Criswell Lappin

Light Work

When Thomas Phifer and Arup developed a budget for their expansion of the North Carolina Museum of Art five years ago, they weren’t outlining financial expenditures—they were determining lighting levels. “We calculated how much light was best for each kind of art,” Phifer says. “Then we worked to create a museum with a system of variable levels.” As a result,…

Retail Portfolio

Apparently, now is the time to hang your shingle in northern Georgia. “Everything already existed, so we had nothing to lose but our pride,” Bill Grant says of his design studio’s new venture. The Store at Grant Collaborative opened last June in downtown Canton, 45 minutes north of Atlanta, after a nonprofit left the ground floor of the three-story building…

Play, Sit, Store

Full disclosure: I am a new dad and I live in Brooklyn, so needless to say there is a whole new genre of furniture that catches my eye. When I saw the Los Angeles-based nurseryworks’ playdate table I thought it would work well in our apartment (even if we didn’t have a three-month old son). Four itty-bitty stools fit cleanly…

Twist into the Light

Perhaps German designer Roland Schneider spent some of his formative years studying those plastic models of the solar system. His Ballfinger family of table and floor lamps for Ameico combine a little science and a little Pixar. Thin, polished aluminum arms extend out to support a planet-shaped light source, which is fixed over two axes—allowing for 360 degrees rotation in…

The Post-Pritzker Prize Stretch

Zaha Hadid made Miami’s design district look like Candy Land. Actually, many of the design objects on the four floors of the Foster Building looked as if they were produced in Willy Wonka’s factory, so the fact that Hadid’s site-specific installation, “Elastika,” looks like a system of frozen marshmallow slides stretching diagonally across the atrium is appropriate. The sleek yet…

Play It Again

Homes built from shipping containers and restaurants decorated with chopsticks may seem in vogue now, but remember that in 1953 Charles and Ray Eames were already constructing houses out of diamonds. And clocks. And snowflakes. Those are only a few of the images that appear on the Giant House of Cards, which has just been reissued in collaboration between the…

ICFF RAW: The Next Generation

Abhinand Lath, the creator of OpTrix, a technology that allows material to become reactive to light, was excitedly describing how he got his project to the floor of the ICFF. “We drove it all the way from Michigan so we could see it into the show,” he said, “and now we are just here taking everything in.” OpTrix is one…

The ICFF Connector: A Whale of a Time?

“Most people liken it to traveling through an animal, and someone said it looks like the inside of a whale,” said MMW’s Magne Wiggen, of this year’s ICFF connector. An inflated, white translucent tube with orange ribbing, the installation-slash-construction eases visitors through the passageway between the ICFF’s main floor and pavilion annex. It was designed and built by MMW, an…

The Botanical ICFF

Perhaps the most intriguing use of space in the entire Javits Center wasn’t even a furniture display. Or textiles, or school work, or magazines, for that matter. The addition of a North Pavillion to the ICFF brings with it a design problem. How do you draw people into that space? What could easily be a walk through another mundane corridor…