Latest Articles in Furniture & Products

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Alejandro Sticotti's Teahouse

I met with the Argentinian architect and furniture designer Alejandro Sticotti a few months ago while he was in San Francisco, and he showed me photos he'd snapped the previous week, while on Megijima Island in Japan for the 2010 Setouchi International Art Festival. The annual festival is over now, but I thought I'd still share his images, which show the furnishings and lighting he created for a restaurant on the ground floor of a Japanese ryokan inn on Megijima, one of Japan's Inner Islands.
November 4, 2010
Modern box house in Nagoya, Japan

Small Space Live/Work Box Home in Japan

This flower shop, art gallery, and home for two looks like the simplest of cubes. Fitting it all into 1,115 square feet, however, prompted Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri to think outside the box.
November 1, 2010
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Free City Shop, Los Angeles

Nina Garduno recently opened her shop Free City—a mix between an actual store and a design commune–on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. She started the company in 2002, inspired by her "hippie childhood" and creative communities like Christiania in Copenhagen: "places where people collect to experiment with different ways to live out their life." Unconventionally designed and riotously colorful, Free City is stocked with products, furniture, and clothing made exclusively by Los Angeles-based artisans—and occasional outsider collaborators like the Mission Bicycle Company in San Francisco. Almost everything in the shop, from the silkscreened t-shirts to the handcrafted wooden furniture, is made just five blocks away, by the dozen or so employees in Free City's workshop, none of whom are trained designers. "No one went to school to learn these things," says Garduno. "Whatever it is, we figure out how to make it ourselves."
November 1, 2010
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Camper's Miguel Fluxa

I've long been a fan of the Spanish shoemaker Camper (I have two pairs, I'll confess) and in recent years their strong sense of design has translated off the foot and into the retail environment. I had a chance to chat with Miguel Fluxa, one of the head's of the brand that his father Lorenzo founded in 1975. I asked him about the various Camper shops that have sprung up around the world, how they sort out who designs what, and precisely why so damned many industrial designers have been engaged to make shoes for them. Read on.
October 30, 2010
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A Week at the Airport: Part II

Earlier this week I had a go at the first half of Alain de Botton's new book A Week at the Airport, where he reports on a week spent at Heathrow's Terminal 5 as the airport's writer-in-residence. I finished it off this afternoon, largely over a bowl of curry ga at one of Dwell's local Vietnamese haunts, and here's the rest of my review.
October 28, 2010
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Corbusier-Approved Paint Deck

I was excited to learn, from this recent New York Times story, that the Swiss company KT Color manufactures a line of paints created by Le Corbusier.
October 28, 2010
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A Week at the Airport: Part I

Not so long ago I read the English pop philospher and writer Alain de Botton's book The Architecture of Happiness. It was a middling book, one that took great pains to make the case that the design of the buildings we inhabit have a strong effect on us, and that we ought to pay more attention to the wonder that architecture can provoke. It's a fine point, and one worth repeating, but it also felt a bit elementary. Neither a work of serious criticism nor serious philosophy, it was a light romp through design's capacity to make us feel. His latest book has all the grounding that The Architecture of Happiness went without: de Botton was asked to play writer in residence for a week at the British Airways terminal at Heathrow Airport. A Week at the Airport is the result, a small book with telling photographs by Richard Baker, and over the next two posts here on I'll be giving you my review.
October 26, 2010
Front room with floor-to-ceiling windows

Airy Live/Work Studio Space in Toronto

In Toronto, a painter accustomed to crashing in his studio created an airy artistic haven with both working and living quarters for a more balanced and polished picture.
October 25, 2010
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Shipping Container Retail Design

I wish I could see this cool new pop-up shop in person, but alas, it's in Manhattan and only until October 31. It's the first (albeit temporary) retail store for fashion designer Richard Chai, set in a shipping container underneath the High Line park.
October 22, 2010