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Posted by Ray  |   8 Oct 2013  |  Comments (1)


I'd regretted breezing through the NY Art Book Fair this year—I braved the crowds on Saturday afternoon, and the hour I'd allotted myself was not nearly enough time to filter the sheer visual (and yes, tactile) onslaught of printed matter. But a souvenir from Beijing Design Week more than made up for it, and for all the limited editions, handmade zines and other rarities available at MoMA PS1, nary a booth would have had a copy of A Little Bit of Beijing. In fact, I haven't been able to find any information about Li Han and Hu Yan's three-volume graphic novel anywhere online: The book is published by the Luminous City imprint of Tongji University Press— was offline as of press time—while the website of Drawing Architecture Studio (Li and Hu's practice) is currently "Under Construction."



So it was a happy coincidence to discover A Little Bit of Beijing at 751 D.Park, in an appropriately charming venue to boot: Luminous City had set up shop in a passenger train that had been converted into a gallery. (To further compound the confusion, the expository text also credits architects Li Xiangning and Atelier Bow-Wow's Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, who are behind Made in Shanghai and its progenitor Made in Tokyo respectively.) Along with framed prints along the walls, translucent reproductions of the artwork had been set in the windows of the train to striking effect; even magnified several times over, it's quite clear that the vibrant line drawings are painstakingly detailed.




Chris Ware's signature style is the obvious reference point, and indeed the artists acknowledge a debt to Ware, as well as Jean-Jacques Sempé, as source of inspiration. I gleaned as much from the introductory text to A Little Bit of Beijing, but I'm not too proud to admit that my reading ability is far too limited to attempt proper perusal of the book. (Limited though my vocabulary may be, I do know that the third character of the title, 儿 [er], is an untranslatable reference to Beijing's local dialect.) Thankfully, the illustrations effectively speak for themselves, and their richness transcends language, even in the case of the conventional comic-book panels that depict short vignettes.

LiHanHuYan-ALittleBitofBeijing-3.jpgAs far as I can tell, the captions are descriptions of the scenes


Posted by Sam Dunne  |   7 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Popping up in a small, leafy square in central Vienna this design week, the 'Construisine' community kitchen and workshop creates a space for local residents to cook food from regional produce and build furniture from recycled wood, whilst drawing important parallels between the two in an attempt to encourage the Viennese public to embrace making.




With a whole host of fun food making tools, the creators Johanna Dehio [previously] and Dominik Hehl also offer revellers 'recipes' for furniture making, the installation thus growing in size the more it is used.



Posted by Ray  |   7 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


My earliest memories of hutong come from my first visits to China as a child: Pedicab drivers offering tours of Beijing's arcane labyrinth of largely unmarked alleyways that once demarcated the space between the city's traditional courtyard houses. Aside from the principle that upper class residences were closer to the city center, the actual construction of the homes—and the incidental passageways between them—was an ad hoc approach to urban planning at best, and subsequent divisions of the houses and land has resulted in a dense network of narrow alleys criss-crossing the enduring swaths of Old Beijing that have not been razed and redeveloped... yet. (Fun fact: Since courtyard houses, or siheyuan, traditionally face south for better natural light, the majority of hutong run from east to west.)

With hundreds of years of history embedded in their crumbling walls, many of these neighborhoods remain jam-packed with longtime residents; despite the fact that the original courtyard houses have been either been modified or left to decay beyond recognition, there is a tendency to romanticize the hutongs as a kind of cultural artifact, authentic both for their historic significance and their current conditions. But how do you preserve a dynamic relic—one that is defined by the fact that it is lived-in? One that, like an organism, is subject to both an internal logic and external factors? As Oliver Wainwright of the Guardian (a fellow member of the media tour for Beijing Design Week) reports:

... in numerous pockets of the old city over the last 10 years, neighbourhoods have been demolished and rebuilt in the name of heritage preservation... areas designated for historic conservation have been transformed into zombie recreations of themselves. Elsewhere, crumbling courtyard houses have been wrapped in neat jackets but their squalid innards left unchanged, adding a flimsy tourist-friendly veneer to give a picturesque backdrop for lucrative hutong tours.

But in Dashilar, things seem to be going in a different direction... the "nodal" Dashilar pilot strategy, developed by local architect Liang Jingyu from 2011, [facilitates] several model projects in strategic locations across the area—and show existing owners how investing in their properties and businesses could help turn a profit and improve the area.

Thus, although Dashilar has been among the major design districts during previous Beijing Design Weeks, the dense neighborhood saw more exhibitions than ever, including a pilot program that showcased works-in-progress from architects and designers examining the neighborhood itself. Here are a few of our favorites:


Hidden behind a faux-ramshackle façade on the Dashilar's main drag, standardArchitecture's "microHutong" was definitely a crowdpleaser, not so much for its ambitious scope but the fact that it was open for exploration. (The highly regarded Beijing-based practice was founded by Zhang Ke in 2001; although it hasn't been updated since December 2012, the News Feed on their site provides a nice survey of the studio's recent work.)




The installation itself was something like an inside-out treehouse: human-sized plywood boxes arrayed at varying heights and angles around a kind of micro-courtyard. Compelling? Certainly—children took to it as a veritable playground. Inhabitable? Sure—a studio assistant mentioned that some of his fellow architects (visiting for Beijing Design Week) had indeed spent the night in the cubic chambers when their lodging arrangements fell through. Scalable? Not so much—the team demolished an extant edifice in order to build the structure in situ at the rear of the space and essentially rebuilt an ad hoc façade / gallery afterward (credit where due to the tradesmen who made it happen in a week or so).



Posted by Ray  |   4 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


It so happens that I upgraded to the iPhone 5s just before I took off for Beijing Design Week, and once I'd acclimated to iOS7—arguably a more significant new development than the improved hardware—and a bout of jet lag, I found myself playing around with some of the other new features of the device. I'd assumed that the Slo-Mo video feature would be gimmicky at best (and maybe it is), but I must say it was surprisingly fun to explore a cinematographic trope with a smartphone camera.

The media tour of Beijing Design Week was, in fact, a perfect opportunity to play around with the Slo-Mo camera: Since the venues are spread out throughout Beijing, we spent a not insubstantial proportion of the time simply getting shuttled around town by a hapless Shifu. Several of major building projects—namely the Rem Koolhaas' CCTV Building and Zaha Hadid's Galaxy Soho—happen to be adjacent to major north-south routes in the Chaoyang District, which extends from 798/751 down to the historic city center (i.e. Tiananmen Square and Dashilar), so our time in transit doubled as an incidental architecture tour.

In other words, I had a lot of time to kill on the bus, and Slo-Mo video almost justified the horrendous traffic of Beijing... almost.

CCTV Building by Rem Koolhaas:

HD highly recommended (though I realize it may take some time since I've embedded a handful of vids below)...


Posted by Sam Dunne  |   4 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Another example of the intriguing collaborations between young, emerging designers and Austrian industry supported by Vienna Design Week, German designer Sebastian Herkner has developed an ingenious new technique for historic Viennese textile and embrodery merchants Zur Schwäbischen Jungfrau.

A contemporary twist on the family-run company's age-old monograph napkin embroidery, Sebastian has devised a much more fleeting and flexible way of embellishing the table linen—embossing lettering with a custom-made letterpress set and iron. The crisp yet subtle effect created lingers only until the fabric is washed, leaving room for all sorts of creative communication at your next dinner party.




Posted by Ray  |   3 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Whereas the Museum of Bicycle Parts materialized (or popped-up, as they say) in a quirky storefront space in Dashilar's labyrinthine hutong, the Factory No.8 space a couple alleys down served as a more traditional venue for about a dozen Beijing Design Week exhibitions as it has in past years. Both the main two-story building and several project rooms—organized around a communal courtyard, as in the surrounding abodes—had been converted into galleries for a week, featuring a mix of temporary installations and new work from Chinese and European designers.

A standout amongst the exhibitions was a joint project from the Moscow Design Museum, curators Evgenia Novgorodova and Peipai Han, and a handful of supporting agencies. Spanning two large rooms (and an interstitial corridor) on the ground floor of the Factory, Common Objects: Soviet and Chinese Design 1950–1980's is the "first retrospective of its kind, bringing together daily objects designed in Russia and China in the second half of the 20th Century."

A shared dream of equality and prosperity was one of the motivators for an active exchange of goods, which lead to a common social experience for Chinese and Soviet consumers. The primary function for design and branding of day-to-day-Soviet and Chinese items in 1950–1980 was to satisfy basic human needs. At the same time, designers—or 'artistic engineers,' as they were called in the USSR—were responsible for creating a new, unifying aesthetic, guided by the principles of functionality, sustainability and durability, while coming up with a design fit for mass production.
The Chinese and Soviet industrial and graphic design objects selected feature significant moments in the design histories and the similarities in material culture of the two nations.

BJDW2013-Dashilar-CommonObjects-2.jpgPackaging for confectionary goods



BJDW2013-Dashilar-CommonObjects-5.jpgBidon with logo of Youth and Students Festival 1985


Posted by Ray  |   3 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Middle class aspirations—of car ownership, of course—notwithstanding, the humble bicycle endures as a touchstone of everyday life in Beijing. Although usage is unlikely to come anywhere near the 2/3-of-trips-by-bicycle mark set in the mid-80's, the 2012 launch of the city's bikeshare program and ever-increasing congestion are key factors in bringing pedal power back into fashion in the capital city... and at somewhere between 16–20% usage as of the current decade, they're easily an order of magnitude beyond, say, NYC. The iconic Flying Pigeon may be a veritable endangered species among the mix of domestically-produced bikes on streets and sidewalks throughout the city, but the bicycle commuter, as a breed, certainly is unlikely to go extinct any time soon.

So too is the curbside repair shop a common sight, at least along the more heavily trafficked bicycle routes in the city center. In the interest of elevating the mundane mechanic, a team of students from CAFA's Visual Communication program saw fit to elevate the ultralocal repair shop in the heart of Dashilar into a "Museum of Bicycle Parts," repurposing bits and pieces of hardware into jewelry and toys.


Although there is nothing particularly precious about the upcycled parts—mostly chainlinks, plus nuts and bolts that remain recognizable as such—many of the native Chinese visitors were delighted by the winsome works, and I personally thought that the trinkets and tchotchkes made for more charming souvenirs than the gift items available at Beijing Design Week's new retail store.



Posted by Sam Dunne  |   3 Oct 2013  |  Comments (1)


The Passionwege format returns for this year's Vienna Design Week linking emerging international design talent with what's left of the city's historic industries. Among the designers are Franco-Swiss duo Bertille & Mathieu, who have combined forces with crystal glass and chandelier manufacturer Lobmeyr to make the ultra-high end brand that little bit more accesible.

Having sought inspiration with a visit to the brand's age-old factory, the two designer drew interesting parralels between the process of crystal manufacturer and candy making—both involving the melting and boiling of powders (sand in the case of crystal, sugar in confectionary) and the subsequent depositing, shaping and setting of the molten sustenance into a clear solid.






Posted by Ray  |   2 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)


Isabelle Pascal has supported Beijing Design Week since its inaugural year through her curated design shop Wuhao, which she founded one year prior, in 2010, after relocating from her native France. Located on a quiet alley off the heavily-touristed strip of Nanluoguxiang, the traditional courtyard house is arranged thematically based on the seasons and elements, featuring collections of furniture, jewelry, fashion and other design objects by a mix of local and imported designers.


An art and media manager by trade, Pascal has an excellent eye for young and emerging designers, and her savvy is especially useful in a country with an as-yet-inchoate design scene. We were impressed by the work of CAFA grad Mian Wu, whose debut collection we saw at Wuhao during last Beijing Design Week, and Pascal was pleased to present several new pieces from the young designer. Wu expands upon the theme of jewelry meta-production with rings bedecked with clusters of 'defective' rings, which have been cast and painted bone white yet retain their original details.


Of course, Pascal's main focus for this year's Beijing Design Week is one of her new finds: the Fabrick Lab, a.k.a. Elaine Ng Yanling, a Chinese-British designer who splits her time between Beijing, London and Hong Kong and whose past experience includes stints at Nokia and Nissan. And although she's been dubbed the "Techno Fairy" by Elle Decor, her pithy nickname belies the rigor and research behind her craft: she was recently a TED Fellow for smart materials, which take the form of biomimetic textiles.



Posted by core jr  |   1 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)

LDF13-Gallery.jpgPhotography by Sam Dunne & Anki Delfmann for Core77

Now in its 11th year, London's annual design festival has expanded from its focus on furniture and design objects to include a strong a fashion, graphic and (most notably) digital component.

Not represented in our photo gallery of highlights—but worth mentioning—was the really interesting line-up of talks and seminars offered at this year's festival.

London's annual design festival, which wrapped up a nine-day run on Sunday, included over 300 events, exhibitions and installations held across the capital. Here, we present some highlights from around the city, including special shows at the Victoria and Albert Museum and new product designs from the 100% Design, designjunction, Tent London, and Super Brands London exhibitions.

London Design Festival 2013:
» Ally Capellino - 'Bums on Seats'
» Najla El Zein's "Wind Portal" at the VA
» Designjunction Highlights
» Tent London & Super Brands
» Designersblock
» 100% Norway
» iMakr

Posted by core jr  |   1 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)

dnChina-ShiWeilu-jumprope.jpgThis jumprope by student Shi Weilu collects kinetic energy from use to power a flashlight

Ben Hughes has scarcely looked back since he made the transition from Central St. Martins to CAFA about three years ago; rather, he's looking to the future and what it might possibly hold. What better place to do so than in Beijing, where he's set up shop in the Caogchangdi artist village and works part time as a Visiting Professor at the prestigious China Academy of Fine Arts?

Yet in China, Hughes notes, "design is almost exclusively linked to lifestyle and luxury consumption. It is seen as something to aspire to rather than something accessible by all." In the interest of initiating a sea change, he's working on dn Design for the Real China, a design competition that addresses the "imbalance in the understanding of 'design' in China—amongst students, amongst consumers, amongst designers."

With dn - Design for the Real China, I was anxious that we didn't simply reproduce familiar modes of design competition. Many of these (you know who you are) appear to place image, styling and presentation over content and do not insist on development, prototyping or testing. Many also seem to favour slick exterior computer visuals and don't require any level of depth. Some (again, you know who you are) seem to exist solely as commercial entities to extract money out of students and young designers, first for entering, then for publishing, then for attending awards ceremonies, then for receiving an award.

Design for the Real China is unique on several levels:

Emphasizing the explanation of the problem being addressed. Competitions that provide briefs are often so limited and so full of assumptions that we wanted to remove that element. Therefore there is no brief, but participants are asked to explain the problem they are tackling. The problem is often as interesting as the solution...

Removing the influence of judges. They often have their own agenda, so the judging is by popular online vote.

Creating a new kind of incentive structure. The categories are not linked to traditional divisions of design activity—graphic design, product design, textiles, fashion, furniture, etc.—but are decided according to the number of people affected by the design.

This is potentially the most confusing part. Since we ask that all entries are prototyped and tested in some way, the category is linked to the number of people who have been affected so far. Therefore, a product that is on the market and has sold well may have affected 10,000 or more people. A prototype that you have shared with your classmates and friends might have affected 50 people. Something that you made for a relative to solve a particular problem might have affected just one person. The prize money is allocated in inverse proportion to this category. i.e. if the design has affected many people, the prize money is low.


Posted by core jr  |  30 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


Reporting by Kristin Coleman

Given 3D printing's meteoric rise over the past year, it's no surprise that crowds were swarming around the iMakr booth at 100% Design. Inside the skeletal frame of a 100 square meter "house," the UK-based online retailer (and owner of the world's largest 3D printing store) brought its "Factory at Home" concept to the show floor, displaying various 3D printing models and 3D printed objects ranging from lighting, furniture and architectural models to cutlery, jewelry and sculptures.

iMakr staff gave live demonstrations using some of the industry's best desktop 3D printers from companies like MakerBot, Ultimaker and FlashForge.

100% Design was also the occasion for iMakr to launch its new Print on Demand service called My Mini Factory, allowing designers to upload their own models or download free 3D printable files from the company's in-house team of designers.

Combining the latest in 360-degree scanning and 3D printing technologies (along with a healthy dose of narcissism), iMakr gave people the chance to walk away with a full body, full color replica of themselves—a service the company plans to offer in London's department store, Selfridges, this winter.



Posted by Ray  |  30 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)

StudioLL-Dupin-studio.jpgImage courtesy of Studio LL

Once again, the Caochangdi Artist's Village is hosting several BJDW ongoings, and the Red Bricks cluster of studio/gallery spaces is home to several installations, events and initiatives in conjunction with the weeklong festival. Naihan Li, best known for her CRATES series from 2011, led us on an informal tour of her neighborhood—indeed, the ever-charismatic architect/designer-turned-curator/producer has duly assumed the role of village ambassador since she established her studio there several years ago. For Beijing Design Week, she offered her sizable live/work space for a handful of local and international exhibitors. In addition to work by Dutch photographers, a German fashion designer and techno-fabric designer Elaine Ng (more on her later) on the first floor, Li's home is also the venue for furniture and photos by the newly-formed Studio LL. Co-founder Fai Lau explained that the "Du Pin"—literally "unique products," but also a homonym for "drugs"—are an extension of his work as a vintage furniture purveyor and interior designer. The simple concept allows for unpretentious execution of reclaimed and repurposed pieces.



Posted by Ray  |  27 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


While the 751 D.Park (D is for Design) abides by the tried-and-true quasi-industrial gallery crawl and Caochangdi is a purpose-built artist village, Dashilar is arguably the heart and soul of Beijing Design Week, and this year's program sees the launch of an exciting new initiative to examine the future of the neighborhood, which is historically significent to the extent that it simply has not been demolished or developed. I won't pretend to know enough about the Chinese real estate boom to speak to the broader sociopolitical context of what Dashilar represents as a swath of Old Beijing, adjacent to the recklessly reinvented Qianmen area—itself a part of Tiananmen Square—but as a pocket (in shape and relative size) of an ever-expanding city, the largely residential neighborhood has become a case study for an emergent hybrid of preservation and modernization.



Which is a long way of saying that this year's exhibitors include a series of architectural proposals alongside the local makers, plus an infusion of Dutch design, courtesy of guest city Amsterdam—each contingent represented roughly equally amongst the 40+ total exhibitors. True to the spirit of Old Beijing, the topography of the streets resembles a maze drawn by a child, and Kenya Hara's quasi-3D depiction looks something like a cross between the architectural version of "Where's Waldo" and some kind of biological scan.



Posted by core jr  |  24 Sep 2013  |  Comments (1)


Reporting by Kristin Coleman

National exhibits present an interesting opportunity to examine the design culture of a country and 100% Norway at Dray Walk Gallery did not disappoint. For the 10th edition of the show, curators Henrietta Thompson and Benedicte Sunde presented a true cross-section of the Norwegian design scene with works from ten established designers and ten emerging talents as part of this year's theme, '10 × 10.' From the exhibition design (by Hunting & Narud) to the collection of products and furniture, the whole show demonstrated Norwegian designers' expert knowledge of material and craft, love of raw materials and nature-inspired forms.


Outside of the gallery, Hunting & Narud created a playful lounge inspired by the sun and Nordic light with patterned decking, angled panels and stackable poufs in a gradient of soft colors.


This three-legged seed-shaped prototype by Bergen Academy graduate Philipp von Hase immediately caught our eye. Originally designed for a seed center in Bergen, Spire is crafted from solid maple wood and three-dimensional walnut veneer with a recessed porcelain bowl that can be used for planting herbs or keeping fruit. It easily transforms into a functioning table with removable wooden surface plates.


Posted by Sam Dunne  |  24 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


As one of the few London Design Festival destinations to make a home south of the Thames, Designersblock sets itself apart as something as an alternative to the more establishedt goings-on further North.

With plenty of young and exciting design talent on show, we went along to the opening to bring you some of the best bits.


Design to-go: Some of the wares on show were display in intriguing piles of pizzaboxes

"Klokhuis' silver necklace and apple transporter by Jelka Quintelier


Posted by core jr  |  23 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


Reporting by Kristin Coleman

Across town from 100% Design, Shoreditch was buzzing with gallery shows, storefront installations and a pair of LDF staples: Tent London and Super Brands. Occupying the industrial space of Old Truman Brewery, the exhibits spread across two floors showcasing everything from slip-casted ceramics to paper furniture.

One of the most visually striking pieces in the Super Design Gallery was Kishimoto Design's free-form Yumi Chair (pictured above), sculpted from ribbons of ash veneer. According to the designer, "By driving wedges into bound layers of veneer, I could freely manipulate the curvature of the wood without being hindered by clamps or molds."


Posted by Sam Dunne  |  20 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)

This time last year, designjunction established itself firmly as the design show of London Design Festival, with a hearty mix of contemporary manufacturers and emerging design talent showing their wares under some expert curation.

Returning to the industrial surroundings of the old postal sorting house in central London, the show opened its doors to an expectant public as the sun set on the fifth day of LDF.

We were delighted to see Paul Cocksedge's Vamp drawing some attention with a huge installation recycled hi-fi speakers.


Posted by Sam Dunne  |  17 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)

Reclaiming its rightful position as the hub of the London Design Festival once again, the Victoria and Albert Museum is springing to life this week as a number of design curiosities fill the gaps between the permanent collections.

Amongst the most impressive thing you're likely to see on the circuit this year, Lebanese designer Najla El Zein has erected an enormous installation in a usually unassuming doorway. Constructed of 5,000 paper windmills, the 'Wind Portal' creates a gateway between the antique corridors of the Victorian galleries and the modern extension on the other side. As light streams from above through the latter's skylight, the mills spin playfully on and off, the whole sculpture powered by small hidden motors.

Posted by Sam Dunne  |  17 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)

Darling of the London design community, accessories designer Ally Capellino makes her contribution to the design festivities this week with a tribute to the iconic tubular stacking chair.

The "Bums on Seats" collection juxtaposes Cappellino's industrial tendancies with a touch of the human—her signiture worn leather retrofitted to the 60's original frames capturing the many different ways in which chairs are sat on—from "left leaning" to "knees up."


Posted by Sam Dunne  |  16 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


And so the design festival returns to London this week—the guide book bigger, and official map more expansive than ever.

Whilst we're all delighted to see the event going from strength to strength, the year-on-year expansion of the festivities makes it increasingly difficult to find the inspirational gems amongst the same old chair worship. It's enough to put a time-poor designer off entirely.

To help festival goers make the most of it—and back by popular demand—London-based design strategists Plan have put together a beautifully concise guide that cuts the wheat from the chaff for the discerning design enthusiast. Check it out here.

Posted by core jr  |  13 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


We've set our sights on Beijing since its first design week was announced back in 2010, and once again, we're pleased to announce that we will be on the scene at the arts and commercial districts throughout the city. Now in its third year, the capital city's annual celebration of design promises to be bigger and better than ever, and we're looking forward to bringing you the very best of Beijing Design Week.

Under the new creative direction of Beijing-based curator Beatrice Leanza, the overall program of BJDW 2013 looks at creating a meaningful narrative across its various outlets, by aggregating perspectives from current design discourse and practice into an experiential storytelling taking Beijing as its theater of action.

Check out our coverage from last year and stay tuned for more of the good stuff.

Posted by core jr  |   9 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


The Detroit Design Festival returns September 18–22, with a focus on highlighting the independent design trends originating from Detroit and surrounding areas. The third annual celebration of Motor City's unique art and design scene is set to be bigger and better than ever, and their team and advisors will be sharing various highlights with us over the next few weeks. Mark your calendars for 2013, and check out some of our previous coverage here and here.

Posted by core jr  |   6 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)


We've developed a strong relationship with the unsung folks behind Vienna Design Week over the past few years, and once again we're pleased to announce that we will be bringing you highlights from the show. Set to take place from September 27 – October 6 in the Austrian capital city, we invite you to revisit our coverage from last year and check out the event website for more details on this year's festivities.

See you there!

Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |   2 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)


Berlin's famed airport Berlin Templehof opened its doors for the 11th annual DMY International Design Festival Berlin, a showcase of architecture, interior and product design featuring over 500 designers from across the globe. The central exhibition served as a focal point of Berlin Design week, a weeklong celebration including galleries, museum, studios and school-hosted events and exhibitions throughout Germany's capital city.

The central exhibition of DMY 2013 showcased an incredible range of new products and designers, however arguably the most notable was the student work. In keeping with 2013's Polish Design Focus—making Poland the 5th guest country to present at the German festival—DMY showed and impressive range of professional and student work from Warsaw to Gdansk.

Here is a quick look into the exhibitors from four of Poland's design programs.

Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in KrakowThe Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (established in 1818) is the oldest arts academy in Poland. For DMY they presented a selection of work from their bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs spanning the disciplines of transportation, furniture and industrial design.

1.jpgCafe Seat. A furniture design with a specific function - Dominika Brzostowska

sprint_krakow.jpgLet'sprint concept design for a fixed-gear bicycle - Stanislaw Juszczak

School of Form in Poznan - For their booth at DMY Berlin, the School of Form based in Poznan, Poland presented a unique set of IKEA-hacked Lack Tables. Students of the Domestic Design curriculum in collaboration with IKEA added or shifted the function of pre-existing products while redefining the target buyer.

Lack_Hack.jpgDomestic Design: Lack Additional Function - Kamila Sanczyk

Fine Arts Academy in Gdansk - In their presentation of "Around the Table" the Fine Arts Academy of Gdansk reconsidered one of the most cultural and social hubs in any household - the dining room table. Visitors of DMY were invited to investigate a number of new products while circulating around a long display table. The reasoning for both the unique presentation and design of the objects was that the "work should highlight the advantages of a meal, but also to stimulate creative thinking and willingness to debate."

table_Gdansk.jpg The central display for "Around the Table"


Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |  11 Mar 2013  |  Comments (0)


The wait is over: The City of New York recently announced the first annual full-fledged New York design celebration from May 10–21, 2013. NYCxDesign (pronounced New York by Design) will be a citywide festival spanning the five boroughs and all disciplines of design (including industrial, furniture, fashion, graphic, film etc). NYCxDesign could very well become the biggest celebration of design in the world.

The NYCxDesign Steering Committee is comprised of a stacked line-up, boasting some of the most notable members of the NYC design community—not only designers and media (including our own Allan Chochinov), but also curators, educators, entrepreneurs, retailers and more. With planning committee spanning so many diverse fields—NYC Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and MoMA's Paola Antonelli, to name just a few—the inaugaral NYCxDesign has massive support from all corners of the design community.


Every May for the past 24 years, designers, students and design enthusiasts flock to the Javitz Center in NYC for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. While ICFF serves as the must-see mecca for new ideas and conversations about the state of furniture and industrial design, it is high time for NYC to go ahead and brand an all-inclusive design festival. In addition to many of the yearly exhibitors and shows in past NY Design Weeks, a host of new venues and designers will be added to the roster in the 12-day event.

Great citywide support: check. Awesome exhibitions, shows and events from all corners of the globe and design field: check. But how does one go about creating a brand identity for an event that encompasses one of the largest and most diverse design communities in the world? The Steering Committee for the 2013 NYCxDesign looked to Base Design to brand a design tribe that is 40,000+ strong. According to lead Willy Wong:

Speaker Quinn and the NYCxDESIGN Steering Committee understood that the celebration's identity needed to showcase individual designers, firms, schools and institutions, embrace the diversity of their practices across disciplines and throughout the City. Base Design's emphasis on the 'X' nailed the brief beautifully. They created an open system with an inclusive symbol that stands for location, expression, identification, examination, experimentation, intersection, iteration, variation, amplification and excellence.