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urban picnic box

Nature Calls

June 1, 2011
stedelijk posters 1

Stedelijk Museum Posters

Upon entering the bright white interior of Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, a series of floor-to-ceiling posters that once advertised past exhibitions greets visitors. It's a striking display that shows how the musem has promoted itself, and its shows, to the public since opening in 1895. Though there are a wide variety of designers and artists represented, those who helmed the Stedelijk as director—including Willem Sandberg from 1945 to 1962—and who were in charge of printed matter—like Wim Crouwel from 1963 to 1984—especially helped to create a strong visual identity for the cultural institution. The building itself is in the process of expanding with an expected grand opening date late next year, and until a climitization system is built in, only pieces that are not damaged easily are able to be shown. As such, these are all individual repreductions of the originals, which are in the permanent collection. Unfortunately, there are no prints for sale (although I'm sure they could make a killing), but I've snapped a few of my favorites here. Click on through to the slideshow for a taste of graphic design through the ages.
June 1, 2011
Architectmade

Architectmade

In 2005, Danish company Architectmade launched with the goal of bringing to light products designed by architects. The company has since begun producing a handful of items from designers of the likes of Poul Kjærholm, Jørn Utzon, Finn Johl, and Hans Bølling, working with the artists, their families, or their foundations to secure the rights to issue or reissue the designs. Here we take a tour through Architectmade's collection.
May 31, 2011
neutra box outside

Neutra Box

When Hector Perez couldn't find the ideal mailbox to install outside of his Eichler in Oakland, California, he decided to make his own. "It was really born out of frustration," says Perez, a composer for Music Orange, of his foray into product design. "We couldn't find a mailbox for our modern home that was a simple, true, mimimalist design."
May 30, 2011
Marimekko Crate and Barrel shop

Marimekko at Crate & Barrel

This week, Marimekko launched its fourth and fifth shops at Crate & Barrel in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The two companies have collaborated for four decades so it makes sense that Marimekko is growing its North American retail presence by launching small shops within existing Crate & Barrel stores. The first shop-in-a-shop opened in SoHo last fall and since then, the company has launched another store in New York City and one in Chicago. On Thursday, we made our way to San Francisco's Union Square shopping district for this city's new Marimekko boutique.
May 27, 2011
Proprietor Chris Houston holds court in a Sonna Rosen chair from 1948 in front of a Kyran Aviani oil painting. Next to him is a 1993 Lawrence Laske Saguaro Cactus table.

Consumer Retorts

Chris Houston, the charmingly curmudgeonly owner of Modern Artifacts in San Francisco, is not your typical retailer. Though his shop is packed to the rafters with an eclectic and highly covetable range of vintage furniture, lighting, art, and craft, Houston takes a slow and thoughtful approach to retail and commerce.
May 27, 2011
Knoll Textiles 1945 2010 exhibit

Behind the Scenes: Knoll Textiles

Many a modern-design enthusiast can spot a Cesca side chair and say it was designed by Marcel Breuer. But, were it upholstered in Digit fabric, few could name the textile designer. (Answer: Suzanne Tick.) The new exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center titled Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010 features Knoll's original fabrics and textiles. The project began four years ago when Knoll approached Bard to do an exhibit. Soon thereafter, the curatorial team was created, comprising of Earl Martin, the associate curator at the Bard Graduate Center; Angela Völker, the curator emeritus of textiles at the MAK in Vienna; Susan Ward, an independent textile historian, and Paul Makovsky, the editorial director of Metropolis and a Florence Knoll expert. After years digging through existing archives and searching through former Knoll employees' attics to put together a comprehensive history and catalogue of KnollTextiles works, the exhibit is finally on display. Here, Madovsky takes us behind the scene and shares went into creating the show and shares stories about a number of the pieces on display.  
May 26, 2011
modern world awards  crop homepage

Modern World Awards: Vote Now

This year at Dwell on Design we're awarding our first ever Modern World Awards to the designs that move, inspire, and elate us. But we need your help to hand out the People's Choice Award. Click here to see the 25 finalists in five different categories and then tell us which design excites you the most. Could it be a beautiful bike, a pleasant playhouse, or a smashing stool? Make your voice heard and make your vote count in the Modern World Awards. Voting ends Friday, June 24th at 4:00 PM Pacific time and all of the objects will be on view at DOD so you can have a gander at the nominees first-hand. We'll hand out the hardware in a special ceremony at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles just moments after voting ends. Awright, Dwellers, to the polls!
May 26, 2011
All photos in this post by <a href="http://www.facebook.com/radford.creative.group">Thor Radford</a> (Radford Creative).

Building the Maxon House: Week 13

In our latest Backstory series, Seattleite Lou Maxon recounts the thrills and trials of ditching the suburbs, buying property, and designing and building a modern house with Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects. Week 13: Kinetic architecture: A tour of Turner Exhibits   Stepping into a space designed by Tom Kundig almost always evokes a sense of wonder. As our design got underway, the firm arranged visits for our family to some of Tom Kundig’s built projects, including Delta Shelter and Chicken Point Cabin. Beyond being artfully designed objects in their respective settings, they both featured examples of Tom Kundig’s passion for kinetic architecture. The Delta Shelter has sliding steel shutters that open and close with the turn of a wheel. Chicken Point Cabin has a massive wall of steel windows that raise and lower, also with the turn of an oversized steel wheel powered by human energy and assisted with an intricate set of spinning Willy Wonka-like gears.   Wonder isn’t a solo venture. Kundig’s projects are the sum of his talent, the collective talent in the firm, and the network of artisans and craftspeople he’s come to know over the years. Early on in our project, Tom reached out to the founder of Turner Exhibits, Phil Turner, to engineer “wonder” for our project. The details of this venture will be disclosed in a later post but today I’d like to take you behind the scenes—to Turner Exhibits, founded in 1987 and today owned by Greg Cain and Steve Groves. The company designs and fabricates kinetic architecture systems and museum-quality exhibits and displays. My son Jack accompanied me on a shop visit to learn more about how they’d engineer kinetic architecture for Maxon House and to get a better understanding of what they do, how they do it, and how we’ll work with them on our project.
May 25, 2011
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