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The artist said that the goal of his work is to “allow nature to have its say.”

Handmade Wine Chillers

Ceramic artist Michael Wisner learned much of his craft from Juan Quezada, the self-invented Mexican master who rediscovered ancient methods of Indian pottery. “I knocked on his door and told him I loved his work,” Wisner said. “And I ended up staying there for three months." During an 18-year period, Wisner estimates, he spent two and a half years with the recipient of Mexico’s coveted National Art Award. “I was keenly interested in his process, his attention to detail and his acute knowledge of materials,” Wisner said. "He’s constantly challenging himself, and you’re imbued with that when you work with him.”
March 2, 2011
Norman Copenhagen Name Hat

Name this Wall Hook

I used to think that being a professional namer, you know, a guy who dreams up names for stuff like products, racehorses, children, would be the most amazing job in the world. I'm not so convinced of that today, but playing occasional namer is still good fun. And now the dear Danes at Normann Copenhagen need your help and mine to name one of their new products: a wall hook called Drop, at least for now, designed by the Swedes at Asshoff Brogard.
March 2, 2011
design indaba 1

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
auger loizeau clock

Auger & Loizeau's Carnivorous Design

Is furniture animal, vegetable, or mineral? For designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, who are also researchers at the Royal Academy of Art in London, it's a little of all three. The duo gleaned inspiration from venus flytraps and pitcher plants to create lamps, tables, and clocks that are powered by "digesting" household pests like flies and rodents. Insect to energy—who would've thought? At the core of the design is Microbial Fuel Cell technology, a chemical process that breaks down organic matter into energy. Their experimental concept is unique—albeit a bit disconcerting—and touches on a variety of  issues: how design can be used to make unconventional ideas more palatable, how to tap into unconventional energy sources, and how new technology can fit into our daily lives. We welcome robots to vacuum our floors and act as pets—the Roomba and Sony's AIBO come to mind—but what about catching pests? Here's a video of Auger and Loizeau explaining their "Domestic Entertainment Robots."
February 22, 2011
Library Kitchen by Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck's Library Kitchen

There is no shortage of incredible kitchen systems to ogle—and if you're lucky, incorporate into your home. Following our recent coverage of Viola Park's new kitchen islands and Snaidero's Code Natural kitchen, here we highlight an imm cologne 2011 Interior Innovation Award Winner: Philippe Starck's Library Kitchen for Warendorf.
February 18, 2011
stockholm asplund kay bojesen

Stockholm Design Week 2011

We've been covering the 2011 Stockholm Furniture Fair for the past week, delving into everything from the heavy hitters on the main show floor to the promising young designers debuting prototypes in the Greenhouse. But one can't forget how important it is to soak up what's happening at satellite events around the city, where the creative types gather in the evening to have a drink or four, toast both the powerhouses and the rising stars, and just blow off steam from a day of meetings. Here we present a few images from the week.
February 13, 2011
stockholm lr light bar

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2011: Part II

After examining the wares of the younguns over at the Greenhouse, it was time to venture into the main portion of the Stockholm Furniture Fair. As is the case with any major design show, there were rows and rows of beautiful items, scores of exhibitors busily tending to last-minute booth preperations, and a constantly growing number of people shuffling around, mouths agape. Here we present a few images captured during eight straight hours on the floor—you'll see some just-released items, some old Scandinavian favorites, and lots and lots of this country's favorite color—yellow.
February 10, 2011
stockholm green house

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2011: Part I

This week marks the return of the Stockholm Furniture Fair, the largest annual design event in the Nordic part of the world. Celebrating its sixtieth year in existence, the fair is hosting nearly 800 exhibitors from 30 different countries. We're kicking off our coverage of the show by featuring new works found at the Greenhouse, the portion of the fair dedicated to independent designers and students. Much like Salone Satellite in MIlan, the Greenhouse is comprised of young designers' prototypes; a juried panel makes a final selection from the many submissions that fly in from design schools both near and far. Many of today's prominent designers were discovered here, including Nendo, Front, and Folkform, and this year's jury included Anna von Schewen, Matti Klenell, David Carlsson, and Louise Campbell. Here we present a small selection of pieces on display.    
February 9, 2011
Kaufmann Glasses

Kaufmann's Unbreakable Glasses

I was recently down in Los Angeles to moderate a panel on the Swiss Design Awards at the A+D Museum. There I met a 2009 award winner for product design, Sandra Kaufmann, who heads the eyewear brand Strada del Sole. Her durable, flexible sunglasses were one of the objects on display for this leg of the Swiss Design Award's world tour and in the video below she tells me precisely how they work. Thanks to Moni Fink for the expert camerawork.
February 8, 2011
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