Latest Articles in Product Design

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
Object #3, another early prototype that, while not exactly functional, informed the design of later pieces.

From Sweden: Note Design Studio

Stockholm-based Note Design Studio is like a Swedish Pee Wee's Playhouse--everything is cartoonish, playful, and very very fun. Founded in 2008, the group is comprised of a quirky mix of designers, architects and all-around creative types, and they combine their efforts to create products, interior spaces, branding for companies, and all manner of things. Their latest collection, Marginal Notes 2011, has just debuted at Stockholm Design Week, and was born from the scribbles that dotted the margins of the team's notebooks. As they tell it, one day during a strategy meeting they decided to take a break by looking at each other's doodles. From those initial sketches, odd proportions and odd configurations included, they launched a series of prototypes. In the end it became an exhibition of weird and wonderful objects. Take a look at the pieces, and the studio's charming liner notes.
February 7, 2011

Anna von Schewen

While in Vegas for Surfaces and Las Vegas Market, I had the chance to not only take in the terrific 17 Swedish Designers exhibit but also chat with Anna von Schewen and hear her lecture. She spoke about Swedish history (lamenting a lack of a design award among the Nobel prizes and reminding everyone that Pippi Longstocking was a Swedish character), Scandianvian design ("We have a philosophy of openness, simplicity, and modernity," she said, adding that "recently the focus has been less about functionality and more about emotionality"), and Swedish product innovations (like the BabyBjörn and the Peepoo single-use, biodegradable toilet bag). Here, she takes us on a tour of her own designs.
February 7, 2011
Canada's <a href="">Cherrywood Studio</a>, who designed this table, uses locally-sourced large urban hardwood trees that would otherwise be destined for landfill sites.

IDS Toronto 2011

The thirteenth annual Interior Design Show (IDS) of Toronto—one of Canada's largest contemporary design shows—took place January 27th-30th. Over 300 exhibitors gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Center to show their wares—ranging from furniture to lighting to textiles—to an estimated 50,000 people. Though IDS has been around for more than a decade, this year exceeded many expectations. "People are really pulling out all the stops here," says Yuill McGregor of North on Sixty, a Toronto-based woodworking studio that participated in the show. And judging from the wealth of designs from both emerging and established exhibitors, McGregor was right on in his assessment. In the following slideshow, have a look at few highlights from the sprawling array of designs on view at this year's IDS.
February 5, 2011
edward fields

Edward Fields Iconics

Edward Fields—an American carpet maker whose rugs dress the floors in the Glass House, Hollyhock House, and Lever House—recently released "Iconics," a collection of eleven designs inspired by their most distinct patterns unveiled throughout their 70 year history. Ranging from retro designs of the 1950's and 1960's to more contemporary patterns from the 1980's and 1990's, these "reissued" rugs represent what Edward Fields has long been known for: distinct, bold patterns and an experimental sensibility. While the patterns remain largely untouched from their originals, their current iterations have been adapted for today's tastes (think shorter pile height, new materials and a modern color palette). Click through the slideshow to see the designs along with a few mid-century photographs of the carpets in-situ.
February 4, 2011
ff 020411

Friday Finds 2.04.11

Have a look at some on the most interestiing things we here at Dwell saw this week. Scroll down to see kinetic sculptures, a Werner Herzog-narrated film, and snowy images of the "monster storm" battering the U.S.
February 4, 2011
17 Swedish Designers exhibition

17 Swedish Designers

If there was one exhibition I longed to see last year, it was 17 Swedish Designers. The show features the work of, you guessed it, 17 young, female, Swedish designers and design groups who have all at some point displayed their work at Gallery Pascale, a small yet exciting art space in Stockholm run by French-born gallerist Pascale Cottard-Olsson. In past years, she has brought together some of the most innovative designers in Sweden to show their work and to ask them to create new objects for group exhibits on themes such as Stockholm-specific design or baskets. In the mid-2000s, Cottard-Olsson published a book titled "17 Swedish Designers, chez Pascale," which has since become the 17 Swedish Designers touring exhibit. The U.S. tour launched in late 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently on view in Las Vegas.
February 3, 2011
pup tent thumb

Pup Tent!

Last year, the AIA Small Project Award went to what is most likely the smallest house ever to win the award: the Pup Tent by the New York-based firm Slade Architecture. Made from a single four-by-eight foot sheet of water-jet cut plywood, the conical 'pup tent' is, according to Hayes Slade, "a modern, indoor dog lounge." As for its origin, Slade explains: "This piece was an exploration in materials designed and fabricated for the Design Trust for Public Spaces Annual Auction. The auction project requirement was to create a 'nest'—something that could support residence for a creature and would fit in a taxi." Here's a closer look at the coolest dog bed we've seen in a while.
February 3, 2011
Las Vegas Market Vegas Kids

Las Vegas Market: Vegas Kids

Among floors and floors of showrooms and design exhibits at Las Vegas's World Design Market, we scouted the best in kids' furniture on view at Las Vegas Market's Vegas Kids showcase.
January 31, 2011