The end of the year always brings lists, new year’s resolutions, to-do lists, best-of lists, you name it. Well, here’s one that’s worth checking out, even if you just look at the pretty pictures. It’s the Business Week online recap of the best architectural wonders of 2006. There are many to be in awe of and even one or two that you may wish you lived in. Take a look.
December 29, 2006
December 28, 2006
We are gearing up to open our first Studio in Louisiana. DWR New Orleans is set to open on Tuesday, January 2nd. The Studio is on Magazine St. between the Garden District and Irish Channel neighborhoods. The 1930's art deco style building is over 3500 square feet and was recently renovated.
To celebrate the Studio's grand opening event on February 8 (more details to come), DWR is donating 10% of the New Orleans Studio's sales to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity in effort to help the continued revitalization process. If you're in the neighborhood, stop in and say hello.
December 27, 2006
My friends are having babies left and right these days and I never know what to get those little buggers for gifts. A few weeks ago the perfect solution to my baby gift problem fell into my lap in the form of Jargon Boy’s M is for Modern alphabet flashcards. It is a gift that is affordable, educational and modern! The cards are a way to learn the alphabet while familiarizing yourself (and the kid, too) with iconic design terms from the modern age. A is for A-frame and P is Pop-Art. Or P could be for Perfect, which this set is darn near.
December 21, 2006
In this week's DWR newsletter the topic was the new Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, designed by Jean Nouvel. What we didn’t write about was that the old Guthrie theater is planned for demolition. A reader of ours sent in a note reminding us of the original Guthrie, designed by Ralph Rapson, which is slated for demolition. He wrote, “One has to ask, is it worth the cost to gain a new building by Nouvel if it means sacrificing a landmark building like the original Guthrie to the wrecking ball?” Thanks to Devin Colman from Burlington, VT for starting the dialogue. Please write and let us know what you think.
December 19, 2006
It’s that time of year again – time for all you aspiring industrial designers to drink a couple bottles of Champagne and express your inner Eames in the form of a miniature chair. The Annual Champagne Chair Contest is, in my humble copywriting opinion, an apt expression of DWR’s voice and brand: fun and creativity combined with good taste. So, start drinking (or stop into a Studio and pick up a kit with everything you need, courtesy of Veuve Clicquot) and get crafting. Find out everything you need to know about the contest here.
December 18, 2006
Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend the final critique at the CCA Furniture in Production class. It was inspiring to see the chairs the students had created and the quality of these prototypes demonstrated how hard they had worked. (That, and the fact they looked like they hadn’t slept in days. Ah, to be a student again.)
The students had only two weeks to make a full scale prototype, which for most of us would be a mission impossible. But what they put together rocked. There was the "throwaway" chair made of recycled paper, the "evil genius" chair out of laser cut steel, a chair created out of recycled juice boxes, a chair made out of a giant innertube, two chairs that used different types of felt and the list goes on for a total of 14 truly inspiring chairs. Kudos to the students. You can see their final projects here.
December 15, 2006
I find it a little hard to get excited about the holidays working in retail. It’s like I’ve been thinking about the holidays since August. Lucky for me the folks at Core 77 have put together a holiday gift guide that’s good enough to use for the entire year (or maybe just a little something for me. I mean, my birthday is on the 26th). Time to get shopping.
December 12, 2006
The mile-high city of Denver doesn’t immediately conjure images of modern architecture, yet the City’s downtown boasts works from Gio Ponti, Michael Graves and, most recently, Daniel Libeskind all within a few yards of one another. Hoping to avoid the crowds following the initial opening in October, I finally visited Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum expansion. The titanium-clad building is a dramatic addition to Denver’s skyline with its sharp, angular lines playing off the Rocky Mountains on the distant horizon, while limning itself against the urban landscape. Libeskind wanted to create a dialogue between the new building and the original museum designed by Ponti in 1971. In response, the building cantilevers above the street, resembling the bow of a ship that’s about to merge with Ponti’s modernist castle. The Ponti building is also nicely framed by the new building from several other vistas.
Inside, the interior’s sloping walls, labyrinthine galleries and winding staircases produced a dizzying effect that made me wonder whether it was the building or the shot of espresso I’d had earlier. Despite a recurring sense of vertigo, I enjoyed viewing DAM’s modern art collection and was surprised by its size and breadth, considering DAM isn’t exclusively modern. I particularly enjoyed the global focus of the temporary exhibit “Radar: Selections from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection” with works from Western artists like Ed Ruscha, Kiki Smith and Damien Hirst shown alongside contemporary Asian artists including Yue Minjun and Wang Guangyi.
Not to be outdone, Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art also has a new building underway with London-based architect David Adjaye at the helm. The MCA building should be completed in Spring 2007. Stay tuned.
Posted by Meghan Sheedy, Boulder Studio
One of the great things about living in NYC is my proximity to Moss. While DWR and Moss carry some of the same products – Moooi’s Random Light and Vitra miniatures come to mind – Moss sells a lot of items that are, how shall I say, a bit more eclectic and avant-garde than DWR’s assortment. I really have to limit my visits as I often walk out a much poorer man.
My latest venture to Moss yielded a toy-lover’s dream: the War Bowl. Made from melted army men and designed by Dominic Wilcox for mosleymeetswilcox, the bowl takes memories from my childhood and creates art from those relics. It’s yet another wonderful find for Moss, whether mounted to a wall or filled with apples.
December 11, 2006
The set of ABC’s runaway hit Ugly Betty is anything but ugly. It is a fabulous, colorful, plastic wonderland in bright white and neon orange. I simply adore it.
Most scenes on the Salma Hayek-produced show take place at the headquarters of Mode Magazine, a mythical fashion rag, where Betty just doesn’t seem to fit in. The furniture however certainly does. Glossy lacquers and orange Plexiglas abound and many pieces from DWR’s collection take center stage. A pair of ERO/S chairs sit before the editor’s desk, conference rooms are outfitted in orange Panton chairs and lounge areas feature Prince Aha stools.
The sets could read as color overkill. They might be too colorful, too plastic, too contrived. But it works for me. Plastic is fantastic after all. Just ask Kartell.
The DWR Boulder Studio hosted "Eco Modern: Green Design from the
University of Colorado" on December 8. The event, the culmination of a
collaboration with the College of Architecture and Planning's "Green
Tech" course, showcased the work of undergraduate architecture students.
The students were challenged to design and fabricate sustainable
furniture prototypes with a "cradle-to-cradle" emphasis on materiality,
embodied energy, lifecycle and minimal waste production techniques. Our
involvement included meeting with students at the beginning of each of
three semesters and participating in their mid-term and final critiques
to help them refine their designs. The best designs were selected for
exhibition at the Boulder studio. We were blown away by the energy,
attention to detail, and investment in their prototypes. Some guests
were hard-pressed to discern the student work from the DWR assortment,
which students considered the ultimate compliment.
Posted by Meghan Sheedy, Boulder Studio
December 08, 2006
I took a day off from work yesterday to attend a conference featuring Edward Tufte. He writes, designs and self-publishes books on analytical design, which have received more than 40 awards for content and design. Yesterday he spoke on “Presenting Data and Information.” Sounds a bit dry, right? But it’s actually fascinating to web geeks like myself. Anyone who has to share information with customers, co-workers, managers – anyone really – should consider checking out his books. And, if you have the chance, try and catch a lecture. Warning, he’s a wee bit, full of himself. At the end of the conference, the music started up (perfectly cued), and he took a bow – for a second I felt like I was at a music concert. Nevertheless, what he has to teach is pretty powerful, so I had to agree that the clapping was well-deserved.
December 06, 2006
Our first ever collaboration with CCA is winding down and the Furniture for Production students are entering their final weeks of class. Material choice, in particular the refinement of the actual use of the materials, and how they attach to the frame is, hopefully, being resolved. Professor Kane will be meeting one last time with the students for one-on-one critiques in an effort to get them ready for the end of semester crunch. I’m so nervous, aren’t you? Final presentations of the full scale prototypes will be on Dec 15th. I’m planning to attend. Just like you I’ve been checking things out from the sidelines, I can’t wait to see the chairs in person and meet the students.
Drawings: Top chair by Jeremy Kaplan, bottom chair by Albert Hsu.
Stua's Jon Gasca at DWR
Friday, December 8th 7-10pm
Concurrent with Design Miami and Art Basel, DWR South Beach is proud to welcome Jon Gasca, artistic director of Stua, in an exhibition of his abstract photography. Gasca will be on hand to present two series, Architectural Net and Lights. This is the premiere exhibition of his work, which investigates light and architecture and the ways in which these elements act as a backdrop for environmental messages. DWR is the exclusive retailer of Stua products in the U.S. In true South Florida party form, cocktails will be served. Please RSVP to email@example.com by December 6.