In 2005, the bathroom-fixture manufacturer Axor issued a challenge to an esteemed trio of European designers: Dream up new ways of celebrating the beauty and transformative power of water in the bathroom without regard for production costs or marketing concerns. The resulting concepts by Jean-Marie Massaud, the Bouroullec brothers, and Patricia Urquiola are now on display as part Waterdream: The Art of Bathroom Design, an exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta that also touches on the evolution of the lav, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
Dalton Maag, a London font and logo design studio, has developed a new typeface sure to knock the space nerds right off their telescopes. It’s got flat, square characters and a kind of retro-futuristic style designed to, as Dalton Maag says, conjure up the “stars” and “the staples of the Science Fiction genre.” Or real life: This stuff looks like it belongs in the livery of the Virgin Galactic.
At a time when you can buy Michael Graves tea kettles at Target and Philippe Starck colanders on Amazon, it’s easy to forget that high design only recently entered the everyday kitchen. Much of the credit goes to Alessi, the Italian manufacturer that has built a business out of partnering with famous designers, from Graves and Starck to Ron Arad and the Campana Brothers. Next month, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will unveil Alessi: Ethical and Radical, a retrospective of the company’s landmark collaborations. We’ve got a preview here.
Philippe Starck, resplendent in black leather pants, came to New York’s Soho House this week to promote his latest project –- a set of sleek stereo speakers he designed for Parrot, a French wireless technology company whose CEO, Henri Seydoux, is one of the designer’s oldest friends.
The Zikmu speakers , matching black columns with flared bases, were introduced at MacWorld, then dazzled the crowd at CES, walking away with Bluetooth CIG’s “Best of Show” award.
Like everyone else, the design field braced for the fallout from the financial meltdown. At the time, some of us argued that good things could come from a period of constraint and reexamination. The consumer culture of design had become overwrought, with limited edition candleholders that sell for $2,700.