NRM Project: New Role Models

When Dan and I entered the ICFF satellite show, Model Citizens, in Chelsea last Saturday, we were greeted by a row of colorfully designed miniature seats. The NRM Project (New Role Models), of which these seats are a part of, is a movement by Mike Seto and David Kim of Click Boom Pow to “empower initiative”. The chairs have been distributed around Manhattan and Brooklyn without permission. The prints on them were donated by a variety of artists and designers including Milton Glaser and DALVA. The idea is to inspire good design as well as giving New Yorkers a place to sit, relax, and enjoy the art.

See more images of the chairs at their site.

Ablaze-sentimento (s)travolgente

Ingo Maurer_Ablaze_Sentiment(s)travolgenteArchitetturaMutante_InterniLast month in Milan, as part of the Architettura Mutante exhibit by Interni magazine, lighting designer Ingo Maurer along with Axel Schmid created the fiery installation: ablaze – sentimento (s)travolgente (with the ‘s’ it means ‘contorted/twisted emotion’; without the ‘s’ it’s ‘overwhelming emotion’.)

Fire elicits extreme emotions, ranging from fear to amazement at its beauty and power. Here, the distorted house, stabilized by a rope, is lit up inside in an intense red with a floating pendulum slowly moving over a glowing green opening in the floor. The interior contrasts dramatically with the black, rough exterior. Click on images for better view.

You can see it in action in the video below:

Andy Warhol-Themed Objects

In honor of the recent unveiling of the Andy Monument in Union Square, NYC, (and of Em’s return home later this week) here are a selection of fun Andy Warhol themed objects. Oh, and you can sing along to Stereo Total’s Andy Warhol, (soundtrack here to some Andy footage) while perusing the items.

Row by row, from left to right:
Andy Warhol dress with synthetic hair by Jean Charles de Castelbajac; Andy Warhol 1960s Flower Plates; Tin Box Banana Sweets; Campbell Soup Can Shoes; Warhol Soup Can Magnets; Marilyn Gold Box with Chocolate Pearls; The Souper Paper Dress; Campbell Soup Lights; Lips Appetizer Set; Cow Box with Hazelnut Chocolates; Marilyn Mousepad

Rob Southcott

Rob Southcott What Lies Beneath TableBased in Toronto, Rob Southcott is an industrial designer who “creates common objects with their own unique sense of individuality.” To that, I would have to add “and humor.” There is a lot of humor in his work, which only increases its appeal.

From top to bottom, left to right:
What Lies Beneath Table; United We Stand Chairs; Jet Set Paper Airplane Hooks; Correlation Chandelier; Community (drawers); Down with the Ship Candlestick; Totem Cups

See more at Rob’s site.

Consumption Dinnerware

Consumption Dinnerware by Leah PiepgrasYes, it’s a bit gross but the idea behind Consumption Dinnerware made me laugh. The plates are a map of the digestive tract, from mouth to anus. The saliva glands and oral cavity cup is not shown here, but clockwise from top left corner: Esophagus plate; Liver/gallbladder/stomach/pancreas plate; small intestine/colon plate; and finally, appendix/rectum/anus dessert plate. Don’t be surprised if your guests pass on dessert, or the whole meal for that matter…

Pre-order your set here.

RIT Metaproject 01 at ICFF

Metaproject01 furniture design competition RIT and WilsonartContinuing with the impressive student work at ICFF, RIT’s “booth” stood out through and through. Wilsonart International (a manufacturer of laminate surfacing materials) teamed up with RIT to create a student competition called Metaproject 01. Twenty senior industrial design students were given the task of designing seating prototypes using the Wilsonart laminate. The palate was limited to the use of black, white and red laminate colors in order to focus attention on the design. Further requirements included:
– The product must be well crafted and bear substantial weight.
– The product must be recognizable as a seating device. The product must function as a seating device.
– The product must incorporate an image of the Wilsonart laminate sample chip.

The $1,000 scholarship prize was awarded to Dan Fritz for his chair The Trance (top). There were 5 runners up who had their pieces displayed at ICFF, but the other 14 projects not exhibited were included in the beautifully designed catalogue that were being distributed by the students who were also enthusiastic and eager to show and explain their designs.

Daniela and I would have had a tough time deciding who to pick as a winner; good thing they didn’t ask us to be judges. Other projects shown here include: The Cooler Bench by Andy Clark; The Nodule by Francesca Pezze; The Reader by Megan Searle; and The Encounter by Tim Kuo.

Vivian Chiu: Inception Chair and more

Vivian Chiu Inception Chair Furniture DesignI’d have to say that, for me, some of the most creative and interesting work at this year’s ICFF and its satellite shows came from design students. One of these is Vivian Chiu, a furniture design student at RISD. What first caught my eye was her Inception Chair at the Noho Design District show, then later I noticed her Fu Lei Zhi bench at ICFF as well, and have since visited her website to see a slew of interesting work.

Chiu seems fascinated by repetition and intricate pieces fitting together perfectly in a puzzle-like fashion. Together the pieces create a whole, yet separately, they function (to some degree) as well. In addition to the originality of the work, her craftsmanship is remarkable.

To see more of Vivian Chiu’s work visit her site.

Bike-In Theater

Bike-in Theater Forking Tasty eventHere’s a Saturday night plan for those in NYC tonight, provided it doesn’t rain: Bike-In Theater part of Forking Tasty’s dinema supperclub. It’s a free event and the film, location, and time were all underwraps until this morning. This is the first Bike-In in the series and therefore an experiment which will include popcorn and some water, but not the usual full dinner that they apparently provide in other events. You can bike-in or walk-in but you might want to bring a blanket or some sort of seating since this will be on an asphalt floor.

What: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Where: India St. and West St. at the water in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
When: 8pm

In case of rain, they will try for Sunday. In case of rain on Sunday, then next weekend. Sign up here to get the latest updates.

Synapse by Francisco Gomez Paz

Synapse Modular Lights_Luceplan_Francisco Gomez PazOn the eve of ICFF here in NYC I’d like to keep with the industrial design theme and present Synapse a modular lighting system by Francisco Gomez Paz, an Argentinean designer who lives in Milan. I don’t know whether these lamps will be at ICFF but if so, I certainly look forward to seeing them live. I think they’re beautiful. I can imagine these looking just as great in a private home as in a public space, whether office, hotel lobby, or store.

Each module is a smart cell that when combined with other smart cells creates illuminated surfaces of any size and composition. The use of advanced RGB LED technology allows the light to be white or colored. And the fact that they can be configured as desired, whether used as a single piece or a whole wall-ful makes each one a bit unique, no?

Manufactured and distributed by Luceplan.

via 90mas10

BMW Guggenheim Lab

BMW Guggenheim Lab NYCAccording to their site, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, coming to NYC this August, is part urban think tank, part community center, part gathering space. At the border of East Village and Lower East Side, 1st Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues will be the site of the first Lab. They are bringing together a group of very talented people from varied fields to see new ideas, experiments and solutions for the city. To explore the potential between private and public comfort. A platform for positive interaction that welcomes in the public to participate and be a part of the forum.

The project starts in NYC with the first cycle’s theme, Confronting Comfort, and will be traveling to Berlin and then Asia, with an exhibit at the end of the first cycle scheduled for the Guggenheim in 2013. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will open on August 3, 2011 and run through October 16th before moving on to Europe. Free to all. Visit their site for more information.

via Breger via Inhabitat

Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum

Nari Ward_Sub Mirage LignumComposed of everyday found objects, Nari Ward’s dramatic sculptural installations examine issues of race, poverty, and consumer culture and the inherent meaning placed upon the discarded, as well as the treasured.

Currently, at MASS MoCA, visitors can view Ward’s latest large-scale installations taking over an entire floor of one of their buildings. The title of the exhibit, Sub Mirage Lignum, represents the three themes of the show: “sub, in the dual sense of “underneath” and “substitute for another (space)”; mirage, a false image produced by the refraction of light, subject to human interpretation; and lignum, derived from Lignum Vitae (“wood of life”), a tree whose bloom is the national flower of Jamaica.”

The centerpiece of the exhibit is Ward’s monumental work, Nu Colossus. The form of the sculpture comes from a small conical basket-woven fish trap, in which fish are lured in and ensnared. This duality of seduction and entrapment is at the center of Ward’s idea of mirage.

Born in St. Andrews, Jamaica, but living and working in New York since his teen years, Nari Ward became “particularly interested in Jamaican fishing villages as temporary spaces suggestive of both community and sustenance. Like in Ward’s work, these villages are made up of what the fishermen can find — old oil barrels dotting the shore and brightly painted, recycled plywood shacks. For Ward these villages go beyond the boundaries of the “Jamaican experience” and connect to the creative act itself, in both the utilization of reuse and in the wide net cast by both fishermen and artists, even though the outcome is unsure.”

Sub Mirage Lignum is now open at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. One of the many interesting exhibits going on there.

Il Tiro: Espresso Gun

Il Tiro_ Espresso maker gunWith this cleverly designed espresso maker, you can shoot your shot of coffee straight into the cup. Designed by four students at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, (Nicolas Schwarz, Stefan Riegebauer, Florian Kainz, and Christina Carli), Il Tiro (gunshot in Italian) seems like such an obvious solution to get that high pressure necessary for a good espresso. The portability aspect is a plus as well, not allowing the espresso to cool from coffeemaker to table. Watch the video below for the full explanation.

via designpumpa

The Heads of State: Book Covers

Rosenfeld Book Covers: Heads of StateA very enjoyable way to procrastinate and not get work done is to visit The Heads of State’s site. It’s incredible how much time I can spend looking at their posters. What I wasn’t aware of is that they design book covers as well. These covers for Rosenfeld Media, a publisher of user-experience design material, are just great. So simple, to the point, and graphically pleasing. They have a late 50s, early 60s aesthetic evocative of Paul Rand which I love, while feeling very much of the 21st Century as well.

Have some extra time? Check out their posters here.

Blow Chair: Malafor

Malafor Blow Arm ChairMade of inflatable paper dunnage bags, a metal frame and rubber straps, the paper Blow Armchair is simple to inflate (just use a blow dryer),  easy to transport, and recyclable. Not to mention hard to ignore in a room! The young designers at Malafor, a Polish design studio, have now come out with a new plastic version called the Explore Chair which is made of DAKRON sailcloth, very durable and weather resistant; perfect for outdoor use.

The sofa version can be purchased here.

Typographied Objects

Typography ObjectsPretty much anything with nice typography is bound to catch my eye. And pretty much any object that uses typography as an integral part of its design is likely to win me over. Here are but a very few:

Clockwise from top left:
Typographic Dress at the Met
Alphabet Poster
Jacqueline Rabun Type Jewelry
Veer Character Scarf
House Industries Neutraface Pillow
Alphabet Ice Cube Trays

Red Plastic Letters from Etsy
Domino Clock
British Route Signs Chair
Typography Coasters
Typolade Chocolates
Type Bookends
CB2 Letterpress Rug
Alphabet Bookcase
Letteroom Alphabet Eco Wrapping Paper