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October 31, 2011

This past weekend I attended Dwell's first annual Design Lab, which took over a raw penthouse space in the new Millenium Tower in San Francisco's SOMA district and spotlighted 13 local designers. (My colleague Diana Budds offers a good overview of the event here.) After a festive, Kim Crawford Wine-fueled Friday night reception, I spent Saturday afternoon wandering through the show, chatting with the designers about their work and their display spaces. Here are a few of the highlights I spotted... 

Here's E.B. Min (right) of  <a href="http://www.minday.com">Min Day</a>, talking with a Design Lab attendee. Min's firm has recently been experimenting with CNC milling, as evidenced by both their portfolio of residential projects and their design lab boo
Here's E.B. Min (right) of Min Day, talking with a Design Lab attendee. Min's firm has recently been experimenting with CNC milling, as evidenced by both their portfolio of residential projects and their design lab booth—two boards digitally sliced and diced into a striking modern screen.
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Here's an example of their CNC work in situ: a loft wall in a residential project in Omaha, Nebraska, where the firm's co-founder, Jeffrey L. Day, is based.
Here's an example of their CNC work in situ: a loft wall in a residential project in Omaha, Nebraska, where the firm's co-founder, Jeffrey L. Day, is based.
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Anchoring a corner of the Design Lab floor was the trifecta of  <a href="http://www.davidmastdesign.com">David Mast</a>, <a href="http://www.kendallwilkinsondesign.com">Kendall Wilkinson</a>, and <a href="http://www.blackmountaindev.com">Black Mountain Co
Anchoring a corner of the Design Lab floor was the trifecta of David Mast, Kendall Wilkinson, and Black Mountain Construction, who team up on design projects to create a seamless design-build experience for their clients. Here's Mast (center) discussing his "zen, less-is-more" design philosophy with two attendees.
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Colorful wool rugs by Florence Broadhurst formed a bright backdrop for the large, cozy, lounge-like booth.
Colorful wool rugs by Florence Broadhurst formed a bright backdrop for the large, cozy, lounge-like booth.
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I enjoyed speaking with  <a href="http://www.martinepaquin.com">Martine Paquin</a>, a LEED-accredited architect and designer who focuses on modern, sustainable, environmentally friendly residential design.
I enjoyed speaking with Martine Paquin, a LEED-accredited architect and designer who focuses on modern, sustainable, environmentally friendly residential design.
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She had an epic spot on the show floor, overlooking the city skyline and Bay. We were on the 58th floor, after all! Overhead, a trio of <a href="http://molodesign.com">Molo</a> Cloud Softlights glow softly.
She had an epic spot on the show floor, overlooking the city skyline and Bay. We were on the 58th floor, after all! Overhead, a trio of Molo Cloud Softlights glow softly.
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Paquin also took a CNC router to her boards, creating a textured backdrop for photographs of her recent residential work. She's especially experienced with kitchens and bathrooms, and works closely on every detail, from layout to tile placement and detail
Paquin also took a CNC router to her boards, creating a textured backdrop for photographs of her recent residential work. She's especially experienced with kitchens and bathrooms, and works closely on every detail, from layout to tile placement and detailing.
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A bench along the window displayed some of Paquin's favorite materials, many of them made of recycled materials.
A bench along the window displayed some of Paquin's favorite materials, many of them made of recycled materials.
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Another highlight of the show for me was talking with the effervescent metalworker  <a href="http://www.mackmetal.com">Jefferson Mack</a> (seated), who creates sculptural steel coffee table bases, andirons, chairs, and light fixtures—including a few desig
Another highlight of the show for me was talking with the effervescent metalworker Jefferson Mack (seated), who creates sculptural steel coffee table bases, andirons, chairs, and light fixtures—including a few designs sold at Restoration Hardware.
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Here's Mack's mild steel X-Ray chandelier, a steampunk-ish light fixture that has something of a mad scientist vibe. It looked great at night, all lit up.
Here's Mack's mild steel X-Ray chandelier, a steampunk-ish light fixture that has something of a mad scientist vibe. It looked great at night, all lit up.
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Mack manned his booth with his son, 15-year-old Peter Mack, a budding blacksmith himself.
Mack manned his booth with his son, 15-year-old Peter Mack, a budding blacksmith himself.
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Here's Peter with a set of the jagged-edged hollow steel cubes that he designs and makes himself. They range in size from three to six inches square, and Jefferson sells them on his website for $50 to $90 each. They're also sold at the San Francisco desig
Here's Peter with a set of the jagged-edged hollow steel cubes that he designs and makes himself. They range in size from three to six inches square, and Jefferson sells them on his website for $50 to $90 each. They're also sold at the San Francisco design showroom Coup d'Etat at a hefty markup... the young Mack's first design retail success! They make a nice sculptural centerpiece on a coffee table—which is how the Macks displayed them over the weekend.

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Here's E.B. Min (right) of  <a href="http://www.minday.com">Min Day</a>, talking with a Design Lab attendee. Min's firm has recently been experimenting with CNC milling, as evidenced by both their portfolio of residential projects and their design lab boo
Here's E.B. Min (right) of Min Day, talking with a Design Lab attendee. Min's firm has recently been experimenting with CNC milling, as evidenced by both their portfolio of residential projects and their design lab booth—two boards digitally sliced and diced into a striking modern screen.

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