Latest Articles in Product Design


Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle

At Dwell, we love a nice bike just as much as (and sometimes more than) we adore a Bertoia chair or Bouroullec backrest—and rightly so since a well-crafted bicycle is just as much a manifestation of good design as a well-thought-out piece of furniture. Editor-in-chief Sam Grawe joined Rob Forbes this past week for the launch of Public Bikes at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York and we've got our eye on a new exhibit at the city's Museum of Art and Design: Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle. The show, which opened May 11, shines the spotlight on the work of six bicycle designers from around the world to highlight the craftsmanship and artistic talent of the people who build these functional forms. Watch our slideshow of images from the exhibit or, if you're in New York, pedal down to the museum to catch the show, which is on display through August 15, 2010.
May 18, 2010
alessi rossi la conica thumbnail

Oggetti e Progetti: 30 Years of Alessi

Italian designer and architect Alessandro Mendini, born in Milan in 1931, joined forces with the Italian design factory Alessi in the late 1970s as a kind of Postmodernist design mentor for the brand, which was established in 1921 as a small metalworking firm and soon became known for its industrial pieces. Having previously headed up the magazines Casabella, Modo and Domus, Mendini—who designed the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and Italy’s Omegna Forum—is best-known in the Alessi milieu for his Mendini T&C service and his Mendini TCT service, which he calls “the joker in the pack.” Still actively designing, Mendini refers to the projects from the studio he runs with his brother, Atelier Mendini, as “an ongoing puzzle that is never completed.” In collaboration with Museo Alessi, Mendini is curating and designing “Oggetti e Progetti,” a retrospective dedicated to the last 30 years of Italian design for Die Neue Sammlung, the International Design Museum in Munich, specifically focusing on Alessi’s contributions through the years. Credited by the curators of Die Neue Sammlung as “instrumental in securing the success of Postmodernism,” Mendini has selected an array of Alessi designs, sketches and prototypes ranging mostly from the 1970s through the aughts, on display from May 21 through September 19.
May 13, 2010
bolle venini interior workshop multiple work areas


On Murano, an island near Venice, Italy, glass artisans go to work before dawn. Inside one workshop, the kilns have been howling all night, preparing colored glass for the day’s work. In 1921, Paolo Venini, a Milanese entrepreneur and designer, took over this workshop. He founded a company in his name, which has been making, among other things, Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala’s Bolle vessel for 44 years. Roberto Gasparotto, Venini’s art director since 1993, shows us how it’s done.
April 30, 2010
Bolero, 24"x48", adhesive tape on wood panel by Adrian Albino.

Art by Adrian Albino

I have a thing for stripes—always have, and always will. One need only look to the myriad stripes in my home, from bath towels and shirts by Paul Smith, to ties and slacks by Etro, to the Alexander Girard–designed Millerstripe fabric upholstered on my sofa. It's no wonder then that I have long been a fan of Adrian Albino's art.
April 28, 2010
de rijk prada

Mold It, Cast It

From the first copper frog cast in Mesopotamia, molding and casting has progressed a long way in the realm of architecture and design since 3200 BC. Here's a roundup of some of our favorite recent projects that are redefining the boundaries of materials and formwork, and will hopefully inspire five more millennia of creative fabrication techniques.
April 27, 2010
milan eurocucina utensils landscape

Milan 2010: Day Three—Eurocucina

On the third day of the 2010 Salone Internazionale del Mobile, we devoted an entire day to Eurocucina, which is a fair-within-a-fair that appears in Milan every two years. Manufacturers, architects and designers from all over the globe materialize from the woodwork to unveil their latest concepts in kitchen design, and we, the hungry design hordes, descend upon them.
April 19, 2010
milan satellite anna kras pendant

Milan, 2010: Day Two

On our second day in Milan, we gathered our wits and plunged headfirst into Salone Internazionale del Mobile—the largest furniture fair in the world. Held at the Fiera Milano, the fair is packed to the gills with bustling people, pulsating music, and, of course, rows upon rows of exhibitors from all over the world. Sam, Jordan and I adopted a divide-and-conquer strategy, and went our separate directions for the day. I headed over to Salone Satellite, a separate exhibition space in which over 700 young up-and-coming designers display their prototypes, hoping to be discovered. With so many pieces, and so little time, I was only able to explore a small portion of the show. Nevertheless, I thought I'd share a few of the items that stopped me in my tracks.
April 15, 2010
omer arbel portrait

Omer Arbel

Omer Arbel is a Vancouver–based architect and designer who creates spaces and objects in equal measure. Most recently he designed both the the medals for the 2010 Winter Olympics and and the interior of Ping's Cafe, a Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. He's also the Creative Director of the furniture/lighting manufacturing house Bocci. Omer answered some questions about his Olympics design, his design process, and why he catalogs his projects with a series of numbers rather than with names.  
March 31, 2010
The brothers Bouroullec have deconstructed the standard sofa in favor of a softer profile, equal parts deflated soccer ball, puffy coat, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Though the soft bowl-shaped seat is comfortable to sink into, a fiberglass shell, ste

12 Sofas

March 30, 2010