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July 30, 2007

Stylin' sneakers.


Last Friday night, over 100 people showed up for the final judging and party for the Puma Shoe Design Competition at the DWR Southlake Studio. Over 60 people entered the competition by designing a pair of Puma running shoes using Puma’s design website, Mongolian Shoe BBQ. It was great to see what so many people did with the chance to get creative. And with such great prizes, who wouldn’t want to give it a try? Puma awarded the top three winning designers with a pair of the shoes they designed. Plus, the first place winner, Carmen Menza (shown above), was given a limited-edition white leather bag from their new line, Urban Mobility. (Only 600 of these bags were produced. Ever.)  All of the guests got an opportunity to view the entire line of Urban Mobility clothing and bags, and got a sneak peak at the new Spring 2008 footwear line. As a huge Puma fan myself (last count of shoes was 54 pairs), this was a great opportunity to share a passion of mine – other than well-designed furniture and accessories – with the DWR community.

Posted by E. David Goltl, Proprietor-DWR Southlake Studio.

July 27, 2007

Linda and Marge in Paris.


Glenda Bailey’s Harper’s Bazaar, in my opinion the best fashion magazine in America, isn’t afraid to take itself less than seriously. This is precisely why the easy-to-read and unstuffy Bazaar made the perfect choice for a new editorial spread featuring supermodel (and DWR fan) Linda Evangelista, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and the Simpsons.

Marge Simpson finally lets her hair down as she sits with Donatella Versace and Homer gives Lagerfeld a run for his money in dark glasses and gloves. Maggie ends up in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Hermes bag and Bart’s made the front row for Louis Vuitton. Bazaar’s spread is a throw-back to the day when new fashions debuted in fashion magazines as illustrations and not photographs. It is also a nod to the fact that fashion design has become a part of mainstream pop culture. I only hope that more people in the fashion press took these risks. Besides, Lagerfeld and Gaultier have been caricatures for years. This just cements that fact.

July 26, 2007

Little pink (and red and blue and yellow) houses.


Apartment Therapy posted recently about colorful houses in cities across the world. I thought it complemented the discussions here recently about Schnabel’s pink Manhattan building. The collection of homes at More Ways to Waste Time, found via a Flickr image search, illustrate my opinion that there are too few of these bright-hued homes amongst us. These pictures are fun and refreshing. And being a Baltimore native I am very interested in tracking down the home in the above picture. Baltimore is full of red brick row houses and I’d love to discover this block the next time I’m home visiting Mom.

High-flying art.


Molly Peck just sent me a link to something very strange and beautiful, two of my favorite adjectives.  The French artist Hubert Duprat shies away from traditional artist tools and creates his work with much more interesting materials: gold spangles, turquoise, opals, diamonds and caddis fly larvae. Yes, he makes art with bugs.

Cabinet magazine has stunning photos of the work and an interview with the artist up from their Spring issue. In the wild the flies create larvae casing from spun silk and found particles of sand, fish bone and the like. In Duprat's world the extremely adaptive buggers (ha, ha) play with finer materials resulting in living jewelry. It’s avant-garde art not for the squeamish.

Cubit-Creativity contest.


Calling all storage enthusiasts. Are you using Cubits or Cubitec? Enter the Cubit-Creativity Contest. Your creative use of Cubits or Cubitec could earn you a DWR gift certificate* ($250 for first place, $100 runner up) and a featured posting in the DWR blog. To enter, show us your creative cube usage by emailing a photo to Winners will be notified by email. Entries must be received by August 10, 2007.

* No purchase necessary to enter or win. Entrants must be 18 or older. Void where prohibited.

July 20, 2007

Trailer talk.


Last week I headed over to Piedmont with a colleague from Design Within Reach to attend an art talk. The talk was with Lucinda Barnes, Deputy Director, Programs and Collections from the Berkeley Museum of Art and Andrea Zittel, a contemporary artist with an impressive catalog of work. Zittel’s sculptures and installations transform everything necessary for life—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments in living. Blurring the line between life and art, Zittel’s projects extend to her own home and wardrobe. Andrea’s A-Z roots date back to  the early 90’s when a friend hired her to help him find a boyfriend. She gave him pointers on everything from home decorating to what shoes to buy.

We were invited to the talk to hear about BAMs newly acquired trailer from Andreas’ show commissioned for the SFMOMA in 1995. Andrea is such an engaging and interesting artist, I won’t begin to try and put her words in here, but please check out more about her here. She’s just starting up a stint at the Headlands Center for Arts and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

July 18, 2007

Emeco or bust.


Emeco is consistently named a favorite manufacturer amongst DWR employees (see the 1006 Navy, Hudson and 1951 collections, just to name few). Maybe it is the small-town roots of the company. Perhaps it is their reinvention courtesy Philippe Starck and Norman Foster.  It could be the fact that the company uses 80% recycled aluminum in their seating. No matter whom you ask at DWR, you’ll always get the same response: We love Emeco. My personal favorite piece of Emeco trivia is the fact that their iconic Navy chair uses the butt mold of Betty Grable. Chairs don’t get better than that.

My friend Eric Lee and I took a scenic road trip through New York, Pennsylvania, Marylandand D.C. last week.  One of our stops was Emeco’s headquarters in Hanover, Pennsylvania. It was a short, but memorable, experience. The Emeco plant seems almost untouched since the 1950s. The windows are mirrored, and the factory is small, uncluttered and full of chairs. I got to tour their “museum,” an interactive display and work room full of prototypes and one-offs. If only the powder-coated pink Navy chair had seen the light of day.  Julian Schnabel would surely snap some up.

July 17, 2007

McDonald's goes fully licensed classic.


I’ve clearly taken large swigs of the DWR Kool-Aid. Let me explain: I was in London to see my fiancé perform with his band. I was walking through Camden on my way to the gig, when I spotted what I believed to be Egg chairs. I looked up to see the name of the establishment, because I thought to myself, “Who’s bold enough to put a bunch of fake Egg chairs in the window like that?”

Much to my surprise, I was looking right at the Golden Arches. McDonald’s! McDonald’s using Egg chairs? How could this be? Later that evening, I dragged my fiancé to the restaurant and we stood at the door like some kind of knock-off crusaders. What exactly would we do if we found out they were fakes? Would we call Ronald directly and complain? We marched in armed with a camera phone to take a photo of the “evidence.”

I was shocked to find that not only did all the seats have tiny red Fritz Hansen tags woven right into the seam but there were also authentic Series 7 and Swan chairs all throughout the dining room too!  I was tempted to put the Series 7 upside down and jump on it to prove its remarkable contract quality, but I was looking crazy enough jumping from chair to chair screaming, “It’s real! It’s real!” So I tried to leave more quietly than I arrived.

Posted by Melissa Howard, Studio Account Executive-DWR Rosyln.

July 12, 2007

Head of the class.


Brooklyn is a hotbed for hipster fashion and typically I turn a blind eye to that genre of clothing. But I was just sent a link to silkscreen shop HeadHoods via David Report and I must admit I’m totally smitten.  Screen-printed by hand, the hoodies feature images of clowns, gorillas and Audrey Hepburn. Now we’re talking. And who doesn’t want to walk the cold summer nights of San Francisco disguised as Elvis Presley? And though they claim to not be “cheap,” HeadHoods do custom prints. I am thinking one with Charles Eames on the left and Ray Eames on the right. And like any good hipster brand they’re up on MySpace.

Congratulations to…

…us! DWR has been honored with a 2008 Gold Award in advertising by Graphis magazine. You may have seen our ads in fine publications like The New York Times, Dwell, The New Yorker or Elle Décor. Kudos to our creative team (senior designer, Tina Yuan; senior copywriter, Gwendolyn Horton; and marketing manager Frank Wild, all under the guidance of VP of marketing/creative director Jennifer Morla). Graphis was first published in 1944 in Zurich, Switzerland and is global in scope – aiming to document the most significant and influential communication work being produced today. We could say it’s an honor just to be nominated, but, to be honest, we’re really quite proud.

July 11, 2007

Jazzing it up in San Francisco.


Great fun was had by all at the Fillmore Studio last week during San Francisco’s Fillmore Jazz Festival. The festival attracts upwards of 90,000 folks, eager to enjoy some of the best Bay Area jazz. DWR Fillmore played a large part in this year’s festival by hosting a Creole-themed event. Seafood Gumbo, red beans and rice and fiery slaw were provided by Cajun Pacific San Francisco, a small weekend-only restaurant specializing in Creole food. Trumer Pils, a local Berkeley Brauerei, were kind enough to sponsor our event and it made a fine paring with the spicy Creole menu. But the main attraction was the three-piece band, Makeshift Elements, who are based in SF’s Mission District and feature a stand-up bass, guitar and keyboard. We drew a crowd of 300 for their three-hour set. It was a great event and a great opportunity for us to give back to the community.

Posted by Kelly Spain, Proprietor-DWR Fillmore.

Eames House Industries.


Our pals over at House Industries, the great design shop/type foundry responsible for those Girard blocks, just let us know about an upcoming lecture at the Eames Office given by Andy Cruz. Andy will be giving a look at how House Industries operates and he’ll also discuss their work with Neutra, the Saarinen project for Dulles Airport and the upcoming Alexander Girard font collection. He’ll also be breaking the news on the House Industries Eames project.

Seats are limited and registration ends this Friday so you should sign up ASAP.  The Eames Office is in Santa Monica and we’re being told that those in attendance may be lucky enough to walk away with some limited edition schwag. They won’t tell us what that is but if House Industries, the Eames Office and AIGA are involved we’re pretty sure that it will be worth admission alone.

Posted by Bradford Shellhammer, Proprietor-DWR NYC Columbus Avenue

July 05, 2007

Picnic at the Eames House (Case Study House #8)


The proprietors of DWR Studios in the Southwest had the pleasure of spending an afternoon at the Eames House last week. A bit off the beaten path, it took a couple of U-turns we finally made it to our destination in Pacific Palisades. We set up our picnic lunch under the shade of the eucalyptus trees swaying over the meadow. Bernadine Styburski, the executive director of the Eames Foundation, entertained us with stories about the history of the house and the legacy left by Charles and Ray.

The Eames House has recently been designated a National Historic Landmark. A public announcement was made at the Eames House on June 17, 2007 – which would have been Charles Eames’ 100th birthday. This is exciting because it protects the home and its site, ensuring future generations the opportunity to experience the spirit of the Eames House. Built in 1949 as part of the Case Study program, it was one of the first homes in the U.S. to use industrial materials in a residential setting. As such, it was an experiment in materials, technology and, ultimately, a way of living that came to define the post-World War II era. It represents an idea of a possible way to live, rather than simply a model to be replicated.

If you're in Southern California and want to visit, call 310.459.9663 to make an appointment. 

Posted by Susie Cordes, Proprietor-DWR Beverly Boulevard Studio.

July 02, 2007

Marmol Radziner + Associates at DWR.

DWR's Las Vegas Studio will present Leo Marmol of Marmol Radziner + Associates, an award-winning Los Angeles-based design/build firm that integrates architectural and landscape design with a full range of construction services. Join DWR in welcoming Leo Marmol, who will be on hand to discuss Marmol Radziner Prefab, their new line of prefab housing launched in 2005. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Thursday, July 26, 6-9pm, click here for directions and additional information.

Andre Breton would be proud.


The DWR Roslyn Studio helped make the Nassau County Museum of Art’s 2007 Surreal Ball – an event to kick off their “Surrealism: Dreams on Canvas” exhibit – into a veritable den of Dadaist delights. We provided Random Lights for ambiance, while Louis Ghost Chairs floated about the space. The Gehry Sofas made an apt backdrop for contortionists dressed in all black with white avant-garde hairdos sculpted from foam (celebrating this year’s honoree, nuBest salon owner Michael Mazzei). If you find yourself in Roslyn and couldn’t join us for the event, check out the exhibit, which will be on display through August 12. Plus, as an attempt to beautify the community and help expand the cultural and educational programs provided by the NCMA, they have started a banner campaign. Be sure to check out DWR’s banner on the corner of Mineola Avenue and Northern Boulevard.

Posted by John J. Fondrisi, Proprietor-DWR Rosyln Studio