Latest Articles in Design

garrett morin sound design urae

Sound Design

Years ago, the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas won a design competition for an addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) by suggesting the entire museum be torn down and replaced. There was such an outcry over the idea of demolishing this collection of unremarkable but well-loved buildings that Ruth Seymour, the general manager of KCRW, the leading NPR station in Los Angeles, California, suggested we debate the pros and cons on a half-hour show called Politics of Culture. She asked me—a producer at KCRW and a freelance design writer—to moderate.
March 24, 2010

Fjällräven's Kånken Computer Bag

I've long envied Dwell's Associate Art Director Brendan Callahan for a host of reasons, not least of which is his very cool rugged-cum-modern Fjällräven Kånken knapsack. They weren't available in the US until just recently; his hailed from Amsterdam. I dug its 70s outdoorsy vibe, coupled with that fine Swedish commitment to stripping away the unecessary frills and flames that so horribly mar the majority of outdoor gear. But now I've gotten my hands on a Kånken of my own (in yer eye, Callahan) one of a new line meant to handle laptops as easily as dayhikes.
March 21, 2010
A 2007 rendering of a sustainable office building designed by CJ Lim of 8 Architects, who will be featured in the London 8 exhibition opening this weekend in Los Angeles.

Events this Weekend: 3.18-21

This weekend, Peter Cook curates an exhibit of the next great architects, the Vitra Design Museum reopens its doors for a new exhibit showcasing modern icons and their influences, the Industry Gallery in Washington, DC, debuts the first solo U.S. exhibition by Dutch designer and Droog founder Tejo Remy and his design partner Rene Veenhuizen, and BLDGBLOG author leads a road trip to California City, an abandoned suburb 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
March 18, 2010
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Landscapes of Quarantine

In the fall and winter of 2009/2010, Future Plural (the combined forces for former Dwell senior editor and BLDGBLOG author Geoff Manaugh and Edible Geography author Nicola Twilley) held a design studio in New York City focused on the idea of quarantine. The resulting work from the 18 artists, designers, and architects who participated in the studio is now on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture as the exhibition Landscapes of Quarantine. The work on display includes infographics about invasive species, posters explaining how not to get bored while in quarantine, and maps dipicting the architectural possibilities of quarantines.
March 17, 2010
camper shoes puddle

Camper Covers by Alfredo Häberli

Though the East Coast has been in the grip of serious winter weather, we here out west have been pummeled by quite a wet 2010. Naturally rubber boots of all stripes have carried the rainy day, as common a sight on the streets of San Francisco as skinny jeans and fringed moccasins. And though I've no beef with Wellingtons, I do hate carrying around an extra pair of shoes once I'm through with my galoshes. Enter Swiss design star Alfredo Häberli's ingenious rubber shoe covers for Camper Together.
March 5, 2010
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Events this Weekend: 3.4-3.7

This weekend features two hands-on events and exhibitions demonstrating high-tech, energy-effiencent systems you can install in your  home as well as the closing of some of the season's top design exhibits.
March 4, 2010
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Dave Brown of Holiday Matinee

Dave Brown founded Holiday Matinee after agreeing to be the publicist for his friends in Jimmy Eat World--without even known what a publicist did. After a two-year hiatus from the company, during which he worked for social media startup VMIX, Brown has put his energy--and full-time hours--back into Holiday Matinee, recreating it as a place that "promotes creativity."
March 2, 2010
Juxtaposed:Power by Mike and Maakie.

The Philosophy of Juxtaposed:Power

At a party last year I was chatting with Mike Simonian of the San Francisco design firm Mike and Maaike. We were talking about a project of his from 2006: Juxtaposed:Religion, a curated, deftly designed bookshelf that comes replete with the founding texts of the world's major religions. He told me that he and his wife Maaike Evers were working on the next in the Juxtaposed series, only this time they were curious about power, not faith.As it happened an old friend of mine, Athmeya Jayaram, was standing with us. Athmeya is studying for a doctorate in political philosophy at UC Berkeley, he and Mike hit it off, and before long he was brought on to curate the texts on the new bookshelf, Juxtaposed:Power. I asked him about the process of choosing the books, and about how we imagine political power. It's a conversation we've had many times, usually at my house, after many drinks, and long after my wife has thrown in the towel and wandered off to bed.
February 26, 2010
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I Swear to Good You are God at This

Finding design inspiration online is as easy as pointing and clicking but there's something special about the feel of bound paper. Design and creative consulting company Holiday Matinee founder Dave Brown has penned a 72-page book, I Swear to Good You are God at This, as "an inspiring guide to being creative and making awesome."
February 17, 2010