Miniature Houses

Friday 30 March 2012

House dish rack by Veronika Paluchova; image via Design East
From magazine holders to outdoor lanterns, the miniature house shape is an example of designers' current quest for simplicity in product design, maximising functionality while adding a touch of playfulness.

Design Indaba 2012 online

Porky Hefer at Design Indaba 2012 from Design Indaba on Vimeo.

Design Indaba has now made a number of its 2012 talks and interviews available to watch online - with one of the highlights being Porky Hefer, a self-described "brand interventionist" who urges us to be brave in design decisions. Watch all the videos here.

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our full report from the expo here.

Hacked Lab at La Rinascente

Honey & Bunny

Curator Beatrice Galilee will transform La Rinascente's Design Supermarket into an interactive experimental lab space for 100 hours of rebellious creativity during Milan Design Week.

Eat & Joy: the Finnish food experience

Thursday 29 March 2012

A Taste of Finland by Eat & Joy for WDC Helsinki 2012

Nordic farmers market Eat & Joy presents over 500 delicacies from producers around Finland at its regular Helsinki-based markets and events - and last week presented a taste to Londoners as part of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

Contemporary Perspectives in Middle Eastern Crafts

Beirut-based Carwan Gallery has commissioned international designers and local Middle Eastern artisans to co-create a collection of limited-edition objects, which will be exhibited at off-fair district Ventura Lambrate during Milan's Salone.

Post-War British Textiles

Wednesday 28 March 2012

London's Fashion and Textile Museum throws a spotlight on three female textile designers who brought new life to British textiles in the years following the end of WWII, in an exhibition which runs until 16 June 2012.

Materica by Fedrigoni: eco-luxe papers

Italian specialist brand Fedrigoni is renowned for its fine papers, which it manufactures for printing, publishing, labelling, bookbinding, packaging, security systems, and even for use as currency. Founded in 1717, the company has a long history of market leadership - and is now launching a luxurious new line of paper called Materica.

HBL Book of the Week: Moleskine's Architecture Book Series

Moleskine: Architecture Book Series
Famous for its black leather notebooks, Italian stationery brand Moleskine has launched a series of journals which reveal the relationships between four architects and their drawings and handwritten notes - tracing the creative process from the initial blank page right through to the realisation of various projects.

Lunch Book by Alessandro Garlandini & Sebastiano Ercoli

Lunch Book by Alessandro Garlandini and Sebastiano Ercoli
Winning first prize in the lunchbox design competition for Expo Milan 2015, Lunch Book is a recipe book made of paper dishes, which can be used to taste food during the exhibition. 100% recyclable and compostable, each dish shows a recipe from a different country.

Panic Room by Tilt

Panic Room by Tilt. Photo by BigAddict
Graffiti artist Tilt was invited by French hotel Au Vieux Panier in Marseille to treat a guest room as a huge piece of canvas. The result was half a room left in white, accentuating the other chaotic graffiti-ed side.

In Wonderland

Ajisai and Rosa by Lin Ching Man
Not wanting to be slaves to standardised children stories - where princesses are saved by Prince Charming, the fairy god mother makes dreams come true, and life is lived happily ever after - Chinese artists Lin Ching Man and To Hok Ming have stepped out of fantasy to bravely face reality in their joint art exhibition In Wonderland.

Google's Mies van der Rohe doodle

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Following Marimekko's Google Doodle this time last week, Google today celebrates architect Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday with an image based on the SR Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1956).

Ombré: trend update

Airvase by Torafu Architects for Ligne Roset

Last year WGSN-homebuildlife reported on Ombré as an emerging colour trend for both beauty and interiors. This year, graduated colour is continuing to inspire designers across the creative industries. Here we round up some of the most noteworthy examples of the trend from this season's trade shows.

HBL Blog of the Week: Brand Spirit

Scotch Tape Dispencer, whited out by Andrew Miller for Brand Spirit

Raising some interesting questions about brand identity and the power of packaging, Brand Spirit is a blog with a very simple idea: each day, strategist Andrew Miller paints a branded object white, thus "reducing the object to its purest form".

The experiment will run for 100 days, with objects chosen ranging from the instantly recognisable (like the Zippo lighter) to the slightly more obscure.

The Blocks by Studio Toogood & Penfolds

Monday 26 March 2012

Wine brand Penfolds and Studio Toogood have collaborated to produce The Blocks - a pop-up restaurant and wine lounge near Sydney Harbour Bridge which will teach guests to learn about their palates using a series of scented totem poles.

Mercedes-Benz x Formitalia

Mercedes-Benz Style x Formitalia; image via Luxury Issues

Mercedes-Benz Style will launch its new range of furniture, in collaboration with Formitalia, at Salone next month. The pieces will be on display at the Milan Mercedes-Benz showroom, Via Daimler, 1 from 16 - 21 April 2012.

To see how other auto brands have expanded their design language into the home, WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our interview with Roland Heiler, managing director of Porsche Design Studio.

Taiwan: photo inspiration

Friday 23 March 2012

Fresh fish in Su-ao, Taiwan; photo WGSN
Taiwan's persistent humidity transforms into a pleasant haze that settles in every nook and cranny, unifying lucky red shades, retro pastels and warm neutrals in a dreamy palette.

DAY Home: A/W 12 collection preview

Thursday 22 March 2012

DAY Home, the homewares line of Danish fashion brand DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, has drawn inspiration from Orientalism for its autumn/winter 2012 collection. WGSN-homebuildlife previews some of the product highlights.

Dolce Crema at Cosmoprof 2012

Dolce Crema at Cosmoprof 2012; photo WGSN
One of the product trends to emerge from Bologna-based beauty fair Cosmoprof's latest edition was the use of smells, shapes and colours from confectionary. Italian beauty brand Dolce Crema showed a mouthwatering range of cupcake-styled hand and body creams and soaps scented with orange, strawberry, cinnamon and grape - with each product created by a pastry master.

The Little House, New York

The Little House, New York; image via Refinery29

With New York boutique The Little House, designers Savania Davies-Keiller, Joel Alexander Morales and Michael Capotosto have created an intimate, personal retail experience that's not only a joy for customers, but offers them the perfect vehicle to sell their own sartorial creations.

HBL Book of the Week: California Design, 1930 - 1965

California Design, 1930 - 1965: "Living in a Modern Way" edited by Wendy Kaplan (MIT Press, 2011) is a major study of California midcentury lifestyle, which takes in the iconic designs of its day while also considering the continuing importance of the era.

Marni Chair Collection

Wednesday 21 March 2012

During Salone 2012, fashion brand Marni will exhibit 100 PVC thread-wrapped chairs at its Milan boutique, each constructed in Colombia by ex-prisoners as part of a rehabilitation programme.

365 - Charming Everyday Things

365 - Charming Everyday Things, a travelling exhibition of normality organised by DGT Architects, has set off across Japan to showcase its collection of everyday Japanese items such as chopsticks, envelopes and drinking glasses.

I Love You Mum

Entrepeneur Shed Simove installed an interactive billboard in central London last weekend which enabled passersby to create an instant Mother's Day photo.

The JCDecaux billboard was positioned next to one of London's busiest shopping streets, Tottenham Court Road, and featured a cut-out silhouette of a person next to a speech bubble.

Peanuts at Dover Street Market

To celebrate the opening of Dover Street Market Ginza in Tokyo, a selection of brands and designers have emblazoned their products with the instantly recognisable characters from Charles M. Schulz’s long-running comic, Peanuts.

Jo Malone Home 2012: Collection preview

British scent and beauty brand Jo Malone will add three new products to its Home line this April, including a limited-edition Drawer Liner infused with the scent of Lime Basil & Mandarin.

Muji's Product Fitness 80

Marking one year since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Product Fitness 80 at London's Design Museum showcases a selection of redesigned Muji products that reduce waste and energy consumption by an impressive 20%.

Pantone Tarts by Emilie Griottes

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Choose Your Color is a series of nine still life photos created by French food blogger Emilie Griottes for the French culinary magazine Fricote. Each photograph displays a different flavour of tart in the shape of a Pantone colour swatch.

Allas Balla Kalas party accessories

Kalasdax via
Allas Balla Kalas is a new range of party accessories and decor that has been launched by Isabelle McAllister (previously featured in our Fixa Rummet post), Ann Söderlund and Christina Breeze Le Guellaff.

British Party Parade by Belle & Boo

British design studio Belle & Boo has created a special range of illustrated bone china gifts for Churchill China, in honour of the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations this summer.

HBL Blog of the Week: 02Mathery

The founders of 01Mathery - a blog that, under the slogan One Idea A Day, collected 100 design projects for as many brainwaves - have launched 02Mathery, which is built on the same concept but now open for everyone to participate in.

Marimekko's Google Doodle

Finnish design brand Marimekko has created today's Google Doodle, which celebrates the arrival of spring. The design is made up of elements from prints by eight of the brand's designers, including Maija Isola, Kristina Isola, Aino-Maija Metsola, Teresa Moorhouse and Jenni Tuominen; and the brand has also created a motif for fall. Read more about the Doodles here.

Raw Color celebrate Martin Creed's Sketch make-over

Monday 19 March 2012

Coconut, Beetroot and Olive by Raw Color

Dutch design studio Raw Color was commissioned by London based website Nowness to create a series of graphic still lifes to celebrate the opening of Martin Creed’s revamp of London's Sketch restaurant. The resulting works show the ingredients of dishes from the restaurant’s new menu artistically reassembled into a bold still life series.

Out of Sync by Fernando Casasempere

London-based, Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere has unveiled his latest work at the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Courtyard at Somerset House. Out of Sync is a large-scale installation of  10,000 ceramic daffodils that is open to the public.

Live from Manila Fame

Manila Fame, March 201
For the second time, the Philippines brings four national trade shows under one roof: Manila Fame, Manila Now, Cebu Next and Bijoux Cebu, offering a wide selection of furniture, furnishings, holiday, gifts and fashion. With the theme ‘Beyond Artisanship’, the event is part-curated by established Filipino designers Budji Layug, Kenneth Cobonpue and Josie Natori.

RE return permanently to Liberty

Friday 16 March 2012

Following the success of their pop up concession at Liberty last summer, Northumberland-based lifestyle brand RE will return to the London department store with a permanent shop, opening tomorrow.

The RE Liberty space will be divided into sections such as eat, cook, outdoor, utility, living and office. A range of products including cake stands, plates, tea towels, blankets, cushions and vintage storage jars will be on sale.

Jaime Hayon x Kutani Choemon

Manufacturers of traditional Japanese pottery Kutani Choemon have released this 'making of' video that shows the production of its 2010 pottery collection made in collaboration with Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. The video shows how the pieces are carefully handmade and hand painted at Kutani Choeman's factory in Ishikawa, Japan.

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our recent Japanese tabletop trend analysis report here.

la cura by Studio Toogood

The Cures

Studio Toogood have teamed up with skin care brand Nivea for the Salone del Mobile 2012 to create an experiential installation called la cura that will offer a creative antidote to the chaos of the annual Milan furniture fair, and will invite visitors to re-balance through a series of intimate performances.

Eco wrapping by Justina Blakeney

Thursday 15 March 2012

Designer Justina Blakeney refers to herself as a bohemian who is "obsessed with the jungle", so it is of little surprise that she is the creator of this colourful eco packaging made from foliage and flowers. Inspired by her innovative work, we spoke to her to find out more.

HBL Book of the Week
Home-Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts

Wednesday 14 March 2012

A toy train made by Aleksandr Chebotaryov for his son in 1996; image via Island Breaths
Home-Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts by Vladimir Arkhipov (Fuel, London, 2006) documents more than 220 unique objects, each made by ordinary Russians during the collapse of the Soviet empire when access to manufactured wares was very limited.

Memory lighting by Boris Klimek

Memory lighting by Boris Klimek
Childhood memories were the inspiration for Slovakian designer Boris Klimek's Memory lighting collection for Czech company Brokis. Shaped as balloons, the glass wall and ceiling lamps are available in three sizes and several tones of blue and pink.

Ventura Lambrate: 2012 preview

Lightness In Lines by Studio WM

Ventura Lambrate, first held in 2010, is a now-established tonic to the confines of the Rho fairground. Visitors to the third edition of the off-fair district can expect the usual mix of avant-garde design, thoughtful ideas, production pieces and early prototypes. WGSN-homebuildlife selects some of the exhibitors to look out for.

HBL Blog of the Week: Dailytonic

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Run by online architecture resource Architonic, Dailytonic is a daily update on the worlds of architecture and design - with content made up of industry news, and extracts from Architonic's database. Two navigation aids allow you to choose to view all recent posts, in Overview mode, or browse only the most popular stories.

A highlight this week is this adaptable Totem shelving by Broberg & Ridderstråle for Swedish manufacturer Klong.

Capsule Celebrations: A party in a box

Party In A Box by Amanda Jane Jones

Gifting children with party favours in bags or boxes is a tradition which has added fun to parties and events for generations - now, however, the product has emerged for grown-ups too. From going away parties to engagements, hosts can provide capsule celebrations as invites or during the event itself.

Agua & Food Agua & More: Milan retail news

Cured meats sit alongside designer clothes in Agua & Food Agua & More, a new store just off Via Torino on the border between the Duomo and the Navigli areas which is a celebration of Italian products with a daring and innovative touch.

Food & Furniture For Thought

Carbon Chair by Marcel Wanders & Bertjan Pot for Moooi

Viaduct founder James Mair has curated Show 4: Food For Thought, which runs at the British design brand's London store from 23 March - 13 April and explores the relationship between food and furniture, Design Week reports.

Mair asked three chefs to prepare a menu each in response to images of 15 classic chairs. Sam Clark of Moro, Fergus Henderson from St John, and Michael Belben of The Eagle responded with both literal interpretations (the Carbon Chair by Marcel Wanders and Bertjan Pot for Moooi has inspired charcoal-grilled steak and spaghetti with squid ink) as well as more abstract associations (Jean Prouvé's Standard Chair for Vitra brought forth fantasies of sausages with marmalade). Read the full article here.

HBL Retail: Svenskt Tenn, Stockholm

The flagship store of renowned Stockholm interiors brand Svenskt Tenn has undergone a major refurbishment after closing its doors for several months last year. WGSN-homebuildlife went to take a look.

Discipline: Italian design for every day

SmithMatthias for Discipline

Discipline is a new Italian design brand by Renato Preti, who has previously worked with Skitsch, Unopiù, B&B Italia and Moooi. The collection, which will be launched at the Salone next month, consists of nearly 40 pieces, from small accessories to large furniture, all designed to fulfil the essential functions of everyday life.

Mantò by Poltrona Frau

Monday 12 March 2012

Poltrona Frau will launch a new sofa, called Mantò, at the Salone del Mobile next month. The piece wears its upholstery as a cape, and will be available in three sizes, from two-seater to three-seater, and also as a chaise longue.

Milan preview: Sylvain Willenz for Cappellini

Made from reinforced steel bars and exploring the simplicity of design using construction materials, the Candy Collection by Sylvain Willenz will be launched at the Cappellini Design Village in Milan.

Ines Nepomuceno: Still life style

Friday 9 March 2012

Usually, culinary still lifes are stylised to perfection to appear as desirable as possible. Photographer Ines Nepomuceno's tablescapes, however, focus on capturing the often chaotic post-meal setting.

Yoshi Sislay at the European Design Centre

Illustrator Yoshi Sislay has decorated the interior of the European Design Centre's Fitzrovia showroom to celebrate its recent refurbishment and the arrival of its spring/summer 2012 collections.