The New York Times Home & Garden Section Closes – A Great Loss for Design

By chris

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Yesterday morning marked the last time that we will all have the pleasure of reading the NY Times Home & Garden section over breakfast.  It is a ritual that will be sorely missed. We counted on Currents to keep us in the know with Rima’s deals and Elaine’s meticulously fact-checked stories on the latest product introductions, store openings, special sales, designer collaborations, etc.  Tim and Rima’s Shopping With was always inspiring and fun – presenting new local design talent and their favorite shopping sources. Noel, Julie, Penelope and Steven and all of the other wonderful contributors over the years delved deep into a quirky and unexpected range of design content that took readers all over the world – reporting trends even before they launched in Milan to alternative living approaches in the far corners of civilization.  Where will we find this content in the new lay of the land is still unclear, but there is no doubt that the design community and NY design-lovers deserve and need some dedicated space in the new order of things. We have heard that the Home coverage will land in  Real Estate, FashionStyle and Food – all great overlapping content areas — but PLEASE, powers-that-be at the NY Times, find a permanent home for some of our favorite go-to sources for information on new innovations and happenings in the design world. It means a lot to the global design industry and to the local New York consumers that came to the section for inspiration and help creating and maintaining their dream homes even if those homes were one-room walk-ups in the outer boroughs.

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7th Heaven Design Party @ 200 Lex!

By sevan

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Start the weekend early with 7th Heaven—the design event that is taking over the 7th floor of New York Design Center for a magical evening of unique displays, crafted cocktails and heavenly culinary indulgences! It’s all going down tomorrow, so be sure to RSVP to get yourself on the celestial list.

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What: 7th Heaven Design Party
Where: New York Design Center, 200 Lexington, New York
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 5:00-9:00 PM
RSVP: events@transformhome.com / 212.584.9580

TrendSpotting: Unexpected Use of Material at NY Now

By dania

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So excited to be guest blogging for my dear friends at Design-CalendarWalking the aisles of the Javits Center for the winter edition of NY Now 2015, I was struck by how much unusual use of material I was seeing. That, coupled with a great range of interesting, amorphous shapes made for a real eye-catching show.

Some of my favorites in the Accent on Design section:

Love these charming vases and accessories by Elyse Graham, made from resin.

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The process is fascinating, here’s a video: http://www.elysegraham.com/process.html

Beyond Object’s desktop collection was hands down one of my favorites. This London-based design firm has the most elegant and interesting pieces for anyone who cares about all the small details (such as myself). A USB stick made from rose gold and a pencil sharpener made from a solid block of polished metal. Need I say more.

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Martini and Wine Glasses made from wood. By David Rassmussen Design, a great little company out of Colorado.

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Brooklyn-based design firm Souda always has something great going on. The Kawa series of dishes comes in a range of colors and finishes and such beautiful shapes.

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The husband and wife team who founded Oropopo, take inspiration from Native American, classic Western and New Mexican culture to create their fabulous laser-cut leather pieces.

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I love the new infuser by the Los Angeles company Sempli. The Incanter boasts the their unique trademark shape and spinning functionality.

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Last but not least, a personal favorite – Michele Varian. I’ve been drooling over the Nymph Wallpaper online for a while so seeing in person was great.   From a distance it has an abstract, Rorschach quality, up close it’s elegant, feminine and romantic.

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Four Questions for NY NOW Emerging Maker Summer Moore

By kristin

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It’s the first day of NY Now at the Javits Center, where thousands of designers will show their wares across the home, lifestyle and gift spectrum. Out of the labyrinth of products and design objects, we’re excited for one section in particular: HANDMADE Emerging Makers. Opening tomorrow in Javits North, the space features a small, handpicked group of emerging craft designers and makers, who will debut their one-of-a-kind, handcrafted lines at the show. We sat down with one of the Emerging Makers, Summer Moore of the Brooklyn-based LESH, whose colorful and intricate, hand-woven jewelry pieces immediately caught our eye.

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Your background is primarily in photography and prop styling. When did you make the transition to textile and jewelry design?

I studied photography and through that I began assisting prop stylists and set designers on editorial and advertising shoots. The flexibility of being freelance allowed me to travel and work on personal projects when I wasn’t booked (which is a blessing and a curse as most freelancers know!) It was during a photography project in Peru that I first became fascinated with the local textiles, specifically antique pieces I’d seen throughout the Sacred Valley. I came back to New York and was constantly analyzing people’s fabrics wherever I went, trying to figure out how it was woven. I’d be on the subway staring at stranger’s clothes in detail. That’s when I decided to take a continuing education class at FIT to learn the basics of weaving. It was during this time that I learned my grandmother had been an avid weaver, and had one of her looms shipped to me from California. Unfortunately it’s more of an inspiration piece than a workable loom, but knowing that it’s in my heritage is motivating.

After a couple years of weaving from home, I took part in an artist residency in Cappadocia, Turkey, where I had focused time to work on designs I had been wanting to develop. It was an incredible experience, living in a small village and having a cave studio and terrace to dye materials and weave. From that point on I knew I needed a dedicated studio space back in NY,  and within a month of my return I found an amazing space in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Having a studio has allowed me to be less distracted and more disciplined with my work, and I started treating it as a small business before it even was one.

 

What influences your designs or creative process?

Color has a huge influence on my designs; I notice interesting color combinations constantly in my studio and daily life. Most of the shapes I weave came to me inherently through experimenting, but it’s been the process of making “mistakes”, and then using those effects in an intentional way that has probably influenced my work the most. I also go to as many exhibitions as possible, and can be inspired by colors in a painting or patterns in a print, and figure out how to translate that into weaving.

 

Where did the name LESH come from?

My grandmother’s maiden name was Lesh. I wanted to have it connect to her, as she was a huge creative influence on me as a child. I also liked that it was short and sweet.

 

You established your studio about a year ago. What have been the main challenges as a young designer and entrepreneur?

Funding a small business on my own has been the most challenging, but also very rewarding. I’ve had to balance the money earned through my freelance work with supporting myself and my studio. I never had a strict timeline on what to expect, I let it grow and unfold naturally, understanding that it takes time to get established and make a profit. Weaving and working with my hands is very therapeutic, and I feel lucky to have created something I love doing that can be a source of income. It can be stressful at times, but the joy that goes into it surpasses that.

 

Biennale Interieur – In Review

By chris

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For 46 years, the Biennale Interieur (located in the charming city of Kortrijk, Belgium) has been a destination for design-lovers seeking fresh ideas and innovative makers from Belgium and beyond.  It was our first time at the bi-annual show and we were frankly blown away.  The quality of the exhibition space/exhibitors and the thoughtful offsite exhibitions really made a walk down each aisle an exciting discovery. The show offered a well-curated experience between the main hall and the installations and exhibits located across town in the Buda Island district.  Organized and run by a non-profit organization, with sleek Audis ferrying attendees back and forth, the two days we had for the show, were not nearly enough time to soak it all in. We did our best by taking very short breaks in the charming onsite cafes (created by designers), monitoring our beer drinking (we even visited a Beer Temple) and keeping a brisk pace (our FitBit numbers were through the roof).

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One of our favorite areas was the special section celebrating outstanding Belgian designers and going back in time to show the rich talent that distinguishes the Belgian design scene.  This year the “Designer of the Year” award, a prestigious title given to one who exhibits unique and creative design in their industry, was given to Marina Bautier.  Marina is a native to Belgium, where she set up her own furniture design practice in 2002, until Lignet Roset discovered her work and fueled her international career in Milan.  At a cocktail in honor of the exhibit, we got to meet other Belgian design super stars, including Alain Bertau, the founder of Objekten and one of our faves, who was awarded this title in 2006.

In addition to thought-provoking exhibits, installations and cash and carry designs, the show line-up included cocktail and dance parties at all hours and all over town.  Our friends at Architonic went so far as to rent a decommissioned church for their annual disco event.  The venue was attached to an old school that was soon to be demolished.  The city allowed the show to take over the space to fill it with student design work as well as a fab pop-up restaurant.  We got coveted reservations for dinner on the long school-house tables. It was wonderful! Another after-hours hot ticket was to the Wünder party sponsored by Axor, Duravit, Delta Lighting, Casaus, Samsung and Barrisol and featuring installations, dancing and Belgian beers.. need we say more!

Additional culinary highlights included the home gelato makers on the show floor and some of the best gelato we have ever had… AND for free at a trade show to boot – fantastic chocolates and frites!!!

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Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015: DEADLINE EXTENDED

By molly lucas

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Have you heard the news? The submission deadline for the 2015 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition has been extended to January 23, 2015. The hunt is on for the most original and imaginative spaces designed by North American architects and designers using Italian ceramic/porcelain tile for the chance to win $4,000 + a trip to Italy!

Sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics, comprised of 150+ ceramic tile manufacturers), the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is the longest running contest of its kind. The 2015 edition is open to architects and designers based in North America who have used Italian ceramic or porcelain tile in their residentialinstitutional and commercial/hospitality projects compeleted in the past five years (January 2010 – January 2015). Projects can range from hotels and hospitals to offices and apartments —they want to see them all!

The competition is completely digital and FREE to enter! The winning architect or designer in each category will be awarded $4,000 and a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie – the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the tile contractor/distributor team who worked on each winning project.

…Need more convincing? Check out this 30-second video to get all the details:

…Need a little inspiration? Here are last year’s winners:

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COMMERCIAL
The Plaza of the Armericas in Dallas, TX
Designed by Corgan Associates

INSTITUTIONAL
Morgan Hall, Temple University
Designed by MGA Partners

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RESIDENTIAL
355 Manfield Los Angeles, CA
Designed by D.I Group.

Click here to submit, or contact info@novitapr.com for more info.

CALLING ALL BKLYN DESIGNERS!

By danielle

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As more than half of our editorial staff calls Brooklyn home, we are excited to announce that the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for BKLYN DESIGNS 2015.  Held from May 8-10, the juried exhibition will feature a dynamic collection of products from the borough’s most innovative designers and manufacturers.  After over a decade in DUMBO, the show will have a new home in Greenpoint at the Brooklyn Expo Center (a super cool, glass-clad structure). In addition to the facility’s inside space, it also touts a pretty amazing outdoor area – with gorgeous views of that other borough (Manhattan).

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Show organizers are working on a number of  new initiatives and we cannot wait to be part of – what they are calling – BKLYN DESIGNS 3.0. You should be too! All Brooklyn-based makers and manufacturers of furniture, lighting, art, textiles and accessories are encouraged to apply at ibrooklyn.com/bkdapp by February 1. Collectives are welcome too!

IMM COLOGNE PREVIEW

By danielle

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In just a few weeks, imm cologne, a leading international furniture trade show and marketplace and one of the first international interior design shows of the year, takes over Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The exhibition focuses on contemporary design, innovative materials and fabrics, and architectural lighting design technology.  With over 1200 exhibitors – from international brands to up-and-coming designers, the show is a rich resource for inspiring ideas and the latest trends in the industry.

Event highlights this year include:

Das Haus – Interiors on Stage, a setting-like structure of spacious interiors and “housing cages.” This year, the Shanghai-based architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu will show an installation under the title “Memory Lane”, which, inspired by the Shanghai Lane Houses, combines Chinese tradition with contemporary design and thus would lead to a discussion about housing rituals.
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Pure Talents, a new platform for young and up-and-coming international designers

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The Sleep Lounge – “9 turns 9″: at imm cologne 2015, Hall 9 celebrates the 9th anniversary of the Sleep segment, while the Matratzen-Industrie e.V. trade association, partner of Koelnmesse in the Sleep sector, celebrates its 10th anniversary.  To commemorate, the association will be creating a film and welcome guests with the best scenes of the past years. The Lounge will be decorated with motifs from the anniversary film itself and from the classic cinema of the 50’s and 60’s. Some of the film clips specifically reflect the association’s different fields of competence. As is tradition, the Sleep Lounge will also host the “meet@sleep” party on Tuesday evening.

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Café Trussardi in Hall 10.1 will make its debut. The booth combines the exclusive design of one of the world’s leading big brands with haute cuisine. itself communicates the level of quality and style which the Trussardi Group pursues in all of its commercial interests. It is therefore no surprise that – just like the original in Milan – Café Trussardi at imm cologne will present a straightforward and distinctive cuisine.

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Architectural League’s First Fridays Series Gets Underway

By Abbey Cahill

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Happy hour + a behind-the-scenes peek at the leading design offices in New York? If this sounds like your kind of evening, the Architectural League of New York’s Spring 2015 First Friday program won’t disappoint. In a series of monthly open-offices, First Friday provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about effective organization and design processes in the architecture world. We’ve listed the full line-up after the jump.

On January 9th at 6:30 pm, the first host office will kick off the series, opening its doors for drinks, conversation, and an exclusive look at recent and upcoming projects. Located at 22 West 19th Street, FXFOWLE Architects is known for design inspired by urbanism, technology, and sustainable strategies. Exploring “the role of design in human settlement,” the firm’s work focuses on the interplay between form and function, a concept that is apparent in their commercial, education, and cultural facilities, multi-family residences, and city planning.

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Above: FXFOWLE Architects’ Museum of the Built Environment in Rayadah, Saudi Arabia, to be completed in 2017

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DESIGNING YOUR WAY INTO 2015 AT IDS

By danielle

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There is no better way to ring in the new year than by attending Toronto’s annual Interior Design Show (January 22-25, 2015)!  Since the show’s inception in 1999, the IDS has continued to attract hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of visitors, and serve as an ultimate breeding ground for inspiration, creativity, and innovation.  Kicking off the weekend, guests are invited to attend their renowned Opening Night Party, connecting ideas within the design industry to the show floor entertainment through an atmosphere filled with delicious food and beverages, friendly faces, and spirit of excitement.

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Guests and designers gathered together over cocktails discussing various intriguing ideas at the Opening Night Party.

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