Carlotta de Bevilacqua: Truly Illuminated

LED Lamps Rothko Artemide collabcubedCarlotta de Bevilacqua Lighting Design Rothko LED LampsClick to enlarge

When it comes to design, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, along with the rest of her studio, apparently does it all: architecture; industrial; graphic; and lighting. Granted, it all stems back to the lighting, which, I might add, is quite spectacular: from the lamps and the illumination of interiors, to shops, exhibitions and beyond.

In an earlier post I had mentioned that some of Leo Villareal’s works had a Rothkoesque quality to them. Coming across Bevilacqua’s site, I discovered that she has designed a series of lamps for Artemide with a similar LED effect that are, in fact, titled Rothko and Rothko Terra! How amazing would it be to have one of these in your home?

But truly, everything on Milan-based Studio Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s site is quite beautiful. She has collaborated with Zaha Hadid on her installation Twirl for the Interni Mutant Architecture & Design exhibit (the three photos in the center) this past winter, as well as with architect Jean Nouvel on his proposed design for the New Qatar National Museum.

Bevilacqua has designed a bunch of Artemide and Euroluce showrooms, which are lovely, and several of which include the tracking of light embedded in the floor, walls and ceiling: a wonderful effect (see photos at the bottom).

Visit her site to see more lamps and projects.

Ralf Kempken: Stencils to Screens

Art Stencils and Screens Ralf KempkenAustralian artist Ralf Kempken StencilsClick to enlarge

Australian artist Ralf Kempken hand cuts stencils and screens from paper, acetate, canvas, timber, and sometimes even steel. In some cases he layers multiple stencils and in others he spray paints as well.

From his artist statement:
…the stencil is used to spray images in countless variations. The underlying concept has always been that we filter all we see through past experiences and memories. Thus followed the evolution of the stencil, which up until now has been used as the tool to produce the painting, into the artwork itself. We all screen and frame our personal view of the world and with this in mind the stencils have turned into screens. Artwork that can be seen through and create optical illusions.The screens are intended as daily reminders that we have a conscious choice in how to look at the world around us.

You can see more of Ralf Kempken’s incredible X-actoing skills and other work on his site as well as here.

via Abbotsford Convent

Liviana Osti: Airplane Cheese Grater

Industrial Design Product Design Cheese GraterWitty Product Design Cheese Grater Click to enlarge

Liviana Osti, a design student in Trento, Italy, has a humorous approach to product design. This paper airplane cheese grater is a perfect example. It caught my eye and made me smile, but what I enjoyed as much as the fun design was her lovely documentation of the project, from start to finish. I always enjoy the sketches or blueprints of designers or architects and, for example, that’s a big part of the appeal of Christo’s art for me, but you rarely get to see that aspect of a project. Liviana has a nicely designed, flippable pdf of each project and though I’ve placed a few elements in the images above, I highly recommend that you visit her site if you enjoy that sort of thing the way I do.

Another one of her table accessory designs is a double carafe in the shape of the two heart ventricles; one to be filled with red wine, the other with water. Not as cute, but still clever.

via designakitchen

Needlework Trend in Product Design

Needlework Trend in DesignNeedlework Trend in Product DesignRecently I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and embroidery showing up in the most unlikely places.

Clockwise and spiraling in from top left corner:
Panier Percé needlepoint bowls
; Lampy Cocoons; Goldilocks embroidery hoop stools by Groupa; Embroidery portraits by Daniel Kornrumpf; Action Men toilet paper cover by Sally Spinx; Jonathan Adler needlepoint pillows; Laine Blanche tea set with embroidery printed porcelain; Matt knitted lamps by llot llov; Laura Theiss innovative knit collection, summer 2011; Knitted Baskets; Granny Chair by Wadebe: Rose Trivet by Anouk Jansen; Knitted Poufs; Crocheted Bicycles by Olek

Tomas Saraceno

Cool Art InstallationsTomas Saraceno, an Argentinean-born artist living and working in Frankfurt, combines sculpture, science, and installation-based art to create unique spaces. Much of his work is experimenting with solutions for airborne habitation and ecological sustainability, as well as other alternatives for living.

From Andersens Contemporary Gallery website:
…For many years the natural was seen as the antithesis of the constructed, but according to Saraceno we may have to alter this view and understand that whatever is handmade is also a part of nature because we are a part of nature….Saraceno is conceiving objects, images, and installation, in order to communicate and anticipate this possibility. Imagine, living in the sky in a bubble shaped city that floats around. There are no boundaries of place nor nationality…He creates grand scale airborne balloons sometimes with their own eco-system.

Installations from top to bottom and left to right:

14 Billions (Working Title), Elastic black rope and hooks. Photo: Bonniers Konsthall.
(2nd – 4th rows): Galaxies Forming along Filaments, Like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider Web. Photos©Tanya Bonakdar
Installation View
, Walker Art Center.
Installation View
Statens Museum Kunst, Copenhagen.
Transparent Soil and the Gardens of Tomorrow

Airborne photo: don’t know source.
How to Live Together
, Sao Paolo Biennale
Installation View
, Pinksummer Gallery, Genoa.

Saraceno just showed at the arteBA 2011 fair in Buenos Aires last month, and has several upcoming solo exhibitions, including one at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Louis this year and another one in Tokyo in 2012.

More of Tomas Saraceno’s work can be seen here, here, and here.

via arteBA 2011


cardboard exhibit design and industrial designcardboard exhibit design furniture designClick to enlarge

We have secretly been following (and admiring) the work of cartonLAB for a while now. This ongoing workshop, run by the team at Moho Architects in collaboration with Ability Graphic Design, (both in Spain) has apparently grown into a permanent subdivision of Moho’s studio. Creating everything from exhibit displays for trade shows and stores, to furniture, kids’ play objects, club dj stands, lamps and more, all out of cardboard; these guys impress. Each design somehow seems to top the last, both in beauty and complexity. In addition, many of their displays and stands are designed with multiple configuration options.

From the Moho website:
Cardboard is a material that has always been linked to artistic creativity and craftsmanship. The new design possibilities (digital cut, large print, cad, 3d modeling, etc) along with the latest patents in the production of cardboard (reboard, cardboard reinforced, flame retardant coatings, water repellent, etc) makes this material in a fantastic alternative at the time of generating new exhibition spaces, media and all types of custom cheap, lightweight and recyclable furniture. Working with contemporaneously cardboard creation process allows almost no intermediaries between the designer and the final piece through traditional interfaces (previous models) or digital.

cartonLAB’s constructions typically pack flat for easy transport, are relatively simple to assemble and, as we know, cardboard is not only economical but recyclable. The result: great, green design that won’t break the bank.

You can see more of cartonLAB’s work here, and more of Moho’s architecture work (including their beautiful entry for a dormitory building) here.

Come a Little Bit Closer: Droog Bench

Droog Come a Little Bit Closer Bench FurnitureDroog Come a Little Bit Closer Bench DIYClick to enlarge

The three of us, over the past 6 years, have individually come across (and loved) the Come a Little Bit Closer bench by Droog. Little did we know that eventually we would have one of our very own! Well, actually it’s Em’s, but being that it will be placed in our living room, it feels very all-in-the-family. And we have the wonderful Rence (aka Richard) to thank for this: future architect; expert craftsman; and amazing friend.

Rence made the bench (top photo) based on Droog’s design (second photo) using leftover steel from his architecture classes. Hard to tell them apart, no? Are you as impressed as we are? This heavy and long (8ft!) finished bench was transported down from Ithaca, then carried across town a few days later (with a quick refueling stop midway), where the 60lbs of marbles were finally added and the gliding began. If you’re not familiar with the original design, the three discs act as seats that roll smoothly over the marbles. It’s surprisingly comfortable and definitely lots of fun! Thanks again, Rence, for the generous and beautiful gift. I mean for Em, of course…

Now, if we could only find someone to take the piano off our hands to make room for the bench.

Here’s a quick video of the bench in action.

e1000ink: Spanish Street Art

Street Art Graffiti in Spaine1000ink Street Art SpainThere’s something about e1000ink’s ability to convert existing street objects, including abstract shapes caused by peeling paint or crumbling cement, into art that really appeals to me. It takes a special eye and sense of humor which he clearly possesses. The bottom three are from a series he calls 3D without Glasses.

More e1000ink street art here, here and here.

The Portrait Building

Cool Architecture Portrait Facade AustraliaCool Architecture Melbourne AustraliaClick images to enlarge

Nope, it’s not the latest Chuck Close painting. Instead, it’s the very cool Portrait Building designed by ARM architects in Melbourne, Australia and scheduled to be completed by 2014.

Part of construction group Grocon’s plan to transform the former Carlton Brewery site at the top end of Swanston Street into Melbourne’s newest urban living precinct, Portrait is a 32-story residential tower paying homage to Victoria’s indigenous heritage and first Australians. The façade features a portrait of indigenous leader, William Barak. The artwork for the Barak image was done by sculptor Peter Schipperheyn. The idea behind this, apart from the general coolness? To unite the city’s modern heritage with its ancient history.

It should be noted that Grocon completed construction on, and has since moved its offices to, yet another unique looking building, the Pixel Building (designed by Melbourne firm Studio 505), part of the same former Carlton Brewery site, and the country’s first carbon neutral office building. (See bottom right photo.) Impressively forward-thinking!

The Cube by Electrolux

Cool Restaurant Pop-Up_Architecture_EuropeCool Restaurant Pop-Up_Architecture_DesignClick to enlarge

I’ve always enjoyed the combination and contrast of contemporary architecture with older, more classic structures, so coming across this pop-up restaurant — sponsored by Electrolux and designed by the Italian design firm Park Associati — was pretty exciting for me. The Cube by Electrolux will be popping up at some of Europe’s most famous landmarks from Belgium to Sweden, to Russia, Italy and Switzerland as well.

Presently, The Cube is in Brussels atop the grand Arc de Triomphe overlooking the Parc du Cinquantenaire. It will stay there through July 3, 2011 (though all reservations are sold out at this point) and then move on to Stockholm, followed by Moscow. The Cube will rest at each location for three months, making the complete tour in one year.

From the Electrolux website:
The aim is to create an experience that surprises and inspires with fantastic tastes, gastronomic hints and tips from some of the world’s greatest chefs and never-before-seen views, ultimately stimulating guests to explore their own creative boundaries next time they entertain friends or family at home.

Certainly takes Pop-ups to a whole new level!

You can book reservations here, and see more photos here and here.

Table and food photos by Photo&Coffee. All other photos from Electrolux.

Iguazu Neon System

Iguazu Neon Cool Lamp DesignNeon Hanging Lamp Cool Design IguazuThe other night I walked into my friends’ new apartment and hanging over the dining room table was this very unique and striking lamp which I had never seen before. I have to say that these product photos don’t really do it justice. Granted, it may not be for everyone, and it’s a little bright to look at straight on, but there’s something very simple and yet almost sculptural about it. The Iguazu Neon System is designed by the Iris Design Studio. The lamp incorporates an energy-saving fluorescent circline bulb which, being cold neon light, makes it easy to touch and reposition as necessary.

Available here.