By Lucy


This is a guest post from new Design-Calendar contributor, Katie Bone.

The breadth of London Design Festival always presents a whirlwind of design exploration and this year proved no exception. Boasting more than 400 events and exhibits spread far and wide across the city, the Festival champions the work of up-and-coming talents in the design world, alongside heritage brands and design legends. From the V&A’s exhibit What is Luxury? to the Decorex theme The Future of Luxury, there was significant focus this year on the evolution of luxury and our changing values in the world of design and in society at large.

Entrance to the What is Luxury? exhibit at the V&A

Entrance to the What is Luxury? exhibit at the V&A for London Design Festival

On the wall of the V&A luxury exhibit, a sign read “In a busy and intrusive world, people increasingly value time and space for enjoying special moments and extraordinary experiences. Contemporary designers engage with how the availability of time and space, and the quality of time spent, can be seen as luxuries in their own right.” This assertion was supplemented with an installation by Marcin Rusak, which featured items designed to celebrate getting lost and the quiet moments associated with being alone in the world. Called Time For Yourself, it featured thoughtfully designed, purely analogue “tools for experiencing life outside daily routines,” including a wool blanket, a compass, and a dial-less watch. “It is almost impossible to get truly lost these days,” reads a quote by Rusak next to the installation. “It would take a lot of effort to experience this luxury.”

Hyper-realistic Jellyfish installation by Steffan Dam

Hyper-realistic Jellyfish installation by Steffan Dam for the V&A What is Luxury exhibit

The V&A exhibit served to challenge the notion of luxury in a contemporary world. It directly confronted the prominence of elite brands in a world rife with social inequality, and presented a new idea of luxury; an idea which is at once more universal and more relevant in the present era. It highlighted the themes of time, authenticity, and craftsmanship as growing values and challenged preconceived concepts of luxury.

These ideas were somewhat mirrored at Decorex, though (predictably) with a strong nod toward heritage. Presenting The Future of Luxury alongside Future Heritage, Decorex brought the contemporary relevance of nostalgic design values into the forefront. The theme of authenticity played a role, as wool and other natural materials were embraced throughout the exhibits, as did craftsmanship, especially well demonstrated in the New Craftsmen exhibit which showcased the skill of fine craft-makers and celebrated the hours that went into making each piece by hand.

Nostalgia was an overarching influence across the festival. In a busy, switched on, technology-obsessed world, numerous exhibits and installations pointed to a desire to celebrate the values of the past. This statement was made most explicit with the debut of the MP 01 Mobile Phone by Jasper Morrison in collaboration with Punkt. Unveiled at Somerset House, the phone suggests a better-designed version of one’s first mobile phone. Designed to “rebalance people’s relationship with technology,” the phone enables calling and texting only, and throws all new smartphone technology out of the window. Only available in design stores, and not through mainstream mobile retailers, it becomes clear that this old way of using technology has become more synonymous with luxury than the most technologically advanced smartphones on the market. “We believe it is time to disconnect and discover the more simple things in life,” says a Punkt leaflet describing the Somerset House exhibit.

MP 01 phone by Jasper Morrison and Punkt.

MP 01 phone by Jasper Morrison. Photo courtesy of Punkt.

Wood, often presented simply and sometimes unfinished, was a significant trend observed at the festival, offering a clear nod to nostalgic design and the values of simplicity, authenticity, and craftsmanship. Presenting the material in its most natural form, Max Lamb showcased 131 logs from the same tree, his grandfather’s, in his exhibit at Somerset House titled My Grandfather’s Tree. With an aim to preserve their structure as objects from the natural world, Lamb dried the logs over a period of seven years. They are now for sale for use as stools, side tables, or any other purpose the user can imagine for them.

Jane Withers curated an exhibit at the V&A titled Robin Day; Works in Wood. The exhibit celebrated the material as a resource and an inspiration and embraced classic mid-century modern forms alongside more playful elements including hatchets and wooden slingshots.

From the Robin Day Works in Wood exhibit at the V&A

From the Robin Day Works in Wood exhibit at the V&A

A major theme in both lighting and furniture design, wood also surfaced as a popular material for exhibit displays. Pakiet, Oskar Zieta’s first wood furniture collection, drew significant attention at What Goes Behind, an exhibit of ceramics by contemporary Polish designers at Tent London, curated by There was even an installation of a tube station built entirely in wood (complete with wooden editions of the newspaper The Metro) on display at Designjunction.

What Goes Behind exhibit by at Tent London

What Goes Behind exhibit by at Tent London. Photo by Jan Lutyk.

Handicrafts were well represented across the festival, further representing the themes associated with utilizing natural materials and moving away from technology. From the exhibit to a dreamscape of hand-sculpted pots and vases in muted tones by Tortus Copenhagen at the Tent London entrance, the timeless art of ceramic pottery shone at multiple venues. Textile arts were also a feature. Jamie Knitted Textiles debuted beautifully simple dip-dyed knit pendant lamps. Meanwhile The Knit Collection by Curver, the star of the Designjunction opening event, brought knitting into the modern age by melding contemporary materials and technology (plastic and 3D printing) with classic textile arts.

Natural materials, muted tones, and simple shapes comprised the aesthetic landscape of London Design Festival this year. Through these design clues, strong ideals toward restraint, integrity, and craftsmanship emerged, suggesting values from the past play a big role in the future of luxury and the future of design.

Ceramics from Tortus Copenhagen at Tent London

Ceramics from Tortus Copenhagen at Tent London


Wooden pendant lamps by Joe Armitage with Tala at Designjunction

Wooden pendant lamps by Joe Armitage with Tala at Designjunction

Housing Works’ 12th Annual Fashion for Action

By cody


One of D-C’s favorite organizations, Housing Works, is hosting its 12th Annual Fashion for Action fundraiser on Thursday, November 19th. There will be a shopping party (the best kind of party!) where attendees can get first dibs on designer apparel, accessories and merchandise. After, shoppers are invited to “dance the night away” at the Rubin Museum of Art at 6:00 PM. All proceeds will benefit Housing Works’ Youth Outreach programming. This program provides healthcare and support for homeless youth in Brooklyn that are at risk for HIV/AIDS.

For those unfamiliar with Housing Works – they have store locations all around New York City and it’s essentially a treasure-hunter’s dream. Personally I’ve snagged vintage Levi’s shorts, an Arts and Crafts era china cabinet, a 1950s vanity mirror and a “lady head vase.” However, people are known to walk out of the store with almost-new Jimmy Choo’s for $50. The deals are incredible, with all money going towards a great cause!

Here are the details:


A list of participating brands!

VIP Level Shopping: 6:00 PM

Friend Level Shopping: 6:30 PM

General Admission Shopping: 7:00 PM


Housing Works Chelsea Thrift Shop

143 West 17th Street


6:00 PM

  • Hosted by Bevy Smith

The Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th Street

Buy tickets here.

Courtesy of Housing Works

Courtesy of Housing Works

Courtesy of Housing Works

Courtesy of Housing Works

Courtesy of Housing Works


14+ Foundation Annual Cocktail Benefit

By cody


On October 1, the 14+ Foundation will be hosting its 3rd Annual Cocktail Benefit. The foundation will be fundraising for their ongoing contributions and support of the Chipakata Children’s Academy in Africa. The 14+ Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2012 by Joseph Mizzi and Nchimunya Wulf. Its mission is to build and operate schools and orphanages in rural African communities.

The Chipakata Children’s Academy in Zambia, Africa, will double as a primary school education facility, and as a refuge and orphanage for children of need in the local community. These children will be provided with full-time housing and care. The curriculum will incorporate arts-based programs, which is a fundamental part of the foundation’s mission. The Chipakata Village desperately needed a school in their community as young children have had to walk over 4 miles to arrive at the nearest institution.

Without a doubt, this is an amazing cause. The cocktail reception will be held from 6-8:30PM at the Angel Orensanz Center, the oldest surviving synagogue building in NYC. In 1992, it became an artistic and cultural resource open to artists, writers, leaders and thinkers from around the world. The jaw-dropping Gothic Revival interior draws events from MoMA, The Whitney Museum and The Guggenheim. Even legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen was known to go there for creative inspiration.

Event partners include: The Architecture & Design Film Festival; Major Food Group; Don Q Rum; Casebianche; Flavor Paper; Del Toro; Carl Hansen & Son; Ste Michelle; Bass; The Very Black Project and Baci.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation is located at 172 Norfolk Street, between Houston and Stanton Streets. The closest subway stops are Delancey Street (F Train), 2nd Avenue (F Train), Essex Street (J,M,Z Trains).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Event Benefit: 6:00PM to 8:30PM

After Party: 8:30PM to Midnight

Tickets are available here.

And for those interested in sponsoring this initiative, click here to find out more.

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#ONTHEDC: On the “Threshold” of the Architectural League of NY’s Annual Beaux Arts Ball

By lexy


The Architectural League of New York’s annual Beaux Arts Ball will be back again this Friday, bringing together over 1,000 architects, designers, artists and friends to celebrate architecture, design, and urbanism. If you haven’t attended the gathering before, here’s the run-down: Each year, the event is hosted in a different, beautiful, interesting space, and highlights a specific theme relevant to the design and architecture world. The themes are punctuated by specially curated installations by artists, designers, or architects both as a visual treat for the guests, and to stimulate critical conversation – the latter being one of the organization’s primary missions.

This year’s Beaux Arts Ball will be hosted in Queens’ Knockdown Center, a 50,000 square foot restored factory featuring 40-foot ceilings, and an intricate arrangement of brick, steel, and heavy timber. Originally built in 1903, the Knockdown Center – named for the Knock-Down door frame invented at the site in 1956 – has evolved to serve different functions over the century, from a glass factory, to a door factory, to its current use as a cultural event space. The rich history of this industrial building has inspired the theme of this year’s ball: Threshold – which also references the kick-off of the cultural year. Three site-specific installations will be created by MODU (Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem with interactive consulting by Eric Forman), Moorhead & Moorhead (Granger Moorhead and Robert Moorhead), and Alibi Studio (Catie Newell) to address the concept. Per usual, proceeds from the event will go towards funding the Architectural League of New York’s year-round activities to nuture, promote, and open a dialog regarding the current architecture and design landscape. Drinks and light fare will be served.

Date: September 18, 2015

Time: 10pm-2am

Location: Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth, Queens

Tickets: Purchase here for $100

Get social: #BAB15


Find Out What’s New What’s Next Tonight at NYDC

By danielle


The New York Design Center is getting ready to celebrate “What’s New and What’s Next” in ideas, design, materials and products with an incredible line-up of the industry’s best.

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The event features editor-driven panel discussions by 1stdibs, Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Dering Hall, domino, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, interiors, Interior Design, Lonny, luxe Interiors + Design, Metropolis, My Domaine, New York Design Hunting, New York Spaces, NYC&G, Town & Country, Traditional Home, Veranda, Wallpaper* and The Wall Street Journal, and engaging designer presentations.   One look at the schedule and we know where we will be from 2:00-9:00PM today. With a building full of tastemakers, we are in for a real treat!!!

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Greg Natale’s “The Tailored Interior” Book Launch at Jonathan Adler

By alexandra


We love a good design book as much as we love to go design shopping, so we were excited to learn about top interior designer Greg Natale‘s book launch at the Jonathan Adler store in SoHo this week (September 16th from 6:00PM – 8:00PM)

Called The Tailored Interior, Australian based Natale’s new tome is “a celebration of bespoke styling that will inspire both established design professionals and aspiring home decorators.” The book was published by Rizzoli/Hardie Grant and includes a foreword by Jonathan Adler.

If you can’t make it the the event, here’s where you can snag a copy:

To RSVP for the 16th send an email to



Can you dig it? Bathrooms of the ’70s

By cody


Throwback Thursday to the “far out” bathroom interiors of the 1970’s.  The Hansgrohe Aquademie in Schiltach, Germany, is hosting an exhibition entitled, “The Seventies Bathroom in Europe, Asia and South America.” The exhibition compares bathrooms from different continents and analyzes the social, economic and political factors in Europe, Asia and South America during this era that influenced bathroom design.

The display was developed by Indonesian architect Budi Pradono and Roman Passarge, Manager of the Hansgrohe Aquademie, in conjunction with Mathias Klotz, curator from Chile. Arkas Förstner is responsible for the bathroom’s design.

The 1970’s was a groovy decade for Hansgrohe.  The Sixty Shower set, designed by Baum, was released in 1970 and became the first product designed by a designer to appear on the market. It came in orange, black and white.  In 1974, Esslinger Design created the Tri-bel handshower for Hansgrohe. This product was the first of its kind to have three different jet types. It was available in blue, red, white, brown and yellow. Hansgrohe’s team in Black Forest won their first design award for these products, setting the standards for a successful award-winning future.

The exhibition will be on display through April 3, 2016.



Margaret Russell Live-sculpted Tomorrow at MAD!

By cody


Architectural Digest’s Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell will be live-sculpted at the Museum of Arts and Design tomorrow.   What does live-sculpting entail? Master portrait sculptor Michael Evert, a longtime collaborator of New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, will create a bust of Margaret Russell in front of museum guests. It will probably resemble one of these.   This event is in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition, Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin. Ralph Pucci is well known for his innovative approach to the statuesque form of the mannequin. His interpretations of mannequins go far beyond what we are used to seeing – they are dynamic, often playful and they reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.

This is not only a chance to see the fabulous Margaret Russell, but also an opportunity to observe the incredibly talented Michael Evert in action and visit this fascinating exhibit that crosses the boundaries between design, art and fashion.

Thursday, August 27, 2015 – 6:00 PM

Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission

2nd Floor Galleries, MAD

Photo Credit: Eric Scott


Partially Finished Mannequin Head Revealing Fiberglass Structure, 2014 Collection of Ralph Pucci; Photo by Antoine Bootz


Courtesy of Museum of Arts and Design


Sculptor Michael Evert in His Studio, With Mannequin Mold From Left: Model, Diane Von Furstenberg, Model 1, Model 2, 2014 Collection of Ralph Pucci


Courtesy of Museum of Arts and Design





NYNow is Now!

By danielle


It’s time for NY NOW® ! The Market for Home, Lifestyle + Gift is heating up the Javits Center this week. “Gift” has been newly added to the show’s tagline and will also be the largest of four sections in the Lifestyle Collection.


The summer market will feature the largest to date edition of Artisan Resource®, on top of a record 632 new exhibiting companies that will be part of the 2,800 companies exhibiting over 100,000 products across multiple categories.artisan resource

From tabletop to homeware to general giftware, this trade show covers it all for Home, Lifestyle, and Handmade collections.


In addition to product sourcing opportunities, market attendees can take advantage of a comprehensive suite of seminars and events. Leading industry experts will dissect practically every aspect of business operations — social media marketing, visual merchandising, tax preparation, demographics analysis, importing advice — and share savvy, actionable strategies.

TODAY (August 17) look out for sessions on material and color trends, brand story-telling, spa retailing and selling to Millennials. The New York Chapter of International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) will host “A Visual Journey: An Exploration of Trends in Color and Material,” presented by Stacy Garcia; Susan Szenasy of METROPOLIS will explore product sales through provenance marketing in “Selling Sustainability through Provenance”; and strategies for expanding a spa retail business will be shared in seminar hosted by the Day Spa Association; and Claire Johnson, managing editor of Giftware News, will present “Generation Y Not? Engaging Millennials In Your Store’s Marketing Strategy.”

On tap for Tuesday, August 18, Fashion Group International will deliver “New Gifting Experience,” discussing the latest in gifting for today’s discriminating consumer; “Blogging for Business 101: Everything You Need to Know and Why” will discuss using a blog to build business; and Gift Shop will present “How to Hire, Manage and Retain Millennial Employees.”

We’re especially excited for the second annual Blogger Block Party (TODAY from noon – 8PM), and the show’s new #NYNOW social media lounge sponsored by HGTV Magazine.

New Mobile App for Travel: Hopper

By cody


With fall events quickly approaching such as Maison & Objet (September 4-8 in Paris, France), Cersaie (September 28-October 2 in Bologna, Italy) and BDNY (November 8-9 in NYC), it’s time to start planning my travel. If you are like me, you have tried every trick in the book to find the best flight deal. I’ve heard many theories of when flights are at their lowest, the most popular one being “Tuesday after 3:00PM” – which I’m still skeptical about.   But now, there is a new mobile app that will track the fares for you and let you know when to pull the trigger. Hopper, otherwise known as my new best friend, will give you advice and predictions about when you should book your flight. Similar to any Expedia or Travelocity booking site, you will set the parameters of your trip (departing airport, destination, dates) and throughout that process the app lets you know which departing and returning days are cheaper. You can then set the flight for tracking, where the app will then follow it and notify you when it hits its cheapest fare. There is also a column that shows you all of the airline fares available at the moment you check the app. Thank you Hopper for creating a useful tool that will help me schedule my travel for…more design events!


For a test trip to Bologna, the app asked me to choose my travel dates. Hopper color codes the calendar based on when the cheapest fares will be.



After selecting my dates, Hopper provides me with advice and predictions for when I should book my flight.



Hopper also lets me know if there is a cheaper destination airport for my flight.



The app then provides me with the current fares from multiple airlines.




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