Posts Tagged ‘America’

SET Collection by Ania Jaworska

­­Everyday furniture items take on a surreal edge in the latest collection from Chicago-based architect Ania Jaworska.

Exhibited at Chicago’s Volume Gal­­­­lery, the SET collection features eight items that resemble each other in colour, texture and scale but their form is exaggerated beyond normal domestic proportions.

Jaworska grew up in Poland and studied architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. She is currently a clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois’ School of Architecture. Her designs explore the connection between art and architecture and her work has been widely exhibited.

Made from materials such as wooden pegs, plywood tubes and molded fiberglass, the bulbous shape and overstated form of each item in the SET collection challenges the typical use of furniture.

The dining table has exaggerated legs and is thinner than average, which forces diners to sit more closely together. The coffee table is topped with cylindrical posts that resemble its own legs, but it remains functional for resting drinks or books.

Fabrication of each piece in the SET collection was a labour of love. “While I fabricated most of the pieces myself with the help of my student assistants, the lacquer was done by a small refinishing shop outside of Chicago,” explains Jaworska.

“Because of the cylindrical parts and the nature of the forms, all of the pieces were lacquered prior to assembly. In addition, all of the connections/hardware are not visible, which required a great deal of planning and engineering.”

Jaworska’s SET collection of furniture is larger than life and presents a bold re-imagining of everyday domestic items.

Aratani Fay

Detroit has been experiencing a design renaissance in recent years. The city that gave us General Motors and the Motown sound is now home to a rapidly growing design population, including the collaborative design studio Aratani Fay.

Formed by designer/makers Ayako Aratani and Evan Fay, the studio is known for its experimentation with expressive and irregular forms and materials.

Fibonacci Stone_Aratani Fay_05Aratani was born and raised in Japan while Fay is from Michigan. Two of their designs that have captured attention at recent design festivals include Aratani’s Click Clock series of wall clocks and Fay’s sculptural Lawless Chair.

The Click Clock wall clocks are crafted from porcelain. While their faces don’t have any digits, soft folds in the pastel-hued porcelain give a subtle hint of the time.

Fibonacci Stone_Aratani Fay_010Aratani, who holds a bachelor of engineering in product design and a master of fine arts in 3D design, has explained that her intention for the design was to “dissolve time-related worries by offering some room in time with this soft form and color.”

Fay’s Lawless Chair features a dark blue seat of intertwined foam ribbons, which are supported by an angular black metal frame. He describes the chair’s design as “a celebration of irregularity within a system, pursuing a more artful form that responds to the chaotic landscape within our structured society.”

Fibonacci Stone_Aratani Fay_07Another example of Aratani Fay’s experimental designs is the Button Up chair, which Arantani describes as “a big lovable monster in the room that can protect you from the outside busy world”. The chair’s outer shell is made of one thick piece of felt that unbuttons to reveal a soft, textural seat.

Fibonacci Stone_Aratani Fay_02We look forward to seeing what this experimental duo comes up with next. With Arantani Fay, it’s best to expect the unexpected.

Shape Mirrors by Bower

Catching a glimpse of your own reflection takes on a whole new meaning with this intriguing collection of mirrors from Bower.

Bower is a contemporary design studio based in New York City.  Founded in 2013 by Danny Giannella and Tammer Hijazi, the pair have made a name for themselves by taking characteristics from a range of objects – from plants and animals to toys from their childhood – and re-imagining them with different functional applications. The results always manage to delight and surprise.

This spirit of discovery is evident in Bower’s range of mirrors, in which arches, lines and shapes turn a simple piece of reflective glass into a magical and playful piece of art that still manages to serve its purpose while leaving a smile on your face.


The Arch Mirrors are composed of pieces of glass mirror of varying tints that create an elegant optical illusion of three-dimensional windows and doorways, inviting you to step inside and enter another world. The tints are arranged by tone to enhance the shaded effect on the different planes of the arch and each mirror is framed with a line of thin walnut.

The Line Mirrors take it another step with 20 pieces of precision, water-jet cut glass spaced to create a multi-dimensional experience. They are available in a range of tints – all with black substrate.

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The Shape Mirrors are composed of multiple pieces of glass mirror that also create an optical illusion of three-dimensional shapes. The tints are arranged by tone to enhance the shaded effect on the different planes of each shape. Each mirror is also framed with a line of thin walnut.

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If the mirrors are not enough to liven up any room, the range of accessories from this innovative studio beg further reflection. The Bower Ringcandle holder pays tribute to a candle holder’s finger ring; the Table Tiles are designed to give the impression of 3-D objects on a surface through the clever and subtle use of colour; and the beautiful Circle Square Bike Mount is designed to a hang a bicycle on a wall by its front wheel while protecting the wall from the back wheel.

It’s the Bower mirrors, however, that have captured our imagination. We think they’re worth looking into.

Design Miami 2015

Each year, the world’s design aficionados and enthusiasts head to the Art Deco headquarters of Miami Beach to mine for the latest modernist offerings of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting and objets d’art at Design Miami .

Last year’s fair, held from 2-6 December, showcased a range of exclusive commercial opportunities. The results of exciting collaborations between designers and institutions offered up a series of panels and lectures. There were also unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects on display.

British designer Max Lamb turned heads with a bathroom suite for Dzek made from synthetic marble. All fittings were installed in a space lined with the same material. The result was a space awash with multicoloured speckles against a black background – a tempting invitation to dip your toes into this progressive take on an ablution block.

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Harking back to the days of cave dwellers, yet looking to the future for an imaginary tribe, Dutch studio Atelier van Lieshout unveiled an inhabitable sculpture – a cross between a luxury lounge and a primitive dwelling where visitors could stroll through a bedroom, a playroom, a bar, a lounge and a dressing room. A series of outdoor furniture pieces accompanied the house, in a style described as ‘nouveau Brutalism’.


London-based designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng brought jellyfish to life in a dazzling installation of crystal-covered strands, which responded to movement by curling and twisting. Ng created the Sundew installation for her commission as one of the 2015 Designers of the Future winners. She used Swarovski crystal fabric to create sparkling jellyfish that appeared to float in deep-sea space. It was designed to mimic the movements of a carnivorous plant entrapping its insect prey with its tentacles.

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A house construction shown through time-lapse video by Richard Rogers and a train crash table symbolising a romantic breakup were also on offer, proving once again that Miami Design is a leader in the world of contemporary design.


COS LA Pop Up by Snarkitecture

With a name that stands for ‘Collection of Style”, Swedish fashion label COS has raised the design stakes with its new pop-up store in Downtown Los Angeles.

Designed in collaboration with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of experimental Brooklyn-based design studio Snarkitecture, the latest store takes the retail experience to a whole new level.

COS is the sister store of Swedish retail chain H&M. The LA pop-up store marks its second collaboration with Snarkitecture and follows their sophisticated, dream-like installation for Salone del Mobile at this year’s Milan Design Week. Made up of thousands of individually cut white ribbons, the COS installation was inspired by its spring/summer collection.

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The new COS pop-up references the brand’s autumn/winter  collection by playing with concepts of reflection and monochrome. Housed inside Scandinavian concept store Austere, the design is centered around a floor-to-ceiling two-sided mirrored wall, which creates a sense of infinite space. The collection is sparsely displayed across long clothing rails and Snarkitecture have referenced the strong silhouette of COS pieces by installing of pink-tinted steel and concrete sculptural displays that reflect the structure of individual pieces.

Snarkitecture is a collaborative and experimental practice with a portfolio that blends art and architecture. Projects include window designs for the Calvin Klein Collection in NYC, a temporary retail installation created for designer Richard Chai and a reinterpretation of the iconic Bourgie lamp for Kartell.

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The collaboration with COS features two monochromatic, reflected spaces that create an unexpected and altered world for visitors to experience and share.

“There’s a lot of different types of reflection and doubling that are happening. We set up an opportunity to invite visitors to have different types of interactions,” say Snarkitecture’s Arsham and Mustonen.

The sophisticated silhouette of the COS range is evident in both the new collection and the pop-up’s creative installation. “We hope that people are going to get a feeling of what COS is when they come here,” says Snarkitecture. We think it will be hard to miss.

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Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at the NGV

Andy Warhol was a leading figure of the pop art movement of the 20th Century. Today, it is Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who is leaving an indelible mark on modern art. A major exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria will bring together the work of these two significant artists, exploring their influence on contemporary life.

Warhol’s work was famous for exploring the relationship between celebrity culture, artistic expression and advertising in the 1960s. He used hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture and film as his mediums and his New York studio, the Factory, was a beacon for intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and bohemians alike. Some of his most famous works include is his Campbell’s Soup Cans, his Marilyn Diptych and his Elvis triptych, which sold last year for $US81.9 million. 

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Ai Wei is a contemporary Chinese artist and activist working in sculpture, installation, film, music and architecture. He famously collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics and recently worked with Olafur Eliasson on a project called Moon. Ai lived in New York during the 1980s, where he befriended beat poet Allen Ginsberg and gained exposure to the works of Warhol.

The Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition, developed by the NGV and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, will focus on the intersection of the artists’ practice. Presenting more than 300 works, including a suite of major commissions by Ai Weiwei and some of Warhol’s most famous creations, it promises to be a unique celebration of two exemplary artists.

The exhibition opens at the NGV from 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016, before moving to The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh from 
June – August 2016.

Artist + Designer Julie Thévenot

With a background in the Parisian art world, designer Julie Thévenot works from her studio in Brooklyn to create large-scale wall hangings, jewelry and objects with a difference.

Thévenot received her Masters of Fine Art from the National Superior School of Decorative Arts of Paris but decided to call New York her home. Her jewellery designs are a distinctive mix of hand-dyed sequins, leather and gold plating, but it’s her wall hangings that really catch the eye.

Thévenot works alone in her studio, creating her designs by hand. “Sometimes I have something in mind and it doesn’t come up right away as I imagined,” she says. “Sometimes I am very persistent and it finally works, and then other times I keep it in a part of my brain and one day when it becomes more realised, I start to work on it.”

With a mix of wood, metallic thread and leather, Thévenot wall hangings have a slight 70s feel. Her Stardust hangings are like characterful pendants for your wall, with a mix of materials that reach 24 inches in length.

Her Sixzero series of hangings feature a circular wooden frame that surrounds a row of colourful, metallic fringing. Thévenot considers them to be like jewellery for your wall. “I wanted to have some objects that are not gallery pieces and not industrial design but a mix between them, more like lifestyle pieces,” she says. “When I started those ‘jewellery for walls’, I didn’t really see anything like it. My style is a mix between minimal, 70s, contemporary aesthetic, and 80s/90s colours.”

Whether it’s jewellery you can wear or jewellery for your wall, Thévenot does things differently. “When creating, there is a big part that is intuition and what I feel like making, that is the result of my music, movies and travel influences,” she says.

We hope she continues to blaze her own trail.

Images courtesy of and Pinterest 

EXO Housing Shelter – stackable emergency housing from Reaction Housing

Initially conceived in 2005 following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Exo Housing shelter from US based company Reaction Housing is an excellently efficient and practical solution to providing emergency shelter for displaced populations.

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Brainchild of Michael McDaniel, the original concept came from an inverted coffee cup, the project has now developed into a highly portable shelter that is light enough to be moved by hand yet is strong enough to stop bullets!

When installed the Exo Housing units are designed to provide private and secure living and sleeping quarters for a family of four including lighting and access to power. Set up is simply a case of positioning the base unit in its desired location before lowering the upper shell onto it and as the units can be lifted by hand a team of 4 people can install a unit in well under 2 minutes with no tools or heavy machinery needed.

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Inside the units are fitted with 4 fold down bunks which provide comfortable sleeping quarters for 4 adults and with the ability to quickly change interior fittings the system allows for the Exo to serve many purposes – a bedroom, an office, a living area. Changing floor plates means a unit can become a bathroom or kitchen while connecting units together can create larger spaces making them particularly useful for situations of prolonged housing shortages.

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Importantly the Exo Units are designed to be easily transportable and can be dispatched very quickly. Housed at a centrally located storage facility, the Exo system can be rapidly loaded and transported to a deployment site for dispatch to site. The Exos can be transported easily by road and since the units stack, they can also be moved in mass via rail, ships, or even cargo aircraft.

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With the team recently raising $76,000 US via their indiegogo campaign  a delievery of shelters is planned to help aid efforts in Syria and hopefully this is just the start for this innovative project.

Moby’s architecture blog

Now many of you will only know Moby as a Musician & DJ but did you know that he is also a keen architectural photographer and blogger?

That’s right the 90’s superstar who is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of dance music also keeps a rather nice blog which is simply called Moby Los Angeles Architecture Blog . The blog which takes a look at architecture around LA is a fantastic glimpse into a really great collection of buildings from well maintained private homes through to abandoned and decaying commercial space.

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On its launch in 2012 Moby said “one of the things that fascinates and baffles me about L.A is the randomness and accidental beauty and strangeness of the architecture here. every day I arbitrarily see buildings and houses and odd structures that go from the beautiful to the banal, usually within 10 feet of each other. so, to that end I’m starting a self-indulgent and fun but pointless new project:Moby Los Angeles ArchitectureBlog

Over the past 2 years he has documented an impressive collection of architectural marvels and mishaps into what is an amazing record of a city’s diversity and culture and we strongly recommend you take a look here

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All photos by moby