a compilation of products, furniture, jewelry, architecture and artists that float our boat. FURTHER EXAMINATION:

// archive for 2008

Dominique Besanson

Dominique Besanson makes these gorgeous hand-knit accessories with discarded materials from the textile industry. I love her unusual knitting techniques (especially the hand-braided pieces). Because Dominique limits the amount of time she spends on each piece, the accessories are actually quite affordable – $15 for the necklaces, $70 for each quilt (not shown here). Her etsy shop isn’t set up yet, but she will hopefully soon be making her work available for purchase here. Until then, you can contact Dominique through her website.

Via Treehugger.

Architectual Fictions and Explorations

Lebbeus Woods’ architectural narratives are among my favorite and most inspiring memories of school. I remember seeing his drawings for the first time and how incredibly textured and energetic they were. Far from the sterile renderings of buildings, they always represented a much deeper fabric of their context. In his early work the focus was on inhabiting a world of conflict, borders and war. He then moved into more abstract sculptural work. But, a recent post in his blog caught my eye because it returned to an exercise in architectural fiction – The City of Earth. Take a look for yourself.

Another post that caught my eye is A Mysterious Discovery from the production blog of The Watchmen. Below is an image from a short story about the exploration of an old abandoned subway station turned workshop below the Chelsea area of NYC. An intriguing little read with some interesting photos of that are atypical for production stills.

Nendo – Aromamora

Nendo is fast becoming one of my favorite designers. I just posted about their Socket-deer last week, and saw their Aromamora on Designboom today – so gorgeous! Aromamora is a line of essential oils that are blended specially for each season by aromatherapist Ohashi Maki. Their design combines the functions of a bottle cap and a diffuser into one (and I love the oversized, cauldron-like bottle cap). Small batch manufacturing also allows us to change the design with the seasons too.

Alphaville – W-Window House

The W-Window House is the home of the architecture duo, Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto of Alphaville. The architects were interested in blurring the distinction between commercial and residential, as can be seen in several elements – the concrete floors on the entry level, the corrugated metal facade, and the relative blankness of the facades.

The floor plan is S-shaped, with a series of platforms connected by a central staircase. A sectional view of the house can be seen from most rooms, creating connections between the various levels. The staircase is one of the most awesome features of the house – basically a bent metal ribbon winding from floor to floor. Not having a railing would make me nervous, but aesthetically, it’s gorgeous.

Via What we do is aecret.

MUJI Award 03

MUJI recently completed their Award 03 competition. This year’s theme was ‘Found MUJI’: modern design cues can be learned from traditional craft and traditional uses. The two designs shown both garnered bronze prizes, but I think they are more worthy than that. Above is ‘a precise stapler’ by Joonhyun Kim of South Korea and below is ‘grandpa’s nail hook’ by Masashi Watanabe. Learn more about the two entries above and see the rest of the award winners here.

The Applause Machine by Laikingland

The Applause Machine, designed by artist Martin Smith and engineer Nick Regan, is an ingenious and whimsical object. A press of the button activates a series of motors and gears which drive the two hands to clap together. I especially like how light it looks, the long spindly structures make it seem like it should be floating away. I would love to see them do an installation of a hundred of these sculptures, modified to react to some environmental stimuli.

Thanks to Nick Regan at Laikingland for sending over all the info.

Katherine Sturgis

My friend Andy introduced me to Katherine Sturgis’ jewelry line, launched earlier this month. As someone who obsessively braided friendship bracelets when I was a kid, I love these much more refined and upscale versions. Katherine weaves together different materials – vintage rhinestones, silk thread, chain and hand-painted leather. Each piece is made by hand and is unique. Love it!

Odos Architects

Odos Architects designed this private residence in Wicklow, Ireland. From the architects’ website:

The overall form of the new return is in essence a remodelling of the traditional return structure, taking it’s basic shape and applying to it contemporary materials and design. On entering the front door a visual line is established though the building, drawing one towards the new kitchen/dining area and on into the courtyard. The revised and extended return now mediates between the existing house and external volumes, the contrast re-establishing the worth of the period home and stating the value of the new.

I appreciate Odos Architects’ clean detailing – floor to ceiling windows with minimal frames, the way the glass railing on the deck is bolted into the concrete, the way the roof plane wraps around the side of the building and becomes the floor plane and then the railing for the exterior stair.

The interiors are equally minimal with clean lines (love the continuous niche for the fireplace), cove lighting to minimize clutter on the ceiling, and plenty of skylights to bring in natural light.

Via Designboom.

Stelton Pocket Knife and Spider

The 205 Pocket knife and x-23 Spider from Stelton caught my eye today. The pocket knife, by Designit, combines keychain with a mini utility blade in a pocket-friendly shape, eliminating the need for another thing jingling around in your pockets. The spider, designed by Jakob & Karsten Gudiksen, is a screw (wall) or magnet (refrigerator) applied tool that uses the springy arms to friction-hold photos to your home’s surfaces.

Nendo – Socket-deer

It’s hard to innovate on the electrical outlet, but Nendo’s Socket-deer does just that. The antlers on the outlet cover will hold your phone as you charge it, or you can hang keys (or some other light object) from them. Nendo used a tough urethane rubber to cover the antlers, protecting your Precious from scratches, while holding them tight. Love this idea, though I wouldn’t recommend the Socket-deer for households with young children, though!

Via Swiss-Miss.