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Tool Roots by Mike Abelson at Maison Hermès

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Tool Roots at Hermès Ginza

Postalco co-founder and designer Mike Abelson is the latest to oversee the window design at Hermès’ Ginza store in Tokyo. The display, titled Tool Roots, features a variety of tools and work objects arranged and broken down by their primary elements; Tool Roots is Ableson’s response to the Hermès 2017 theme of “Object Sense,” with 3-dimensional charts of daily objects mixed with drawings. The presentation is interwoven with Hermès products, and spans across two large display cases, as well as smaller feature boxes.

“Maybe tools are like colors? Perhaps they can be blended together, the way colors are, to form new objects with completely different roles?” says Abelson.

Tool Roots runs through July 11, 2017.

More at: Maison Hermès, Postalco
Photos: Mike Abelson

Earth Day Conscious Gift Guide

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, brought to action 20 million Americans, and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries, and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. This April 22, the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, the mission is education; fluency in the concepts of climate change and threats to the environment is the key to action, from laws and policy, to business practices and personal actions.

While the best way to recognize the cause may be to avoid consuming altogether, it is possible to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to environment and sustainability-minded businesses and products. Here are a few selections that forgo standard profit models and support causes and ideas that align with the principles of Earth Day, or perhaps just a little something to remind us to care for the natural world we all require to thrive. 

 

1. The Plant magazine brings together photographers, illustrators, designers, musicians, writers, and visual artists from around the world to share their perceptions and experiences around plants.

. . . During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Houseplants can also remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), and benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint).

2A design inspired by the the Danish concept of “hygge,” the Carrie LED lamp by Norm Architects is a lightweight, portable lamp that can be adapted for indoor or outdoor use, its bulb-free LED is powered by a rechargeable battery.

. . . LEDs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting (fluorescent and incandescent); less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Birdhaus by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a subtle reinvention of the classic birdhouse; this numbered edition is made from 3D printed porcelain and produced by OTHR, a forward-thinking collaborative that allows designers to meld technology with heirloom-quality materials.

. . . OTHR’s production process avoids manufacturing more than is needed by implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this keeps waste to a minimum and the typical warehousing of merchandise is bypassed, directly minimizing environmental impact.

4. Made from 18-carat recycled yellow gold, and featuring a panel of grey-blue fossilized dinosaur bone, this ring by designer Monique Péan is a chic ode to both modern design and our planet’s history.

. . . Péan’s sustainability mission revolves around responsible sourcing (never using mined materials), and recycled metals for jewelry designs. In addition to forgoing the often destructive standards of the jewelry industry, Péan is dedicated to supporting global philanthropic organizations. To observe Earth Day, the brand donates a portion of proceeds to Trees for the Future, helping communities to alleviate poverty, affecting positive social change, and improving both local and global environments by working with farming communities along environmentally degraded and highly traveled trade corridors.

5. Peet Rivko’s Balancing Face Oil is a signature blend of organic avocado, jojoba, and prickly pear oils, rich in essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants.

. . . Peet Rivko use no toxic parabens, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, silicones, or petroleum in their formulations. They work hand-in-hand with suppliers to ensure the supply chains are transparent, and product formulas are manufactured in a wind-powered lab in Southern California. The brand opts for recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and containers are manufactured with sustainability in mind.

6. The Natural Resources Defense Counsel works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Founded in 1970, NRDC combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild. Your donation is a direct way to sponsor hard-hitting cases and campaigns in defense of nature.

7. Matt & Nat’s Magistral Notepad Sleeve is a a revival of the classic leather notepad jacket with pencil holder, only this time in modern, vegan materials.

. . . The Mat & Nat brand started with a commitment to not using leather or any other animal-based material; their linings are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they’ve recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to their collections.

8. Koval Organic Vodka is made from organic grain, sourced from local farmers and milled on site, for a complete grain-to-bottle product. 

. . . Organic farming eliminates the possibility of soil and water contamination by synthetic chemicals, preserves local wildlife, and encourages biodiversity. Local-sourcing equates to less energy used for transportation, directly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

9. bkr’s 1L water bottle is the antidote to cheap, disposable plastic bottles; their glass design, sleeved in silicone, motivates you to drink your daily dose of water, without polluting the environment with wasteful plastic.

. . . For every six plastic water bottles used, only one makes it to the recycling bin, U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.

10. Wool Runners by Allbirds are made from breathable, ZQ-certified Merino wool.

. . . ZQ certification ensures high standards of sustainable farming and animal welfare. The wool used requires 60% less energy to produce than typical synthetic materials used in shoes; castor beans are a sustainable source for the green polyurethane used for insoles, and the Allbirds shipping shoebox uses 40% less materials than traditional packaging.

Diiis Designstudio – Selection 2017

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

The latest design releases from Swiss duo Diiis Designstudio are both beautifully executed and cleverly functional. Susanne Rosa and Martina Staub develop product ideas around well-chosen materials and smart simplicity, and this series of shelves and tabletop objet clearly communicate their aesthetic.

GITO and HATO are side tables that can act as living room tray tables, or a modern bedside option. A simple rectangular metal frame supports two wooden platforms at the very top and floor level, the tabletops featuring an inset metal tray that not only adds a subtle visual element to the design, but is effective to avoid water rings. 

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

In the same design language, HAWU is a bookshelf-style design that could also serve as a bar, with a form that works against a wall, or as a detached object in the room; inventive metal shelf components can be lifted at an angle to serve as a bookends. Because the structural elements of the tables are so simply shaped, each can be easily packed flat for efficiency.

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

Finally, SIM, SALA, and BIM are glass flower vessels that have an inset mirrored plate that lends unexpected appeal to simple stems.

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

2017 Designs by Diiis Designstudio

More at: Diiis Designstudio

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

FEIT SS17 Balance Collection

New York-based FEIT’s latest collection, Balance, explores the nature of society and our uncertain times by connecting us to the ground, literally. With craftsmanship, select natural materials, and functionality in mind, FEIT marries the traditions of shoemaking and leatherwork, with elegant, minimal designs. These new styles (as well as the debut of a women’s line and a series of bags) reinforce FEIT’s position as not only an expert on clean luxury, but a maker that builds to last, with designs and material choices that are intended to improve with age.

Above, selections from Balance (from top) include an update on the classic court sneaker, featuring Goodyear construction and an unlined body of low-pile, vegetable-tanned English suede; the Wrap Boot is an interpretation of a Jodhpur boot, with a back lace replacing side buckles; inspired by the sailing dry bag, FEIT’s Navy Bag (available in two sizes) is a smart reimagining of a classic, with a variation consisting of a two-piece body that references the design of their hand-sewn shoes.

More at: FEIT

Reference Bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

Reference bookends by Henry Julier

While the bookend might seem like a boring design subject, Henry Julier has improved upon the very practical object in thoughtful ways. The Brooklyn-based industrial designer debuted Reference as part of Norma Studio’s exhibit In Support of Books at the LA Art Book Fair. Designed to support larger, heavy books, as well as vinyl records, with a thicker gauge than the standard sheet steel bookend, Reference won’t flex when faced with the oversized or bulky, and forgoes the old-school design of reliance on downward weight to stay in place. A minimal fold at the top echoes the base, and allows for easy movement.

More at: Henry Julier
Photos: Shengzing Zhang

Piece in Brief: Volvo 142

Volvo 142

Volvo 142

Volvo 140 series in production at their Torslanda plant.Volvo’s 140 series in production at their Torslanda plant.

Volvo 142The stylish interior was was designed with practicality and comfort in mind.

Volvo 142

The Volvo 142 is the 2-door version of the Swedish car manufacturer’s 140 series, introduced in the summer of 1967, and in production through 1974.

The 2-door model followed in the crisp, “brick” shape Volvo’s 140 series introduced, a timeless and decidedly Scandinavian alternative to the bulbous, swollen forms of American cars at the time. During its production period, the 142 saw just a couple of variations in terms of power and comfort, as well as minor design alterations (dashboard and exterior detail, including an update to the now trademark, diagonal-line front grille), the bodystyle enduring. Worth noting is Volvo’s model naming system: the first digit being the series, the second citing the number of cylinders, and the final defining the number of doors.

Slightly lower in price than the 4-door model (144), the 142 had the same technical design, apart from the number of doors; the doors were naturally longer and the front backrests could be folded forward for backseat passengers. Just over 400,000 of the 142 model were built. The 140 series emphasized safety (a Volvo hallmark) and the body was equipped with crumple zones, a hidden roll-over bar, as well as safety belts in the cabin. Because of their very high standard of safety and build quality to withstand Scandinavian winters, some considered the straightforward design of the series to be tank-like, as many consumers expected the superfluous design features of its contemporaries. Nonetheless, Volvo’s 140 series was very successful internationally, the 142, undoubtedly, the most handsome of the line.

The 140 series was designed under the direction of Jan Wilsgaard; when he designed the series, Wilsgaard employed a credo, “simple is beautiful,” this reflected in the restrained, honest design of the car that went on to become an iconic form in automobile design.

More at: Volvo Heritage
Photos: Volvo

Monday Cups by Studio LileSadi & Siebring Zoetmulder

Monday Cups by Studio LileSadi

Monday Cups by Studio LileSadi

In collaboration with Siebring & Zoetmulder, Rotterdam-based Studio LileSadi have designed a collection of stackable ceramic cups for the Dutch interior brand Puik Art. 

Exploring architectural proportions and the golden ratio, as well as geometric elements used by the Memphis group, the Monday cup is thoughtfully executed, while still appearing restrained in design. A soft, tactile effect is created by blending the grey blue or cobalt pigments directly with liquid porcelain before being poured into the mold and finished, a contrast of matte exterior finish, and high gloss interior makes for a refined detail.

Founded in 2012 by the duo of Dinah Smutny and her sister Sarah, Studio LileSadi design products inspired by architecture and practicality; working closely with artisans and small businesses in the Netherlands, they subscribe to the highest craftsmanship to create timeless quality.

More at: Studio LileSadi

UV by TJOKEEFE

UV by TJOKEEFE

UV by TJOKEEFE

UV by TJOKEEFE

UV by TJOKEEFE  

UV by TJOKEEFE is a light sculpture composed of ultraviolet LEDs, a powder-coated aluminum bar, and woven nylon thread. The piece is designed to be suspended by its thread flat on the wall, or in a corner; the thread reacts to the UV light projected from below, becoming its own light source, emitting a soft orange glow.

TJOKEEFE, the studio of Michigan-born designer TJ O’Keefe, was established in 2010. With a mission of exploring design and creating powerful objects through compelling minimalism, TJOKEEFE has produced furniture and objects guided by geometry and graphic presence.

More at: TJOKEEFE

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Findings on Light from PARS’ Atlas of Creative Thinking

Light is essential to maintain life, the strongest and fastest form of energy; this common, yet mysterious phenomenon has captivated creative thinkers for millenia. As the third volume in their Atlas of Creative Thinking, PARS, the arts and sciences organization led by art historian Hester Aardse and poet Astrid Alben, Findings on Light (designed by Joost Grootens) invites more than fifty artists and scientists to discuss the specific, albeit broad topic of light.

A collection of research and artworks, ranging from humorous, to beautiful and complex, even disturbing, Findings on Light brings new reflection and vision to the compelling subject. “We stipulate only two formal requirements,” PARS says. “Each response, whether it be a note jotted down on a beer mat, a formula, a dialogue, an essay, poem, sketch, a piece of sculpture or a piece of string, has to be in the language of the author’s discipline and relate to the subject.” Consequently, the outcomes are as diverse as their authors and creators.

Based on the idea that creativity and curiosity are fundamental to both art and science, PARS introduces new ideas, research, and artistic explanation to topics that are often under-considered but fundamental to our daily lives, the first two titles of the series being Ice and Elasticity. In addition to their books and compositions, the organization curates events that mix art and scientific experiments.

35,00 €, Lars Müller Publishers

MONO by Mae Engelgeer

MONO by Mae Engelgeer

MONO by Mae Engelgeer

MONO by Mae Engelgeer

MONO by Mae Engelgeer

The MONO collection, by Dutch designer Mae Engelgeer, is inspired by vintage kimonos found during travels in Japan. The specific colors, and often graphic shapes seen on kimono linings are artfully translated to Engelgeer’s textiles, applied to blankets, cushions, and tea towels. Refined color stories, from shades of blush, to metal-inspired greys and ultra-brights, in materials like mohair and merino wool, are woven at TextielLab in the Netherlands.

More at: Studio Mae Engelgeer
Photos: Lonneke van der Palen









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