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Design Classic: Nikon 28TI

With the trend of premium compact film cameras in the early 1990s, makers such as Contax, Minolta, and Ricoh were at the top of the movement with sturdily built models that featured prime lenses and more advanced features for photography enthusiasts. Nikon entered this market in 1993 with the 135 film autofocus 35Ti model, followed by the all-black 28Ti, a year later.

The name referring to its 28 mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens, and titanium body, the camera not only employed advanced Nikon technology and a premium lens, but a unique design that far exceeded the aesthetics of its competitors.

The 28Ti’s elegant, aerospace-quality titanium casing lends to the camera’s utilitarian appearance, in addition to being very strong and lightweight. The 28Ti’s most iconic and unique feature is the top plate that features an analog, watch-style series of gauges that inform the user of such details as focus distance, exposure compensation, and aperture. At a time when much cheaper to produce, LCD displays were the standard, these analog meters were a new way of employing classic mechanics to offer an intuitive, one-glance experience, not to mention the ability to operate the camera at waist level.

Often overlooked, but still regarded as one of the best compact cameras in both design and technology history, the 28Ti set standards for future models not only by Nikon, but other manufacturers. Unfortunately, its high price and slower operation speeds resulted in poor sales, leading to the camera’s discontinuation in 1998.

The 28Ti model is not entirely rare, and can still be found on the secondhand market, many still “new-in-box” condition; however, because of its design qualities, novelty features, and enduring strength as a relevant, exceptional camera, high prices are to be expected.

A good place to start: Nikon 28Ti on eBay

Ion Hotel

Outside of Reykjavik, very close to the Unesco World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park, sits Iceland’s Ion Hotel. Billing itself as an “adventure hotel” the Ion’s location makes it perfect for exploring Iceland’s otherworldly geography, with access to hot springs, glaciers, and a perfect vantage to view the Northern Lights.

Designed by Minarc, the hotel is built with a prefabricated panel system, that not only incorporates recycled materials, but is designed to maximize energy efficiency. The architecture is perfectly suited the the lava fields and stark surroundings, and its suspended-by-pillar construction is an homage to Iceland’s first settler, Ingólfr Arnarson, who, according to legend, en route to Iceland in the year 847, threw his pillars overboard and sailed to where the gods took him ashore.

Hot springs provide geothermal heating, and extensive use of natural light minimizes the need for artificial. With just 46 rooms, a restaurant, and a spa, the hotel is full-service, but with a disconnected, aligned-with-nature approach. In addition to its subdued external appearance, Minarc has thoughtfully incorporated natural materials throughout the hotel, such as recycled wood furniture, lamps made from lava and found-wood, and indigenous birch wood details; in the rooms, images of Icelandic animals stylishly and minimally serve as wall art.

An immersive position in Iceland’s visually arresting wilderness, paired with the luxuries of excellent design, local food, and hotel comforts work together to create an experience that is not only sure to encourage relaxation and health, but an exploratory admiration of nature’s wonders.

More at: Ion Hotel

Ett Hem Stockholm

Ett Hem is a 12-room hotel in Stockholm, based in an early-20th-century former private residence. The interiors were executed by designer Ilse Crawford (Studioilse), and feature a comfortable composition of antiques, mid-century design icons, and simple, decidedly Swedish luxury.

This short video by Gavin Elder explores the intention behind the space and decoration.

More at: Ett Hem

Design Class: BMW E9 Coupe

The BMW E9 (the body style for the BMW 3.0CS/i/L, 2800CS, and the 2500CS) was a two-door coupe produced for BMW by Karmann from 1968 to 1975. Undeniably elegant in styling, the E9 platform also became a very successful racing car, notably in the European Touring Car Championship and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, this fact helped establish BMW’s reputation as a sporty driver’s car. Approximately 30,000 E9s were produced over the entire production run, and US cars came through importer Max Hoffman, as there was no BMW North America at that time.

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