for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant


zoo 08


zoo3- 08


zoo5 -08



I’m posting this a little late and have no idea where I put my notes, so I can’t tell you much – but once again Zoo was a more impressive younger brother to Freize. Not that impressive though. Very few pieces really stood out- but here were my favourites. Once I find my notes i’ll add in the names and details!!

Filed under: arts & culture, exhibition reviews





Lin Tianmiso - Freize


timo nasseri

sterling ruby

freize 08

This year saw a more subued, much quieter Freize, with galleries playing it safe and promoting their big names rather than taking a chance on lesser-known artists. Understandable, as with the private view nowhere near as full as last year the gallerists were desperate to make sales and justify the amount spent on showing here! Nothing much to write home about though, a couple of funny pieces, one or two new names worth watching, and a lot of uninteresting noise.

Filed under: arts & culture, exhibition reviews


This final installment of new and exciting products showcased in Milan highlights some of my favourite discoveries from around the fair – ideas and innovations to watch out for:

The Chankley Bore prototype by Maarten Baas for Established&Sons


‘The Salone del Mobile will see the launch of three Limited edition pieces by Baas. Each piece of the collection is work in progress, and gives an insight into the Maarten Baas exhibition being held at the Established & Sons LIMITED gallery during Frieze Art Fair in October 2008′


D/A Clock by Alvin Aronson


‘This object plays on the common LED-display digital clock with physical segments that slowly fade in and out of a white surface. The D/A Clock introduces new characteristics to the digital mediation of time: a physical dimension and intermediate states – the time between 0 and 1.’

Alvin Aronson

Shade Collection by Front


‘Sketched pieces of furniture, hand drawn by Front, like materialized illustrations.’


Design Jet Set by Jamie Hayon for Bisazza


‘A setting reminiscent of a hangar, totally atypical and chic, hosts a sophisticated “fantasy” aeroplane with a decidedly surreal shape, decorated with white gold mosaic tiles, leather inserts and featuring a neat lounge with padded white sofas.Through playful language, irony coupled with the creative, fantastic flair of Jaime Hayon allows visitors to escape from reality, “diverting them” towards a surreal, poetical world.’


“I like the idea of being able to create a fun, more sophisticated version of an object as serious and functional as an aeroplane. Set in a very glamorous hangar, this aeroplane is a light-hearted work with an unusual and enchanting look, complete with a glass cabin, leather wings and coloured missiles and symbols alluding to love. Jet Set is a sitting room cum aeroplane: an objet d’art in an imaginary installation which displays the potential of Bisazza mosaic.”

Jamie Hayon

Brothers Dalton Mirrors by Harry & Camila


‘Brothers Dalton is a family of mirrors, all standing on two feet and leaning to the wall. As the real Dalton family, that the designers Harry & Camila have inspired to, Brothers Dalton family members have different height’

Harry & Camila

Wiremore by Joris Laarman


‘Joris Laarman’s WirePod is a flexible grey powder pod that begins with a three-prong plug and branches out into four curled arms, each with a single three-prong socket. Its arms and body roll and unfurl as needed to adjust for your functional living space. Wirepod is the first piece in Artecnica’s Wiremore collection, a series of electrical products that challenge conventions by transforming power cords and wires from concealed, passive objects into visible active elements that aesthetically and functionally energize living and working spaces.’

Joris Laarman

The beautiful game by GRO design


‘Table football is great fun to play – it’s social, active and physical. As an object, however, the football table is becoming less desirable as its often cost-driven appearance no longer fits in with the designed landscape of modern interiors. Many recently built football stadiums have a strong architectural and sculptural beauty, becoming city landmarks. We wanted the design of our football table to be equally spectacular and memorable – through form, colour, material and the subtle use of light to bring a sense of drama and excitement to the game. We were interested in creating atmosphere through form, colour, material and subtle use of light, bringing a heightened sense of drama and excitement to the game. The table’s flowing lines express the dynamic aspect of football, while reducing unnecessary detail to allow the raw energy of the game to come to the fore.’


Design Calendar wallpaper by Christiaan Postma


Christiaan Postma

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,


Highlights from the Salone del Mobile focusing on some of the most innovative and exciting storage solutions on display:

‘A pile of suitcases’ by Maarten de Ceulaer for Casamania


‘A modular system rich in poetry. the suitcases combine to form a complete wardrobe system created to safeguard garments, shoes and accessories in style . the various ’suitcase’ modules are covered in precious leathers. a pile of suitcases is a nod to the elegance of by-gone eras with a modern and fun twist.’


Treecabinet by Lotte van Laatum


‘The treecabinet is made of Dutch elm. The elm used for this cabinet was cut in 1999 as a result of the elm disease in Kloosterzande. The shape of the cabinet relates to the shape of the tree, conical and with the same width as a big Dutch tree on chest height. The shape of the front of the drawer has been left untouched as a memory of the natural shape of the tree.’

Lotte van Laatum

Drive-in wardrobe by Gaele Girault for droog


‘Pallets are usually discarded after transport, but with the Drive-in concept they become furniture pieces themselves. The objects have been created out of bamboo, a fast-growing and therefore more environmentally friendly material than basic wood.’


Your level by Ryohei Yoshiyuki


‘Objects are generally put down on various heights. If it were possible to take away the supporting furniture, the objects would float. Your level, eight separate tables of various heights, creates the same effect in the living room’

Ryohei Yoshiyuki

Muli sideboard by Ding3000


‘The sideboard muli is inspired by a mule. The body is made out of solid oak and houses a big drawer and a shed which is accessible from the top. The angled legs leave the impression of the sideboard being “walking”.’


Guerrilla Containers by Eva Prego + Cutu Mazelos (Stone Designs) for RS


‘These containers are shaped like the sandbags used in the trenches, and it is from that concept that they have derived their name. This is a piece with a dreamlike and conceptual character, which serves either as a container, space divider or as floor level seating. The Guerrilla Containers, designed and handsewn in the same way as coffee bags, are a reinterpretation of this warlike element, converting it into a domestic, intimate piece, which represents the desire to redefine something, originally so
dramatic, as a common, welcoming object’

RS by Stone Designs

Decades Chest of Drawers by Lisa Widén and Anna Irinarchos (WIS Design)


‘Not everything has to be brand new. Design can arise out of recycling the past. A chest made out of discarded drawers, found and rescued from flea markets. A mix of different styles from earlier decades, all enclosed in a single piece of furniture. The old drawers, with woods and knobs of various kinds, are enhanced by the new frame in white painted MDF’

WIS Design

Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,


In this third installation of our pick of the products on show in Milan, we bring you the most exciting lighting designs on display:
Design Virus Light Blubs by Pieke Bergmans


‘A series of unique crystal lamps by Pieke Bergmans, with Royal Leerdam Crystal and Solid Lighting. You may wonder: What is a light blub?? The answer is simple: it is a light bulb that has gone way out of line. Infected by the dreaded Design Virus, these Blubs have taken on all kinds of forms and sizes you wouldn’t expect from such well behaving and reliable little products. Nevertheless, they seem to be enjoying their new free existences.’

Pieke Bergmans

Trinna by Tina Leung for Innermost


‘Trinna is a concept designed to allow multiples of the triangle to be built up into larger geometric patterns. Whilst the simple geometric minimalism of a lone unit creates a useful and beautiful pendant fitting it is when the design is grouped that it really merits attention. Tina also expored the relationship between what’s on the ceiling above a lamp and the unit itself; often the 2 forms seem unrelated. With Trinna every fold of metal and seam has purpose, be it to support, feed cable or add strength. Nothing that is not needed has been allowed.’


Torch Bunch by Sylvian Willenz for Established&Sons


‘Made from a moulded textured plastic, the ‘Torch Light’ comes in three versions: the small cone, the small rounded and the large cone. All sizes can be suspended from the ceiling in single units, arranged in bunches of 10 or 20, or used singularly on a tabletop or in the corner of a room. ‘Torch Light’, like much of Sylvain’s work, is inspired by archetypal objects – in this case, the simple silhouette of a typical hand-held torch or car headlight. ‘Torch Light’ is offered in three different colours, including black.’

“This is how I like to think of objects. What would they be like as shadows? How can they be normal and recognisable, yet slightly sophisticated and elegant? It’s playful, graphic… like an icon.” Sylvain Willenz


Sofa Lamp by CuldeSac with Héctor Serrano for Moooi


‘The Sofa lamp is inspired by the famous Chester Sofa. Thinking about the Chester on a social level, it automatically transmits luxury with it’s recognizable aesthetics … a feeling of warmth, the central point of the social interaction of a living room in which people come together… this essence is captured in the Sofa Lamp.’


Fragile Future II by Design Drift


‘Fragile Future II is a modulair light system overgrowing the wall. One module is a visible circuit with little lights. This module is easy to attach to the next one (in seven different ways), while the switch-leg will continue. So it is possible to create a composition from just a few, up to 50 modules, according to the space and atmosphere. Fragile Future comes with two different types of light. One is an exclusive version and uses leds in real dandelion (the seeds are glued with special glue on the led one by one by hand). The other is less fragile and shockproof.’

Design Drift
Wire Pendant Shade by Viable London for Decode London


Viable London

Tall&Tiny by Alice Rosignoli


‘Tall&Tiny are two sticker-lamps in Vinyl foil, that answer the desire/need for home furniture while considering the problem of ever-decreasing living space.’

Alice Rosignoli

Soil Lamp by Marieke Staps


‘Free and environmentally friendly energy forever and ever. The lamp runs on mud. The metabolism of biological life produces enough electricity to keep a LED lamp burning. The mud is enclosed in various cells. These cells contain copper and zinc that conduct the electricity. The more cells there are, the more electricity they generate. This technique offers a wealth of possibilities. The only thing the lamp needs is a splash of water every now and then.’

Marieke Staps

Butterfly Light by Vinta


‘This light came from the idea of folding a piece of paper. The function of its adjustment of light and the space created by that are a result of simple action of one surface (the panel) being divided by two. The two panels with slight shifts to each other at its closed position remind a user to open this object up. This light gives the poetic theme to the space like a butterfly flying around with silence.’


Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,


Ivo_03 Table by Asymptote for Meta


‘This elegant and unique table features slumped glass suspended across a contiguous and abstracted alloy surface of diamond-shaped facets. the table’s architecture is the result of an asymmetric metal topography of mathematically delineated folds and crevices that create a powerful and sensual curvature. The undulating troughs and peaks give way to the perception of an arc when the table is viewed from the side, a purposeful refinement by Asymptote reminiscent of the accumulated outlines of the underside of the landscape.’


Fold by Patrick Norguet for Modus


‘The FOLD table by Patrick Norguet is an elegant, sculptural piece, reminiscent of the unfolding of a flower. Created from laser cut, folded steel to form a seamless base with a satin, powder coat finish. The rounded edged top is available in matching powder coat or clear toughened glass. Available in three sizes and five colours’


‘Till death do us part’ by Martino d’Esposito & Franck Bragigand for droog


‘People tend to throw away objects that are still in perfect condition. to efficiently change this, Martino d’Esposito decided to make a contract. he laser engraved it in the wood of a second-hand table, selected and painted by Franck Bragigand. by signing the contract, the owner commits himself to keep, use and take care of the table for life.’



Table Torro by Christine Kesel for Meeting Erwin


Meeting Erwin

Endless Nile Dining Table by Karim Rashid for Amr Helmy Designs


‘The Endless Nile table is inspired by the slow and perpetual flow of the Nile river. This new design, while inspired by the past, deconstructs conventional table and seating concepts to recombine them in an original and contemporary solution.’

Amr Helmy Designs

Arborism by Nosinger for Covo


‘A small table made in powder-painted metal, which overturns the concept of the artefact: in the legs, generated by the same geometry which regulates nature, the “frattali”, and in the surface printed with small falling leafs. Like an object left in the influence of nature changing its aesthetics.’

Slicebox by voonwong & bensonsaw for decodelondon


‘A square coffee table is divided by random cuts. These differ from timber tabletop and base, separated by uprights. The subdivided pieces serve as side tables of different shapes and dimensions.’

voonwong & bensonsaw
FurnID Table by FurnID + Ronnau


‘FurnID has created a table that will bring an extra dimension to the private dinner situation and create the best possible conditions for an equal communication. The table is created so the shape and expression is inviting and so it offers the same social qualities as an ordinary round table. The position of the legs means that no one can be placed at the end of the table and a hierarchical seating of the users is therefore not possible. Furthermore the four sides are curved creating a more intimate space where the communication possibilities are equal for all 8 users. The form of the table is repeated in a smaller scale as a groove in the center of the table top. The groove is a direct reference to the fact that people have always gathered around something; a point of focus, the camp fire, the totem pole, – and in this case the meal!’


Cupola Reading table by BarberOsgerby for Meta


‘Reminiscent of the brief yet magnificent trend of glass furniture in the 19th century, this reading table is made of seven hand-blown glass elements variously nested and joined atop the other. The apparently solid base of the reading table is in fact glass. the internal stem used to encase the light is of opaline white glass followed by a section of spiralled white and clear mezza filigrana providing a fine tracery as a filter for light, and finally a third section of coloured glass which rings the top outer edge. The outer dome used for Cupola’s namesake topi s blown from a single gather of glass and is at the very limit of what is physically possible. the table is mirror-polished, cast white bronze, and the base is Belgian marble.’



Spot Tables by Tom Dixon


Tom Dixon

Cappellini Love Recycled Table by Stephen Burks for Cappellini



Nanook Table by Philippe Bestenheider for Moroso

‘Nanook is the result of Philippe Bestenheider’s ongoing research into such aspects as fragmentation, molecular structures, the transition from 2-D to 3-D. The painted steel table can be attached horizontally to a second table or stacked vertically to create a two-shelf arrangement.’


Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,


I headed to the craziness of Milan last week to report on the sights and sounds of the Salone del Mobile 2008 for PSFK. With the fairgrounds and ever-increasing number of surrounding satellite shows attracting over 250,00 attentive visitors, the streets were filled with an orgy of creative ideas, innovative products, and lots of free-flowing alcohol!

Despite the lure of the overwhelmingly impressive number of parties on offer, we were intent in our task to vigilantly scour the city for the newest, most exciting and thought-provoking products on offer. In this first selection, we show you our pick of the latest chair designs from designers big and small…

Reverse Chair by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso


‘In collaboration with Moroso, this year Patricia Urquiola addresses various aspects of design – past and present, function and material, finishes and design, craftsmanship and industrial processing – and having explored textile use and textile-working, she now takes up a new design challenge in the shape of plastic.

This is the background of Reverse, a chair with a very meaningful name for which plastic is used as if it were a textile which folds over, to the reverse, to create a continuous pleat along the line of the backrest and armrests. Reverse’s elegance is its simplicity. Its lines are clean, sleek, easy. The richness of this design is given by the pleat in the plastic. Reverse is a light, stackable chair whose bold yet soft, feminine character sets it apart from all other plastic chairs.’


Stitch Chair by Adam Goodrum for Cappellini


‘A folding chair completely made in aluminium plate. Stitch Chair is a new typology of product for Cappellini and, thanks to its hinges, allows its dimensions to be considerably reduced when folded up. It also has a personalised cardboard packaging.’


Ghost chair by Design Drift


‘The Ghost is a futuristic concept of a chair, 3-dimensionally captured within the boundaries of reality. DRIFT sketches an image that cannot exist yet…but within todays techniques it becomes real. By doing this they deliberate their design from the trend of stereotypical forms. Straight from the outside, but curved and wrinkled and impossible to exist from the inside. Ghost Chair is the first piece of a series of chairs and stools. It is the first time that something has been produced this way.’

Design Drift
Tudor chair by Jamie Hayon for Established&Sons


‘This series of six dining chairs was inspired by the six wives of Henry VIII. They are all formally linked but each with its own individual upholstery, finishing and personality. The designs are a clever reference to a rich part of British history, but particularly fascinating and relevant as they emanate from the arrival and objective perception of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon.’

“Ever since I moved to the United Kingdom I have been fascinated by the story of Henry VIII. What a great story! One large man and six unlucky ladies. Despotic, hedonistic, passionate, headstrong and indomitable, he would be governed by neither church nor state. As a king, Henry was known to be a man of great culture who loved opulence as well as being one of the most feared monarchs of all time. When I was asked to design something for the British company Established & Sons, I decided to base my design on the most influential King of England. It is an English story for an English company.” Jaime Hayon


Hanger Chair by Philippe Malouin


‘The Hanger Chair is a folding chair based on one of the ultimate storage systems: the modest hanger. It allows us to store clothes in an orderly fashion. Most houses or flats are equipped with a wardrobe to receive the object. By morphing the function of the hangar with that of the folding chair, a new hybrid is born: the Hanger Chair, which is a folding chair and a clothes hanger rolled into one.’

Philippe Malouin
Plastic Chair in Wood by Maarten Baas in collaboration with Contrasts


‘In August 2008 Maarten Baas will have a solo exhibition with Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Pearl Lam, founder of Contrasts, commissioned Baas to make products with Chinese producers. Baas challenged woodcarvers from Shanghai to make extraordinary works with their techniques, creating a cross-over between western design and the traditional Chinese techniques. In Milan he has showed two of these works: “Chinese Objects Object” in Campher wood and “Plastic Chair in Wood” made of Elm wood’

Maarten Baas

Aguapé by Fernando & Humberto Campana for Edra


‘The armchair “Aguagpé” by Fernando and Humberto Campana is a water-lily. Its thick laser-cut leather petals (in either natural, white, pink or soft green) spring naturally from stem-like chair legs. Its flower shape evokes the magic of Moghul gardens of yore.’


Pregnant Chair by Moooi

Cartoon Chair by Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi for Swedese


‘Cartoon easychair is inspired from the spontaneous language of childrens drawings, obviously out of proportions. The design challenge was about translating this free expression into a furniture. The chair is made with materials and details typical from the scandinavian design tradition but in a new angle. The buttons in the oversize backrests are intended to bring an element of anthropomorphism, cartoonish personages between human and form.’


Spiderwoman Stacking Chair by Louise Campbell


‘Laser cut stacking chair for indoor and outdoor use. The pattern is a repetition of the construction of the frame beneath, arrayed at an angle infinitely. The reasons for using asymmetry in the pattern are: The design plays with asymmetry which gives the chair a spatial freedom – it is less needy of neat positioning than symmetrical chairs, and has more character. The human body is not symmetrical. Why should a chair be?’

Louise Campbell

Frame Chair by Wouter Scheublin for Established&Sons


‘Wouter Scheublin liaises functionality with the beauty of construction and shows a refined eye for detail in his design of the Frame Chair. Blessed with good proportions and seating comfort, the chair is full of cleverly engineered, reasoned character and achieves a unique formality that is rare within the competitive, overcrowded realms of chair design. Beech laths are covered with a seat and backrest of ply with oak veneer thus providing a subtle texture that shows through a lacquer finish. Frame chair is offered in painted or shown wood finishes and is also produced in aluminium.
“I like the way a construction of simple laths, when assembled, suddenly transforms into a form with character.” Wouter Scheublin

Wouter Scheublin
Sturdy Edition Chair by StudioFriso


‘MonoChromes finds its origine in the appealing appearance of natural patina often found on bronze, copper and brass artifacts. Inspired by garden furniture surrounding kiosks in parks MonoChromes are ideal for out- and indoor use. All products are made out of one single material in one single colour and finished-to-age. To fit into many different surroundings and atmospheres MonoChromes are kept simple and elegant. StudioFriso would like you to welcome Sturdy, Ray and Stratum.’


Orchid Chair by Christian Flindt

Christian Flindt

Cosy Chair by SMAQ for droog


‘There’s no need to keep the entire room on an equal temperature; heating is only necessary where warmth is actually used. The Cosy chair is an inhabitable radiator space, to be plugged into the central heating system. The hot water circulates, looses warmth and creates various temperature fields linked to specific usages: hot for heating the ea cup, still hot for feet and socks, warm for back and spine relaxing, and lukewarm for the legs.’


Filed under: exhibition reviews, ,

Skin + Bones

Whilst in LA for psfk I paid a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out their recently opened exhibition highlighting the connections between and shared inspirations of fashion and architecture.

‘Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture’ presents an assortment of work from contemporary (and a few earlier) fashion designers and architects, grouped together under grandiose titles including Identity, Shelter, Structural Skin, and Tectonic Strategies.


All the usual suspects are represented- outfits by Hussein Chalayan, Yohi Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Viktor + Rolf and Comme des Garcons are displayed alongside buildings designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban, and Zaha Hadid, successfully depicting the overlapping styles and ideas. Interesting additions to the line-up include delicate constructions by Oliver Theyskiens, geometric designs by Yeohlee Teng, and clever  linear cutting from Narcisco Rodriguez.


Attention is paid not only to the individual clothing but the total ‘architecture’ of the fashion shows in the same way that buildings are represented both as a whole and in part stages/ through different viewpoints, helping to understand the importance of interaction in both disciplines. Although a little thin on the ground in some areas (some sections contained only clothing with no or very little architectural interpretation) the exhibition does a good job of showcasing interesting global evolutions in architecture.

New architectural ideas currently in production from Greg Lynn, Office
dA, and Neil M Denari Architects utilising innovative manufacturing
techniques, unexpected exterior cladding, and artistically expressive
design are definitely worth seeing.

It’s a shame that there are so few younger designers from both disciplines included, but the exhibition is still most definitely a success- and the accompanying book is even more impressive than the information on display. If you’re in LA you have until March to visit- if not, lots of the information shown is available online

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TEXTile – Digital Communication at FWM

An exhibition at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia presents the work of their artist-in-residence Jean Shin who has created an interactive fabric examining digital communication in contemporary life through thousands of discarded computer keyboard keys. Embedded in a 25 foot textile the keys create a
text that reads from left to right, and is a line-by-line transcript of the e-mail correspondence between Shin and the FWM project staff, the work becoming a documentation of its own creation.

“Shin is known for transforming the mundane into poetic meditations on materiality. Discarded objects from everyday life-used clothes, broken umbrellas, worn-out shoes, old eyeglasses—are amassed, deconstructed, and reassembled by Shin through a labor-intensive process that hints to
the objects’ former function. What remains is a visually compelling and psychologically powerful transformation of life’s leftovers…

TEXTile calls attention to the tactility of what is now a daily act for many—e-mailing. Shin distills the object that allows us to communicate globally down and reconfigures it in a way that calls attention to the physicality of the act of typing, emphasizing the relationship of the body to language.”

Read more at The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Filed under: arts & culture, exhibition reviews,

Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator

pattern language

A travelling exhibition, Pattern Language  investigates clothing as expression and fulfillment of human needs and desires of the mind, body and soul. The work featured is from a range of international artists, designers, and collaborative teams who use clothing, fabric and the body to invent new forms of social and cultural communication and interaction between wearers and their clothes, and between the makers of clothing and the fashion system.

The exhibition is organized in six thematic categories that address aspects of the ways clothing and our relationship to it far exceed the traditional idea of providing shelter. The categories—The Everyman, Multi-Tasking, Container/Contained, (Un)Clothed, Construction/Creation,
and Identity—speak to how clothing shapes, covers, and sometimes even undoes us.

Having opened in Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA last September, it has since moved on to the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois and then to the University Art Museum at the University of California, before reaching it’s current destination- the Frederick R Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota.

The Weisman’s presentation of Pattern Language: Clothing as
Communicator will also feature a number of programs to coincide with the issues and ideas raised by the works in the exhibition, including
an artist’s panel discussion moderated by the exhibition curator, a student fashion design competition judged by artists Gayla Rosenfeld, workshops, and a lecture by the leading fashion historian Dr Valerie Steele.

Showing the exhibition at a variety of universities is proving to be a very popular and really exciting way of involving an age group who use their clothing to communicate their preferences every day to think beyond slogans and brands and examine their choices more.

via Art Daily article
Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator

PHOTO- Alba D’Urbano’s digital printed dresses ‘The Immortal Tailor’

Filed under: exhibition reviews