Jonathan Ringen

On the Floor with InterfaceFLOR

The Atlanta-based Interface has been making contract and industrial carpet tiles for more than 30 years. However, it was only at last year’s ICFF that the company introduced a consumer line of their modular floor coverings. It’s a great idea: the peel-and-stick tiles are extremely easy to install, while the complementary colors and textures can be mixed and matched. The…

A Fabric that Morphs

It seems like magic: a textile that morphs between two completely different patterns depending on the angle from which it is observed. Wanda Miglus, the Providence, Rhode Island-based designer of the textile, declined to explain exactly how the weaving process works, citing secrecy issues. But she did say that any two images or patterns could be reproduced, in any fiber,…

Standard Desk and Wall Accessories

Julian Brown, the designer of Rexite’s playful plastic office supplies (like the Hannibal tape dispenser, which resembles an elephant) has now created for the company an entire system of desk and wall accessories. Standard, made from the same plastic as his earlier, animal-inspired line, is based around simple aluminum rails that are compatible with all major office systems, like those…

BEES: A Means to Measure Product Sustainability

When it comes to selecting sustainable materials, architects and interior designers are forced to make a lot of apples-and-oranges comparisons. This is because “sustainability” is an umbrella term that refers to many parameters of economic and environmental performance. Nylon Carpet Manufacturer A, for instance, promises that its production process contributes less to global warming than Manufacturer B’s, but Manufacturer B…

Superstudio: The Architecture Collective That Influenced a Generation

The conceptual works by Italian avant-garde architecture collective Superstudio influenced a generation of architects, from Zaha Hadid to Rem Koolhaas.

A bearded hippy wearing only his underpants emerges from what appears to be a subterranean concrete bunker. He’s followed by a shaggy man in overalls, a topless woman with long hair, and another, and another, like clowns from a Volkswagen. A voiceover informs us that these people are leaving behind an “indescribably large house…with all the possible comforts, and with…

National Agenda

He remade Milwaukee: now Mayor John Norquist will try reforming cities around the U.S. in his new role as leader of the Congress for New Urbanism.

Thoughts on the Two New Towers at Ground Zero

Earlier this month, a New York Times article headlined “A Signal of Rebirth Downtown” reported that “the horizon at Ground Zero has been broken for the first time since the ruins of the World Trade Center were hauled away.” The construction heralded was a pair of white steel pylons, 60 feet tall and spaced 90 feet apart; the structures will…

Wireless Evolution

No longer a dot-com pipedream, the “virtual office” finally works—and on a grand scale—at the new home of Norway’s telecom giant.

Three Wheelin’

In its native India the world’s largest manufacturer of scooters, Bajaj Auto Ltd., markets a three-wheel rickshaw much the same way SUVs are sold here: their catalog touts it as

FuggLight by Fugg

Like much of the lighting at the fair, the paper lamps made by new British designer Fugg toe the line between art and product. A number of artists have been commissioned to decorate the shades, but Jake Wood-Evans’s pencil drawing of a morose chimpanzee stands out. Other illustrators include Mysterious Al, known for his album covers for hip UK label…

Exciting Lighting

Another young international lighting collective (members live in the UK and in New York), Seen the Light makes lighting that is at once artistic and functional. Fingerprint is a ceramic tile that, when touched, acts as a rheostat. It makes for a seamless and elegant alternative to the light switch. Electric Tap is a playful lamp that also does away…