October 29, 2012

Camper Culture

30 years after opening their first store in 1981 in Barcelona, Camper now boasts 300 stores and 4,000 points of sale in over 50 countries.
The difference between Camper and other major brands though, is that instead of designing a store identity that made all their shops recognizably the same around the world, they hired different designers to make each shop completely different and unique.
From opulent to minimalistic, stark tiles to flowery upholstered walls, each Camper store becomes its own little jewel of design and experimentation.
The following are a few of our favorites..

The New York Camper store in Soho designed by Shigeru Ban and Dean Maltz is a diagonal design in a rectangular space, featuring one of the best uses of Artek’s 10-unit system we've seen and a saavy hidden way of showing the shoes.

A different approach is used in one of the London Camper stores, designed by Tomas Alonso, where the shoes are laid directly into view, and highlighted by the tile trompe-l’oeil in the background.
In addition to the tiles, the use of metal tubing throughout the furniture and fixtures in the store give this design a certain quirkiness, reminiscent of the 2D cube-based video games of our youth.

A completely different use of tiles is shown here in Alfredo Haberli’s Barcelona shop, where red mosaic takes over the bottom half of the front of the store (a cross between a metro station and a Gaudi building?), only to lead the weary customer to an elevator-like lounge where one can sit on a ‘Take-a-line-for-a-walk’ armchair designed by the same Haberli for Moroso and try on shoes at their leisure.

Another Barcelona store, this one designed by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, takes the same color red in a very different direction, with furniture that looks like it most certainly would have been adopted by a French monarch named Louis, had there been any in the 21st century.

Another opulent proposition is Tokujin Yoshioka’s design for a London Camper store, which utilizes the same folded fabric technique on a large wall panel, as in the Bouquet chair he designed for Moroso, also present in the space.

In contrast, Nendo’s minimalist design for the Osaka store focuses on nothing but the shoes themselves, by making the completely white background (including wall, ceiling and floor) disappear and giving the shoes the appearance of floating.
By Claire Toussaint 

October 10, 2012

The Island of Misfit Furniture

A far cry from Lissoni’s or Citterio’s sleek archetypes of modern design, Rudolf’s got nothing on Moroso’s sculptural seating propositions.

Now celebrating 60 years of prototype making, Moroso looks back with Domus on their creations of plywood and foam, and the craftsmanship that made them great.
Be sure to check out Domus' interview of Marino Mansutti.

Anne Fougeron in the NY times


After  Lisa Koshkarian and Tom Di Francesco had chidren, they realized their 3,600 sq ft home at the top of  Potrero hill presented a major  acoustic challenge. The location of the living room, sandwiched between the children’s bedrooms, made it impossible to entertain after Rex and Zia went to bed.

Disappointed in what the housing market had to offer, Tom and Lisa turned to modern architectural guru Anne Fougeron to marry their love of sleek minimalist design and family-friendly spaces. Taking issue with what she calls the ‘Dwell Light Disease’ signifying modern houses that all end up looking the same, Fougeron made some bold decisions in the design of the Koshkarian and Di Francesco home.

She started by switching the ‘quiet rooms’ to the street side of the house, and moved the entertaining areas to the back towards the garden.

In order to take full advantage of the gorgeous views of downtown San Francisco, Fougeron created a wall of glass, exposing the back rooms of the house. The ‘dollhouse’ effect of this slightly (but unashamedly) exhibitionist design is alleviated by the faceted shape of the glass wall, which give the back of the house its character, and steers clear of the ‘unintentional uniform’ Fougeron decries.

Lisa Koshkarian and her children, Rex and Zia
by Claire Toussaint