Michael Silverberg

Home is Where “Houses” Is

A recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, Erica Wakerly had to hustle to have her first collection of modish wallpaper and textiles printed in time for ICFF. She designs and manufactures her own striking patterns, including “Angles,” a jagged repeating illustration of three-dimensional objects that she crafted herself. “Houses,” a pattern of everyday buildings that’s available in blue,…

Reference

Rose-Colored Glasses This month, Paul Goldberger (www.paulgoldberger.com), the architecture critic of the New Yorker, looks back at terrible architectural predictions—for instance, George Gilder’s claim in 1995 that the metropolis was doomed: “The city, he said, was nothing but a tired relic of the industrial age. If you didn’t have to be there in an age of electronic communication, why would…

Biblical Proportions

DESIGNERS Studio Job www.studiojob.nl Studio Job’s gilded new monograph, The Book of Job (Rizzoli, $150), is really two books bound together. One side is what you’d expect from the Dutch provocateurs: a greatest hits of their heroically scaled, multilayered design-art, like the bronze Robber Baron series, which invites comparison between the 19th-century quasicriminal plutocrats and the deep pockets who buy…

Diamond in the Rough

ARCHITECT: Andre Kikoski Architect www.akarch.com When Andre Kikoski was hired to design a new facade for a pair of warehouses in Bushwick, a gritty, gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood, he wanted it to nod to the pointillist, technically challenging skin of Jean Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe, in Paris. “But this is not a watchmaker’s building,” the New York architect says. “And…

Broadway Opening

After years of living in the shadow of its acclaimed academic neighbor, Barnard College steps out into the spotlight with a glittering new student center.

Space Oddities

Imagine you are an industrial designer, and this brief lands on your desk: “To build a garment that will hold up under the most extreme circumstances”—so far, so good, you think—“without the astronaut dying.” Would you blanch? That, says the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Amanda Young, the author of Spacesuits (powerHouse Books, 2009), was the daunting challenge for…

A New Old Thread

At this month’s Design Miami, tapestry, that fusty realm of unicorns and Renaissance battles, is staging a comeback. The exhibition Demons, Yarns and Tales—an unusual collaboration between 15 artists and Banners of Persuasion, a spin-off of the Rug Company—offers a contemporary take on a stor­ied art form. Christopher Sharp, who founded both companies with his wife, Suzanne, explains that much…

Pet Project

Pet products are a natural lure for designers—judging from the Best in Show–style theatrics at August’s Pet Fashion Week NY, people are happy to dig deep in their wallets for ­­Fluffy’s Swarovski-studded throne. Fortunately, industrial-design preoccupations such as simple forms, eco-friendly materials, and social responsibility also seem to be coming to a dog dish near you. Here are a few…

Against Type

In 2006, when Josh Owen was charged with creating a stool for Casamania, his mind naturally drifted toward what he calls “object typologies.” An associate professor of industrial design at Philadelphia University, Owen takes an assiduously theoretical approach to design, so an assignment to produce a simple stool is never quite that simple. He began by looking at successful examples…