As May closes in on June, the Dwell offices are abuzz with preparation for Dwell on Design, which is now less than one month away. You'll be hearing more about it via Dwell.com and both of our Twitter streams: @dwell and @dwellondesign. With the entire edit team in town this week, we've got a full magazine (so to speak) of contributions for our Friday Week in Review. Read on for the list...
Sam: Rebranding America
Probably old news to some, but I'm enjoying the "ads" for a rebranded America comprising the editorial well of the May issue of Paper magazine. I think that Geoff McFetridge and Ivan Chermayeff's reworkings of the American flags are particularly powerful responses to the original brief (which can be found on the Paper site). As Chermayeff points out, our flag has evolved over time, why not let it evolve further. As this exercise proves, there is a glut of design talent in America, but all too often design for the mainstream ends up looking like this.
Jordan: The Kingston Lounge
he Kingston Lounge is the blog of photographer Richard Nickel, Jr. Self-billed as a web space for "Guerilla preservation and urban archaeology," he photographs derelict structures and abandoned architecture and these pics are absolutely riveting. Each moody image is has a secret history lost beneath piles of dry, peeled paint and dusty floorboards, and there's surely a million different stories that could be written about their respective pasts. As for their future, the buildings themselves may crumble but Nickel's preserved them here beautifully.
via: Design Tavern
Sarah: Heavy Log Lunch Kit
Design student Brian Tong made this novel but rudimentary picnic kit for his final school project, which asked students to do a piece that was both functional and dysfunctional. Besides the general appeal of its rough exterior and nicely carved interior cavities and utensil holders, I love the humor Tong brings to the piece by being utterly transparent about the impractical nature of the idea—the log is so heavy nobody would want to carry it on a long walk to the park or up a hill. Nevertheless, if you got around the weight by hollowing out the log or using an alternate material, it's a pretty nice-looking lunch kit.
Aaron: Philip Kennicott's Blog
When I was in Washington DC last week I moderated a panel on embassy design. One of the panelists was Dwell contributor, Washington Post culture critic and all-around smart guy Philip Kennicott. As Philip and I noshed on some late night sushi after our panel he revealed to me that he's entered the blogging fray with a site dedicated largely to architecture and classical music criticism. By no means a mere supplement to his column in the Post, philipkennicott.com is a measured and artful look at the cultural landscape from one of the better critics out there. RSS this man!
Miyoko: Kid Chair Poster
While reading We Love You So (a blog "to help shed some light on many of the small influences" inspiring Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze and his creative team), I came across Trenton Duerksen and Daniele Frazier's Kid Chair Poster project. The artists collected abandoned children's chairs from New York City streets and photographed them for a limited-edition run of posters. What I like about looking at the images is seeing the different ways in which designers have conceived what a chair for a child should be, the results ranging from a big teddy bear fit for sitting on to a miniature version of a typical chair you'd see around an office table.
Ashley: Wall-Mounted Pet Beds
If I had a cat (or small dog), I’d treat it to one of these wall-mounted pet beds by Akemi Tanaka so it could lounge in modern style.