Point of View - Point of View May 2010

 

The Frankophile’s Library

With all the hoopla surrounding last year’s 50th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s death and the opening of his landmark Guggenheim Museum, readers may have overlooked a spate of new monographs about the American master. Among the most noteworthy are the second and third volumes of Taschen’s exhaustive three-volume Complete Works, covering the periods 1917–1942 and 1943–59, respectively (Volume I,…

The Month in Design

Design was in the air this month, and we took in great heaving gasps of it as we ran from one event to another (and from one blog to another). New work was released, exhibitions were exhibited, and awards were awarded. For those who feel like the month passed them by, here’s our shortlist from May’s cornucopia of design news:…

Letter from Baltimore: Street Art Arrives

In her monthly “Letter from Baltimore,” Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson writes about architecture, culture, and urbanism in a city more often associated with violent crime than with good design. Click here to read her previous posts. For more by Dickinson, visit her blog, Urban Palimpsest. Baltimore, like most urban environments, is lousy with graffiti. The culture of tagging is well established…

ICFF, We Hardly Knew Ye

Even after last week’s ICFF live-blogging extravaganza, we ended up with dozens of unpublished snapshots of noteworthy new products and projects from the 22nd annual furniture fair. Here, then, in no particular order, is a final roundup of neat stuff from the 2010 ICFF. Above: Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s Corvo chair, for Bernhardt Design, which we wrote about in the April issue…

A River Runs Through Times Square

You may remember the NYC Department of Transportation’s call for designs for an “economic, temporary surface treatment” for the new pedestrian plazas on Times Square. The design was meant to be a placeholder that will keep the plazas looking fresh till the real overhaul slated for 2012. The DOT announced yesterday that, from the 150 designs submitted, it has selected…

See the ICFF Through Our Editor’s Eyes

As you may have read in the New York Times the other day, Metropolis’s editor in chief, Susan Szenasy, was one of several design mavens to comb the recent ICFF in search of the very best products for the annual ICFF Editors Awards. This year, Szenasy toted along a Flip video camera for part of her rounds. Click the play…

Live@ICFF: Interiors From Spain

The biggest foreign presence at this year’s ICFF came from Spain, with 20 companies exhibiting a range of colorful and well-crafted furniture, lighting, carpets, and wall-coverings. Here are a few of the highlights: Actually, one of my favorite Spanish products wasn’t on display at the fair: Nanimarquina’s new Digit rug, by the London-based graphic designer Cristian Zuzunaga, resembles an extremely…

Live@ICFF: JETRO

Last year, the Japan External Trade Organization arrived at ICFF with a huge exhibition that took up an entire annex pavilion to the main Javits floor. Many curious fairgoers got their first look at products like Naoto Fukasawa’s famed Infobar cell phone, a candy-bar doppelgänger that has been (criminally) limited to Japan. JETRO was smaller this year, but there were…

Live@ICFF, Editor’s Pick:  Tivoli Audio

When it comes to technology, one of my favorite objects is a Tivoli portable radio. The high-quality sound, the compact size, and the old-school knobs are perfect for simple folk like me. What’s refreshing is that the company in recent years has embraced Design with a capital “D.” This year’s iPAL models, for example, are available in high-gloss red, green,…

Live@ICFF: Cherner Chair Company

In 1999, Benjamin and Thomas Cherner began the Cherner Chair Company to manufacture their father’s iconic molded-plywood chairs. Since then, they have reissued many other Norman Cherner designs according to original drawings and specifications. This year they’re introducing Multiflex credenzas—marking the first time they’ve ventured into case goods. The cabinets are made to order in a tremendous range of configurations…

Live@ICFF: Last Night’s Parties

At the Alessi Takes the Cake party, on Greene Street, the French designer Matali Crasset poses with the mixing bowl from her new Essentiel de Pâtisserie collection, designed with the renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Crasset demonstrates proper whisk technique. And the award for best ICFF party treats goes to . . . Moving on: A few block south, Kartell…

Live@ICFF: Designboom Mart

The Designboom Mart often acts as ICFF’s palate cleanser. When the glossier offerings on the show floor start feeling like too slick a pitch, it can be refreshing to see a group of mostly young designers selling their own inexpensive wares in a PR-free marketplace. And if a few of their products are more cloying than clever, there’s usually something…

Live@ICFF: The 2010 Editors Awards

. Not to be confused with our more idiosyncratic editors’ picks, the official ICFF Editors Awards are selected by a group of international design-magazine honchos (including Metropolis’s own editor in chief, Susan Szenasy) and considered among the industry’s highest accolades. Here are this year’s winners: Body of Work Blu Dot New Designer Objeti, LLC Studio Dunn Craftsmanship Cocochi Design Furniture…

Live@ICFF: Neo-Utility

The Brooklyn-based distributor didn’t have too much new to show since we caught up with them at the Gift Fair last February, but there were still a couple of items that caught our eye. For instance: We’ve long been fans of Anything’s plastic desktop accessories (like the scissors and tape dispenser pictured above); now the design studio is planning to…

Live@ICFF, Editors’ Pick: Amy Butler for Graham & Brown

We were both charmed by Amy Butler’s floral wallpapers for Graham & Brown, which offered a traditional counterpoint (and complement) to the of-the-moment designs at the fair. The Ohio-based designer is known for her colorful, bold prints inspired by nature, which she has used on everything from printed fabrics to organic towels and postconsumer recycled gift wrap, but this collection…

Live@ICFF: Last Night’s Parties

Sunday night saw a cluster of parties in the Meatpacking District, including the opening of Dune’s Enamored exhibition, with new designs by Harry Allen, Karim Rashid, Claesson Koivisto Rune, and others. Richard Shemtov is Dune’s president and one of its designers–he created the new Deluxe lounge and sofa. The design was inspired, in part, by Japanese anime, but Shemtov said…

Live@ICFF: Tom Dixon

On Saturday morning, Tom Dixon sat down with us in one of the three booths that his team occupies at the front of the ICFF hall. A few feet away, American students dressed as factory workers were busy assembling a pair of limited-edition Dixon designs that could be purchased on site–part of his Flash Factory project, which debuted in Milan…

Live@ICFF Schools: Parsons

If you needed proof that the rudiments of punning are a crucial part of any design student’s curriculum, look no further than the booth for Parsons’s School of Constructed Environments, where the theme is Flow. On one table, there’s Currentcy, a glove by Kim White that employs radio-frequency identification (the same technology used to track cattle herds) to allow, say,…

Live@ICFF: Diesel with Moroso and Foscarini

The fashion house’s line of furniture and lighting, which will now be available through the Future Perfect, is characterized by the same kind of casual, on-the-go vibe as their trademark denim clothing. A lamp with a knit shade collapses, while another features the same kind of stitching found on dungarees. The sofa and chairs, which come in beige and indigo,…

Live@ICFF Schools: ArtFuture

ArtFuture’s booth brought a bit of St. Petersburg to the Javits with designs that played off of the traditional Russian nesting doll, or matryoshka. The shapely silhouette (actually imported from Japan in the late-19th century) was used to great effect in Olga Prozorova’s Button-Table, which is supported by four massive wooden dolls; their white heads poke through the acrylic tabletop,…

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