Backgammon by Mini Moderns

Thursday 31 May 2012

Backgammon wallpaper by Mini Moderns in Harvest Orange

British homewares brand Mini Moderns has launched a range of textiles, soft accessories and tableware inspired by the traditional game of backgammon.

Yum-Wick: the completely edible candle

New York-based company Zaron Industries has launched a completely edible candle, made from Belgian chocolate with a nut wick. The Yum-Wick is available in a choice of chocolate flavours, sizes, shapes and decorative finish.

Bolon at Clerkenwell Design Week 2012

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Immersive environments, a key trend at Milan Design Week, also featured strongly at Clerkenwell Design Week this year. Installations appeared to transport visitors into other worlds, using encapsulating sensory experiences.

HBL Book of the Week
Thomas Heatherwick: Making

Thomas Heatherwick; image via Wallpaper*

Published to coincide with the V&A's major retrospective of the studio, Thomas Heatherwick: Making (Thames & Hudson/Monacelli Press, 2012) presents a comprehensive guide to Heatherwick's work to date, totalling 140 different projects.

Ora-Ito & GVM create marble piano for Carrara Idol

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Last Saturday, in the magnificent surroundings of the Fantiscritti marble quarry in Carrara, David Bryan of US rock band Bon Jovi kicked off the first edition of biannual event Carrara Idol - playing a bespoke marble piano created by GVM in collaboration with Ora-Ito, for Steinway.

Fendi brings leather into the kitchen

Villa Livia, Fendi Casa Ambiente Cucina

Italian luxury brand Fendi launched its first kitchen concept at EuroCucina last month, in partnership with Scic. Fendi Casa Ambiente Cucina is described as a continuum between kitchen and living space, and brings new materials into the kitchen - from ebony and acacia wood to crocodile-printed leather.

HBL Blog of the Week: Present & Correct

Retail brand and design studio Present & Correct shares its borderline obsession with paper, print and the accessories of the office in both a regular blog and an inspiring set of Pinterest boards, which have acquired more than 3000 followers.

The brand's good taste spans art, packaging, architecture and furniture, with specialist topics such as Colour Sets also covered in its boards.

London Pleasure Gardens

East London will revive the tradition of the British pleasure garden during the Olympics, with an ambitious project set on a 20 acre riverside site.

The London Pleasure Gardens open on 30 June, and the 35,000-capacity venue will play host to circuses, DJ sets, an urban nature reserve, boutique hotel and even a floating cocktail bar this summer. Watch the video above for a taste of what's in store.

Shake & Bake cupcakes for dogs

Shake & Bake by Gimdog

German pet brand Gimdog launched its new product Shake & Bake, the first complete bake-at-home kit designed for dogs, at Interzoo this month. The packet contains everything needed to bake a set of fat-free, sugar-free cupcakes for dogs, and is available in a choice of three flavours: carrot, apple and cinnamon, and vanilla.

Seasons by Valentin Loellmann

Monday 28 May 2012

Fall/Winter by Valentin Loellmann

Two connected collections of burnt furniture by German artist Valentin Loellmann are currently on show at Galerie Gosserez in Paris, in an exhibition called Seasons.

Wallpapers by Begum & Lench

Begum & Lench
Birmingham City University textiles graduates Suberna Begum and Jessica Lench have teamed up to found Begum & Lench, an interior design company which specialises in wallpaper and surface design.

D-Hotel Maris, Turkey

Opened to the public on 20th April 2012, the D-Hotel Maris is situated in the Datça Peninsula in Turkey, surrounded by idyllic pine forests, small uninhabited islands and volcanic mountains.

Searching for Cassiopeia at the Order of St John

Saturday 26 May 2012

Design research centre Fabrica showed its experimental chair project, Searching For Cassiopeia, in the historic Crypt of the Museum of the Order of St John this week as part of Clerkenwell Design Week.

LIKO by Zoé Ouvrier at Gallery Fumi

Friday 25 May 2012

London Gallery FUMI is currently host to LIKO, an eight-metre long screen of handcarved plywood panels by French designer Zoé Ouvrier.

New furniture by G&T

This marble and wood table is by G&T, a new British furniture brand co-founded by Bethan Gray, who served as Habitat's head of furniture up until 2008. The brand's first collection is a series of solid wooden tables with wood, marble, and hand-stitched leather tops.

London Design Festival 2012 preview

Nendo's Mimicry Chairs will be installed across the V&A museum to interact with their surroundings

For its 10th anniversary, the London Design Festival will open up unseen areas of the V&A, present the future of luxury at a Georgian townhouse, and install an immersive soundscape in Trafalgar Square. WGSN-homebuildlife previews some of the highlights to look forward to at this year's edition, which runs 14 - 23 September 2012.

Studio Toogood for 3.1 Phillip Lim

Studio Toogood has created a pop-up installation for fashion brand 3.1 Phillip Lim at Selfridges' London flagship.

The Bay by Marie Dessuant for Singularité

Thursday 24 May 2012

Watching The Ships Roll In by Marie Deussant for Singularité

Marie Dessuant has designed a collection of furniture for new French design brand Singularité, which is currently on show at the House of Detention as part of Clerkenwell Design Week.

Matilda: Live from Clerkenwell Design Week

Filament tables, by David Pidcock for Matilda, at Clerkenwell Design Week 2012

New design brand Matilda is showing its first collection at the Farmiloe Building this week as part of Clerkenwell Design Week.

Zoe Darlington for Pedlars

Birmingham-based designer Zoë Darlington has designed a lighting collection for British retailer Pedlars which uses locally-sourced materials and traditional craft techniques.

Once Wed: Wedding Inspiration

Once Wed is the ultimate guide for nuptial planning. Created in 2008 by Emily Newman, a bride frustrated by the lack of an online bridal buying and selling space, the website now receives over four million page views a month.

The WM Chair by Mathieu Camillieri for Woodmood

French designer Mathieu Camillieri has created a slim wooden folding chair for Woodmood, available in natural, orange, black and grey colourways.

Live from: National Stationery Show 2012

Wild Ink at National Stationery Show 2012

The National Stationery Show brings the most innovative and exciting designs in cardstock and stationery to the New York Jacob K Javits Convention Center, with a line-up of exhibitors from all over the world. This year’s show was no exception, showcasing designs to buyers, importers, distributors, press and event planners all vying to see the latest and greatest from the 800 exhibitors with cards, paper goods and gifting items.

Live from: ICFF 2012

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Misewell at ICFF 2012

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is one of the premier events for the latest trends in US design. Held every year in New York, the event hosts a number of events and exhibits that showcase contemporary design’s freshest talent and newest ideas on a platform that invites industry professionals and stalwarts to view an edited selection of wares.

Nic Webb at the Dock Garden Festival

Currently on show at Tom Dixon's studio at Portobello Dock in West London is the work of British craftsman Nic Webb. Specialising in wooden spoon carving, Webb takes an organic approach to making, preferring his pieces to look as if they were grown or formed through a process of natural erosion.

RER C trains transform into Château de Versailles

This six-carriage Versailles train is one of five standard RER C suburban trains scheduled to be in service in France by the end of this year, decorated with photographic copies of the decor of the Château de Versailles and its gardens.

HBL Book of the Week: Alastair Morton & Edinburgh Weavers

Fishermen by Keith Vaughan for Edinburgh Weavers, 1956

Fantastic for textile inspiration, Alistair Morton & Edinburgh Weavers: Visionary Textiles and Modern Art by Lesley Jackson (V&A Publishing, 2012) examines the different textile techniques employed by the Edinburgh Weavers - a group of textile artists who produced some of the most renowned woven and printed textiles of the mid-21st century.

Ali Bualá by Luciana Gonzalez Franco

Ali Bualá by Luciana Gonzalez Franco
Argentine designer Luciana Gonzalez Franco has created a floor lamp from recycled cable reels, just by adding an energy-saving lamp and the necessary lighting fixtures.

HBL Blog of the Week: The Forest Feast

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Former New Yorker Erin Gleeson is a food photographer, illustrator and stylist who moved to North California in 2010 to live in the woods. Her blog, The Forest Feast, documents mouthwatering seasonal recipes using beautiful hand-drawn watercolours and her own photography. A perfect example of a food blog which balances expertise with a personal touch.

The Cryptographer by Raw Color

Cryptographer by Raw Color
Inspired by the ever more digital world we are living in, Dutch design studio Raw Color collaborated with Remon van den Eijnden, Peter Bust and programming specialists Bart van der Linden and Studio Watt to design a cryptographer which turns the patterns of digital messages into encoded textiles.

Crossing table by Patricia Urquiola for Glas Italia

Patricia Urquiola's Crossing Table, designed for Glas Italia and launched at Milan Design Week last month, combines functionality, elegance and originality. Made of 8 + 8mm thick tempered transparent extralight glass, the table uses three-dimensional polychromatic decoration to create a detailed geometric pattern of overlapping lines and colours, which change continuously depending on the vantage point.

Dror for Tumi

Monday 21 May 2012

Expanding suitcase by Dror for Tumi
Dror for Tumi is the result of 18 months of research and development by US designer Dror Benshetrit and the Tumi team. The collection, launched during Milan Design Week 2012, is a series of bags that can expand, morph and transform, adapting with you as you travel between different environments within a day or a trip.

Roots by Philippe Starck for Le Paradis de Fruits

French restaurant chain Le Paradis de Fruits has been revamped by Philippe Starck to celebrate its thirtieth birthday. The designer has applied a concept named Roots - which literally takes the brand back to its beginnings.

The Tea Terrace at House of Fraser

The Tea Terrace will open an English tea house at House of Fraser's Oxford Street branch on 1 June, to help celebrate a patriotic summer in Britain.

Elyse Graham: Live from NY Design Week 2012

Seen at NoHo Design District, Elyse Graham's Geodes are colourful synthetic versions of natural crystals. Graham layers colourful balloons on top of each other to make unpredictable, beautifully organic shapes. Graham says, "I build my geodes around the void created by my exhaled breath. When each piece is finished, there is no evidence of what may lay beneath its surface. As I create the piece one layer at a time, each time covering up the layer that preceded it, I have no idea what will reveal itself once the geode is split open."

Muffin & Berry: Live from Interzoo

Friday 18 May 2012

New pet brand Muffin & Berry uses all-natural materials in its finely hand-crafted dog coats and accessories.

I am your YUZEN by Sione

Thursday 17 May 2012

Japanese textile brand Sione showcased a series of kimonos called I am your YUZEN at Milan Design Week last month. Created in collaboration with traditional Yuzen craftsmen, the kimonos are covered in an array of colourful dots - which represent the traditional technique used to mix colours before painting a kimono.

Mad Men interiors

Mad Men season five, image via
The global success of Mad Men has caused a new generation to appreciate the cinematic style of 1950s and 60s New York, inspiring a craze for mid-century modern furniture design. For series five, interiors have become much more distinctively 1960s in style - from the futuristic forms of the furniture, to the subtle pattern & texture adorning wallcoverings & textiles.

Herman Miller New York City pop up shop

American furniture and design innovators Herman Miller opened their first pop up store in SoHo last week which runs until July 1st; the renewed Herman Miller Collection once again confirms their status as the go to company for symbiotic design that molds with the modern lifestyle.

Dream Vendor: 3D printing on demand

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Virginia Tech College of Engineering has installed a 3D printer vending machine on its campus that allows students to create models on demand. Users simply insert a memory card into the machine and select which file the encased Makerbot Thing-O-Matic should print.

Read more about 3D printing and the changes it is bringing about in our macro trend Hack-tivate.

HBL Book of the Week: Talk To Me

Talk To Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects by Paola Antonelli (MoMA, 2011) was published to accompany and expand on the exhibition of the same name, which finished its run at MoMA in November 2011 (read our blog post on it here, and our full report on it here).

The book investigates key exhibits from the show, as well as providing essays on how technology is quickly, and drastically, changing our everyday lives. Use it alongside WGSN-homebuildlife's rolling technology coverage, which tracks how tech is constantly evolving: from the wristband that monitors your health, to the anthropomorphic printer that organises what you need to know each day.

Between Us by Rodrigo Almeida

La Banquette

Here are some more pieces from the Between Us collection by Fateditions and Rodrigo Almeida (see our earlier post), which have been created in collaboration with Maison Christian Lacroix.

Child's Own: bringing kids' art to life

Owl by Hanna, aged 7; Hanna's Owl created by Child's Own

Vancouver-based crafts company Child's Own creates custom soft toys based on children's drawings. Founder Wendy Tsao started the business as a way to celebrate kids' imagination, and strives to reproduce each drawing as accurately as possible in 3D textile form.

Classic design goes under the hammer

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Pair of solid elm night stands by Pierre Chapo, 1965, estimated at €1500-2500

French auction house Artcurial will tonight auction off 208 lots of classic pieces by designers including Charlotte Perriand and Isamu Noguchi.

HBL Blog of the Week: Jeannie Jeannie

Jeannie Jeannie

New York-based blogger Jeannie Huang runs Jeannie Jeannie, a well-edited site that covers art, design, and stories of wider cultural interest too. The content is geared towards designers, helpfully organised into sections such as Packaging & Products and Art & Aesthetics.

TDM5: Grafica Italiana

New exhibition TDM5: Grafica Italiana continues La Triennale di Milano's mission to promote and enhance Italian creativity. Running until 24 February 2013, the exhibition focuses on key pieces of graphic art from the 20th century, starting from the Futurist printing revolution, and showcases a diverse range of works by designers including Albe Steiner, Bruno Munari, Bob Noorda, Armando Testa and Massimo Vignelli.

Choccywoccydoodah: tongue-in-cheek treats

Eccentric British chocolate brand Choccywoccydoodah opened its first London branch last month, bringing its signature blend of kitsch humour to Carnaby Street after building up a loyal fanbase at its Brighton shop and cafe.

Gilded design

Monday 14 May 2012

Gold glasses by Nathan Turner at One Kings Lane

Gilded decor has long been a sign of luxury and is now creeping back into the collective conscience of American designers, in line with economic indications of an improving US economy.

A Post-Industrial Evolution by Eger

Friday 11 May 2012

Eger at Proposte 2012
Italian brand Eger is reverting to its roots by reproducing a series of dishcloth designs from its archive of original 1940s-50s woven samples. Inspired by a time before the impact of mass production, Eger has gone back to basics to encourage a more human connection to textiles. Fabrics are washed and finished individually to create a soft, worn-in hand feel.

Repair Is Beautiful by Paulo Goldstein

Repair Is Beautiful by Paulo Goldstein
Repair Is Beautiful is the title of Central Saint Martins student Paulo Goldstein's final collection, whereby he fixes broken everyday items using limited resources and a Hack-tivate approach.

Global VM overview: Printemps, Paris

Thursday 10 May 2012

Printemps, Paris
Printemps celebrates spring with a vibrant floral VM theme as part of its spring campaign La Fête Du Printemps. Colourful flowerheads are scattered throughout the displays and bouquets of flowers obscure mannequin heads.

Velvet Upholstery: Devantex at Proposte 2012

Devantex at Proposte 2012
Belgium-based textile producer Devantex's latest collection, on show this week at Proposte 2012, pairs jacquard and plain upholstery velvets with an inspiring combination of colour and finishes.