Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes owner Torya Blanchard says ”it just gets better and better for those who believe in Detroit”
Signal-Return Letterpress director, Megan O’Connell. The shop ”seeks to connect the community to traditional + emergent forms of printing”. It’s a gallery. It’s a resource for design entrepreneurs. It’s a meeting space with all the signature displays of process and craft that we love so much.Studio Couture Detroit
Jessica Hicks (also a designer mentioned on Design Sponge) and her husband opened Astro Coffee in Detroit after living as expats for several years.
What her husband says about their choice to move to Detroit to do this:
“You can do something here that means something. Open a coffee shop in another city and you’d drown. Here there is cooperation.”
26-year-old Hostel Detroit owner, Emily Doerr cutting the ribbon in 2010 on her non-profit accomodations aimed at educating visitors about Detroit.
The Empowerment Plan: Veronika Scott invented a Sleeping Bag Coat to do something about the gargantuan homeless problem in Detroit (1 in 47 are homeless). It is “self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night.” She employs homeless women to manufacture the coat.
The video by 4exit4 inspired this post. See them all here!
*lead image credit: Michael Goettner 0 Comments
What do these incredible critically acclaimed major visual artists or our time have in common? It’s (in order of appearance followed by image of their work) Phyllida Barlow, Nathalie Djurberg, Tacita Dean, Klara Lidén, and they make up the spring line-up at New York’s New Museum, an all-female line-up. Most importantly, it has not been overtly publicized as such.
- Tipped off by Art Info and my friend Amy Mendizabal.
Links – New Museum Upcoming Exhibits (New York)0 Comments
The new Donna Wilson “Bertha” chair which debuted at Maison Objet last week from SCP. You can see a lot of Donna Wilson’s work at Future Perfect in the Noho store (NYC).
The maker of the drink-klip, a metal clip that attaches to a surface to hold a drink which I first discovered when I met her at LDF 09, debuted a new series of wallpaper, a commanding (if not entirely comfortable looking ) chair and tableware made from Hanji (traditional Korean handmade paper) at Maison Objet this past week as well. Her name is Been Kim and she was selected as a Next Generation Design Leader of the year by the Korea Industrial Design Promotion in 2006 and in 2009. The collection is called Meeet.
And according to Maison Objet, one of the biggest best design shows on the calendar, and definitively Parisian for better or worse, this is the season of the Sweet Freak. Out with the serious and stressed vibe of the past, in with the nutso crazy. (When did the nutso crazy ever leave France?)
In other news, Moss, that old institution of design retail in New York, is closing. It may be the end of an era in design in New York but hopefully it’s a chance to usher in something new – a city where design environments with a sense of whimsy and warmth can thrive. Moss was a bit too musn’t-touch-it for the immersive hybrid retail of the future.
& let me leave you with Clouds rug by Elise Fouin of Chevelier Edition
Chevalier Edition (Paris)
Designers Block (London)
Future Perfect (New York)
This was my first time at Creative Mornings, the monthly talks started by Swiss Miss design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg. I’ve been following Swiss Miss for a few years now and her blog always has useful tips for design lovers who love technology like you and me. The talk was by graphic designer and “lucky-so-and-so” blogger Jessi Arrington.
I felt like a “lucky-so-and-so” myself because the talk was all about bright color. The talk itself was short and sweet but the rainbow parade around DUMBO that ensued was the best Friday eye-opener you could imagine. When I got home, my husband asked me if I was drunk. THAT’S how energizing it was.
Takeaways from the talk were as follows:
- Think “Why Not?” instead of “Why?
This helped confirm my decision to take that color theory class at SVA that I’ve been wanting to take (coincidence) even though I think I should be taking more businessy classes; I REALLY WANT TO TAKE THIS CLASS so f*** it, I’m gonna. She referenced Steve Jobs homecoming speech and his calligraphy classes as a ‘you never know where this can lead’ example.
- Don’t be glib and standoffish, be empathetic and participate.
She said this in her own way but the basic message is ‘get the chip of your shoulder and connect with people.’ Participate for crissakes. Don’t put baby (meaning you) in the corner.
- Do the thing that makes you tick. Don’t do what you think others expect of you as a substitute for the real thing. It’s okay to be yourself. Really. It is.
Cindy Gallop said something along these lines at Web 2.0 in September and my old myspace page has a list of convictions that expand on the theme. Back story: I was in a hotel room int he 9th arrondisement in Paris in October 2006 when it hit me that I just had to listen to myself (I can’t believe I’m linking to this but here goes). I decided then and there that I needed to hightail it out of New York and move to Paris to write a novel, which is exactly what I did 3 months later. (Now, 5 years later, I’m married with a finished novel that I love more than anything I’ve ever done – and back in NYC ready to push it into an agents arms!)
Here are some photos of this morning and then, since we’re always work-first at What Women Make, my favorite pick from Jessi’s graphic design work.
First, the parade:
Then my favorite graphic design work of Jessi’s I would have to say are her invitations:
Some of the really handy Swiss Miss stuff is here (but it’s all great).
Jessi Arrington’s blog: Lucky-so-and-so.
If you’re a creative in New York, check out the schedule for Creative Mornings.0 Comments
Chiara Parisi has been chosen to launch the first cultural program for the Monnaie de Paris with the objective of turning this gorgeous block long building along the Seine into a center “for dialogue between contemporary creation and the artistic professions.” The program and new exhibition space will launch in 2013.
Its important that Paris’ cultural institutions continue to grow and not shrink. Paris often feels stuck so this movement feels very encouraging.
There will also be a 3 star restaurant by Guy Savoy, a concept store, a garden, and the Métalcafé. Hopefully they’ll do something Merci Merci and Collette are not doing. There’s an opportunity now for a whole new approach to a concept store and maybe something that ties back to the concept of monnaie and revolutions afoot in the world of ideas about currency, maybe the fusion of cultural currency with new ideas for a monetary currency that gets us out of this mess. Let’s see what they do..0 Comments
Henrietta Thompson is an exuberant visionary and thought leader in the design world. The former design editor of Wallpaper – now editor-at-large – is responsible for the chair arch at the London Design Festival (pictured here), the popular ReMake It: Home (2009) a DIY design guide employing good design for a resourceful waste-free lifestyle, and is a shepherd for a myriad of upcoming projects connecting designers with innovation companies, most if not all fueled by technology. Her mission is to make design more accessible in the next few years. “Design,” she says, “should not be an elitist proposition or an expensive style statement. Design has so much more to offer.”
In service of her hypothesis, she finds ways to work with designers to explore new conceptual products along trends and themes that show how far innovative thinking can make a difference. One such instance was the Hearwear exhibition where she worked with fifteen top designers to rethink the future of hearing. The results kickstarted a wave of innovation in mobile phone companies as well as audio and hearing aid manufacturers. In a similar vein, after observing that more people are opting to stay in and entertain at home, she challenged designers to create elements that turn a home into a great nightlife space, a feature that appeared in Wallpaper. One whimsical design (whose company Kiwi and Pom is directed by a woman, Emma Young) was a disco chair; when the lights go down the electroluminescent wires fire up. (pictured)
Now she’s working on two new projects, both of which are under wraps but I can hint that one involves an approach to architecture that I’ve never quite seen before – one that genuinely made my jaw drop when she told me about it – and the other is with a web-based business that encourages a more interactive approach to consuming design.
While working on her mission to make design accessible to a wider audience she also has the goal to make a wider audience more accessible to designers. She says that designers are often frustrated. They have incredible ideas and could supply innovation for so many avenues but too often they get stuck in the styling side of the business – “making furniture and home accessories that only a very small proportion of the world’s population buy into”, and, she adds, “very few actually need.” But due to increased awareness toward a social agenda, she says that priorities in the industry are definitely shifting. If you look at the way the music, film, and art worlds have been transformed by the Internet, it’s only natural that design should follow suit. Open source means sky’s the limit. She mentioned Nina Tolstrup whose project allows people in developing countries to download patterns to make chairs out of shipping pallets (a.k.a. wood crates for us Americans), and which is as popular with design collectors as it is in developing countries – where charities are using the blueprints to create new employment and economic opportunities. We also discussed made.com, a site that works similarly to print on demand in the book business. Designs are shown on the site and furniture is made as orders come in. The convergent innovation is endless and she acts as a connector of sorts between the different worlds.
I asked her how she envisioned the future of design and she said: “Form and function are pretty much standard these days, so I’d like to see designers put more emphasis on beauty: products that are a genuine pleasure to use. And on the other side of the coin, I’d like to see designers apply their considerable skills to solving real problems, taking more of an interest in social issues.” She also renounced the superfluousness of the luxury industry. “I really think people are bored with ‘design’ in that sense. There are so many problems in the world. I want the ‘problems in the world’ and the design industry to together.” She added that a lot of people just don’t get what design and architecture can be, and as a result can be very suspicious of it. “I want to engage people in the process a bit more.”
On a different note, though based in London, Henrietta has a second home here in Barcelona. She is absolutely mad about this city and sees a lot of potential for its design future even in the wake of the lingering economic crisis. She gave me a list of her favorite design firms. I sorted through them and ‘favorited’ my own within the list. Here’s that slideshow:
Henrietta’s Barcelona Designers You Should Know
My Barcelona Favorites Plucked From Henrietta’s Picks
- EMBT's Santa Caterina Market
This is the view from our window taken by my husband Peter Crosby. It's of a famous piece of Barcelona architecture, the Santa Caterina Market. EMBT (neighbor Benedetta Tagliabue & late husband Enric Miralles) have 10+ awards for buildings local and global incl. Spanish Pavilion (Shanghai) & Scottish Parliament.
- Ana Mir of Emiliana Design
Ana Mir of Emiliana Design's not-so-slightly sexual rocking chair "made of polypropyleen and galvanized steel...Rocking Chair has been adquired by Indianapolis Museum of Art and Museu d'Arts Decoratives de Barcelona."
I happen to want this writing desk. It reminds me of child's playhouse furniture - but it's not silly. In the literature of this Make It Better collection piece, they tout it as a "formally rich and attractive object" that is easy to assemble. I love that.
The company, run by textile designer Nani Marquina - the first to sell designer rugs, since 1987 - employs a host of designers. This collection of cotton and latex containers (which do hold water) are made by Dutch designer Renske Papavoine.
A few final questions
What are some of your interests outside design?
I travel a huge amount, if that counts as an interest. I like yoga. I also like rock climbing, fashion, art, dance – especially contemporary dance but I love ballet and Flamenco. I just bought a guitar but I can’t play it yet. I like cooking but I don’t do enough of it. And I like cocktails, particularly martinis.
What’s your writing routine?
I write after I’ve done absolutely everything else. I procrastinate massively but I’m a very productive procrastinator. It helps for me to talk to others about the thing I’m going to write about so when I do get to writing I’m clearer about what I’m trying to say.
Do you do any other kind of writing ?
I wrote a children’s book. It is about a penguin. It was for my nephew. I don’t know that I would ever do that professionally but it was fun.
Why are there so few female players in the design world.? After this interview, she pointed out an article in the New York Times that came out then reporting that 68% of the student body of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are female.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Scandinavia recently, and I’ve noticed that you do seem to find more women in Scandinavia designing than you do in London. I think this is true of the workplace in general in Scandinavia though – they have systems in place to make it easier when it comes to maternity leave, and generally attitudes to professional women are a lot healthier. It’s interesting – many of the talented women I can think of off the top of my head in London are part of a husband and wife team or part of a collective.
I’ve just posted a New York design feature. What are your thoughts on design in the U.S. these days?
I think it is slowly picking up steam. There’s a new gallery in Chicago called Volume which is doing some impressive work. Design Miami is having an effect too. I went to ICFF for the first time last year, which I thought had potential There were a few interesting things going on around town. As for designers, I like Paul Loebach, Rich Brilliant and Willing (see the Julie Taraska feature slideshow for my favorite picks from both of those designers) and there are some talented designer-makers in Brooklyn. There’s definitely more of a scene than there has been but it needs to add something new to the mix, something that’s not going on anywhere else. It seems to still be in the catch up stages.3 Comments
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