Latest Articles in Furniture & Products

New Modern House Cover 1

The New Modern House

Each year loads and loads of books with splashy photos of posh houses gets published. Rare is the tour through high-design homes that has any conceptual merit, let alone a fine pair of scribblers to go with it. The New Modern House: Redefining Functionalism by Ellie Stathaki and Jonathan Bell is one such book, out late last year from Laurence King Publishing. I dashed a few questions off to the pair of Britain-based writers to learn more about what they imagine "the new modern house" to be. Read on.
March 4, 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
Modern wall hooks

Contain Clutter with These Modern Wall Hooks

Picture your garment-strewn home, with coats tossed over the sofa’s arm, scarves slung over side chairs, and handbags hidden who-knows-where. Consider the aesthetic anguish and the daily delays in departing your domicile. Now, imagine a catchall that will efficiently corral life’s accoutrements. It’s quite possible that a well-placed wall hook will change your life.
March 3, 2011
The artist said that the goal of his work is to “allow nature to have its say.”

Handmade Wine Chillers

Ceramic artist Michael Wisner learned much of his craft from Juan Quezada, the self-invented Mexican master who rediscovered ancient methods of Indian pottery. “I knocked on his door and told him I loved his work,” Wisner said. “And I ended up staying there for three months." During an 18-year period, Wisner estimates, he spent two and a half years with the recipient of Mexico’s coveted National Art Award. “I was keenly interested in his process, his attention to detail and his acute knowledge of materials,” Wisner said. "He’s constantly challenging himself, and you’re imbued with that when you work with him.”
March 2, 2011
Norman Copenhagen Name Hat

Name this Wall Hook

I used to think that being a professional namer, you know, a guy who dreams up names for stuff like products, racehorses, children, would be the most amazing job in the world. I'm not so convinced of that today, but playing occasional namer is still good fun. And now the dear Danes at Normann Copenhagen need your help and mine to name one of their new products: a wall hook called Drop, at least for now, designed by the Swedes at Asshoff Brogard.
March 2, 2011
design indaba 1

Design Indaba 2011

Cape Town's Design Indaba always kicks off with a conference of eclectic speakers from all over the world and wraps up with an expo focusing on Southern African designers. "Forget about the beauty," says New York-based designer Dror Benshetrit, as if every city with two oceans wrapped itself around a mountain. "The people are so welcoming, so open minded, so thirsty to be connected to the grid. I see a lot of potential in South Africa, a lot of creative, eager, ambitious people. I have a really good feeling that I'll be here again soon." Job creation and environmental stewardship have been oft-discussed themes at previous Indabas, but seem to have reached a critical mass this year, which may help its bid for World Design Capital 2014. In the following slideshow, have a look at some of the outstanding works created by the South African designers who exhibited at the 2011 Design Indaba Expo.
March 1, 2011
The Miner and Major experiment in New York

Communal Living on a Budget in Brooklyn

The Miner and a Major is an experiment in communal living and fantastical form. A New York story of creativity born from hardscrabble circumstance, the project grew out of the joint imagination of three architects with a limited budget.
February 24, 2011
This photo, taken from, shows off three views of Paris's Librarie la Hune.

The Language of Bookshops

In the latest installment of Three Buildings, a semi-regular series where I ask people from all over the creative spectrum to muse on a trio of buildings or spaces that they love, I got in touch with Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Who better to give us an idiosyncratic take on the world's best bookstores than a true guardian of all those precious words? Here's what Peter has to say:
February 23, 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