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W New York Downtown

While in New York City last month, I spent a night at the new W New York hotel, downtown in Wall Street. Like all W's, this one was peppered with self-consciously 'cool' design-y touches, some of which grated a bit. That said, I was particularly impressed with two elements of the design: the undulating, glowing ceiling in the lobby (or, excuse me, the "living room"), and the built-in furniture in the guestrooms.
October 21, 2010
Evil People Stack Crop

Evil People in Modern Homes

I was wandering around William Stout's architectural bookstore the other day when I came across Yale University graphic design student Benjamin Critton's wonderful tabloid treatise Evil People in Modern Homes in Popular Films. It's been noted many times that villains always wind up in cool modern homes in movies, but here's a sustained take on the phenomenon (in newsprint, no less) that spans the design and film canon from Diamonds are Forever to the Big Lebowski. I had a chat with Critton and here's what he had to say about his project.
October 21, 2010
Gusto book

Gusto: A Guide to Restaurant Design

Just as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, "the essence of restaurant design cannot be found in any one element but in the unity of all ingredients working together to create a singular experience." So begins the book Gusto: A Journey Through Culinary Design. Capitalizing on publisher Gingko Press's ability to cull together top-notch examples of graphic and interior design, Gusto is a tasty roundup of nearly 60 restaurants, bars, and cafes—event mobile eateries—from around the world (presented in 256 pages overflowing with 750 photos and illustrations).  
October 21, 2010
ferm living geometric blanket throw

10 Warm Throws

October 20, 2010
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Park Life, San Francisco

I was in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood a few days ago, and stopped by one of my favorite shops: Park Life, a cool and highly unconventional gallery and shop. It opened in 2006, the brainchild of two friends and art collectors, Jamie Alexander and Derek Song. Alexander calls the space "like a museum store, but without the fluff."
October 19, 2010
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3D Typography

Does the alphabet take on more meaning when it’s freed from the confines of cast-in-lead movable type, pen and paper, and the frame of a computer screen? Capturing words and letters in media that range from human skin to mini-sandwiches, 3D Typography is a celebration of the words that
 emerge in unexpected locales and language that has an intrinsic bond to its varied means of conveyance.
October 19, 2010
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Terrariums by Botany Factory

Browsing through the San Francisco shop General Store recently, I noticed some highly covetable, bulbous glass globes filled with tiny succulents: terrariums by the local designer Katie Goldman Macdonald, of Botany Factory. Macdonald works with Evan Kolker, an Oakland-based glass artist, to create organically shaped glass forms, which she fills with mini-gardens that are nearly self-sufficient, requiring only sunlight and occasional spritzing. My kind of gardening!
October 19, 2010
Photo ©2010 Wellington Lee

Crate and Barrel's New Shop-in-Shop

Crate and Barrel's newest addition is a shop-in-shop at their SoHo location featuring products by Finnish textile and design house Marimekko. While they have been partners since the 1960's, their product offerings have expanded and are conveniently located in one spot. At the shop's opening last week, people were ogling at the brightly colored textiles, and snapping up tumblers, tea pots, bedding, and more.  
October 18, 2010
Multi-floored housing complex in San Francisco, California

Sands Castle

Jeff and Larissa Sand cut their commute down to a few flights of stairs when they moved their industrial design studio, architecture office, and metalwork shop into the first two floors of their home in San Francisco.
October 18, 2010
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