I have just returned from a week in Germany, where I was invited to be a design judge for the Red Dot design competition in Essen. It was no small task--there were 4,428 product entries from 60 countries.
See these vitrines? We imagine they're what you'd get if you put Damien Hirst alone in the woods with a chainsaw.
In point of fact, they're the work of young British-born artist Anthony James, who combines chopped birch trees from Minnesota, two-way mirrors, and fluorescents or LEDS to create gobstopping sculptures that look like infinite forests trapped in a light box.
I almost didn't write this post, because the humanitarian tragedy following the earthquakes in Japan is such a sensitive, complicated situation. And designers like Signalnoise are earnestly trying to help by putting their formidable talents to work -- in this case, by designing and selling a very tasteful poster and donating the proceeds to help relief efforts.
Dish racks suck. Most are bulky, ugly, and never expel water properly, which means that if you're not vigilant about cleaning them every day, they accumulate a disgusting layer of film. For those of us who don't have the luxury of throwing everything into a dishwasher, there's the Dish Drainer Geo, a great-looking little mat that dries and drains in a snap.
What do you get when you mash up Marxist art from the 1960s with check-in apps from the 2010s?
From the street, Steve Burns's new house in Brooklyn looks like one of those studiedly industrial, uber-butch lofts that went up all over New York just before the real estate crash of 2008. Indoors, though, it's something else entirely.
A woody oasis of a place, it's arranged around a generous open-air atrium where Burns, former host of the kiddie fun show Blue's Clues, can sleep soundly under what passes for the stars in New York City.
Planks salvaged from Coney Island's boardwalk line the courtyard.