Archive for December, 2011

You CAN Win with YLighting + Flos

By danielle


YLighting + Flos are calling on all design lovers to transform Marcel Wanders’ Can Can pattern into a work of art. The first step in the Pattern Play Design Contest is to download the pattern. Step two, apply it to an unexpected place (they suggest stitching it to clothing, shaving it into your head, carving it into a tree) – the more creative, the better your chance is to win. Then snap a few photos and submit! The deadline to enter is January 15, 2012. You can enter as many times as you want, as long as each entry is original. In the end, Marcel Wanders, Piero Gandini (CEO of Flos) and Sean Callahan (CEO of YLighting) will select their favorites. The winner will be handsomely rewarded:

1st Place: $2500 + a Flos Can Can Light

2nd Place: $1000 + a Flos Can Can Light

3rd Place: $500 + a Flos Can Can Light

Runners-Up (5): A Flos Can Can Light

PS. Here’s a little peak into your competition!

120 Hours

By paul


The 120 Hours architecture competition is about to be kicked off again in 2012. This competition gives students the chance to be heard in the world of current architecture by allowing the contestants to design and complete the architectural task given within 120 hours. Registration begins January 6th and the task will be revealed three days later on the 9th.

The idea is organized by a group of students from three main Norwegian schools of architecture, BAS, AHO, and NTNU. 120 offers new ideas in the field of architecture and promises to be fun, challenging, and to “give students a relevant first encounter with architectural competitions.”

The complete schedule can be found below:


registration deadline


task revealed, competition begins


submission deadline


award ceremony in Trondheim


More information can be found at their website here


By kristin


If you’re searching for a meaningful, off-the-beaten-path adventure on New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider a road trip to Danbury, Connecticut. As part of First Night Danbury, The Mercurial Gallery is hosting a soiree for the senses with Ecuadoran dancers and a photographic installation of beautifully haunting images that could help save indigenous tribes in the Amazon.

From 4-8pm, the gallery will host an opening reception for “Selva Fantasma: Images from the Undeforestation Project.” As the name suggests (“Selva Fantasma” roughly translates to “jungle ghost”), the exhibit features ethereal photographs of the Amazon by Brooklyn-based artists Summer Moore and Marissa Macias. Though each has a different photography style, collectively it forms a strong narrative that reveals a side of the Amazon rarely seen before. According to Macias, “Remnants, leftovers, and spirits are a big part of what our work in the Amazon conveys.”

The exhibit is part of Moore and Macias’ larger initiative, the Undeforestation Project, that uses photography to “document, revere, and conserve the rainforests of the Amazon.” What began as a two-week trip to Peru has turned into an ongoing collaboration with The Rainforest Foundation to help protect indigenous tribes in the Amazon. As Moore explains it, “I remember saying to myself as we hiked through the jungle, ‘Wow, this place really exists, it’s not a myth.’ And with that comes this intense desire to want to preserve it, not only for its absolute beauty, but because it’s a home to many communities who are having a difficult time fending for themselves.” Moore and Macias hope to produce an artful photographic book with all of the proceeds benefiting The Rainforest Foundation, which has been advocating the protection of indigenous tribes and rainforests for over 20 years.

“Selva Fantasma: Images from the Undeforestation Project” will be on display at The Mercurial Gallery from December 31 – March 2, 2012. All of the artists’ proceeds from the exhibit will be siphoned directly back into the Undeforestation Project, either by funding a second trip to Peru or kick-starting the book’s production with the images Macias and Moore shot during their trip in 2010. We hope to see you there!

For more information on the project, visit




Parsons Product Design Flat Pack Studio Final Review

By danielle


As the year comes to an end, students around the country are faced with final papers and projects. Blu Dot is paying special attention to those in the Junior Level Product Design Class at Parsons, the New School for Design. In fact, they are hosting the final critique of the their Flat Pack project. Critics include two Deans of Parsons and several prominent members of the design community including John Christakos, co-founder of Blu Dot. This subject is very close to the company’s heart considering how essential flat-packing is to their design aesthetic and shipping method.

The final review will be held this Friday, December 16 from 2-6PM in the Blu Dot Soho showroom. It will be followed by a cocktail reception from 6-8PM.

Snapshots from the Georgetown Jingle

By danielle


Emily Thomas, my dear friend from DC and founder of the fantastic food blog Corcoran Street Kitchen, hit up the 6th Annual Georgetown Jingle earlier this month and shared some of her favorite holiday trees and vignettes created by this season’s top designers. 

The unseasonably warm temperatures here in our nation’s capital have taken a toll on our holiday spirit.  I’ll blame it on the weather and not all of the politicians down here.  Thank goodness for the Georgetown Jingle Preview event at the Four Season last week where DC designers gathered to showcase their finest Christmas tree designs.  The Georgetown Jingle is an annual event to raise money for Georgetown Hospital’s Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Program and Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program.  Designers worked with children to create their trees that ranged from over-the-top opulence to whimsical fun.  A great cause and a great reason to get into the holiday spirit are all the reason I needed to head over.

The first tree that caught our eye was the Nature and the Holidays by Cultivated Gardens, LLC.  The festive citrus ornaments fell both homey and elegant at the same time.  There was warmth in this tree from the rich red cardinal ornaments and soft blue lights that added contrast.

Upon closer inspection, we realized that this tree was made with bay leaves, which added another level of fragrance and intrigue to this beautiful tree.

Bling in the New Year was a sculptural offering from Camille Beers Design Studio and it was very glam take on holiday decorating for the inner diva in all of us.

There was no mistaking the island charm of A Caribbean Christmas Fantasea from Houseworks Interiors.  The various shades of blue really popped against the green tree and the gold weaving through gave a subtle nod to the beach.  This is a great example of a “theme” tree that isn’t campy or overdone.

The Far East Holiday by J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture & Design was a sweet beauty from a distance, but when you got up close, you could see the meticulous attention to detail in the flowers and the birds.  The lime green and coral colors are a great take on the classic red and green and they made for a very creative piece.

The Golden Rule was the tree that my mother wished that we had growing up.  It was all modern Victorian charm with gold and silver ornaments and accents.  The glittering ornaments with a sweet message and the music notes flowed together nicely and the gold fir branches added depth and body to the tree.

ASID Interior Design took a trip to the Dr. Seussian dream world and created every child’s ideal Christmas tree.  The Christmas Candy Tree-Dylan’s Candy Bar was bright and fun.  The stark white tree came to life with a rainbow of retro candy and bright colored ornaments.  I love that this designer took made a tree for children, but kept it edgy and modern.

I am absolutely in love with this inventive tree from Corcoran College of Art + Design.  Maybe it is that I made a budget version with Yuengling bottles in college, but this “Green” Wine Bottle Tree was a true showstopper.  Huge and monochromatic, this tree was a true work of art that was still at home alongside the more traditional offerings.

Niermann Weeks had the honor of designing the center tree for the hotel lobby.  Here is the design team with their creation that is based on a painting by Edward Hicks painting called Peacable Kingdom.

Their tree, of the same name as the painting, was decked with every animal imaginable.  I had to pay special homage to our famous blue claw crab that has never looked better.

The Gift Tree was a cubist interpretation of gifts piled to resemble a tree.  Gary Lovejoy Associates mixed classic toys with new ones to create this unique piece.

Danziger Design brought us The Poet Tree, complete with ornaments bearing short poems.  This would be a fun family tradition and the classic, rich colors along with the floral decorations made this a very inviting tree.

We couldn’t pick a favorite from this group because they were all so amazing!  The best part is that I got so many amazing ideas for decorating this year.  I am feeling confident that even a novice like myself can incorporate some of these great trends and new ideas.


By kristin


Last Thursday, Danielle and I headed to 4Food (New York’s famous “viral restaurant“) for Publicolor‘s TOP COAT cocktail party. Hosted by the organization’s Junior Committee (with the help of event co-chairs Carlton DeWoody and Hannah Bronfman), New York’s young and philanthropic donned their most colorful cocktail attire to benefit Publicolor’s “Paint Club+” program. With bleacher-style seating, a dj and a floor to ceiling jumbotron with alternating images of Publicolor’s work and live Twitter updates, it was one of the most hi-tech and laid-back charity events I’d ever been to.

To give you a little background, Publicolor is a NYC-based non-profit that uses color and design to engage high risk students (ages 12-21) in their education to counter the drop-out rate in New York City. It was founded 15 years ago by industrial designer Ruth Lande Shuman and has since transformed 138 inner city public schools into vibrant learning environments. Publicolor not only transforms schools physically, but also offers SAT prep and college counseling as well as career exposure workshops and professional internships. The company’s Paint Club+ program even teaches students a credit-bearing, Department of Education-approved, science-based sustainability curriculum and the marketable skills of painting and white-coating. This year, their goal is to raise $35,000 to transform 5 playgrounds in low-income neighborhoods of New York City.

To show your support or see Publicolor in action visit or follow them @publicolornyc.


A packed house at 4Food

Hannah Bronfman, Ruth Lande Shuman & Carlton DeWoody




Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition Is Underway

By Lauren Hill


We know you’ve been waiting all year for this… the day is finally here! The Call for Entries for the 2012 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now open.

What do you need to have? An awesome residential/commercial/institutional project completed between January 2007-January 2012 using Italian ceramic tile. The competition is open to all North American architects and interior designers.

What’s in it for you? Oh, just a 4,000 cash prize + a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie in the fall…

Sound like something you’d be interested in? Head over to the competition’s official website (www.tilecompetition) for the completely digital and FREE submission form. Deadline is February 17, 2012.

in bocca al lupo tutti!

Module R Can Now Call Brooklyn Home

By Lauren Hill


Designer names like Alessi, Kartell, and David Weeks just got a new home in Brooklyn Heights. MODULE R, the world’s first shop dedicated to modular, reconfigurable and customizable modern design, opened the doors to their new shop on December 1, 2011 at 141 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The shop is filled with gifts, home goods, toys, furniture, jewelry (some by well-known designers), as well as larger pieces like wall dividers and floor coverings.

Donald Rattner, owner and architect of Module R, saw the shop as a great opportunity to expand their already active business from their five-month pop-up shop on the Avenue last November and from the success of their
e-commerce site that launched earlier this year.

The store has something for everyone – in any price budget. The customizable options make the choosing process more fun by helping to “create” instead of buying “pre-made” adding a personal touch. Still holiday shopping? Make sure to add this one to your list… it’s a one stop shop for everything you need this season!


By kristin


I love when things come out of left field, especially this unlikely pairing of LA rapper Ice Cube and America’s most famous design couple, Charles and Ray Eames. Helping to promote Pacific Standard Time – a region-wide initiative to celebrate every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980 – Ice Cube takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the ugly of L.A… No matter how you may feel about the city there’s no denying the impact that California style had on modern design. The Eames’ plywood and fiberglass furniture is a case in point.

Watch the video here.

For a full list of exhibitions and events visit

Fun fact: Before Ice Cube became a famous rapper and actor, he studied architectural drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology. Who knew?

Alessi Holiday Promotion

By paul


Alessi has started running their month long Holiday Promotion, from December 1st to the 31st. The company, which is well known for their kitchen and houseware products, will give a $20 coupon for every $100 spent at Alessi. These coupons can be used at Alessi’s Soho and Madison locations in New York City as well as their location in San Francisco between January 1st and 31st. Alessi’s line of products include “everything from an iconic, whistling teakettle to a designer flyswatter.” More information can be found at


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