Rad Designer Alert: Misha Kahn

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 17, 2014
Categories: Art, Product Design
Tags: art, sculpture

Weird. Gross. These are my highest compliments when it comes to design (seriously). If a designer can make something that makes me giggle, makes me want to touch it, intangibly reminds me of food AND is still functional and perfectly executed—then I’m sold. 

I definitely drank the Kool-Aid because I’m really digging the Memphis revival.  I wouldn’t say Misha Kahn’s work fits exactly into this Memphis 2.0 grouping, but it's part of a larger design movement that celebrates the serious and silly.

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Building a Sukkah, the Ultimate Design Brief

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 16, 2014
Categories: Art, Sustainable Design
Tags: architecture, holidays

If you’ve been through Willamsburg this week you’ve probably seen a lot of what looks like huts, shacks or makeshift shelters. These are actually Sukkahs, part of Sukkot, a Jewish holiday. Until recently, I wasn’t very well educated about them. I knew that many families ate all their meals inside them, and some (even entire families) will sleep in their sukkah for the duration of the holiday. They're built for entertaining and being together, which sounds great to me!

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Odd Harmonics: A Family of Theramins

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 15, 2014
Categories: Art, Design in Music, Product Design
Tags: instrument, music

I love odd musical instrument design, as seen in yesterday's post. This charming family of theremins (yes, they all work) were on display at Wanted Design’s Industry City outpost, and I loved them all.

But if I had to choose just one to take home, the clear winner is the one with the curly white hair. I thought the designer, François Chambard of UM Project, really moved the design conversation forward by looking at an oft ignored—even forgotten—object and bringing it back to life. These theremins were expertly executed, full of character, accessible, and were by far my favorites from last design week. 

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"Not My Cup Of Tea" at Chamber Boutique/Gallery

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 14, 2014
Categories: Art, Design in Music, Product Design
Tags: music, store

Two weeks ago I was invited to attend the grand opening of Chamber, a high-concept boutique/gallery. Think of it as Moss 2.0. Every two years the founder will choose a different creative to curate the shop’s entire program with specially commissioned works and rare and vintage items.

At the opening, I really zoned in on this Chinese music box called "Not My Cup Of Tea." It's so beautiful and detailed. While I love design that really stays clean and true to its materials, this happens to be perfect in its decadence. My favorite part is that it's also a musical instrument. You not only need to insert a quarter to make it play, it's the quarter that produces the  melody as it hits the tea cups on the way down.

I learned while researching this piece that its based off “a cabinet which addresses the Dutch tradition of displaying one’s porcelain in a “pronkkast” as a symbol of status and happiness.”

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The Rod and Weave Chair from Eric Trine

Curator: Nora Wolf
date: October 13, 2014
Categories: Product Design
Tags: Chairs, furniture
Eric Trine first caught my eye during the Architectural Digest Home Design show in March. He clearly has an eye for form and color. His displays were completely different from anything else at the show this year. 

Trine's work really pushes the conversation forward—no more live edge slab tables, no more rustic Americana aesthetic. These pieces are playful, but that doesn't stop them from being perfectly executed. 

I'm into color—so clearly I loved Trine's work. These Rod and Weave chairs were the first pieces that caught my eye. He lets the the materials speak for themselves. The chairs are super versatile: you can get as whacky as you'd like or keep it more subtle. The form is clean and simple, but not sterile. 
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