Latest Articles in Product Design

Qubique entryhall

Report from Qubique in Berlin

What makes a tradeshow cool? Location, location, location. In the case of Quibique, a furniture fair making its debut October 26th to 29th, that means a cool city (Berlin) and a cool spot in that city (the hall of the former Tempelhof airport). The iconic, now-decommissioned airport, designed and built in the roaring twenties before a Nazi-era expansion, again became a symbol of hope after WWII during the Berlin Airlift when American pilots used it to deliver food and goods to West Berliners blockaded by the Soviet army.
October 28, 2011
Toaster Mica

The Toaster Project

One of the most exciting books to come across my desk in the last while is designer Thomas Thwaites' incredible The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch. In it Thwaites recounts his efforts to source and collect the materials necessary to make a toaster (and we're talking about extracting bits of mica and steel from the earth here), and then build the thing. The result is a hilarious, wonderfully wrought account of how hard it is to really make anything from scratch, much less an electronic device. I asked Thwaites a few questions about the book whilst he was in transit to the Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine. His answers were revealing. His book is even better.
October 24, 2011
In 1956, Alexander Girard was commissioned by Georg Jensen to design seven table settings for an exhibition in New York. The Millers used the Carolus Magnus pattern at their house in Columbus, Indiana. The motifs in these four porcelain plates represent t

Inspired by the Miller House

I just learned about this new series of products inspired by one of the country’s most iconic examples of mid-century Modernist residential architecture—the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. We featured this project, which was designed by Eero Saarinen, with interiors by Alexander Girard and landscape design by Dan Kiley, in our May issue, online here. This past spring it opened to the public for the first time ever, as a house museum owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.   Now, in an effort to help support the preservation of this singular architectural complex, the IMA Museum Store has created a series of five products emblazoned with Alexander Girard patterns, comprising the Miller House Collection.   Here are the current offerings:   ALEXANDER GIRARD PLATE SET, $52.00
October 14, 2011
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Friday Finds 10.14.11

Happy Friday to you all! Today we present a round-up of our favorite websites, photos, and videos. From compendiums of obscure book illustrations, to epicurean photography (can you tell it's close to lunch?), to landscape design around the globe, scroll down to see what's been on the minds of the staff at Dwell.
October 14, 2011
1 CopyrightEAMESOffice

Eames Words

The A+D Museum on L.A.’s Museum Row has just opened "Eames Words," named for its highly conceptual, and lexical, approach to the Eames legacy. “The whole idea is based on an aspect on Charles and Ray’s lives that is somewhat underexposed to the world,” says curator Deborah Sussman (of the design firm Sussman/Prejza), who worked closely with the couple at the Eames Office in Venice, California, for ten years in the 1950s and ’60s. Central to the exhibition—which runs through January 16—are quotes by Charles and Ray Eames, many previously published and better known, and some told directly to Sussman (such as Ray’s assessment that the Jeep is “an automobile that America can be proud of,” accompanied by a Army-green Willys Jeep). Each quote has received a specialized treatment and sizing by type designer Andrew Byrom; the words meander through the modest space as a narrative that allows the world a glimpse into the philosophies behind the Eameses’ work—and way of living.
October 12, 2011
Circus is part of an uncharacteristically geometric collection that Cole & Son is debuting this fall.

Cole & Son Factory Tour

Cole & Son, a London-based wallpaper manufacturer established in 1875, recently launched its collection of autumn wallpapers, including a particularly striking harlequin pattern of overlain colors called "Circus" that proves the 136-year-old company can do modern with as much depth as the historical. These papers are manufactured—"manu," by hand, being the operative root—barely north of central London in Haringey, where the tiny Cole & Son factory rolls out a quarter of a million meters of high-end wallcoverings per year. On the ground floor of the two-floor warehouse, a 130-year old machine sits beside a shinier digital printer of a mere 30 years. Though they don’t look old enough, some workers have been there for decades and have children working there too. “It’s like anything you do,” says a screen printer named Jason who has been mastering his craft for 25 years. “You just get used to it and then it’s easy.”
October 11, 2011
Steve Jobs

Remembering Steve Jobs

Today at Dwell, as we fire up our MacBooks and plug in the odd iPhone, we remember Steve Jobs, the 56 year-old former CEO of Apple who died yesterday. Few companies have demonstrated such a relentless commitment to good design as Apple did under Jobs' guiding hand. I recently interviewed Dieter Rams, another company man (at Braun) who revolutionized the way companies tie themselves to industrial design (and a clear inspiration for Apple's products) and he named Apple as the company today with the strongest design ethos. Rams discussed how a company can't merely have a few design stars in the lab, it must receive constant support from the highest reaches of the corporate ladder. Jobs understood that, and as we come to terms with his passing yesterday, we'll see his legacy play out for generations. As such, we've chosen a trio of fitting tributes from around the web to one of our great industrialists—the man with the golden Apple.
October 6, 2011
Bialetti Pasta Pot

Bialetti Pasta Pot

Italian cooktop and cookware company Bialetti is best known for its Moka Express stovetop espresso maker. It has, however, been bolstering its line of pots and pans over the recent years. Among its offerings is the five-quart Pasta Pot.
October 3, 2011
modern wall shelf storage solutions

4 Striking Wall Shelves

Bar the bookcase and forswear the end table; a striking wall shelf may be all you need to refresh a sagging interior.
October 1, 2011