Form & function

Skate Art

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The Sk8room in Brussels is a gallery and skateboard producer working with artists to use skateboards as a canvas. Their most recent collaboration is with Ai Weiwei, who created a series of three boards with imagery of his past installations, along with inspirational quotes. Prior artists who created editions for Sk8room include Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, and John Baldessari.

Our Kind of Furniture

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We have a pretty obvious affinity for ampersands (our logo speaks volumes), so Australian designer Matt Innes’ ampersand table attracted our attention fairly quickly. It doesn’t hurt that the beautiful curves of his table are inspired by a typeface designed by type icon Herb Lubalin.

Shop Sottsass

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For the London Design Festival in September, accessories concept shop Darkroom transformed their space and wares in a tribute to Memphis designer Ettore Sottsass. The shop is a visual explosion of color, geometry and graphic elements, with both floors and walls covered in black-and-white bold patterns. Featured are Jamie Julie-Brown’s totem stacks of salvaged glass, Studiopepe’s brightly colored, angular ceramics, and Hay’s shape mirrors.

Silken Seating

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Istanbul-based designer Meb Rure uses silk fabric scraps from Nepal as upholstery for her Recycled Silk Chair, Ottoman and Stool. She created the bases from American white oak, and wraps balls of foam with colorful silk strands to provide the cushioning. The production of the furniture provides work opportunities for unemployed women in Nepal, who create the upholstery by hand.

Beautiful Lego

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Legos have provided kids with the material inspiration to build and re-build various constructions for ages. Not surprisingly, many adults have held onto the building blocks as their material of choice for creating incredible works of art. One famed lego artist, Mike Doyle, collected several of these artists and their incredible creations, had them beautifully photographed and put the collection together in a book – Beautiful Lego, released this week.

Sweet Weather

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Häagen-Dazs continues to enlist top designers to tackle new forms of ice cream – last year it was Doshi Levien’s ice moon, and this year the 4-women Swedish design group Front created “Dawn and Dusk.” Each is a cloud-shaped confection – “Dawn,” an ombre-colored a golden hue, filled with Marc de Champagne Truffle flavor with Belgian Chocolate, and Almond Macaroon biscuit. And “Dusk,” a rosy pink ombre, contains Dulce de Leche and Cookies and Cream.

New Jongerius

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Dutch design darling Hella Jongerius has some playful new designs out. For Vitra, she made a gorgeous color wheel study of 34 hues that shift based on 5 types of light. She used this to inform new color ways for the iconic Eames Hang-it-All hooks, in shades of green, blue and red. And for Maharam, Jongerius plays with dots yet again, this time applied to textiles in “Confetti” – a pattern of shaded and striped dots that give the illusion of motion on fabric.

Skin Temps

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When checking for a fever, we innately feel someone’s forehead for heat. This is because the skin’s temp gives a great read on what’s going on with the rest of the body, saying “something very meaningful about your physiological status and health.” To measure that  – a research team at the University of Illinois has developed an electronic tattoo, which attaches to the skin and accurately reads changes in temp. The gold wire electronic stamp attaches to the skin with water, and has embedded sensors that watch how heat flows through the bloodstream.

Color Train

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Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki created a wonderful installation this summer at Mudam Luxembourg. Endearing little robots, programmed to follow a black line track, play different musical tunes when passing over user-colored regions. Giant rolls of white paper were laid down, along with markers and a number of the “Color Chaser” robots, each a simple white form on wheels, with different speaker shapes. As the bots pass over different colors, they play a variety of sounds – from drums to bass and melodies.

All in One

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We just came across the impressively simple and efficient Graf von Faber-Castell “Perfect Pencil.” It provides a writing tool, sharpening tool, and erasing tool – all in one beautiful object. The lovely, ribbed wooden pencil includes a cap with a sharpener for quick access, and a replaceable eraser with cap. Sketch-ready.

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