Tiptoeing into the Los Angeles showroom of TOUCH, it's difficult not to obey the storefront's signage. The white-on-white space is stacked with oddly alluring textures—impossibly long-necked vases, chunky-funky baskets, a round of glass balanced on what look like three ultrapolished boulders. It's enough to make you want to reach out and, well...you know. And I would, were it not for the glamazon-height supermodel in the center of the room, smiling as she guards the wares. The supermodel is Zoë Melo. Retired by trade (though looks luckily last through career changes), Melo is now a curator of sustainable objects from around the world, and will be a featured speaker at Dwell on Design in June.
For years, professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek has ranted about wanting to build a skate plaza: a skate park integrated into the urban environment as a landscaped, multi-use public space. When he got word in 2002 that his hometown of Kettering, Ohio, was planning a skate park, he saw his chance.