Design Exhibition in Valencia

LoCo Moco has a story and pics from Juanico's design exhibition in Valencia. Some of the pictures leave much to be desired, but the CD-rack is especially inventive and promising. I wouldn't mind seeing some more objects soon (which LoCo Moco promises to provide).

Nordic Photos

Speaking of photos of the north, try NordicPhotos.com for another source for beautiful pictures of Scandinavia.

Arctic Images

Need a bit of serenity and an escape away from your urban jungle? Then stop by Arctic Images for some beautiful, free pictures from Iceland. Absolutely stunning, these are.

Wynn Hotel is not tacky?

Speaking of Icon magazine, they've also got themselves worked up over the recently opened Las Vegas Casino named after the Vegas Real Estate king, Steve Wynn. Paul Davies, the piece's author, is apparently a bit of an idiot. He extols the sublimity of Wynn as well as its tasteful understatement, suggesting that finally a casino has come to Las Vegas which has taste. It makes me wonder if he's actually seen the building at all. I suppose a guy who is hawking a £40 book on Las Vegas can't be expected to have much taste himself. Wynn is after all the man who brought us the Bellagio for the über-noveau-riche.

Boring Design

British design magazine Icon has an article about boring design (amongst boring othertihings) in their September issue. Among other things, Icon takes prefab homemakers to task for reinventing the brick (which is quite unimaginative of Icon--surely prefab is more than that), but I do take their point that sustainable design is hypocrisy: "The only design project that’s really sustainable is the one you don’t do. The idea that you can save the planet by consuming resources is absurd. If you want to be really sustainable, buy an old house, fill it with antiques and walk everywhere. It’s the job of politicians to stop global warming, not architects and designers, whose micro interventions can’t make any real difference." Kudos to Icon for showing that the emperor really has no clothes.

You can also read their rant here.


The Art of Innovation

CPH127 has announced that IDEO general manager and renowned designer Tom Kelley has released a book with fellow design-cohorts, The Art of Innovation. IDEO has reached a high level of prestige in the design world with creations such as the Apple Mouse, the Polaroid i-Zone, and the Palm V. Not only does the book promise to provide an insider's view to IDEO's success, but it also meticulously describes the creative process that has resulted in innovative products in the world of industrial design. Read more here

Artistic Freedom is also toxic free

Treehugger has a story about Artistic Freedom Designs, a cabinet company that uses bamboo and salvage woods instead of the enviornmentally disastrous sandwood-glued-together plywood an Ikea world is increasingly used to. Unfortunately the website doesn't offer much in pics, but the one I nabbed from Treehugger looks quite impressive--calm, soothing, simple and symmetrical, this is a kitchen I wouldn't mind cooking in.

The fibreglass pi-air chair

As unfortunately named as it is pretty, the pi-air chair is Italian design-firm Living Divani's newest incarnation of that late twentieth century fixation on incredibly beautiful furniture that is torture on all 216 (that was the amount, wasn't it?) bones in the human body. As much as I like the way it looks, they should've made this functional somehow so I could actually justify buying one--like making it an enormous hard drive/router/beer cooler.

Source: Funfurde.

Aspiring Designers, Here's Your Chance

Behind the Curtains has posted an open call for students to submit an original design topic for the ICFF (that's the International Contemporary Furniture Fair for all you n00bs like me). Six open spots are available, and the announcement was made yesterday, so run to your local Word Processor and churn out that proposal!

BTW, be warned: their website would not load properly for me.

Old School Finnish Design

Scandinavia is famous for its modern design, but Finnish magazine Muoto is getting acquianted with a much older type of Finnish style: the turn of the (nineteenth) century wooden house. Muoto has an article about rennovating but retaining the style of a century old Finnish wooden house. In a country where the old is often thrown out for the new, it's refreshing and exciting to read the story of Kim Weckström, who has bought and maintained the style of Villa Heikel, including its original windows and their frames. Unfortunately, the only pic you'll get of the job is right here--you'll have to buy the magazine to see how the rest of it turned out.


The Butterfly Chair

Why don't they make these anymore? I have a butterfly chair chair in my living room, and it's one of the few pieces of furniture I never get sick of. Comfortable, simply, stylish, it brings an art deco flair to even the most minmalist po-mo space without sacrificing simplicity in design and function. Go on ebay and get yourself one!

More pics at ModCats

Elizabeth Paige Smith

MoCo Loco has written about Elizabeth Paige Smith, a designer with a flair for curvature and plastic. Although her furniture reminds me of Eero Aarnio's chairs, I think Smith's design is a bit more up-to-date and, well, suitable for an iPod world.

Mandarin Design: Practice what they preach

It's a shame Mandarin Design isn't as good at designing their own website as they are at compiling brilliant information for others, but there you have it. Have a look for all the information a webmaster needs to make a website useable and attractive.

Five Tips for Designers and Companies

CPH127 has posted five tips for designer agencies and companies hiring designer agencies. The pieces of advice are good not only for design professionals, but for anyone interested in designining their own space, whether virutal or real. The tips are part of Danish PhD student Silje Kamille Friis' thesis on approaches to design. (Get an article about it here.)

Grid Design for Print and the Web

Mark Bulton has given some great advice on desinging grid systems, which should be of equal interest to web designers and publishers. I especially like the attention he plays to the importance of ratios in grid design.

Currently only three of the five installments are up, but the next two should show up in the near future, so stay tuned.

Visualcomplexity.com maps complex relationships

To the eternal debate of form versus function, VisualComplexity has found the answer: form maps function. Here you can find artistic mappings of complex networks between different individual items. Although they claim their maps can be utilised in a "serie s [sic] of disciplines", I just think they're pretty. Well, some of them anyway.

The blog begins

For now I'm talking to myself, but I trust this will change at some point in time.

I have mixed feelings about blogs; on the one hand there are simply too many of them, and a great deal of the blogs out there are filled with the mindless babblings of people who would better serve the online community by lurking more. On the other hand, some blogs--especially those in the Gawker network, especially Life Hacker and Gizmodo. I personally do not see how I was able to live a score and five years without these invaluable troves of information and wisdom. Being the consummate producer, I wanted to contributed, but couldn't figure out how to transform my interests into something readible and useful, until I realized that my linguistic skills and personal interests make me a perfect Design blogger.

And so, here it is: Monologous, a blog about design. The first design post after the jump.