Vico Magistretti passed away on September 19. He was 85. Magistretti spent his career in Milan, producing simple, practical furniture. He worked with Cassina, Artemide and O-Luce and, in the ’60s, helped elevate the status of plastic as a construction material. The New York Times obituary on this modern furniture legend, is here and DesignBoom's March 2000 interview with him is here.
September 26, 2006
September 22, 2006
The fifth annual Elle Decoration Design Awards took place on September 19. To qualify for the magazine’s awards, the pieces had to be created by British designers for British companies. They assembled an amazing crew of judges for the event, including Tom Dixon, Sir Terence Conran, Deyan Sudjic and Clare Waight Keller. We’re especially jazzed about their recognition of Matthew Hilton, who won Best in Furniture for his Cross Extension Table (which, I might add, is available only at DWR in the U.S.) Can’t say we’re terribly surprised: We loved the Cross Extension Table so much, that we’ve just introduced Hilton’s coffee table in the same vein.
September 19, 2006
Ivan Luini, founder and president of Kartell, U.S. Inc., died on September 15 when a plane he was flying with Sergio Savarese, owner of Dialogica, crashed in Colorado. Kartell is credited with restoring plastic to the status of high design, by getting designers like Antonio Citterio and Philippe Starck on board. Luini brought Kartell to the U.S. market (and to DWR.) More about the circumstances of the crash and his career is laid out in this New York Times piece.
September 15, 2006
I love to read about people making things for a living, especially using found objects. I make up a lot of my own projects or try to recreate things I see, though not for a living. When people ask if I’m an artist I usually say I’m “crafty.” I’m not sure why I always feel compelled to make that distinction. I think it’s the “by hand” aspect that connects me to some of the designs I see. I just bought a chandelier from Home Depot and then updated it to make it more me. I painted it all white and added fabric over the chain that connects it to the ceiling mount. But enough about my projects (that aren’t for sale), here’s some that might be soon. South African designer/artist, Heath Nash, collects recycled bottles, cleans them, cuts them by hand into intricate flowers and makes beautiful light shades with them. This interview about his designs is wonderfully detailed and has lots of pictures. Big props to Ping Magazine for making it so easy to follow.
September 13, 2006
Burning Man, the annual gathering of artists, counterculture creatives and those who fancy themselves as such, hit the Nevada desert as usual the week preceding Labor Day weekend. One difference this year was the presence of Quinze & Milan art director (and designer of the ever-popular Primary Pouf), Arne Quinze (above) and his cohort Jan Kriekels (who also happens to be the art director of Jaga). The two collaborated on an installation called Uchronia – a structure that consisted “150 km of timber with a floor span of 60 by 30 meters in the center, and a height of 15 meters,” according to the Uchronians’ website, but somehow still managed to look fluid. Familiarly known around the playa as the Belgian Waffle, Uchronia provided one of the most mind-blowing spectacles when it was set aflame at the end of the week. Their somewhat obliquely worded website (“We came from a place where freedom was achieved a long time ago. From above we have been watching you human spirits yearning for liberty.”) has some impressive footage of the process of creating the piece, chock full of dusty images of half-naked, goggle-clad volunteers. Makes you sweat just looking at them.
A clip of the building of the structure can be found here, unfortunately most of the conversation is in Dutch.
September 12, 2006
I walk to work most every day. It’s like a 40 minute walk and I always take the same route. What that forces me to do is notice every little thing. Each day I see something new. Of course I can’t help but notice the cracked sidewalks as I trip over them or you know, on a good day, see someone else trip. I read about this idea the other day, taking old tires and turning them into a material suitable for sidewalks. It seems brilliant and perfect. Good design for a big problem. What do you think?
September 04, 2006
The American Institute of Architects is putting on its third annual Architecture and the City event. This month-long series, running throughout September, features architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures and more, all to celebrate and explore the architecture of the Bay Area. There's tons going on, all catered to the design-inclined. We're especially excited about Dwell magazine's event, Dwell on Design, September 15–17 at the Concourse Exhibition Center. Dwell invites you to "experience architecture through the lens of prefab, sustainability, affordability and urban design," and speakers, panels and exhibitions will abound.
WaterFire was born in 1994, when Rhode Island artist Barnaby Evans was commissioned to do a piece celebrating Providence’s 10th First Night event. An utterly unique installation, WaterFire lives on the three rivers that intersect in downtown Providence and now consists of 97 braziers that are lit and tended to by torch-bearers who float along in four boats (which are classically named: Daedalus, Prometheus, Icarus and Athena). Considered a vital part of downtown Providence’s renaissance, WaterFire is now an ongoing installation with lightings happening weekly through September. Community-oriented events – including concerts, readings and other cultural happenings – now use WaterFire as a backdrop. DWR will honor this Providence institution on September 16, when Evans will give a presentation at our Providence Studio, followed by a ceremonial lighting from DWR CEO Ray Brunner.