Mirror: Material and Metaphor

Since the dawn of civilization man has used mirrors for practical and religious purposes. They can be seen as a symbol of vanity or an object of insight; today they are even used as safety and security devices. From the biblical “through a glass darkly” to Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass;" mirrors imbue our folklore and popular culture with a reflection not only of ourselves and the world around us, but into other worlds as well. Mirrors have also taken on many forms as society has changed and new technologies were invented. In order for a smooth surface to act as a mirror, it must reflect as much of the light as possible and must transmit and absorb as little as possible. In order to reflect light rays without scattering or diffusing them, a mirror’s surface must be perfectly smooth or its irregularities must be smaller than the wavelength of the light being reflected. (The wavelengths of visible light are on the order of 5 by 10−5 cm). In a new bo ...

Read the rest of entry »

CITES: Endangered Versus Threatened Wood Species

Would you ever consider upholstering a chair in tiger or panda fur? I am sure you are saying “No!” at this moment and recoiling at the thought. Why wouldn’t you consider the use of these materials? Because these animals are endangered and we know that to kill them is to destroy the last of their species. Did you know that there are tree species that are similarly endangered, tree species that we specify daily for furniture, flooring, and interiors?

Read the rest of entry »

Choose Happy

“Good Design” can improve your life. How? By making products that solve a problem or solve it better. This is one approach but there is another; Good design can add joy to your life and it is with these objects that I choose to surround myself. Design must be more than smart, streamlined and durable; objects must be pleasurable. They must provide a joyful experience in some way. I want to be surrounded with things that put a smile on my face. I refer to this as Design for Delight. Let me give you an example. I am the type of person who uses a funnel in the kitchen but instead of getting a set of graduated funnels that would sit quietly in a cabinet ready for use I have a Pinocchio funnel from Alessi and I keep it mounted on my back splash so I can see his smiling face every day. It tickles me to grab his nose, lift him off the hook and stick his nose in a bottle or jar. My Pinocchio funnel is whimsical and a visual pun but Design for Delight works in other ways as well. Sometimes function or ...

Read the rest of entry »

CERAMICS MANIFESTO

There is just something about ceramics. Something intimate, something infinitely familiar. The story has it that Prometheus fashioned man out of clay and he loved his creations so much that he gave them the gift of fire. Man fires earth just as we toast bread and it becomes something magically delicious, we fire earth and it transforms into a miracle.   While walking the Coverings trade show in April I read this manifesto written by Maiarelli Studio for Ceramics of Italy and was so moved I thought I would share it here:   "We Care: A Declaration of Purpose:   We begin with what we stand on: clay and sand. We form it into slabs and fire it at volcanic temperatures. Our tile can be humble. It can be majestic. It can be shaped in an infinite number of ways. A single tile can be as large as a table, as thin as wire. It can withstand fire. It can withstand extreme conditions. It breathes with its environment. It lasts for decades. It is not merely decoration. It ...

Read the rest of entry »

Material Liability

At NeoCon earlier this month I saw an increasing trend towards using “greener,” “more natural,” and “less toxic” materials. But did you ever ask yourself “Why do they put all this stuff in materials anyway?” No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I am going to manufacture the most toxic products possible.” And yet there are many materials that the design community is now trying to avoid due to this very issue.

 

Read the rest of entry »

Selling the Dwelling

Home ownership wasn’t always common in the United States. For a nation in which 67.4 percent of its citizens own their own homes this seems unfathomable but Americans had to be coaxed into becoming homeowners. Selling the Dwelling: The Books That Built America’s Houses, 1775-2000 shows the 225 year story of how "the American dream" of home ownership was made accessible.

Read the rest of entry »

Scenes from Design Connections 2014

View a few behind the scenes shots from this one of a kind event! Learn more at http://dsignconnections.com/.

Read the rest of entry »

1950s Color Palettes

What hues come to mind when you think of 1950s colors? Most people think of carnation pink, light turquoise and butter yellow. What we think was history and what history actually was are often two different things. How do we mediate this circumstance? By referring to period documents. Here we have assembled 1950s color palettes, which represent four different design phenomena: Fashion, Interiors, Architecture and Automobiles.

Read the rest of entry »

Design Plays (hair)Ball

Another year, another Mubadala World Tennis Championship, am I right? For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this important tick of the annual clock, the Mubadala Championship marks the beginning of the global tennis season. Each year six of the world’s top tennis players head to Abu Dhabi to compete instead of celebrating New Year’s Eve like normal drunk people. And this, my friends, is the Mubadala trophy, brought to you by Lasvit:

Read the rest of entry »

Last Call for Mannington Commercial’s 2013 Design Local

The last team of 2013 for Mannington Commercial’s Design Local program gathered in Philadelphia earlier this month to scour the city for artifacts, photos, sketches (and in their case some perfectly aged cheeses) that represented their hometown.

Read the rest of entry »

Pages: Prev1234567...11NextReturn Top
Admin Panel
Blogger Center
  • As I See It

    Debbie Designer isn’t low on opinions. And no one is safe against them. Beware, because she could be in a town by you - or coming to a town near you for that matter. Stay on your A game. Consider this our own little version of the design police…

  • Mind Over Matter

    Grace Jeffers' love affair with materials began at nine years old, when the other students used paper doilies to decorate their Valentine’s Day project, she shingled hers in laminate.

  • Inside Sources

    The I&S editors’ blog will chronicle our adventures through the world of design and provide a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the products and projects that inspire us day in and day out.

Interiors & Sources Blog Search
©Copyright 2014 Stamats Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. / Interiors & Sources