Karen Steen

Deeper Into the Temple of Light

Architect Siamak Hariri’s winning entry for the design of a Baha’i temple in Santiago, Chile took inspiration from his own practice of the Baha’i faith. In this Web exclusive, Hariri, a principal of the Toronto-based architecture firm Hariri Pontarini, and the project’s associate-in-charge, Mike Boxer, discuss their temple and its nine luminous alabaster wings; the computer software programs they used…

TRUCK’s Pair of Prototypes

Alongside her new line of dishware and tabletop accessories for Studio Nova, TRUCK principal Jennifer Carpenter is showing two furniture prototypes. The first is a new interpretation of the traditional roll-top desk: a coffee table whose slatted surface moves back to reveal cubbyholes for quick-access storage. Typical roll-top desks were surprisingly low-tech, Carpenter explains: most were simply a piece of…

The Pogo Line of Mobile Walls

Husband-and-wife designers Dave and Julie Scheu have created what they call a “mobile wall” system: extension poles that look a little like pogo sticks and can hold picture frames, shelving, display boxes, or clothing racks. Artworks and shelves no longer have to hang on walls; they can stand in the middle of a space and, when grouped together, double as…

How TRUCK Built a New Housewares Line

Four years ago, architects Jennifer Carpenter, Jonathan Marvel, and Rob Rogers founded TRUCK in order to create architecturally inspired furniture and products. This year, the company partnered with Studio Nova, one of Mikasa’s brands, to produce its first line of tableware. “When we make products, we’re thinking about the same things that we think about when we’re designing a space…

Rare Forms at Scandinaviaform

A marketplace for Sweden’s independent designers and musicians, Scandinaviaform brings a small selection of its catalog to ICFF. Maxjenny Forslund’s Plexistorage container system is a stack of clear trays suspended on a metal pole. The trays swing around the pole giving the storage system an interactive and sculptural appeal. This isn’t the place to stash things best hidden under the…

Newspaper Chairs from Poesis

Husband-and-wife designers Rob Bristow and Pilar Proffitt make ample furniture: serious hunks of marble and generously cut slabs of maple, walnut, and white oak. So when they told me they were busy in their Norfolk, Connecticut, studio working on a sustainable chair made of recycled newspaper material, I couldn’t quite picture it. The mystery material-a compressed mixture of water, wax,…

Knock-Down/Drag-Out Furniture

With the clever name of this line of collapsible furniture, Christopher Douglas tells you exactly how these pieces should be used: break them down into flat storage for the day to day, and haul them out when the company arrives. The dining table’s construction is a tab-and-slot design that’s as clever visually as it is functionally. The equally dynamic Flipper…

WYSIWYG’s Wry Designs at By Maze

The designers that make up Thailand’s By Maze collective create amusing objects that fit together or come apart for use in different ways: a cookie jar whose lid is also a bud vase, or bright plastic hors d’oeuvre picks that mimic a plot of Astroturf. This year the designer couple billed as WYSIWYG has upped the cleverness ante with two…

Restorations

When he’d thought of Miami Beach over the years, Saul had remembered the little Art Deco hotels, their funny pink-and-yellow trim matching the sky at sunset. But this one—built later with sleeker lines—was the glare of high noon, full sun striking sand just beyond the edge of your umbrella. White, everything white, from the round sofa in the lobby to…

Taming the NYPL’s Lions

According to librarian Rodney Phillips, the most frequently asked question at the New York Public Library is, “Where are the books?” Patrons already intimidated by the Beaux Arts building and its stone lions can’t always figure out how to use this public service when all of its offerings are kept in stacks behind closed doors. Is this any way for…

Furniture Overboard!

Lolah got its start when a Toronto yacht builder asked a group of young Canadian designers to start an offshoot furniture line using its high-tech manufacturing facility. The resulting line of furniture is a rare combination of high-performance materials, experienced craftsmanship, and fresh ideas. Lolah uses radio-frequency molding, a technology never before brought to home furnishings, to create the handsomely…