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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
Untitled. From series "Color Berlin," 2009.

Matthias Heiderich's Berlin

Self-taught photographer Matthias Heiderich has spent the past three years roaming around Berlin, snapping photos with his medium-format film camera and Pentax digital camera. During his "phototrips," usually conducted on bike while listening to electronic and neoclassical music, he keeps an eye out for "lines, patterns, colors, and interesting forms/shapes" and captures what he finds in often abstract and angular compositions. His Berlin is a place of saturated color and deep turquoise sky, of time-stopped buildings and signage. Many of these pieces are available for purchase as prints, and very affordable ones at that.
May 25, 2011
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Molo's Softwall Room Divider

Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen, founders of the Vancouver-based firm molo, have created the ideal room divider, a paper softwall.  
May 24, 2011
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Suita Sofa by Antonio Citterio

I'm smitten with this modular sofa, designed by Antonio Citterio in 2010. Suita is his first non-office, non-waiting room collaboration with Vitra—that is, his first design for the home—and the piece is almost endlessly customizable.
May 20, 2011
Bostwick and Rymill began making beer in the spring of 2009 with the help of a homebrew kit. Their first batch, however, exploded—glass bottles and all—in their living room. After six months of troubleshooting and experimenting as hobbyists, they hunkered

Beer Craft: A Guide to Homebrew

William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill's new book Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer is like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything—just for homebrew hobbyists. In the book, the writer-designer duo outlines the basic steps of brewing then give you all the information you need to improvise and make each batch your own. Unlike the homebrew books that have come before, Beer Craft is designed for folks like Bostwick and Rymill: urban DIYers living in small, city apartments. "Most books are written for making five gallons at a time, which is a lot" Bostwick says. "Our book focuses on small, one-gallon batches you can easily make on your stove."
May 19, 2011
Lissoni is interviewed on his Extrasoft modular sofa in white, defined by its geometric configuration and irregular contours.

10 Minutes With Piero Lissoni

Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni spent an evening at the Graye showroom in Los Angeles last week at a gathering to celebrate his furniture designs for Living Divani and Porro, which Graye reps in the States. Hosted by Graye owner Maria Cicione, the event was focused around Lissoni’s recent work, including thoughtfully designed sofas, beds, chairs and shelving and storage units. Lissoni, soft-spoken and humble, explained his approach to each design in a quick, ten-minute interview.
May 19, 2011
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30 Minutes With Dieter Rams

The word "icon" is thrown around rather freely in the design world, but when discussing Dieter Rams and his body of work, it is the only word that sticks. Last week, on the morning after attending the opening of 60s 606 is 50, an exhibition at the New York City Vitsoe shop celebrating 50 years of Rams’ 606 Universal Shelving System, I was lucky enough to sit down for 30 quick minutes with the legend. Joining us in the dining room of the Mark Hotel is Mark Adams, Vitsoe's managing director. The conversation was less an interview and more a glimpse into a conversation between two old friends and colleagues, part of which is captured below.
May 18, 2011
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ICFF 2011: From the Show Floor

I'll admit, it's a little daunting stepping onto the show floor at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), held for a long May weekend every year at the Javits Convention Center in New York. There's a lot to see. But once you start wandering the aisles, uncovering design gems in the various booths is a blast. Here's round one of some of the things I saw that stuck with me.
May 18, 2011
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