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Sam Dunne

The Core77 Design Blog

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  24 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)

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For a relative minnow of the design world, it was great to see some solid involvement from the international design community at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week. To give one outstanding example—Eindhoven based Japanese designer Tsuyoshi Hayashi took to the stage to present his delightfully simple 'Kawara Chair'—a small stool from ceramic and wood.

Inspired by the charming array of colours and finishes of rejects, Hayashi makes use of off-casts from the traditional Kawara curved tile industry in Takahama, Japan. The frame design takes advantage of the tiles' standard size and shape: the tiles slot in with awesome precision, holding firm without the need for glueing or fixing of any kind. The unique hardness of these glazed tiles (apparently fired at double the temperature used in Western kilns) gives the dainty seats a satisfying solidity.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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You're likely familiar with Polish designer Oskar Zieta—if only for his 2010 'Chippensteel' chair and other inflated steel furniture, often spotted in glistening chrome or copper. Zieta was back in the limelight at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week with pyrotechnical demonstrations of some new steel products inflated by the application of heat.

The 'Hot Pin'—a repacking of Zieta's old techniques as a consumer product—is a wall-mounted coat hook sold flatpack in an admittedly quite charming mini pizza box. The intention seems to be to give us at home a chance to see the wonders of baking steel—the discs springing to life with inflating spontaneously when heated to temperatures above 200°C, cooling into a surprisingly solid object to be fitted to the wall.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

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Although Poland might not currently rank too highly in the Top Design Nations List (that I've just made up), our experiences in Poland at Łódź Design Festival show many promising signs of local manufacturers keen to collaborate with the country's emerging generation of design talent. As part of the festivities, Polish radiator manufacturer Terma exhibited winners and shortlisted entries from their Terma Design Awards—a competition calling for creative home heating products.

Some entries exhibited showed an imaginative reinvention of the radiator—incorporating pipes into a table for example, or repurposing floor mounted systems into a bench. Of the more conventional wall mounted radiators, there was some really interesting styling to behold and some impressive use of materials to make more of a feature of the lowly heater and to disseminate the warmth more effectively.

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Design by Bartholomew Drabik, the industrial-chic "Ribbon" is sure to look handsome on an some exposed brickwork.


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Named after the Japanese tradition for low, futon-covered, heated tables, "Kotatsu" by Marianna Janowicz incorporates radiator pipes into the structure of a table to create a gently warmed communal seating space.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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A key event of the Łódź Design Festival is the international design competition Make Me! showcasing work of up-and-coming talent from Poland, Europe and the rest of the world.

Winner of the spoils this year was Berlin-based studio Blond and Bieber for their 'Algaemy' project (also awarded as a notably student speculative design entry to Core77 Award) using the properties of colorful algae to produce dyes for textile-making. Noting the huge recent scientific interest in the plants, the designers were inspired to explore the creative potential of algae. They created the 'Algaemy' printer—a mobile algae farm, workstation and human-powered textile printer—to print on large sections of textile with shades of blue, green, brown and red, where the colors apparently developing and deepening with time.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With London Design Festival having wrapped up only a couple of weeks ago, we headed over this week over to the other LDF in Łódź, Poland. Although the design scene of Poland may be relatively in its infancy, this year's festival in Łódź—the country's third biggest city, pronounced something link 'wodch'— marks the 8th year for the event, the words 'Brave New World' having been chosen as title and theme of this edition.

A large part of the festival hub in Łódź this year has been handed over to London-based designer and thinker Daniel Charny—founder of studio From Now On and rebel rousing advocate of the maker movement—to create a prototype of his proposed 'Fixhub' spaces. Building on the models and cultures of public makerspace like FabLabs and Repair Cafe, Charny's Fixhubs are part fix-shop, part library and part gallery brought together in a one stop shop for communities to be inspired, informed and equipped to action to extend the lifespan or usefulness of their belongings.

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With lots of making workshops going on and a rack of materials to read, the gallery portion of the space showcased a wide range of making and hacking projects—a collection that Charny believes points to the coming of age of the maker movement. Likening the process to the early days of filmmaking, all the novelty and wacky experimentation (arguably much need to allow for learning) is finally giving way to works of much greater significance.

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Launching officially at Dutch Design Week, Belgian studio Unfold gave festival goers in Łódź a sneak peek of their incredible 'Of Instruments and Archetypes'—a set of instruments that measure physical objects and transfer the dimensions to a digital model in real time, allowing users to then send these files off for 3D printing. On show with the video of the tools in action was a selection of vessels hacked with tools, different objects having been used for handles.

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