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Oggetti e Progetti: 30 Years of Alessi

Italian designer and architect Alessandro Mendini, born in Milan in 1931, joined forces with the Italian design factory Alessi in the late 1970s as a kind of Postmodernist design mentor for the brand, which was established in 1921 as a small metalworking firm and soon became known for its industrial pieces. Having previously headed up the magazines Casabella, Modo and Domus, Mendini—who designed the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and Italy’s Omegna Forum—is best-known in the Alessi milieu for his Mendini T&C service and his Mendini TCT service, which he calls “the joker in the pack.” Still actively designing, Mendini refers to the projects from the studio he runs with his brother, Atelier Mendini, as “an ongoing puzzle that is never completed.” In collaboration with Museo Alessi, Mendini is curating and designing “Oggetti e Progetti,” a retrospective dedicated to the last 30 years of Italian design for Die Neue Sammlung, the International Design Museum in Munich, specifically focusing on Alessi’s contributions through the years. Credited by the curators of Die Neue Sammlung as “instrumental in securing the success of Postmodernism,” Mendini has selected an array of Alessi designs, sketches and prototypes ranging mostly from the 1970s through the aughts, on display from May 21 through September 19.
May 13, 2010
Glasgow Che Camille Tweed Crop

Scotland: Day 3

I bid the fair city of Edinburgh farewell this morning as I boarded the train at Waverley Station. I was aboard and off to Glasgow by half past 9:00 for my first visit to what even Edinburghers freely admit is the cultural capital of Scotland. I alit at Queen's Station, dropped my bags at Fraser Suites on Albion St. and was off to the races.
May 12, 2010
Stockholm tray serving tray

12 Serving Trays

May 11, 2010
Hot Plates Takhar Amrita imm Living

Outdoor Tableware

May 10, 2010
John Christakos portrait

John Christakos of Blu Dot

I have always adored Blu Dot's mission: good design at good prices. Heck, I liked them so much I even worked for them. I caught up with Blu Dot's CEO & founder John Christakos and he answered some of my questions about Blu Dot's design process, their Real Good Chair movie, and exactly who is dressed up as a squirrel in those funny videos.  
May 5, 2010
Science Project Pillows Crop

Science Project Pillows

I got a note recently from Heather Lins of Heather Lins Home about her new eco-friendly pillows. Though the current throw pillow throwdown is certain to separate wheat from chaff, little on your couch better suggests that you might be able to make the scientific differentiation between the two than her Science Project pillows. They don't come cheap, $220 each for Botany, Geology and Anatomy, but they are a classy, retro addition to the living room, and one that would make Mr. Daly, my preposterously nerdy seventh grade science teacher, very, very happy. Pocket protector not included.
May 4, 2010
JRA Lounge bench

10 Benches

May 3, 2010
bolle venini interior workshop multiple work areas

Bolle

On Murano, an island near Venice, Italy, glass artisans go to work before dawn. Inside one workshop, the kilns have been howling all night, preparing colored glass for the day’s work. In 1921, Paolo Venini, a Milanese entrepreneur and designer, took over this workshop. He founded a company in his name, which has been making, among other things, Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala’s Bolle vessel for 44 years. Roberto Gasparotto, Venini’s art director since 1993, shows us how it’s done.
April 30, 2010
milan color Cassina LC2 co

Milan 2010 in Color

If Milan 2010 were introduced as a new Crayola color, some might argue that "Ash Cloud Grey" would be the most appropriate shade. Air travel through northern Europe at the tail end of the fair was an impossibility due to the eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, so rather than continue to reflect on the city-wide scope of international design on display, Salone ended with a hard-stop for many. Attentions were turned to making one's way—if not back home, then somewhere else—and labyrthine terrestial voyages ensued. Rather than let the volcanic dust remain the predominant shade, I've selected some of the best and brightest that I saw. Click through to the slideshow to see a selection of hue-tiful pieces that truly popped.  
April 29, 2010
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