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Paris Versus New York

It's rare that a series of visual puns has much of a shelf life, but Paris Versus New York, a punchy book of illustrations comparing and contrasting the two cities from Vahram Muratyan merits repeated reading. His keen eye and flat, graphic style both work in the service of some pretty incisive criticism. Finding equivalents, contradictions, and remarkable similarities in the unique cultures of each place, Muratyan feels more like a crack pop ethnographer than gimmick artist. Check out the slideshow that follows to see how the City of Light stacks up against the Big Apple. You might think you know both, but I guarantee that you'll be surprised by this deft little book, which is out January 31st from Penguin. Images Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin, A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from "Paris versus New York" by Vahram Muratyan Copyright (c) 2011 by Vahram Muratyan.
January 6, 2012
Mike Matas Journey Across India

Mike Matas's Travel Videos

In addition to working at Facebook and formerly gigging at Apple, Mike Matas is one hell of a photographer. And thanks to this trio of videos he's made of three pretty serious treks across parts of the globe, we all get to revel in his work. And as a webby kind of guy, he's organized things so that we see these still images at DSL speed. Like 4000 in the span of three minutes. You'd think that this pace would be too disorienting to confer any meaning, and that's part of the point, but when little eddies of calm momentarily repel the crushing tide, there's little more elating. Here are three videos from his Vimeo site, including a new one dedicated to a trip he took to Japan.
January 5, 2012
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The Saguaro, Scottsdale

This 5.5-acre property is a much-needed hotel option in Scottsdale and a welcome splash of color in the mundane beiges of the Sonoran desert. Despite breaking out from the shackles of traditional design, Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat of Stamberg Aferiat Architecture still paid homage to the landscape and the Southwest by blending the original buildings' classic "International style" architecture with the invigorating colors of twelve indigenous flowers.
December 20, 2011
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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
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Hôtel Americano, New York City

Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha have ten hotels in Mexico under their brand Grupo Habita, but now they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone to build a hotel in New York City. What makes Hôtel Americano unique from prior projects? There is not much color and no art, a far cry from their previous hotels, known for their contemporary art pieces. For the hoteliers, neutrality meant no distractions and no competition with the bounty of art already in the area. Hotel Americano pushes boundaries, working with small spaces and making special features like the rooftop pool and restaurant functioning in the cold of winter as it does in summer days. "It's not about trendiness," Couturier explains. "Everything is about the architecture, the interior design..."  
October 31, 2011
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Tramshed 2011 Video Recap

One of the best shows I saw in all of the London Design Festival was Tramshed 2011 in the Shoreditch Design Triangle. I posted a slideshow of what I saw whilst in London, but as is common, loads of great recaps show up a few weeks after the fact. That is certainly the case with this cool video that furniture brand De la Espada posted on Vimeo. Not only do you get a good tour of all that was on view at the Tramshed, but you see just how thoroughly De la Espada has invested in the show. They must have had two-thirds of the floorspace divvied up between designers they work with like Benjamin Hubert, Matthew Hilton, Soren Rose, Studio Ilse and others. You also get a nice peek at the smaller designers at Tramshed like Plant & Moss and the groovy Glasshouse by VONSUNG. Enjoy this short peek into just some of the great design on in London last month.
October 18, 2011
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Inside the VitraHaus

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Basel, Switzerland, was crossing the border to visit the Vitra campus in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, about 25 minutes from Basel, and exploring the VitraHaus. The five-story structure looks like seven longhouses stacked one on top of each other, and it houses the entire Vitra collection. The best part: you're encouraged to take a seat and test out all the pieces.
October 15, 2011
Touring Basel Switzerland part 2

Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 2

Last month I traveled to Basel, Switzerland, a European city first founded during the Roman Empire and still boasting beautiful buildings constructed more than 1,000 years agos. In Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 1, I explored the city's historic downtown, which is a mix of neo-Gothic cathedrals, knit graffiti, ancient bridges, and Richard Serra sculptures. In Part 2, we share the fun to be had in and around the Rhine and travel outside the city to the Vitra campus and the Laufen bathrooms factory.
October 12, 2011
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