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Entries in design (21)


inspiration: necessity

Plato, the Ancient Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Based on what we’ve seen, we’re in strong agreement. Starting with two or more of one of man’s greatest inventions—the wheel—endless variations make the transportation of people, food, raw materials to factories, and the delivery of final products possible.

And Edison said that ‘success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration’—one person may have the greatest idea ever conceived, but many things have to go right in order to share it with everyone else.

So while we’re reliant on professional designers and artists for many things, we firmly believe that everyone possesses imagination, creativity and resourcefulness to make their visions a reality—at heart we’re all inventors.


call for entries: the 100 mile house

photo by: A tea but no e What: The 100 Mile House
When: by 5:00 pm, April 19, 2012
Who: The Architecture Foundation of BC

With an international call for entries, this competition truly allows one to think outside the box—outside the four walls of a typical home—
but not outside a 100 mile radius of Vancouver.

When settlers built structures to live in for long periods of time, it was a low-tech time
—materials were rudimentary and distribution was a challenge without local hardware stores—and necessity was the Mother of invention so only local materials were used.

Today’s home can be technologically advanced, and its systems managed electronically from the other side of the world, but what if the logic of the present was challenged? Promoted by The Architecture Foundation of British Columbia, that’s exactly the goal—to potentially change the way, the how and the what homes are built of and how we live in them.

Big ideas require that no rules restrict the creative process, so budgets and local zoning limitations will be lifted—and since it’s quite possible that one brilliant idea might cause the rules to change and allow for greater advances in any geographic area—let the competition begin!


kudos: the new design high school

New Design High School is a small high school in New York City where the design process is used as the foundation for learning everything—from academics and artistry to the emotional and social skill sets needed to live a healthy, productive life.

With the goal of understanding real world contexts, self-expression and problem solving, this new type of high school engages its students in the processes of design: observing behavior, identifying needs, framing problems, working collaboratively, exploring and appreciating solutions, weighing alternatives, and communicating ideas verbally, graphically and physically—all which extend outside a classroom and beyond graduation.

By integrating these 7 idea, concept and process steps of the design process into a high school curriculum, students learn how to identify and create solutions to any problem—just like designers do.

New Design High School was co-founded by Urban Arts Partnership, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to advance the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap. As NDHS’s lead cultural partner, Urban Arts provides arts-integrated education programs to complement the school’s design-based curriculum and methodology.

We’re thrilled to have been introduced to NDHS and to have partnered with them for our Eastside NY store opening in October. To see how we celebrated, check out the photos in our facebook gallery. And to learn more about the school, watch Principal Scott Conti’s talk at the 2010 TEDxDUMBO event.


1938 buenos aires, argentina

photo by: nancyesmith Originally created in 1938 for an apartment building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the designers of both named the BKF chair after themselves—Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy.

In 1940, after seeing the chair on exhibit at the Salon de Artistas Decoradores, a sample was requested by MoMA and remains in the permanent Collection.

More commonly referred to as the butterfly chair, it was inspired by a folding campaign-style chair—the Tripolina. Many versions have been produced over the years—in both fixed and portable styles—and the design has gained worldwide popularity for its ease of assembly and transport, its light weight, and the variety of materials that can be used for production.

Whipstitched by hand, the natural leather sling of the 1938 butterfly chair covers a metal frame—true to the original.


designer hint: hive storage units

We love when our creative visual merchants get together for a store opening—you never know what they’ll dream up.

And many times, it’s simply a matter of seeing something from another perspective. Like a row of hive storage units behind the piazza sofa doing double duty as a storage unit and a convenient console—both are about the same height so it works perfectly!

For more photos from the opening, go here.

Thanks to vance, senior visual merchant east, for this hint.