December 16, 2010
Loving these untreated cotton canvas bags from LA-based Modist.
October 19, 2010
Today is the last day to go into the draw for the Eames plywood splint. I was at the Eames Office recently and couldn’t resist snapping their display of splints. These light weight plywood pieces were the Eames’ response to the heavy stiff metal splints that were used during WWII. About 150,000 of the Eames product were produced. When the war ended the Charles and Ray took the work they’d done with the splint and molding plywood and used it in their furniture designs.
Below is a splint proudly displayed on the living room wall of freelance writer Bill Robinson. You can read the full story on his favorite wedding present here.
October 13, 2010
The Eames Office and Core77 with the support of Herman Miller have launched a design competition to commemorate the Powers of Ten Day (10/10/10). We’re asking designers to make a short “response video” to the Eames’s Powers of Ten film. For more information on how to enter check out Core77′s post on the competition. It’s an exciting opportunity for designers to become part of the Eames narrative and we’re really looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!
August 18, 2010
Susan Huls, the new editor of our sister blog Discover, has put together a very nice post on the new Eames Select Hang-It-All. I know I want one (we wrote about them back in July). I may have to wait for my birthday next June. Although, it’s a limited edition piece so if you want one too you’ll have to move on it before February.
Here’s what Susan had to say “This year, Herman Miller’s Select program is offering a classic interpretation of the multicolored Eames Hang-It-All. Sophisticated touches to the already eye-catching design include a black steel frame and solid walnut hooks.
The Hang-It-All was inspired by the Eameses’ love for playful furniture and children’s toys. Introduced in 1953, it was designed to hold an assortment of children’s belongings—mittens, scarves, jackets, dolls, slingshots, skates, and knapsacks, according to Eames Design.
It was available from Tigrett Enterprises’ Playhouse Division until the company went out of business in 1961. Herman Miller reintroduced it in 1994.
Herman Miller’s Gregg Vander Kooi chose to feature the Hang-It-All as this year’s Select item because of its whimsical appeal.
“Plus,” he adds, “walnut is a fairly neutral wood that fits with almost any décor.”
The Select Hang-It-All carries a minimum advertised price of $249. It will be available from the company’s global network of dealerships and retailers.
Hurry! It’s only available until February 15, 2011, or while supplies last.”
Balance, Design, Products
June 11, 2010
Designer and collaborator Patty Johnson will make you rethink your office or the way you define the idea of a workspace. While technology allows us to be more and more mobile, working from the kitchen table or our beds, Patty takes that a step further and is working all over the globe in remote communities. Her home office moves with her from the Jamaica to Guyana (pictured above) and back to her house in Toronto (pictured below). Read on to find out more about her mobile studio.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? Home is Toronto, Canada and I’ve worked from home since my son was born 15 years ago. I am a designer who is interested in the interchange between research and design and commerce and culture. I operate worldwide with partners, enterprises, manufacturers, communities, governments, and designers creating new kinds of design programs and product collections. My mobile studio network looks to combine the strengths of complimentary groups to build new linkages, new cultures and new ideas. Below is a shot of my studio in Guadeloupe.
“ Love, Freedom, Flow” at ICFF this year was the international debut of the
New Caribbean Design initiative (her Jamaica workspace is below). The developing world is one of the next design frontiers, producing goods that fuse quality with creativity beyond just low cost. For a long time, design in these places has been relegated to handicrafts and regional products. There is no point in artisans and craft production factories in the Caribbean competing with mass-produced goods. They can instead compete on the strengths of the product, by focusing on the upper end of the market through high quality materials, detailing, production and design.
A focus on producing unique regional hybrids that combine craft tradition and contemporary design process is the aim of New Caribbean Design. Through the push and pull of cross-cultural collaboration the group has balanced traditional cultural practice in the Caribbean and forward-looking design solutions. In contrast with the familiar presentations of Caribbean culture – souvenirs and resort experience – this collection presents something much more dynamic: a living breathing culture with a critical role in the global design marketplace. The pots below are part of the collection we launched at ICFF. They are designed by Stella Hackett for Hamilton’s Pottery in St Thomas, Barbados.
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? Well, I would say that when I was a young designer I was inspired by and had a distinctly modernist aesthetic. Over time though, the real, messy world pushed its way into my pure and untouchable world. And I’m happier for it. I work collaboratively and inclusively with other designers, manufacturers both craft and otherwise, and, sometimes even with government agencies and development banks. Trying to answer all these diverse needs while creating products with integrity is sometimes a messy and uncertain business but I’ve found that this process produces very rich results. And, my austere and reduced aesthetic still manages to sneak in there too!
As a designer and curator of a mobile design studio how do you keep your office organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? Hmm. Good question. Frankly, I rely heavily on the search function on both my computers. It does seem that computers are not equipped to organize files in the traditional office sense and I have long given up trying to rationally organize things. And like most people now my computer files are a mash of the personal, the creative and the commercial.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet? Well I am already very happy with my Eames Aluminum Group Chair. I do covet the Aeron Chair though!
What is a desk accessory you can’t do without? Konstanin Grcic’s May Day Lamp and Sharpie Fine Line Pens.
What would you change about your own workspace? I’m quite happy with the current set up both at home and away. I like the flexibility of it – I’m available for both work and family – which is a juggling act at the best of times. If I could change anything I think it would be to build permanent design spaces in the places I work as a resource for the people that I work with.
What do you most love about your space? I love the mobility of my studio and I love that I can work in many spaces with many different people. Although difficult at times it has enriched my work and had a profound impact on how I think about design. I learned that people-centred design has a middle component, living between ethnography and interface. Hand manufacturing is the reality in much of the world, and designers, sitting at their desks sending off PDFs to unknown destinations, may be a modern paradigm, but ultimately a hollow one. I encourage designers to go and visit where their products are made, and, especially, with the people who make them!
What inspires you? Oh, just about everything. I love that the collisions of culture that are the basis of my work can strike a new balance between redundancy and relevance and explore the friction between the “preservationist” view of the handmade as intangible heritage and its real status as living tradition, and therefore, inherently and constantly innovating and adapting. And, I love the resourcefulness that you find in the most difficult and poorest of places and circumstances, and, that creativity still flourishes there.
Balance, Design, Products
May 25, 2010
Eames Demetrios chaired a talk with local designers last week as part of ICFF at ABC Carpet & Home. It was the perfect opportunity to road test the news Eames Molded Plastic Chairs. As you can see everyone was sitting pretty! Eames spoke about scale referring to the Power of Ten film his grandparents produced and the 10/10/10 celebration this year. October will certainly be an interesting month. I intend to catch up with Eames and get more details on the celebration. Look out for more info here.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
May 21, 2010
Where we’ve been this week:
1. This Ain’t No Disco An amazing site if you’re looking for office inspiration. They focus on creative agencies and while we probably wont be putting a slide into my home office anytime soon there’s enough other good stuff here to keep the home office worker happy. Where to start: Leo Burnett offices in Sydney – check out that view of the Harbor Bridge!
2. Trendir Modern House Design OK, I know this isn’t the most beautiful site out there. I guess the Google ads are a necessary evil. But editor and interior designer Lillian Pikus has a good eye for content and you’ll find a lot great houses here. Where to start: Peter Frazier’s amazing little home office.
3. OK DO It’s so nice to come across a site with a new (and beautiful) design. OK DO is a socially-minded design think tank run by designer/writer Anni Puolakka and designer/researcher Jenna Sutela. It’s hard to describe – you just need to go there! Where to start: The home office of Berlin-based architect Markus Miessen.
4. Contemporist A go-to spot for architects and designers, the site was started in 2007 by Erin and Dave (I’ve emailed to find out their mysterious last names). They highlight new product and contemporary architecture. Where to start: A gorgeous shelf system by Ontwerpduo.
5. Cooper Hewitt Design Blog This slightly nerdy blog (you have to remember that Cooper Hewitt is part of the Smithsonian) is totally engaging. Great clean images and fascinating stories that take the world of design and place it firmly in a greater context of politics and the environment. Where to start: The post on Eames‘ ‘Power of Ten’ film.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
April 26, 2010
Chris Zawada is the editor-in-chief and founder of Lovely Package - a blog that covers the best package design from all over the globe.
You work from an ad agency and also from home. How long have you been working in both places…and where is ‘home’? I’ve been with TAXI Advertising & Design for 3 years. We’re a passionate group of people striving to produce award-winning campaigns and designs for our clients across the network of offices (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, New York and Amsterdam). Lovely Package was founded in late 2008 in Vancouver, Canada where I currently reside.
What does an average work day involve? The average day tends to be a long one. I usually get up early and check my email to see what new package design submissions we have received. Myself and a team of 3 other editors will sift through the work and prep submissions that we feel adhere to a high standard of design which will be posted that day or throughout the week. From there it’s off to TAXI for the day where I still monitor the site, approve and delete comments and generally just make sure everything is working as planned. Being that I have other obligations during the day which don’t allow me to focus all of my time towards Lovely Package, I am grateful to have Helen Shaw who is also a Vancouver-based designer and our Deputy Editor help keep things running smoothly. Nights are typically filled with going through more submissions or scouring the web in search of those elusive lovely packages. Lately a lot of my free time is focused on building the new version of Lovely Package which visually and functionally will be a big departure from the current site. I think our readers are really going to like what we have in-store for them.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires and helps with your work? Hands down my iPhone. I was a late adopter to this technology having got mine a few months ago, but it has really changed the way I do things. Being able to reply to emails on the go and monitor Lovely Package both online and through the WordPress’ iPhone app has really increased my productivity. Now that I have it, I don’t know how I lived without it.
How do you organize your space? I’m thinking here of your physical space but also your virtual space. Is there any particular software or program that helps keep things under control? I hate clutter both in my physical and virtual space. You’ll find plenty of shelving and storage to keep things clean and organized in my environment. When it comes to my virtual space I like to keep it simple. No fancy applications, just clearly labeled and organized folders which house inspirational finds, resources, documents, etc. I then use Adobe’s Bridge to browse the contents of these folders.
What item from your desktop can you not do without? My computer of course!
What piece of office furniture do you most treasure? What do you want to replace? Working on a laptop allows me to roam around and work in various places so I really consider the entire house my office. I’d have to say that my favourite piece of furniture would have to be my Eames Lounge Chair. Not only is it a beautiful example of mid century modern design, it’s possibly one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat on. I have an older Keilhauer Tom office chair and while as comfortable as it may be, it looks a bit dated. I’d like to replace it with an Eames Aluminum Group chair.
What inspires you? Inspiration is all around. I may find it in the unique way a leaf has grown on a tree, or in the design of a piece of cutlery. When I need to be inspired I just step outside and take in the world around me.