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?

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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 ...

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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Guilloché Redux

In design, sometimes a word takes on a different meaning when we talk about a different material.

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The Comeback of Lamella

Any substance arranged in a thin, open structure could be described as a lamella structure, for example the lace-like marrow found in the center of bones.  In architecture, the term refers to a specific type of timber construction; originally developed by Fritz Zollinger in 1908, it was patented as the Zollinger-Bauweise in 1910 and was most commonly used between the World Wars when metal beams were cost prohibitive. 

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KGB Limited's Maxim Bench is a Lesson in Decadence with its Peacock Feather Upholstery

KGB Limited, known for their use of stunning materials, has designed a new bench that is literally fit for the gods! The Maxim bench has a base of solid walnut and silicon bronze, and the seat can come upholstered in peacock feathers. 

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Plastic Gets a New Feel

The plastics industry has long focused on creating stronger, lighter and more efficient materials, but new innovations are improving how plastics feel and support our bodies when used in furniture. 

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The Art of Wrapping

There is something about a wrapped up thing that delights us. Whether it is the wrapping paper on a present or artwork by that master of large scale wrapping Christo, we enjoy the bound surface and wonder what lies beneath.

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