HBL Tradeshows: Live from NYIGF 2012

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Bridge from Africa at NYIGF 2012

The New York International Gift Fair is on now through February 2, and covers a range of gifting categories from tableware to soft accessories and handmade. With a large international contingent, exhibitors from Japan, Germany and others have their own country-specific pavilions, and the fair is the destination for house ware buyers who want to browse the latest that the world of home accessories and gifts has to offer.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Christmasworld

Nic Duysens at Christmasworld 2012

This year at Christmasworld, the tradeshow dedicated to the world of seasonal decoration, colour stands out as the key direction for brands. Moving away from traditional colour combinations, exhibitors present an array of greens, from vibrant acids to soft sage. Chocolate browns, rust and copper are also at the forefront. The mood is energetic: exhibitors are enthusiastic and keen to engage with clients and introduce them to their new collection.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Paperworld

Dear Prudence at Paperworld 2012
Paperworld 2012, currently taking place at Messe Frankfurt, presents visitors with a wealth of inspiration for print and pattern, and surface design. This year exhibitors really pushed the boundaries in terms of materials with papers that resembled metal, wood veneers and animal skins.

HBL Blog of the Week: The Fox Is Black

LA-based blog The Fox Is Black is focused on art, design, music and film - and the intersections between them all. Regular features include designer wallpapers and specially-made mixtapes. Great for offbeat visual inspiration, it takes in new videos and album covers as well as interviews with artists and photographers.

Sumo by Simon Legald

Simon Legald has designed a collection of poufs with distinctly anthropomorphic characteristics for Normann Copenhagen. Called Sumo, the new collection demonstrates an early emergence of our spring/summer 2013 materials direction, An(a)morphic, which sees character-laden products with tactile surfaces emerging. These new design breeds aim to soothe and soften our slick and technology-laden environments with comforting, familiar forms and pleasingly playful colour.

Each "robust and friendly" pouf is made from ash with a tactile fabric-covered foam top, and is available in a range of colours including purple and turquoise.

Legald says of the collection: "The upholstery and buttons play an important part in the otherwise simple design. I have also consciously stayed away from the square shapes and made the expression soft and pleasing to the eye."

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Pitti Filati

Monday 30 January 2012

Millefili-Bluring at Pitti Filati spring/summer 2013

Renewed optimism features heavily for Pitti Filati spring/summer 2013, with the Italian yarn industry taking a braver position in the face of a difficult economic climate, consequently focusing on the best of Italian tradition.

Words Words Words at Selfridges

The Word-A-Coaster at Selfridges; photo by Andrew Meredith

Selfridges has teamed up with indie creativity champions It’s Nice That for its Words Words Words campaign, which celebrates the power of the written word and consists of a series of window displays produced by different artists, as well as an in-store programme of talks and events, and a pop-up library (see it here).

Italian luxury: Aquariva by Marc Newson

Aquariva, the new luxury yacht designed by Marc Newson for Riva, was launched at the 36th edition of Artefiera, the historical art fair in Bologna which finishes its 2012 edition today. At the fair, art collectors have been momentarily distracted from the paintings, to exalt the beauty of this masterpiece of design floating nearby.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Interior Design Show 12, Toronto

Sung Outdoor Collection for HBC at IDS 12

Although there was snow and sleet outside, inside was all about bright colours, reclaimed materials and Canadian-made for those who crowded into the opening day of the Interior Design Show in Toronto.

Korla's Made to Measure Soft Furnishings

Powered by passionate prints and fetching fabrics, Korla is a new online shop that is focused on creating and delivering fantastic homewares and products for any live or work space. Using a Magento-powered e-commerce platform, Korla allows users to customise and shop for their made-to-measure items.

Subscribers can view WGSN-homebuildlife's design direction for soft accessories here.

Invoxia NVX 610 Wins CES Award 2012

Friday 27 January 2012

The Invoxia NVX 610 telephone by Eliumstudio has been awarded the 2012 CES Award for Best Innovation for its multi-directional auditory devices - individual, rainbow-coloured speakers which allow the voices of conference call participants to be separated around a table. The next-generation telephone also proposes simple technology that can be directly linked to the iPhone ecosystem.

Prada's 24 Hour Museum

Photo courtesy of Prada Foundation
Striking that fine line between kitsch and covetable, Prada's 24-hour takeover of the Palais d'Iéna in Paris this week was more than a fleeting moment in art history. Artist Francesco Vezzoli, architectural think tank AMO and the Prada Foundation combined creative forces to produce a one-off event that traded on its ephemeral nature.

Soft map quilts by Haptic Lab

Thursday 26 January 2012

New York-based design studio Haptic Lab creates soft quilted maps that bring journeys around neighbourhoods to a fingertip. Quilts emulate cities and neighbourhoods, with their structure transformed in to stitched patterns.

The Greenhouse, New York

The Greenhouse nightclub in New York is an eco-friendly space, created in line with the philosophy that modern buildings have a duty to respect the environment.

Faceture Vases by Phil Cuttance

FACETURE from Phil Cuttance on Vimeo.

London-based designer Phil Cuttance has filmed a video which shows how each of his Faceture vases is made - from making the mould to applying colour layer by layer. The faceted form is created by pouring water-based resin into the mould, which creates a unique vase each time as every facet on it can be adjusted.

Subscribers can also read our interview with Studio Glithero, who share Cuttance's fascination with process and also work in the same studio space.

The Sezz Collection by Christophe Pillet

The Sezz Collection by Christophe Pillet for Emeco
US furniture brand Emeco has launched a collection of aluminium chairs and stools by French designer Christophe Pillet. The collection was created to furnish the Sezz Hotel in St. Tropez, and is designed to resemble furniture used in vacation homes - to create the sense of a 'home away from home'.

Swept Away at MAD

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Highboy and Ladder Back by Jim Dingilian

New York’s Museum of Arts and Design shares the works of 25 international contemporary artists in Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design. On view from 7 February to 12 August 2012, the collection will showcase 34 site-specific pieces including installations, sculptures, performances, photographs, paintings and designs.

60 Second Experiment With Indigo
by Paul Octavious

Society6 Minutes: Indigo from Paul Octavious on Vimeo.

Artist and photographer Paul Octavious aims to document reality in unexpectedly beautiful ways. For Indigo, above, he exploded an indigo smoke bomb inside a belljar to coat a glass teacup in pigment. This video documents the process.

HBL Book of the Week: The Toaster Project

The Toaster Project (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) documents RCA design graduate Thomas Thwaites' attempt to build his own toaster, from scratch. Over nine months, Thwaites collected all of the individual components needed, resulting in an appliance that cost 250 times more than its shop-bought equivalent - and promptly broke.

American Made Design at Shelter Half LA

Tuesday 24 January 2012

The founders of Environment Furniture have announced Shelter Half, a new made-in-america brand collective. Founded on the principles of conscious commerce, collaboration, and American-made products, Shelter Half features a curated collection of brands, artists and craftsmen and opened on December 8, 2011 and runs through February 28, 2012.

HBL Blog of the Week: But Does It Float

But Does It Float is based on a simple but effective idea: each post presents you with a collection of images and a thoughtful quote, which you are left to interpret at will.

We recommend: Filippo Minelli's photographs of smoke bombs going off in natural settings, for a perfect dose of colour inspiration.

"Weaving" Traditions: Kiki Van Eijk exhibits in Milan

Plusdesign gallery presents “Weaving” Traditions, a solo exhibition by the Dutch designer Kiki van Eijk, made in collaboration with gallery Secondome of Rome, Nodus in Milan and Bernhardt Design in North Carolina. The exhibition opens February 1 and runs until March 31 in Via Ventura 6 (Milan, Italy).

Designer B&Bs at Interiors UK

Monday 23 January 2012

Squirrel Forest by Donna Wilson
Among the portfolio of new areas at Interiors UK this week is a series of three roomsets by leading British designers - each of whom has created a bed & breakfast room in their signature style.

Live from Maison & Objet : Bright and Beautiful

Hay at Maison & Objet, January 2012

This season, Maison & Objet is buzzing with energy, creativity and optimism. Currently open in Paris until January 24, the show is awash with bright colours, industrial craft, and new collections.

Hide & Seek: The Wandering Bar

Following the success of the pop-up phenomenon comes a new hide and seek concept in wining and dining – the wandering bar. The Fourth Wall is an exact replica of London’s Fitzrovia bar Bourne and Hollingsworth, from its cocktails to its floral wallpaper – but guests have to find it first. Each night The Fourth Wall will be recreated in a new venue, but the location is strictly guarded with hints and clues dotted around London (and on the website) to help people find it.

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read more reports about global public spaces here.

Object showroom opens in Seattle

Friday 20 January 2012

Curated by local photographer Charlie Schuck, Object is a new showroom in Seattle which aims to be a "universal haven to the new ideas and thinkers of tomorrow's Northwest". The gallery describes itself as a design, collaboration, publishing and retail space.

Planet Earth as colour inspiration

In this time-lapsed sequence of photographs taken from the International Space Station, the thick texture of clouds and the opaque sea contrast with the glittering of man-made lights, showing our planet as a kinetic surface that is alive and ever-changing.

The vibrant hue of the iridescent airglow, combined with the patterns created by clouds and land traced with light, can be used to influence any creative practice. Subscribers can see how astronomy is used more widely as a creative direction in our report Brave Hue World.

A Table by Sebastian Bergne

Sebastian Bergne’s A Table is by day an exhibition of Bergne’s work from the last 15 years, primarily based on the preparation and consumption of food. By night the exhibition will turn into an exclusive dining space for selected guests - showcasing Bergne's designs at their best by using them to host a series of three dinner parties.

HBL News: B&Q invests £12m in garden products

Thursday 19 January 2012

The UK's biggest home and gardening retailer B&Q has made a £12m investment in its gardening department, strongly pushing horticulture with new products across garden care, equipment, power and structures.

Jean-Jean by N°111

Jean-Jean by N°111

French design studio N°111 has designed twelve limited-edition Jean-Jean shelving solutions for Galerie Gosserez. Each piece comprises two independent units which have been attached, by just two screws, to form a sculptural yet functional piece of  furniture.

The World of Ribbonesia

The mediums for producing art are never ending, but sometimes it is with everyday mediums that the most impressive outcomes are produced. Artist and illustrator Baku Maeda has taken ribbons, synonymous with gift wrapping and celebration, as the basis for his unique figures.

The new feature wall: Bodie & Fou

Bodie & Fou
Lifestyle boutique Bodie & Fou is giving feature walls a whole new lease of life. Framed floral prints and vibrant emulsion are banished, in favour of far more creative alternatives - including graphic wallpapers depicting household objects, and wall stickers for surfaces that require a re-vamp. Here's a selection of their latest product offer.

RCA's USB Wall Plate Charger

Wednesday 18 January 2012

A Wow Me idea fresh from the International CES in Las Vegas: RCA's USB Wall Plate Charger, the winner of this year's Best of Innovations award at the consumer electronics show. The Wall Plate Charger is a two port USB charger that plugs into any household outlet, and is the first USB converter that doesn't require replacing the face plate of the outlet. To add to its wow-factor, the device is a mere $19.99.

HBL Book of the Week: Living Architecture

Living Architecture by Dr. Rachel Armstrong (TED Books, 2012) explores the idea that a city can be built organically, creating 'living' buildings that can develop their own eco-systems and help us out of impending environmental crises. A particular focus will be last year's Japanese tsunami; Armstrong says the book will "ask how different the outcome would have been if the buildings were equipped with living materials".

The book will be available on Kindle from 7 February; in the meantime, HBL subscribers can read our interview with Armstrong.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from IMM Cologne

Jan Kurtz Mobel at IMM Cologne 2012

2012 sees IMM Cologne return bigger and better than ever, with high-profile new exhibitors including B&B Italia, and a rounded-out focus on interiors as well as furniture. Building on last year's direction, extreme comfort is the priority, with plump inviting forms and super-easy modularity on show across the fair.

Selfridges opens pop-up library

Selfridges' in-store library, photo by Andrew Meredith
Selfridges has opened a pop-up library at its London flagship, housing more than 15,000 of the world's most inspirational books.

HBL Blog of the Week: Klat

Klat (meaning Talk written back to front) is an Italian publishing project launched at the end of 2009 which focuses on contemporary art, design and architecture. The print magazine is made up exclusively of interviews, while the web platform investigates artists, designers, architects and other creative figures adopting the format most widely used on the internet - the blog. Both are published in a bilingual edition of Italian and English.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Formland

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Normann Copenhagen at Formland 2012

Ceramics and glass are the focus at Formland, Denmark this year - with both receiving an update for spring 2012. WGSN-homebuildlife reports live from the show.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Home & Top Drawer

Leitmotiv at Top Drawer & Home 2012

Currently taking place at Earls Court London, Top Drawer and Home's joint showing is one of the leading UK destinations for traders to see and purchase the best in design-led accessories, gifts and homeware.

From glowing laboratory beakers to chrome-plated globes, we note the influence of science and early 20th century nostalgia in many of the stand-out collections at the trade-only show.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Domotex

Monday 16 January 2012

Carpetus at Domotex 2012
Domotex 2012, the world's largest flooring tradeshow, is currently taking place at Hannover Messe in Germany. From stained wooden floors in all colours of the rainbow to technicolour, traditional kilim carpets, this year's Domotex is a particularly colourful edition. Exaggerated texture is also a key theme as designers find new and inventive techniques to create designs with depth and tactility.

Read on for our full live report, including emerging trends and the top three exhibitors.

Floating Homes in Dubai

Atoll Floating Islands by Palmerston and Donald Starkey Designs
The Atoll Floating Islands by Palmerston and Donald Starkey Designs is a conceptual, Dubai-based floating structure that can be moved between the shore and The World to offer residents a home from home. Each fully sustainable home will be 32m in diameter with five bedrooms, a seawater pool and 1,400sqm of living space across two decks.

Wallpaper* Design Awards 2012

Friday 13 January 2012

Woodware Lounger by Max Lamb
Awards season continues today with Wallpaper* revealing the winners of their Design Awards 2012, which are judged by an expert panel and this year comprise more than one hundred accolades. Here's the HBL guide to the winners.

HBL Retail: The Cake Is On The Table

São Paulo cupcake shop The Cake Is On The Table is known to locals for both its authentic Brazilian recipes and stylishly curated interior - with each piece of vintage furniture used in the shop also for sale.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Heimtextil

Hinterveld at Heimtextil 2012

Reporting live from Heimtextil 2012, we see all things natural and handmade coming to the fore, with sustainable production techniques, shades of green and handcrafted details dominating the show. Read on for our full live report, including the key emerging trends and top three exhibitors.

Target launches The Shops at Target

Thursday 12 January 2012

The Candy Store, San Francisco

Target has announced a new design program, The Shops at Target, an ongoing program where the American big box retailer partners directly with shop owners of speciality stores and boutiques to co-create affordable, limited-edition collections for Target stores worldwide. The first collections to launch the series will hit national Target stores on May 6, and will span five product categories including pet, home and candy.

Mudd by Cordula Kehrer

Muud is a small collection of garden stools by German designer Cordula Kehrer, each of which is designed to serve as both seating and African and Atzec-inspired sculpture. Made from unglazed, frost resistant stoneware, the stools are for both indoor and outdoor use.

In the summer, the sun heats up the stoneware and keeps them warm into the evening, while in the winter they can be arranged into striking geometric sculptures.

English Hedgerow by Andrew Tanner

British designer Andrew Tanner will launch English Hedgerow, an app which brings augmented reality to his latest range of Royal Winton tableware, at new tradefair HOME next week.

Rainbow Trivet by Normann Copenhagen wins Good Design Award

Normann Copenhagen's Rainbow Trivet, designed by German studio Ding 3000, is one of the winners of the 2011 Good Design Awards.

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Première Vision Preview

Miroglio Textile Srl at Première Vision Preview spring/summer 2013

Nature-inspired prints go into hyperdrive for spring/summer 2013 at Première Vision Preview, New York as bright tropical digital prints are flaunted on sheers and lightweights. Open structure tweed-like fabrications add a touch of textural interest for summer.

Lexus LF-LC Concept: Design details

Wednesday 11 January 2012

The Lexus LF-LC Concept has scooped the EyesOn Design best concept car award at the Detroit Auto Show 2012, and it’s fair to say it's been one of the most popular concepts unveiled so far. This is, according to its design team, the next step for the L-Finesse design language.