Month: March 2013

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House in Yoro by Airhouse Design Office

Japanese practice Airhouse Design Office has converted a former warehouse into this beautiful home in Yoro, Gifu, Japan. The home takes advantage of the features of the existing warehouse and forms a single living and dining space without columns. Within this open-plan space is a box-like structure comprising a loft bedroom for the children and private rooms below including a bedroom and bathroom. I love the exposed ceiling and pitched roof, which creates a light and airy space, and hints at the building’s past.       Via This is Paper

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week, an Easter special

It’s Easter and with a long-awaited four-day weekend, here’s my pick of things to do. Although, I’ve popped one cultural exhibition in there, I couldn’t help but sneak in an Easter egg hunt! STOP What: Lindt’s Big Egg Hunt Where: Covent Garden, London When: Until April 1 Entering its second year, Lindt’s Big Easter Egg Hunt hides over 100 giant Easter eggs across the city, raising money for children’s charity Action for Children in the process. The eggs have been designed by a number of well-known artists, including filmmaker and artist Sam Taylor-Wood. This year the iconic Lindt Gold Bunny will be handing out thousands of Lindt Gold Bunnies and Lindor truffles as well! For those more design-orientated, the Design Museum are running an alternative Easter egg hunt. A printed trail will take visitors on an Easter journey throughout the museum’s current exhibitions and lead to a chocolately prize. And this is just any chocolately prize- participants will receive a mini chocolate egg courtesy of luxury chocolatier Rococo Chocolates at the end of their journey. …

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Flip House by Fougeron Architecture

Fougeron Architecture has remodelled a San Francisco home and designed a rear facade of faceted glass, allowing views across the city. The interior spaces of the existing house were ‘flipped’ to allow the living and dining spaces to make the most of the west-facing views, while the bedrooms were placed at the back of the house. The glass wall is divided into three vertical panels that push in and out, bringing in light, and opening the house up to the exterior landscape. Floor to ceiling heights were also increased, as well as the introduction of vertical voids to connect different rooms on different floors. Images: Joe Fletcher

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100 chairs by Marni

Italian fashion brand Marni has created a furniture collection entitled ‘100 chairs’, which will be on display at the Milan Furniture Fair from April 9-14th. The chairs are part of an updated project debuted at Milan Design Week 2012. They are handmade by Colombian craftsmen using salvaged material: concrete reinforcing bars for the structure and coloured plastic pipes for the seats and backrests. Images And last year’s collection: Images: Marni

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Designs of the Year 2013 at the Design Museum

The Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition at the Design Museum presents over 90 designs from the past year spanning architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product design and transport. It lists as a who’s who in the design world- with the Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio, The Shard by Renzo Piano, a glass table by Zaha Hadid, and the Louis Vuitton collection by Yayoi Kusama. Notable designs include a non-stick ketchup bottle invented by the Varanasi Research Group at MIT, which uses a special edible solution sprayed on the inside of the bottle, and a portable 3D printing kiosk by Antwerp-based designers Unfold. Also on display is graphics from the David Chipperfield-curated Venice Architecture Biennale last year and the Bauhaus exhibition at the Barbican. Architecturally, the ones to note are: A Room for London by David Kohn Architects and Fiona Banner, which placed a small ship balanced on the roof of the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Astley Castle renovation by Witherford Watson Mann, and also a French project by Frederic Druot, Anna Lacaton, and Jean-Philippe Vassal …

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The story behind & Other Stories

A guest post by Olivier Legris. Olivier is a French planner working at an English advertising agency. Here he talks about the strategy behind new fashion brand & Other Stories.  As the luxury market keeps growing, a large part thanks to China, H&M- champion of the fast fashion- wants a share of the pie. So why is the H&M group launching a new brand? How does it compare to their already existing upmarket brand COS? And what strings do the Swedish company need to pull to succeed? Why start a new brand? Firstly, H&M group is looking for economical growth. With a successful model, the easiest way to grow is opening new shops, which the company is already doing aggressively with H&M and its sister store COS. But, with a lot of the shops opening mainly in the US and China (20 and 25 stores last year), it starts facing saturation in mature markets like the European one. The group is therefore looking to grow by moving into a market segment which they are not yet part of, in …

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Maison Kitsuné Tokyo store and Café

Paris-based fashion and music label, Kitsuné has opened a shop and cafe in the trendy Aoyama district of Tokyo. The shop was designed by co-founder of the brand, Masaya Kuroki, and is divided into two sections: one with the Kitsuné Café selling Kitsuné records and t-shirts, and the other with the Maison Kitsuné collections a few steps away. The shop features a Japanese-style interior, with cedar parquet flooring made in situ by a Japanese craftsmen, and lots of wood and tatami, a type of straw mat traditionally used for flooring. For the cafe, Kitsuné  brought in local coffee connoisseur Eiichi Kunimoto of Omotesando Koffee, who uses a Slayer coffee machine and a unique blend of four beans from Brazil, Panama and Costa Rica. Also on the menu are baked custard cubes made daily.    Images: Takumi Ota via Kitsune Journal

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

Here’s my pick of three things to do this week, the must-see Bowie exhibition, Designs of the Year at the Design Museum, and some Dorothy Bohm photos STOP What: David Bowie is Where: V&A, London When: Until August 11 This major exhibition- the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie- features more than 300 objects brought together for the first time. They include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork. (image: © Sukita The David Bowie Archive 2012) LOOK What: Designs of the Year 2013 Where: Design Museum, London When: Until July 7 The Design of the Year awards span architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics and product, design from the past year. The 17-strong architecture shortlist includes Renzo Piano’s Shard and David Kohn’s Room for London. Winners will be announced on April 17. (image: It’s Nice That) LISTEN What: Dorothy Bohm: Sixties London Where: Proud Chelsea, London When: Until April 28 This exhibition presents a series of black and white photographs of 1960s London by …

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Take a moment: five things that caught my eye this week

Here’s a pick of some of the posts I enjoyed the most on my favourite blogs and design websites this week. 1. A brilliant article on Wall Street Journal profiling British fashion designer Margaret Howell. Image: Martien Mulder/Trunk Archive 2. A box of puppies– creator of TV show Girls and actress Lena Dunham on her love of dogs in The New Yorker. 3. Another Girls related link (I’m a bit obsessed). The Los Angeles Times featured a piece on the set design for Marnie’s boyfriend Charlie’s apartment. The wooden den was conceived by production designer Laura Ballinger Gardner, submitted to series creator Lena Dunham for her approval and then built from scratch. 4. This is paper magazine featured this beautiful espresso bar in Rotterdam. I love the branding of the menus, and the textural mix of wood, glass and stone. 5. A blog post by me on Building Design! It’s all about fashion and architecture, including OMA’s designs for Prada’s catwalk shows, and 42 Architects recent offerings for Topshop. In case you missed it: 1. A Rendez-Vous with French Cinema …

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OOO Lamp by Vasiliy Butenko

Everyone needs a bit of sunshine in their lives. Kiev-based designer Vasiliy Butenko set himself the challenge of creating a lamp with as fewer parts as possible- something that would be easy to assemble and have a functional design. The result is bright yellow lamp made of two circular plates and two powerful neodymium magnets. Butenko described the three different angles the lamp can adopt: “In the horizontal position the lamp serves as a night-light; in vertical – as a decorative element, and in angle wise position it can be used for reading and writing.” Butenko has achieved his goal of a functional design, but he has also created something extremely simple in form- a single yellow circle- that immediately makes us smile and think of the sunshine.   Images Vasiliy Butenko