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Thursday
Apr292010

material world: galvanized steel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebbbeginsfromdream//CC BY 2.0Invented in the early 1800s, corrugated sheet metal has evolved from a wavy iron to sheet steel that’s been hot-dipped in zinc for protection against rusting—which occurs naturally when steel is exposed to the elements.

The material quickly became widely used in construction for its many benefits. The “corrugated” rolling curves not only define its look, they also enhance its strength by distributing weight across channels instead of individual stress points throughout a flat sheet.

So not only can it support weight greater than itself, it’s rust resistant, affordable, easy to transport and easy to install. Few if any materials have matched its versatility which is why it’s maintained its popularity in rural and urban areas—not to mention developed and developing countries.

Derived from electrical impulse experiments first done by Italian physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-98), galvanization is synonymous with a crystalized—or spangle—finish that’s most often used on watering cans and outdoor accessories.

The prolific and consistent use of galvanized steel—especially corrugated steel—sealed its fate as an iconic reference to industry and the industrial age. Today it adds an urban flavor to any outdoor—or indoor setting.

For small plants, herbie is the perfect size to keep a variety of fresh herbs handy for cooking. The refined proportions of oscar planters literally elevate greenery or florals while the soft gray metal contrasts with and enhances landscapes.

Left outdoors for extended periods of time, galvanized steel can develop a patina that’s either a white-ish calcification or slight rusting—both are inherent characteristics of these natural materials.

Wednesday
Apr282010

designer profile: trevor vaugh of vaugh|shannon

Where was your favourite place to live?
I love living here in Dublin. It’s such a lively and interesting city, never failing to be a source of inspiration, and a great place to keep me grounded. As much as I love Dublin, every time I visit New York I feel at home and would love to try living there for a while.

What’s your favourite room at home?
Definitely the kitchen. I love to cook and I love kitchen gadgets. I find cooking to be a very similar process to design—probably the reason I like it so much. The careful pulling together of good ingredients, mixing in the correct quantities and presenting a finished product are all very similar to the design of a product.

In your opinion, what’s the best designed item of all time?
Wow that’s a difficult one. I could be predictable and say the paperclip or the staple—which are indeed incredibly simple and brilliant ideas—but I’ll go for the wood screw and screwdriver. The perfect balance of form, function and system.

What do you drive?
I don’t. I’m either on my bike or the subway. I always swore I wouldn’t drive until I could afford, or was in a position to get the beautiful Citroen DS. This won’t happen until I move from my apartment into a house but it’ll be worth the wait!

What one item do you wish you owned?
Well that would have to be the elusive Citroen DS!

Who are you design icons?
I have so many, but those that have really inspired me are Achille Castiglioni, Eero Saarinen, the Bouroullec brothers and Konstantin Grcic.

Form vs. function?
I never really thought much of that question. I always believed it was too simplistic a question. To me form is a function. Form is just a function of selling, instructing and appealing. It is vital to have the two in balance.

What is your signature __?
Function and surprise!

Your personal decorating style?
Cluttered minimalism.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I am a bit of a collector, and I love all sorts of quirky toys, objects and oddities. Of these I think my favourite would have to be a tiny ceramic doll which looks like my fiancée Mary. It’s Japanese and it’s great to have with me when she’s away or when I’m traveling. I’m not a romantic it’s just comforting and nice to have around.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
It is important to surround yourself with people, objects and memories that you love, make you feel comfortable and reflect who you are. Minimalism is great, but it’s important to have personality in there too. I love the mix of antique and contemporary pieces.

What’s the best career advice you ever received or gave?
I was always told in school to “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it”. Now that I work for myself my advice would be to work hard, surround yourself with inspiring people, and never sit on good ideas.

Tuesday
Apr272010

CB2 windows: wheels up!

Thankfully Eyjafjallajokull remained calm long enough for our flight to take off as planned and we’re all happy to be back home, safe and well rested from our extended visit to Milan.

We took thousands of photos and can’t wait to share the trends. Stay tuned!



Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, who created these “wheels up” windows.

Wednesday
Apr212010

recipe: negroni aperitif

1 part gin

1 part sweet vermouth

1 part Campari bitters

1/2 slice of orange

Serve over ice, with salty snacks before dinner.

Salute!

Tuesday
Apr202010

hello milan!

We made our annual trip to Milan for the Saloni—we walked the showrooms, we ooh’d and ahh’d and were inspired at every turn. But like most other travelers this week we’ve been grounded and cannot move on to our next destination, Asia.

Our Italian is getting better every day since we’re seeing more of the city than we usually get to—and we’re getting even more inspired than we antipicated.

We’ll share some inspirations soon…we’re on Italy time for now. Ciao!