Latest Articles in Design

The butchers at Drewes Bros. Meats put chef's knives to the test and hand you the one that's cut above the rest.

Butcher Josh Epple Reviews 7 Chef's Knives

With our airwaves packed with celebrity chefs, Americans are proving to have a solid appetite for what Julia Child would call cuisine—at least on television.
January 28, 2009
Architect Thom Faulders dubbed this Potrero Hill home renovation and expansion the Deform House because the pattern of lines on the ceiling “visually deforms the ceiling plane into a shifting presence of valleys and bulges.”

Cutting Edge

Asked to design a space for an art collector whose body and walls were already covered in decoration, architect Thom Faulders capped off the project by creating a piece of art out of an often-overlooked canvas: the ceiling.
January 26, 2009
“The ‘I don’t know it’s there, so I don’t have to care’ approach is fine with a pacemaker," says Marcel Wanders. "But a good chair you feel in your heart.”

Marcel Wanders

“It’s a mess up here.” Marcel Wanders is talking about his brain, and the necessary disorder of an open mind in design. “Philosophy is not one truth, but thousands of truths. You don’t have to believe in just one thing. When you choose one idea, you close yourself to the rest.”
January 19, 2009
toilets thumbnail

Jason F. McLennan reviews 5 eco-toilets

Victorian technology has no business being the receptacle for your business. It’s time to outmode the common commode.
January 15, 2009
women of influence womens et womanus

Womens et Womanus

Meet three women who are helping keep MIT’s architecture program—America’s first—at the forefront of design innovation.
January 2, 2009
established sons painting wood blocks

03 Prints

Before the furniture is assembled, each piece is painted jet-black and printed with the CNC-cut MDF woodblocks, which Wrong calls “crude but very effective.” Enamel paint in various shades is rolled onto the blocks, which are then affixed to the plywood surfaces with a hydraulic press. “We have refined the process in order to achieve constant pressure on the printing block,” Wrong explains. When the blocks are removed, the remaining prints are bold, but scrappy, because the paint adheres irregularly. The woodblocks can be used heavily. Just one block can print 200 pieces a day, and cleaning them is easy, since enamel paint coagulates as it dries. “You can just wipe it off,” Woods explains, “and print another 200 the next day. Each piece is laser-engraved with the logo and title of the work, rather than an edition number, as a traditional print would be. “We’re playing with the boundaries of printmaking,” says Woods. “It’s mass-produced and also handmade. To me it’s more interesting than selling prints in a gallery.”
January 1, 2009
alessi caffetiere worker spot weld

Alessi 9090: Weld

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welds and spot-welds join the molded parts. In TIG welding, the inert gas argon is blown out of a nozzle to surround a white-hot tungsten electrode at the tip of the welding torch. A skilled worker torches the edges to fuse them, while the argon stops atmospheric particles from weakening the bond.
January 1, 2009
established sons spray paint equipment

01 Woodblocks

Woods’s prints begin as marker drawings on acetate. “We have a set of patterns that have been reduced from wood grain,” he says, “and we use them as a library, and change them around. So it really doesn’t take very long.” He sources the prints from his library and sizes them to register precisely on each panel of the furniture. Then comes what Wrong calls “productionization of an artisanal process.” While Woods would photocopy his drawings onto 1:1 sheets, glue them to the woodblocks, and cut the grooves with a handheld router, Wrong and Lauber turned them into digital files, which the computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine can rout without hands. Lauber simulated the irregularity of a vibrating handheld machine by drawing meticulously wobbly lines. While this step is computerized, the printing step–when the MDF woodblocks are applied to the furniture pieces–uses basic machinery. Woods used to press the blocks with a cast-iron garden roller, but it’s a diffi-cult way to apply even pressure, so the team decided to use a hydraulic press.
January 1, 2009