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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
note design studio shelving

New from Note Design: Marginal Notes #2

Note Design Studio opened "Excursion," its second "Marginal Notes" exhibition at the Lindelöf showroom and gallery Wednesday night. Eagerly awaiting the follow-up to last year's collection, I trekked over to the space Thursday morning to see what the design group released. Their bright, pop sensibility (let's just say that they're armed with a palette of neon hues and aren't afraid to use it) was reflected yet again in the designs, which were inspired by thoughts, musings, and sketches captured in their notebooks. Here's how they describe the methodology: "We went deep into the forest to explore, measure, and collect…We examined our notebooks in search of the ideas in the margin—those unique sketches that pop out when you look again…Many seemed to have a common theme that we simply called "Base Camp"; the simplistic materials and shapes of scientific field expedition tools adapted to stand wear and tear." The way that these objects were reinterpreted consistently had me standing there nodding to myself and saying, "well, now, that's clever." Have a look at the designs in our slideshow and see for yourself.
February 10, 2012
hay reissues

Fair Chairs

We continue our coverage of the 2012 Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair with a selection of especially haute seats. The allure of a well-designed chair is tough to resist and there were plenty of lookers on the show floor. Most featured the attributes we all come to expect from Scandinavian design: blonde wood, hardy textiles, and crisp lines, but a few bucked the mold, featuring looser silhouettes and knitted slipcovers intended to act as furniture garments.
February 8, 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

Best of Paris: 2012 Maison & Objet

Maison & Objet, the annual winter design show in Paris, ended last week, and it's taken seven whole days to catch our collective breath and clean off our camera's memory card. The immeubles shown at Maison sweep across eight airplane-hangar-sized buildings in a convention center north of the ciy, and include everything in the world of "déco," from wallpaper to candlesticks to armoires. And like any influential design fair worth its salt, the conversion of editors and retailers inspires some equally incredible satellite events throughout Paris. Especially notable were the young designers presenting at Meet My Project and offsite events by Emeco and Rockwell Group. Here are some notes from the exhibition floors at Maison, with some city snapshots for good measure.
February 1, 2012
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Danish Design, Curated by Morrison

While in Copenhagen recently, I had the chance to visit the recently renamed Design Museum Denmark (formerly the Danish Museum of Art & Design), and to check out their current exhibition, the quirkily named "Danish Design–I Like It!" British designer Jasper Morrison combed through the museum's extensive archives to put together a personal tour of the country's design highlights from mid-century onwards. The exhibition, which is on view until December 30th, offers a colorful and fascinating look at a wide variety of Danish-designed objects and furnishings, from the iconic to the obscure. Here's a peek at the goods on view.
November 22, 2011
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A Visit to HAY Copenhagen

I just returned to the office from a trip to Copenhagen spent reporting a handful of stories for the magazine and scouting future projects. A highlight of the trip was my visit to HAY, a fantastic store dedicated to contemporary Danish design that's set in a historic building overlooking Strøget, the city's main pedestrian thoroughfare. I spent more than an hour in the store in a kind of happy design daze, gawping over the lovely sofas, chairs, rugs, tables, and miscellaneous gifts and gadgets. Here are some photos from my visit. I'll share some of my other favorite Copenhagen discoveries online over the next couple weeks.
November 15, 2011
macleaod residence street view

Building Green in Albany

This year, Build it Green celebrates the completion of its 10,000th GreenPoint rated home. Through the Greenpoint system, Build it Green awards points for energy efficiency, resource conservation, indoor air quality, water conservation and community consideration in new projects as well as renovations. I recently toured a renovation in Albany, California, that fetched a whopping score of 231 out of 300 possible points. While every design gesture was carefully thought out to maximize its green potential, the home is remarkably comfortable and liveable and it doesn't feel like like a theoretical or conceptual exercise—everything just makes sense. Click through the slideshow for a look at the residence and the measures homeowner and architect Ian MacLeod undertook.
November 9, 2011