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Organic Laptop Bag by Zaum

We've been on a laptop bag lookout and this week Zaum's Eco Portabile Media bag caught our eye. It's got all the fixing of a basic laptop carrier—padded computer section, pockets for plug-ins, and a shoulder strap—and that little extra: extra interior and exterior pockets plus fabrication from organic and eco-friendly materials.
January 12, 2011
Pot Pantry Pegboard

Pot + Pantry

Last week I stopped into Pot + Pantry, Donna Suh Wageman's new kitchenwares shop in San Francisco's Mission District. Not only was the tiny space utterly charming, an appealing melange of the new and old, the modern and the trad, but Wageman herself was an obliging and able hostess. Best of all, the goods on display--I saw plenty I'd like to take home--are entirely affordable. 
January 11, 2011
Inventables

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 Inventables.com that have Kaplan's juices flowing—from rubber glass to translucent concrete.  
January 11, 2011
The Marriage of Craft and Design Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman

A Marriage of Craft and Design

At the same time that Pierre Koenig and Joseph Eichler were bringing modernism to California's landscape, artists and designers Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman were filling their homes with thoughtfully design, affordable modern goods. A new exhibit opening at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles on January 23—titled A Marriage of Craft and Design: The Work of Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman—celebrates the couple's 50-plus-year design partnership and the products they produced. Click through our slideshow for a peek at some of the duo's designs that will be on display.
January 10, 2011
situ studio

Dan Rubinstein on The Home Front

What's wrong with American furniture design? That's the topic burning an image on the mind of Surface editor-in-chief Dan Rubinstein. "We're one of the wealthiest nations in the world, we make lots of furniture, we have lots of young designers, but there's something wrong and we don't know what it is," he says. On Thursday, January 13, the Rubinstein, working with the Museum of Art and Design in New York, will kick off the museum's newest public program titled The Home Front: American Furniture Now. Structured as five talks spread over four months (plus portfolio reviews and open studios), the series will examine how we as Americans make furniture and what we still need to learn to succeed. We spoke with Rubinstein as he was working to close an upcoming issue and prepare for the magazine's redesign and launch of its new website. Read more below.
January 9, 2011
seize vingt

As You Light It

January 4, 2011
The final, layered look of the pool and its surroundings was completed—–with pain-staking precision—–in 2008. The tiles were custom designed with Mission Tile West to hit a pea-green hue and sized specifically to top the narrow walls. To create the seeded

Master Stroke

In Santa Monica, California, where pools are plenty but not always eye-pleasing, Padraic Cassidy lifted one 30 inches off the ground­—dramatically elevating its aesthetic appeal.
January 4, 2011
studiodesk thumb

Smart StudioDesk

I've been on an organizing kick recently (see my 'creative storage gift guide' here) and my online meanderings have led me to a slew of great products that seem to hold the promise of a better, more orderly existence (if only!).
January 4, 2011
Steel trash can Oxo Labs Oct06

Garbage Pail, Kids

January 3, 2011
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