Archive for February, 2011

Feeling the Blogger Love

By danielle


It wouldn’t be February without some love, right? Well, this event is definitely something that is near and dear to our heart. The Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles will give bloggers like us the opportunity to learn more about what we do best. From topics including the intersection of social media and design to a powerful line-up of presenters including Jan Showers and Grace Bonney, this two-day social networking event deserves a whole lotta love.

When: February 28, 2011 – March 1, 2011
Where: Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

Product Placement’s Design Series-New Directions in Lighting

By jesse


We are happy to report that the latest installment of the ongoing event series, This is Product Placement, is fast approaching.  Mark your calendars this Wednesday, February 23rd for Product Placement 3.1: New Directions in Lighting. This collaborative project, spearheaded by Kimberly Oliver and Julie Taraska, strives to tell the untold stories behind product design and development. Some of DC’s favorite designers will be presenting: Lindsey Adams Adelman, Matt Gagnon, Jason Miller, and David Weeks.  Each designer usually speaks for five minutes and focuses on the inspirations and creative process behind a particular product, then fields questions from the audience.

So stop by to hear about the truly remarkable things these designers are doing with lighting, hang out with your friends, and enjoy some adult beverages and snacks. If you need any more incentive, the event will be held at the offices of the internationally acclaimed architectural, planning, and design firm, the Rockwell Group.

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 6.30-8.30 (Presentations begin promptly at 7)
Rockwell Group
5 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003

The event is free but space is limited. Please RSVP with your name and number in your party to reserve a space and for building security. RSVP at

More Product Placement events are on the horizon and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Lonely in milan? Why not meet some projects?

By jesse


For those of you fortunate enough to find yourselves in Milan this Spring, Design-Calendar has good news (and some very jealous editors).  This April 12-17 marks Milan Design Week, and the already design-obsessed city will take it to another level.

The highlight promises to be Meet My Project.  The traveling design show previously set up shop in Paris and will bring the same flair to North Italty.  Eighteen exhibitors from nine countries will participate in this year’s event, giving it true international flair.    The presentation will feature an in depth look behind the scenes of the creative process, from the first inklings of an idea through to completion.   The multi-media exhibition will feature prototypes, scale models, videos and more to show the branching choices every designer makes in any project’s evolution to a finished product.

Meet My Project promises to appeal to everyone from curious design neophytes to seasoned veterans, and if you happen to find yourself in Milan you owe it to yourself to first thank your lucky stars, and then check out this amazing international event.  The presentation will be held at the Galleria Grosetti, via di Porta Tenaglia 1/3 – right around the corner from the Moscova metro stop.

ASID Dream Team Challenge

By eva


Ever dream of working alongside one of New York’s top interior designers to create your very own space? Well here to turn dreams of stylish living into a reality is The American Society of Interior Designers who will host the first annual Dream Team Design Challenge. Enter this exciting contest for a chance to be paired with some of the most celebrated designers working in the industry today for a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will be given one month to design and two days to install your exhibit, which will proudly be displayed at the Architectural Digest Home Design show March 17th-20. The calendar crew will all be in attendance and cannot wait to see which of your dreams are turned into design reality!
To enter visit:

even with the cold weather, it’s time to get outdoors!

By Lauren Hill


According to the Punxsutawney groundhog, spring is right around the corner!  And although we may be bundled in coats and gloves here in New York, Washington, D.C is ready for warm weather. The Washington Design Center, celebrates its second annual Outdoor Week from February 28 to March 4. The Center’s 30 showrooms will feature the latest collections in outdoor furnishings, fabrics and rugs.

What are some of the week’s must-see events? Tina Turk will be showing off her new fabulous designs in fabric, fashion and jewelry at the Schumacher showroom on Thursday from 2-4pm.  From Brown Jordan, Steve Elton will bring the new 2011 spring line and will talk about how to make an outdoor space grand by  coordinating colors and patterns. Really, you don’t want to miss any of the events! I, for one, am ready for a little sunbathing, especially in a hip, new outdoor space.

To attend any of the Outdoor Week seminars, please register with Nicole Frye at or at 202.646.6114

Below are the events taking place during Outdoor Week:

Monday, Feb. 28, 4 p.m. A panel of landscape architects and interior designers on outdoor design trends, featuring:

Anthony Cusat, McHale Landscape Design
Jay Graham, Graham Landscape Architecture
Barbara Hawthorn, Barbara Hawthorn Interiors
Elizabeth Norman, Elizabeth Norman Landscaping and Garden Design
Dana Tydings, Tydings Design

Tuesday, March 1, 11 a.m. Steve Elton of Brown Jordan will talk about the merits of performance fabrics: How they are built to withstand the elements; the technology that makes them beautiful, with luxurious textures; and from Brown Jordan’s Spring 2011 line, the best coordinating colors and patterns for a grand outside setting. Lunch follows in the Brown Jordan by AmericanEye showroom.

Wednesday, March 2, 10 a.m. Kathleen Litchfield of Petro Design/Build will deliver a CEU-credited lecture on blending indoor and outdoor design.

12:30-2 p.m. Over lunch, Eric Graham of Century Furniture will talk about the construction of outdoor furniture, and which frames and style are appropriate for different outdoor settings.

Thursday, March 3 10:30 a.m. Designer Erin Paige Pitts and Architect Lee Foster, the founders of, will discuss all aspects of vacation house design, including regional differences, durability and comfort, and marketing your design services

2-4 p.m. In the Schumacher showroom, Suite 523: A fabric, fashion and jewelry trunk show featuring the designs of Trina Turk, cosponsored by Georgetown’s Wink boutique and Charm Georgetown.

Craig Dykers of Snøhetta to give lecture at NYSID

By jesse


A few weeks ago the D-C staff was lucky enough to attend an event hosted in the offices of architectural firm Snøhetta.  The schmoozing was fairly standard: the space was simply spectacular. I had only a few brief, sycophantic words for the architect and co-founder Craig Dykers, which is why I was so happy to discover I would get to hear him speak without the filter seven Brooklyn Lagers and a dinner of hors d’oeuvres inevitably provides.

The man himself

The New York School of Interior Design will be featuring an illustrated presentation from Mr. Dykers as part of its successful lecture series from industry leaders.  The lecture is entitled “Snøhetta: Works” and will highlight the German-born architect’s multi-disciplinary approach to architecture, interior and landscape design as vital aspects to his creative process.  His ever-expanding highlight reel features such internationally recognized projects as the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, the (new) Library at Alexandria, and the September 11th Memorial Museum Pavilion. Snøhetta was also selected to design the expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the re-design of Times Square.

The original Library of Alexandria was the greatest collection of knowledge in the ancient world, but it probably didn't look this good

The lecture will be Wednesday, March 2nd at 6 PM.  It is open to the public and free of charge. Seating is limited and is sure to fill up fast so reservations are required.  You can register by emailing or calling 212-472-1500, ext. 405.  The New York School of Interior Design is located at 170 East 70th Street, between 3rd and Lexington.

It ain’t pretty but…

By jesse


It is a significant truth that what often draws the most attention in the design and architecture community is the loudest visual, so to speak, in the room.  Of course there is a very real difference between audacity and lunacy in design aesthetics, but both the truly avant-garde and the insane will garner sizable attention.   For better or worse, fortune favors the bold.

It is then with nerdish pleasure that I draw attention to a truly unflashy, if vitally important, development in the world’s most common building material: cement.  Material Connexion — a world-renowned group of polymath experts intent on bridging the gap between science, design, and manufacturing — have recently awarded their MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year to cement producers Novacem for their Carbon Negative Cement.  That’s right, not carbon neutral, carbon negative.

Novacem’s new cement offers similar performance and price to standard Portland cement, but instead of emitting 800 kg of CO2 per ton poured, Novacem actually absorbs 50 kg per ton poured.

Just how big a deal is that?  Consider that cement is the most prevalent man-made material on the planet, and that it is responsible for 5% of humanity’s total carbon footprint.  The cement industry is second only to power generation in terms of CO2 emitted.  The 850 kg of CO2 saved per ton of Novacem poured quickly adds up.

So yes, we all like to look at very, very pretty things.  But advancements in the building blocks, literally, of  visually stunning projects are just as important to the design and architecture communities.

More than meets the eye...

NYIGF’s Accent on Design Exhibitors Put the Fun in Functional

By danielle


We promised it in eSPY and here it is…a selection of our favorite products seen at the New York International Gift Fair‘s Accent on Design. We were asked to pick a product that has “creativity, functionality and originality, urgent, odd and delightful design”.  With so many great introductions, it is hard to write about just one….so here are a few (and our winner too).

To start, I just love the balloon vases from Corey Green, a first-year senior at SCAD. A winner of ShelterPop & SCAD’s Design Challenge, his whimsical product reminds us when to water the flowers. How? It’s easy…the balloon shrinks when the water is low. I chatted with Green at the fair and he told me that his childhood chore was to take care of the plants. While he admitted that he didn’t quite have a green thumb, now all he needs is a pretty green balloon…problem solved!

Balloon Vases by Corey Green. Photo: SCAD

Speaking of young designers, Hongjie Yang, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH, with a BFA in Industrial Design, Yang has won several design competitions for his utilitarian products, including a transportable medical case for emergency responders. His first-time at the fair landed him in the A+: The Young Designer’s Platform where he introduced several new products including: Veer, a stainless steel soap dispenser; Chromis, a recycled aluminum pencil sharpener inspired by the form of fish; and the acrylic Hydro+ 20 oz. intelligent water bottle, which tracks the user’s daily hydration cycles. He told me that he started sketching automobiles as early as 10 years old. His precision and attention to detail got him into college and is taking him to new levels in product design. I can’t wait to see where he goes from here!

And now…drum roll please….our Design Calendar‘s Blogger’s Choice Award goes to…..the hot-pot BBQ from Black + Blum. I must admit that I had a hard time choosing between their new lunch pot, bento box and bbq, but with all this snow on the ground, the thought of summer swayed me towards one. Masked as a ceramic planter, this BBQ is perfect for New York City renter who loves to cook on a grill. An added plus, the herbs on top can be used to season the food below. I am a big fan of its original and multi-purpose design. It is a creative and charming alternative to the traditional charcoal grill.  I also love its compact packaging and affordable price ($124 retail). I had a chance to learn more about the product at the show. Check out our interview with Suzanne Doyle of Black + Blum on the NYIGF’s YouTube Channel.

black+blum puts the sizzle in design with their new hot-pot bbq.

Fun and functional, this bbq caught our eye. It is the perfect "gift" for city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Contract’s Social Network

By danielle


I slept a lot, but on my 8-hr flight back from Germany this morning, I kept my eyes open long enough to watch The Social Network. In less than a decade, Facebook has changed the way we connect and communicate on both a personal and professional level. Now the site has over 500 million active users and more than 30 billion pieces of content shared each month.

This social network was the theme of the 32nd Annual Interiors Awards Breakfast hosted by Contract magazine. The program, moderated by Jennifer Busch, was centered around the growth of social media and the affects of generation Y on the design industry. Clever one-liners led to films featuring each of the winning projects, which included: Atlas Architecture, The Bommarito Group, Centerbrook Architects, Clive Wilkinson Architects, Clodagh Design, Giorgio Borruso Design, IwamotoScott Architecture, KMS Team, Kris Lin Interior Design, STUDIOS Architecture, Triz Arte, ZGF Architects and student designers Jamie Morin and Kyung-Eun Kim from Iowa State University.  Even the 2011 Designers of the Year have a tie into Facebook.  Founded by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander, the San Francisco-based practice studio o+a created the corporate interiors of the Facebook offices.  Although they were not consulted for the set of the movie, their open design reflects the company’s youthful, energetic staff. The facility also was the first commercial projects completed under Palo Alto’s Green Building Ordinance. There are lots of fabulous photos of the facility and more on the Designers of the Year inside the Jan/Feb issue of Contract.

The issue features in-depth stories on each of the winning projects as well as an 8-page spread on the 2011 Legend Award Winner Eva Maddox. With over 100 awards for her work and more than millions of square feet of contract, commercial and institutional projects under her belt, let’s just call her the Zuckerberg of design.


By jesse


Not really sure if we can classify this as an event per se, but every once in a while we see something just so cool that we can’t help but tell the whole world.  Interior designer, and fellow Brooklynite, Fiyel Levent (check out her work here) recently received a prestigious Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant from the Center for Architecture Foundation of the AIA New York Chapter.

That was a mouthful – I can’t even imagine the application process – but after much tying of tongues Ms. Levent will use the grant to undertake a two-month long architectural survey of the Silk Road.  For those of you who ignored history and majored in something practical, unlike myself, the Silk Road was not a literal thoroughfare, but rather a complex trade network that connected the Eastern and Western worlds (and everything in-between) for centuries.  Far from the mere barter of goods, the Silk Road was a crucible for a cultural exchange of ideas regarding art, religion, philosophy, and of course architecture.

Wasn’t that enlightening?  Now you can talk about something other than the weather at dinner tonight.

Fiyel Levent has good reason to smile.

Ms. Levent will begin her trip in St. Petersburg, trek across central Asia and Eastern China and end her voyage in Shanghai.  She plans to focus her study on Islamic influences in architecture and design: the same influences that inspire much of her own work.  I, for one, can’t wait to see the results.

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