Mason Currey

Shelf Life

Ka-Lai Chan’s first mass-produced design is a storage system that signifies self-expression.

More Complexity

In making his work less manufacturable, a young American designer creates his strongest furniture collection.

Heart of Glass

WEB www.lucanichetto.com www.foscarini.com As a native of Murano, Italy, the designer Luca Nichetto has fond memories of the handcrafted “pearls” that are sold as souvenirs of the island’s famous glassmaking industry. So when the manufacturer Foscarini—which also got its start…

Trial by Internet

WEB www.lunatik.com Scott Wilson has had a long and varied design career—formerly a global creative director of Nike, he now runs his own studio, Minimal, in Chicago—but since late 2010 he has become best known for his Kickstarter story. Wilson…

More or Less Minimal

WEB en.plusminuszero.jp In 2003, Naoto Fukasawa launched the Japanese brand Plus Minus Zero with a small collection of housewares and consumer electronics meant to embody a design philosophy summed up in two words: “just right.” The resulting products are generally…

Starter Cubicle

DESIGNER Martí Guixé www.guixe.com The Spanish designer Martí Guixé describes his latest product as “a cubicle for making fun.” Although that concept may sound oxymoronic to your average office drone, Guixé’s design does look pretty amusing. Called My First Office,…

Reference

Deep Impact Here in the U.S., Indie Energy (www.indieenergy.com) may be spearheading a growing trend toward geothermal energy, but this country has been leading the way globally for quite some time. A 2009 report by the U.S. Geothermal Energy Association…

Shelf Life

The medicine cabinet is a highly useful invention, but it has seen few innovations since man first thought to stash his Band-Aids and prescription- drug bottles behind the bathroom mirror. That finally changed, however, at January’s Maison et Objet, in…

Ones to Watch

WEB www.newschool.edu/parsons www.tagheuer.com Here’s a good lesson for aspiring designers: get used to making things that you will probably never be able to afford. But that was hardly the only real-world lesson to come out of a recent collaboration between…

Aging By Design

WEB www.ifdesign.com Among the 43 medical devices selected for this year’s iF product-design awards in Hannover, Germany, three in particular should help consumers age in comfort and style. Paint-dipped canes by the New York company Omhu come in six glossy…

Back to Basics

Manufacturer: When Objects Work www.whenobjectswork.com Richard Meier is no stranger to product design—his oeuvre includes furniture, flatware, wristwatches, and a grand piano—but it’s been quite a while since the venerable New York architect has turned his attention to household objects.…

Feel the Japain

DESIGNERS: CuldeSac www.culdesac.es For an exhibition of Spanish design at this year’s Tokyo Designers Week, which begins October 29, the Valencian studio CuldeSac has concocted an intriguing bit of revisionist history. Made in Japain, as the 3,750-square-foot exhibit is called,…

It Takes a Village (And an Architect)

WEB: www.moma.org In “The (Limited) Power of Good Intentions” (p. 66), Julie Lasky investigates why socially responsible design initiatives often fail, despite a surfeit of good design, goodwill, and real need. Meanwhile, curators at the Museum of Modern Art, in…

The Green Vanguard: I is for IDEO

The renowned design consultancy recently teamed up with 3M to take on a particularly wasteful contingent of American consumers: bottled-water addicts, who run through a staggering 30 billion plastic bottles each year (less than a third of which get recycled).…

The Green Vanguard: M is for Minimalism

Is minimalism an inherently green approach to design? It is, after all, about living with less stuff and choosing items of lasting quality. To test this theory, we called up the “father of architectural minimalism” himself, John Pawson, whose new…

The Green Vanguard: N is for Nanimarquina

The Spanish manufacturer is known for pushing the boundaries of rug design, but it has also pushed sustainable design in some creative directions. Its Bicicleta rug, from 2006, was made of recycled bicycle inner tubes, and last year’s Global Warming…

The Green Vanguard: U is for USM

Designed by Paul Schärer and Fritz Haller Though ecofriendly materials and production methods are crucial for new products, the truth is that the most sustainable design may be the one you keep the longest. A perfect case in point: USM’s…

The Green Vanguard: Y is for YLiving

The online furniture retailer YLiving has always carried some ecofriendly products in its portfolio of modern designs, but lately the company seems to be pushing sustainability to the forefront of its business. Last summer it introduced three new collections noteworthy…

Design for Purpose: Generation by Knoll

PURPOSE: Task chair for the younger set I’ve never liked to think of myself as a Millen­nial, a member of Generation Y, that demographic cohort now in its teens and twenties. No doubt you’ve heard about us: we’re informal, tech-savvy,…

A Bright Future

To develop an affordable chair for children, a Swedish design firm turns to a new material with vast potential.

Just One Word: Bioplastics

As the environmental hazards of plastic become hard to ignore, a new generation of plant-based alternatives is creeping into commercial applications. Now it’s time for designers to take them to the next level.