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High Point Market 2011

April 2nd to the 7th marked the spring High Point Market, a tradeshow that takes place in the heart of American furniture country. One of the oldest furniture fairs in the United States, the Market traces its roots back to 1909 when it was called the "Southern Furniture Expo." Twice a year in April and October, an estimated 80,000 people convene to get the scoop on some of the newest and soon-to-be-released interior design wares. The Market slants to the traditional and "transitional," but the contemporary held its ground (though it took some sifting for me to find). In the following slideshow, have a look at what was brought to Market by a handful of the 2,000+ exhibitors, make a pit stop at the world's largest chest of drawers, and take in the color du jour (hint: it was NOT Pantone's Honeysuckle).
April 7, 2011
Made design

Made Design Shop and Gallery

Canada is known for its love of hockey and its long winters but few people know of our neighbor to the north's wealth of innovative modern designers. Enter Made. The Toronto shop and gallery features pieces that are—as the storefront suggests—"Canadian made, hand made, custom made, and well made." It's a celebration of what Canadian design is all about.
March 23, 2011
A classic, the Tolomeo lamp.

The Electrician-Free Sconce

A few months into living in a new apartment, it's become clear that I'm one lamp shy of a fully-lit living room. It's perfectly fine in there, but I often wish that I could turn everything just a tick brighter without turning on the ghastly overhead light. And though I've considered another table lamp, or an arcing floor lamp, suddenly a sconce or two that don't require any wiring are looking more and more appealing. Here are the two that I've got my eye on. Best yet, neither will break the bank.
March 14, 2011
Hans Wegner's Model no. 236 sofa designed for Getama in 1954.

Upcoming Auction at LA Modern

Original Ettore Sottsass furniture and accessories that were custom designed and built for the late tech pioneer Max Palevsky will hit the auction block March 6th at LA Modern. The Memphis Group member’s pieces will be sold without a reserve, and joined by work from fellow Modernists Harry Bertoia, Hans Wegner, Charles & Ray Eames, Sam Maloof, and George Nakashima. The catalog is rounded out by a selection of modern artworks by Richard Tuttle, Ed Ruscha, Helen Frankenthaler, Picasso and others. Check out a few of the objects on sale in the slideshow that follows.
March 4, 2011
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Design Indaba 2011

Cape Town's Design Indaba always kicks off with a conference of eclectic speakers from all over the world and wraps up with an expo focusing on Southern African designers. "Forget about the beauty," says New York-based designer Dror Benshetrit, as if every city with two oceans wrapped itself around a mountain. "The people are so welcoming, so open minded, so thirsty to be connected to the grid. I see a lot of potential in South Africa, a lot of creative, eager, ambitious people. I have a really good feeling that I'll be here again soon." Job creation and environmental stewardship have been oft-discussed themes at previous Indabas, but seem to have reached a critical mass this year, which may help its bid for World Design Capital 2014. In the following slideshow, have a look at some of the outstanding works created by the South African designers who exhibited at the 2011 Design Indaba Expo.
March 1, 2011
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Barcelona, Day Two

On our second day in Barcelona, fueled by café con leche and enough jamon to kill a horse, we excitedly settled into a breakneck tour of modern Catalan design and architecture. From Gaudi and Dali to Mariscal and Alvarez, our Barcelona education continues in earnest.
January 29, 2011
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Maison & Objet: Part 2

I'm just back from Paris, and still processing all the exciting new furnishings, accessories, and objets I spied at Maison & Objet over the weekend. In case you missed my first dispatch, check it out here. Let's continue the virtual tour, with highlights from Ligne Roset, HAY, Donna Wilson, and SCP...
January 27, 2011

Barcelona, Day One

When the plane's wheels touched ground this morning at 7am, it was still dark in Barcelona. We, a motley crew of design-website editors, had just spent a long eight hours flying over the Atlantic with—horrors!—no wifi. Even though the sun was just rising as we sped away from the airport, we resisted the siren song of hotel beds and Internet clicking, and immediately embarked upon a rousing tour of Catalan architecture, art and design.
January 26, 2011

Inventables: Materials Database

Zach Kaplan is looking out for the little guys. In 2002, he launched Inventables, an extensive library of high-tech materials from manufacturers and innovators like Dupont and 3Form. The initial price tag on a subscription to the database—$70,000-$350,000—limited access to everyone but Fortune 500 companies, Kaplan says. So in 2010, inspired by the upsurge in DIYism and maker culture, he tossed out the sky-high membership rates and tossed all the information and products online—for free. "We wanted to democratize access to all this interesting research we've done over the last eight years," Kaplan says. The result is a prototyping designer's dream: an inventors hardware store where small quantities of samples can be purchased with the click of the button and the cash in your wallet (many materials costs less then $20). "When you're a really big company, suppliers will bend over backwards to do whatever you want them to do but if you're a small company it's see you later," Kaplan says. "Designers, artists, inventors, students—we think of them as little R&Ds. They have all the passion, energy, and drive. We want to get these materials into their hands." Click through our slideshow for 14 materials available on that have Kaplan's juices flowing—from rubber glass to translucent concrete.  
January 11, 2011