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Tuesday
Jul202010

designer profile: scot herbst

Where was your favorite place to live?
Milan Italy. I was designer there in 2000 and learned so much about form and craftsmanship…and wine.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a little craftsman outside of San Francisco, with so much hardwood inside that people remark that it’s like being inside an old sailboat. The kids room is like a really colorful captain’s quarters.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Our zen wagon —a hand-built children’s wagon styled in the mid-century bent-ply aesthetic. Charles Eames would have designed it 60 years ago if he’d had two little ones that constantly needed to get outside after destroying his house.

What do you drive?
1960 Ferrari Gran Turismo, bright red, baseball glove leather interior…in my head…as I’m riding my bicycle around the city…

What one item do you wish you owned?
Lately I’ve been more interested in Paul McCobb furniture from the ‘50’s…but wow, good luck affording an original. Maybe his grand-daughter will read this and sympathize with me…

Who are your design icons?
I love the great modernists, Saarinen, Bertoia, George Nelson…and it’s unbelievable to think they created in a computer-less age, this was impossibly sophisticated stuff.

Form vs. function?
Oh it’s not a competition. Form + Function both win and hug it out after the game.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I’ve always had this amazingly cool Marimekko framed tapestry, which was on my wall when I met my wife 6 years ago. She’s super talented and works with textiles and fabrics… I’m convinced that sealed the deal when she realized what an uncanny sensitivity I have to graphic textiles.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Color. The biggest bang for your buck—-you can give a room an incredibly sophisticated feeling with the right use of a really special color. Bring a Pantone chip to Home Depot—-they’ll match it!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Just do what you love, the rest will fall into place.

To see all of Scot’s current designs for CB2, go here.

Monday
Jul192010

one of a finds: wabelerbeler

Crossing the centuries-old gender lines of his native Rukai tribe in Taiwan, a young male artist, Kaludasan, is reviving the matriarchal art of jute weaving, one of the many Taiwanese cultural traditions lost with the beginning of colonial rule in 1895.

Raised by his grandmother and four aunts—all skilled embroiderers—Kaludasan persuaded them to pass down to him the intricate weaving skills of the women of his village.

Taking those techniques to a new level, his sculptural wabelerbeler (“twisting”) wall art intertwines colorful ramie fibers “to weave my dreams, little by little…and to connect past and future generations.”

Even with the assistance of skilled female weavers in his village, Kaludasan can handcraft only 10 time-intensive weavings a month, making each piece rare and unique—works of art for these village artisans to share a living storyline to their past.

Friday
Jul162010

inspiration: new york, sidewalk catwalk

What: The Fashion Center Sidewalk Catwalk
When: June 24-September 3
Where: on Broadway, from Times Square to Herald Square
Who: Created by The Fashion Center Business Improvement District

Don’t miss this a one-of-a-kind public art exhibit featuring the artistic talents of New York City’s top fashion designers—not only is it free all summer, you’ll find inspiration in every one.

Created by The Fashion Center Business Improvement District, this very public installation showcases the vitality and creative spirit of the industry in a unique outdoor setting.

The exhibit showcases custom-built mannequins, displayed runwaystyle, each modeling a bold one-of-a-kind manifestation of its designer’s artistic vision—in outdoor materials to withstand the elements.

They’re under the watch of guards to deter vandalism, so whether you’ve planned or are planning a trip to the Big Apple this summer be sure to include the Fashion District to catch the exhibit.

Thanks to vance, store designer soho, for this contribution.

Thursday
Jul152010

designer profile: stephen crowhurst

Where was your favorite place to live?
It would have to be in the 3000 square foot loft I used to rent about 10 years ago. A handful of artists living under one giant roof. Loved it. Sad those days are over.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
To be honest it has to be my bedroom. I love sleeping.

What do you drive?
Proud owner of a second hand bicycle. I’ll never go back.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Enough solar panels to get my condo off the grid.

What are your interests outside of design?
I’ve been obsessed over the past couple of years with cooking. I’ve made the final switch over to eating nothing but organic raw food and it’s totally changed my life.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Recession chic.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Music. Every time I sit down to make something I always owe the result to music. I don’t design to music.. it just becomes apart of me in that moment and it brings things out that I don’t think I could do without it.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I love my vinyl record collection. They’re utterly useless but I love them all.

Form vs. function?
I think at this moment in our culture these terms are just selling points. The discussion had it’s day in the 60’s. To me the new discussion and admittedly a less sexier one… should be influence vs mediocrity.In other words, does this design or does this product have a profound influence on my life or does it swell in the mediocrity of the prevailing majority. Let’s have that discussion.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Well I picked this up from art school—Trash Day! Find something someone is tossing into the bin and refurbish it.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Don’t let one person’s perception of reality overtake your own.

Wednesday
Jul142010

material world: acrylic

Formulated in the mid-1800’s, acrylic has evoked modernity since it was first commercially developed in the early 1900’s.

Scientifically, clear acrylic is a generic term for PMMA—synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate; while Lucite®—MMA—is trademarked. The key difference is at the chemical, base level and is apparent in how both are best used. Acrylic is usually formed into sheets while Lucite® is typically hand-cast, almost crystal clear, often deliberately made with inclusions.

Swatch store door handle, Milanphoto by: ellenm1In the 20’s and 30’s, new materials and technologies were exploited and stream- lined Art Deco designs were the perfect form as modern- ism exploded on the scene.

First marketed in 1936, it’s been used in many places for many items—but none more than replacing glass for safety reasons.

Having few reactions with human tissue, specifically in and around the eyes, splinters from acrylic sheets were far less harmful if impacted. This realization opened the door to over-sized sheeting for public aquariums and guards around ice hockey rinks—not to mention contact lenses and safer shields for helmets and airplanes. Remember the war-time montage from It’s a Wonderful Life when “Sam Wainwright made a fortune in plastic hoods for planes.”?

photo by: pablo sanchezphoto by: karen horten


The terms acrylic, Lucite®, plexi-glass, are often used interchangeably with clear resin recently added to the group as technology evolves.

Starting around 1957-75—around the time of the space race and disco days—‘ultra-modern’ goods were revived and further developed as home furnishings. In the past few years, acrylic and Lucite® have gained favor in women’s fashions—especially in shoe heels this year.

Besides chrome, few materials have an undeniable and unmistakable air of modernity as acrylic. Its streamlined nature is perfectly married to sleek profiles—which open the imagination to multi-uses in a variety of spaces.

For small spaces, acrylic peekaboo and format collections are must-haves with their nominal visual weight—not to mention a “goes anywhere, goes with anything” attitude.