Latest Articles in Technology

Bertazzoni built in oven and cooktop

Paolo and Valentina Bertazzoni

This week, Italian kitchen appliance manufacturer Bertazzoni introduced its new line of built-in ovens designed for the U.S. market and unveiled its newest cooktops as well. We sat down with Paolo Bertazzoni, the company's CEO and a fifth-generation Bertazzoni family leader, and his daughter Valentina Bertazzoni, an architect by training and the company's U.S. brand manager, at the Purcell Murray showroom in Brisbane, California, just south of San Francisco and the Dwell headquarters. Here, they share their thoughts on the differences between the Italian and American markets, how they arrived at these new designs, and how the built-in ovens' interfaces can help you make the perfect meal (and then do it again later).
May 11, 2011
dwell app

Vote for Dwell in the Webbys!

We here at Dwell are happy that our mobile app has been nominated for a Webby award! We're calling on your help to rock the vote. Download our FREE app for Android and iPhone and vote for us here! Last day to cast ballots is April 28th.
April 25, 2011
Virgin's "Pioneer in Chief" Richard Branson sits down for a quick chat.

Virgin Territory: Richard Branson

It's not everyday that you get on a plane with someone who's been to the moon, and someone who has his own spaceship, but that's exactly what I did yesterday on an early morning flight out of San Francisco International. Among other celebs and VIPs (Rachel Hunter included, oddly) aboard Virgin America's inaugural flight 2001 from their old home in the International Terminal to the newly renovated Terminal 2, Buzz Aldrin and Virgin's "Pioneer In Chief" Richard Branson were the most notable passengers taking part in the festivities. As Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo joined our Airbus A320 in formation above the Bay Area before landing on parallel runways at SFO, I got a chance to sit down with Branson to ask a few quick questions.
April 7, 2011
bmw museum DSC 3923 2

Touring the BMW Headquarters

Dwell traveled to Munich, Germany, to get an up close and personal look at BMW Welt, an undulating, stainless-steel-clad structure designed by Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au. It is joined on BMW's campus by a towering "four-cylinder" building and the BMW Museum, its circular antithesis, each created by Karl Schwanzer in the early 1970s. While there we were treated to a sneak peek at BMW's soon-to-be-unveiled sub-brand, BMW i, the company's first foray into the realm of electric vehicles. Check out the slideshow to get a glimpse under the hood of BMW.
April 2, 2011
Boost Home Energy Boost Box

Green and Efficient: Boost Boxes

These days, it seems like everyone is busy saving the world. Using recycled, sustainably sourced materials is de rigeur for designers and manufacturers as consumers are becoming savvier about the importance of product pedigree. There’s a disconnect, however, between the standards we hold our purchases to and the ones to which we keep ourselves accountable (hands up if you’ve switched out every incandescent in your house for an LED). Common sense seems to be superseded by, at best, confusion over where to begin and what to buy and, at worst, apathy.
March 17, 2011
"Recent Uploads" at the Appel Design Gallery in Berlin.

Kadushin's Laser Cut Chairs

In "Recent Uploads" at the Appel Gallery in Berlin, designer Ronen Kadushin exhibited a series of chairs laser cut from 6-mm thick sheets of aluminum. Says Kadushin, "Each chair draws its inspiration from different narratives: design references, emotional states, city life, and street art. But as a group they realize a personal design approach that embraces free improvisation and an immediacy of outcomes." We sent a few queries to Kadushin, and he told of the influences behind his designs, which include Ron Arad, hackers, and a certain member of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
March 3, 2011
auger loizeau clock

Auger & Loizeau's Carnivorous Design

Is furniture animal, vegetable, or mineral? For designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, who are also researchers at the Royal Academy of Art in London, it's a little of all three. The duo gleaned inspiration from venus flytraps and pitcher plants to create lamps, tables, and clocks that are powered by "digesting" household pests like flies and rodents. Insect to energy—who would've thought? At the core of the design is Microbial Fuel Cell technology, a chemical process that breaks down organic matter into energy. Their experimental concept is unique—albeit a bit disconcerting—and touches on a variety of  issues: how design can be used to make unconventional ideas more palatable, how to tap into unconventional energy sources, and how new technology can fit into our daily lives. We welcome robots to vacuum our floors and act as pets—the Roomba and Sony's AIBO come to mind—but what about catching pests? Here's a video of Auger and Loizeau explaining their "Domestic Entertainment Robots."
February 22, 2011
TriWing 01

Marco Hemmerling's Triwing Chair

Last December, I came across this fascinating article in the Architect's Newspaper that discussed the possibilities digital fabrication brings to the built environment. Since reading the article, "fab labs" and the creations coming out of them keep grabbing my attention. One example is the Triwing chair by Marco Hemmerling. Exhibited at this year's IMM furniture fair in Cologne, the chair is yet another example of what computer-based design and digital fabrication can do.
January 26, 2011

Inventables: Materials Database

Zach Kaplan is looking out for the little guys. In 2002, he launched Inventables, an extensive library of high-tech materials from manufacturers and innovators like Dupont and 3Form. The initial price tag on a subscription to the database—$70,000-$350,000—limited access to everyone but Fortune 500 companies, Kaplan says. So in 2010, inspired by the upsurge in DIYism and maker culture, he tossed out the sky-high membership rates and tossed all the information and products online—for free. "We wanted to democratize access to all this interesting research we've done over the last eight years," Kaplan says. The result is a prototyping designer's dream: an inventors hardware store where small quantities of samples can be purchased with the click of the button and the cash in your wallet (many materials costs less then $20). "When you're a really big company, suppliers will bend over backwards to do whatever you want them to do but if you're a small company it's see you later," Kaplan says. "Designers, artists, inventors, students—we think of them as little R&Ds. They have all the passion, energy, and drive. We want to get these materials into their hands." Click through our slideshow for 14 materials available on that have Kaplan's juices flowing—from rubber glass to translucent concrete.  
January 11, 2011