Latest Articles in Travel

tile bahia palace

Tiles of Marrakech

I was in Morocco last week and it should come as no surprise to design fans that I was ensorcelled by the variety and complexity of Moroccan tilework. From elaborate mosaics on palace walls to simple geometric designs on the street, I found myself snapping photo after photo of tiles. Here are a handful of highlights from my time in Marrakech. Look for more in the next couple days from Casablanca.
March 15, 2012
Julio Julio

Julio Miranda Thiel's Workshop

I had the chance to visit master potter Julio Miranda Thiel's workshop at the Beldi Country Club just outside of Marrakech. I met Thiel at a dinner a few nights before and he graciously invited me out one morning to see how he marries traditional Moroccan craftsmanship—the town of Safi is the hub of the country's considerable ceramics trade and turns out loads of potters—with more modern forms. Thiel himself studied design in Chile and Argentina and told me that his education was "thoroughly modernist." Here's what I saw.
March 9, 2012
biennale pots

Marrakech Biennale: Higher Atlas

The Marrakech Biennale is in its fourth go here in Morocco's cultural capitol, and though much of the citywide exhibition deals with photography, sculpture and the like, the main show Higher Atlas—installed in the never-completed Theatre Royale—is decidedly architectural. From a fully-erected Maine backwoods shack by Ethan Hayes-Chute to a massive satellite dish by German architect Jurgen Mayer H., these works of art must contend with the presence of a raw, unfinished building. Started decades ago as an opera house by the previous king, one gets the sense that the actual theater, done only in raw concrete, will never be finished. I had a splendid time wandering around the structure discovering installation after installation. With no information given about what each project is, who made it, or what it's made from, one had the sense of pure discovery walking around the building, like finding ancient frescoes in a ruin. The exhibit runs through June 3rd.
March 6, 2012
tobys estate coffee lamps

Coffee Break: Toby's Estate

Under-caffeinated Brooklynites have a new destination in Toby's Estate coffee, an Australian cafe import that opened in January. The company has been around since 1998 but for their first U.S. outpost they contacted New York firm nemaworkshop to design the space. "It was important that the cafe be a social space for the neighborhood," says nemaworkshop's Anurag Nema. Our last Coffee Break story, we focused on Coffee Bar, a cafe meant to be a stage for the craft of coffee. In a 180-degree flip, Toby's is designed to create a stage for community. "Over the last decade, cafes have been serving up more than cups of coffee to their patrons. They're meeting places, study rooms, extensions of our living rooms, a place we feel safe to harbor for a few hours while checking our email, or finishing the final scene in what will become our breakout playwright," continues Nema. With that in mind, have look at the space in our slideshow.
March 5, 2012
rococo thumb

Donna Wilson Chocolates

We Dwellers are huge fans of Donna Wilson's charming and crafty designs, and have highlighted many of her products online and in the magazine, including her egg cups, pouffes, house blanket, make-your-own-monster kit, and a bevy of other items. So we were excited to hear about her latest collaboration with Rococo Chocolates: a series of six hand-painted easter eggs made of white chocolate layered on top of dark chocolate.
February 27, 2012
ff kelsey 022412

Friday Finds 02.24.12

On this Friday, we take you on a food tour of San Francisco, share a clip from the new Ralph Fiennes film, and introduce you to our new favorite interactive website, which tests one's ability to draw stick figures. Scroll down for more.
February 24, 2012
Party Foundation Monument in Pyongyang, North Korea

An Architecture Guide to Pyongyang

German architect and writer Philipp Meuser realizes that Pyongyang, North Korea, doesn't top many travel destination wish lists, but after looking at his Architectural and Cultural Guide: Pyongyang Volume 1 and 2, due out on February 28th from DOM Publishers, I was shocked at how much the book piqued my curiosity. Now, it's hard to imagine that Uncle Sam will let me, or any other Yank, north of the Korean DMZ anytime soon, but as a glimpse into a forbidden world, the book is fascinating. And as I learned from talking with Meuser, the origins of the book itself are as compelling, as they are strange.
February 9, 2012
form us with friends plug

Seven from Stockholm Design Week

It's about mid-way through the 2012 Stockholm Design Week and I've been traveling to studios, showrooms, and the show floor of the Furniture and Light Fair to seek out what's new in Scandinavian Design. There were plenty of wonderful things out there—far too many to even begin to think about a comprehensive roundup—but in the following slideshow, I share seven of my favorites in lighting, furniture, textiles, and accessories.
February 7, 2012
Hotel Fasano Boa Vista in Brazil

Hotel Fasano Boa Vista, Brazil

Just a few months ago, Fasano Hotels opened a sprawling property in Sao Paolo, Brazil, that highlights the natural beauty of the area. It's so easily accessible from the city that guests are shocked at how quickly they are transported into what seems like a different world—a world surrounded by lakes, preserved forestry, and stunning gardens that flow seamlessly into the Fasano Boa Vista. The man behind the hotel’s strong structure and bold design is one of Brazil’s most renowned architects, Isay Weinfeld. With this project, his goal was to create a hotel that looked and felt as wondrous and peaceful as the nature that envelops it.
February 7, 2012