“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand

The cord—usually the afterthought of any lamp—shines in this simple, clever lighting solution. Supported by a near-invisible clear frame, the orange cord offers shade, base, and power to this unexpected piece. You can find this minimalist fixture here.
Hundreds attended the kick-off party at New Center Park for the inaugural Detroit Design Festival in 2011. Photo by Noah Stephens.
Sofia Design Week 2013 featured a professional forum with prominent international speakers, as well as a one-day 'Balkan Talks' agenda. This year's speakers included names like Konstantin Grcic, Matali Crasset, Michael Marriott, Mark Chalmers, Erik Kessels, Ji Lee, Marti Guixe, Stefan Sagmeister, Genevieve Gauckler, David Carlson, Peter Bilak, and Tomek Rygalik. Between June 12 to 30 there was also an extensive line up of events throughout the city in the form of exhibitions, workshops, screenings, parties, book openings, and interactive events for children. Photo courtesy of Sofia Design Week.
A smaller version of a design classic, this lamp plays with contrasts: What looks like a cool block of ice heats up when the light is switched on. The Block Lamp has won numerous awards and is part of MoMA’s permanent collection.
Anders Färdig founded Design House Stockholm in 1992.
When looking to build a shop in central Stockholm, unisex sneaker brand Eytys wanted a space that was just like the clothing on display: straightforward, no fuss, and functional—with just a touch of grit. In-house architect Axel Wannberg translated that mission into a clean space filled with concrete and glass that was inspired by the work of Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata and Catalan sculptor Xavier Corbero.
Step by Karl Malmvall for Design House Stockholm

No home is complete without a stepladder, and this looker folds flat to take up a scant sliver of storage area. Sold with a hook for hanging.
The Urban Stories exhibition at Palazzo Litta included work by Daniel Libeskind, Alvin Huang, and Venini,  in addition to Italian-Danish duo GamFratesi's pieces for Gubi.
"The Balkan Date examined challenging themes such as East meets West, communism meets capitalism, and the desire for material things versus the aspirations for spirituality. In this controversial and dynamic context, a new breed of artists has emerged. They harbor a particular kind of sensitivity and form parts of the puzzle to our cultural identity through design. What's more, they successfully counteract the global tendency towards unified cultural products." – Sofia Design Week curators/organizers

Typography by Croatian Designers in the 'In A Nutshell' exhibition at SAMCA during Sofia Design Week. Photo by Abigail Doan.
Dutch design studio Droog adapted pieces from objects in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum to create a studio space in central Milan with wallpaper designed by Irma Boom.
Terrazzo Project by Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and Philippe-Albert Lefebvre arranged the pair's innovative TP panels into a house of cards formation. The panels are made of resin cement and stone aggregates cast onto corrugated aluminium sheets, which make them 50% lighter than traditional slabs (as well as stain proof, UV stable and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use).
Färg's latest project is this flat-pack rocking chair for Design House Stockholm.
Architect and historian Alan Hess specializes in Googie design and has authored 19 books on modern architecture, including Googie: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture and Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture. Hess will join L.A. Conservancy’s director of advocacy, Adrian Scott Fine, at Dwell on Design Los Angeles to discuss the demise of many post-war Googie-style buildings in L.A. and the necessary preservation of the iconic, midcentury modern design.
The Santa Monica location, which showcased the same Googie-style neon sign as Norms La Cienega, closed in July 2013. After 49 years of service, and to the lament of many local residents, it was later demolished.
Norms debuted in 1949 at the famed corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. The 24-hour coffee shop chain, founded by Los Angeles-native Norm Roybark, opened its La Cienega flagship location in 1957. Architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis, who were known for their post-war Googie architecture, designed the building with a large, neon, saw tooth pennant sign to attract the attention of passersby and to echo the futuristic diamond-shaped roofline and geometric elements throughout the diner.
The chair is made up of five parts and assembled without the use of hinges or screws.
Set of two Dinner Forks by Design House Stockholm, $50 from theline.com