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Jan/Feb 2014





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Š 2014 Devine Color

Pure modern nostalgia We are constantly exploring new designs to add to the Victoria + Albert range to keep us at the forefront of bathroom innovation. This year we present ‘new traditional’. Timeless design combining enhanced luxury with classic styling. Crafted from volcanic limestone and resins which are polished to a lustrous sheen to ensure guaranteed quality and an ultimate bathing experience.

For further details and to locate your nearest dealer visit: Featured product: Drayton



Jan/Feb 2014


PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris Force ----MANAGING EDITOR Scott Morrow ASSOCIATE EDITOR Amanda Koellner ----ART DIRECTOR Spencer Matern DESIGNER Michael Bodor DESIGN INTERN Robyn Boehler ----CONTRIBUTORS Samer Almadani, Kimberlie Birks, Miriam Bouleanu, Margot Brody, Steven Fischer, Andrew Gibbs, Amber Gibson, Brandy Kraft, Jill McDonnell, Laura Neilson, Gwendolyn Purdom, Lesley Stanley, Rob Tannen, J. Michael Welton ----MARKETING COORDINATOR Jenny Palmer ----CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER Krystle Blume SALES & ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Tarra Kieckhaefer


The Naked Designer /p40

“It’s the quality of who you are as a person, as a brand, that goes into the thing. This gives me an absolute obligation to be fabulous.”

ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jill Berris, Lindsay DeCarlo, Ryan DePasquale, Caitlin Frantzen, Matthew Hord, Brianna Jordan, Moira Kelley, Katie Szafasz, Natalie Valliere-Kelley ----NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Ellie Fehd Shannon Painter Brian Durance



Industrial Illumination /p15 Photo of Marcel Wanders by Alek Bruessing,

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Publication Title Design Bureau Publication # 7730 Filing Date September 25, 2013 Issue Frequency Monthly Number of Issues Published Annually 10 Annual Subscription Price $40.00 Mailing Address of Office 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Contact Person Jenny Palmer, 312.878.8848 Mailing Address of Headquarters 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Publisher ALARM Press, 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Editor Chris Force, 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Managing Editor Kristin Larson, 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Owner ALARM Press – Chris Force, 900 N Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60610 Known Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holdings N/A Tax Status N/A Publication Title Design Bureau Issue Date for Circulation Data September 2013 Extent/Nature of Circulation (Average # of copies each issue during

preceding 12 months / # copies of single issue published nearest to filing date) a. Total Number of Copies 10,000 / 7,000 b. Paid Circulation i. MailedOutside-CountyPaid Subscriptions 1,450 / 1,404 ii. Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions 120 / 113 iii. Paid Distribution Outside the Mail 7,000 / 4,000 iv. Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail 0 / 0 c. Total Paid Distribution 9,070 / 5,517 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution i. Outside-County 400 / 373 ii. In-County 100 / 100 iii. Mailed at Other Classes 0 / 0 iv. Outside the Mail 0 / 0 e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 500 / 473 f. Total Distribution 9,570 / 5,990 g. Copies Not Distributed 400/1,010 h. Total 9,970 / 7,000 i. Percent Paid 94.8% / 92% 16. Publication of Statement Jan 2014 17. Signed by Chris Force, Editor Date: 9/30/13

Kellan Hegedus Ryan DePasquale ----ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gail Francis, Mindy Helm, Danielle Kist, Miranda Myers, Courtney Schiffres, Allison Weaver ----ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Samantha Slawinski

8 0 0 . 3 2 0 . 3 1 4 5   P H O T O T O M  VA C K




Jan/Feb 2014


ON THE COVER Photography: Chris Force Photo assistant: Sheila Barabad, Model: Whitney T for Factor Women Stylist: Brandy Kraft Hair/Makeup: Kat Dejesus for Factor Artists On the Model: Lingerie by Agent Provacateur, available at; earrings by Ralph Lauren, courtesy of Bloomingdale’s; robe by Oscar de la Renta, courtesy of Bloomingdale’s Location: Susan Fredman residence in Chicago, ----A one-year subscription to Design Bureau is US $24 (international $48). Visit our website at or send a check or money order to: Design Bureau 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610 (T) 312.386.7932 (F) 312.276.8085

Design Bureau (ISSN 2154-4441) is published bimonthly by ALARM Press at: 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610


Light, Dark & Wild /p60

DB helps you get the look for this assortment of luminous, onyxtoned, and eccentric kitchens and baths in our annual roundup

Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing office(s). POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Design Bureau at 900 North Franklin Street Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60610 ----Retailers: To carry Design Bureau in your store, please call 201.634.7411. -----



LETTER FROM THE EDITOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 CONTRIBUTORS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 FOR THE RECORD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08 DB RECOMMENDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 IMAGE, STYLE & DESIGN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 BUREAU OF ERGONOMICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 RESTAURANT ROUNDUP:

ARCHITECTS & ARTISANS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

RBDA Winners /p45

BEST NEW ALBUMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 FOR HIRE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

Cover outtake by Chris Force. Apero restaurant photo by Amy Murrell. Cover-outtake credits: coat by Karen Millen; earrings by Ralph Lauren; bag by Michael Kors; all courtesy of Bloomingdale’s.

© 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. CORRECTIONS, NOV/DEC 2013 In our “Back to the Future” feature, design and supervised construction of the Banks Street residence should have been credited to StrasserRagni, a two-person firm consisting of Scott Strasser and Erick Ragni. In our “Watch Men” roundup, the credits for the Skagen and Uniform Wares watches were switched.We regret the errors. CORRECTION, AUGUST 2013 In our “Mall Makeover” story, GH+A director of retail development Debbie Kalisky’s name was misspelled. We regret the error.



Jan/Feb 2014



What’s the most exciting part of the new year? Champagne? New Year’s resolutions?

Kimberlie Birks is an art and design writer whose work has appeared in Abitare, Domus, Azure, Metropolis, Inhabitat, and Architect’s Newspaper. She holds a BA in the History of Art from Brown University and an MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts. She lives in New York.

Award-winning commercial photographer Samer Almadani, driven by the passion to visually replicate his own dreams, strives to create compelling conceptual narratives with vivid imagery to bring his concepts to life—whether it be in his advertising, editorial, conceptual, or portraiture work.

Miriam Bouleanu is a Chicago-based prop stylist. By day, most of her time is spent working at Crate & Barrel’s photo studio. Her obsession for interior design started at a young age—a passion that led her to work for design studios such as Barbara Pearlman and Robert Allen | Beacon Hill. Her love affair with color, textiles, and found objects drives her on explorations for lost treasures, far and wide.

Alek Bruessing is an established and awardwinning Dutch photographer from Amsterdam. His work is known for its focus on light and direction of people, which often results in images with a cinematic storytelling and glamorous character. Bruessing collaborates with a wide range of wellknown ad agencies, fashion clients, and magazines.

For me it’s that we’re forced to acknowledge a change. It’s the time when, collectively, we’ve all faced the fact that last year is over. There’s no going back. As an editor, it’s also a time to set new goals. We are continually challenged to inspire audiences and to question how and where we will do that. This year we’ll do that not only nationally but also with our largest digital and international audiences ever. We’ll face obstacles but also new opportunities, and we will meet them all with a mix of passion, curiosity, and foolish optimism. To kick off the year, we highlight two of the most consistently changed rooms in the home: the kitchen and the bathroom. Our team has selected designs to fit three concepts: light, dark, and wild. To spearhead the story, we turned to celebrated designer Susan Fredman, who handed over the keys to her beautifully crafted Chicago home for our cover Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest

shoot. Overlooking Lake Michigan, the residence blends textural elements like leather floors, stainless-steel sinks, and custom-tiled counters to create a sophisticated yet practical feel. We were inspired by the bold use of color and dramatic lighting that frame the home as intimate and personal, but also daring. We’re always attracted to designers who not only push for change but also leave what is safe and known. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re a young publication, but there is a freedom that comes from not following what is proven and from actively defining your own success. There’s a freedom in embracing change, be it the kitchen in your home, your career, or your life. What will you change this year? ----Chris Force Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

athena chair - designed by m. lipparini inkiostro desk - designed by marizioni & tapinassi blob lamp - designed by g. carollo showroom - two hundred lexington avenue, new york, ny 10016 +1 (212) 696 0211

exclusively at




Jan/Feb 2014


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

Issue 25 “I love design because you feel that at some point, everything can fit. Everything can be perfect.” — DUTCH DESIGNER MARCEL WANDERS, P. 40

NAKED DESIGNER A presentation given by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, during which he stripped items of clothing, one by one

11 DIMENSIONS The scope of space-time posited by string theory and M-theory (the “theory of everything”), which inspired the fashion collection The Anomalies by designer Jojo Ross



Styling this issue’s cover shoot at the home of interior designer Susan Fredman #designlove

Atelier Lapchi showroom event with DB’s Architecture Issue on display

Guests posing on the way into Chicago’s Drumbar for DB’s third-anniversary party #dbturns3

Our vaunted production team winning the Halloween costume contest as “Monsters of Rock”

See more of our photos on Instagram. follow us @designbureaumag ISSUE 24

2013 Design Gift Guide “Love the reduced size of this month’s issue. I hope it stays the same.” — M.L., VIA TWITTER

“After seeing your gift guide, I bought the Salut! flask (chosen by guest curator Revae Schneider) for my boyfriend’s birthday. Now, whenever we’re at a party, he emphatically yells ‘salut!’ upon sipping from it. I might have made a huge mistake.” — H.V., VIA E-MAIL

Comments, criticism, questions, suggestions, love letters, hate mail... We read it all. e-mail us your thoughts: Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest

As converted from Danish krone, the price of “an evening”—including food, wine, and coffee—at Höst, which won the 2013 “best restaurant” title from the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards

LOREM IPSUM Taken from an altered section of a 1st Century BC Latin text, this placeholder text is used throughout this here magazine prior to the real stuff.

TWITTERVERSE: 160-character shout-outs to Design Bureau @stacheandhyde How exciting to see our HP Heritage Tweed #StacheBook iPad case in the Nov/Dec issue of @DesignBureauMag. On newsstands now. @kreativeways Proud my work was included in @DesignBureauMag Special Edition of Inspiring Interiors! @donjenna Just discovered Design Bureau magazine...WOW! join the conversation at

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Jan/Feb 2014

Design Bureau Recommends... Our staff is always on the lookout for cool gear. Got a tip? E-mail us at 01


01 Washington Skeleton

aluminum side chair by David Adjaye for Knoll, $490,

“Now David Adjaye’s sculptural aesthetic can fit into my dining room!” — Moira Kelley, account manager

02 Spinnerette turntable by

Third Man Records, $160,

“Faux-briefcase by day, record player by night—this portable player, adorned in the Third Man blackand-yellow aesthetic, is perfect for playing vinyl on the go, and it has a convenient USB connection to go digital with it.” — Scott Morrow, managing editor


04 03 Oona pendant by Lake +

Wells, price upon request,

“Interior lighting doesn’t always need to be crisp and bright. In fact, these Oona pendants provide so much more with their handcrafted warmth. The smoked glass and hammered copper create a subtle drama between Old World knowledge and modern form.” — Brian Durance, business development manager

04 The Time Teller P watch

by Nixon, $65,

“Kudos to Nixon for continuing to make gradients cool.” — Michael Bodor, designer



05 Brass Muse bottle opener by Jonathan Adler, $98,

“It doesn’t get much better than opening your wine stash with this brass ’stache. Whip it out when you have guests or tote it along to parties, and you’re sure to be a hit.” — Amanda Koellner, associate editor

06 Dropcam Pro by Dropcam, $199,

“These cool little cameras have two-way talk and live streaming, keeping me connected to the office no matter where I am. And they are super easy to set up on your own. Anyone can do it! Trust me—if I can do it, so can you.” — Jenny Palmer, marketing coordinator

All images courtesy of the companies featured

inspiring dialogue delivered directly to your inbox




THE INFORMER News & musings from the world of design

Jan/Feb 2014


The Dieline’s top redesigns /p16 OBJECTS & GEAR:

Weekend woodworking /p18 FASHION & BEAUTY:

String Theory threads /p31 TRAVEL & CULTURE:

Drinking at Drumbar /p27


Mike McQuade /p14

SPIRIT ORCAS Chicago-based designer and illustrator Mike McQuade tells us about his mortal inspiration, design in the year 2100, and his blubbery spirit animal. CIMA Financial Management feature illustration by Mike McQuade




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Mike McQuade Mike McQuade sees design as a labor of love. With more than eight years as a multidisciplinary designer and illustrator behind him, his work has landed in publications such as The New York Times, Bon Appétit, The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Wired, and megabrands including Nike and Groupon have commissioned his talents too. The Art Institute of Philadelphia graduate is currently based in Chicago, where he works as an art director, designer, and illustrator for both large and small brands, various advertising agencies, editorial publications, design firms, startups, and his own self-initiated projects and artwork. A labor of love, indeed. a


mortality. Carpe diem!


COVER OF… Time Magazine.


construction work or roofing, since that’s what I did before going to art school.


Peter Saville.


MY BEST IDEAS COME TO ME WHEN… I’m in the shower.

Usually, toward the end of a shower, I am running out to write or draw something down.


O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.


the answer to all the world’s problems.


the orca.

TOP TO BOTTOM: Wanderer’s Society logo for Herb Lester Associates; “Too Much Communication” illustration for Wired magazine; “Circular Economics” illustration for Wired magazine.

Images courtesy of Mike McQuade,

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



Industrial Illumination A side-project startup draws from the discard bin to craft lamps with an oldschool aesthetic

Bothered by the lack of options for quality lamps between Ikea cheapness and Italian high-end, photographer and art director Chris Pieretti began making handmade, industrial-grade lamps in his spare time. The

result is Union + Company, just a year-and-a-half old, which creates steel lamps that exude an old-school, urban feel. “I’ve come across so many amazing old lamps from the old days when design really meant something in this country,” Pieretti says. “What I’m doing is a reference to those old lamps in style and aesthetic—reliable and strong like a factory lamp, but safe and with the option of a dimmer so it can be a practical light source. At the end of the

day, it needs to provide a nice, warm light as much as it needs to complement the space it’s in.”

with vintage components, as Pieretti is a diehard hunter of antiques.

Priced between $700 and $1,500 and standing up to six feet tall, new lamps come fitted with a 14-gauge cord and 300watt dimmer on the shade. And if you want to match them to your abode better than unfinished steel would, custom color options include antique white, Saturn black, fire-engine red, safety orange, and taxi yellow. Also available are one-off pieces

“I’ve been raiding people’s barns and basements, looking for industrial junk, since before I could drive,” he says. “I like metal when it has burns and scars. I see a lot of beauty in something that has been discarded or overused to the point of ruin—an engine part, a tool, a sorting bin, etc. It can’t be what it once was, but it’s been reborn into something else.” a

Image courtesy of Union + Company,




Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer


The Dieline’s Founder Shares His Favorite Packaging Redesigns


Redesign by Turner Duckworth One of the most iconic and inspiring redesigns that I have ever seen in my career: the classic can of Coke. How do you approach redesigning such an iconic package? Design firm Turner Duckworth cut straight to the

core of the brand by reducing the logo, type, and design elements to their beautiful flat glory. Gone were the fake water drops and over-styled, dated design elements, replaced with just two colors: white and Coca-Cola red.

Since starting the popular packagedesign website back in 2007, editorin-chief Andrew Gibbs has seen redesigns succeed and fail. We solicited the expert on what he believes are the very best revamped packages.


Redesign by Brown-Forman In 2010, Chambord went through its first redesign in nearly three decades. The old Chambord bottle, though iconic, was no longer appealing to a new generation of drinkers. It looked dated, and even a little tacky, with its

gold plastic embellishments. This redesign is one of the best examples of taking the core essence of a brand, transforming it, modernizing it, and reenvisioning it without losing the brand’s personality.

Archer Farms

Redesign by Michael Osborne What is so interesting about this product’s design is that most people had no idea that there was an Archer Farms brand prior to this redesign. Michael Osborne Design revolutionized the Archer Farms packaging by creating a flexible packaging-identity system for Target that could be applied consistently on a wide array of food and beverage products. As of today, the Archer Farms line of products extends to over 2,000 units, making it a billion-dollar brand. All images courtesy of the companies featured

Nov/Dec 2013

The Informer


Sullivan Co.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze Redesign by Multivac

The Heinz Dip & Squeeze package challenged consumers’ perceptions as well as consumption of take-out ketchup as a whole. It made life a bit easier in a small but noticeable way. Not only did it give consumers three times more ketchup

than a traditional packet, but it also gave two distinct ways to consume it: either by dipping or by squeezing. It made eating on the go a step easier, and it gave restaurant operators a reason to buy Heinz over other brands.

Design/Build | Additions | Kitchens Bathrooms | Hardscaping

Help Remedies

Redesign by Pearlfisher This is not the typical packaging redesign. The first design of Help Remedies was groundbreaking and category-defying. It was then refined over the years into an extremely consumer-friendly medicine brand. The single-ingredient, over-the-counter

medicines are packaged in flat, white, molded paperpulp trays, with a simple closure made of bio-plastic. The packaging took away the complexity and confusion of the medicine aisle and returned the power of decision making to consumers.

The Sullivan Co. has over 30 years experience in the construction industry. Over the years, we have developed relationships with the most talented subcontractors and unique industry contacts. We successfully work beside architects on our projects and always receive repeat business from them. To our clients, the Sullivan Co. is more than a construction company; we represent a strong foundation, unique design and industry knowledge. These elements intrigue our clients and give them peace of mind.

Sullivan Co. General Contractors 4709 Edgemont Street • Philadelphia, PA 19137 215.533.7683



The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


SUNDAY BEST Meet three friends whose woodworking hobby morphed into a full-fledged career Salt Lake City can be pretty desolate on Sundays. Just ask Jordan Omohundro, Greg Frehr, and Kevin Jateff, founders of furniture company Project Sunday. While their fellow citizens were keeping the Sabbath holy in church, the trio found themselves rummaging around abandoned buildings in search of forgotten pieces or materials that they could utilize to make furniture. For about a year, they embarked on what they dubbed “Project Sundays” until they decided that it was time to turn their weekly adventures into a career. We caught up with Omohundro to chat about finding inspiration and the perfect wood. You guys are mostly self-taught. How did you originally find yourselves interested in building furniture?

Project Sunday began when we had the opportunity to convert an abandoned warehouse into a livable space. After renovating the interior, we didn’t have enough money to buy furniture for the expansive space. So we started building our own and discovered we were very passionate about the process.

thetic. We also survive by the idea that our pieces will get better with time and wear and that each piece we create will gain character with age while maintaining its sound quality. How do you decide which type of wood to use for each project, and where do you get it?

After we know what type of budget and aesthetic our clients are looking to achieve, we choose a wood that fits within that criteria and that we feel executes the vision. The clean wood that we use on projects is purchased from a local lumber supplier. We also have a huge stockpile of Kentucky tobacco barn wood, which we use for reclaimed wood requests. What’s your favorite piece that you’ve built?

Thus far, it’s the Stack Bed. We love the design because we originally built it for ourselves but have gotten a lot of orders for it. It’s exciting to build because we can slightly customize each bed to the client’s needs. It’s definitely become our staple piece, and I think a lot of clients gravitate toward it because of the built-in light with a dimmer switch.

Where do you find inspiration for your projects?

What’s your workspace like?

We find ourselves really inspired by modern, clean design. We believe that quality and function are just as important as aes-

You don’t want to know. We are currently looking for a new space, preferably one that has windows and a heating system. a

Portrait by Whitt Keisel. Images courtesy of Project Sunday,

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



East Meets West Hira Shah brings her geographic past and present to fashion design Pakistan. Sweden. Ireland. The UK. At one point or another, fashion designer and stylist Hira Shah has called each of these places home. “Being a part of such dynamic and vibrant cultures and environments has definitely influenced my work immensely,” says Shah, who was born in Pakistan, received a master’s degree in fashion design from the Swed-

ish School of Textiles, resided in Dublin post-graduation, and recently moved to London. “One thing that’s very visible in my work is the fusion of Eastern and Western elements.” She blends Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant colors with Sweden’s “less is more,” refined style, and the knowledge she soaked up from

Ireland’s design talent (the country is home to the likes of Philip Treacy and Orla Kiely) in her balance of minimalism and maximalism. “For me, fashion is an artistic expression, not just a functional and devoid tool,” she says. “I don’t follow fashion trends; instead I want to liberate the artist and the designer within

me and challenge the conventional clothing norms.” Bucking the fads has boded well for the young designer, as she’s already been featured in Vogue Italia, SÝN, and Slave, among other publications. She’s currently designing a women’s wear collection that she hopes to debut during February’s fashion-week events. aZ Photos by Lisa Hasselgren




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014

An early ecologist and lover of the animal kingdom, Charley Harper incorporated a multitude of mammals, birds, fish, and amphibians into his Modernist illustrations—most notably in The Golden Book of Biology. Since Harper’s passing in 2007, designer Todd Oldham has helped to keep Harper’s legacy alive.


Protecting a Legacy Todd Oldham brings the late Charley Harper’s work to life By Gwendolyn Purdom How did you and Charley connect back in 2001?

one of the greatest pleasures I get to experience.

I came to visit him, but once he gave me this very generous tour of all that he had done, it was very clear that there was no proper documentation of all of his work. So I spent the last five years of Charley’s life with him working on [the book] Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life, which came out about six years ago.

Where do you go from here?

How did everything evolve from there?

There was no digital version of Charley’s work before. People ask me, “Did he use Illustrator?” And I say, “No, he was an illustrator.” It took quite a while to gather the estate up and document it, and after many years doing that, I understood what was important to Charley so clearly. We wanted to make sure we had partnerships that would reflect what was important to him and that would represent the work in a great way.


nspiration really can come from anywhere. For American design powerhouse Todd Oldham, it was his childhood biology book. The cheery modernist imagery of animals and insects always stuck with Oldham, and years later he joined forces with the illustrator, artist Charley Harper. Harper died in 2007, but his legacy, thanks to Oldham, lives on. In September, Oldham, working with the eco-minded Designtex, unveiled a new collection of wall coverings and textiles based on Harper’s designs—the latest in a series of Oldham’s creations born of Harper’s work in recent years. We sat down with Oldham to discuss the new line and what it means to him.

How would you say working on this project has been different than the other work that you’ve done?

Working on Charley’s collection is one of the most joyous things I’ve done, but also one of the most serious because it’s not my opinion. I’m protecting something. I know him really well, and I know how he thinks, so I have to be really rigid. I can’t be the one who goes, “Eh, it’s all right,” because I don’t know if Charley would have done that. It’s way more serious, very fun, and

Left: Portrait of Todd Oldham. Top: Portrait of Charley Harper. Opposite page: Oldham’s wall covering of Harper’s “Space for All Species” mural.

We get a lot of requests to use his work, but we try to be spare with it. And we only do it when it’s meaningful and when manufacturers are really conscionable. Charley was an early ecologist, and he’d be unhappy if he knew we were working with a company that was polluting rivers or something. That would not be for him. Do you have any favorite details or pieces?

Probably the largest piece I am astonished at—it’s based on a tile mural that Charley had done in a downtown Cincinnati federal building. Since it’s a federal building, it’s not open to the public, and very few people have seen it. It’s this more than 60-feet-long mural that’s been re-rendered in the exact colors, exact scale, and exact size, but it’s the first time anybody’s been able to be in proximity to it. And it looks sensational. We’re so excited to see its debut. Where do you see these being used? Who will be drawn to these designs?

Basically, humans. It’s hard not to appreciate it. The design is so thoughtful, and the motifs are so beautiful. Everybody has an appreciation for nature to some degree, but to see them through Charley’s ticklish interpretation, it just feels very fresh. aZ

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer


Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


IN THE NUDE Typography meets poetry in Erik Freer’s Walt Whitman-inspired font, made entirely of images of the naked male body

If Walt Whitman were alive today, how might he react to Freer’s typeface? “I have no idea,” the young designer says. “He might be shocked by the graphic and grotesque nature of the work.” For his senior thesis project, Freer reset 200 pages of Whitman’s poems with three display typefaces designed in reference to traditional Scotch Roman type used by the late poet in his initial setting of “Leaves of Grass” back in 1855. We asked the Parsons grad for the details. What was the process? What inspired you to create the typeface?

I was inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman, the design work of Marian Bantjes, Martin Weygel’s Menschenalphabet, and Craig Ward’s type experiments. I looked into surrealistoriented French magazines from the 1930s and drew heavily from the illuminated manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum. Photos courtesy of Erik Freer

I began making letters with magazine-collaged clippings, and I made a capital B out of images of human backs and a W constructed of images of wigs. I came upon the Whitman poems on male love and intimacy and it all clicked. After that, I set off to render and re-render the letterforms. For each piece, I used a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator to play with a variety of images I

found on Google image search, collaging, masking, and deteriorating the images with selection and erasure tools and vector objects. I experimented with the patterns of distortion, which automatically appeared when using the digital tools, and then I meshed everything together until I felt each letterform held it in some abstract sense of resolve. How do you think the typeface embodies

Whitman’s work?

The visual language I constructed confronts what Whitman explored in an encrypted manner deliberately for a contemporary audience. By viewing specimens of the contours of the male form spliced together, we get a sense of a collective experience, threading together historical perspectives and uniting them in the present. a

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer




White ceramic flower crystal by Marcel Wanders for Bisazza price upon request For more on Marcel, head to page 40.

Tubs shaped like hammocks and illuminated showerheads are the stuff that dream bathrooms are made of. With this collection, style meets luxury in a match sure to make your fantasies come true.

Shower Lights by Nendo for Axor price upon request

Falper Wing basin by Ludovico Lombardi $4,475

Vessel tub $26,500

All images courtesy of the designers




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Just Add Water A fusion of modern art and ergonomics, Victoria + Albert’s Cabrits tub is where rest and relaxation live. The elegantly curvaceous shape contours to the body, creating a serene sanctuary for soaking. To up the comfort factor even more, check out the brand’s Luxury Backrest. Built with an internal stainless-steel structure for high stability, it’s finished with a water-resistant, soft-touch surface. Couple these items and we’d bet that you never leave the tub. a

Cabrits tub: $5,900. Luxury Backrest:$375. Images courtesy of Victoria + Albert,

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



In Search of a Muuse A new fashion platform gives budding fashion designers a boost By Brandy Kraft

Muuse is a label in search of, well, its muse. The new, Copenhagen-based fashion-design platform helps emerging fashion designers make the jump from design school to the real-world market. It ensures that the most talented new designers have a chance to see

their lines not just produced— in editions as few as one and up to 100—but distributed and sold. Muuse’s founder and director of strategy, Gitte Jonsdatter, travels to leading design schools each year to view the

graduating-class collections. Muuse works in partnership with Vogue Talents to determine which pieces the fashion community would most like to see produced. From there, it works with a network of production partners across Europe to find the best suppliers and materials for each collection. Currently, Muuse has showrooms in Copenhagen and

Stockholm but has plans to expand to NYC and London within the next year. The webshop ( currently stocks pieces from 28 designers, but Muuse has ambitions to discover and propel many more. “I can’t see why we shouldn’t be able to launch at least one new [designer’s] label a year,” says Gitte. “If we can do that, we’ll have done something great for the fashion community.” a

Photography: David Bicho. Photo Assistant: Gustav Gerdes. Styling: Brandy Kraft. Hair: Joe-Ives Asmar. Makeup: Ellinor Fahl. Model: Astrid @ Mikas.




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Killer Kitchen Commodities When it comes to where you cook, we believe that an espresso machine beats Mr. Coffee, your faucet deserves to be smart, and tables don’t necessarily need legs. Oh, and for optimal lemonade enjoyment, a sphere clearly trumps a cylinder.

HALM Cocktail glass


PRICE: $29

Floating Table by Ingo Maurer PRICE: Upon request

All images courtesy of the featured companies



Countertop espresso machine

Vuelo single-handle pull-down kitchen faucet with SmartTouch technology

PRICE: $2,199

PRICE: $734

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



Recipe: Honor Amongst Thieves 1 oz Novo Fogo aged cachaça 1 oz Old Forester 100-proof bourbon 0.5 oz velvet falernum 1 oz fresh pineapple juice 0.25 oz lime juice 0.25 oz simple syrup 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

DRINK UP We knock one back with Drumbar’s new beverage director


hen he started skipping paid improv classes for gigs as a bar-back, Alex Renshaw realized that a life behind the bar could be for him. After learning from Chicago’s finest drink concoctors for several years at Sable Kitchen & Bar, a gastro-lounge in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, he took over the beverage program last summer at Raffaello Hotel’s Drumbar. Over one of his signature drinks, we paid Renshaw a visit to chat about classic cocktails, Jack Black, and leaving comedy for mixology. How would you describe your bartending style, and how do you blend that style with Drumbar’s?

I’m definitely a classically driven bartender, and I lean toward using liqueurs to get my flavors. My menus are going to be heavy on simple cocktails with not more than four or five touches. My style fits Drumbar

because it’s a really classic space with an old-timey feel. So the program I drew up is heavily classically influenced with 25 classic cocktails added and about 15 new house cocktails that rotate seasonally. What is your definition of the perfect cocktail?

The perfect cocktail is some-

thing that’s in the moment. It’s one that makes you feel really good about where you are right then. Structurally, it’s simple yet complex. If there’s something in a cocktail, it needs to be there for a reason and not just to be cute. What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of what you do?

My favorite is interacting with customers and the creativity that comes with the job. You never really know what you’re going to get, and it’s different every day. I especially love working at a hotel bar because you get to meet people from all over the country and all over the world who are just in town for the weekend. My least favorite part is the boring stuff. For as sexy as bartending can be,

there’s always that time when there’s a drain clogged or a computer isn’t working. What do you pour yourself at the end of a shift?

A nice sessionable beer and usually bourbon. Or if I’m not drinking beer, then just straight single-malt scotch. At home, my drink of choice is a Manhattan, up. If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be, and what would you make for said person?

Jack Black. I feed off of other people’s energy and have always loved him. I would make him a tiki cocktail because I think he’d make fun of me. I’d get him nice and loosened up, and it’d be a good time. a

Portrait by John Sturdy. Drink photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Just as Kaper Design sought to reflect DryHop’s dedication to craft in its brewery, Epic Builders put that attention to detail in its construction. “We both believe in the team approach,” says Epic Builders principal Mike Brick, “to solve possible problems or concerns as they relate to space considerations, budget concerns, and time constraints to execute the overall design vision.”

The Careful Craftsmanship of DryHop Brewers


Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp, Smoky White-Corn Grits, Slow-Cooked Collards & Rich Broadbent’s Country Ham Potlicker

A six-month-old brewery highlights the beer-making process and nods to its Chicago home

When Greg Shuff, the owner of DryHop Brewers, commissioned the husband-and-wife duo behind Kaper Design, Katie and Daniel Perkins, to tackle his brewery/restaurant in Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood, he told them that he wanted it to feel like “your father’s workshop.”

Shuff also made it clear that DryHop was a brewery that serves food, not a restaurant that happened to have beer.

“We wanted to use materials and solutions that would feel authentic, give warmth, and emphasize craftsmen,” Katie says. “When thinking about the food preparation, brewing

“The beer was being crafted with such attention to detail that we knew the process had to be on display,” Katie says. “When you walk in, your eye is drawn to the large, steel, and

Photos by Kyle McKenna, Food photo courtesy of DryHop Brewers

process, and the people completing these tasks, it allowed us another view point, as these were modern-day craftsmen, honing their craft.”

glass-encased brew room, and as you travel back into the space, you see the fermentation room. The bar follows with beautiful brite tanks behind it, and the journey culminates with the growler-filling station near the front.” In addition to showcasing the brewing process, DryHop, which took more than a year to construct and six months to design before opening in June of 2013, holds strong ties to its sweet home Chicago. Local artisans crafted the bar, tables,

exterior signage, and steel brew-house structures, and the custom-designed, 50-foot bar was sourced from a white oak top after it fell as a result of being struck by lightning. Katie says she and Daniel aimed to create a “welcoming interior for both beer fans and neighbors.” With a menu made fully from scratch, a plethora of hop-centric ales, and beer available to go, the refined and curated design only adds to the appeal of this Chicago hotspot. AAa

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



Raising the Bar Helios smartens up bicycles via Bluetooth technology After one too many lights were snatched from their bikes, Helios cofounders Antonio Belmontes, Kenneth Gibbs, and Seena Zandipour honed in on their entrepreneurial spirits to take action. Their solution was simple: they wanted to house a powerful headlamp within the bike’s handlebars. The concept grew from there until the trio felt that their product addressed the two biggest problems in cycling: security and safety.

locked by downloading the Helios iPhone app, which syncs your smartphone to your bicycle via Bluetooth. The bars are available for purchase now, but they aren’t set to ship until the end of January. “We’ve had more ‘I can’t believe no one’s thought of this!’ than any other response, which were super thankful for,” Belmontes says. “It’s surprising how many people have become product evangelists without having even used the product!” a


Chicago, IL

The handlebars, available in three styles and four colors, feature ambient lighting, turn signals, and various headlight modes. Advanced features, such as turn-by-turn navigation, a visual speedometer, and GPS tracking, can be unImages courtesy of Helios

Brewpubs • Microbreweries • Restaurants Homes • Historic Restoration



The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Good Things Come in Pretty Packages



Beard & Shave citron neroli soap

DESIGN: Pentagram

DESIGN: Hovard Design

Satin-finish blush

PRICE: $25

PRICE: $22

All images courtesy of the companies featured

You might think that your choice of soaps and shampoos are tried, tested, and true, but even creatures of habit need to shake tradition when it comes to getting clean and looking fabulous. Beauty is in the eye of the designers behind these must-have toiletries whose packaging turned our heads. a

LULU ORGANICS Travel-size lavenderclary sage hair powder DESIGN: Linda Aldredge PRICE: $9.50



Jabón lavanda naranja

Men’s hair & body wash and shampoo

DESIGN: Claudio Limón PRICE: $5

DESIGN: Mousegraphics PRICE: Complimentary at White Key Villas

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer



Strings Attached Fashion designer Jojo Ross sums up her aesthetic in four words: “Future. Ridiculous. Robot couture.” The 2011 graduate of Otago Polytechnic, located on New Zealand’s south island of Dunedin, spent last year toting her string-theory-inspired graduate collection, The Anomalies, to fashion shows and events. Now she chats with us about inspiration, whether or not we’re alone in the universe, and working with string—lots of string.

How did you come to find yourself interested in string theory, so much so that you decided to apply that interest to your fashion?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with space, with mystery, with the unknown. I’d heard snippets of information on string theory, now technically called M-theory, as an 18-year-old university student, and I was captivated by the fact that this relatively small equation could totally change what we thought we know about our world and universe. I was totally, utterly seduced. A few weeks prior to starting my collection, I was hunting through a second-hand store in my hometown, and I stumbled across a book from the ’60s on string art called Pictures With Pins. With my origins in mathematics, this art form was the perfect medium to express my ideas on string theory. Each piece in this collection was hand-woven and used between 70 and 250 meters of string. What was the process like? How long did each piece take you?

I drilled holes in PVC and weaved designs through it, creating a layer on the front and back sides, as opposed to a layer on the surface. I created a 3D structure by tensioning the string to create shape. Each piece took incredibly long; my largest piece took around 40 hours, but that’s just weaving the PVC— tensioning the garments into shape is a whole other process, which I do on a mannequin. I shudder to think how many hours I spent with the string! You’ve cited questions like “Is our universe really alone?” as inspiration. What else inspires you?

My obsession with space is closely followed by a love for math, science, and nature. These things hold such incredible revelations, and to discover and understand something truly extraordinary is just so inspiring. Reading is another passion of mine; I struggle to find direct inspiration in physical things. When I’m in my initial stages of design, I always talk about how it will feel, not how it will look. I use piles of words and emotions, not pictures. a

Portrait by Matt Queree. Fashion photo by Charlotte McLachlan.




The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Since opening its doors more than 25 years ago, SaintDamase has become a premier casegood manufacturer in the luxury-hotel industry. Though most of the company’s work has been on US projects, it journeyed to America’s northern neighbor to work on Quebec’s Hôtel La Ferme with design company LemayMichaud. “We did the majority of the casegoods for the rooms and a large portion of the public-area millwork including the restaurants, theater, la gare, and the reception area,” says Marc Soucy of Saint-Damase. “The ‘coup de coeur’ for this project has to be the vibrant red reception desk.”

On the Farm with Hôtel La Ferme Nestled in the heart of Quebec’s Charlevoix region, this 145-room hotel highlights the area’s rich history and culture Inspired by farm buildings of a bygone era, Hôtel La Ferme is a sprawling complex that stretches across five structures, true to the traditional architectural style of the Charlevoix region. Such fragmentation allows for unobstructed views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding landscape, which happens Photos by André-Olivier Lyra

to be so breathtaking that it feels as if a Canadian Sound of Music could be filmed on the lush, rolling hills. “The area is renowned for its hospitality and landscapes that have enchanted painters, poets, writers, and artists,” says Katrine Beaurdy, partner and designer at LemayMi-

chaud, the Montreal-based design firm that spearheaded the project. “In keeping with the history, the hotel features barn-inspired wood throughout the building with pillars and exposed-wood beams, and much of the art and materials we used were locally sourced to highlight the story of the Charlevoix people.” Local artisans provided cabinets, curtains, bedding, and carpets, and items often found in country settings, such as milk crates and barn wood, sit throughout the space. Handwoven pillows that depict the

bright star of Charlevoix, a local symbol, also can be found on the hotel’s beds, which range from pull-downs to queens to bunks. Distinct buildings vary in décor and include animal motifs, botanical themes, and a trainstation-inspired main building, all of which tie back to the original farm through exposed reclaimed-wood planks, sliding red-steel barn doors, and exposed rough studs. “In many ways, the old wood farm was a source of inspiration,” Beaurdy says. “It was as if the ghost of the farm was still present.” a

Made to measure

Fairmount Waterfront, Vancouver

Exceeding the Highest Standards of the Industry

La Ferme, Baie St-Paul



The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Looking Back and Looking Good Emporium Design weaves a historic tale through its Carson Street Clothiers design

Saturday shopping excursions can be grand or bland, but the recent opening of high-end Manhattan retailer Carson Street Clothiers gives New Yorkers one more well-designed space to spend the weekend. Approaching its one-year anniversary, the multibrand menswear shop in SoHo has a story that starts far earlier, which made it a fitting assignment for Robert Stansell and Timothy Welsh of design-build firm Emporium Design. “Our design philosophy focuses on understanding the evolution of each space we take on,” Stansell says, “which often presents design opportunities that allow us to celebrate its history.” Emporium discovered that the space originally was an early-1900s warehouse for industrial machinery and then became a parking garage for luxury automobiles. “As is usually the case when we start out at a new site, we stripped the notso-old drywall and metal studs down to the original wall,” Welsh says. To then highlight the space’s industrial roots, Stansell and Welsh kept the brick and unique archways exposed, but treated it with different washes to enhance its texture. They also introduced salvaged rough-sawn heartpine timbers as shelves throughout as well as swaths of polished concrete cut into the now-exposed original hardwood floor. These raw materials were juxtaposed with a warmer Photos by Oleg March,

By Jill McDonnell

Americana feeling that emanated from the furniture choices of dark, brown leather and brass to appropriately showcase Carson Street clothing displays. Americana and industrial inspirations are further merged in the store’s lighting, which contains more ornate, patina brass chandeliers and hanging industrial pendants salvaged from Midwest factories. To up the store’s must-see factor, Emporium Design also added a casual lounge area for men to get comfortable, enjoy some spirits and game scores, or simply take a moment to ponder this sweater or those pants. Great stories, however, are seldom without conflict. “We uncovered a failing portion of the brick wall’s arch infill,” Stansell says. Instead of thinking of it as an aesthetic liability, Emporium Design saw this as an opportunity. They shored up the falling portion and stabilized it, now prominently featuring a luxury-watch display case in the wall. Stansell and Welsh also brought others’ stories into the space. In a cheeky nod to the owners’ former life as attorneys, the cash-wrap is made of repurposed railings from a burnt-out Burlington, VT, courthouse. And though the warehouse, garage, and courthouse’s stories have reached their end, they have all contributed to the tale of Carson Street Clothiers and this space—a story that is just beginning. a

For the Carson Street Clothiers project, design-build company Hard-Décor applied a multitude of metal-working processes, from forging to rolling and bending, through welding and machining, to cold and hot patinas and finishes. The result is a collection of objects that runs from rough to delicate and small to large, helping to display merchandise in an elegant way that doesn’t compete with or overshadow it. More examples of Hard Décor’s work can be seen in the Wafels and Dinges project by D+DS, also featured in this issue.



The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014


Internationally Inspired Interiors This model-turned-designer pulls her “eclectic chic” style from all corners of the globe

When Victoria Vogel transitioned from her career as a model to that of an interior designer, her biggest challenge was getting people to take her seriously. “Eventually, clients started to appreciate me for my work, but it definitely required patience and perseverance,” she says. Exercising those traits paid off, as she’s completed residential projects in Miami, London, New York, and Monte Carlo since establishing her own interiordesign label and company, Vogel Interiors, in 2009. After growing up in Italy, schooling in the South of France and London, assisting designer Richard J. Boone in Miami, and traveling the world, Vogel brings a style that she deems Photos courtesy of Vogel Interiors

“eclectic chic” to her design work. “New York City and Marrakesh have inspired me the most,” she says, “but my style has few boundaries and is influenced by my exposure to all the prevalent styles in the countries I’ve lived in and visited.” But if she could redesign the interior of any famous building, it’s London that Vogel would return to and Buckingham Palace that would be getting revamped. “I do like the element of surprise, so mixing antiques with some industrial and contemporary pieces would definitely be something different for that space,” she says. “However, I’m not sure how much the royal family would appreciate the makeover!”a


Photography by: David Brown Photography

Photography by: Nancy Sidelinger Photography by: Singleton Photography

Customized Design. What’s in Your Future?



The Informer

Jan/Feb 2014

IN THE DETAILS Two interior designers describe their projects and processes, one inspiring feature at a time By Jill McDonnell Architecture: the newest solution for spending more quality time with your family. That was the result, anyway, from the renovation of this North Carolina residence, whose redesigned main space allowed flexibility in how the family spent time together at home. “For me as a designer, this re-enforces my conviction that well-designed spaces improve your life,” says Jill Spaeh of Spaeh Architecture + Environments, which developed the home’s design concept and interior space planning.

BARBOUR SPANGLE Though they chose to settle in North Carolina, Anne Barnhardt’s clients still wanted their home to pay homage to the many other states where they had lived. They also wanted to create a space that emphasized family. Keeping those influences in mind, Barbour Spangle Design Group gave the family’s previously ’90s-style, traditional home a fitting overhaul.

The foyer contains a standard pendant from Currey & Company made of recycled glass discs and wrought iron. The design team customized the fixture by removing the candle portion and replacing it with a custom-made bronze base and Edison bulbs.

The Belgian linen sofa is luxuriously large to accommodate family members and guests, and the design team chose to bump out the fireplace so that the inviting element is visible from the front door.

Support structure beams are made of reclaimed lumber, giving new purpose to old wood and saving a few trees in the process.

Photos by Lauren Hutchinson Clark,

The home’s open kitchen and living and dining rooms speak to Texas’s expansiveness. A color palette of earth tones and neutrals, and windows that bring the outdoors in, are a Colorado influence, while California casual is embedded in the home’s clean-lined cabinetry. And as a mother herself, Barnhardt, who sadly since has passed away, made sure that every design choice would help the family live better together—and be drawn back home in years to come. This can be seen in the close proximity of the family’s separate areas to one another, which also is a reflection of the tightknit nature of New Jersey. “We wanted the family to walk in and feel the rush of warmth and love awaiting, and for friends to come in and feel like they belong,” says Christi Barbour, president and partner at Barbour Spangle. That’s no matter what state they hail from…or where they live now. a

Jan/Feb 2014

The Informer


DESIGNS BY HUMAN Clean. Fresh. The antithesis of darkness. When Designs by Human principal designer Joe Human was tasked with opening up an Idaho home’s living space, he brought to bear all of these attributes and more by incorporating white into his design palette. The whole effect is ethereal, from the walls that provide a dramatic introduction to the kitchen countertops and front media-room doors that are both trimmed in quartz. Human further made the space inviting by pushing the existing kitchen back into the existing dining room, and closing off the front room so children could play or guests could catch a brief respite. “I also lowered the ceiling heights to a consistent ten feet to unify these separate zones,” he says. Whether it’s used as an accent color or the principal design choice, Human’s renovation is a master class in how a confluence of adjectives—classic, chic, bright—can be achieved through the use of a white décor scheme. a The kitchen backsplash is a glass tile with varying fields of opacity and sizes. Human used grey grout to shift the focus onto the other kitchen elements and give the tile a more subdued look.

Human introduced a modern yet homey vibe into his lighting choices by balancing the wall sconces, which are hard metal pieces, with softer lights like the entry pendant.

Human’s most stunning use of white is in the entryway, where the walls are composed of a tumbled/variegated marble. The marble extends upward and is trimmed with painted MDF and aluminum reveals.

Photos by Annie Garner




Design Thinking

Nov/Dec 2013


Lorem Ipsum Omnim qui comnistis molorpore nonectatis esciet iuntorest

Jan/Feb 2014


Marcel Wanders’ Egg series of vases, inspired by filling condoms with hard-boiled eggs


t is an hour past my appointed 30 minutes with internationally acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders when I finally hear his voice on the other end of the line. “I am so sorry for being so long,” he apologizes. “I was sitting with the main curator of the museum and things just ran off. It’s the crazy world I’m living in, but I’m here now.”

The museum in question is Amsterdam’s Stedelijk, where Wanders will mount the largest-ever presentation of his work in February. As his perennially calm voice, perfectly tousled hair, and open-collared crisp white shirt attest, the self-proclaimed “Designer of the New Age” and New York Times’ heralded

“Lady Gaga of the design world” is both a masterful juggler and consummate performer. Like any self-respecting entertainer, the product that Wanders is most intent on pedaling is always himself: his logo is his own face sporting a golden clown nose. “It’s the quality of who you are as a person, as a brand, that goes into the thing,” he says. “This gives me an absolute obligation to be fabulous.” With a reputation built on the kind of product launches at which guests find their glasses filled with champagne by a woman suspended upside down from a chandelier, it comes as little surprise that Wanders was raised by a businessman father with

a theatrical streak and a penchant for singing operetta. “I learned from him the ability to stand out, to enhance life,” the designer explains. In August of 2003, a freshly 40-year-old Wanders delivered an address for Industrial Designers Society of America entitled “The Naked Designer” in which he outlined 10 insights for designing without fear. Stepping onto the stage in his typical dandy attire, Wanders began by recounting a recent nightmare of finding himself standing naked before an audience. “It’s hot in here!” he exclaimed midway through the first of his 10 points. “I hope you don’t mind if I take off my jacket.” With each subsequent presentation slide, the designer removed an item

of clothing. By number nine, he was down to his boxer shorts, and ten found Wanders exiting to applause, wearing nothing but a towel. Moments later a new slide appeared above the empty podium: “Rule No. 11: Always Give More Than Expected.” That was when a naked Wanders streaked from the back of the auditorium onto the stage with just enough time to throw candy into the audience before the auditorium was plunged into darkness. Proclaimed as the next Philippe Starck—by Starck himself—Wanders’ touch extends far beyond mere product design. With the design heavyweight’s high-gloss, CONTINUED g Image courtesy of Marcel Wanders




Jan/Feb 2014

“I love design because you feel that at some point, everything can fit. Everything can be perfect.”

Wanders’ Snotty Vase (Influenza), based on 3-D scans of airborne mucus

semi-subversive/ semi-sweet sex appeal now gracing everything from MAC cosmetics to the Mondrian hotel in South Beach, it seems only fitting that his favorite film is Rocky. Like his work, the designer is never lacking in razzmatazz. Describing himself as “super curious, extremely passionate, and very energetic,” the designer forbids his studio employees to work if they are having a down day, reasoning that the emotion with which something is created is felt in the design. “I want to make sure that we live in a world which is (CONTINUED)

Images courtesy of Marcel Wanders

super fantastic,” he says. One thing is certain: Wanders’ world is super successful. Since first entering the spotlight with the Knotted Chair in 1996—a macramé-like design made of epoxy-soaked rope with a carbon-fiber core—the designer has built a reputation on work that fuses technology and artistry with a personal love of what Wanders likes to call the “off-side.” “I want to make things more beautiful than perhaps they are,” he notes, which is precisely what he has done with his celebrated Snotty Vases, derived from 3-D

scanned images of airborne mucus. Snotty was followed by Egg, a series of vases inspired by filling condoms with hard-boiled eggs. “I love design because you feel that at some point, everything can fit,” Wanders says. “Everything can be perfect.” But that perfection is far from effortless: a consummate storyteller, Wanders is one of the savviest businessmen and marketers of his generation. Besides serving as creative director for Moooi, the home-and-office design powerhouse that he cofounded in 2001, the bejeweled Dutchman has run the gamut

of global brand collaborations from Alessi, Kartell, Poliform, B&B Italia, and Target to Swarovski, Marks & Spencer, KLM, and Puma. With numerous awards and everincreasing popular demand for his brand of entertainment, there is no denying that the Dutch dynamo leaves much of the design world gaga. Wanders admits that there are aspects of his personality that never have come out in his professional work. “If I am really honest,” the 50-year-old says, “in the last five years, I have begun to feel that, after

Jan/Feb 2014


For Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, the first Hyatt hotel in the Netherlands, Wanders was tabbed to reflect the history and unique characteristics of the city throughout the building’s interiors.

such a long time of trying to always be positive, sometimes I’m not being real. Life is not only great.” Despite his carefully crafted sunny selfassurance and effortless cool, the designer has not always tripped through the tulips. When a 17-year-old Wanders set his sights on becoming a designer, he enrolled in Design Academy Eindhoven—the Netherlands’ most prestigious design school—only to flunk out nine months later. Failing to persuade his teacher to give him a second chance, Wanders transferred to the smaller ArtEZ Institute of

the Arts in Arnhem, where he vowed that for every assignment, he’d do double the work: one version to please his teacher and one for himself. By the time he graduated, the cum-laude student had won three design competitions— including one in which each of the 33 other contestants were from Eindhoven—and had his final school project featured on the cover of a national design magazine. Maintaining that there is no place for negativity and cynicism in design, Wanders has started expressing what

he calls his darker, more uncertain side through painting. “They may not be as happy as you would expect a Marcel Wanders piece to be,” he says of his artwork, “but they are more intimate.” The designer’s solo exhibition, Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk – 25 Years of Design, will mark the first time that Wanders puts this more nuanced, unvarnished side on display. The exhibition will shed light on the designer’s mind through the White Zone, a “left-brain space” that presents a thematic analysis of the Dutchman’s

work, and its contrasting “right-brained” Black Zone that is described as being more theatrical, intimate, and personal in nature. In playful acknowledgment of the way in which the man himself will be laid bare in the exhibition, Wanders’ press release depicts Marcel pinned to a board above a label that reads “Large Wingless Butterfly.” Now 50, the naked designer is again facing his fears and revealing himself in newly intimate and nuanced ways. The result seems destined to make Wanders—as man and brand—both more real and more interesting. a



Head to every Tuesday to hear the week's best albums

Jan/Feb 2014


Commercial / JonesBaker

Retail / UnSpace

Interiors / By Design

Full-service design firm puts a modern spin on the staid bowling-alley style, p52

A sleek physical presence matches the ingenuity of an online suit retailer, p56

Bold colors and rich textures highlight a Houston renovation, p59

Design Thinking RBDA WINNERS

Three expertly assembled eateries earn honors from the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards BY AMANDA KOELLNER

Opened as an extension of a “new Nordic”-inspired dinnerware line, Denmark’s Höst takes the RBDA’s “best restaurant” for 2013, p. 46. Photo by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen / Norm Architects.




Design Thinking

Jan/Feb 2014

Prior to becoming the award-winning restaurant it is now, the space that Höst occupies was a night club with white plaster walls, low ceilings, and a basement with 20 small hallways and corridors. “It was completely different and very hard to see the potential,” says Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, architect and partner at Norm Architects.

Höst of the Year A modern Danish restaurant channels an urban farmyard to win the RBDA’s “best restaurant” of 2013

Restaurants aren’t generally built with the purpose of showing off plates, bowls, and glasses, but that’s exactly why Denmark’s Höst came about. “The whole thing started with the design of a range of dinnerware we did for the Danish [design] company Menu,” says Jonas BjerrePoulsen, architect and partner at Norm Architects, noting that the dinnerware was inspired by the eclectic “new Nordic” cuisine that is used by many Danish chefs

in Copenhagen. “Many of the chefs used different kinds of materials to serve their dishes on: wood, stone, colored stoneware, textiles, etc. They symbolically tell the guests about the element that the produce was coming from.” Working collaboratively, the architecture firm and design company created a collection of gray, dirty blue, and green colors together with wood and slate that they deemed New Norm Dinnerware.

Photos by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen / Norm Architects

“For the launch of the dinnerware, we created a digital world of inspiration at and a physical world, which was Höst, together with Danish restaurateurs Cofoco,” BjerrePoulsen says. “To match the dinnerware, we came up with the idea of making an urban farmyard restaurant.” The goal was to create a metropolitan, indoor space that feels like an outdoor, Scandinavian farmyard. To do so, the team primarily used reclaimed materials with a backstory and the proper patina. They designed tables from old ceiling constructions and found windows from an old hospital. Almost every element was custom made for

the space, including lamps that were sandblasted to get just the right surface and tone to match the concept. Höst also boasts a winter garden, a bar designed to resemble a stack of wood, and all-wood bathrooms. A long, private dining table in the basement is Viking inspired and comes in at more than 13 feet. “My favorite thing about the restaurant is the series of events that you, as a guest, experience when moving through it,” BjerrePoulsen says. “There’s always a new, exciting element when you turn a corner and the spatial experience is quite different.” a

Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking





Design Thinking

Jan/Feb 2014

Tucked Away Snug within the cellar arches of Kensington’s Ampersand Hotel, Apero Bar & Restaurant nods to local history

The rooms in the Ampersand Hotel, located in the heart of London’s Kensington district, take influence from nearby Victorian museums. Ornithology, astrology, music, botany, and geometry all thematically appear. The hotel’s new dining spot, Apero Bar & Restaurant, ties into these institutions while paying homage to travel and collection. “The Victorians were keen on reaching out into the Photos by Amy Murrell

world and bringing back items and delicacies from far-flung places,” says Jacqui Kirk, a director at London-based Dexter Moren Associates, the firm that handled the restaurant’s design. “The concept for the dining room was to create a space that would stand apart from the hotel, but it was also important that it embrace its location, so we referenced the local museums through the notions of collections and collecting.”

One such allusion comes in the form of a more than 10foot “cabinet of curiosities” that welcomes guests as they enter from the street. “It’s filled with a whole host of delights to sip an aperitif in front of,” Kirk says. Additionally, much of the fixed joinery takes influence from museum display cases with a plethora of dark wood, brass fittings, and classic leathers. To balance this aesthetic with the menu, exposed and painted

brickwork offers a Mediterranean vibe. “The space previously acted as a buffet service for both breakfast and dinner,” Kirk says, “with laminated chipboard surfaces and suspended ceilings concealing features that had not seen the light of day for some time. We chose to strip all of this back to celebrate the original brickwork and vaulted arches to create a lighter space that’s more inviting.” a

Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking


At Workshop Kitchen + Bar, a communal dining table leads the eye to the back of the space, where the bar, made entirely of concrete, becomes the focal point.

Workshopping a Winner Contrast and concrete convert a historic courtyard complex in Palm Springs Many proverbial hats have sat atop Palm Springs’ El Paseo building since it was built back in 1926 in a Spanish Eclectic style. During the ’40s, it was the home of the city council, and in the ’50s, the space transformed into a movie theater with tickets and popcorn for sale in the courtyard. Over the years, the site also has housed several art galleries, and most recently, it served as a Design Within Reach showroom. Given the building’s rich past and arid location, when Manhattan-based Soma Architects joined forces with Workshop Kitchen + Bar owners Michael Beckman and Joseph Mourani to transform the

inside of the space, both history and environment were of top consideration. “Palm Springs, a desert town itself, is a very harsh environment, and the courtyard of the El Paseo building, surrounded by white walls, only amplifies this harshness,” says Steven Townsend, lead designer at Soma. “Our intent was to directly contrast this context by creating a stark contemporary interior through the use of color, material, and geometry.” The 3,500-square-foot space already boasted 27-foot cathedral ceiling trusses, huge pillars, and 17-foot-high barn-like windows, all of which guided

the project rhythmically and spatially. A penchant for an industrial-chic style led the team to architectural concrete, black steel, monolithic forms, and earthy, classicyet-modern tableware. “We wanted to use exclusively noble materials, and, in contrast with the surrounding context, create a simple, sleek, and contrasting space,” Townsend says. “Our intervention creates strong vertical and horizontal lines, which visually separate our intervention from the existing colonial building.” To complement the wide use of concrete, which can

be found in the large booths, huge communal dining table, bar, and back wall, Townsend and his colleagues used black leather padding on the booths and also collaborated with Beirut-based lighting-design company PS LAB on rendered blacksteel lighting. “We collaborated closely with our engineers and consultants in order to efficiently resolve issues and ensure the best possible scenario for our concept,” Townsend says. “We’re very proud that in this project, there is not a noticeable difference between the first renderings we presented to the client and what you see in the space today.” a Photos by David Lee




Design Thinking

Jan/Feb 2014

The extensive details in Wafels and Dinges were an exercise in creative problem solving for Hard-Décor, a designbuild and metal-fabrication company based in Brooklyn. “Almost every piece of furniture went through at least a couple of versions,” says owner Daniel Bailey, “modified based on testing and assessing life-size prototypes. The 22-foot oval service counter, with all its functions and related fixtures and details, required the incorporation of wood, glass, and stone into our regular metal-working routine, and pushed us to find solutions and operate out of our vocational comfort zone.”

Restaurant Roundup

Attention to Appetite A waffle truck’s first café reflects the details of a centuries-old tradition


Slinging Belgian waffles, both Brussels and Liège style, from trucks and carts across New York City since 2009, Wafels & Dinges has a cult following in the Big Apple. Ellen Depoorter and Jeroen De Schrijver, founders of D+DS Architecture, were partners in the venture with owner Thomas Degeest from the beginning, designing the brand’s first logo and truck and even brainstorming with Degeest about the menu. So it was only natural that D+DS would design the company’s first café. Photos by Karen Sterling

The Belgian wafel was introduced to the United States during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, so Depoorter and her team wanted to create a 1960s diner feel. Shelves along the perimeter showcase antique wafel irons, customer artwork, and sepia bicycling photos, adding a nostalgic touch to warm the space. The storefront itself is a simple blackened steel frame, allowing maximum transparency for guests to see the baking process. A counter runs the full width of the window, allowing

people to lean against it from outside, or sit on bar stools inside. The iconic floating counter, created by Hard Décor, was the heart of the design process. “We are especially proud of the counter,” Depoorter says. “It is key to the customer’s experience and interaction with the product and the staff. It needed to be special and stand out as an independent object, a little like the truck.” The counter is made from a continuous durable stone top similar in color

and texture to Belgian blue stone. White metal panels with yellow accents and ribbons with rivets to cover the seams lend an industrial flair. “It was also important to show attention to craftsmanship in the detailing, as the baking of wafels is a true art,” Depoorter says. “They’re using centuriesold traditional Belgian recipes with top ingredients, and the baking itself requires experience and finesse. Baking is the star of the space.” a

Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking


Restaurant Roundup

NO FEAR OF HEIGHTS Hospitality specialist uses landmark’s vast space to his advantage Full-height drapes, over-scaled chandeliers, lively lighting, and flexible spacing are the hallmarks of CLO Design’s work on the Waterfront Station location of Vancouver’s Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar.


With its 30-foot ceilings and full-height Palladian windows, Vancouver’s heritage-protected Waterfront Station would be an intimidating location for many interior designers. However, Robert Clark, the principal partner at CLO Design, was inspired by the neoclassical architecture from the building’s 1914 construction as the Pacific terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway. For Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar’s design, he bridges the gap between the historic landmark that the station once was and the modern transportation hub for trains, ferries, and buses that it has become today. “We wanted to accentuate the height of the space and create drama,” Clark says. His design objective was to create a warm, funky, and lively space. “We were a little irreverent in the overall design. The bar really makes that statement with a glowing

resin back bar and huge chandeliers playing against the traditional envelope.” Full-height rayon and nylon drapes also accentuate the ceilings, with a sheer layer screening light and acting as a counterpoint to heavier drapes with a woven scroll design.

Lighting was an important design element, and Clark had custom pieces created, including enormous chandeliers featuring traditional crystal arms and teardrop crystals sitting inside a ring of stainless-steel ball chain. But with two levels and looming space, Clark wanted to create a sense of intimacy for diners by breaking up the restaurant into several smaller areas. A satellite bar called the Eastside Lounge is set against brick at one corner, with cooler tones quite different from the rest of the restaurant. This space can be closed off for private

parties and also helps bartenders deliver drinks more efficiently. Clark was especially thoughtful of the restaurant’s flow of traffic since he specializes in hospitality projects: movable banquettes allow for tighter dining territories, and a private room under the mezzanine is perfect for bigger groups that want a cozy spot. On the mezzanine itself, backlit metal panels create an impressive glowing wall. “The space is highly visible from the outside streets,” Clark says, “so the mezzanine wall and chandeliers can be seen from blocks away—especially at night.” aZ

Photos by Robert Stefanowicz,




Design Thinking

Jan/Feb 2014

Commercial Spotlight

REDESIGNING A PASTIME Full-Service Design Firm Makes Dallas’s Bowl & Barrel the Kingpin of Bowling Alleys This concrete shell was transformed into a contemporary bowling alley—with a warm, industrial warehouse aesthetic—that includes a restaurant combination of modern American tavern and classic European beer hall.


Though not as ubiquitous as Starbucks, bowling alleys remain a common presence in many cities and towns. But lest you think that the beers, balls, and pins are simply your grandparents’ idea of a good time, full-service design firm JonesBaker brings about a pinsetter sensibility to create Bowl & Barrel, a unique, boutique bowling outfit in the heart of Dallas. Giving the somewhat dated bowling experience a contemporary facelift was a challenge that William Baker of JonesBaker was prepared to face. “We wanted to reinterpret the typical American bowling alley that has had the same Photos by Kevin Marple,

basic look since the 1950s by reinventing it and giving it a warmer, less corporate, more intimate vibe,” Baker says. To put a spin on the staid alley look, JonesBaker worked with the structural columns in the space to help break up the 15 lanes into a smaller grouping of spaces. “We decided to break up the ceiling by adding arched wood trusses, alternating with raised areas, and custom designing the focal walls behind the pins,” Baker says. Comfort and warmth seep from every surface of the alley, thanks to a color scheme based upon natural materials. “When we began,

this was a typical shell space with no inherent character other than concrete columns,”Baker says. “We added brick, the wood trusses, and the wood floors to give the space a warm, industrial warehouse aesthetic.” Furniture was another important consideration for JonesBaker to provide Bowl & Barrel with a vibe akin to hanging out in a friend’s loft. The firm accomplished the casual cool feel through the use of sofas, lounge furniture, and softer lighting. Food also plays a key part in the Bowl & Barrel experience, and JonesBaker understood the importance of creating a captivating design aesthetic to highlight the full-service restaurant

combination of a modern American tavern and a classic European beer hall. “We used a large communal table in the dining room,” Baker says, “along with a long bar backed with steel-frame windows in the bowling area and an open kitchen surrounded by wood-display shelving and vintage crockery, crates, and copper cookware.” Whether you’re in the mood for a few frames or an entire series, the sport’s time-honored traditions still abound at Bowl & Barrel. But its modern digs and design aesthetic help propel the game out of the past, assuring bowling’s spot as a popular pastime of the present and future. aZ

Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking


“ We added brick, the wood trusses, and the wood floors to give the space a warm, industrial warehouse aesthetic.”


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Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking


Restaurant Roundup

Welcome to (New York in) Miami Charles St. NYC Kitchen brings a slice of the West Village to Southern Florida Charles Street NYC Kitchen’s was declared one of the best brunch spots by Miami locals, and the menu also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a variety of cocktails, wine, and beer. The food is locally sourced, and designer Ricardo Velasquez says the must-try menu item is the octopus salad.

When tasked with embodying the Big Apple origins of this restaurant’s proprietors in a beachy setting, Ricardo Velasquez and Cesar Conde of Casa Conde & Associates knew that they needed to adopt a New York state of mind. “We basically imagined somebody from New York, with the city’s aesthetics in mind, opening a place in Miami Beach,” Velasquez

says. “We tried to keep the NYC roots while adding little touches of local Miami flavor, like the chairs and bar made of Mayan teak from Guatemala, which is a very warm, tropical wood.” The design firm also used a porcelain tile that resembles wood with a herringbone pattern on the floors, flamed black absolute granite for the countertops, and Carrara

marble tops for the tables. Brass light fixtures and railings, antique mirrors, cowhide banquettes, and booths set against rich, dark wood all nod to New York City. “The wall treatment adds a lot of drama too,” Velasquez says. “We wanted a wood-paneling look, but to help the budget, we used only applied moldings on the drywall and painted everything the same color for a really nice look.”

The 70-seat restaurant, located in the Boulan South Beach Hotel in the heart of the area’s cultural district, opened last March and is designed with all hours of the day in mind. “My favorite aspect is how comfortable you feel in the space,” Velasquez says. “You can eat breakfast there with a very homey feel or experience a very cool vibe late at night with dim lights and cool music.” a Photos courtesy of Casa Conde




Design Thinking

Jan/Feb 2014

Commercial Spotlight

Measuring Up Fashion-forward retailer My Suit finds the perfect fit in studio UnSpace


After several leading design offices tried their hands at giving a physical presence to the virtual-based My Suit retailer, UnSpace founder Ji Rook Kim took an unconventional first step. “The first thing I did was make my own suit,” Kim says, recalling his process of selecting a designer-quality, made-to-measure suit online. “They weren’t sure what I was doing at first,” the designer chuckles. “I didn’t give them a presentation; I just kept asking questions.” Highly influenced Photo by Christophe Randall at CR Photo

by his work with Japanese architect Itami Jun, the founder of this interior/ architecture studio seeks to incorporate the concept of yin and yang into all of his work. “I try to let the product talk to me and design itself,” Kim says. With My Suit, which offers a fully customizable menswear shopping experience for the same price as most off-therack options, Kim aspired to extend their streamlined online ingenuity to the store. At My Suit Wall Street, the sleek, award-winning

second store that UnSpace designed for the company, white walls dotted with fabric-covered magnetic blocks act as a customizable fabric bar for customers who want to test the weight and feel of the various options. To help suit-seekers further tailor their experience, runwaylike countertops lined with iPads extend throughout the store. Crowning the space, Kim’s award-winning digital mannequin—a human-scale series of display panels made out of four video monitors—projects a succession of photos that

produce a retro flipbookstyle image of a virtual model walking a catwalk. As the lining of My Suit’s pockets reveals, UnSpace has proved to be the perfect fit: the company has now tripled its projected sales targets and recently opened a third location within Manhattan. And Kim, who now finds himself designing a set of fixtures to carry My Suit nationwide, takes pride in the collaborative success: “Just a little design can launch a company and make them successful.” a

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Jan/Feb 2014

Design Thinking


Residential Design

THE COLOUR AND THE SHAPE Bold accents, rich textures, and curvaceous details enliven a Houston home Top left: The rich colors of the granite in the master bath and closet—a light graytaupe with streaks of burgundy, raisin, and mustard yellow—inspired the palette of the bed frame, accent pillows, and wall color in the master bedroom.

Top right: Powder baths are the place to make a statement, according to Denny, and this one rises to the occasion. “You can really push the design over the top since it’s a small area where not a lot of time is spent at once,” she says. Denny tried several different red paints on the vanity before finding just the right shade in an automotive paint with a high-gloss finish. The mirror was custom made to mimic the design of the mosaic tile, and the carvedstone sink implies movement, a design theme throughout.

The goal for this residential renovation, according to interior designer Brenda Denny of By Design Interiors, was to transform the look and feel of the space into that of a retreat or luxury hotel—a comfortable, engulfing space for her clients to relax and unwind. The dramatic palette of taupe,

gray, fuchsia, and gold was inspired by the unusual quartzite granite in the master bathroom and closet. “I have always been most inspired by color and texture,” Denny says, “and I am constantly pushing myself to meet or exceed my clients’ expectations with exciting new color and fabric combinations.” a

When a client gives the designer free reign with design concepts and budget, wonderful results can ensue. “That was the case on this project,” says Katheryn Houk of Accent Cabinets, one of Houston’s premier cabinetry fabricators. For this interior renovation, the company’s flat-panel cabinets expertly accent the master bath, helping to achieve By Design’s theme of movement.

Photos by Brad Carr at B-Rad Studios,




Jan/Feb 2014

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Notes From the Bureau


Solís Betancourt & Sherrill

TIMELESS STYLE An architecture-and-interiors duo lends its distinctive voice to create harmonious spaces It’s ironic that José Solís Betancourt and Paul Sherrill have resisted defining the very thing that’s made their namesake firm such a success in the design industry: their style. And these days, they really don’t need to. As regular fixtures on every major “best of design” list with a recently published 20-year retrospective featuring 14 of their most impressive projects, their work and reputation speak volumes. Even when pressed on the subject of their design style, the two Washington, DC-based designers demurred, offering an almost diplomatic explanation for their ambivalence. CONTINUED g Photos by Marcos Galvany; architecture by Richard Williams; landscape architecture by homeowner Richard Arentz.




Notes From the Bureau

Jan/Feb 2014

(CONTINUED) “Every project is very different, as each one is really tailored to the client and the context of their needs,” Solís Betancourt says.

Indeed, even as Solís Betancourt and Sherrill avoid certain stylistic terms that could otherwise confine them to a trademark aesthetic, collaboration is a word from which they’ll never shy away. For starters, there’s their own partnership, which they established two years after Solís Betancourt had founded his own firm in 1990. Despite coming from vastly different backgrounds— Solís Betancourt grew up in Puerto Rico and later studied architecture at Cornell, whereas Sherrill is a North Carolina native who studied art and design at University of North Carolina at Greensboro—the two share more commonalities than differences, both CUSTOM DETAILS: in terms of taste as well Just as Solís Betancourt as methodology. “I think & Sherrill works closely we have similar training,” with clients to deliver on Sherrill notes, “and a their dreams and visions, similar approach of throw- frequent collaborator ing everything on the table Innsbruck Renovations and then editing.” uses its expertise in planning and intricate custom “Paul tends to be more tra- work to build distinctive ditional,” Solís Betancourt homes and reflect its adds. “I tend to be more residents’ unique styles. modern. But we each have “All are exceptional in their a lot of respect for both own way,” says founder styles, and I think you Josef Gotsch. see that in our portfolio.” Creating such a balanced synergy between those two concepts very often means layering classical Old World elements like art and antique furnishings with modern pieces—all in similarly light and creamy palettes. The result is a richly textured yet unstrained space where you’re hard-pressed to find a singular standout element or focal piece. Instead it’s the harmony of the room on the whole that reveals the designers’ timeless sensibility. To date, Solís Betancourt’s work on landscape architect Richard Arentz’s Virginia home, Running Cedar (completed in 2006), remains one of the firm’s most telling collaborations. A triple whammy of a partnership in which he teamed up with Arentz and architect Richard Williams, the three dynamos created a property where the interiors, architecture, and gardens exist as one fluid entity. Each expert’s commanding touch is apparent as elements of stone blend with clean lines and expansive windows to mediate a fluid dialogue between Arentz’s outside world and Solís Betancourt’s muted interiors. In fact, if there is one word that SB&S might concede to endorsing as a style descriptor, it would be “timeless.” Holly Hunt, a revered designer of luxury home furnishings, agrees. Photos by Marcos Galvany; architecture by Richard Williams; landscape architecture by homeowner Richard Arentz.

Jan/Feb 2014

Notes From the Bureau


“Contemporary design doesn’t always live very long,” she says, “and you can look at something of [José’s] and you don’t know the year it was from.” In 1995, the design maven approached Solís Betancourt to create a lighting collection for her namesake label, a sleek assortment of sconces, floor lamps, and chandeliers outfitted with subtle industrial-inspired elements and materials. “We’ve sold his work for a very long time,” Hunt says. “People are always looking for new furniture and updated new pieces, but José’s lighting just seems to have a very long life cycle.” Though exact dates haven’t been announced, both Hunt and Solís Betancourt have said that the collection may expand into other areas such A BRIGHT PARTNERSHIP: as furniture and upholJosé Solís Betancourt has stery in the near future. his own lighting collection Current SB&S projects for Holly Hunt, including the include a social club in intricately designed Aureole the DC-based area as Chandelier, a contemporary well as a boutique hotel yet classic blend of metal in Puerto Rico—a first and light. for the firm, which tends to focus on residential projects over commercial ones. “That’ll be a different thought process for us, which we’re very excited about,” Solís Betancourt says. Regardless of the ultimate style or aesthetic, their work promises to be recognizable. “A friend said she once saw a project in a magazine and knew immediately that it was our project,” he recalls. “And this friend, who’s in the opera world, said, ‘It’s like someone in my field recognizing a voice. Someone can be singing Verdi, Wagner, whatever—but in the end, it’s the same voice.” — Laura Neilson Terra Studio

FINDING SPACE IN THE CITY This architecture firm makes “urban comfort” a reality in a historic Philly ’hood Any loyal urbanite will tell you that nothing compares to the vibrancy of city life. But for many city dwellers, urban living can mean having to sacrifice a little extra room to breathe. “One of the challenges of building in a city is that you really have to capitalize on the space you are given,” says principal architect Timothy Kerner of Terra Studio, a Philadelphia-based architecture and design firm. So when Kerner and his team were tasked to completely renovate and redesign a relatively narrow townhouse in CONTINUED g Terra Studio photo by Sam Oberter,




Notes From the Bureau

Philadelphia’s historic Bella Vista neighborhood, they went to work on a design that would be stylish enough for the city but also bright, casual, and spacious enough to accommodate day-to-day activities. (CONTINUED)

“We began this project by getting to know our clients and their lifestyle,” says Kerner, whose firm worked closely with the Sullivan Company, the general contractors for this project. “It was important for the house to link together many aspects of sustainable city living with the specific needs of the homeowners.” Providing the entire space with a warm, natural primary tone, Terra Studio used sustainably sourced bamboo f looring throughout the house and added energy-efficient glass doors to draw sunlight in through the kitchen from the back of the residence. A nd because t he ow ners of t he house utilize bicycles as their primary mode of tra nspor tation, Terra Studio decided to better integrate the transition ALL IN THE FAMILY: between the backyard A family-owned and and the side of the house, -operated GC specializing where their bikes a re in high-end renovations at the ready. The team and additions, The Sullivan designed a large multi- Company shined on this level ba ck deck t hat residential renovation facilitates a n orga nic thanks to an emphasis f low from outdoor to on quality materials and unique design features. indoor areas. “When collaborated cor“What we find with these rectly,” owner Jim Sullivan older houses is that they says, “the architect/ typically don’t have good contractor relationship connections between the allows design vision to be inter ior a nd ex terior successful, giving both spaces,” Kerner says. “By trades great satisfaction restructuring the house, and leaving the client we opened it up to create extremely excited and more useful and varied happy.” living areas.” When it came to the interior design of the residence, team member Carlo Fiammenghi chose contemporary furnishings that complement both the client’s art collection and the building materials that are used throughout the house. The cohesive interplay of cool and warm colors and materials successfully creates a look that is simultaneously chic and welcoming. “Some austerely modern houses are a bit inhospitable,” Kerner says. “With this design, all of the elements come together to create a modern and comfortable urban residence.” — Margot Brody Photos by Sam Oberter,

Jan/Feb 2014

Jan/Feb 2014

Notes From the Bureau


Community II

A PERFECT PARTNERSHIP Paring up with Chicago Brass made a second showroom possible for Community Home Supply For 75 years, Community Home Supply sat tucked away in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood—quite a few “el” stops from the hub of the city’s design industry that surrounds the Merchandise Mart downtown. But in March of 2012, the company’s partnership with plumbing/hardware shop Chicago Brass allowed for Community to begin taking over that brand’s showroom, and thus Community II was born. “Our Lincoln showroom is a great foundation to build on because of its history, reputation of excellent service, product offering, educated staff, and a great trade following,” says Amy Sicheneder, senior design consultant and showroom manager of the River North location. “The partnership gave us the ability to offer a more exclusive showroom that shows our middle-to-higher-end product in a quiet and creative atmosphere that is perfect for the architecture-and-design client.” Adapting the showroom took one year (though the space remained open during this time), and the redesigned Community II officially opened in March of 2013. The core structure of the showroom remained unchanged, and some of the displays that Chicago Brass had in place stayed put as well. But to show the diversity of Community’s collections, many additional pieces were brought in and an overall reorganization was necessary. Sicheneder and owner Marla Richardson redid the kitchen and cabinet displays and painted the majority of the showroom a muted grey with black accents (“Community” colors), along with a striking red wall that faces the front windows. “The showroom is organized by contemporary, transitional, and traditional products in mostly vignette-style displays,” Sichender says. “None of the pieces are branded by manufacturer signage or factory-built displays, which induces creativity and allows the designer or architect to drive their client to a solution based on design and not brand recognition.” A wealth of products are available in the showroom, and the partnership that the brand continues with Chicago Brass makes the combined companies a one-stop shop for anything related to kitchen and bath remodeling. “Many of our products are exclusive or semi-exclusive to us in this market,” Sicheneder says. “We also offer a safe place for designers and architects to go and know that their pricing is protected and their business is valued.” Photos by Tyler Mallory,




Notes From the Bureau


PENTHOUSE PIZAZZ Award-winning design office turns an unruly duplex into an open, organized abode When the owners of this Manhattan duplex penthouse purchased it in 2012, they liked the general layout but not so much the original developer-level finishes. They asked architects Ben Pell and Tate Overton of New York City firm PellOverton to help make it their own. “In addition to upgrading and updating the apartment,” Pell says, “we felt there was opportunity to rethink the overall feel of the space without radically changing the layout.” Their design goal? Focusing on a few key areas to make the apartment feel more open and continuous. The original kitchen, for example, opened to the living space, but the height and mismatched assortment of beams, sprinkler lines, and light fixtures on the ceiling made the spaces feel unruly and disconnected. To remedy this, the architects concealed these items with a series of dropped ceiling panels that integrate the lighting and sprinklers as a single, cleanly organized plane. In the study, they replaced the original floor-to-ceiling wall with a lower-height, custom millwork wall that serves as a storage and media area for the living room and defines the space of the entry foyer without disrupting the continuity of the ceiling. A neutral color palette for the overall finishes (wood floors, millwork cabinetry, stone, and tiles) contrasts with intermittent pops of color—for instance, on the center wall of the stair leading to the terrace level, the interior of the fireplace’s surrounding cabinet, and the interior surfaces of the media wall and study shelving. “While the existing walls, f loor, and ceiling of the apartment were thought of as a kind of neutral shell,” Overton says, “these moments of color were conceived as revealing some kind of softer, hidden interior.” Materials were selected to provide variation without losing consistency. In the kitchen, this meant darker gray stained white oak for cabinetry and lighter gray linear-patterned tile and stone with a bright white glass backsplash and peninsula surround. Custom millwork walls and cabinets throughout were painted with a hard lacquer finish to give them a furniture-grade sheen. A new, deep millwork screen surrounds and unites the window wall as a single design element, concealing the large heating and cooling units that once protruded obtrusively into the apartment. The result is a loft-like New York City living space that is open, airy, and anything but ordinary.

Photos by Mikiko Kikuyama,

Jan/Feb 2014

Jan/Feb 2014

Notes From the Bureau



ADJUSTABLE AESTHETICS NYC showroom delivers highend style for any space, without sacrificing functionality Based in Manhattan, interior-design showroom Atelier knows firsthand the challenges that New York City apartments pose. Atelier’s showroom of contemporary furniture and upholstery by fine Italian and German companies was carefully curated to inspire homeowners and designers to envision how the pieces might work in their own spaces—no matter the size. “A single sofa line may contain around 25 different pieces, allowing for homeowners and designers to create a composition to fit any space,” explains executive partner Tufan Eratici. This proved particularly helpful during Atelier’s collaboration with PellOverton on a 76th Street penthouse project. Combining aesthetics with functionality, Atelier provided the Plura Sofa and 566 Relax Chair for the penthouse’s living area, as well as the Infinity Dining Table and 675 Dining Chairs in the dining space. As the central element in the living area, the Plura piece separates living from dining. Its adjustable backrests allow for deep and narrow seating with either straight or relaxed lounging positions. The right arm a lso is adjustable—able to convert into a second chaise.

Rolf Benz 380 PLURA • • • • • • •

Base frame in metal, optionally with surface in Silver structured paintwork finish Black paintwork finish RAL 9017 Seat heights optionally 41 or 43 or 45 cm Seat with metal inner frame and integrated rotary function Nosag spring support Seat made from polyurethane foam, constructed in layers of different thicknesses and firmnesses, matched to one another, and covered with polyester fleece • Backrest with metal inner frame and integrated adjustment function • Back in polyurethane foam built up in coordinated layers of varying height, and fimness and covered with non-woven polyester • Downy-soft cushions with a filling of foam rods and polyester fibres Wave formation and depressions in the seat area are unavoidable, due to comfort and design reasons, even in high quality Rolf Benz upholstered furniture. All measurements are approximate.


Sectional sofa

Sofa 80



106 80


171 208


Corner modular sofa element 106 80

41 190 265

106 80



93 153 196

Closing chair with fixed footstool 80

41 153 196



80 106 92

Seat heights available

PLURA SOFA: Specializing in customizable comfort, Rolf Benz’s Plura sectional sofa boasts adjustable backrests and leg rests that unfurl and tuck in. It’s perfect for nearly any mode of relaxation—and it’s beautiful to boot. INFINITY DINING TABLE: Designed by Milan-based multi-culturalist Stefano Bigi, Porada’s Infinity table is a stunning piece for the dining room that features a glass top with a twisted base—made from either walnut or ash and fixed on a chromed metal ring—that adds a natural flair.

“When the backs are raised,” Eratici says, “it is a perfect separator of the two spaces architecturally, and functionally perfect for different uses of the living room.” A nd, perhaps most importantly, Atelier stocks hundreds of fabric a nd leather types in a variety of colors—so that when an architect or designer has a visualization of a space as broad-minded as PellOverton, “We are ready,” Eratici says.

Images courtesy of Atelier


Jan/Feb 2014


Eye Candy

A Home Among the Aspens Nature’s magic influences a lodge in the mountains BY LESLEY STANLEY / PHOTOS BY DANA HOFF




Eye Candy

Jan/Feb 2014


urrounded by lush groves of Aspen trees, this 16,000-square-foot, three-level mountain home takes a note from Mother Nature.

Its designer, Angela Sarmiento—principal at San Francisco-based interior-design firm Urban Chalet—says that she created a color palette built around the ever-changing landscape featuring the moody blues and grays of winter, and rich oranges and reds of autumn. Mixed with natural wood and stone elements, the combination brings warmth and comfort to all areas of the house. “I didn’t want the home to feel cavernous,” Sarmiento says.

The home’s residents can enjoy the great outdoors’ offerings from the tower area, where a lookout fort offers views of the nearby ski slopes and starry sky at night. The great room presents an almost direct experience with nature with its magnificent mullion windows, and exterior finishes include clear cedar siding, frontierblend stone, and Douglas fir—the perfect combination set against a stunning backdrop. a

Climbing the tower staircase allows for views of the children’s loft, skiers making their way down the nearby hill, and a starry nighttime sky.

Jan/Feb 2014

Eye Candy





Eye Candy

Jan/Feb 2014 A custom-designed wine cellar spans 24 vertical feet and is divided into two equal sections separated by a steel-grate floor. “It enabled us to locate the chiller and humidification unit for both levels in the foundation crawl space,” Sarmiento says. “We used high-velocity ducting to enable the air to circulate adequately between the two levels, thus ensuring a more consistent temperaturecontrolled environment.” Each level of the racking system can hold up to 560 bottles of wine while LED strip lights embedded into the racking illuminate the cellar’s rock walls.

Nestled at the end of a hallway on the lower level, this guest bedroom mixes natural elements with a neutral color pallet. The soft grey-pink accent wall complements the beautiful outdoor landscape, especially in the winter.

The main staircase connects all three levels of the house together in a beautiful design that uses an iron frame and handrail that seamlessly contrast with the stairs’ walnut inlay.

Jan/Feb 2014

Eye Candy

DESIGN BUREAU Framed in Douglas fir, the mullion windows in the great room give a spectacular view of the surrounding aspen groves no matter the season, and the outdoor roof visor protects the windows from extreme wind and snow conditions. “I wanted to stay true to materials traditionally used when designing mountain homes, but with harmony and balance,” Sarmiento says. “When you stand in the great room, the trees just encompass you—it’s amazing.”

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Jan/Feb 2014



Kitchens, Baths, and Conservation With growing concerns about the availability of fresh water, designers have an opportunity to address our consumption at home. BY STEVEN FISCHER



focuses on the kitchens and baths of our homes. They both have something important in common: they are the primary places where we use water, which is, of course, the main component of our bodies. Water also is fast becoming one of our most precious resources, with American cities such as Atlanta facing terrible water shortages over the years.

Therefore it is important when designing a new kitchen or bath to pay close attention to water conservation—and, ideally, to allow the user to appreciate the sacred nature of water. So instead of a bigger and bigger bathtubs, perhaps we might put stock in systems that allow more than one person to take a bath using the same water—a common feature in Japanese homes— or showers that make it easy to wet oneself first, then soap up and use water only for rinsing off. In the kitchen, we see many opportunities for conservation.  Dishwashers are becoming ever more efficient in their use of water and energy, to the point where it is more water efficient for the dishwasher to wash the

dishes. Energy efficiency is reaching higher levels each year. Beyond being something that simply comes from the tap, water contains large amounts of energy—used in treatment for human consumption and again to treat wastewater. What does this have to do with Image, Style & Design?  There is an opportunity for designers and manufacturers to create products that conserve water and—taking it one step further—celebrate water and its role in our lives. In doing so, each of us has the opportunity to ref lect on water whenever it is used— and to cherish its importance to our very existence. a

Steven Fischer is director of Image, Style & Design Studio and creator of Fischer Voyage, a fine luxury leather-goods line.

Illustration by Michael Bodor,


HARD-DÉCOR DESIGN + METAL FABRICATION 100 Ingraham Street Brooklyn, NY 11237 tel: 917 559 6112 fax:718 874 0072 email:

Jan/Feb 2014



Confusion and Comfort in the Kitchen For this issue, Dr. Rob Tannen takes a look at the some classic ergonomic issues that pertain to where we make food.

What’s the greatest ergonomic challenge in the kitchen?


With all of the various gadgets, tools, blades, and heat in the kitchen, there are a variety of potential ergonomic pitfalls. Moreover, professional cooks are at risk due to the repetitive tasks of cutting, chopping, stirring, etc. With all that said, a classic ergonomic design problem is the mapping of an oven’s control knobs to their respective burners. Typically, the control knobs are in a horizontal row going across the width of oven, while the burners themselves are in a 2-by-2 pattern from front to back. As a result, there is ambiguity about which knob relates to which burner—is the leftmost knob for the front or the back? Some ovens address this by horizontally staggering the layout of the burners and/or by labeling the control knobs (which typically wears off). Even after years of use, I frequently choose the wrong one.

Why are so many things in the kitchen white instead of other colors?

A: Have a question for Dr. Rob? email: Rob Tannen is director, design research and strategy, at Intuitive Company. You can follow him on Twitter @robtannen

Though designing kitchens as predominately white may be seen as a style choice, there are functional reasons for its use. Compared with other colors, white is an excellent reflector of energy—both heat and light— which has useful ergonomic benefits. When you open your refrigerator, the interior is white as it helps to effectively light what’s way back on the shelf. But white is not just about

appliances in the kitchen. Chefs traditionally wear white as it communicates cleanliness (and is easy to bleach clean), but the color also supports thermal comfort in a hot environment. Stainless steel (also highly reflective) has been the go-to look for kitchens for some time, but white seems to be trending back—perhaps a reflection of usability and comfort as much as appearance. a Illustration by Michael Bodor,




Jan/Feb2014 2014 Jan/Feb


Achatz signed the unique RSVP requests with the phrase “what’s next?” which proved to be the theme for the evening for the 21 designers and architects who embarked on the four-stop mystery tour of Chicago hotspots. After gathering at the Delta/Brizo Dream 2O showroom, a limo transported the unknowing guests to the Waldorf Astoria for champagne sipping, complete with a private balcony view of Rush Street and Barney’s during a swoon-worthy sunset. The next stop? Primitive, where the party perused artifacts from more than 150 cultures before dining on J and L Catering’s cuisine in the private Buddha Room. From there, the troupe received a private tour of Burberry’s new flagship store on Michigan Avenue before journeying to the final destination, which landed everyone at The

Office, below Achatz and Kokonas’s The Aviary, for tasty nightcaps and more sweet bites at the private speakeasy. The night’s attendees included architects and designers from Milieu, VDL Interiors, Vincere Ltd., DBI, Inc., Platinum Coast Designs, DWDW, James Thomas, and many more. And as if you weren’t already jealous enough, everyone involved received a Brizo gift bag that included a Jason Wu keychain and the chance to pick out a free faucet. Start campaigning for your invite to next year’s exclusive party accordingly.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: De Shun Wang (DW Design Workshop), Simone Baptiste (Before & After Designs), and Shawn Stoffle (Delta Faucet). Tom Riker (James Thomas), James Dolenc (James Thomas), Leslie Frazier (Dream2O Showroom),

Kelly Litton (Dream2O Showroom), Jeannie Balsam (Jeannie Balsam

Interiors), and Christopher Michiels (Christopher Michiels Interiors).

Photos Ipsum Lorem by Brianna Omnim Schmall qui comnistis for Kapow molorpore Events, nonectatis esciet iuntorest


hicagoans are familiar with Michelin-star chefs Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, so we can only imagine the excitement felt by the lucky few who received invitations to Brizo’s Second Annual Ultra Exclusive Designer Event in the form of the chefs’ book, Life, on the Line.

Jan/Feb 2014



As Irregular as Clockwork Raleigh’s newest restaurant/lounge is nearly anonymous outside, but it’s a treat for the senses inside. BY J. MICHAEL WELTON



I never would have found it. Its only exterior signage consists of a slim neon arrow pointing down to its door, so slipping into Raleigh’s newest cutting-edge restaurant and lounge requires a position on the town’s inside track.

“I like to do places that aren’t blaring at you,” says entrepreneur Souheil Al-Awar, who opened his newest venture early in 2013. “If you know, you know.” And if you don’t, you don’t. But if you happen to walk by its storefront on West North Street near Glenwood, chances are that you’ll notice the garage door—wide open and merging inside with out. “I’ve always felt that if I do something design-wise, people will come,” says the 1990 graduate of NC State’s College of Design.

“People have choices—and if I can get them into the door with food or drink or music they love, they’ll keep coming back.” They might do that for Clockwork’s 1970s Moorish interiors alone. Al-Awar grew up in Beirut during that time period, and he’s drawing heavily on memory here, as well as on James Bond’s Dr. No and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. All the while, his palette reaches into the deepest and richest of colors: magentas, fuchsias, purples, and muted golds.

“When we go out, we want to feel something different—we want to be visually and mentally stimulated by all of our senses, including food, drink, and music,” he says. “You have to make them all come together. Here the design is a major element but not the only element.” Indeed. Like Gerald Murphy mingling “the juice of a few flowers” on the Riviera in the 1920s, Al-Awar is not averse to making up a cocktail or two, like the South American/Lebanese drink he calls Bliss, Oh Bliss. It’s Caribbean rum with an imported Lebanese orangeblossom water called Mazahel.

“It’s an extract from the flowers,” he says. Clockwork’s menu is equally divergent, serving dishes based on Al-Awar’s travels to Lebanon, Italy, Venezuela, and Mexico. “The cuisine is schizophrenic,” he says. “It’s different things from different places.” He may not advertise any of it too much, but then again, maybe he doesn’t need to. “We want to bring you in here and keep you here,” Al-Awar says. “We want to make you feel like you want to come in.” So who needs signage for that? a

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Dwell. He also publishes an online design magazine at, where portions of this column first appeared.

Photos by Pascal Monmoine,



NEW YORK 133 East 17th Street, B-2 New York, NY 10003 845.699.9120

NORTH CAROLINA 1700 Nort Elm Street, F-1 Greensboro, NC 27408 336.389.0800


Jan/Feb 2014



Presented by

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Memorial (Sargent House) From start to finish, Russian Circles’ fifth album whips listeners back and forth through dark thunderheads into blinding sunlight. The Chicago post-metal three-piece carefully adjusts its compositional tint, forcing listeners to surface in a winter scene—as beautiful as it is harsh—of some imagined past or future.

Whether it’s through Mike Sullivan’s increasingly adept guitar looping or layering, or Dave Turncrantz’s spot-on percussion bouncing off of, or replying to, Brian Cook’s deeply texturized bass tones, the band achieves such a relentlessly expansive and, at the same time, tight sound here that Memorial is sure to become a genre touchstone. [BD]




Error 500 (Ipecac)

Static (Columbia)

Last Poem / First Light

02/ What do you get when you throw Napalm

03/ Following the success of their breakthrough

04/ The Information Age has yielded a gen-

Death’s Shane Embury and Jon Poole of The Cardiacs into a blender with the likes of Merzbow and none other than The Fall’s Mark E. Smith? (Yes, you read that correctly.) The answer is this debut album by the “eight-man beast” working under the aptly chosen band name Mutation. What’s most audacious about this music, though, isn’t its frequent twists and turns through a barrage of genres but how cohesively it all comes together. Error 500 proves that, after decades of spazzing out, the most revolutionary thing that underground musicians can do is focus. [SRK]

self-titled debut, multi-instrumentalist Brian Oblivion and singer Madeline Follin are back with their sophomore effort, Static. The album comes on the heels of Oblivion and Follin’s breakup, a result of the strenuousness they encountered while balancing lengthy touring with heightened success. But even with that life change in the mix, the duo hasn’t missed a beat, composing an album that is just as catchy, menacing, and all-around gorgeous as their debut. Standout tracks such as “High Road,” “I Can Hardly Make You Mine,” and “So Far” showcase a remarkable skill set for crafting dark and demented pop gems. [MD]

eration of omnivorous musicians, and N YC quartet So Hideous is an exciting product of these times. Formerly So Hideous, My Love, this symphonic blackened hardcore band is as inspired by post-black-metal outfit Celeste as by post-rock giant Mono and minimalist composers Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt. Now, with its debut LP, the quartet expands its orchestral reach, enlisting the studio aid of The First Light Orchestra. The result is a swing of emotions, but it’s always a sonic punch in the gut—and one of the most exciting debut LPs of the year. [SM]










Ghost of the West soundtrack (Tee Pee)

Chrome Black Gold (Cuneiform)

The Missing (Profound Lore)

05/ Western ghost towns are a haunting and

06/ Proving that the worlds of dirge-laden

07/ The newest LP from experimental Brooklyn,

iconic American artifact—broken storefronts, hitching posts, and dusty streets that look as if a saddled cowboy just turned a corner. These images and the films that share their heritage led psych-rockers Spindrift to tour 21 ghost towns for a rock documentary, Ghost of the West. For its soundtrack, we’re given a collection of classic cowboy songs (plus four originals) with psych-surreality intact—Marty Robbins on peyote. From “The Ballad of Paladin” (think Have Gun — Will Travel) to “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” each has a slightly warped sensibility. [LE]

doom metal and electro-f unk death-disco are less than a stone’s throw away, London’s Chrome Hoof mixes genres into a synth-heavy corkscrew of operatic—er, opera-erratic—rock music on its fourth full-length, Chrome Black Gold. An ever-expanding psychedelic sci-fi orchestra, Chrome Hoof on this album includes vocalist Shingai Shoniwa (of Noisettes) among other prominent guests. But no matter who makes an appearance, Chrome Black Gold collapses space and time and pries open listeners minds, continuously whetting them for the weird. [BD]

NY, metal band Vaura—consisting of members of Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, and Kayo Dot—joins the ranks of great metal-crossover albums of 2013. The title track begins with a black-metal airiness akin to Wolves in the Throne Room before diving into mid-tempo gothic haziness and finishing with a 20-second assault of blast-beat shoegaze, amid a buried—but very melodic— darkwave delivery. Elsewhere, the album juxtaposes light and dark with gothic wailing, a barelythere growl, and clean-guitar fingerpicking. Fans of moody metal will find plenty to enjoy. [BD]

This Issue’s Best Albums is compiled from ALARM’s This Week’s Best Albums, an eclectic weekly series presenting exceptional music. Visit for more. [BD] Brendan Dabkowski [MD] Michael Danaher [LE] Lincoln Eddy [SM] Scott Morrow [SRK] Saby Reyes-Kulkarni




Jan/Feb2014 2014 Jan/Feb

Jill Berris and Natalie Valliere-Kelley of Design Bureau



n September 11, 2013, swanky downtown Chicago venue Drumbar hosted Design Bureau’s three-year anniversary event, featuring our September Inspiration Issue. The evening was packed with renowned Chicago designers; Design Bureau readers, contributors, and partners; and a who’swho of the Chicago social scene. DJ Scend spun tunes all evening as guests mingled, danced, sampled tasty appetizers from Pure Kitchen Catering, and sipped on specialty cocktails provided by Stoli, Monkey Shoulder

Whisky, Olmeca Altos, Solemn Oath Brewery, and Virtue Cider. Mercedes-Benz of Chicago had a sleek car parked out front, and partygoers entered to win a weekend getaway in the flashy vehicle. Guests posed for photos by GlitterGuts on a custom red carpet provided by FLOR, and R25 Productions captured the event in photos.

Event photos Lorem Ipsumby Omnim R25 Productions. qui comnistis Step-and-repeat molorpore photos by GlitterGuts. nonectatis esciet iuntorest

Ellen Hurst and Kendra Swartz of Boffi

Jan/Feb Jan/Feb2014 2014


SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR ADDITIONAL SPONSORS: Video and photobooth by Shutterbooth Decor by Event Creative and Spoonflower Step-&-repeat banner by 24hBanner Invitations by Elizabeth Grace Custom DB gift bags from the Wedding Chicks came packed with goodies from Bobble, Scout Books, Community II, Need Supply, Tattly, Wishy Washi Tape, and Pretzel Crisps.

Kate Heidenreich and Amanda Ward

Matt Keeshin, Chris Gentner of Gentner Design, and Felicia Ferrone of Fferrone Design

Jenny Palmer of Design Bureau, Donna Schutlz, and Cheryl Scott of NBC

Jake Theisen and Megan Brumleve of BOX Studios

Jaimie Labuda and Heidi Vanstralen

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Jan/Feb 2014


FOR HIRE: Stephanie Kim Snatch up this distinct visual thinker, who’s ready to be creatively fulfilled yet challenged, before someone else does. She’s a hard worker who knows that life has no shortcuts, and she claims that she throws a mean dinner party—an employer’s dream, indeed.

How did you initially become interested in design? My childhood memories are filled with visuals of my dad’s books filled with math equations and my mom’s paintings—two very different things but beautiful together. I grew up in the US and Korea, traveling back and forth, which kept me somewhat neutral culturally. I was able to absorb each culture from a distance and really understand. I think that design comes from the natural will to adapt and fix problems. I’ve been familiar with such things all my life, and I feel as though design chose me. How would you describe your aesthetic? It’s kind of like a Canadian tuxedo: traditional but young, formal but casual. I think it comes from my natural ability to want to do everything. The in-between merge moments are when the most exciting design happens. Who are some designers you look to for inspiration? John Maeda, Paul Scher, Calvin Line, and, of course, KLMJRO. What type of design work is your area of expertise? Could you ever be an expert at something truly? Right now I’m an expert at absorbing everything around me with conscious attention. There’s so much to learn about and to be inspired by. Why should someone give you a job? I love what I do. I will go the extra mile because I’m curious. I’m a hard worker and a distinct visual thinker. And I can throw a great dinner party.

RESUME SNAPSHOT: Stephanie Kim EDUCATION The School of the Art Institute of Chicago BFA emphasis in Visual Communications, 2013

Images courtesy of Stephanie Kim

FROM TOP: Stephanie’s “ABCD” wooden-block game is designed to challenge your sense of visual reasoning, visual perception, and spacial awareness. Stephanie’s theme for “Typo Berlin” was the word “shift,” and for it she created a playful interaction between German and English.

Stephanie likes: Space shuttles, Korean food, orchestras, the smell of books, white A4 paper, precise V7 rolling-ball finepoint pens, the Internet, the numbers two and eight, routine, hats

WORK EXPERIENCE Tom, Dick & Harry Freelance designer, 2013 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Freelance designer, 2012-2013

Field Museum Design intern, 2012

Stephanie dislikes: When her mouse battery dies, Sunday afternoons, super-cold weather, chipped nails, an empty fridge, talking too much, feeling stuck, scary movies, being bored, dried-up Sharpies

Wanna hire Stephanie? Check out her website:

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Design Bureau Issue 25  
Design Bureau Issue 25  

The Kitchen & Bath Issue 2014