November 11, 2011

Season by Piero Lissoni

Piero Lissoni's new creation, Season, for Viccarbe was recently published in the Spanish design magazine Diseno Interior.  See the images and sketches by Piero Lissoni below. 

See DZINE's Viccarbe installation in the Boffi Studio.

November 10, 2011

21st Century Salon

by Brian Anthony from CA Home & Design
Photography by Philip Harvey

Established & Sons 'Wrongwoods', designed by Richard Woods and Sebastian Wrong
Established & Sons is represented at DZINE

In 2009, while searching for a new home in San Francisco, newlyweds Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi were becoming frustrated because the good ones kept being snatched up as soon as they came on the market.  The tech-savvy couple (early employees of Facebook who are about to start their own company) decided to play to their strengths: Agarwal developed a computer program that scoured the MLS and notified him the instant a property with their criteria hit the market.  They found their Noe Valley flat before the paint had dried on the For Sale sign.

The open living area provided the perfect space for entertaining, but the drab taupe paint and generic fixtures throughout were definitely lacking in the personality department.  Although Sanghvi had intended to decorate the space on her own, the realities of her work schedule and her husband's desire to have a finished home led the couple to seek help.  When a techie friend recommended Lauren Geremia, it turned out that the couple, without knowing it, was already a fan of her work.  Having frequented two SF establishments designed by Geremia - Bloohound and Coffee Bar - they were impressed with her ability to create bold spaces that didn't feel alienating or impersonal.  The warm, unrefined materials used by Geremia provided the look that the couple was hoping to achieve in their new home.  "Many of our friends were upgrading from Ikea to the next big-box store up the chain," says Agarwal.  "We weren't interested in following suit."

Geremia had gained a reputation in SF for designing buzz-worthy hotspots (her projects also include Umami, Taverna Aventine, Citizen's Band and Churchill), but she was eager to expand her residential portfolio.  "I love doing commercial spaces, but the turnaround time on those projects is often rushed," she says.  "A residential space allows me to slow down and focus on every detail."  A graduate in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, Geremia fills her projects with custom pieces she creates herself or commissions from a select stable of local artisans and friends.  "A home is very personal, and input is crucial," says Geremia.  "I don't want to show people how they're supposed to live.  I want them to show me how they want to live."

Not only are Awarwal and Sanghvi happy with the results, they have become vocal advocates for Geremia and the other artisans who worked on the project.  It's no surprise that the former Facebook couple's home is now a regular venue for social networking, not unlike a Paris salon in the early 20th century - but here, when potential patrons and artisans discuss the art on the walls, the light fixtures overhead and the custom furnishings surrounding them, they're exchanging contact information with iPhone bumps rather than calling cards.

November 4, 2011

Ron Gilad - Creations of Poetry and Chaos

NEW YORK — It wasn’t quite the response he was expecting. When Piero Gandini visits young designers in their studios and invites them to work for his company, they generally say yes, very quickly and very enthusiastically — but not Ron Gilad.
“Ron’s studio was inspiring, filled with precious little things he had made with incredible details: poetic and subversive,” said Mr. Gandini, who is president of Flos, the Italian lighting company that has championed a succession of great designers in the past 50 years, starting with Achille Castiglioni.

“So I said: ‘Don’t you want to turn these fabulous ideas into real products?’ And Ron said: ‘I’m not interested in doing real products.’ ‘But if you don’t do real products, how can you be a real designer?’ ‘I don’t care about being a real designer.’ ‘But surely you need money.’ ‘I don’t care about money.’ So we sat on the floor and talked. There was something so precious about the place and about him, that I had to try to do something.”
Eventually Mr. Gilad relented. The visually stunning, technologically ingenious lights he has designed for Flos were among the most talked-about products at the Milan Furniture Fair last year and at the one last month. He has since been bombarded with offers from other companies, but his reaction seems equally ambivalent.
“I am a little bit confused about it all,” he said. “I don’t want to take on too many projects. I work with two assistants three days a week and really need to be by myself the rest of the time. I don’t want to do the same thing for this company and that company with minor changes, as some designers do. Unless I have a good personal relationship with the people, I just don’t care.”
All of this could sound coy coming from anyone else, but Mr. Gilad is only willing to work on his own terms. A 38-year-old Israeli with long hair bundled into a ponytail, he sits in his Brooklyn studio smoking cigarette after cigarette, and stubbing them out in a broken wine glass. “It’s very hard for me to get rid of things,” he explained. “When the glass broke, it could no longer contain liquid, but it could contain ash, so I kept it. And everything breaks around here.”
“Here” is the eighth floor of an old warehouse where he lives and works with panoramic views across the industrial rubble of the Brooklyn Navy Yard to downtown Manhattan. Mr. Gilad spends almost all of his time there, except for work trips to Italy and a month in Israel each winter.
“It’s really, really hard for me to leave,” he said. “Once a week I go out to buy cigarettes and food. Once every three months I go to Chelsea to see exhibitions. And that’s it. I’ve never liked New York. I want to leave as soon as possible. But I’ve been saying that for 10 years. This space and the things in it are who I am — living on the edge of everything.”

The studio is filled with models, sketches, prototypes and finished objects. There are splashes of surrealism in his work — notably in the mirrors shaped like brushstrokes — but the dominant style is minimalism. Chairs, tables, bowls, even model houses have been reduced to linear silhouettes of archetypal versions of themselves. The contents of his studio act as a diary of his life there, down to the three planks of wood standing beside a pile of glass shards. The planks were shelves, which held his prototypes until they collapsed one night. The broken glasses were among the casualties.
Having studied design at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Mr. Gilad moved to the United States in 2001 to start a company, Designfenzider, with a friend. They manufactured his furniture and objects, until he quit last year. “There were too many responsibilities,” he groaned. “Design. Development. Production. Sales. Marketing. You need to take care of all these things. It took all my energy and every little bit of happiness. Never ever again.”
His work caught the eye of Paola Antonelli, senior curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “It is so perfectly balanced and surprising,” she said. “Wry sense of humor and killer elegance. Very close to sublime.” It was she who suggested that Mr. Gandini consider commissioning him for Flos.
The timing was perfect. Lighting is being transformed by developments in energy-efficient sources, such as the tiny spots produced by light-emitting diodes or, LEDs. These new technologies offer opportunities for designers and manufacturers to produce radically different new forms of lighting, which Mr. Gilad has exploited with relish.
“As a super-minimalist by nature,” he said, “the reduction of the light source to something so small was heaven. You can do whatever you want with shape. It’s like being a kid in a candy shop. But there are limitations. As much as the technology has evolved, the light it provides is not as romantic as the old incandescent bulb. For me, it was crucial to keep some kind of poetry.”
For the Wallpiercing lighting panels he developed for Flos last year, Mr. Gilad created small circles of LEDs and positioned them super-precisely, but seemingly randomly, to create delicate layers of light. He produced a series of larger LED circles for 2620, a chandelier unveiled by Flos in Milan last month, and clustered them together in what looks like a vortex.

“It’s based on a childhood memory of a window display in a Tel Aviv flower shop,” Mr. Gilad said. “The plant pots were placed inside rings, which were connected to pedestals at single points, and positioned at angles so they seemed to be dancing. For me, seeing it as a child, it was magic. If you look at the 2620 from the bottom, you see a perfect flower, but from any other angle it seems chaotic. Complete chaos from perfect order.”

Published: May 22, 2011

November 3, 2011

Logomo Cafe` - Artek art installation

From Abitare - Photos by Bo Stranden

German artist Tobias Rehberger has created in collaboration with Artek a comprehensive art installation called Nothing happens for a reason at the Logomo café.
This is not the first cooperation by Rehberger and Artek. In 2009, Tobias Rehberger was awarded with a Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennale for the permanent installation he created for Palazzo delle Esposizioni in cooperation with Artek. “I like the idea of creating a visual art project which is about ‘not seeing something’.

The painting method of battle ships in the first and second World War, the so called dazzle painting, in a way for me perfectly represents this paradox. The sculpture I created for Turku is based on the same concept as the one in Venice.

It applies a completely different pattern to the space, but despite its very different look, it should have the same dazzling effect,” says Rehberger. “The Venice Biennale installation is a wonderful example of how art, architecture and design all come together in an outstanding international project.
Artek’s cooperation with Tobias Rehberger has been continuous as Artek is quite at home in the world of art, where new visions and bold actions create strong impressions and dialogue,” says Artek’s Managing Director Mirkku Kullberg.
Tobias Rehberger (b. 1966) began his career in the early 90’s and has exhibited widely world wide ever since. Rehberger is interested in the conflict between functionalism and aesthetics, and likes to question and play with the notion of art and its various strategies.
Using several media and different approaches, Rehberger’s conceptual work break traditional boundaries with exceptional combinations of painting, sculpture, architecture and design.

Artek can now be purchased at DZINE.