Balanced by mischer'traxler at Wait & See

Monday 30 April 2012

Milanese concept store Wait & See teamed up with design duo mischer’traxler to create Balanced, an exhibition for Salone del Mobile 2012. The concept for the exhibition was "forma mentis" – a Latin expression that means nature of the mind, or mentality. This was expressed through the idea of scales, balancing the raw materials and equipment on one side with the final objects on the other.

New lighting by Aqua

Mimosa pendant by Aqua

Tel Aviv-based design brand Aqua introduced two new lighting collections at the recent 2012 Light + Building show in Frankfurt. The brand's founders Ayala and Albi Serfaty worked in collaboration with designers Sadeh Halbrecht and Benad Dar on the new pieces, which include pendant and floor designs.

The Downton Abbey kitchen

Downton Abbey still; image via Preservation Nation
Hit TV show Downton Abbey enjoys an international cult following, drawing 11.5m viewers per episode in the UK alone. Documenting the changing social landscape of Britain as it experiences and emerges from the first World War, fans are entranced by both its plots and its interiors - with much of the action taking place in the kitchen and dining rooms.

WGSN-homebuildlife explores how the show's distinctive aesthetic is influencing our tastes at design and retail level.

Braided rugs by Pet Studio

Friday 27 April 2012

Pet Studio Bone-Shaped Braid Rug at Pet Edge

This braided polypropylene bone-shaped rug by Pet Studio is available in six bright colourways and fits perfectly with our braided Idiomatic rug design for spring/summer 2013, which uses recycled fabrics to create the same undulating shape.

Tutti Frutti: food in motion

This video by ECAL Visual Communication students Florian Luthi, Teo Schifferli and Chloé Tun Tun documents a series of foods as they explode, contract, degrade and develop over time - and was on show in Milan last week as part of the design academy's exhibition, Too Cool For School.

For more examples of food in advertising and communication, subscribers can read our food focus report Vegetal Design.

Floriade world horticultural expo 2012

This Netherlands flower festival takes place in the town of Venlo every ten years. Listed by CNN as one of the world's top 2012 destinations, Floriade uses fields of flowers, stylish pavilions and a series of stalls to explore global flora and greenery.

Titanium tableware by SUS Gallery

Sakura Titanium Tableware by SUS Gallery

Japan-based SUS Gallery exhibited a collection of double-walled crystallised titanium cups at Spazio Rossana Orlandi last week.

Front, Nacho Carbonell & FormaFantasma for Booo

Thursday 26 April 2012

New Dutch lighting brand Booo launched its inaugural collection of LED lightbulbs at Spazio Rossana Orlandi last week - including this bursting bubble lamp by Front and a squishy rubber balloon-shaped bulb by Nacho Carbonell.

HBL Book of the Week: Parasomnia

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Parasomnia by Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen (Prestel, 2011) is a deeply inspiring photographic journey through African dreamscapes, saturated with colour and viewing the continent from a unique perspective.

Kees' tailor-made iPhone cases

Kees Case in Sparkly, Bohemian Blue

Online design brand Kees, founded by Dutch brothers Jonas and Daaf Samson, uses 3D printing technology to create completely personalised iPhone cases.

Atomizers for food by Design Attico

Atomizer Collection by Design Attico

Italian brand Design Attico's new collection, Atomizer, is a collection of table perfumes inspired by antique fragrance bottles, which aim to encourage gentle expressiveness at the table.

Hable sisters at Hickory Chair: Live from High Point

Brooklyn-based textile company Hable Construction, founded by sisters Katharine and Susan Hable, continues its ongoing collaboration with traditional American furniture company Hickory Chair with the High Point Market launch of the watercolour-inspired Painterly print. The sisters showcased the new print in bright blue and neutral brown alongside a small studio-like room, where they shared their inspiration boards and a glimpse into their artistic processes.

Colour-Based on Nature by Irma Boom for Thomas Eyck

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Waddensea, Netherlands from Colour-Based on Nature by Irma Boom
During Milan Design Week, Spazio Rossana Orlandi was host to Dutch design publisher Thomas Eyck's new launch - a collection of striped wallpaper by graphic designer Irma Boom which represents different cultural sites around the world.

HBL Blog of the Week: WGSN Tumblr

WGSN Tumblr

Covering everything from catwalks to street style, the WGSN Tumblr offers a snapshot of what is inspiring our international team of researchers, designers and analysts on a day-to-day basis - across 15 categories from product launches to ad campaigns and arts and culture.

Diesel Social Kitchen at EuroCucina

The Diesel Social Kitchen, presented by Scavolini at EuroCucina, is a modular kitchen concept designed to expand the kitchen into a fully social space with a "lived-in" feel.

Armani Casa: The Golden Age

The new Armani/Casa collection, The Golden Age, takes its inspiration from an imaginary journey from Venice to Japan. Rich decorative elements combine with pared-back forms to create a collection of tables, cabinets and seating with a soft golden glow.

Salone Satellite: product highlights

An artisanal approach to detail, especially in wood mixed and matched with other materials, emerged as a key trend at this year's Salone Satellite.

Among the product highlights were Taiwanese designer Jackie Wu's Cracked vases - a series that mixes wood and marble and highlights the imperfection of the wood with bright green lacquer.

Cisco Brothers: Live from High Point Market

Los Angeles-made furniture and accessories from Cisco Brothers is always a highlight at High Point Market. A bit off the beaten path at Mill Village, High Point, North Carolina, the large industrial-styled showroom is packed to the gills with sustainable furniture that is both sophisticated and eco-conscious. Cisco Brothers have made a name for themselves using vintage materials and giving them new life, like this season's over-dyed burlap canvas used for upholstery and pillows.

Live from: BIG & BIH

Monday 23 April 2012

Creation World Wide Wood at BIG + BIH Bangkok, April 2012
WGSN-homebuildlife reports live from the 33rd edition of the Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair. Here are our top three trends and outstanding exhibitors seen so far.

Vegetable VM: Live from EuroCucina 2012

Friday 20 April 2012

Gaggenau at EuroCucina 2012

A number of brands have employed a creative approach to VM at this year's EuroCucina, choosing to host live performances from chefs and even display their latest products in stands made up of ripe fruit and vegetables.

Disassembled Household Appliances by Brittny Badger

Iron from Disassembled Household Appliances by Brittny Badger
Connecticut-based photographer Brittny Badger deconstructed a series of used domestic tools for her photographic series, Disassembled Household Appliances. Exposing the unexpected beauty of each product's inner life, the project follows the passionately open-source ethos of our Hack-tivate macro trend.

Glass lamps: product update

Lamp No2 by Andrew Mitchell
Glass lamps are making a comeback, working well in multiples but also as simple light bulbs. Handblown shapes sit alongside industrial forms and jewel-like geometrics, with more complex designs incorporating plants, tools and other interesting material combinations.

The Secret Garden at Orto Botanico

Thursday 19 April 2012

The Orto Botanico (botanical garden) is a pleasant spot, largely unknown, in the heart of the Brera design district in Milan. A silent green area enclosed by patrician residences and by the Brera Accademia Art Museum. The garden is the lovely setting where glass and lighting company Barovier&Toso and marble inlay brand Citco presented The Secret Garden, an installation celebrating the company's specialties.

Another Terra at Milan 2012

Luminous eggs by Pieke Bergmans, Sundial by Philippe Malouin and Nature Toolbox by Minale-Maeda
At a collective exhibition showing at Ventura Lambrate this week, designers were asked, "If you had to envisage life on some other habitable planet other than Earth, what kind of minimal hand luggage would you take with you?"

Seletti at Eurocucina

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Seletti's outpost at Eurocucine is one of a handful of stands to present new tableware at the fair rather than kitchen furnishings. The Italian design brand is showcasing a range of new designs, from the production versions of its renowned Hybrid range to floral trivets and playfully extended china plates.

Marni at Milan Design Week

After previewing Marni's L’Arte del Ritratto project some weeks ago (see it here), we went to visit the series of 100 chairs for ourselves - and can recommend them as some of the best colour inspiration to be found in Milan this year.

HBL Book of the Week: Un Atlas Imaginaire

L'Europe Animale, Physiologie Comique by André Belloguet, 1882

Un Atlas Imaginaire: Cartes allégoriques et satiriques by Laurent Baridon (Citadelles & Mazenod, 2011) shows how the world would be if it were simply more creatively arranged - using examples dating back to the Renaissance.

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco

Broom chair by Philippe Starck for Emeco
Philippe Starck has collaborated with Emeco to create a sustainable chair from an entirely new material. Made from a compound of industry waste - collected in lumber factories and industrial plastic plants - this mix of wood fibres and reclaimed poplypropylene has a number of eco-friendly benefits: less energy, less waste and less carbon.

Fabrica for United Colors of Benetton

As part of La Triennale's exhibition programme for Milan Design Week, creative research centre Fabrica is showcasing Objet Coloré, a series of store fittings designed by its research team for United Colors of Benetton apparel displays.

Ingo Maurer for Established & Sons

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Floating table by Ingo Maurer for Established & Sons
Ingo Maurer has collaborated with British brand Established & Sons to create a dining table without legs. This is a rare foray into furniture by the acclaimed designer, who is more usually known for his immense portfolio of lighting pieces, which bring together the latest technologies to blur the boundaries between art and design.

Bellocq: The Tea Atelier

Bellocq Tea is an artisan tea atelier, creating and selling exquisitely flavoured blends created by the owners.

HBL Blog of the Week: Studio Jo Meesters

Dutch designer Jo Meesters' Tumblr, called The Observatory And The Realm of The Imagery, serves as an online scrapbook of his creativity and interests. Much like his work, there is a focus on the intersection of ancient craft and digital design, as well as art, film and quotes from pop culture and curators alike.

WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our interview with Meesters here.

Dala by Stephen Burks

American designer Stephen Burks introduced his newest works at Dedon this week at its showroom in Zona Tortona. Dala is a collection of woven outdoor furniture that perfectly complements Burks' well-received works of colourfully hand woven pieces made in partnership with artisans from around the world. Dala takes its inspirations both from the "improvised" seating arrangements of the developing world and from the skillful artisans who inhabit it. The woven material is a first for Dedon, a fiber that is a combination of recycled food-and-drink packaging and fully recyclable polyethylene.

In The Forest: Neoreal by Canon

Monday 16 April 2012

Fall in Pop by Canon at Superstudio Più
Canon's immersive exhibition Neoreal, on at Superstudio Più in Zona Tortona all this week,  is one of the highlights of Milan Design Week so far. The installation aims to showcase the potential of the brand's digital imaging products by mimicking a living forest.

Architects Ryuji Nakamura and fashion studio Mintdesigns have worked with video artist Shimura Nobuhiro to create three installations - Spring, Fall in Pop and Super Nature - which use projected imagery and colours to transform inert structures into seemingly alive organisms. Watch the video below for a taste.

Still & Sparkling by Nendo

Japanese design studio Nendo is exhibiting a series of experimental glass pieces, supported by Czech lighting brand Lasvit, this Milan Design Week. The collection is on show in a basement space at Superstudio Piu, Zona Tortona, and explores the conventions of glassblowing - while often defying them.

Etch Web light by Tom Dixon

The new Etch Web light by Tom Dixon, on show at MOST throughout Milan Design Week, is formed from a web of oxidised copper and aluminium, with the structure creating a beautiful pattern of shadows as the light shines through.

Colour One by Scholten & Baijings for MINI

One of the most colourful exhibitions seen by WGSN-homebuildlife today at Milan Design Week was Colour One by Scholten & Baijings for MINI. By dissecting the basic MINI One model, the Dutch designers demonstrate how their approach to design and colour can be translated into automotive design.

La Triennale's Design Dance

Sunday 15 April 2012

456 classic and modern designs will be brought to life by actors, acrobats and dancers for Milan Design Week, in Design Dance - a project conceived by Michela Marelli and Francesca Molteni for Cosmit at the Triennale di Milano (Viale Alemagna, 6).

Fritz Hansen gets ready for Milan

Friday 13 April 2012

Republic of Fritz Hansen has released a video of its preparations for Salone next week, where it will be launching miniscule, a new chair designed by Cecilie Manz, at its showroom on Corso Garibaldi.

Stay tuned for live reports direct from Milan, where the WGSN-homebuildlife team will be highlighting the unmissable events all through the week.

Milan 2012: There's an app for that

Even the most experienced visitors can get overwhelmed with the wide range of events going on in Milan during Design Week. A few organisers and exhibitors took a step forward and are offering free smartphone and tablet apps, making the annual Milan trip much less of a logistical challenge.

Arabeschi di Latte in Milan

Italian food design collective Arabeschi di Latte's projects are fast becoming a highlight of Milan Design Week. For this year's edition, they will present a series of different projects across the city, continuing their exploration of food and its power to create compelling situations and relationships.

Toonix Virtual World launches

Thursday 12 April 2012

Turner Broadcasting has announced the launch of Toonix, a new online virtual world for kids, with various licensing, advertising and sponsorship opportunities available across EMEA.

SodaStream Source by Yves Behar

SodaStream Source by Yves Behar

One of the food & drink highlights of Milan Design Week is set to be Yves Behar's redesigned SodaStream machine and dedicated Soda Bar - which will provide all the refreshments at new design destination MOST next week in the first step of a brand mission to put an end to disposable water bottles.

Bar Alto collection

Wednesday 11 April 2012

DesignMarketo will bring its Bar Alto collection to Milan next week for the Salone - where it will take up residence at designers' favourite Bar Basso, the venue it was inspired by.

Running until 22 April, the exhibition includes commissions by a host of designers who were asked to let their creativity loose on the classic Duralex Picardie drinking glass. WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read more about where to go in Milan during Salone here.

Bolon x Missoni

Swedish flooring brand Bolon and Missoni Home have joined forces to create a collection of woven flooring, which will be premiered during Milan Design Week at the Missoni showroom, Via Solferino.

HBL Book of the Week: The Pot Book

While ceramicist Edmund de Waal had a surprise global bestseller with his compelling family memoir The Hare With Amber Eyes, his latest book sees him firmly back on craft enthusiast ground - with a fascinating look into the history of ceramics.

HBL Blog of the Week: Thisispaper

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Thisispaper Magazine

Thisispaper is an international art and design blog founded by Alexander Zaharov late last year with the intention of cutting out the media middlemen. Topics range from fashion and photography to apps and publishing, and user experience is well-designed too: the most recent blog post acts as a front cover each time you enter the site.

Mutation by Maarten de Ceulaer

Mutation by Maarten de Ceulaer; photo by Nico Neefs
Belgian designer Maarten de Ceulaer will exhibit a new range of furniture, called Mutation Series, at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Milan Design Week.

Paisley Crescent by Mini Moderns

British homewares brand Mini Moderns has launched a new wallpaper which mixes motifs of English suburbia with lotus leaf prints, stars and paisley patterns to reflect the country's "unique cultural mash-up".

Noma Food Lab

Noma food lab, Copenhagen; image Adam Mõrk

Two-Michelin-starred restaurant Noma has opened the doors to its research laboratory. The newly-built division has been created by Danish architects 3XN in keeping with strict rules by Noma founder René Redzepi: no glue, nails or shelving could be attached to the walls, resulting in a series of modular units.

MINI in New York International Auto Show

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman

The New York International Auto Show, which runs now through April 15, brings the world's best automobiles to the American market, including the latest from MINI USA. MINI John Cooper Works Countryman made its North American debut at the show, and offers the updated model with optional automatic transmission. In addition to the John Cooper Works Countryman, three special-edition models – MINI Convertible Highgate, MINI Bayswater and MINI Baker Street all made their first public appearance in North America.

Travelling in style: Japan Pet Fair 2012

Monday 9 April 2012

Pin Up Dog at Japan Pet Fair 2012
One of the key themes to emerge from this year's Japan Pet Fair, now in its 13th edition, is the proliferation of on-the-move luxury for dogs - from handbags to strollers, pampered pooches don't need to touch the ground at any stage of their journey.

Sincere Japan at Japan Pet Fair 2012

The trend epitomises Japanese pet culture, where pet dogs in particular are treated with the same reverence as favourite children. WGSN-homebuildlife subscribers can read our full report here.

Top Zoo at Japan Pet Fair 2012