James Jean, Stefano Ricci, Alexandre Day, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Kate MacDowell, Herakut, Pat Perry, etc. There’s too many! I have years and years of archives where I put all the images, photos, tattoos, hair, paintings,

“It is good sometimes to do a ‘weaning’ off the Internet to concentrate on your own work.”

styles, decoration, illustrations… all that touches me in a certain way. Before the Internet, I had several filing cabinets filled with cutouts. It is good sometimes to do a ‘weaning’ off the Internet to concentrate on your own work. By looking constantly at what others do, it ends up paralyzing our work; there is too much skill to look at! a

Illustration by Géraldine Georges





Pixels & Print


Moovin’ On Up These milk packaging designs give a fun new face to dairy that even the lactose intolerant can admire By Sarah Murray Thailand:

MEW Cereal Milk Designer: Default PRODUCT: Available in Thailand, Mew flavored cereal milk comes in three varieties, each with different activities depicted on the front. DESIGN: The packaging design appeals to a younger crowd, with bright colors and blocky patterns. Each design is a simple representation of an activity somehow associated with the flavors (though we’re not totally sure how fixing a house relates to rum raisin milk). The rectangular container matches the basic style of the geometric type and imagery.


MLK Design company: Depot WPF Creative director:

Alexey Fadeev Designer: Aram Mirzoyants PRODUCT: The MLK project was started by Russian design firm Depot WPF to showcase organic milk. The cartons can be found in high-end Russian supermarkets. DESIGN: Foodies these days are all about local, organic, handcrafted wares, and the hand-drawn pencil designs on the packaging emphasizes the natural product from organic farms. The colorless imagery is reminiscent of black-andwhite spotted dairy cows, and the hay and basket weave patterns evoke a slower, more conscientious life on the farm.


Our Family Dairy Designer: Nadie Parshina PRODUCT: This Russian dairy farm produces small-batch, non-polluting milk. Made only for small parties or by order, Our Family Dairy’s milk is made without additives or preservatives in the most eco-friendly way possible. DESIGN: Small glass jars emphasize the fact that each container of milk is specially made. The brushed silver lid complements the variety of colors that milk apparently has, topped with an ink illustration of a cow. Color coded labels mark the type of milk inside. Intending to make the feel of the containers “like grandma’s homemade milk,” the designers have created packaging with a modern yet homey feel.

Photos courtesy of the designers

Pixels & Print




M Sweden:

Arla Milk Products

ultidisciplinary design consultancy Bleed (selfdescribed “Purveyors of Sinister Whimsy to the Wretched”) is among Norway’s most highly awarded firms, with clients ranging from Hermès Japan to Myspace and Pepsi Max. Bleed’s Svein Haakon Lia plays Fill in the Blank.

Designer: Neumeister

Strategic Design Creative Director:

Peter Neumeister


Organic Meadow Designer: Yana Stepchenko PRODUCT: Organic Meadow dairy prides itself on quality and location, so it needed a package that emphasized its locavore appeal. The redesign will be seen on Canadian grocery store shelves next year. DESIGN: Stepchenko’s distinguishable design is not only eye-catching, but also highlights the milk’s ecofriendly sensibility: fewer miles means smaller carbon footprint. The shape of the box is extremely original, with the hexagonal box complementing the unique color palette.

Art Director: Henrik Hallberg PRODUCT: Arla is one of the largest producers of milk in Scandinavia, a region of the world known for its dairy. Swedish milk fat percentages don’t correspond with American ones, so the colors correspond with what they refer to as “low-fat milk” and “inbetween milk,” respectively. DESIGN: Neumeister’s task was to create a package that would make people want to drink milk rather than sugary soda. The design evokes classic images of the milkman bearing glass bottles, but modernized, thanks to the pops of color. The bright cow illustrations and circles also emphasize the whiteness of the milk, clearly visible through the glass bottle. Although we’re not sure milk is going to take over as the drink of choice for fast-food frequenters, Arla’s design definitely competes with the other eye candy on the grocery store shelf.

we are inspired by...

everything that matters.

Our favorite designers are…

anyone who cares.

The best thing about working in a team is…


Good branding requires...

balls, gut, skills, and brains.


Photo courtesy of Bleed





Pixels & Print








Norway has the best...


Our kitchen is always stocked with...

sugar and fruit.


If we were Vikings, our saga would begin…

with blood.

And end...



Bleed’s catalog for the Beyond Risør design conference

Bleed completely overhauled the Ricksteatret theater company’s identity, starting with its facade


The Hunger Book 3

Spreads from the Hunger Book 4

Identity materials for Californiabased Myspace

Photos courtesy of Bleed


The redesign for Ricksteatret’s programs

with revolution (or vise versa). On the weekends, we like to...


The stereotype about Scandinavian designers is...

a clean-cut hipster.

But really they are...



Business cards for the avantgarde fixtures company ALU Inc.

Interview by Justin Ray


objectS & gear

Things that make us drool, covet, and go broke


Supercycling Designers These designers aren’t just paying lip service to recycling, they’re taking the waste out of the process before it goes in CONTINUED

Waste not Want chairs, designed by Studiomama; photo courtesy of Studiomama





Objects & Gear



Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama

Seating Re-Imagined After an unsuccessful search for the perfect dining chair in early 2012, London-based Danish designer Nina Tolstrup decided to create her own. After finding six abandoned chairs, inspiration struck. She’d update them. Working with local producers, the designer powder coated the cantilevered tubular steel frame and updated the seat and back with new upholstered forms. “I was able to transform the chairs into bespoke jubilant orange creations, highly different from anything else in the marketplace,” Tolstrup says. Because the transformation was a success, she powder coated more abandoned lounge chairs, and teamed up with British designer and artist David Saunders of David David for new colorful, geometric upholstery. “The Re-Imagine project is my way of encouraging people to get their hands dirty, to look again at the unloved furniture in our homes, streets, and markets and make it anew,” says Tolstrup. “This is not just a sustainable approach to design and making, but a social one, too.” —Aryn Beitz

Tolstrup trained as a designer at Les Ateliers school of industrial design in Paris, and she designs for outside companies as well as under her company, Studiomama

Portrait by Katherine Fawssett; stool photos by Stine Raarup; other photos by Studiomama,

Objects & Gear

Eindhoven, Netherlands

Dirk Vander Kooij

Endless Possibilities



Vander Kooij has earned many awards and accolades in his career, including winning the 2011 Dutch Design Award in the category best autonomous design

Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij has salvaged impressive amounts of plastic from abandoned refrigerators since the launch of his internationally acclaimed design, the Endless Flow Rocking Chair, in 2010. Vander Kooij conceptualized alternatives to expensive injection molding in plastic furniture production. “My graduation project was inspired by a shape that was made using an old 3-D printer,” says Vander Kooij. “The principle is 30 years old, but the older machines were not very accurate.” In examining that process, Vander Kooij realized 3-D printing technology might build furniture more efficiently and without waste. He reprogrammed an old industrial robot to trace furniture patterns made from discarded refrigerators, and voilà: the first prototype of the Endless Flow Rocking Chair. “The title ‘Endless’ refers to an endless thread of synthetic material and infinite possibilities,” he says. “The thick threads of plastic create an honest ornament by clearly showing how the chair is fabricated.” With an entire Endless line of products available, including a table and children’s rocking chair, abandoned refrigerators are turning out to be useful, after all.—Aryn beitz

abandoned refrigerators are turning out to be useful, after all.

Photos courtesy of Dirk Vander Kooij,





Objects & Gear

form & function

Shelf Life


aving recently graced the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, these designer bookshelves are guaranteed to add panache and depth to any room. From alternative, sustainable materials to fascinating geometric shapes, your trove of books and knickknacks will never look better. —Sarah Murray

Liquorice Country: Italy Designer: Alessandro

Masturzo for B-LINE Materials: Rotomolded

polyethylene These cheeky modular shelves will add a pop of color and a hint of playfulness to any room. Inspired by wheels of licorice, Masturzo created the collection in such a way that the ultimate design is up to the consumer. The shelves can be set up individually, or linked together to make different shapes. The candy-like tubes are (unfortunately) not made from sugar, but from rotomolded polyethylene. They do come in six candy colors: white, gray, red, blue, green, and purple.

greenbook – greenline collection country: Italy designer: Luca Pegolo manufacturer: 

Nautinox Living Materials: White glazed steel and birch plywood The ultimate addition for any eco-conscious pad: a bookshelf with room to grow plants. The trellis structure

behind the shelves allows for greenery to creep its way up behind your favorite books. We love the juxtaposition of the steel frame and plywood shelves (both made from sustainable materials) with the delicate plant life. Small sheet metal bins are placed along the shelves for additional planter space, and the shelves can be used both indoors and out.

Corniche ­Shelving system Country: France Designer: Ronan and Erwan

Bouroullec for Vitra Materials: Injected ABS

Apartment dwellers will appreciate the amount of space these Studio Bouroullec shelves leave, as well as the versatility in placement and design. The glossy shelves are made from ABS and are available in three different sizes.

Greenbook—Greenline Collection, show model only,; Liquorice, price available upon request,; Corniche Shelving System, price available upon request,; SUM Shelves, £240,; Pyramid Shelving System, price available upon request,

Objects & Gear



SUM shelves Country: U.K. Designer: Peter Marigold for SCP Materials: Cherry and walnut

When put together in any of the endless configurations suggested, these rectangular shelf-cubes are greater than the “SUM” of their parts. Three of the four sides of each piece feature grooves for easy placement. From the original set, you can expand the shelving system pretty much indefinitely, depending on the amount of wall space you have. The overall effect when multiple modules are added together is like a beehive filled with books.

Trees to Sit on Attracted to the warped, mangled, and diseased, David Horowitz creates sculptural furniture from reclaimed woods By Matthew Keeshin

Pyramid shelving system Country: Italy Designer/Manufacturer:

Fitting (distributed by Scott & Cooner in the U.S.) Materials: Anodized aluminum For those who want their bookshelves to make a statement (other than “I read”), look no further than Fitting’s classic modular pyramid system. Available as always in black and silver, this year’s new addition is a white lacquered, scratch resistant coat that gleams against the black background. The overall effect ends up looking somewhat like a maze.

Designer David Horowitz doesn’t shy away from rotted wood. Avoiding resins and other plastic materials, Horowitz works with salvaged trees to create furniture that’s both beautiful and environmentally friendly. He works with local governments and arborists to find fallen trees from rainstorms or dead trees for his pieces. “Forget the straight and narrow, I look for the mangled  and imperfect,” Horowitz says of his wood sourcing treks. Once he finds the perfect piece, the design process begins. “Tree,” a resurrected treeturned-bench, is a signature Horowitz design. He begins each piece simply

by tossing the selected tree around the yard to find its stable points. Once the ergonomics are determined, Horowitz allows the design to grow organically. He initially crafted his pieces using chainsaws, but now prefers working with hand tools to achieve a more expressive style that articulates each pucker and warped surface of the wood. After each tree is pruned, whittled, and sanded into the perfect design, Horowitz props it up with offset wood blocks, turning the nowbeautiful log into a usable seat. Each finished Tree bench displays the natural character that Horowitz feels most mass-produced pieces lack. “It’s necessary for a space to have a connection with nature because experiences are so easy to replicate nowadays,” he says. “We’re reminded that these oneof-a-kind [natural] moments can be as original as each person is.” Given his quirky design process and careful craft, it’s unlikely that any one Tree bench will closely resemble other Tree models. And that’s just the way Horowitz intends it. a

Photos courtesy of David Horowitz






Objects & Gear


five designers / Five questions

Watch Designers –––

For most of us, time is running out. But for these watch designers, it’s always 10:10 in their world. Find out what else makes them tick.

1 2 3 4 5






Projects Watches

Jacob Jensen

If you could make a watch that was also a time machine, where would you go and why?

1 I would go back to 43,000 years ago and be part of the Cro-Magnon humans. I would have to run for my food, carve my own stone tools, and be completely part of nature without any intermediations. The only age where mankind was probably in total, uncompromised harmony with mother earth.

How has the role of the watch changed since the emergence of the smartphone?

Name your dream watch.

Men’s watches, women’s watches. Tell us: Does gender really matter that much in watch design?

A client asks you to make a watch using only things from your desk. What would it look like?

Want to put someone up for the 5 Designers/5 Questions challenge? Email us at letters@ We love giving quizzes.

Photos courtesy of the designers

2 I am not sure this role has changed. A watch tells you what time it is, and sits around your wrist. A wrist watch will tell more about who you are, unlike an iPhone… 3 As predictable as it might sound, it has to be Grow watch, for the simple reason that most of my projects are generated by a profound need and desire to own a product that doesn’t exist yet. This is how Grow watch was conceived. (below) 4 It is a unisex watch, but if I close my eyes I see a beautiful woman somewhere in Tokyo, composed, wearing the white version, looking at the watch while peacefully waiting for the next Yamanote train. 5 On my desk right now, I see some Carrera marble. It’s going to be a heavy watch.

1 Funny that you should suggest Time Machine because we produced a watch called “Time Machine” in 1988. But given today’s many ways of telling time (be it a cell phone, an iPod, or other digital device) the need is greater to move forward in watch design, and what better way than to enter a time machine that can explode with color and movement? The next phase of telling time!

A watch is every bit a statement of fashion and design, not unlike a pair of glasses or shoes. While it is critically important that the watch tell the time, today that is its secondary function. 2


Our next creation!

4 A great watch can be worn by either a woman or a man. Differentiating between the sexes is as incorrect as assuming that smaller watches are more desirable to women than larger ones. 5 To create a watch from things from my desk we only have to look to Lulu… a little going here, and a little going there, and a lot going everywhere! (below)

1 To the future because the past is already known. 2 Not a lot. Some people have a watch and a smartphone, some have only a watch, some only a phone. For some people, watches have become a fashion statement because they already have the time on the phone, but I don’t see that as a big tendency.  3 Picto because of its universal graphics, symbolizing male and female, in time. (below)

4 I imagine that people who decide to purchase our watches care about beauty. I don’t think gender matters. 5 A watch designed by  Jacob Jensen

Objects & Gear



Cool Gadgets

Office anywhere A desk with a BYO power source? Must be German engineered.





1 I personally would go into the future. Let’s say 200 years. Imagine all the questions science will have answered by then. Imagine the graphics in video games! My greatest time travel dream is scientists figuring out a way to make really unhealthy things healthy.

1 50 years ahead, to see if consumers still hang on to mechanical watches with 19th century technology.

2 A watch has always served two roles: function, which is obviously telling the time, and form. That form has always been the most masculine and expressive item worn for men, outside of shoes. For women, that function still plays a big part, because your smartphone isn’t as immediately accessible, and the form isn’t as strong in terms of the story of that person. 

One we haven’t designed or even thought of yet. But it would probably be rose gold. I only wear rose gold! 3

4 Gender doesn’t matter. All I want when someone puts on a Flud watch is that they are wearing something that they feel expresses themselves to the fullest, and they connect to that watch. Old, young, male, female, watches shouldn’t be about trends, but feelings. 5 My desk is a disaster! It’s a billion boxes (I’m an addict) and tons of watch samples and parts, so I’d just recycle old Flud into new Flud. 

2 The (Swiss) watch industry ignores hi-tech and is losing an entire generation already; if it is not waking up fast, the watch as a utility will disappear. 3 Currently, our Ventura Spare MGS, of course. (below) 4 Ventura makes watches for men who appreciate clean, contemporary yet timeless design combined with modern technology.   5 Cut a piece of paper into a circle and a hole into its center, stick your finger through it, and hold it to the sunlight. With a little bit of calibration, you’ll have a very accurate and totally waterproof sundial watch.

Field Power Desk 120, $1,995,


he Kanz K line, created by Germanyborn, Los Angeles-based designer Harold Kanz, combines rugged American individualism with Teutonic precision and quality. His latest creation is the Kanz Field Power Desk, which allows one to work almost anywhere— mountain, desert, you name it. The built-in power pack delivers three hours of power for a laptop—more for smaller gadgets. It charges from the built-in solar panel in six hours. The Baltic birch interior is complemented by a sturdy marine grade aluminum housing. And of course, the whole thing can be patched into the Internet—if you’ve got a satellite router. a

Photo courtesy Kanz Outdoors





Objects & Gear

Must-have Gear

Bottle Up & Go

Get your BPA-free drink on from the tap or mountain stream with these high-design water bottles Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid

SIGG Rainbow Collection Designer: Sigg

These Swiss-made aluminum bottles are light and durable as hell. Plus, we figure a bright yellow one is hard to lose. $22,


Designer: Daren Joy

These glass bottles with silicone sleeves were originally designed for babies, but now they make ecofriendly flip-top versions for grownups, too. $20-25,

Vapur Element


The space-saving, so very futuristic “Anti-Bottle” folds up in your bag because basically it is a bag itself. Mind blown? $10,

KOR Aura Hydration Vessel Designer: Kor and RKS Design

Simply put, the Perfect Spout makes for one smooth drinking experience. Your lips will be in love with the KOR and that’s what really matters. $15,

Eau Good

Designer: Black+Blum ltd

The binchotan active charcoal filter reduces chlorine from your tap water. And the stopper is made of cork. Wine.. who needs it? $20,

fashion & beauty

Because style never goes out of‌ style

global Style

Spring Awakening Futuristic Danish design and clean lines from a new Italian fashion label bode well for SS13 CONTINUED

An image from Madsen’s SS13 collection entitled Cherrilee

Photos by Jens Langkjaer; Illustrations by Anne Sofie Madsen; Model Nadja Bender




Fashion & Beauty

global style


Anne Sofie Madsen’s Otherworldly Couture The Danish designer takes her elaborate pieces to a whole new planet


openhagen-based fashion designer and illustrator Anne Sofie Madsen merges balletinspired sci-fi goth with Scandinavian minimalism to create beautifully bizarre garments— more Grace Jones, less Lady Gaga. Trained under fashion powerhouses John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Madsen marries the embellishment and extravagance of couture design with pieces that are actually casual enough to wear while riding a bike—an essential in Copenhagen. Sheer blocks, cutaways, exposed zippers, wild textures, and Madsen’s gothic fantasy illustrations are just some of the techniques used to adorn her body-conscious dresses, voluminous hooded jackets, and printed tops. The color palette is simple: shades of candy pink, charcoal gray, black, and white.—Jen Hazen

Photos by Jens Langkjaer; Illustrations by Anne Sofie Madsen,; Model Nadja Bender

Fashion & Beauty


Co |te’s geometrically feminine style The Italian label keeps it so fresh and so clean for SS13





ecently launched Italian label Co|te is the creation of two young designers, Tomaso Anfossi and Francesco Ferrari, who met while working at hip fashion house Dsquared2.

Former students of Milan’s prestigious Instituto Marangoni, the duo demonstrates crisp geometric forms, clean lines, and voluminous shapes within its SS13 collection. A tangerine maxi tank dress layered over a cream bustier imbues prep style with a dash of sex appeal, while a sheer white blouse paired with a cropped

chambray trouser gives off polished sophistication with a relaxed attitude. And interchangeable suiting pieces (soft shouldered jackets, cropped tailored trousers, and silk blouses with sweetly rounded collars) exhibit impeccably decisive detail, yet maintain a sense of simplicity without skimping on femininity.—Jen Hazen

Co|te is sold exclusively at Harvey Nichols,; Photos courtesy of Co|te





Fashion & Beauty




global STYLE

A Concrete House of Fashion Hungarian label Ivanka gives a whole new meaning to the question: Can you rock this look?

Photos © Ivanka Studo/Balazs Mate,

When we say we’re absolutely floored by this cement-inspired ready-to-wear collection, we could easily be making a pun. As in—cement floor. But we would never do that. Created by Hungarian concrete company Ivanka—yes, that’s concrete company, not fashion design firm—the clothing line presents gritty textiles that feature a texture lifted from the pockmarked surfaces of cement. The Cement Genesis collection features accessories that fuse leather and concrete and are derived

from the rectangular archetype of a block of beton. This monolithic shape is echoed in the line’s clutches, totes, and laptop sleeves, where the play between soft and hard materials creates a cool, covetable, androgynous feel. So whether you’re looking to blend into the urban landscape or stand out in the wild, it’s clear that gray may, in fact, be the new black.—Kate Chiu

Fashion & Beauty



4 1 -3

The Cement Genesis collection includes clutches and other accessories texturized to replicate concrete 4

The campaign for Concrete Genesis is entitled “Fade to Grey�





Fashion & Beauty

Sartorial Satire

Sultans of Steez The stylish gents behind the Fuck Yeah Menswear blog take the piss out of their Tumblr and turn it into a must-own coffee table book


t’s obvious to anyone paying attention that men’s heritage fashion has exploded in recent years—partly due to an Internet culture of blogs and fashion websites informing guys about what they should be wearing, the history of it, how it should fit, and where to get it. But the fashion world needs its gadfly, and the Tumblr blog Fuck Yeah Menswear came along just in time to have a laugh at the whole culture. It ties stream of consciousness original rap poems to absurd menswear photography, resulting in gut-busting good times for followers like us. Bloggers Kevin Burrows and Lawrence Schlossman recently published the book version of their site, Fuck Yeah Menswear: Bespoke Knowledge for the Crispy Gentleman.  We queried Burrows and Schlossman about the book, their sartorial inspiration, and of course, their love of fine-ass threads.

Photos courtesy of Fuck Yeah Menswear

Fuck Yeah Menswear is a really specific commentary on a subculture. Why do you think it caught on? We happened to hit this moment where everything had gotten so po-faced and then we just completely took the piss out of it. When you’ve got guys running into the ocean in $300 handmade Japanese denim for the purest of pure cleanses, it’s hard not to step back and laugh your ass off. Apparently a lot of people felt the same way, we were just the first to put the proverbial pen to pad. How did you guys get into the menswear scene? Both of us came up into it through a combination of blogs and our experiences at college. We both went to school on the East Coast and we definitely started to pick up on the collegiate style (Bean Boots, Oxfords, cuffed trousers, sport coats, Barbours, penny loafers, etc.) as soon as we got on campus. At the same time, menswear blogging was just starting to take off. The only thing better than walking to class in your cordovan loafers is blogging about walking to class in your cordovan loafers, so we were hooked.

How did the rap references come into play? We’re both really big into hip-hop, and it’s very much the way that we interface with talking about cool stuff. It should be noted that this isn’t strictly a FYMW way of discussing things. Any time you have an Internet-based culture filled with young, suburban white males, hip-hop is going to figure in significantly. At the end of the day, we’re all nerds that want to immerse ourselves in what we hold so dear. How will fans of the FYMW blog be surprised by the book? Fans of FYMW are going to love it as it’s everything from the blog, but turned all the way up on some Connery-era cuff shit. We’ve got some surprises in there, as well, and we’ve built out these sections where we break down style archetypes, or the proper lexicon for use when assessing the fit of your homie’s new MTM jammies. It would have been idiotic to think that a book consisting solely of our epic poems/raps/whatever-the-fucks would have any legs, so we created and built out all these complementary sections in an effort to create a tome with re-readability that, if all goes according to plan, is a snapshot of this strange world a lot of people care about.

“When You’ve got guys running into the ocean in $300 handmade japanese denim, it’s hard not to step back and laugh your ass off.”

What aspect of the book are you most proud of? All the new photos we shot just for the book in faraway lands like Florence, Italy, and the illustrations we did make this thing look really fucking epic. There’s also a fake Japanese magazine we cooked up that we weren’t sure was going to end up making it into the final product. Spoiler alert: It did, and it’s absolutely ridiculous. a

Fashion & Beauty



Global Style

Jewel toned

Kicks for Him and Her A unisex footwear line from Israel adds color and androgyny to your wardrobe

Tel Aviv designer Oded Arama jumped in the luxury footwear game with, um, both feet. The SS13 Arama collection takes its colorful inspiration from rare minerals. Called “Treasury,” the shoes are each named after a precious gem, including onyx, bloodstone, and Azotic topaz. Brogues of suede, calf, and patent leather lean toward a more male, athletic aesthetic, while a trio of pointy-toed flats sport feminine satin bows. With their unique blend of bright shades and subtle androgyny, Arama’s kicks will bring character to any outfit.—Kate Chiu

Photography by Dadi Elias





Fashion & Beauty

The Jack Knife Vest

DB: You both have extensive retail backgrounds. Of all the fashion possibilities, what inspired you to create a denim company? Tony Patella: When we started, the world certainly did not need another denim company, but there’s always room for people who are doing things better and in the right way. I don’t care if it’s mozzarella cheese or bikes or sports cars. It plays out every time.

Designer Q&A

The Fancy Pants Foil Looking for bells and whistles? You won’t find them on Tellason jeans By Aryn Beitz


ny guy who pulls on a pair of Tellason jeans will notice one detail right away: They’re heavy. That’s because the designers at Tellason craft each pair using raw fabric made by Cone Mills, one of the country’s oldest denim manufacturers. “The fabric is some of the best in the world, so it can handle anything,” says Tellason co-founder Tony Patella, who launched the San Francisco brand with good friend Pete Searson in 2009. The two have been making tough, all-American jeans since, and their experiences have made them just as durable as the pants they sell.

Pete Searson: Tellason was launched during a time when retailers really wanted to sink their teeth into products with great stories. I think retailers appreciated our simplicity and our manic obsession to get denim right and charge a fair price. We’re doing everything we can to make the best jeans in the world and simultaneously are charging as fair of a price as we can. DB: You source your denim from one of the oldest mills in the United States. What does this mean for your customers? TP: We have three fabrics we developed directly with Cone Mills in North Carolina, opened in 1905. Our white oak denim is double ring spun, Sanforized, raw selvage denim that comes in 30-inch rolls. We even buy the second-quality stuff to make sure it doesn’t get sent to some jobber. The thread we use is made in North Carolina, the pocketing in Tennessee, and the leather patch is made by Tanner Goods in Portland, Oregon, using all Northwest-sourced, special vegetable tanned leather. DB: With all the denim fabric options out there, what do you think really attracts guys to jeans like Tellasons? TP: People are starting to value quality over quantity again. They’re not interested in buying something flash-in-the-pan trendy that they’re going to regret wearing in two months. Our audience is building slowly but surely. PS: All we’re trying to do is convert people who have a curiosity in raw denim because once they try it, they won’t go back. Manufacturing denim started here in northern California and is a San Francisco product based on the Gold Rush. We’re so proud to be making denim in this city. a

Jeans, $198,; portrait by Drew Kelly, all other photos courtesy of Tellason

Tellason recently partnered with fellow SF clothing manufacturer Jack Knife Outfitters to create a special edition vest for Berlin-based retailer Burg & Schild. “The guys behind Burg & Schild are hard-core motorcycle guys, and we knew that their customer would appreciate the durability of the vest,” says Patella. Jack Knife made a run of 18 vests, cutting and waxing one at a time by hand. And although they surely would have beautifully handled the transatlantic shipment, Searson and Patella hand-delivered the vests to Berlin.

travel & culture

Eat, shop, explore, do what you do

global style

Where Food Meets Design Female collective Arabeschi di Latte perfects culinary styling CONTINUED

A scene from a Midnight Dinner, held at Natura Morta in Milan, 2011

Photo by Tom Mannion




Global style

Travel & Culture


Celebrating conviviality above all, Francesca Sarti founded Arabeschi di Latte (translating loosely as “the ornaments of milk”) in 2001 as a female design collective of Italian designers who explore and foster the cross-pollination of food and design. Sarti’s work attempts not to focus solely on a “specific artifact, but rather on the experience of a social occasion,” transmuting the age-old rituals of sharing a meal as a means of communication and reflection on cultural themes. Recent projects include the series of temporary pastificios (pasta shops) presented at Designhuis in Eindhoven, where rustic wooden tables were laden with fresh herbs and vegetables, encouraging participants to whip up sauces from scratch (above). And the sinister design of the Underkitchen dinner, created for Natura Morta at the Erastudio Apartment Gallery in Milan, featured a delectable palette of black food to be served at a midnight supper in a darkened apartment. Flanked by erotic drawings by Piero Fornasetti, and attended to by eerie waitresses in elaborate headpieces, the meal included squid-dyed bread, burnt artichokes, cheese served on coal, and eggs cooked in black tea. Buon appetito!—KATIE TANDY

Photo courtesy of Arabeschi di Latte

Restaurant Spotlight

Glam Dynasty Hot Meatpacking District party spot Toy plays up its digital-era Asian flair by amber gibson Sex appeal instantly permeates the atmosphere of Toy, the new Asian restaurant and lounge inside New York’s Gansevoort Hotel. Toy integrates elements of art, food, fashion, and music into an aesthetic that is uniquely New York. Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, every aspect of the space was highly considered, creating a cohesive and sultry vibe. Beers installed a sheer screen to mask the stairway for added dramatic effect. “People get a little selfconscious sometimes about walking up and down stairs, so the scrim helps people feel more comfortable, but provides a theatrical experience for ev-

eryone else in the restaurant as you’re silhouetted behind it.” Lighting and reflective materials are found throughout the space, including a 1,500-pound origami-like disco ball that is suspended over the 80-seat dining room. Custom-designed wall graphics are inspired by Ming-era China, and are reflected in the Asian menu, which includes sushi, dim sum, and a raw seafood bar. Laser lights, custom chandeliers, and digital mapping technology create multiple textures and layers and convey the restaurant-cum-nightclub’s shapeshifting nature. A visually pulsating DJ booth brings the rhythm of music to life. “It’s a very vibrant, young, bold, stylish crowd,” says Beers, who designed the restaurant and acted somewhat as an art director with a clear vision for the social scene he wanted to create inside the space. “It’s all about people-watching,” he says. a

Travel & Culture



hotel stay

Short on Sleep At Amsterdam’s new Hôtel Droog, you’ll do everything but catch some ZZZs, because it’s barely a hotel at all


f you’re looking to kick back and relax, Hôtel Droog might not be the best place to stay. But if you’re looking to drink, dine, and explore gardens and design galleries, then you’ve come to the right place. Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog, explains how he and Droog have refocused the role of the hotel. “Whereas a hotel is usually mostly about sleeping, here we have enlarged and emphasized all the aspects that many hotels also offer, and [we have] made them central to the hotel experience.” Hôtel Droog brings all of the hotel’s activities under one roof—from curation to product design, exhibitions, and lectures—and invites people to participate as they choose. Among Hôtel Droog’s unusual amenities? A Droog Store that features affordable-andup designer curios, and a gallery showcasing art and design. The dining room offers fresh seasonal food and drinks, and

often hosts discussions. And an indoor Fairy Tale Garden made of Astroturf and winding trails (created by Claude Pasquer and Corrine Detroyat) attracts butterflies with its edible plants. Add in a cabin-like lounge space curated by a Dutch outdoor brand, a cosmetics counter, and a designer clothing store for the complete Hôtel Droog experience. Sleep, you say? Well, there is a place to do that, too, but you’ll want to book early. The One And Only Bedroom on the top floor holds up to 10 guests, but it’s the only room in the joint. a

Weltrevee is a “room” at the Hôtel Droog dedicated to outdoor living and gear, like portable fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs


Photos courtesy of Hôtel Droog,





Travel & Culture

There is a place to sleep, too, but you’ll want to book The Bedroom on the top floor well in advance. Holding up to 10 guests, it’s the one and only room in the joint.

The Gallery is an exhibition space. Curated by Droog, it aims to create a dialogue between design and society by hosting workshops and discussions. Photo credit lorem ipsum dolor es

Travel & Culture



Photo credit lorem ipsum dolor es





Travel & Culture

design jobs around the world

Global Census Ooh, wee, ooh, I look just like Buddy Holly… thanks to my stylish eyewear. Who are the cool bats making spectacular specs? These four-eyed fools. BY LAUREN SMITH

Andy Sweet


Chris Mantz Of Drift

Wes Stoody of Aframes

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Location: Berlin, Germany

Location: West Loop, Chicago, IL

Location: Logan Square, Chicago, IL





Education/Background: Started

Education/Background: Our academic

Education/Background: Engineering.

Education/Background: B.S. in

in Transport Design at Coventry University in England, transferred to jewelry and metalwork at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Scotland, and didn’t look back.

background reaches from industrial design to architecture and political science. After gaining some experience in the eyewear industry, we ventured out on our own to realize the idea of a new eyewear concept. 

Background in manufacturing and new product development.

Economics from Eastern Michigan University

Notable Projects: Timber Collection— optical frames with unique reclaimed wood. The ability to use such visually appealing materials stems from an architecturally inspired frame structure. Our newest release “The Atticus” features a very thin wood temple and takes advantage of the same concept.

Notable Projects: Founded cause-driven eyewear brand Aframes Eyewear

Notable Projects: Interesting work for

I’m also working on a brand-new British luxury sunglasses brand— frames will retail for $1,500 and up.

Notable Projects: The development of our MYKITA MYLON collection. Our idea was to enter a new segment in the world of eyewear: luxury sports fashion. Functional glasses that are beautiful and of the best quality. MYKITA MYLON glasses are made from a polyamide powder, in a laser sintering process.

Income Per Project/salary: I have a

Income Per Project/salary: Turnover in

basic fee structure of around $1,300 per finished chosen design. This fee can vary. Some clients prefer to pay for my time, and I charge my work at an hourly rate of $40.

2011: €16 million

fashion labels (Cheap Monday, Mexx, Bruuns Bazaar, COS), kids’ eyewear (SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Zoobug), and niche eyewear companies (Götti, Monoqool).

Quote: “There’s no such thing as bad

weather, just the wrong clothes.”

Photos courtesy of the designers

Quote: “We do what we like and we like

what we do.”

Income Per Project/salary: I am the designer/owner of DRIFT. I’d say a typical salary is about $50K for someone doing this, but I know of only a handful of people doing it freelance. Most designers work for big corporations: Luxottica, Marchon, Safilo. They make 90 percent of the glasses and brand names we know about. Quote: “ I wanted something that didn’t exist, so I decided to make it.”

Income Per Project/salary: Hard to say because I own the company for which I am designing. I do not get paid “per project.” I would be willing to pay another designer $1,000 per shape. This is our first year of doing business, and we should hit about $200,000 in revenue. Quote: “I started Aframes to help raise awareness and funding for vitamin A supplementation in developing countries. One sale of Aframes glasses helps save the sight and lives of three children.”

structures & spaces

Enviable interiors to shamelessly ogle


5 Miniature Shelters Tents, pods, sheds—anything will do if it guarantees us some peace and quiet CONTINUED

Martín Azúa’s Basic House

Photo courtesy of the designer




Structures & Spaces


INDUSTRIAL DESIGN n this busy world, there are constant intrusions into personal time and space. With phones, tablets, and laptops always within reach, private time has become nearly extinct and the constant ringing, dinging, and buzzing can become overwhelming. Whether you share your space with another person or just with modern technology, it is important to take some quiet time to decompress. Here are five great options to help you shut out the frenetic rush of the outside world and preserve your own inner peace.— JENNY WILSON


1. Archipod DESIGNER: Chris Sneesby

This cozy timber hideout arrives in sections so it can be carried to any location and built on-site. It is fully insulated and comes with heat, lighting, and power already installed. While these cozy spheres were originally designed to be used as garden offices, the folks at Archipod will gladly help you customize your own sanctuary. Price upon request,

2. Tetra-Shed DESIGNER: David

Ajasa-Adekunle This modern, modular structure could be used as an office, but why not turn it into something more special? This cute and quirky shelter makes an ideal retreat, indoors or out. The folding doors and windows give you the option of interacting with the rest of the world (or not). From ÂŁ15,000,

All photos courtesy of the designers

Structures & Spaces



3. Basic House DESIGNER: Martín Azúa

This portable shelter can fit into a pocket or a purse, and will self-inflate using body heat or the heat from the sun to create a cube-shaped getaway. So light that it floats, this metalized polyester refuge is reversible to protect from heat on one side and cold on the other. The versatile, packable design makes it possible to turn any environment into a cozy retreat. But you’ll have to wait to get your very own—Basic House currently exists only as an experimental prototype in the MoMA collection. More information is available at

5. HUSH DESIGNER: Freyja Sewell

4. Iglu DESIGNER: Berta Riera Pomés

This cozy rattan shelter is the perfect place to hide for a peaceful afternoon nap. The ecofriendly little nest also makes a great nook for reading or for just forgetting about the less pleasant parts of the day. Price upon request,

Made from 100 percent wool, the soft and warm Hush pod provides sanctuary from noise, stress, and other intrusions into daily life. The cozy creation can transform from chair to bed to full-on cocoon for those days when you really need a break. £1,500. Available beginning in May,





Structures & Spaces


What the Heck Are Parklets? Rethinking parking dead zones the San Francisco Way By Aryn Beitz


eave it to San Francisco, best known for its environmental and entrepreneurial initiatives, to introduce the country’s first-ever parklet. The concept was first launched in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, and focuses on replacing existing parking spaces with specific space for pedestrians, customers, and bicyclists to use. In recent years, San Francisco has seen more and more parking spaces replaced by dedicated parklets as a way of creating a neighborhood community hub. And it’s working.

In San Francisco’s Outer Sunset District, the Noriega Parklet was designed pro bono by neighbor Shane Curnyn of Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders. The construction of the parklet was staged from Curnyn’s garage and built at cost. “The diagonal geometry of the existing parking created a unique design opportunity,” Curnyn says. “The site, a 45-degree parallelogram, is subdivided into two separate spaces to help accommodate different users—one space opens generously to the sidewalk, while the other is more protected and intimate.” The parklet’s acute corners allowed for dedicated planting areas assembled from plants donated by neighbors. The parklet’s succulent garden even became a communitywide project for neighbors and their children. “Parklets are a

Just a few blocks over, Lana Porcello and David Muller, the husband and wife team behind Outerlands Restaurant, raised more than $10,000 via Kickstarter to design and build a parklet with a similar feel to their restaurant. Neighbor Dennis Budd of Gast Archi-

San Francisco’s Noriega Parklet, designed by Shane Curnyn of Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

great public/private partnership,” says Curnyn. “Business owners pay for construction and definitely benefit with increased business, but the neighborhood benefits as well with a public ‘mini-park’ they can use anytime. It’s a win-win.”

Noriega Parklet photos courtesy of Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

tects worked with Porcello and Muller to design an outdoor space that would enhance both the sidewalk and street view approaches to their restaurant. The team collaborated with local craftsmen to build benches and counters using

salvaged Monterey cypress and reclaimed Douglas fir posts. “Parklets offer each neighborhood block a chance to share its character, to reclaim street space in favor of community space, and thus to build a locality that feels integrally in touch with its people,” says Porcello. Parklets are starting to pop up in other parts of the country, too. Chicago-based DSpace Studio collaborated with Heritage Bicycle and General Store and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce to design Chicago’s first parklet, the People Spot. “Our goal was to create a new public space that activates the urban landscape and provides multiple uses for the community,” says Kevin Toukoumidis, founder and principal of DSpace Studio. Financed by The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, Toukoumidis designed the parklet with durability and sustainability in mind. “DSpace Studio designed two undulating Ipe chaise lounges that anchor each end of the parklet and are usable 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Toukoumidis. Recycled acrylic panels, FSC certified Massaranduba wood deck tiles, and aluminum planters with a faux-zinc finish were used to further reinforce the city’s growing environmentally friendly initiatives. Parklets are also in the works for cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. The buzz about them is good, and no wonder— they stir up interaction with the urban environment. As Lana Porcello of Outerlands Restaurant notes, “Parklets refashion our experience as city dwellers, and require of us an altered navigation.” a

Structures & Spaces




Everything in the Pad Must Go Wondering how that new design piece will look in your pad? Just take a look around The Apartment.

The Apartment isn’t just a Jack Lemmon movie, it’s a gallery that sells an expertly curated selection of furniture and design items. The showroom, located in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark, features a mix of vintage furniture, contemporary art

and design, vintage Moroccan rugs, and other interesting decor objects and knickknacks. And it’s all staged to look like somebody’s real apartment— somebody with impeccable taste, that is. “The feeling is a private home, but everything is for sale,” says co-founder Tina Seidenfaden Busck. Along with cofounder Pernille Hornhaver, Busck says they wanted to create a visual example of their work as interior decorators and also to show the art in context with furniture, breaking away from the style of the white cube gallery.

“I think it is much easier for clients to visualize how it will work in their own home,” Busck says of their house-like atmosphere. The duo mixes mid-century furniture (such as the sculptural sofa “Paradiset” by Kerstin Horlin Holmquist) with more contemporary items, like a table by McCollin Bryan. The designers’ tight connections with regional galleries and auction houses mean they get great stuff, too, so they’re constantly redecorating to keep us coming back for more. a

Photo courtesy of The Apartment





Structures & Spaces


A photo by Nick Frank. “When doing photography, I’m not dependent on anyone,” says Frank. “I press the release button, I edit my pictures, and even put them online at anytime I want.”



Photo of the Munich subway from a series on underground stations 3

Elevator shaft in the Munich U-Bahn


Hey Man, Nice shot


This cross-disciplinary designer merges his love of architecture and graphics with photography Munich-based creative director and photographer Nick Frank has an unusually good eye for the beauty in modern and contemporary architectural forms, so we queried him to learn more about the inspiration behind his images. Photos courtesy of Nick Frank

DB: Creative direction, photography, and an interest in architecture. How did you decide to blend your design passions together? Nick Frank: It sounds weird, but in some way shooting architecture is like building up a layout in Photoshop. For me, it’s a formal driven process you start by adding all of the information you need, then you try to reduce until you see the essence of what you want to show.

DB: What kind of places and subjects appeal to you? NF: I always choose contemporary architecture with lots of lines and symmetric elements. DB: Any dream places that you are hoping to shoot soon? NF: Stockholm’s subway is pretty awesome. Hong Kong would be good, as well. I like the light there. a

In the reception area, burnt orange upholstery evokes molten copper.

HudBay’s HQ opens with an elegant flourish. “The art piece evokes both the strata of the earth and the sinuous line of copper as it is poured into molds in the company’s foundries,” Taylor says. It’s a glamorous take on the raw materials.

Elemental Style Inside the surprisingly chic design of a Toronto mining headquarters By Maggie Lange The refined downtown headquarters of HudBay Minerals looks more like a Fortune 500 corporation, not the homebase of an integrated mining company. To reflect the business’ tactile and elemental work, architect Michael Taylor, principal of Taylor Smyth Architects, drew inspiration from its extensive photo archive, translating mining’s discovery, transformation, and finishing processes through the office’s materials, colors, and sculptural details.

walls are composed of rough split face stone, inspired by a HudBay photo of vertical cliffs that have been hewn from the rock,” Taylor says. Look up, and you’ll notice a teak ceiling inlaid with large swaths of spun aluminum, which recall the netting used to protect mine ceilings. On the wall opposite is the pièce de résistance: an undulating sculpture made from layers of walnut and copper. “The art piece evokes both the strata of the earth and the sinuous line of copper as it is poured into molds in the company’s foundries,” Taylor says, noting that the sculpture also abstractly recalls HudBay’s relationship to the natural landscape. “I love the contrast of the raw and the refined,” he says. a

The HudBay HQ was Smyth’s first collaboration with Greenferd Contruction. “Smyth did an excellent job of understanding the images, symbolism, and feel of Hudbay’s business,” says Scott Hledin, partner at Greenferd. Hudbay’s earthy interior was achieved through unique products, but Smyth made the construction job easy: “We just delivered what he put on paper!”

The building’s elevators open onto the 26,000-square-foot space, outfitted in glass, metals, and various woods. Around the corner, raw concrete walls lead up to the reception desk. “The

Photos courtesy of Ben Rahn/A-Frame and Mario Carrieri of Unifor




Structures & Spaces

No Bud or Doyle here! The dome serves its purpose as meeting and event space.


Building a Bubble Two Danish architects think outside the dome


ecades ago, extremists (and the movie Bio-Dome) predicted that one day we’d all live in geodesic domes. Last summer, Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen brought the faceted igloo back—only this time, it had a bit of a twist.

A recontextualizing of the structure made famous by Buckminster Fuller was, perhaps, just what the dome needed. “The geodesic dome is one of the most optimal methods of constructing, but it sadly lacks many of the qualities we associate with good architecture,” say Tejlgaard and Jepsen. The dome has always been a sore thumb sticking out from the milieu of architectural types, and for the Peoples Meeting on Bornholm in Denmark, the architects wanted to create something

that would “stick out, but in the right way.” So they played, and by splitting, rescaling, and essentially exploding the dome, they introduced new spaces, functions, and drama to the traditionally banal form. The People’s Meeting Dome is still mega-mathematical. A complex modular system of nodes and latticing allows for a column-free interior. The nodes were robot-welded, and the structure was ultimately sealed with wood (a local Douglas pine), recycled boards, and a

PVC film as window surface. And as a precaution, 18 tons of steel grounded the temporary spaceship-like structure from being swept off by strong Danish winds. The final structure, featuring a kitchen, bar, dining area, and stage, played host to hundreds of visitors and dozens of events. And, by breaking the box (or, should we say, sphere?) Tejlgaard and Jepsen have brought a design of the past into the future. —Kate Chiu

Photos provided by Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen.

Interior STyle

“RedStreak is a proper English style draft cider. With a hazy lemon hue, scent of fresh and ripe apples, just a touch of oak, and a crisp tart finish.

A vivid shade of orange sets the stage. “The foyer is the first thing you see, and I wanted to make it into a room itself, not just a passage,” Beaupère says. But it’s the artwork and chandelier that really necessitate the bold background choice. “The picture is enormous and the chandelier is Italian Murano glass in brown and blue. The orange complements the blues and browns— it pulls it together.”

A fire-red backsplash is a nod to the homeowners’ love for cooking, and the shape of the tiles add dimension to the room. “The tiles are a custom blend. They’re ½-inch wide and varying lengths,” Beaupère says. “The horizontal pattern adds length to the room, and anything smaller would have looked too busy.” Large concrete tiles by Ann Sacks and set with gray grout add complexity to the floor.

Locally crafted from Midwest apples, RedStreak Cider is your next drink” — Ciderist Gregory Hall

The Perfect Shade Bright paint and tile colors spice up a pre-war Brooklyn apartment

Beaupère tiled the bathroom’s walls in inviting earth tones. “The pattern is 40 percent blue, 40 percent green, and 20 percent white tiles, with the white serving as accents,” she says. A walnut vanity and refined lighting fixture add elegance and tone down the coldness of the white tile floor.

Sometimes, choosing colors for a home requires a bit of working backwards. “You can use color to link everything together,” says interior designer Caroline Beaupère. At this Park Slope apartment, she used color to unify the home’s spaces and make its traditional style a bit more modern. Rather than set the palette beforehand, each room’s features and finishes dictated Beaupère’s choices. Here, she shares her insights on what makes each room work. a

Photos provided by Matthew Arnold, For more of Beaupère’s work, visit

Plair & UI


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work place

Working Out

Join up, roll up your sleeves, and get some chores done at one of these co-working spaces

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a desk or an entrepreneur looking to network (and save some money on rent), it’s time to ditch the home office and invest in a coworking membership—for your business, and personal, well-being. We’ve done the research and found the coolest spaces from posh to proletarian, in cities around the world. —Aryn Beitz

1 The Coop’s friendly atmosphere encourages designers to pin up their

The Coop Location: Chicago, IL Monthly membership: $350 The Coop, whose name was inspired by its original location in an old chicken coop, is located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Founded by designers Sam Rosen and Patrick Griffin, The Coop’s location boasts comfortable social seating areas courtesy of Turnstone Furniture, spacious desks, and a continuously rotating art gallery showcasing the works of local talent. Collaborating with interior

projects of all kinds, making the space a comfy place to work

designer Angela Finney, The Coop’s simple design aesthetic and desire to incorporate vintage and reusable furnishings reinforces its down-to-earth, work hard mentality. “The Coop started as a hobby and has become an important part of who we are as a company and what we do,” says Sam Rosen, The Coop co-founder. “We cherish the relationships that we have built through our space and love having a great venue to support the amazing creative community in Chicago.”


The Hive Location: Hong Kong Full-time HotDesk/month: HK 4,500 When entrepreneur Constant Tedder relocated to Hong Kong from London in late 2011, he was quickly dismayed by the lack of coworking options available. Rather than succumbing to the thought

of working from home, Tedder and his business partner teamed up with London-based designer James Waterworth, of Alexander Waterworth Interiors, to create their dream coworking space. “Our goal is to be the most inspiring and productive place to work, and to have the best entrepreneurial network in Hong Kong,” Tedder says. He worked with Waterworth CONTINUED

The Coop images by Mike Schwartz. All others courtesy of the designers.





work place

Structures & Spaces


to create a space that was strong and distinctive, but that was also warm and comfortable. Natural materials were sourced whenever possible, while custom desks paired with warm filament bulb lighting were chosen in lieu of traditional office furniture. With three floors of naturally lit high-design workspaces and a large outdoor terrace, The Hive is becoming a hotspot for Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs. “Being a member of The Hive is not just about having a place to open your laptop and connect to the Internet,” says Tedder. “It’s also about the network that is formed by our community and every member becomes a part of that network automatically.”


Projective Space

Graphic black and white anchors NY’s Projective Space


Mobilesuite Coworking location: Berlin, Germany CoWorking Club/month: €199 Mobilesuite Coworking, a sister company of Mobilesuite Telephone Service, opened its first space in August 2011 with high hopes of expanding throughout Germany and the rest of Europe. “Our space in Berlin is more or less a pilot that shows us how we can get our ideas into practice,” says Benjamin Roth, marketing and PR manager at Mobilesuite. “Right now we are learning a lot about building a community, everyday needs and wants of the coworkers on-site, and how we can create a positive experience for them.” Berlin-based interior design firm Raumfragen! worked to create a space that truly captures Mobilesuite’s attention to detail and its entrepreneurial spirit. The space, designed with productivity and versatility in mind, boasts flexible desks, high design furnishings, lockable offices,

All photos courtesy of the designers

Mobilesuite even has an onsite bistro, perfect for a caffeine pick-me-up

telephone boxes for undisrupted conversation, and an on-site bistro. “In the end, outside of your bed, your work space is where you spend a great share of your precious time,” Roth says. “So, why not make this time as inspiring and worthwhile as possible?”

Location: New York City HotDesk/month: $350-$400 Projective Space’s super sleek setup—not to mention its impressive membership roster— will have you speaking startup lingo in no time. The founders behind Projective Space, brothers James, Johnny, and Timothy Wahba, took over the space formally known as SoHo Haven in February 2012. Enlisting the help of architect Graydon Yearick and designing the interiors themselves, the brothers had one objective in mind: productivity. A complete redesign and a second

Lower East Side location later, Projective Space has quickly become a favorite among thriving NYC-based startups. “When visitors come into Projective Space, they feel the productive energy instantly,” says James Wahba, co-founder and CEO. “They notice that the space is clean, high-end, and well thought out. It’s got productivity in mind.” And with monthly guest speakers such as Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley and a networking lounge outfitted by Turnstone Furniture, it’s no wonder aspiring entrepreneurs are eager to set up shop here.

Take advantage of WeWork’s bicostal locations to truly make your work life mobile


WeWork Location: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles HotDesk/month: $300 WeWorks’ mission is pretty straightforward: to make people’s lives better by creating environments that support creativity, collaboration, and innovation. What began as a simple concept in late 2009 has grown into a network of seven coworking spaces and nearly 3,500 members in 2012. “Our hunger for building great spaces and connecting interesting people hasn’t yet begun to be satisfied,” says

Ian Lewis Campbell, director of communications. “We’re just getting started.” Each space is designed in-house and consists of private offices and open floors, as well as curated spaces for certain industries. At WeWork Hollywood, members have access to production suites and screening rooms, conference rooms with flatscreens and Blu-ray, and a balcony overlooking the Hollywood Hills. “The ease that we create in having work space allows any company to concentrate on what they do best, not struggle with office needs,” says Campbell. “Innovation in the way people work drives the constant change in the way we build our work spaces.”


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architects & artisans

Learning to Love the Arts From Abroad Picturesque Lacoste, France provides the perfect campus setting for the Savannah College of Art and Design by J. Michael Welton


ast fall, I found myself in Provence, France for a few days, touring the countryside, sipping the wines, and tasting the cheeses. But it was the work there by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) that made the strongest impression.

High atop a hill in Lacoste, France, SCAD has restored 33 precious stone buildings dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries. For the past decade, architect and SCAD senior vice president Glenn Wallace has conducted a thorough transformation of former homes, shops, and bakeries into studios, classrooms, and libraries for the college’s Provence locale. Local artisans pitched in with the design work, offering up a stylistic continuity that’s true to the location and has been passed down through generations of hands-on craftsmanship. “It’s been a cultural crossroads for 20,000 years,” says Bob Dickensheets, SCAD’s associate director of external relations. “Byron, Whistler, Sargent, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Picasso all were here.” Nearly 300 SCAD students work on painting and drawing, photography and art history, and sculpture and printmaking at the Lacoste campus, living and working inside and outside their impeccably designed spaces for a quarter at a time. “The college recognizes that it’s an opportunity for students, and a great bonus for the faculty too,”

Dickensheets says. “Our attitude is that fine art is a lifestyle and that art education is about quality of life.” The campus begins virtually at the top of the town. At the crest of the hill reigns a castle surrounded by a now-dry moat. It was originally owned by the libertine Marquis de Sade; it’s currently home to French fashion mogul Pierre Cardin. SCAD’s buildings and grounds meander downhill from there. The campus culminates at the just-restored Maison Basse, a former barn laid in Oolitic limestone at the base of the hill. It now houses a kitchen, meeting space, living areas, studios, and dorms. “You look out the window and it’s almost like a different place every day,” says Eleanor Twiford, SCAD’s academic director. The college boasts campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong too, but it’s hard to imagine any more inspirational than SCAD Lacoste, with its ornamental cloud catchers carefully placed on the gables of each of its rooflines. “They make way for the blue sky, bringing good luck upon the houses,” says Molly Rowe, SCAD’s director of executive communications. “Jean Pierre, the village armchair historian who works for SCAD, insists that every building have a cloud catcher on it for good luck.” And what more could an art student ask? a

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. He also publishes an online design magazine at Photos by SCAD Lacoste and courtesy J. Michael Welton






bureau of ergonomics

Electrical Non-equivalents & Speech Translators Certified Ergonomist Dr. Rob Tannen sheds some light on global electronic gadgets

Why do electrical standards vary from country to country? I hate traveling with so many adapters. A: Currently—pun intended— there are about a dozen types of electric plugs worldwide. Ironically, one of the main reasons for the lack of standards in electrical systems stems from the lack of electricity at the time of their development. Today we take global communication for granted, but it requires an electrical grid. At the time of electrical system development, there were various people working independently, with their own constraints and requirements, who couldn’t easily communicate with their counterparts around the world (or perhaps didn’t care to). Even with recent standards, the cost to update infrastructures would be massive. So, we adapt—pun intended again.

Have a question for Dr. Rob? email

Help! It turns out that my hand-held pocket translator isn’t so handy. How far off are quick, reliable speech translators that will allow me to speak a foreign language without embarrassing myself? A: Not very far away at all. There are already smartphone apps, such as Vocre and Jibbigo, that work relatively effectively. But the challenge with these programs arises with speech recognition, not with the actual translation itself. You speak into your smartphone, and it translates your words to text. Then you can confirm that

Illustration by Alli Berry. For more help with design and ergonomics, visit

the app understood what you said before it vocalizes your thoughts in another language. It works, but it doesn’t keep up with the speed of a conversation, and it’s certainly not socially seamless. More advanced military and commercial devices are available, but they’re not as accessible to the everyday consumer. a




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image, style, design

High-Quality Design, Zero Personal Style Will the democratization of good design lead to its demise? By Steven FisCher


n the early 1970s, my second cousin, a wellestablished photographer in New York City, bought a set of chairs by Charles and Ray Eames for his kitchen. They were an unusual find and ref lected the good taste and unique eye of my father’s cousin. But today? Classic design reissues delivered by mid-century heavyweights, including Isamu Noguchi, Frances Knoll, and the Eames, have become commonplace in many hip American homes. And just like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, this very select number of pieces has become the marker of good taste. It’s the era of the Design Within Reach house. I am all for design being widely adopted. This idea was a primary aim of the Eames—to spread good design to as many people as possible. DWR has certainly extended that aim by making select pieces of high-quality furniture widely available, and consumers have responded positively, buying up thousands of Eames shell chairs and Noguchi coffee tables. Problems arise, however, because only a handful of designs are (usually) purchased. It’s true that DWR sells many different contemporary designers; these just aren’t the pieces that most people ultimately take home. The retailer is known for its staunch support of mid-century modern design, and it’s these designers that they

This is the challenge for companies like Design within reach: to introduce the mass consumer market to a wider range of good design talent.

Steven Fischer is lecturer of Image, Style, & Design at Northwestern University, and president of the Valspar Color Institute. For more details, visit Illustration by Alli Berry.

feature prominently on their showroom floors and within their catalog pages. DWR is also one of the few go-to retailers that sell high-quality design furniture directly to consumers. It’s no surprise, then, that many chic living rooms look strikingly similar. Individual taste seems to have fallen by the wayside in an era when most consumers know only a precious few designers and suppliers. Has the Eames’ desired democratization of design left little room for new designers? When the famous couple issued their edict to put good design in the hands of the masses, they didn’t specify that good design equaled limited options. This is the challenge for companies like DWR: to introduce the mass consumer market to a wider range of good design talent, both contemporary and otherwise. Take for example Irish furniture designer Joseph Walsh, who is redefining what can be done with bent wood, a staple modern furniture technique that dates back to Thonet’s 1859 chair. Companies that embrace the Eames’ philosophy have the power to bring fresh designers to a wide public audience. And doing so would allow the everyday consumer to develop a more customized, personal style without having to sacrifice high quality standards. It’s possible to have both. And as the Eames knew, it’s not too much to ask. a


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Notes From the Bureau News and Musings from the world of architecture and design

Return of the Single Family Home Shotgun houses shake up a Florida condo community By Kate Chiu


ove aside, beach condos. Matthew Kragh of MHK Architecture and Planning has introduced a building form that is revolutionizing housing in Naples, Florida.

In a community called The Gables, the new Kragh maximized in his design. Each home homes occupy lots that were previously measures approximately 3,000 square feet maxed out by multi-family condo buildings. and includes a private pool and interior MHK petitioned the Naples City Council to courtyard in the middle of the lot, eliminatchange the condo zoning codes, and after ing the need for a community pool shared jumping through some legal hurdles, won by the entire neighborhood. Kragh custom their case. Kragh’s concept re-parcels plots designs each house’s front facade, too, giving designated for multi-family condo build- all the Gables homes individual curb appeal. ings into smaller individual lots meant for shotgun-style single family homes—a “It has been a win-win situation for homeradical rethinking of private housing in owners and developers,” says Kragh of the Gables model. “The city has complimented condo-crazed Naples. it and called it a tremendous project that has Each Gable house and lot is incredibly turned things around from a down economy. narrow: Their facades span only 24 feet, And when people walk through it during with a mere 15 feet separating neighbors. open houses, their jaws literally drop. It has But the lots are deep, an advantage that been pretty cool.” a Photos by Ken Siebenhar,

To take the Old Naples Cottages from drawing to reality, Kragh relied on the building expertise of contractor Mike Assad and his tight-knit team at Waterside Builders. “Waterside is more of a boutique construction company. We only employ seven people, but most of our work is in Naples’ finest neighborhoods,” Assad says of his firm. Kragh needed a contractor like Waterside that understands the ins and outs of building fine homes in unique spaces. Assad worked with the archi-

tect on every aspect of the home build-outs— from the floor plans, to the materials selections, and throughout the entire construction process—to ensure that they perfectly capture Kragh’s luxe design. The attention to detail certainly shows, and people have taken notice. “The best aspect of the cottages is their curb appeal,” Assad says. “I used to literally watch cars do U-turns to see our work. We’d see four car doors open, and people would step out and take pictures.”

SINCE 1975



Living on the Water’s Edge Waterfront homeowners, rejoice! Now, the words “patio” and “lawn” do not have to define your backyard By Ann Chou


n Westchester County, New York, waterfront backyards literally run into the Long Island Sound, so their edge conditions are pretty inflexible. Most homeowners plant a sprawling green lawn up to the drop-off point and call the backyard complete. But the natural shoreline doesn’t have to limit each backyard’s potential. At one such house, landscape architect Alec Gunn designed a series of open air, open plan rooms that accommodates everything from a party for one to an al fresco fête. The rooms harness the spectacular scenery of the Long Island Sound and create a collective outdoor space in which the homeowners can actually live. Gunn talks to us about the design.

DB: What was the backyard like before? Alec Gunn: The “before” space was

While Gunn handles the landscape designs, Dave Prutting often handles their actual production. Prutting is the owner of Prutting & Company Custom Builders, and he works on full home build-outs that cover everything from construction to landscaping. “We

listen carefully to understand design intent,” he says of his partnership with Gunn. And when it comes to reassuring homeowners dismayed by construction chaos, that’s Prutting’s job, too. “Our job is to encourage the client to have faith in the design.”

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over-designed, inconsistently graded, and heavy with brush and plantings that were blocking the view of the water. The clients used the space but didn’t necessarily want to. They were eager to see the full potential of their backyard. DB: Tell us what you changed, and how did you make the lawn into more than just a backyard? AG: I raised the grade of the lawn, got rid of the plantings, and evened off the edge to a simple clean line. In designing the general landscape layout, I didn’t want to overly program the different spaces. While the placement of furniture suggests certain activities, all of the spaces spill into each other. There’s a lounge area with a fireplace that’s ideal for pre-dinner cocktails, a more formal dining table with an arbor CONTINUED

Photos by Alexander Herring,

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Notes From the Bureau

overhead, and an informal area by the swimming pool. DB: The backyard is furnished beautifully. How did you select the pieces, and how did you deal with practical issues like weatherproofing and maintaining a desired aesthetic? AG: The furniture is a combination of pieces from various vendors and a couple of custombuilt pieces, like the dining table and the console by the pool. First, we identified how the spaces might be used and what furniture would do well there. We narrowed it down

“Allow the water to get closer to you. You want to feel like you’re right at the edge.” —alec gunn

and pulled cut [wood] sheets for the client to choose from. The big issue with outdoor furniture is cushions: you have to bring them inside and back out, they fly around, etc. So we minimized the number of cushions while ensuring comfort, and had custom covers made for the winter. DB: How can waterfront homeowners begin to think of their backyard space differently to maximize their potential? AG: Remove all boundaries to the water. Not just physical boundaries, like plantings, but visual and experiential boundaries, too. Allow the water to get closer to you. You want to see it, feel like you can go right up to it, and hear it. You want to feel like you’re right at the edge. a Photo courtesy of Fia Interiors

A Tactile Transformation Interior designer Erika Floysvik can change any space using color, pattern, and texture By Lauren Carroll


he design bug got to Erika Floysvik, principal and founder of Fia Interiors, at an early age. Her childhood bedroom was her canvas, and the world of texture, color, and pattern was an infinite array of possibilities.

Fast-forward to now, and Floysvik still mixes all three components in striking ways in her interiors. She says she likes to start each project by looking at fabrics. “Fabrics elicit excitement for what is to become,” she says. “Clients look forward to touching and feeling what could potentially become their new room.” Floysvik’s bold choices sometimes make clients a bit anxious. In these cases, she suggests beginning by selecting materials that fall within the same time period or style. “Start by giving your design scheme a name, for example ‘modern romantic,’ and then choose two colors to work with,” she says. “Stick to similar sheens and weights of fabric. As with fashion, avoid mixing opulent fabrics with casual fabrics

like cotton and silk.” Narrowing your vision helps to focus the eye, but still keep the possibilities in layering endless—a clever design combination that Floysvik fully supports. a

Green in Style, Green in Design One home in northern California takes being green to an extreme By Kathryn Freeman Rathbone


he term “green design” fits this San Mateo, California, home to a T. Aptly named “For the Love of Nature” by designer Johnny Moallempour, the house features numerous eco-friendly features and shades of green that run the full spectrum, from pale moss tones to punchy jades. CONTINUED





Notes From the Bureau

It even sits in San Mateo’s verdant valley, known for its year-round vegetation.

into a bin that’s placed in the garage, bypassing anything inside the living space.” The central vacuum is a simple idea, but it vastly improves the home’s overall health impact.

Moallempour took great care to integrate green into every level of the home, starting with its functional basics. “The features in Aesthetically, Moallempour stuck to the this home were designed to accommodate green theme by incorporating the color into my client’s needs of having a house that is many of the house’s main spaces. He painted free of hazardous chemicals and products,” the first floor a neutral shade of green that he says. “Due to the fact that she is a chemi- looks either taupe or sage, depending on the cal engineer, she was able to provide great day’s natural light. For the great room, he insight into which products were safe to use.” commissioned local artist Carol R. Moore to The designer chose natural materials where paint a custom piece of bright green reeds, a he could, and also incorporated innovative reminder of his client’s love of travel. “It’s my design features like venting skylights and client’s favorite. She loves the colors because radiant heating to reduce the home’s energy they remind her of her trips to Africa and footprint. And unlike most homes, the San the jungles of the Amazon,” Moallempour Mateo house relies on a built-in central remarks. It’s a fitting piece for the home’s vacuum system to remove particulates from most prominent space, emphasizing that at the home. It’s Moallempour’s favorite struc- its core, this house truly is a green space. a tural feature. “This unit not only saves a significant amount of energy, but it removes Johnny Moallempour is the principal of MJM dust and allergens by directly moving them Interior Design in San Francisco, CA. He MJM Interior Design photos by Scott Hargis,

Moallempour worked closely with AV Builders Inc. to create the San Mateo home’s open and expansive feel. Andrew Vanni, the company’s owner, says that Johnny was “the man for the job.” Under his direction, they executed coffered and vaulted

ceilings, trimming them with hidden LED strips which illuminate the tall ceilings at night.” The contractor and interior designer met with their client as often as weekly—and, says Vanni, “the outcome couldn’t please the owners more.”

works on interiors projects and also serves as the lead designer for bedding company Crane and Canopy. In 2012, he was nominated for a Design Distinction Award by the American Society of Interior Designers. For the Love of Nature Project Credits: Gaul Searson Ltd., Loggia Showroom, Lee Jofa, Modern Fever, Carol R. Moore, and A.V. Construction.

Interior Design: MJM Interior Design General Contractor: AV Builders Photos by Scott Hargis

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IN THE DETAILS Exploring the key elements of uncommon spaces

With its combination of natural materials and steel, the 3,400-square-foot house is a modern representation of Telluride’s aesthetic that also pays homage to the town’s industrial past

PROJECT: 302 N. Aspen Street / Location: Telluride, CO / Designer: Luke Trujillo of Trulinea Architects Photos: Whit Richardson Photography,

Design Thinking



Trujillo reframed the window heads higher up the walls to expand the view of the outdoor landscape, and the public gondolas that connect Telluride with neighboring Mountain Village

Custom wallpaper contrasts against black walnut trim

Rocky Mountain Rustic An old Colorado home gets a new, modern look Trujillo preserved the property’s original shed and relocated it from the front yard to the side of the house to improve the home’s sightlines

The house at 302 N. Aspen Street reaches much higher than any other structure on the block, giving its owners an unobstructed view of scenic Telluride. “You’re up above everybody,” says Luke Trujillo, the architect behind the home’s renovation. “You feel like you’re looking out from a castle. That’s hard to pull off.”




The home’s kitchen features black walnut cabinetry with concrete countertops and a stainless steel backsplash

The floating spiral staircase connects the loft and main living area with its steel frame and black walnut stair steps

The island is made from java stone

The loft fills the vaulted ceiling’s gable space. “We tried to make enough interesting elements so it’s fun,” says Trujillo. “There’s also a psychological element because you want to see how it’s all held together.” Trujillo kept the house’s original structural rafters. Steel brackets and crisscross tie rods hold the trusses in place

Despite exceeding contemporary height restrictions, Telluride’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission allowed Trujillo to preserve the home’s original roofline to keep the structure— and views—intact. The architect then finished the exterior of the home using wood siding, a custom mix of stone, and a metal roof. Black walnut runs throughout the home’s interior, further matching the contemporary house with the style of its rough-yet-beautiful mountaintop surroundings. —Lesley Stanley

“You feel like you’re looking out from a castle. That’s hard to pull off.” —Luke Trujillo

Located on the lower level of the turret, the master bedroom incorporates black walnut through its extended headboard and flooring

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McCormick says the handcrafted, hand-glazed fleur-de-lis and rosette tile backsplash was a focal point for the project. “I generally try to do something special over the cooktop, especially when it’s wide,” she says. “When the hood is decorative, I like the backsplash to have an equally decorative element.”

Finding the exact finish for the cabinetry was challenging because of the combination of off-white paint and chocolate glaze. “We had to make sure the glaze wasn’t too heavy or light,” McCormick says.

One of McCormick’s favorite features? The sink’s handcarved front apron, which was sculpted from a single block of travertine stone. She had the sink’s cabinet pulled out three inches to give the fleur-de-lis and rosette design the attention it deserves.

The customstained oak floors complement the mahogany island adorned with classic carved corbels

A Charming Cooking Space

This built-in cabinet hides a small office space

Wrought iron chandeliers, which feature a gilded finish and wood accents, hang from a mahogany soffit

Old-world elements and traditional touches combine in an elegant kitchen “It’s old-world without going over the top,” says Sharon McCormick, the interior designer behind the Kavanaugh kitchen. McCormick knows her way around historic designs, having worked closely with history in a previous career. “I was the executive director for a preservation trust and my appreciation for history informs my work,” she says. In the Kavanaugh home, a hand-sculpted travertine stone sink from Mexico sets the space’s historic vibe. The old-world theme continues with the subtle use of traditional elements, including crown molding enriched with a classic egg and dart design and grooved, inset cabinet doors. McCormick stayed true to the Northeast region’s traditional style, but integrated more woodwork than usual since the space’s proportions could handle it. To finish off the look, she mounted light switches and outlets under the cabinets, creating layered lighting that allows users to adjust the brightness to their liking. —Lesley Stanley

Project: Kavanaugh Residence / Location: New Fairfield, CT Designer: Sharon McCormick of Sharon McCormick Design, LLC / Photos: Michael Partenio

The dining area adds a modern touch to the old-world theme. McCormick designed the custom banquette chairs, which feature maple framing, leather seating, and paisley upholstered backs.

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Design Thinking

Suburban Snapshot Highly crafted lighting plays up the Christmas Lake home’s beauty. Lighting design company Light’N Up worked closely with Amy Hendel, designer at Hendel Homes, to make sure the lighting works perfectly throughout every space. The meticulous design process is normal for the two companies, who have partnered on many projects. “Cindy Chapman, our lighting designer, and Amy discuss the desired personality of each space so that there is an understanding of what is trying to be achieved,” says Tony

An English Estate Gone Stateside It’s all about wood and stone in this Minnesota home

The shores of Christmas Lake make the perfect setting for this dramatic house. “My clients really liked the old estates that they found in the English countryside during their travels,” says builder Rick Hendel. “They wanted a home of that size and caliber.” Hendel designed the house in a T-shape, and incorporated rough materials like reclaimed beams, large stone, and handscraped walnut floors to give the home a rustic look that’s still polished. The house even has a grand central tower, making it read like an aged English estate that’s right at home in the young Minnesota woods. a

Project: Christmas Lake Residence / Location: Christmas Lake, MN Architect: Rick Hendel of Hendel Homes / Photos: Courtesy of Hendel Homes

Schumacher, owner of Light’N Up. “Amy is very specific of the direction that the project is going. The lights are looked at many times in the process of the build to make sure that the fixtures are the correct fit from beginning to end.” For the Christmas Lake home, this meant combining many different types of lighting to highlight both the architecture and the breathtaking setting so that no matter the time of day, the house is always perfectly illuminated.

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Design Thinking

on screen

Boston On Film Relying on her wits instead of copious resources, a first-time filmmaker captures the city’s most iconic structures sans color

By Murrye Bernard film still by nathan tia portrait by aisha densmore-bey

Film still by Nathan Tia, portrait courtesy of Aisha Densmore-Bey


oston-based designer Aisha Densmore-Bey transcends labels. Inspired by the original discipline-benders, Ray and Charles Eames, her practice spans architecture, graphic design, and exhibition design. And like the famous couple, Densmore-Bey recently ventured into moviemaking, creating the short film The Built Perception: Boston. The film features a mix of old and new buildings, including the Boston Public Library, MIT Chapel, Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Ray and Maria Stata Center, inviting viewers to form their own perceptions about Boston’s built environment. Densmore-Bey, meanwhile, has some perceptions of her own about making the film, and here she shares them with us. Murrye Bernard: Why make a film about buildings in Boston? Aisha Densmore-Bey: I’m interested in how film can evoke emotions in the viewer, and architecture does the same thing. Certain buildings, like the Brutalist-style Boston City Hall, one of the most polarizing buildings in the city, elicit visceral reactions from people. I wanted to investigate how people perceive buildings, and I invited three designers who practice in the city, M. David Lee, Chris Grimley, and Hyacinth John, to narrate the film.

MB: The movie is shot completely in black and white. Why film with this medium instead of color? ADB: Materiality is an important quality in all of these buildings. In black and white, they are placed on an even keel. Simons Hall by Steven Holl is one of the few buildings featured that incorporates a lot of color, but instead of focusing on that, the footage highlights the reflections on its surfaces and its fenestration pattern. MB: The buildings mostly appear empty in your footage. Where are all the Bostonians? ADB: This movie had no budget. None. One of the challenges I encountered was trying to get permission to film. That was the primary

Design Thinking

reason I did a lot of stair shots—that’s the one way you can film people without asking them to sign a release. MB: Music plays a key role in setting the movie’s tone. How did you decide on the soundtrack? ADB: Again, there was no budget, so I mostly relied on audio licensed for free use under Creative Commons. Coincidentally, a woman was tuning a piano while we were filming in the MIT Chapel, and the sound bounced off the walls—it was almost creepy, but it was a very serendipitous moment. We knew immediately that we had to include that in the film.



MB: You pose the question, “How do buildings reflect who we are?” Did you discover the answer? ADB: Buildings display what we think is important and how we view ourselves, but those cues can be lost or distorted over time. We look back on past cultures and make assumptions about who they were based on the buildings they left behind. The interpretations change, and I think that’s the point.  What I tried to show in the film is that architecture, though grand in gesture, is still a deeply personal thing, even for the people that design it. It’s not as esoteric as we like to make it out to

be. Strangely, after completing the film, I still don’t have a solid answer, but that’s what makes the investigation so intriguing. a

Aisha Densmore-Bey teamed up with photographer Nathan Tia and artist Kyle Young of Young! Studios to make the film, The

Built Perception: Boston.





Design Thinking

bright idea

Light up the Night In the shape of an egg, the Ovo installation spreads illuminated joy around the world

By Kate Chiu

Photos of Ovo Lyon by Lucia Carretero; all others by Marcos Vi単als Bassos


Design Thinking







1. Ovo in Beijing, August 2012 2. A yellow glow captured from inside Ovo Frankfurt, April 2012 3. Exploring Ovo in Jerusalem, June 2011 4. Ovo in Lyon, France, December 2010

Lighting in public spaces typically goes unnoticed. Koert Vermeulen, principal at Brussels-based ACT Lighting Design, knows this. That’s why he’s spent the past four years developing Ovo, an oversized, egg-shaped sculpture that glows in various neon colors. ACT has installed Ovo all over the world, and people certainly have come to recognize its power. Here, he explains how ACT’s sensorial piece gets people to see the world with their eyes wide open. KC: Can you describe OVO’s different spaces and the experience that you wanted to achieve? KV: We call it a sensorial piece of art because a lot of your senses are triggered. The first vantage point with OVO is actually the movement that we wanted to create, where people are further away from the sculpture, so they can see it as a whole and its reflection in the water. But they can

also go through the sculpture itself, really go inside, onto the step-stones. And then you have a whole other vantage point with this crown, where it’s open and you can see the sky through it. The movement that you see in OVO is actually created by the water vaporization. The wind plays with it and creates movement around it that is under continuous change. It’s kind of subtle. The other senses that are triggered include hearing, thanks to the sound scope, sight, thanks to the lighting schemes, and touch, thanks to the water mist. KC: OVO—the egg shape, the form, even the word—is so universal. KV: Yeah, the egg is such a primal form—a symbol of birth, unity, and perfection. The structure is a combination of 24 crossed spiral pairs, based on the Golden Number, which is representative of the origin of creation. It’s been used in all cultures— from the Egyptians to the Greeks— in science, everywhere. Another

5. Jerusalem’s Ovo glows blue

Big projects like OVO require collaboration. Vernon Teo has been, as he puts it, a “creative sparring partner” with the ACT Lighting Design team. A show producer, Teo worked with Vermeulen on the design of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Singapore. He remembers it as a mutual learning experience. A selfdescribed dreamer, he says it takes many to achieve a dream. “ACT Lighting Design helped bring life into my world of creativity!”

artist who was working a lot with chickens actually told us that the way our egg is constructed with the spiral forms is the same way that the egg is constructed inside the chicken’s womb. It actually goes through this spiral form from the bottom to the top. We were imitating what nature has already done without knowing it, which is something that happens a lot. KC: OVO is a traveling piece of public art, from Lyon, to Istanbul, to Jerusalem. Has it stayed the same in each place? KV: We wanted it to always look the same wherever it was. So the lighting program, the looks, and the scenes are the same in Frankfurt as they are in Beijing. The best one was actually Beijing. It was in the middle of the park, and they were able to shut down most of the urban lighting that was around it. To see the colors produced by the LEDs on the wood and all the nuances was so beautiful. KC: You should bring OVO to the U.S.! KV: We are looking into that. We think that OVO needs to have at least one expo on all continents. We installed it in Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Light Festival this past December. We’re talking also with Australia and Brazil about new exhibitions, so North America shouldn’t be far off. a



design bureau


Swiss-born industrial designer Yves BÊhar kind of likes to be told what not to do. He’s a self-proclaimed contrarian, and he likes it that way.

A conversation with Saundra Marcel

Photography by josh band


design bureau


ounder of San Franciscobased design firm Fuseproject, Béhar has been redefining design for years with products like the leaf lamp and Sayl chair for Herman Miller, a $100 laptop, sustainable box-less sneaker packaging for Puma, and a variety of techy gadgets like wireless headsets, speakers, and a video game console. And he’s proven to be an entrepreneurial genius when it comes to betting on ideas that are forging our future world. even when people have said “it can’t be done,” Béhar has been more than happy to prove them wrong.

Saundra Marcel: Many companies have been coming to you for direction, saying, ‘We want to be the next Apple of our industry.’ And you’ve responded by asking: ‘Do you have guts?’ What does guts have to do with design? Yves Béhar: Design is a blood

sport. It’s hard to do and it dies on the vine every day. I mean, design is like—I don’t know if this is a good comparison— but design is like a baby chick with an 80 percent chance of dying within its first day. It takes courage internally for a company to put themselves at risk, because change is always a risk. Even though for me, not changing is a bigger risk. The other thing is, when people say they want to be ‘the Apple of their industry,’ do they realize what it takes? Do they realize that when Apple launched the iPhone, they hired 600 engineers on a project that made

no money for the first three or four years? It takes this kind of vision and commitment. There’s a word Herman Miller uses: it’s ‘abandonment.’ This is a business that says ‘we abandon ourselves to our designers’ in a way that is almost religious—they’ve been working with external designers for 60 or 70 years. It takes an incredible amount of courage to suspend disbelief, to build and rebuild business plans so they fit a vision. You have to abandon yourself to a direction and you have to be willing to fail throughout the process in order to succeed at the other end. And so, yes, it takes guts, because it’s a bloody exercise. SM: Your practice of being both an entrepreneur and a designer is unique. You take equity partners and ownership in companies and products that you believe in, rather than participating in the more traditional work-for-hire approach. How did this come about? YB: For me, the only reason to do

design is if it’s going to live on for many years, and if it’s going


to create a rallying vision for a business to build itself. About 10 years ago, I started to look for long-term agreements. But startups and smaller companies can’t afford a top-ranked professional firm working with them on an ongoing basis. We’ve found that every arrangement has to be completely different. Every company is at a different stage. You have startups that are at the angel round. You have some that already have financing. You have mature companies that are public, like Herman Miller, who we’ve been partnering with for 11 years. We took on being creative with business, and then crafted unique agreements with every single one of our partners. Now, we have over 20 of them. SM: You’ve worked on everything

from condoms and vibrators, to high-end Swarovski chandeliers, to big retail brands like Puma and Coca-Cola, in addition to your humanitarian interests. Is there a connector between all the varied things you work on?

YB: The commonality across our work is that we create by looking at where society is going, how people are thinking, and what the new emerging ideas are that will be important to how we’re going to live. My best definition today of design is that design accelerates the adoption of new ideas.

SM: How do you know which

products to believe in? Are there certain qualities that you look for in the idea or the people?

YB: We evaluate along a few

criteria. One of them is: how much value can we bring to the business, and how much of a difference can we make? The bigger the difference, the more interesting it is, because then the more impact we can have, and the bigger the partnership. Second, we do an evaluation of the potential of the market, just like any business. Third, there’s an emotional element to that as well, because I’m very steeped in the innovation culture of Silicon Valley, and sometimes there’s very little data to look at. But if the idea and the founders are fascinating, and go along the lines of societal change that I’m excited about, then I’m interested. And number four, a very important criteria: you need to be able to have more than one lunch or one dinner with the people you’re going to be partners with, because you’re going to work with them for years. You need to like them and want to spend time with them, because you will. There will be some ups and some downs. There will be moments of disagreement, and there will be moments of elation. You’re going to need to get through all that. It’s all about being selective and betting on the future you believe in.

SM: So few CEOs are design-

driven. Most come from backgrounds where decisions are reached based on cost-cutting and consensus. Yet there’s a movement towards a newfound respect for design, and now business leaders are actually going out and seeking it in a way they hadn’t been for a long time.

YB: Everyone is talking about

it. It’s incredible. This year, I’ve been invited to speak at five business conferences—five business conferences! Of which the subject in every single title is ‘design.’ I’m talking about places like Businessweek and Fortune magazine. These are all places where the conversation is usually about business trends or technology trends. Three years ago it was social, last year it was data, and this year it’s design, which is fun to see. And we should enjoy it. But it also means that we have to function as educators. We need to help CEOs. We need to help company executives understand that design isn’t a quick fix. Design is about the culture and the soul of a company, how it sees itself, and how it behaves. Once you have this vision, it clarifies a lot of how you do things, how you build things, and how you communicate with your consumer. I mean, it’s a whole, right?

SM: It’s not surprising to me that you’re speaking at all these


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conferences because business leaders are seeing what you’re doing and saying, ‘We want that magic.’ Is there creative wisdom you could impart to someone who asks, ‘Can I please have a piece of your magic?’ YB: Design is an exercise that’s

incredibly enriching to everybody who’s involved, from the people in the boardroom at the top, all the way down to ground level. People like change these days. We can be scared that something too new won’t be accepted. At the same time, we live in a time and place where people are expecting you to take them on a journey and give them a new experience. It’s also a route to profits, to differentiation, to being unique, to being a leader in your field. That’s why design is so much fun, because there’s so much at stake every single time.

SM: You’ve been working on a

number of futuristic tech and electronics projects, like the Jambox wireless speakers and now OUYA, a new kind of video game console. Are these examples of your interests shifting more towards technological innovation?

YB: I’m always attracted to contrarian-like ideas: ideas that can push this world into its next, changing perceptions and accelerating the adoption of new ones. When we worked on the condom project with the New York City Department of Health, it was extremely exciting to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to remove a stigma.’ With technology, it’s often the same. For OUYA, it’s helping to usher in an era of independent video game creation like that of indie filmmaking— independent creators. SM: When someone tells you, ‘It can’t be done,’ is that the point at which you get even more excited? YB: We definitely get excited

by that. The CEO of OUYA, Julie Uhrman, has boundless energy and she’s unafraid of making trouble. That’s the kind of personality I like. Just like the founder of One Laptop Per Child Nicholas Negroponte, who has battled for the idea

of the $100 laptop on so many fronts. Not only did everybody in the computer industry say, ‘It can’t be done,’ but they also said it’s stupid, and it’s not what those kids want. They said we were wrong on all fronts. Initially, that was shocking to me. I’ve actually come to relish those moments. I enjoy being this voice in the room who is contrarian to the status quo. In many ways, I think that’s the role of design. SM: The One Laptop Per Child project you did with Negroponte was also met with criticism. It was a good-looking product, but there were cultural reasons why giving laptops to children in developing countries, who had never seen them before, didn’t produce the results you were hoping for. Yet you’re still working on the project, producing more iterations of the $100 laptop, and now a tablet. So, when will it be finished? When will you get it right? YB: Never. Design is never finished. Talk to Herman Miller and ask them when their work with Yves will be finished, and they’ll say, ‘We’re going to work with him until he’s dead, and probably after that.’ And to the criticism—you know, the world isn’t going to arrive to a final, sustainable solution any time soon. We’re going to need to iterate. Like when people ask, ‘Why design another chair?’ I think that’s a great question, because you really don’t need a new chair. But that said, if you’re going to make millions of chairs for offices from a past generation of design, which are not sustainably made, or made using rare sources, or made with outgassing materials that are bad for your health, then that’s a reason for a new chair. Just like there’s always a reason for a new book or new idea in the world. We’re never done iterating. SM: You often talk about making

things that are better for our world, better for our lives, and about being sustainable. What’s your vision for the future in this regard, and what should designers be doing to be a part of it?

YB: Well, this is something I’m

convinced about. For sustainability, it’s not whether new forms of manufacturing and production are going to happen or not. It’s whether they’re going to happen in the next 10 years or the next eight years. It’s already happening right now for sure. We need to participate and push these efforts. In many ways, it’s the designers that can show how exciting that vision can be, because the designer can create a number of different visions that can inspire industry, individuals, and potential customers to desire this future. Until it’s desired, it’s hard to build. Without desire, it’s hard to transform habits.

SM: There are a lot of young people

coming into design now who only want to work for nonprofits. But what we’re often getting from them is well-intentioned poster designs and logos that don’t reach anyone or do anything. They’re trying to figure it out…

YB: It’s very important to see that we can make social change in any project; it doesn’t have to be for nonprofit. Because we’re going to consume lots of for-profit things in our lives, and we need to make them all better. It’s rare to see design tackling big issues of transportation, and logistics, and how many bottles you can put on a pallet while also trying to create something more attractive and more commercially successful. At the end of the day, we want people to buy the bottle that has less plastic. So we equate success with moving the needle. That’s something that I have to explain to students who only want to work on projects that are labeled ‘social.’ SM: Do you have advice on how to help young people think about design in a deeper way? YB: Look at the entire practice and not just the one thing you’re being asked to design. Whether it’s a one-off or not, there’s a chance to make it better, and to create something that will mean something. a


“That’s why design is so much fun— because there is so much at stake every single time.” —Yves Béhar


design bureau

Alberto and the Dream Factory Alberto Alessi carries on a family tradition of beautiful and functional objects— made in Italy By Sarah Handelman


Since its establishment in 1921, Alessi has crafted and manufactured countless designs. The brand, which began as a family business nestled into the foothills of the Italian Alps, has produced so many thousands of original products that the company refers to its catalog as a comprehensive encyclopedia. Its pages read like the history and current affairs of a very specific kind of Italian product design. And even in its online version, the catalog serves as an artifact that reveals Alessi’s constant drive and mission to always bring design to the masses—sans mass production. In a global market where good design has been commoditized to the point of mockery (almost anyone can afford a knockoff Eames lounge), it’s impressive that this modest factory in the Italian Alps still makes such an impact.  Alberto Alessi, son of the company’s founder and the head of marketing strategy, communication, and design, says the mission to reach vast global audiences beyond the backdrop of mass production plays an inherent role in the techniques

and approaches of Alessi. “The aim is to create objects that not only satisfy a basic need, but also try to respond to a desire for happiness and the public’s dreams,” Alessi says. In his words, Alessi has deidcated his life to funishing the “everyday theater.” But his role also involves rearranging expectations about what design is and what it can be. He sees the company as a mediator that liaises between artistic expression and public desire. This remains ever-present in collab-

orations and the artistry of the products Alessi sells. The powerhouse brand’s list of collaborators reads like a who’s-who of world-famous designers, with names such as Salvador Dalí, Michael Graves, and  Philippe Starck having graced its products and catalog pages. Name-dropping aside, what’s most striking are the objects that come of these partnerships. Alessi’s specialized way of working means craftsmanship is ever-present (internal teams of specialists follow every project from the very beginning to the end), while the machinery available means anything is possible. “The strength in our practice is the freedom given to the authors we collaborate with,” says Alessi. “Our designers know they can choose the materials, the colors, and the size they prefer, and their projects will not meet  the  constraining limits usually imposed by mass production. Even with contemporary technology, our practice remains craft-based in the spirit, in the mentality.”

Many of the projects Alessi takes on not only provide design solutions; they question the current state of, well, stuff. An in-house research lab explores new and future modes of design; it is currently focusing on experimenting with and discovering new technologies, especially for Alessi’s electronics range, its most recent catalog addition. For Alberto Alessi, the research that comes from these tests is invaluable to the company’s future as a global product-design innovator. “Well designed objects give us an opportunity to grow and enhance our perception of the world,” he says. It’s this straightforward perspective, underwritten by Alessi’s commitment to research and tradition, that has enabled the company to be flexible while staying true to itself—a compelling idea in an increasingly Ikea-fied landscape. An idea that keeps the Alessi dream factory running. a

Clockwise from top left: Tea & Coffee Towers by David Chipperfield for Alessi, Tea & Coffee Towers by Jean Nouvel for Alessi, Pinch Vase by Adam Shirley for Alessi, inside the Alessi factory, Tea & Coffee Piazza by Aldo Rossi for Alessi, Trellis Tray by Scott Klinker for Alessi

Ciao, Milano! The people. The parties. The furniture. For more than 50 years design pros have descended on Milan for the hottest furniture fair on the planet, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. The 2013 edition (April 9-14) is expected to bring more than 1,200 exhibitors, 300,000 visitors, and a bajillion opportunities to see, be seen, and party down with the design world’s elite and up-and-comers. We asked 10 Salone vets to share their Milan memories—and more.

Vintage Salone posters courtesy of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile,


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

From left: Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, portrait by Samantha Sim mons


Designer, Studio Bouroullec

Ronan Bouroullec Location: Paris, France Brands: Cappellini, Alessi, Vitra, Ligne Roset, Habitat, etc. Products: Furniture, lighting, housewares, textiles

It’s a few days before the Bouroullec brothers’ opening of Bivouac, a retrospective show of almost 15 years of design work by the Bretons imported from the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. We’re moving a Vitra Alcove sofa closer to another that its designer, Ronan Bouroullec, is shifting around to create a semiprivate area for an interview, immune to the hammering and forklifting going on as the show is installed around us. The Bouroullec brothers are an unpretentious experience. Ronan, the elder brother, discovered he wanted to be a designer after happening upon a book about Donald Judd at age 15. He joined forces with his brother Erwan in 1997, and since then, they have issued a steady stream of imaginative, beautiful, and useful objects and furniture for major European manufacturers. DB: There’s a marketability to your work. You want people to be able to buy and use these things.  Ronan Bouroullec: Yes, we are very interested in objects that are not conceptual, that exist in normal life and not in the museum. For me, objects are a bit like song, a good object has an ability to be with you as well as a certain charm or romance. You can do something else when you

a look back at Bouroullec:

hear a song. With a piece of furniture it’s the same thing.


DB: Do the manufacturers come to you with their needs, or do you go to them with prototypes? RB: We do not work for a lot of people. We’ve got very long-term histories with a lot of them; we know them well. So sometimes we write proposals for them. It’s a continuous discussion. Good design is collective intelligence. It’s good to have good design, and good ideas, but you need to find good people to produce it, to distribute it. I think we work with some of the best companies. 


DB: You guys have debuted a bunch of things at the Salone… do you feel a connection with Milan? RB: This will be my 20th year. And I’ve been every year. It’s like if you do cinema, you go to Cannes. It’s certainly linked to the Old World. Now with the Internet, it’s certainly changed the approach but I think it’s quite interesting that once a year for a week, almost all the manufacturers and almost all the designers, and 300,000 people come for this fair. 


DB: Has it been exciting to have something to bring there that no one has seen? RB: It’s quite difficult sometimes, too. It’s quite stressful. But more and more, the fact is that there’s so many projects at Milan, that it’s difficult to focus. We try to launch a lot of new projects in a more dedicated way; we try not to be in this big soup. I like it, but it’s difficult, too. It’s so loud.

1 Lighthouse, 2010, produced by Established & Sons in collaboration with Venini, photo © Peter Guenzel

2 Clouds, 2008, produced by Kvadrat, photo © Paul Tahon and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec


3 Vegetal Chair, 2008, produced by Vitra, photo © Tahon and Bouroullec

4 Ploum, 2011, produced by Ligne Roset, photo © Studio Bouroullec


“It’s like when you watch a movie and you pause, you stop the picture. Every year, for one week, the picture is stopped and you see what’s happening in this small discipline.” 5 Lianes, 2010, produced by Galerie Kreo, photo © Tahon and Bouroullec

6 North Tiles, 2006, produced by Kvadrat, photo © Tahon and Bouroullec



design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

At just 36 years old, Nichetto has made quite a mark on the design world, having worked with lauded brands like Foscarini, Cassina, and Tacchini.

91 Designer, Luca Nichetto Design Studio

Luca Nichetto Location: Venice, Italy Brands: La Chance, Foscarini, Cassina, Discipline, Tacchini, etc. Products: Furniture, lighting, tableware, glassware

When you’re born in Murano, the small island near Venice world famous for its glass, design is in your blood. By age 23, Luca Nichetto was working with Salviati and Foscarini and earning a reputation as a rebel, the herald of a new generation of Italian designers. A dozen years later, the acclaimed designer was helping another new generation score a big hit at its debut in Milan in 2012. “When Louise Breguet and JeanBaptiste Souletie asked me to collaborate in this new brand that they opened, La Chance, I said yes immediately,” says Nichetto. “The design world needs a new brand with young owners.”

Casamania’s Lepel collection, designed by Luca Nichetto

DB: What was it like to see a new brand you’re involved in gain success at Milan? Luca Nichetto: I am really so happy and proud to be part of this big success of La Chance. I think for a new brand like La Chance, Milan is an excellent showcase. It’s still the most important design week in the world and almost everyone related to design goes to Milan during that week. For now there is no other event that can make your new company known like Milan.

DB: Anything you dislike about the Salone? LN: Milan has become the place ‘you need to be’ in any case, and showing something without care about the quality of the products. This means that there’s too much ‘stuff’ to see, and not enough time to see the real good things to see. I would like to see maybe less products but more real design and good design. DB: You recently designed a concept house that calls for live greenery to be incorporated into architecture. Is sustainable design a sign of where your work is headed? LN: I believe that as a designer, you can help people change the world by using good products to give them a good feeling and a reason to smile. But it isn’t the products that change the world. In its current form, our civilization, which defines itself via consumption, is gradually nearing its end. The solution can only be to produce fewer and better things and not lose sight of the bigger picture—the materials, production, lifespan, tradition, living culture, architecture, and natural surroundings. That is a challenge for any designer who concerns himself with this topic. But ultimately, that is precisely what constitutes ambitious design.

“Our civilization, which defines itself via consumption, is gradually nearing its end. The solution can only be to produce fewer and better things.”

Portrait by Markus Moström; product photos courtesy of Luca Nichetto Design Studio


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

Designer, Lindstén Form Studio

Johan Lindstén Location: Stockholm, Sweden Brands: Cappellini, FontanaArte, Johanson Design, Gärsnäs, Gallery Pascal, etc. Products: Furniture, lighting, sound absorbents, products

Johan Lindstén is a relative newcomer on the Salone scene, but after just two fairs, he’s already become a big draw. He won a SaloneSatellite Award at his first go-round in 2011, but a trip to Milan still gives the young designer butterflies. “There is always a sense which is hard to pin down… a little nervous but still magnificent feeling,” says Lindstén. “The products are not just any products, they are your babies you worked on for several months ready to be judged.”

DB: Do you know what work you will be exhibiting at the Salone in 2013? Johan Lindstén: For Cappellini, a lamp called Meltdown will be presented. This is a glass pendant lamp that was inspired by my trip to Japan just after the tragic nuclear accident in Fukushima. It is an interpretation and attempt to make something beautiful from the disastrous… the bulbs are about to melt through the last defense of the glass. DB: Meltdown drew buzz at last year’s SaloneSatellite—good to see it get a slot in the big show this year. Anything else? JL: A floor lamp, which was finalized this year, will also be presented at Salone del Mobile for the first time for FontanaArte. The lamp is called Gravity; it is my interpretation of

the relationship between the moon and the Earth, where the moon is the light source that is constantly drawn towards the Earth’s surface but never reaches. I will also present a new, exciting chair for Johanson Design that contradicts the chair’s ordinary and typical proportions. DB: Is it important to bring your best work to Milan each year? JL: The competition in Milan between designers is probably the hardest in the world, so of course it is important to bring your best, most exciting work. When you are exhibiting in Milan you invest a lot of time and money in your career, so entering the fair without products and design that you are passionate about would be to waste your time, money… and career.

Portrait and product photos courtesy of Lindstén Form Studio


“The products are not just any products, they are your babies you worked on for several months ready to be judged.”

The Meltdown lamp, designed by Johan Lindstén for Cappellini, will be exhibited at the 2013 Salone


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

Designer/Managing Director, nanimarquina

Nani Marquina Location: Barcelona, Spain Brands: Nanimarquina Products: Rugs, pillows, decorative accessories

“It is impossible to see everything, but you always leave the fair seeing something interesting.”

All photos courtesy of Nanimarquina

Nanimarquina’s mission is to reinvent the rug. Sounds like a daunting task—after all, it seems like there’s only so far one can go with a rug. But collaborations with top international designers and experimentation with shape, color, and texture have driven this brand for the last 25 years... and led to some truly spectacular works of rug art. (Like the recent collaboration with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec on the Losanges Collection, which netted an International Design Award from Elle Décor at the Salone del Mobile.) Nani Marquina herself has been participating in the Salone since the early years of the company, and she may not be spilling any secrets about this year’s collection, but she does have some news about working with a design legend.

DB: How has the work you have shown at the fair evolved over the years? NM: Our products have evolved in many ways. With our research and collaborations with other designers we have improved our quality and the techniques we use.

DB: Tell us about your most recent projects. Do you know what work you will be exhibiting at the Salone this year? Nani Marquina: It is too early to confirm which collection we are launching in Salone del Mobile but we are working on a project with Milton Glaser and also with a very natural collection using ecologic materials and without chemical dying process.

DB: Do you ever feel competitive when you see the work on display in Milan, like you have to make something even better for the next year’s fair? NM: Participating in Salone is always a good experience and a challenge for us. Each year we launch a very different collection, and that makes people come to our stand because after all these years we are still creating expectation.

DB: Why is the Salone still so relevant to so many different professionals in the design world? NM: It is the reference worldwide because the most important companies launch their new collections. It is impossible to see everything, but you always leave the fair seeing something interesting. DB: What’s your greatest memory from the Salone? NM: Well, it is always exciting to receive a prize during the Salone!

Nanimarquina’s Collage Rug, designed by Eduardo Chillida

95 Creative Director, Stellar Works

Thomas Lykke Location: Shanghai, China Brands: Stellar Works, OeO, Japan Handmade Products: Furniture, lighting, rugs

line, a Japanese-inspired accessories collaboration, a new signature collection by Neri & Hu, and more. “You can say that we have been busy,” says Lykke. Uh, yeah.

Launched in Shanghai in September 2011, Stellar Works is truly a multinational enterprise. The brand’s owners are French, Chinese, and Japanese, and its broad palette of designers includes Carlo Forcolini, Shuwa Tei, Space Copenhagen, and even the late Danish legends Børge Mogensen and Vilhelm Wohlert. Since its buzzedabout European premiere at the Salone just last year, creative director Thomas Lykke says Stellar Works has more than doubled its collection, adding a vintage

DB: Stellar Works was one of the Salone’s breakout successes last year—how important is it for a new brand to get exposure in Milan? Thomas Lykke: Salone is a fabulous platform and a hub for editors; it’s really the place to be. I have been coming since 2000 when I was interiors editor at Wallpaper* and I have been there ever since. It has been of great strategic importance to us to exhibit and be successful in Milan. When you build a new brand it is so important that you get a good start—to get a 2

1 Open Privacy High-back Lounge Chair, designed by Shuwa Tei / Intentionallies for Stellar Works

pull effect and not push. DB: How do you decide what to bring to Milan? TL: I think it is important to bring the most relevant work each year. So it is also about tapping into time, that what you show has a strategic purpose and is not only to show something new. Having said that of course it needs to be fresh, sexy, outstanding quality, and then have a relevance and raison d’être. DB: What do you like and dislike about the Salone? TL: I really love the buzz of Milano during Salone. It is so vibrant and creative and you touch base with friends from the industry and meet new people. But I dislike all the stuff that goes on during Salone that has no relevance and lacks a sense of self-critique. There are some areas in Milan during Salone that have become too much of a carnival, but then again people are having a good time. DB: Why did Stellar Works base the brand in Shanghai? TL: When we created the brand it was very important to create a transparent and authentic story and to show the world that China can be a host of not only good quality but also become an international design player.


“When you build a new brand it is so important that you get a good start—to get a pull effect and not push.” 3

2 Kyoto lamp, designed by OeO for Stellar Works 3 Ming chair designed by Neri & Hu for Stellar Works

All photos courtesy of Stellar Works


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

Design Collective

Asobi Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia Brands: Tokio, Abilo, Movisi, Ritzenhoff, Softline, WMF, etc. Products: Furniture, lighting, tableware, brand identities

Inset: Asobi’s Miha Tursic Below: Asobi's Isle Lounge sofa

All photos courtesy of Asobi

The seven-person team at Asobi made a biggerthan-usual debut on the international furniture design scene in 2005 with their bigger-than-usual Isle Lounge. They’ve since collaborated on more than 100 projects for dozens of brands in their native Slovenia and beyond, but for this year’s Salone they’re striking out with a furniture and lighting collection for a new brand all their own, Tokio. “It is quite difficult to find a good producer these days that would want to develop your ideas,” says Gorazd Malačič, Asobi’s managing

director, “so we decided to use our experience and develop them by ourselves under a new label.” DB: What was your first trip to the Salone like? Gorazd Malačič: My first visit was in the late ’90s. It was a big cultural shock for me. I just started with a design course at our local academy of fine arts and I had never before been to any kind of design event. And there I find myself confronted with all the chicness of the Salone, the grand Italian design brands, and great designers whose names are not Philippe Starck… and back then it was pre-Internet and Salone was not nearly as big as it is now. I have been almost every year ever since. DB: Why does Milan stay so relevant in the design world? GM: I think the world needs a design capital. I am not saying that other events are

not important. But with all these new design related events happening throughout the world it is even more important to have one that is relevant above the rest and where you can in a few days fully grasp the state of the art and future trends. DB: Do you ever feel competitive when you see the work on display in Milan, like you have to make something even better for the next year’s fair? GM: An event like this is a great inspiration to us. That’s why we always come for at least a few days even when we are not exhibiting. It is necessary to visit all the biggest venues like the fair at Rho, Zona Tortona, and Ventura Lambrate. And then there are numerous other events and exhibits worth exploring. This is where we get our creative recharge every year, and we are always looking forward to what the next year will bring.


“…And there I find myself confronted with all the chicness of the Salone— the grand Italian design brands, and great designers whose names are not Philippe Starck.”


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

President and CEO, Haworth

Franco Bianchi Location: Headquarters in Holland, Michigan Products: Office furniture, accessories, environments

It sounds like a great American success story: In the 1940s a guy named G.W. Haworth borrows 10 grand to expand his woodworking business and a few decades later it’s a global leader in the design and manufacturing of office furniture. But Haworth has thrived thanks to its international design savvy and influences from around the world. With Milan’s biennial office furniture exhibition SaloneUfficio running alongside the main fair this year, we chat with Haworth’s president and CEO, Bologna-born Franco Bianchi, about about what’s happening in the world of work.

DB: What’s the SaloneUfficio like? Franco Bianchi: The level of creativity and experimentation is more significant around the main Salone, but I’ve seen office furniture evolve in the 15 or 20 times that I’ve been to the Salone since 1990. The office furniture section really follows the ebb and flow of the economy. DB: When the economy’s not so good, are office environments paid more attention? FB: Yeah, I would say today our market is as competitive as it’s ever been, and every day we have to remind ourselves and our customers of the value of what we sell. We don’t sell just tables and chairs: Space matters. Through our science and our knowledge we can help our customers create a more efficient

All photos courtesy of Haworth



and effective workforce. If you forget that and you just try to sell a folding table a little cheaper than someone else, we’d get in big trouble pretty fast. DB: What do like best about Milan during the Salone? FB: I enjoy the food, the parties—Milan is a great city. The exhibition really sprawls throughout the city, so every night you have 15-20 parties everywhere. You have furniture design connected to fashion, to art, to movies, to theater… there are many connections to be made. I remember great designers I’ve met there for the first time. You end up getting to know them as people first, they tell you about the passion they have, and then you do business with them as designers. People do business with people.

“We don’t sell just tables and chairs: Space matters.” 1 Haworth’s MeetYou partition, designed by Michael Schmidt 2 Haworth’s CalmSpace, designed by Marie-Virginie Berbet, is a new office environment for employees to rest and recharge


Haworth began in 1948 with just a man, a dream, and $10,000, and today the company boasts a global reach. Left: Inside the Haworth factory in Holland, Michigan. Today, Franco Bianchi is at the helm of the innovative design company.


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

President/Art Director, Gandia Blasco

José A. Gandía-Blasco Location: Valencia, Spain Brands: Gandia Blasco, Gan Products: Rugs, outdoor furniture

In 1996, José A. GandíaBlasco, who was already in the process of revolutionizing the blanket manufacturing business his father had founded in 1941, was building a house in Ibiza. When he realized that appropriately stylish outdoor furniture for his contemporary terrace simply didn’t exist, he and his architect Ramón Esteve decided to design their own. They debuted their first furniture line, Na Xemena, alongside Gandia Blasco’s innovatively patterned, hand-woven carpets at Milan, and it was a hit. The same line that first wowed the Salone is still the star among Gandia Blasco’s functional yet beautiful outdoor furniture, and what started as a

Portrait by Manolo Yllera; product photos courtesy of Gandia Blasco

modest family textile business has blossomed into a worldwide industry leader. DB: You sign several of the furniture and carpeting lines by Gandia Blasco and Gan. Who are some of the other designers creating pieces for your brands? José A. Gandía-Blasco: We have been working since the 1980s with prestigious designers but also offering a chance to young, emerging designers who have become internationally known thanks to their work with us. We have an in-house design team and work with Jean-Marie Massaud, Patricia Urquiola, Marie Mees, Marisa Gallén, Sandra Figuerola, Odosdesign, Francesc Rifé, and others. DB: What keeps Milan so relevant in the industry? JGB: This is our eighth time participating at the

Milano fair, and we had to try for some years to get in. It has been very important in our evolution and we have greatly increased sales since the beginning. It is the most complete and interesting fair where professionals from everywhere come to show their works and to see others’ works also. DB: What do you like and dislike about the fair? JGB: I love the [concurrent] Fuorisalone with the interesting showrooms to visit, and what I love most is to visit the SaloneSatellite hall where all the young designers show their works. I love to discover new talents! I do not like the big crowd of people you always find in Milano and the traffic of the city. And especially the difficulty of finding taxis, but I think changing that is going to be impossible.


Image from the Canevas collection, designed by Charlotte Lancelote for Gandia Blasco

�Milan has been very important in our evolution.�


design bureau

Ciao, Milano!

Designer, A+ Furniture and More

Jacob Pringiers Baia seating system for BRF Colors, designed by Jacob Pringiers, still available from Casprini

“FOr a few days breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all linked by design.”

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka Brands: A+, Desalto, Durlet, Elica, Riva, WMF, Auerhahn, etc. Products: Furniture, lighting, housewares, yachts

It’s safe to say Jacob Pringiers is a man of the world. The Belgium-born designer spent most of his childhood in Sri Lanka, where his A+ Furniture and More studio is headquartered today, and studied design in Milan, Switzerland, and the United States. He launched his product design career in the mid’90s in Milan, but not before a stint in Florida designing boats—serious boats, like the 23-foot blood orange Scarab piloted by John Travolta in the action flick Face/Off. His Salone debut, the Twice bench for Desalto in 2002, was (and still is) a huge success.

Portrait and product photos courtesy of Jacob Pringiers

DB: Milan, the city, was your home for quite a while. How did that enhance your relationship with Milan, the event? Jacob Pringiers: Since I started my design studies in 1989 in Milan I was immediately submersed in the Salone del Mobile and what happens around it. Ever since I have not missed one year, which means I have been to 22 editions. Whoa, I am not an up-and-coming designer anymore, I guess! Milan, furniture, design, and fashion all go hand in hand, and the week of the Salone has become less about only furniture and more about a truly cultural event where creatives from all over the world and from different backgrounds come to provoke and present their views on creativity.

DB: Does the city feel different when ‘the circus is in town,’ so to speak? JP: The whole city participates in the Salone. It has become less about the fairgrounds and the purely commercial side, but more about a global experience, living in a city for a few days where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all linked by design. Whether it is young designers tucked away in a rundown industrial building on the outskirts of the city, or highly polished presentations of established creatives in La Triennale exhibition center, the Salone gives you a 360-degree view that is amazing. There is something there for everyone and while we discover new brands and talents, the city every time reinvents itself, exploring new areas and locations as platforms for this event.

103 Designer, Studio Toogood, faye toogood

Faye Toogood Location: London, U.K. Brands: Studio Toogood, Faye Toogood Products: Furniture, interiors, accessories, environments

English designer Faye Toogood is the force behind both Studio Toogood (creative consultants on interiors for the likes of Opening Ceremony) and her namesake brand, Faye Toogood, which has drawn acclaim for its handcrafted Batch furniture line. Toogood has hit the fair for 10 years, but this will be only her fourth year showing her own work. Her unconventional approach to design cuts against Milan’s commercial grain—just the way she likes it. DB: Fave Salone memory? Faye Toogood: I think it was the closing night of Natura Morta, a series of midnight dinners that my studio had organized over five nights. Each night we started to party at 11PM until 3-4AM. After four nights of hosting black dinners, dancing, and entertaining, followed by days visiting all the other events, I was on a high… Milan became very surreal and magical in my haze. DB: What keeps Milan relevant? FT: One of the main purposes of Milan is to push the whole industry forward in terms of technology, ways of thinking and communicating. More recently I think the limited editions versus mass-produced argument has also become more prominent in Milan. Massproduced is not sustainable or economically viable for a designer. I think the resurgence of the individual and

“Mass produced design, in my opinion, is increasingly becoming irrelevant.”

small collectives applying their own skills to produce, make, manufacture, and sell direct is the way forward. DB: What’s the benefit of making limited editions? FT: Limited edition pieces that are handcrafted enable an industrial, product, or furniture designer to be experimental, to be radical, and to be free of commercial shackles. For a designer to have the opportunity to work with materials that would ordinarily be prohibitive on a mass-produced market or to create something that questions our notions of what is function, is very important to the history of design. The design world needs limited editions to question, to move things on, to explore new technologies, and even rediscover old methods of working. It is not just about feeding the pockets of the rich and merely providing works for a market—it is one of the ways we define our decade, our history, and in the end influences how we all experience design.



DB: Sounds like a call for revolution. FT: Well, mass-produced design in my opinion is increasingly becoming irrelevant. I feel I need to shout up for designers in this moment—it is tough out there to make a living from furniture and design. Designers have to either take opportunities that arise within the industry and suffer financially at the mercy of big brands who implement unfeasibly small royalties, or attempt to make their own way. I think designers, much like the farmers in this country, can take back some control.


1 Element Table Malachite from the Batch series, photo by Marius W. Hansen

2 Spade Chair in charcoal from the Batch series, photo by Marius W. Hansen

3 Cuppa is made in small production runs of 150 as part of Toogood’s Batch collection; photo by Rory van Millingen

Portrait by Andrea de Sica; product photos courtesy of Studio Toogood


design bureau

Green Space Look ahead to the fairest of the seasons with these Earthy interiors. Can spring be far behind?

Inspiring Interiors


Code Kurkku Tokyo, Japan Design: Wonderwall Photography: NacĂĄsa &

Partners, Inc. Located inside the massive Yoyogi Village in Shibuya, the restaurant Code Kurkku is a retreat easily accessible from urban city life. The massive living garden wall was created in collaboration with landscape designer Seijun Nishihata as a lush backdrop to Code Kurkku’s lounge. Natural wood floors and ceilings recall the vintage, rural architecture of Japan.


design bureau

Code Kurkku Tokyo, Japan

Inspiring Interiors


A21 House Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Design: A21 Studio Photography: Hiroyuki Oki

Doubling as an office and home, the A21 House provides a light-filled retreat from crowded Ho Chi Minh City. The ground floor is used as a kitchen and dining room with furniture placed to give all attention to the live tree. The corridor to the bedroom on the third floor is full of light and welcomes nature into the house. Wood louvered floors provide ventilation.


design bureau

A21 House Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Inspiring Interiors



design bureau

Shakin Stevens House Melbourne, Australia Architect: Matt Gibson Architecture and Design Photography:

Shannon McGrath Both the exterior and interior of the house reflect the desire to be connected to green space. Shades of green unite the different areas of the house. The client requested a predominantly white interior with a feature highlight color. Green became an obvious choice, working in combination with the proximity of the garden.

Inspiring Interiors



design bureau

Shakin Stevens House Melbourne, Australia

Inspiring Interiors


This issue’s best Albums


Presented by



Tomahawk Oddfellows (Ipecac) Putting the “rock” back in “rock super-group,” Tomahawk makes a mighty return with Oddfellows, a “re-launch” of a band whose last album (Anonymous in 2007) was an aggressive interpretation and expansion of Native American motifs. The group’s core—singer/sampler Mike Patton (Faith No More), guitarist Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard), and drummer John Stanier (Battles)—is now joined by

bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), resulting in tunes with even more muscle and flexibility. Pugilistic riffs are front and center once more, but Patton expands the band’s range with “heavy pop” vocals—including some downright cooing—for soaring choruses. There are a few other twists and turns, including a jazzy organ here and a deep piano melody there, but the band is still founded on those vocals over winding melodies, thick bass tones, and pounding, syncopated beats. Don’t believe us; hear it for yourself. Oddfellows already is one of the best albums of 2013. [SM]

02/ 03/ 04/ 05/ 06/ 07/

Dropkick Murphys

Wild Belle

Pissed Jeans

Signed and Sealed in Blood (Born & Bred)

Isles (Columbia)

Honeys (Sub Pop)

02/ In 2011, Dropkick Murphys gave the concept album a try with Going Out in Style. Enjoying the experience but getting a few headaches along the way, the band jumped straight back into the studio for a more straightforward new record, Signed and Sealed in Blood. And it’s another pure blast of Celtic-tinged punk, with familiar themes of drinking, baseball, and sailing. Opening with the triumphant “The Boys are Back,” the album is impressively varied. Keeping The Pogues’ formula fresh seems difficult, but Dropkick Murphys delivers again with skillful songwriting and obvious passion. The tunes are all sing-a-longs, destined for a debauched, Guinness-soaked house party and Fenway Park alike. [LE]

03/ Siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman (also of Nomo) are the duo behind Wild Belle, whose sultry, funky dub pop picked up buzz after the band’s stint at last year’s SXSW. Isles is the group’s major-label debut, and it’s a dose of pop goodness. Though Elliot mostly leaves behind his horn, which is integral to his other endeavors, he does jam a few grooves on his baritone sax. Generally, though, he spends more time on the keys— and even leads a song vocally—as the band keeps it steady for Natalie’s airy vocals and lovelorn lyrics. [SM]

04/ By naming your band Pissed Jeans and opening your album with a track titled “Bathroom Laughter,” you create certain expectations. On its fourth LP, noisepunk group Pissed Jeans confirms those expectations, then throttles them while using its teeth as guitar picks. Honeys is loud, fast, mad, and heavy, only breaking stride for sludgy, half-speed songs—which, without losing their punch, let things simmer beneath the surface. With nigh-incomprehensible vocals, plenty of fuzz and squeal, and a bit more production than in the past, Honeys is a standout for those who like their musicians angry and their rock punk. [LE]

Buke & Gase



General Dome (Brassland)

Homosapien (Felte)

Brokeback and the Black Rock (Thrill Jockey)

05/ Combine baritone ukulele (“buke”), guitar-bass (“gase”), a masterful falsetto, percussive stomping, and all manner of effects… and you might get something unrecognizable. Thankfully, as Buke & Gase, Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez mesh those elements to craft beautiful yet powerful poprock ditties. After a debut LP and subsequent EP, the duo goes straight for the (general) dome with its latest, ratcheting up the home-brewed distortion for even greater contrast with Dyer’s sugary sweet voice. The instruments, already distinct of timbre and unrecognizable, now sound like alien machinery. It’s fuzz for all ages. [SM]

06/ Homosapien, the new LP from experimental electro-rock group PVT, is an aural map of the body electric. Begun as an improvisational outfit, the band (formerly Pivot) has grown poppier and more structured with each album. Homosapien, which leans on electronics, polishes everything to an even smoother sheen. Beats drive much of this music, but they don’t overshadow the dark, retro feel that pervades the record. Though brightness, harmonies, and quicker tempos do show up, distorted vocals and musical minimalism deliver a melancholy experience. And despite a mostly electronic palette, an eclectic sensibility makes Homosapien a rewarding listen. [LE]

07/ With more than a little reverb, a sense of wide-open space, and a strong kinship with Americana, Brokeback and Black Rock is what instrumental albums should be. There is no struggle with absent vocals; these are complete compositions, finished and evocative. Founder Douglas McCombs of Tortoise has, on this album, collaborated more fully than ever before. Whereas previous Brokeback outings featured occasional guest artists, this LP—the group’s first in 10 years— enlists a core group to back up McCombs. And things soar. With twangy fuzz, Western touches, and a greater rock aesthetic, Brokeback hasn’t changed what worked, instead using it as a jump-off to its evolution. [LE]

Scott Morrow is the music editor at ALARM Press and author of This Week’s Best Albums, an eclectic weekly series presenting exceptional music. Visit for more. [LE] Lincoln Eddy, [SM] Scott Morrow. Photos by Vincent Forcier and Bradley Fry.





For Hire: James T. Edmondson FOR HIRE Design Talentmore could you want Loves people, loves letters, not an asshole—what Fresh On the Market in a type designer?










Design Talent Fresh On the Market



How did you decide to concentrate on type design? TALENT During DESIGN my time in FRESH school, I’ve realized that when ON THE MARKET approaching a graphic design project from the viewpoint of a lettering artist or type designer, the outcome was always more successful, and IDESIGN had a great time doing the DESIGN TALENT FRESH TALENT FRESH ON THE MARKET ON THE MARKET work. It took a lot of experimentation to get there, and my instructors at California College of the Arts in San Francisco have always been incredibly encouraging.



Who are some designers you look to for inspiration? Shout-outs to Stephen Powers, Pendleton Ward, Wayne White, Daniel Clowes, Jon Sueda, Christopher Simmons, Bob Aufuldish, and Kenya Hara. Whenever there is fun visible in the work, I am inspired. What are your post-graduation plans? I would love to continue my education in type design, one day have my own foundry, and eventually to teach typography, type design, or lettering. I’d like to also do more large-scale typographic installations. Ideally in the future I will be working in an environment where my friends are also working on projects they’re passionate about. I dream of an amazing space where everyone is inspired by and helps one another. There are fireman poles, and remote control helicopters. Why should potential clients hire you? They shouldn’t! I might be the kind of person that has to work for himself for a little while. It’s too much fun not to. A client should hire me for all sorts of reasons, but I think the best thing I have going for me is that I’m not an asshole. I love people and I love letters, and I especially love when folks care about both. a

clockwise from top left:

James’ work: Writing on the wall, Farm logo, lettering with red plastic cups, an illuminated wedding invitation, logo for World Wide Meetup Day, envelope lettering

James Likes: I like the same things everyone likes—suds, buds, and babes! James Dislikes: Papercuts, nausea, recreational reading gone wrong, people who wipe their hands on me, undercooked Cream of Wheat.

RESUME SNAPSHOT: James T. Edmondson EDUCATION California College of the Arts Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design Expected graduation: 2013

Work Experience Sputnik, 2011 CCA in-house design team Freelance designer, 2008-present

skills Lettering, type design

Wanna hire James? Check out his website:


R AW S I L K ™ V I N Y L H A N D - PA I N T E D I N O U R C H I C AG O S T U D I O


extraordinary surfacing materials





Design Bureau Issue 17  
Design Bureau Issue 17  

The Milan Preview Issue 2013