HBL Exhibitions: Live from Tendence

Wednesday 31 August 2011

ASA Selection at Tendence 2011
WGSN-homebuildlife reports live from gift and accessories fair Tendence in Frankfurt, Germany. Here are the top three trends to emerge from the annual event so far:

Wood and biological materials: the focus on sustainable materials, bio-plastics and wood is becoming stronger and stronger. Non-biological plastics are mixed with bamboo or corn, but some products are made using 100% biodegradable materials.

Bicolour: ceramics, porcelain, melamine and glass products are presented in various two-tone styles.

Back to nature: inspirations from nature play an important role in both form and material.

Subscribers, click here to read the full live report.

HBL Book of the Week: Less and More

ABR 21 Signal Radio by Dieter Rams & Dietrich Lubs, 1978

Dieter Rams is one of the most important designers of the 20th century. Alongside Dietrich Lubs, he was instrumental in shaping the future of electronic design during his tenure as chief of design at Braun from 1961-1995, transforming the anonymous grey box into an object of desire - and providing one of the main influences for Jonathan Ives' work to date at Apple.

LDF 2011: Marimekko at Heal's

Heal's and Marimekko will launch this limited-edition of the Mistral sofa, upholstered in Marimekko fabric, at the London Design Festival 2011
Finnish design brand Marimekko are to hold a pop-up shop in Heal's flagship Tottenham Court Road branch for next month's London Design Festival.

HBL News: Melbourne is world's most liveable city

The results of 2011's Global Liveability Survey see Melbourne take first place, beating Vancouver - which had held the top position in the survey since 2002.

The BBC reports that Australian and Canadian cities in fact scooped seven of the top ten places, with cities assessed according to five key criteria: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. London, sadly, ranks 43rd out of 140 cities in total. Melbourne's mayor, Robert Doyle, is reportedly "absolutely delighted" with the results.

South Tyrolean architecture

Photography by Luke Tebbutt
During a recent trip to South Tyrol, WGSN-homebuildlife was fascinated to see how contemporary architecture was being integrated into a traditional setting.

Design Indaba Shanghai

Robert Wong speaking at Design Indaba 2011

South Africa's renowned design fair and conference, Design Indaba, has announced a partnership with the city of Shanghai. As well as the launch of Design Indaba Shanghai, which sees the conference travel to the Far East for the first time, the event's organisers will also be creating an international design school in the city, and founding a Design Indaba Gallery to exhibit outstanding design from around the world.

Museum of Arts and Design celebrates fashion in film

Tuesday 30 August 2011

New York City's Museum of Arts and Design is hosting a three-day event celebrating fashion, design and style in film on September 9-11 during New York Fashion Week. MAD has partnered with Vanity Fair and the Film Society of Lincoln Center to bring the public screenings, panel discussions and receptions co-curated by Barney's Creative Director Simon Doonan.

Screenings include iconic gems like William Klein's Qui Êtes-Vous, Polly Magoo? and new releases like the world premiere of Jan Sharp's new Rick Owens Documentary Rick, Michele, and Scarlett. The weekend will be a delight for fashion, design and film enthusiasts alike. Purchase tickets for the film series here.

HBL Blog of the Week: Turntable Kitchen

Turntable Kitchen
Turntable Kitchen is a blog devoted to pairing music with food. San Francisco-based founders Kasey and Matthew regularly post recipes, album reviews and hand-picked 'Musical Pairings' which combine the two. The aim is to "introduce food lovers to music and vice versa".

HBL loves: the blog's recently launched Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box - a selection of fresh ingredients, recipe cards and music pairings delivered directly to the customer each month. Described as "a curated food and music discovery experience", it's the perfect example of a blog logically extending its brand offline.

Designer dogwalk at Bergdorf-Goodman

Best In Show: Designer's Dogs Take the Catwalk; image via www.terra.com
Bergdorf-Goodman has announced that it will again stage a designer dog catwalk show during New York Fashion Week. The US department store's last event of this nature, called Best In Show: Designer's Dogs Take the Catwalk, was held during Fashion's Night Out last NY Fashion Week and was a huge hit with bloggers (more photos here).

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can see how dogs have stolen the limelight on the catwalk this season in our Pets lifestyle trends report.

HBL Retail: Lane Crawford A/W 11/12

Environment Captain, Lane Crawford A/W 11/12. Image copyright: Nick Maggio
Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford has categorised its forthcoming autumn/winter 2011/12 collection into three themes: Scandinavian Modernist, Eco Chic and Intersection. Here, WGSN-homebuildlife previews Eco Chic - a product direction which sees old become new again as home decor embraces upcycling.

Restoration Hardware Launches New Publication

Monday 29 August 2011

A new print magazine from American brand Restoration Hardware showcases the most complete expression of the brand to date and represents another example of the emerging trend of custom publishing as a marketing tool. The magazine features original editorial profiles by independent journalists and photographers that share the stories of designers and craftsmen who have designed the company’s latest products.

This Is Design & Designers In Residence

Friday 26 August 2011

Candlestick Telephone, 1920; image courtesy of the Design Museum Collection
London's Design Museum has just opened its doors to two new exhibitions, both running until January 2012. The first, This Is Design, opens today, and is an informative display of the museum's permanent collection. Organised into four themes, each object is used to consider the impact of design on both everyday lives and society at large. A highlight for us was a display of three telephones designs, ranging from a 1920 Candlestick Telephone to a 1960s 'clamshell' style.

Simon Hasan's boiled leather stools at Designers In Residence

The second exhibition, Designers In Residence, continues the museum's tradition of commissioning new and emerging designers to develop work. This year's theme is imperfection: specifically "to consider the idea of imperfection either in an object, environment or experience". Each of the four designers showed a very different response, with the show tracking their work from prototypes and developments to 'final' pieces.

Nendo's monochrome solo exhibition

Japanese designers Nendo have created monotone rooms to showcase their work at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. Split into two rooms, Nendo's solo show later this month will display both their Thin Black Lines and Dancing Squares projects.

HBL Retail: Jonathan Adler in London

Home Accents Today reports that Jonathan Adler will be opening s store in London. The 3,000 sq ft store with two-levels will be Adler's first international freestanding branch is set to open in early October at 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3.

HBL Analysis: Luxury lounging

Cashmere bed socks by the White Company
Luxury loungewear is a market that has been steadily growing since 2009. Harder economic times in the West have changed social habits, meaning people are more likely to enjoy dinner and a movie at home than a frivolous night out on the town. Spending more time in the home calls for a new type of wardrobe that is both stylish and comfortable.

In stores, loungewear is often grouped not with clothing, but with soft home accessories. With this in mind, WGSN-homebuildlife analyses the growing popularity of luxury loungewear and its influence on the homeware sector.

HBL Analysis: Rupert Sanderson x Ellermann Flower Boutique

Carnation Pink by Ellermann for Rupert Sanderson
For the launch of British footwear designer Rupert Sanderson’s latest shoe – designed exclusively for Asia and named after the city of Hong Kong – he collaborated with Hong Kong flower boutique, Ellermann.


WGSN-homebuildlife recently spotted this multi-functional light stand at Hong Kong's Design Mart.  Designed by THREE PLUS TWO DESIGN, the integrated container at the base of the light stand can offer storage for stationery, be a flower vase or even a mini fish tank. Each is priced at HK$680.

HBL Retail: HMKM to design Galeries Lafayette's China store

Thursday 25 August 2011

Galeries Lafayette's flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann, Paris
London design consultancy HMKM have been chosen to design French department store Galeries Lafayette's launch in China, with the new store due to open in early 2013.

HMKM were selected following an international design competition which saw four top consultancies compete for the commission. HMKM's managing director, Alison Cardy, said of the news: "After a number of years of working with Galeries Lafayette in their Boulevard Haussmann flagship store, we are delighted to be trusted with creating the appropriate iteration of their Parisian spirit in the dynamic Chinese market."

Fujitsu Iris: a transparent tablet

This new concept for a transparent tablet is by Liu-Wei, Yao Kai-Chi, Hong Ruei Hong & Cheng Ya-Fang for Fujitsu. Called Iris, it presents a number of convenient features enabled by its transparent screen - from navigating the streets ahead of you to scanning documents and translating text right in front of your eyes.

The sliding bar allows the screen to be split for two users at once, and it would also be ideal for interior designers - generating instant and interactive floor plans.

[via Yanko]

HBL News: Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple

Today, Apple’s board of directors announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer. The board also named Tim Cook as the new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, will join the Board immediately.

HBL Analysis: The A-Z of Japan

A for Akita, from the A-Z of Japan by Yoriko Yoshidahas
Japanese artist Yoriko Yoshidahas has created The A-Z of Japan, an illustrated book which depicts the Roman alphabet through Japanese customs and culture.

Louis Vuitton: Architecture and Interiors

Louis Vuitton: Architecture and Interiors provides a complete guide to Louis Vuitton’s retail spaces, designed by renowned architects such as Shigeru Ban, Zaha Hadid and Kengo Kuma. The book will include information about all the brand’s retail spaces, over 300 illustrations and unpublished sketches, as well as interviews with designers Peter Marino, Christian de Portzamparc and Jun Aoki.

Quirky at Bed Bath and Beyond

Wednesday 24 August 2011

This week, product designers from Quirky, the company that crowdsources product development, have taken over the store window of the Bed Bath and Beyond at 620 Sixth Avenue, to showcase the concept and promote the company's upcoming television show. Passersby can tweet their ideas to #QuirkyAtBBB and see their ideas designed in a workshop setting in the shop window.

Cork couture: Anna Grindi interviewed by the New York Times

Anna Grindi's non-woven cork fabric; image via New York Times
Italian designer Anna Grindi spent more than a decade developing a non-woven fabric using cork, reports the New York Times. Once she had hit on a winning formula, she opened her own store dedicated to products made using the fabric - located in Tempio Pausania, Italy. Named after the Latin word for cork, Suberis is now four years old and has recently begun stocking Grindi's latest innovation: cork tiles for interiors.

Here&(T)here by Fabrica

Here & (T)here by Fabrica
During Milan's Salone del Mobile this year, Secondome presented a new series of sculptural objects called Here&(T)here by Italian design studio Fabrica.

Here & (T)here by Fabrica

A series of eight pieces by various artists, each is made from a combination of oak and glass, and will be available in a limited edition of 30 pieces. The sculptures are an unusual hybrid of function and art, and follow the scientific direction of our spring/summer 2012 macrotrend Laboratory.

HBL Exhibitions: Paris-Delhi-Bombay at Centre Pompidou

Draps-peaux hybridés (2011) by ORLAN « Hybridation des drapeaux indien et français avec sequins » © Adagp, Paris 2011

Indian society is explored from the viewpoint of both Indian and French artists in the Centre Pompidou's current exhibition, Paris-Delhi-Bombay, which runs until 19 September. Works from fifty artists are on display, with two-thirds created specially by the artists after visits to India for that purpose.

3D Knitting Machine by Borre Akkersdijk

Collection from robertanderson on Vimeo.

Appropriating a technique typically used in mattress production, Borre Akkersdijk has created a collection of 3D knit garments that are essentially "ready made". The garments are created on a knitting machine that produces a round tube of fabric with seam allowances that are ready to be sewn. The fabric is also filled with a "filler thread" that gives it an extra presence and tactility.

Watch the video above to see how the fabrics move and sit on the body; subscribers can see more fashion and industrial design crossovers here.

HBL Book of the Week: Creative Walls

Selfridges' home buyer Geraldine James decided to write Creative Walls: How to display and enjoy your treasured collections (Cico Books, 2011) because "a lot of people are quite daunted by that blank canvas before them" when they begin to decorate their home.

Through seven chapters, 224 pages and hundreds of colour photographs (mostly taken specifically for this book), James explains how to adorn, personalise, and make the best of the walls in your home. Ideas include chalkboard displays, wall-mounted lizards and ethereal painted silhouettes - an eclectic but inspiring mix.

HBL Retail: Kochhaus, Berlin

With increasing competition from online retailers, bricks-and-mortar brands are having to make the experience simpler and more efficient for the consumer. The mantra here is: be useful.

HBL Retail: DVF at Selfridges

Due to the success of Diane von Furstenberg’s home collection, Selfridges is launching the autumn winter 2011/12 range. The collection includes new duvet covers featuring prints linked to Diane von Furstenberg’s ready to wear and accessories collections. 

9/11 Memorial Time Lapse Video

Tuesday 23 August 2011

New York City is preparing for the opening of the 9/11 Memorial this September, marking the tenth anniversary of the tragic attacks. A time lapse video made over the last eight years shows the progress of the memorial site.

HBL Blog of the Week: The Dieline

If you have even a passing interest in packaging design, you should bookmark The Dieline. Widely recognised as the best packaging blog out there, it covers student projects, new launches, and any beautiful examples of packaging that catch the team's eye. Founded by Andrew Gibbs in 2007, the blog has now branched out into books, an awards program, and a design conference.

HBL loves: the clear categorisation of the site. You can search by the industry you're interested in (from beauty to technology) or by substrate (from paper to tin).

HBL Analysis: Japanese brooms

WGSN-homebuildlife visited a traditional Houki broom store in the port of Kyobashi in Tokyo to find inspiration and learn about the ancient craft of broom making.

Furniture by David Ericsson

Swedish designer David Ericsson created a series of seven pieces of furniture and lighting using just two materials: beech, and vegetable tanned leather. A skilled carpenter, Ericsson created the pieces by hand and left joints and construction details exposed so that users can appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the making process.

HBL News: BBC and V&A announce major partnership

Two icons of British culture have announced a major, year-long partnership to promote and celebrate the British craft industry. The BBC reports that it will join forces with the Victoria & Albert Museum in a programme entitled Handmade in Britain.

HBL Retail: Mary Portas and House of Fraser

Mary Portas and House of Fraser
Retail expert and television personality Mary Portas is partnering with House of Fraser to launch a fashion, gift, home and food collection. The concept store within House of Fraser’s Oxford Street branch was launched on 18th August and sees Portas curate a selection of products from independent British designers such as Lisa McDonald, Becky Baur, Naomi Ryder and handmade cards from Art House Meath - a social enterprise celebrating the creative talents of adults living with epilepsy and learning difficulties.

Cassina launch limited-edition Tre Pezzi Wool armchair

Tre Pezzi Wool armchair
Originally designed in 1959, Franco Albini's classic Tre Pezzi armchair is to be re-released by Cassina in a new version which is perfect for winter. The updated chair will be upholstered in white Mongolian goat hair, complemented by a black tubular frame. Cassina's first re-release of the chair was launched at this year's Salone del Mobile, where it was exhibited both in its original red fabric finish, and in leather and woven fabric finishes. The wool version, meanwhile, will be released in time "to snuggle up in this winter".

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our recent report, Classics redesigned, for more design classics which have been updated for today's market.

HBL News: The People's Supermarket to open second store

Monday 22 August 2011

Community retailers The People's Supermarket, pioneers of an alternative food buying system that allows customers to exchange labour for supplies, are set to open their second store. The Grocer reports that, following the success of the first store in Bloomsbury, the London-based organisation will open their second branch in Hackney - with three sites currently being reviewed for the purpose.

Kate Bull, Chief Executive of the company, said: “Social enterprises have been mistaken for operating only in the voluntary sector, but it is a way of doing business that goes much wider, across all industries and sectors."

Artefacts by Nick Gentry at Selfridges

From 22 August, artist Nick Gentry will be showcasing a nostalgic exhibition in London's Selfridges, created with painted floppy disks, VHS tapes and cassettes. Entitled Artefacts, the exhibition draws inspiration from the sociological impact of internet culture, in an effort to make viewers think about obsolete media formats.

Inconspicuous Matter by Celine Marcq

Inconspicuous Matter by Celine Marcq
Surface designer Celine Marcq's electro-reactive wallpaper, called Inconspicuous Matter, is currently on show as part of Soft Technology, a touring exhibition of electronic textiles which runs in Norway until next month. Watch the video of Marcq's project, where users are able to change the colour of their surroundings with the flick of a switch, after the jump.

HBL Exhibitions: Still Living at Sarah Myerscough Fine Art

Detail from Nature Morte - Carrots by Katherine Melancon; archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo rag 29 7 x 29 7 cm. Image courtesy of Sarah Myerscough Fine Art.
Mayfair gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art is to curate an exhibition of contemporary Still Life this November. The show, called Still Living, will present works from contemporary painters and photographers whose practice relates to the genre - and in some cases deconstructs it.

LDF 2011: BoConcept 2012 collection launch


Danish design brand BoConcept will launch its 2012 collection during the London Design Festival with a special event at its Tottenham Court Road branch entitled Urban Danish Design Since 1952.

Lowe’s introduces handheld devices

Friday 19 August 2011

RIS News reports that US-based home improvement retailer Lowe’s has launched handheld devices for employees. Lowe’s will deploy approximately 42,000 devices in around 1,700 outlets in its US and Canadian stores and expects the roll-out to be complete by January 2012.

HBL Retail News: Asda launches mobile site

Asda has launched a mobile site allowing its customers to shop for groceries online via smartphone. The site provides users with all the features of the main Asda.com site on a mobile optimised format and provides maps and directions to local stores.

HBL Colour: the rise of red

Interiors are warming up for the coming season with the introduction of red accents; in particular, shades of red inspired by Chinese culture and traditions.

HBL News: John Lewis reports on the effect of riots on its business

Internet Retailing reports that "John Lewis today became the first major retailer to give an insight into how its financial performance was affected by last week’s riots – and said online appeared to have benefited as customers stayed at home".

HBL Tradeshows: Live from NYIGF 2011

Thursday 18 August 2011

Morihata at NYIGF 2011

WGSN-homebuildlife reports live from New York International Gift Fair in New York City, highlighting the three emerging trends from the show:

Faux taxidermy: Realistic representations of animals are seen in glossy ceramics

The re-imagined Christmas tree: Wooden Christmas trees are re-imagined with flat-packed recycled and reusable parts

360: Decorative details come full circle in round tabletop pieces made of ceramics and wood

Subscribers can view our full live report here.

The Wallpaper* 150

Wallpaper* has announced the results of its Twitter-sourced poll, The Wallpaper 150*. The list is a compilation of 150 people from the creative and lifestyle industries, judged by the magazine's Twitter followers to have come into our daily lives in the past 15 years and made them better in some way.

Imagination Playground by David Rockwell

David Rockwell during the London launch of the Imagination Playground (credit: Susan Smart)
New York based architect and designer David Rockwell was in London yesterday to mark the European launch of his groundbreaking Imagination Playground concept.

With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground is an interactive, transformable environment, that prompts children to manipulate their own playspace. The blocks are made from a cross-linked polyethylene foam, and the pieces are soft, lightweight, waterproof, and biodegradable.

The Shop Floor Project: shop launch

Wednesday 17 August 2011

The Shop Floor Project, a British online retail brand which sells a variety of homewares from wallpaper and ceramics to books and prints, has opened its first real-life shop -  in the market town of Ulverston, Cumbria, where the brand's headquarters is based.

WGSN-homebuildlife spoke to Denise and Samantha Allen, the mother-and-daughter team behind The Shop Floor Project, to find out more about developing a bricks-and-mortar shop from a digital retail concept.

HBL Book of the Week: Where They Create

Tongue & Groove, Australia, from Where They Create

Where They Create by Paul Barbera and Alexandra Onderwater (Frame, 2011) is the result of blogger and photographer Barbera's journeys around the world, documenting the studios of artist, designers and creatives as he goes. 32 studios and workplaces are included in the book, including Wallpaper*, Acne and the design studios of Matali Crasset. It will be published in September, but is available to pre-order now.

HBL loves: seeing the differences between each studio - from the way employees dress to how things are stored and the personal keepsakes that are kept close to hand.