Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine September 2008


Design After Franco

Delayed by decades of civil war and dictatorship, contemporary Spanish design is now a force to be reckoned with in the international furniture-and-lighting scene.

Blob Mentality

A home-improvement project by Greg Lynn evolves into the Blobwall, a modular wall system produced by Panelite.

Carbon Footprint

SCANDIC HOTEL Stockholm, Sweden It is probably a bad idea to drive a Hummer to a Scandic Hotel. It is probably a bad idea to leave it idling while you run in looking for a ­single-packed toiletry item (which you won’t find) and an equally bad idea to ask the staff to change your sheets every night. It is definitely…

Certification Programs

What’s the most sensible way to certify sustainable hotels? Tourist destinations often have little in common with one another but a penchant for attracting Bermuda-shorts-wearing masses. Are ­travelers—and the rest of us—best served by a standardized system, or would regional models be more useful? Some programs emphasize physical factors like architecture; others focus on service issues, such as the use…


ORCHARD HOTEL San Francisco When the managers of the Orchard Hotel first considered phasing out chemical-based cleaning products, the environment was the last thing on their minds. It was late 2001, when many hotels were struggling to survive, and the Orchard was scrambling for ways to cut costs. The director of housekeeping suggested looking at cleaning products—there were alternatives on…

Hiding in the Hill

Two architectural firms bring their unique cultural perspectives to bear on a state-of-the-art children’s hospital quietly tucked into the Tuscan landscape.


MORGAN’S ROCK San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Morgan’s Rock, a 15-room bungalow-style lodge on the Pa­-ci­fic Coast, is a small part of a large environmental effort. In 1998, when Clément-Marie Ponçon and his wife, Claire, bought the 3,400-acre farm where the hotel is located, they immediately put their stamp on the land: an extensive reforestation-and-preservation program was under­taken, and a…

Murray Moss

Murray Moss answers a few questions on design retail, life, and inspiration—using his thumbs.

Baby Weight

Babies need to be weighed regularly to check their development, but most infant scales are cumbersome, ugly, and cold to the touch. Taiwan’s Duck Image has envisioned an alternative that is equal parts 2001 and Homer Simpson. The Bubble Infant Scale prototype, which also received a Red Dot Award this year, is made of transparent plastic bubbles (resembling donuts) that…


LEXUS HYBRID SUITE San Francisco This year the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts chain, in partnership with Lexus, created the Lexus Hybrid Living Suites, which are aimed at travelers who want to sleep, eat, and drink sustainably. This tenth-floor corner suite, by the Los Angeles–based designer Kelly LaPlante, is outfitted in neutral tans and sky blues that were inspired by its…