Traces: London's new design mystery

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Traces London. Photo by Giovanna del Sarto

From 17-19 August 2012, this disused building in Shoreditch, east London, will be revived for Traces: a showcase for more than 60 designers and artists, each one inspired by the 19th century history of the space they are exhibiting in.

London Style Guide: Eat, Sleep, Shop

Avoiding the cliches of the average city guide, this new book by lifestyle writer and editor Saskia Graville presents a design-led tour through the place that's on everyone's mind this summer.

Giò Ponti in Venice for the 2012 Architecture Biennale

 Giò Ponti and family at Casa Via Dezza

From 27th August to 28th September 2012, Molteni&C and Rubelli will be paying homage to renowned Italian designer Giò Ponti with Vivere alla Ponti, an exhibition set up in Rubelli's historic head offices at Palazzo Corner Spinelli, Venice.

Bug Jam 2012: Volkswagen Classic Car Festival

Monday 30 July 2012

The 26th annual Bug Jam festival saw VW enthusiasts at the Santa Pod Raceway, Northampton for cars, camping, beer, mud and music.

Marionet by Simon Busse

Stuttgart-based designer Simon Busse has created a collapsible table for Swiss manufacturer Mox that is inspired by traditional string-activated marionette puppets.

Toad by Philipp Beisheim

Each of the three levels of this wooden table by designer Philipp Beisheim balances on the next to create a stable structure.

The RBC Design Centre: a new design hub in Southern France

Friday 27 July 2012

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the RBC Design Centre opened its doors a month ago in Montpellier, with 2000m² and nine levels dedicated to exploring all areas of design culture.

Artisanal lifestyle: Heroomtage, Tokyo

The new concept store from Tomorrowland's creative director,Yasuhiro Sasaki, offers a mix of design, apparel and lifestyle products on a quiet Tokyo street. Heroomtage opened in March, and stocks a balance of 70% new and 30% vintage wares.

The SuperCool: A mobile emporium

Thursday 26 July 2012

The SuperCool at Melbourne Central Greenhouse; photo by Marsha Golemac

Melbourne-based retail concept The SuperCool is a mobile emporium which pops up across the city, with product tailored to fit the neighbourhood it is in that day.

Jacques-Elie Ribeyron: one to watch

Entertaining tool set by Jacques-Elie Ribeyron and Architectural Titanium

Up-and-coming designer Jacques-Elie Ribeyron is a graduate of the luxury design course that was launched at Switzerland's leading design school, ECAL, in 2008. His eye for detail, use of fine materials and precise, immaculate finishes won his graduation projects much acclaim.

Toast: A hand-crafted Christmas

British retailer Toast will reveal its artisan-themed collection of decorations and gifts for Christmas 2012 in stores this autumn. WGSN-homebuildlife profiles some of the highlights.

Poonam Dhuffer: A passion for colour

British textile designer Poonam Dhuffer's portfolio spans an eclectic collection of woven, hand-knotted and embellished fabrics. Richly textured fabrics are complemented with an extraordinary jewel-bright colour palette, with hints of metallic gold and black, and accents of almost neon magenta and orange.

Bird ceramics by Stephen Goudie

Wednesday 25 July 2012

These hand-painted ceramic plates by Norwich University College of the Arts graduate Stephen Goudie use a palette of cheerful bright colours to portray a wide range of different species of birds.

Frame Wall by Gerard de Hoop

This bookshelf by Dutch designer Gerard de Hoop provides a grid of storage space perfect for pocket-sized  books such as poetry compilations. Called Frame Wall, the design continues de Hoop's exploration of stark, linear black structures - and ties in with our recent trend analysis report, Black Outlines: Visual Simplicity.

Landscape paintings by Sue Fenlon

Artist Sue Fenlon creates these expressive wall art paintings and greetings cards, using mixed media to capture her pastoral surroundings in the Northumberland countryside.

Contemporary Knots by Loredana Bonora

Opening 20th September at Plusdesign gallery, in the Ventura Lambrate zone of Milan, Contemporary Knots will showcase Italian designer Loredana Bonora's series of crocheted furniture and domestic objects.

My Japan: Donna Wilson

Sheltering from the Rain exhibition by Donna Wilson at Trico Gallery, Tokyo 

Award-winning British designer Donna Wilson has just completed a tour of Japan, exhibiting work in 14 cities. She shares the highlights of her trip with WGSN-homebuildlife - from the best dumplings in Tokyo to Wilbur's encounter with a chihuahua.

Oji Masanori for Futagami

Designed by Oji Masanori for Japanese brand Futagami, these solid brass bottle openers pare the item down to its bare essentials, bringing a sculptural quality to an everyday kitchen essential. The series is available to buy online at British retailer Raw Dice.

Soil Horizons

Soil Horizons by US artist Maggie Puckett (2011) celebrates the beauty of soil and the different colours and textures to be found as one digs into the ground. Puckett created the book using 12 different types of handmade papers constructed from dead leaves, found roots and desert sand, with each page representing a different geological layer.

The Patternbase: Tumblr, website, book

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Founded by Kristi O’Meara May, The Patternbase website stemmed from the success of her 2011 personal Tumblr blog of the same name. Both outlets aim to provide inspiration for designers, featuring a broad range of photography, products, textiles and printed surfaces - as well as a wealth of coverage of the patterns found in nature.

Air: light alcohol

Monday 23 July 2012

A new alcoholic beverage designed to taste like water has hit the market. Called Air, the beverage is available in three flavours (club, citrus, and berry) and offers customers a light, low-calorie refreshment with 4% alcoholic content.

Cappellini x IED: 10 thesis projects reinvent storage

Giulio Cappellini has presented Cappellini: A Spasso Per la Casa (Cappellini: Round About the Home), a special showcase of 10 thesis projects which explore the possibilities of storage within the home by presenting prototype designs for new approaches.

HygroScope by Steffen Reicher

Currently installed at the Centre Pompidou is HygroScope, a project by Steffen Reicher which explores climate-responsive architectural morphology. The large-scale installation is made from maple veneer and synthetic composites, and is suspended within humidity-controlled glass so that passersby can watch it physically respond to changes in its atmosphere.

Undercover: leather stationery & accessories

British leather and stationery brand Undercover has launched its new range of stationery and gifts, which range from subtle colours and striking patterns to bold fluorescent colours. 

Soft Marble by Ron Gilad for Salvatori

New York-based designer Ron Gilad has designed a collection of marble pieces for leading Italian stone innovation company Salvatori, all of which work the hard material as if it was stretchy and soft.

HBL News: Liberty launches furnishing fabrics collection

Friday 20 July 2012

Liberty Felix Raison, Coronation Linen, Sandringham Velvet
This Autumn, long-established British department store Liberty will expand its reach with the launch of its first furnishing fabrics collection entitled Jubilee 2012. The collection of high quality linens and velvets takes inspiration from archived, uniquely British Liberty designs.

Modern Artefact Knives by Jason Webster

Graduate British designer Jason Webster has designed a set of contemporary knives with specific functions to assist their their user throughout the day - starting with a jam-spreading breakfast tool and ending with an escape-assisting bedroom knife.

Spectrum.Puente by Marcos Montane

Argentinian art director and designer Marcos Montane specialises in animation and graphic design. His ongoing project, Spectrum.Puente, is a growing collection of real time visuals that explore the intrinsic relationship between sound and image.

Polite Objects by Beth Hays Thomas

Thursday 19 July 2012

Both the carafe and the glass in this tableware collection by Kingston University graduate Beth Hays Thomas are nipped in at the waist, as if bowing graciously to their audience.

Sabatina Leccia: Eat The World Up

Sabatina Leccia’s glassware series Eat The World Up is a visual metaphor for the over-consumption of the planet’s resources.

Christmas at The Chelsea Gardener

Wednesday 18 July 2012

'Christmas tea' resin decorations at The Chelsea Gardener

London-based store The Chelsea Gardener held its autumn/winter 2012 Christmas preview last week. The event showcased a range of inspiring gifts and decorations for all ages which will be in store from October.

Swirl: a premium chocolate gift

Central Saint Martins graduate Irene Tzs Yan Tong has designed a concept chocolate product which would hang around the neck of a bottle of wine to create the perfect party gift. Designed in response to a hypothetical brief for Tesco Finest, Swirl would be produced in three flavours to match three different types of wine. 

Fashion Furniture by SMOOL

Dutch design agency SMOOL was founded by industrial designer Robert Bronwasser in 2002. Its latest collection, a playful range of pieces called Fashion Furniture, was unveiled at Design District 2012.

Colour Hunting

Colour Hunting : How Colour Influences What We Buy, Make and Feel by Hanneke Kamphuijs and Jeanne Tan (Frame Publishers, 2011) is an in-depth analysis of colour research, exploring tone, shade, tint, and profiling innovative experimentations with colour across design, art, fashion and architecture.

Stately Sandwiches by Kelly Pratt

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Stately Sandwiches by Kelly Pratt

Stately Sandwiches is a project created by design student Kelly Pratt who creates signature sandwiches that represent each American state. The sandwiches are photographed and then turned into posters which Kelly sells through the Stately Sandwiches online store.

Charles Pollock for Bernhardt Design

CP Lounge chair by Charles Pollock for Bernhardt Design
Charles Pollock, designer of the Pollock Chair released by Florence Knoll back in 1965, has teamed up with American brand Bernhardt Design to create the CP Lounge Chair - his first new product in America in 47 years.

Simple Things: colour, pattern & detail

Coiled basket by Wave Song, via Simple Things

Australian design blog Simple Things focuses on the details of design, and the details of life. Great for pattern, finishes and trimmings inspiration, it spans fashion, design and craft to gather inspiring examples of each.

Humanae: Pantone skin tones

Monday 16 July 2012

Humanae project by Angelica Dass

The Humanae project by Brazilian artist Angelica Dass is a photography project that explores racial and cultural identity. Dass takes portraits of people of different genders, ages and races and then uses an 11x11 pixel sample of their face to create a unique Pantone colour.

Malle W.Trousseau, the cooking chest

Malle W.Trousseau is a selection of 43 kitchen essentials. The idea came to founder Isabelle Mathez when her daughter left home and asked for various cooking accessories. It has been conceived as an actual trousseau, and is filled with useful objects that are intended to last a lifetime.

Christmas at Lakeland

Advent Tealights, £8,99 
British retailer Lakeland has previewed its Christmas collection, which includes a wide range of decorative accessories, kitchenware, tableware, food and drink, as well as a special line developed in collaboration with Children in Need. Here are WGSN-homebuildlife's favourites.

Sci-fi visuals by Doug Darnell

Friday 13 July 2012

LA-based creative director Doug Darnell combines technology, art, design and music to create psychedelic video art. His Hawking Leary project is based on exploration of the mind, space, and how visuals and sounds all add to heighten the experience. 

Night lights by Stephanie Cassé

Graduate designer Stephanie Cassé has designed a series of rechargeable night lights with toy-like knitted covers.

Taskbot: an efficiency aid for freelancers

Thursday 12 July 2012

Central Saint Martins graduate Andrew Williams created this Taskbot to motivate people who work from home. The friendly-looking device monitors its user's working habits and dishes out rewards and punishments as necessary.

HBL News: Digital plastic pages

Thin plastic sheets capable of displaying video and images will be going into production next year, the BBC reports. UK company Plastic Logic has created the e-paper; read more on Design Taxi.

Edra turns 25

Italian design brand Edra is also celebrating its birthday: the brand turned 25 yesterday.

60 years of Moroso: Milan celebrates

Italian design brand Moroso is celebrating its first 60 years in business with two must-see exhibitions at the Hangar Bicocca: a hybrid reinterpretation of the brand's products by Martino Gamper, and a thoughtful retrospective put together by Patrizia Moroso herself.

Christmas at Highgrove

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Luxury British brand Highgrove sells a range of lifestyle and interiors products, each inspired by or relating to the house and gardens at Highgrove, HRH The Prince of Wales' residence in Gloucestershire.

Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland

This new book by writer and photographer Anna H. Blessing profiles 20 different Midwestern farms to examine how the locally-grown movement has blossomed in cities such as Chicago - and how local produce has become a priority for a number of renowned chefs in the US.

Sumptuously photographed and thoughtfully written, it's a coffee table staple for food-lovers to dip in and out of.

Plot to Plate: allotment-inspired pattern

Kate Farley’s Plot to Plate collection is a series of paper and textile products inspired by home-grown vegetables and the kitchen garden lifestyle.

Spun Furniture by Hugh Leader-Williams

Hugh Leader-Williams won an impressive three awards last week at New Designers: as a result, his work will feature in the Emerging Brands section of 100% Design this September, and be put into production and manufactured with online retailer

French Cuisse: food still lifes

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Innovative food blog French Cuisse is the work of William Valle, a nineteen year old student from Quebec who is currently studying restaurant management. His images portray various dishes in clean still life compositions, with a methodical feel.

Dotcomgiftshop: Christmas 2012

British online retailer Dotcomgiftshop's 2012 Christmas collection combines home crafting with kitsch nostalgia and a classic festive colour palette. WGSN-homebuildlife previews the highlights.

Christmas 2012 at Biscuiteers

Monday 9 July 2012

Iced biscuit brand Biscuiteers have previewed their Christmas 2012 collection, which spans a huge variety of offerings from hampers and gift sets to iced Christmas jumpers, skates and wreathes - and even dog-friendly versions of their signature treats.

Heather Moore: Cape Town kids' lifestyle

South Africa's kids' retail industry has blossomed, with talent emerging in Cape Town where consumers are growing to appreciate locally crafted products. One example is designer and illustrator Heather Moore, who is well known for her interesting fabric, which she designs for her brand Skinny LaMinx.