Friday, 19 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Well, Business of Design Week in Hong Kong is over for another year. I'm not sure I have the time to do a lengthy write up on all the speakers I saw like I did last year, but I will give you a bit of a re-cap. Holland was the partner country this year, so there was plenty of local and Dutch talent in the city this week. Amongst many others I saw Hella Jongerius, Michael Young, and Rem Koolhaas. Unfortunately I missed out on seeing Marcel Wanders and Renny Ramakers of Droog Design. Rem Koolhaas was incredible, and my writing talents can not do justice to his words. What I will say, is that anyone interested in architecture, town planning or the cities of the future should jump at an opportunity to hear him speak. He truly is a visionary.
Apart from Koolhaas, I found Hella Jongerius' talk interesting and a great insight into her working process - in particular, her explanation of how the Polder Sofa for Vitra came about. Jongerius background and specialisation is ceramics so she was a little confused to say the least when Vitra approached her to design a sofa. She almost turned down the commission! She told them she didn't want to to design a sofa because she didn't like them and actually didn't even own one herself (not sure what she sat on instead!). So Vitra turned around and told her she should design a sofa that she would want at home, and so the gauntlet was laid. This funky shape is the result of a 6 month long design and mock-up process.
The most distinguishing features of the "Polder" sofa is the use of fabrics that are 4 different tones of the same colour, and oddly miss-matched buttons. Jongerius explained the reason for choosing so many different colours on one piece was to make it easier for people to fit this within their home - that it would be easier to "match" the colours with items in their existing interior. As someone who spent the beginning of my career working in fabric showrooms helping clients select fabrics for their furniture - I can personally say that this is a genius idea. I'm just not sure why nobody thought of it sooner. I found myself nodding my head knowingly as she spoke about how it is impossible to carry colour in your memory, and how hard it is to find just the right shade of (whatever colour it is that you're looking for) green, red etc. to work with your (insert other decorative items here) carpet, curtains etc. Time and time again its such simple ideas that make the greatest innovations!
** Oops, I almost forgot to mention that the organisers of BODW announced the new partner country for 2009....FRANCE! Can you guess who is just a little bit excited???
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
I attended my first Pecha Kucha night in Hong Kong last night. Held in conjunction with our annual Business of Design Week, both local and dutch designers were featured. I did not present, in case any of you were wondering - I'm terrible at public speaking! It was definitely a fun night, and a great forum for designers, something that Hong Kong has been desperately lacking.
So, check out the website, and find out where your local Pecha Kucha night will be. Or, if your city doesn't already have one organised you can get in contact with them and maybe start one on your own!
Monday, 8 December 2008
I'm loving this spread in the latest Architectural Digest (French edition). A stunning collection of objet d'or by some of the greatest contemporary designers of our day, I wouldn't mind getting any of these from Santa this year!
This is probably my favorite pic...how stunning is that marble! The bronze table is by Meret Oppenheim, and the two gold spheres - one resin, the other gold leaf - are by Pierre Giraudon.
The light fixture on the left is by Hubert Le Gall, and the bookshelf on the right is by Vicenzo de Cotiis.
In front of a Herve van der Straeton mirror is a chair by Philippe Hiquilly, on top of which sits a rock table prototype by Arik Levy.
Friday, 5 December 2008
One of my favorite book retailers - William Stout - is having a sale. Between December 1st & 13th you can enjoy 25% off all books on Interior Design, Photography and Decorative Arts. I've never actually been to their San Francisco store, but they have a great website where you can purchase online - and they ship overseas, yay! Happy Shopping!
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
...this lovely mirror by French designer Hubert Le Gall.
Hope you all have a great weekend, and my American friends are having a great Thanks Giving weekend. Perfect timing really, I think all of us around the world should be giving thanks at the moment!
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Carrie Chau - one of my favorite Hong Kong artists - has a temporary exhibition/installation in the public space in front of Causeway Bay's Times Square.
Monday, 17 November 2008
I made another great new discovery over the weekend that I just had to share with you all.... Paris based Yan Descamps. Most of his work is quite classical, but I totally fell in love with this Brussels apartment that he did. I love the bold black glossy trims and the extra high doors (are they double height? it's hard to tell). The colours give it a warm cozy feeling even though its quite sparsely furnished. The bedroom is my favorite of them all...oh to wake up to wall to wall silk carpeting every morning!
Friday, 14 November 2008
...for the weekend. I've got a pile of magazines, including the new Elle Decor, and I'm just praying that the mailman brings any of the 3 books I'm waiting to be delivered. There are still a few more hours of postal delivery service....fingers crossed!
Have a great weekend everyone, whatever it is you have planned.
** Guys, take my advice, and go get yourself a copy of the December World of Interiors (the American design special) if you haven't already. There is a spread on a NY home done by Bill Sofield that just made me gasp out loud. Go! What are you waiting for? (and please, Bill, if you are reading this....why don't you have your portfolio online? I want, no NEED, to see more!)
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
I am fascinated with how other designers, artists and other aesthetes live - do they always live amongst their own work, and only their work, or do they mix it up with other pieces?
My fascination was recently sated with a spread on Yves Gastou in the October edition of the French Architectural Digest. For those that are not familiar with the name, Gastou is not only a gallerist of 20th Century design; he’s somewhat of an expert having contributed to several books on designers of that era. The photos of his Paris abode affirm for me the theory that I can tell if I’ll like someone by looking at their home (see my previous post on Architect and Gallery BAC owner, Carlos Aparicio) - although I am yet to actually test this theory!
The apartment has fantastic bones, which you would expect for something of its age and location. Without even adding the glorious pieces of design that he has, this is a wonderful apartment. I simply cannot sing the praises of good bones enough….but I do digress. Back to the furniture. And the art!
The living room could be a gallery unto itself…a dizzying mix of styles that somehow seem to work together. Around the 1950’s rug by Jacques Despierre is a white resin sofa and side chairs from the 1960’s - still upholstered in the original silk velvet, two chairs created by Philippe Hiquily for the decorator Henri Samuel, and a blue resin cube by Marie-Claude de Fouquières. Behind the two 40’s desk chairs by André Arbus are a pair of luminous sculptures by César and Jean-Claude Farhi, and a white marble sculpture by Emile Gilioli.
Over in the dining room we have a resin table by Marie-Claude de Fouquières, paired with Louis XVI armchairs. Hanging above is an amazing Venetian glass chandelier by André Arbus. The doors are flanked by a pair of torchères by Poillerat, and in front of the doorway can be seen a sculpture by Philippe Hiquily.
In the small dining room (which is still bigger than my only dining room) we have a table by Osvaldo Borsani surrounded by aluminium chairs by Marcel Breuer. The sculpture in the left-hand corner is also by Philippe Hiquily.
I’m head over heels for the stunning master bedroom and its original wood paneling. Another André Arbus chandelier hangs above and a carpet by Pierre Cardin lies below the bed. The two tables at the foot of the bed are by Poillerat. I don’t know who painted the masterpiece above the bed so if anyone can shed some light on that I’ll be thrilled…I love it!
Gastou’s gallery, located in the heart of Saint-Germain des Prés, was designed by Ettore Sottsass. Galerie Yves Gastou specializes in European decorative arts from the 40’s to the 70’s. I can’t wait for my next trip to the city of lights so I can check it out in person!
Monday, 10 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
I found some more European talent - in the Italian designer Tommaso Ziffer. I love his confident use of colour, his use of luxurious materials and the wonderful combinations of furniture he uses in his projects, both residential and hospitality. Some of these images have been in my image files for years but I had no idea who the designer behind them was. Now I know. And there are many more images where these came from - his website. So if these tickle your fancy, head on over and check it out.
Hope everyone had a great week, and have an even better weekend!