Archive for August, 2011

Material ConneXion to Open in Seoul

By paul


More from our blogger Paul Lynch…. 

Material ConneXion is in the news again. Shortly after being acquired by Sandow Media, the global materials consultancy has announced their new opening in Seoul, South Korea. The company’s second location in Korea is planning to open its doors on November 28, 2011. With the success of Material ConneXion Daegu the new location shows the importance the Korean market has on the world of material design. The president of Material ConneXion Seoul Mr. Ha feels that “The opening of Material ConneXion Seoul (MCS) … is just like opening a door to unexplored worlds of new business opportunities”.

Located within the Seoul Design Support Center (SDSC), the Seoul branch will have an innovative materials library, consulting services, and support for materials research and product development.

As Seoul is the largest city in South Korea, the new location “will be contributing to the evolution and development of Seoul by hosting industry events and supporting start-up entrepreneurs. Reaching out to international professionals and emerging designers, the SDSC is expanding the strength of its name to a global recognition.”

Join New York Spaces & Lillian August for the Designer Book Series!

By paul

avatar welcomes its newest blogger…Paul Lynch. Profile pic to come, for now check out what he’s got on his event calendar.

Designer Annie Selke, author of the new book Fresh American Spaces, will be at Lillian August on September 7th to promote her new book. The Designer Book Series, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, is giving guests the opportunity to meet the author, pick up a copy of her new book and have it signed.  The event is co-sponsored by New York Spaces.

Where: Lillian August New York located at 12 West 20th St. at 5th Avenue

When: Wednesday, September 7 from 6-8pm

RSVP: 203-847-1596 X3115 or

Parsons at BJDW: Alternative Creative “Hotspots”

By sevan


If you couldn’t tell already, I love collaborations. The latest takes us to Beijing. This past June, students from the Parsons New School for Design teamed up with China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Tsinghua University to create a series of site-specific installations in Beijing’s Dongcheng District as part of the “BJDW ALT” studio. The students explored the district to uncover a variety of grassroots, international and community-centered creative spaces and designed their projects in response to these “alternative creative hotspot” environments. The result: Big Urban Game. Participants could take tours of the creative hotspots and interact with the installations, which included new media pieces such as “Surface,” an interactive installation that reduces the immense scale of Beijing into an intimate space.

A selection of the projects that resulted from “BJDW ALT” will be on display during Beijing Design Week, taking place September 26 – October 3, in one of the event’s main venues, 751 D-Park.

Another very interesting project that will feature at BJDW is “Weather Tunnel.” This project takes an investigative approach much like “BJDW ALT” but applies it globally. The series of installations that form the project are informed by environmental data collected from sensors that were deployed in a variety of geographically and geopolitically diverse locations around the world; each installation responds conceptually and formally to to environmental and ecological crises. One installation, “Degree Day,” enables participants to experience a twenty-four hour period of meteorological change across the surface of the earth in just twenty-four minutes while another, “Electromechanical Solenoid Orchestra,” performs melodies and rhythms in response to real-time environmental data.

AT BJDW, Benjamin Bacon, Assistant Professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons, will lead a DIY workshop on creating a Weather Tunnel project, as well as Participate in the AIGA China Tech Salon.

By pushing designers to think critically about the surroundings and environments that influence our day-to-day lives, such collaborative projects raise awareness and sensibility in design, whether it be a new building or a piece of furniture.

Providence Equity Purchases GLM

By danielle


Some of our favorite trade shows including the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) will have a new owner. The R.I. based private equity firm, Providence Equity Partners, has acquired George Little Management (GLM) for approx. $173 million in cash – roughly $67 mil shy of the original deal proposed in June. After months of rumors, the deal was announced yesterday and is expected to close by the end of September. The sale includes 15 trade shows in the home design, tabletop/gift and antiques sector. GLM was previously owned by Daily Mail & General Trust PLC.

NYIGF Accent on Design Bloggers’ Choice Awards

By danielle


Hot off the press….



NEW YORK, NY, August 17, 2011… Eight companies participating in Accent on Design® at the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®) received “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” today for products representing “urgent, odd and delightful design.” The judges – bloggers from noted design and trend-watching sites – each selected one product, from thousands presented by some 200 exhibitors in Accent on Design.  “Innovation in product design is a hallmark of Accent on Design,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “These front line design bloggers have selected the true stand-outs among exceptionally-designed products.”

The eight bloggers, and the products each identified as the “next big thing,” are:

Heather Clawson, Habitually Chic:
Eleven Design Studio (Miami, FL) for Twoolies. “Their adorable 100% natural wool animals are completely handmade by artisans in the highlands of south Mexico. The company relies on artistic trends, materials and techniques from the regions in which they are made. Every piece is a unique combination of textures, colors and patterns that make them all one of a kind and super cute!”

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Apartment
Pablo (San Francisco, CA) for The Clamp Lamp by Dana Canaan. “This is one of the simplest, most elegant and fresh designs I have seen in years. And it is practical and by using LED – it’s green.” 

Hollister Hovey,
Mira Design Corp. / D-Torso (New York, NY) for D-Torso gigantic cardboard giraffe. “If a child ever received this die cut kit – and got to put it together and then fall asleep with this cardboard creature looking over the  bed every night – they’d be the coolest, most imaginative kid in school…the happiest. It’s a puzzle, a piece of art and totally show-stopping.”

Glen Jackson Taylor, Core77:
Caleb Siemon (Santa Ana, CA) for Growlight designed by Carmen Salazar. “As a New Yorker living in a small dark apartment, the Growlight immediately resonated. Super minimal, it solves two interior issues for the space conscious dweller at once: light and greenery. The glass planter is removable, allowing you to re-pot outside and swap out plants to change the look of commercial interiors such as restaurants and building lobbies. The light bulb is full spectrum to help the plants grow and, best of all, it’s hand made in California from materials that will last and age well.”

Marisa Marcantonio,
Serene House (Sturtevant, WI) for Donut. “It is a new take on home fragrance that provides a sensory experience. Shaped like a donut, the piece releases a fragranced water vapor, has LED lights that change color and plays music from your ipod. It is a great way to unplug and escape everyday stressors. It is a modern clean design in a product that helps well being and appeals to the senses. The piece looks great, while performing a variety of functions, proving a luxurious escape.”

Danielle McWilliams, Design-Calendar.comNATIVE UNION (Hermosa Beach, CA) for its PLAY. I love its compact playful shape and user-friendly interface. The video memo pad is a clever and more personal alternative to traditional pen and paper. What a great new way to leave a message for a friend or colleague.

Stephanie Murg, UnBeige:
Brinca Dada (New York, NY) for Brinca Dada Blocks. “Modernist dollhouse maker Brinca Dada brings its flair for architectural fun to building blocks with a set of curvy, asymmetric wooden shapes that will inspire kids to think outside of the Lego box. ‘I wanted a set of blocks that could be rearranged and made to look like a Frank Gehry Building,’ founder and CEO Douglas Rollins told us.”

Kate Reynolds McLeod, Daily Grommet:
LO-RES LABS (Mill Valley, CA) for Paper Punk. “As a completely modern update to paper modeling kits and tangram puzzles, Paper Punk’s pop-out shapes nurture creativity and spatial thinking.  Grace is the perfect person to introduce this product line, and it will become an instant classic — a go-to gift for kids, makers, geometry and design lovers, and everyone else, too.”

Designer Visions is back with new cinematic inspirations.

By sevan


Collaborative projects are quickly becoming more and more prominent. We are seeing fantastic things happen when artists partner with charities, or when different generations of designers come together to create a utilitarian masterpiece. We are also seeing collaboration across different mediums of design. Laying out a magazine spread is quite different than decorating an interior space, but the cross section of these design processes is always fresh and unique. The latest collaboration that has caught our attention is the fifth annual showcase of the “Designer Visions” program.

Photos from 2010 Designer Visions space designed by Pheobe Howard and House Beautiful.  via// Karastan News

Designer Visions: Cinema Style is a collaborative project between the Editors-in-Chief of House Beautiful, Town & Country and VERANDA magazines and acclaimed interior designers to create three film-inspired luxury living spaces for the new 1212 Fifth Avenue Residences by Durst Fetner. Each apartment is inspired by the fashion and flair of a chosen film, yet it portrays the distinctive vision of each magazine and designer team.

This year’s “Cinema Style” theme pays homage to films that capture the allure and romance of New York City’s Central Park, which is the stunning view from the residences. House Beautiful is paired with Heather Moore of Jed Johnson Associates, Inc. to create an apartment channeling the sixties pop-art cool of Factory Girl. The quirky yet luxurious scenes from Igby Goes Down are the inspiration for Town & Country and Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier and Company Interiors. And finally, the team from VERANDA and Thomas O’Brien/Aero Studios Ltd. have found their design muse in the mystery, danger and passion of Someone to Watch Over Me.

The completed Designer Visions residences will each be featured editorially in the magazines involved with their design, in addition to interactive online resources and information available at,, and Town & Country’s Facebook page. The opening night event of Designer Visions: Cinema Style is on October 5th, and a series of special events will be held in the paces throughout the year.

New at NYIGF

By danielle


With umbrella in hand, I made my way west to the Jacob Javits Center this morning to identify one product (out of all the new ones at Accent on Design) that stood out for its creativity, functionality and originality, urgent, odd and delightful design. I’ll wait until the NYIGF press release goes out with all the Blogger’s Choice Award winners to do that post (I know, the suspense is killing you).  Until then, here are a few clever introductions that caught my eye.

All the way from Australia, first time exhibitor KeepCup launched the worlds first barista standard reusable cup. It is lightweight, portable and fits under the heads of most espresso machines. Did I mention it is dishwasher and microwave safe too!?!


Nooka launched a stylish and colorful range of watches and playful accessories in the neo-utility exhibit.

Love these clever "holiday" cards from SCAD designer Emily Belford. It just so happens that today is National Relaxation today.

Another newbie, Serene House hit the fair with a cloud of freshness. The personal air care products and fragrances were designed in close collaboration with Swiss designer Carsten Jorgensen and Serene House's own professional perfume consultants and engineering staff.

Quake, designed by Gustaf Nordenskiöld for Design House Stockholm is based on a mug of thin clay, shaken to randomly form its own unique shape.

UncommonGoods Jewelry Design Challenge.

By sevan


Earlier this summer, UncommonGoods teamed up with City Harvest for their very successful Harvest Plate Design Challenge. Proceeds from the winning design were donated to City Harvest’s programs to alleviate hunger in New York City.

This time, UncommonGoods in engaging the community once again with their Jewelry Design Challenge. Creative, talented designers are encouraged to submit unique and fresh jewelry designs—anything from rings and necklaces to cufflinks and watches—for a chance to win $500 and the opportunity to sign a vendor contract with UncommonGoods! Each designer can submit up to 5 pieces, and the winner will be chosen using community votes and a panel of guest judges.

The deadline for submissions is August 31st, so get crafting! We can’t wait to see all the glimmering designs this last month of summer inspires.

On the Calendar at the Las Vegas Market

By danielle


Attention Las Vegas Market, here’s your winning ticket. Tomorrow morning, Susan Feldman, Co-founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of One Kings Lane will host a special discussion “Daily Sale Sites: How One Kings Lane Found Success with Affordable Luxury for the Masses.” She’s discuss how the emergence of the site has innovated the home and living market for vendors and consumers. From their tastemaker tag sales to the sales of the day, its an item in our inbox that we always look forward to receiving.

When: Thursday, August 4 from 11:30am-12:30PM

Where: Building C of the World Market Center (Space C-0176)