Julien Devereux

Like Leaning Against a Snow Bank, But Warmer

At a fair (and an industry) in which the Swedes, Danes, and Finns have established such a dominating presence, it’s nice to discover that the Norwegians, too, have something special to add to the world of Scandinavian design. Leads Møbler is the only Norwegian firm showing at this year’s ICFF, and their contributions, including the Eshu sofa, by Roger Sveian,…

A Desk That’s Two Kinds of Modern

Sens’s Fattie desk is a time-travel piece: it’s designed to fit right in with mid-century Modern furniture, but it also accommodates the modern office, with space for a computer keypad, monitor, mouse, and all the cords that inevitably come with them. The inspiration for the desk came from one of David Goldenberg’s clients, a lawyer, who wanted to be able…

A Bird? A Plane? A Blob.

There may be an increase in UFO sightings in London next March. Rumi Verjee, a millionaire best known as a shareholder (with Sir Elton John) of the soccer team Watford F.C., is financing a 72-foot-diameter helium balloon to float over Brick Lane, the heart of London’s Bangladeshi community. Its surfaces will swim with news, digital art, entertainment, and inevitably, advertising,…

A Pavilion Where Memory and Modernity Meet

Medhat Salam and Donato Giacalone, principals at New York firm Medhat Salam Associates, have recreated a much-missed waterfront pavilion in Staten Island, New York’s Conference House Park. Rather than a replication, the reconstructed pavilion is a conjuring of sorts, a structure blending past and present, and which was based solely on two blurry photos taken at least 60 years ago….

Design Corps’s Humane Housing for Migrant Workers

Twelve years ago, architect Bryan Bell, Jr. and his wife, Victoria Ballard Bell, founded Design Corps, a nonprofit organization that designs homes and facilities for migrant farm workers. The impetus was a fundamental realization: Migrant laborers, Bell found, often cannot afford more than the most rudimentary lodging, and farmers—who need to attract good workers—often cannot afford to provide them with…

Space Craft

Tom Wiscombe’s Light-Wing for the P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art is as forward looking in the way it was built as it is in its form.

Cutting Clutter at By Maze

One of the pleasures of walking around the ICFF is finding interesting work at the smaller firms struggling for their share of the spotlight. By Maze, a San Francisco firm headed by UC Berkeley architecture graduate Thi Thongbenjamas and director of marketing Jane Wachiradejkul, is one of those smaller firms, and an aggressively quirky one at that. According to their…

Fun nüf Design

“It’s fun spelled backwards,” nüf design’s Yeon Soo Son tells me when I ask about her firm’s name. It also has an umlaut, like a heavy-metal band, I point out, but it’s clear that Son and her fellow designers at nüf—Yoyo Wong, Kuni Jimbo, and Kaori Ito, all graduates of Parsons School of Design—are much more interested in light metal,…

Garbage Bags

An estimated 450,000 scavengers pick over the trash heaps in Jakarta, Indonesia, collecting anything they think they can resell. When American artist Ann Wizer moved there in 2000, she saw an opportunity to help the scavengers and take her art in a new direction. “Last year I had an exhibition called Empty Legacy: Works Made from Trash,” she says. “I…

Splish Splash: Water Recycling for Kids

Thanks to a New York City Department of Environmental Protection grant of $500,000 and some ingenuity at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, play fountains at Seward Park, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, ran throughout the drought-stricken summer. Artie Rollins, deputy chief of technical services for the parks department, devised an ingenious recycling system that collects runoff…

Big Moon Rising

Though many companies have started producing affordable but high-quality design for general consumers, few have done so with children in mind. “There is no children’s furniture in the middle,” says Roberto Gil, designer for Big Moon Furniture. “It’s all either crap from China or very high-end expensive design. It’s frustrating.” Based in Southern Brazil, the company makes sturdy, functional, colorful…

Lydia Neuman’s Homespun Wisdom

Lydia Neuman makes quilts that are as dazzling and colorful as tropical birds in flight. Looking at them is almost like looking into a kaleidoscope. Their colorful patterns produce shimmering optical illusions as the eye glances over them. Quilting is often considered a quaint, archaic hobby, but Neuman’s quilts, with their strong geometric patterns and skillful use of color, are…