Latest Articles in Design

Touring Basel Switzerland part 2

Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 2

Last month I traveled to Basel, Switzerland, a European city first founded during the Roman Empire and still boasting beautiful buildings constructed more than 1,000 years agos. In Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 1, I explored the city's historic downtown, which is a mix of neo-Gothic cathedrals, knit graffiti, ancient bridges, and Richard Serra sculptures. In Part 2, we share the fun to be had in and around the Rhine and travel outside the city to the Vitra campus and the Laufen bathrooms factory.
October 12, 2011
<h3>Latte Cup in Slate, Mud Australia, $37</h3>
Alissa Parker-Walker: "My idea of a perfect fall afternoon would be laying next to a fire, drinking a cup of tea and enjoying a good book. What better to drink that cup o’ tea from than a latte cup from Mud

The Best of Horne

Browsing online design shops peeping at awesome housewares and furniture counts as 'work' here at Dwell, and I recently discovered what might be my new favorite design resource: Horne, founded by Ryan Walker and Alissa Parker. "Our promise is to only offer items that we think are truly wonderful," the pair write in their site's mini-manifesto. "We try to counter the 'buy disposable' mentality by selling pieces that you will cherish for years and years to come. Each item is truly a special treasure—something to hold and love but also use and enjoy." With the seasons changing and an influx of sweet new objects on their site, I asked Walker and Parker to share a few of their favorite fall-friendly items currently available at Horne, from a graphic patterned pouf to a perfect tea mug.
October 10, 2011
Here's what Jessica Mischner, age 29, would save if her house was on fire, as documented by "The Burning House" project on the Anthropologist site.

Discovering the Anthropologist

I spent a couple hours this afternoon blog-hopping, and somehow found my way from Spoon and Tamago to The Anthropologist, an online gallery of sorts that supports the work of "inspiring individuals" by spotlighting their artwork and creative projects. It's basically a blog from the retail chain Anthropolgie, but it's no ordinary blog. Right now there are only thirteen projects featured, from a photographic meditation on fly-fishing to a video capturing the movements of a tiny Japanese ballet dancer to Foster Huntington's "The Burning House" series, which documents what people would save in the face of a fire. Each project is laid out in a clean and beautiful way, and between the lovely photos, minimal but poetic use of text, and occasional multi-media insertion (ie: supplementary audio files) it really makes for an enthralling reading and watching experience.
October 9, 2011
Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile; Remota Hotel, designed by German del Sol

Hotel Remota, Patagonia

In the vast plains of Patagonia stands the Hotel Remota. Architect Germán Del Sol, who is also a professor at the Universidad de Chile, wanted to conceal the luxury that awaits the traveler, "to lower the expectations, so its interior will appear unexpectedly in all its splendor." It’s all about the element of surprise—including the fact that even with its innovative design and lavish comforts, the hotel was built with a conscious effort to care for nature, striving to use minimal energy.   
October 3, 2011
rolling record jack white

Jack White on Design

We got the low down on Jack White’s Rolling Record Store in our October issue, but the man had much more to say. Here, he talks about unfinished furniture designs, high school with Harry Bertoia, and why we should all be listening to Captain Beefheart.
September 28, 2011
emeryville construction

Emeryville Renovation: Part 3

In our latest Backstory series, we'll be previewing the loft renovation that is the featured My House in Dwell's November issue—our first-ever online sneak peek. Here, Emeryville, California architect Peter Benoit shares the process behind customizing the San Francisco Bay area loft he shares with his wife, Lynda. Check out Part 1: As it Was, Part 2: Drawings and Demolition, and now, Part 3: Construction. Now that the demo was pretty much done, I started construction of the wood box. I decided that I was going to build it myself to save money on labor more than anything else.
September 26, 2011
wolverine thumb

Made in America: Wolverine Boots

Inspired by our "Made in the U.S.A"-themed October issue, which is chockablock with awesome American designs, I've been looking out for great-looking heritage products that are domestically produced. My recent online rambles have turned up Wolverine Boots, made in the US for the past 125 years. Last year they introduced a new limited-edition cordovan boot, the dapper 1000 Mile 721LTD.
September 26, 2011
emeryville demo 2

Emeryville Renovation: Part 2

In this Backstory series, preview the loft renovation that will be the My House story in Dwell's November issue—our first-ever online sneak peek. Here, Emeryville, California, architect Peter Benoit shares the process behind customizing the San Francisco Bay area loft he shares with his wife, Lynda. Catch up with Part 1: The Way it Was here, and keep reading for Part 2: Drawings and Demolition.   After we moved in and had a chance to live in our new home, the first thing I did was draw a master plan of the entire place with detailed field measurings of the existing layout. We needed to add some material, some warmth, some wood, some texture—it was all dull before that. Then, I made a bunch of master plan options. One of the options was very involved—it would entail opening a big hole between the kitchen and living area. I scaled that back and we decided to open up half of the living room so we could get the loft back and redefine the area. I looked at a lot of different schemes: Originally, I considered a series of built-in bookshelves, or treating the entry way with different materials—even lacquered panels at one point. I kept playing around with it for weeks. In the end the space really called for a volume, and I started seeing the unit that housed the bedroom as a box rather than two different walls. Then I imagined it as a uniform material, which really simplified everything. Next I moved on to construction drawings. 
September 22, 2011
LASC Summerhouse Skane thumb

An Idyllic Swedish Summerhouse

It's been a while since I've seen a project as desirable and jealousy-making as this one (and working at Dwell, that means a lot...!). This summer house, renovated by Jonas Labbé and Johannes Schotanus of LASC for a family in Skåne, Sweden, is to me the perfect example of how strong design, thoughtfully placed bursts of strong color, and honest natural treatment can elevate even the simplest forms and materials. Click through the slideshow for a peek into the loveliest summer retreat.
September 21, 2011