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Posted by core jr  |   1 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

State-Of-Mind-Gallery.jpgPhotography by Brit Leissler for Core77

Designer Martino Gamper guest curated an exhibition presenting a collection of objects from the personal archives of his friends and colleagues at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London. His collection, Design is a State of Mind, features a "landscape of shelving options" aimed at sharing the story of the design objects we interact with and how they impact their users and admirers.

The exhibited pieces include finds from the 1930s mixed with modern-day designs. You'll see well-known silhouettes nestled next to one-offs and styles ranging from contemporary to utilitarian. Some of the designers include Ettore Sottsass, Charlotte Perriand, IKEA, Dexion and Giò Ponti. The juxtaposition of styles brings to light a history of how we've housed our belongings and showed them off through the years as various styles and trends have come, gone and reappeared. The items displayed on the shelves are a collection of archives from Gamper's friends and colleagues.

Gamper also designed two exhibits in the Gallery's powder rooms—one being a tribute to Italian designer Enzo Mari and the other a space encouraging visitors to interact with Gamper's furniture designs. The Mari room displays a compilation of the designer's drawings, notes and designs, all held down by a different paperweight of Mari's own collection. Gamper's room invites visitors to sit on the designer's chair and explore a international library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues while watching either Tati's Mon Oncle or Alain Resnais' Le Chant du Styrene—two films that feature the designs of the 1950s and how furniture design has changed in the years leading up to present day.

» View gallery

Posted by core jr  |  27 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

OR-2014-Gallery.jpgPhotography by Mark LeBeau for Core77

The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Tradeshow in Salt Lake City, Utah, is known for featuring the latest and greatest in outdoor sports gear and apparel. To put it shortly, it's very much an industry show. We sent photographer Mark LeBeau to check it out and take some shots of the gadgets we should keep an eye out for. He noted the proliferation of electronics, chargers and smart devices, as well as the throwback to the much-loved "mom and pop" general-store aesthetic. A practicing designer himself, LeBeau also shot the event for us in 2013.

LeBeau's favorite design? A magnetized climber's grip by Garret Finny.

» View Gallery

Posted by core jr  |  26 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

Bike-Cult-Show-2014-Gallery.jpgPhotography by Jeff Enlow for Core77

Once again, we were thrilled to support NYC's fledging Bike Cult Show as an official media partner and offer exclusive coverage of the late-summer exhibition that is shaping up to be the region's premier handbuilt bicycle show. The second year delivered on its promise to be bigger and better than the first as organizers Harry Schwartzman, Benjamin Peck and David Perry upgraded to the massive Knockdown Center event space in Maspeth, Queens, for the event that took place over the weekend of August 16–17.

As with last year, we showcased a handful of the exhibitors in the weeks leading up to the show—Bryan Hollingsworth, Brian Chapman, Mathew Amonson and J.P. Weigle—who were happy to share their stories and talk shop about bicycles and much more. And in case you missed it, last year's builder profiles included several of this year's exhibitors as well: Johnny Coast, Jamie Swan, Rick Jones and Thomas Callahan and the late Ezra Caldwell (to whom the show was dedicated).

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Bike Cult Show 2014 Builder Profiles:
» Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles on Saying "Yes" to Clients, the Decline of the Fixed-Gear, and More
» Brian Chapman Shares the Eight Secrets to Making a Living As a Custom Framebuilder
» Mathew Amonson of Airtight Cycles on Avoiding the G Train, Seeking a Master Framebuilder, and More
» J.P. Weigle Reflects on 40 Years of Framebuilding - A Photo Essay

Posted by core jr  |  15 Aug 2014  |  Comments (1)


Once again, Core77 is pleased to be the media partner for the Bike Cult Show, which will once again bring the very best custom framebuilders in the Northeast region to New York City this month. Set to take place this weekend, August 16–17, at the Knockdown Center in Queens, the second annual Bike Cult Show promises be bigger and better than before. Earlier this week, we heard from new kid on the block Mathew Amonson of Airtight Cycles; the subject of our fourth and final builder profile is the venerable J.P. Weigle, who has seen fit to chronicle his storied career in a photo essay.

If you like what you see here, head over to Knockdown Center this weekend to see these works of art in person at the Bike Cult Show!

Text and images courtesy of Peter Weigle


I never dreamed about being a frame builder—in fact, I had no idea such a person existed. In 1972, a friend encouraged me to interview for an 'interesting opportunity,' and three weeks later I was standing in this shop in Deptford, England. The shop was old, old school: No jigs, no machinery, no alignment table etc. We drilled vent and pin holes with hand-spun twist drills. Hacksaws, files and elbow grease got the job done.


After a seven-month stint, I came back to the States. I worked in a small frame shop, Witcomb USA, along with Richard Sachs. I rode and raced my bike as much as I could. I made this bike for myself in England; this road race, at left, was a hilly one up in Vermont.

At right, a few of the mid-years crew at Witcomb USA. That's Chris (Fat Chance) Chance on the left, Fred Widmer in the center, and me at the right with my Clockwork Orange haircut.


Witcomb USA closed its doors in '77. My plan at first was to get a real job... but instead I bought one of the Witcomb jigs, some of the tooling and some material inventory. This photo was taken at my first shop, a Quonset hut at a local airport. I had no phone, so I used the payphone over at the field office. Customers took quite a chance driving there, wondering if I'd be there or not.

This mixte touring bike was one of the first bikes built in my new shop. Fenders, Ideale saddle, hmmm...

Weigle-07_08.jpgClick here for high-resolution image of newspaper clipping

In the early 80s, a friend from California told me about a 'mountain bike' he had just purchased. He sent photos of his Ritchey and some sketches. I made my first mountain bike in '82 and rode it everywhere. I went to Fat Tire Bike Week in Crested Butte, CO, in '83–4. All of the MTB luminaries were there and it was ground zero for that sport. Moab was just a dusty place in the desert at that point.

Racing soon followed. The early days were real grassroots affairs—nobody knew much about the sport, so sometimes we made things up as we went along. No one knew what to wear at these events either... you might see a classic Brooklyn jersey next to a racer in cut-offs.

I also used my lightweight specials in cyclocross events, which was legal back then. At the 1988 National Championships, I won the Vets race in fine style.


Even though mountain bikes were my newfound passion, I still made my share of road frames. This bike was displayed in a show and was also selected for the cover photo at left. I was just learning how to do these three-color schemes and was having trouble. I used a tooth pick dabbed in paint to touch up my mistakes... and I used the same 'tool' to paint the clown's face on the back of the pump bump. ;~)

And on the right, the 'money shot' in a Cigar Aficionado article. I called this bike 'French Reminiscence'—all it needed was fenders.


Posted by core jr  |  12 Aug 2014  |  Comments (1)


Once again, Core77 is pleased to be the media partner for the Bike Cult Show, which will once again bring the very best custom framebuilders in the Northeast region to New York City this month. Set to take place next weekend, August 16–17, at the Knockdown Center in Queens, the second annual Bike Cult Show promises be bigger and better than before. Previously, we heard from Brian Chapman; here we have relative newcomer Mathew Amonson of Airtight Cycles.

Text and images courtesy of Mathew Amonson

I was born on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho. Before I could walk, I was on a horse with my dad—it was like riding on a dragon! We moved to a small city with amazing roads and no horses. Every kid in the neighborhood had a BMX and we would roam the streets in packs of 5-to-8 year-olds. I was so used to riding around, I would head off on my own at five years old, and ride through the neighborhoods and parks and head to my favorite bluffs and scale a massive letter "I" (for Idaho State University) while avoiding the junkies. If my parents had known, they would have freaked out, but I didn't know any better. A bike for me was freedom: I could go anywhere at any time (if I could escape the parent "caring and safety" net).

I ended up studying Film at SFSU and then pursuing another childhood fascination of mine, stop-motion animation. Stop-motion taught me extreme patience and attention to detail and quality fabrication processes. I co-founded a stop motion studio in New York, which is enjoying a great run of success as we speak.

Like many people of my generation, when I moved to Brooklyn, I immediately got a bike so I could avoid the G train. I then started riding past the L, then over the bridge, then a few more, and pretty soon I was riding everywhere.


I'm sure many people will agree. Cycling is a very equalizing and liberating way to travel around the city. Exercise, speed of transit, etc... and you get to FLY! I began fixing my own bike, replacing components, and eventually building up entire frames with components. Like many people in the Rockies, I come from a background of hands-on DIY fabrication and repair—building houses, fixing cars and electronics, etc.

One day, it hit me, when I stripped the paint off a beautiful old fillet-brazed Reg Harris frame and I was struck with how beautiful the quality of the craftsmanship was. I wanted to make one! I did a massive amount of research and grabbed any books and materials I could find. I made my first frame completely on my own—I took a torch safety class, bought some basics and slowly worked my way through the process until I had a complete frame. It rode well and I was really proud of my unique design, but I also recognized all the flaws and knew that I needed to seek a proper master to take my skills to another level.



Posted by core jr  |   8 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


Once again, Core77 is pleased to be the media partner for the Bike Cult Show, which will once again bring the very best custom framebuilders in the Northeast region to New York City this month. Set to take place next weekend, August 16–17, at the Knockdown Center in Queens, the second annual Bike Cult Show promises be bigger and better than before. Previously, we heard from Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles; here, we have another Brian, the owner and operator of Chapman Cycles.

Text and images courtesy of Brian Chapman.

My fondest bike-related memories are when I started to learn foot jam endos in front of our house in Attleboro with my older brother. That was 30 years ago. I still ride flatland BMX today as it is a way for me to meditate and clear my mind. It is also amazing what it can do for your core muscles! That really doesn't have a lot to do with framebuilding except that I love bikes. A lot of people love bikes though.

I currently live and work in Rhode Island, about 35 miles from where I was born in New Bedford, MA. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and only utilize a small portion of that. The framebuilding and painting techniques that I learned in my two years of apprenticing were much more important to this craft. Ten years of wrenching at shops helped a lot, too, in regards to fitting and assembly.

I started apprenticing at Circle A Cycles in 2004 and built my first bike in 2005 for my girlfriend at the time. It's still together even though we aren't! I learned a lot at Circle A. The first 100 bikes I built were just me ironing out the process to one I felt comfortable with. I have to note here that the structure of the Circle A shop was such that the builder (Chris, or myself, or, way back when, Emily) did the process from fit to assembly (it's a unique skill set). Nothing was handed over to someone else. So three control freaks could happily work side by side and just being in the same shop, the styles would blend. We'd also be bouncing ideas off of each other or sharing discoveries with tools or paint techniques.



I was there for about nine years—it was a fun time and I miss it sometimes. In 2011, I started building under my own name as an outlet because I wanted to take my building to a new level that was different from what we were making at Circle A. And that's how Chapman Cycles started. Circle A taught me how to survive as a framebuilder. The eight secrets to making a living as a custom framebuilder (you ready?): Paint your own bikes, live at your shop, eat ramen with peanut butter, learn to lay a perfect fillet, be nice, ride often, cut up your credit cards, meet delivery dates. That's about all there is to it... sort of.


Posted by erika rae  |  24 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


Shipping containers have been becoming a lot of things lately—homes, churches, a Subway sandwich shop... the list goes on. We've got another one to add to the list: a larger-than-life kaleidoscope that you can actually walk into. The effect is much the same as a house of mirrors. Designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki are responsible for this psychedelic project, titled "Wink Space." At first glance, the structure comes off as a blinding beacon of mirrors—catch it at the wrong angle you'll be seeing sunspots instead of symmetry—but step inside and you'll find that Shirane and Miyazaki have a few surprises for you.


My favorite quirk has got to be the fact that the entire kaleidoscope is constructed with zippers—meaning various 'windows' can be unzipped and revealed from the inside. The designers call this "the world's first zipper architecture." Staying true to the quick assemblage/breakdown nature of shipping containers, they wanted this sentiment to translate in Wink Space. "A thin and light material was demanded to build the zipper architecture," Shirane and Miyazaki explain. "Therefore I referred to origami, which is a traditional game in Japan that can be made both light and strong only by folding. In other words, this polyhedron is built by folding one plane of 15m×8m."


Posted by core jr  |   7 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

CHICAGOLAND-byAlexWelsh.jpgCHICAGOLAND at WantedDesign. Photo by Alex Welsh

By Morgan Walsh

Now that it's officially July, the city of Chicago has settled into its annual routine of near-constant street festivals, concerts, BBQs, neighborhood 5Ks and other seasonal activities. With the heat and the holiday, it's almost easy to forget the hullabaloo surrounding the Chicago design community and it's myriad events only a few weeks ago. Starting in May and culminating in the first weeks of June, the Guerilla Truck Show, This is Chicago, and CHICAGOLAND set up (and tore down) shop; CHGO DSGN and the Chicago Design Museum hosted opening receptions; and Catalyze Chicago, a young organization offering resources to local designers, hit their membership capacity.

ChiDM-1-Courtesy-David-Ettinger.jpgPreview Reception at Chicago Design Museum. Courtesy David Ettinger

The common thread, title-wise, between the names of these events and the organizations collectively represent the Chicago design community and, like the proverbial diamond in the rough, its various facets: collaboration, shared resources and a regular old Midwestern work ethic. Presumably anticipating a sylvan summer getaway, Rick Valicenti likened various groups of Chicago designers to multiple campfires across the city. His thought, which is clear within his show, was that the closer these campfires become, the more light they'll put off, making it easier to see Chicago design from a distance. So before the "summer-of-Chicago-design" fades into just-another-Chicago-summer, here is a summary of just a few Chicago design events that have taken (or are taking) place, how they overlap and what the community can still gain from them.

CHGO-DSGN-2-Courtesy-Ross-Floyd-Photography.jpgCHGO DSGN at the Chicago Cultural Center. Courtesy Ross Floyd Photography

CHGO DSGN is a massive display of current object and graphic design currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center. Curated by Valicenti, 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, the opening night saw over 2,000 visitors. With limited promotion, the record turnout was a testament to the interest in local design work, and to the vast network at play. Rick's show, as it is often fondly referred to, features over 100 makers, and over 200 pieces of work, presented in funky, densely packed vignettes. While CHGO DSGN offers the obvious benefit of accessibility to a public audience, it has also helped bring designers in closer proximity to each other. Per his example above, exhibiting together is one way to dissolve the boundaries, both physical and perceived, between object and graphic designers, to see what is happening outside one's bubble and envision future relationships.

CHGO-DSGN-1-Courtesy-Alfonso-Monroy-and-Elizabeth-Muskopf.jpgOpening Night at CHGO DSGN. Courtesy Alfonso Monroy and Elizabeth Muskopf


Posted by erika rae  |  16 Jun 2014  |  Comments (0)


Street artist JR has been plastering city streets with the portraits of strangers for years, including his TEDPrize project from 2011. Now, he's been hired by the French government to put a pretty face on the Panthéon's unsightly construction. JR helped making the space a little more inviting by pasting thousands of different faces on the ceilings, floors and exterior of the building.



What started as an illegal activity back in 2006 with a public "exhibition" of suburban street thug portraits in the "bourgeois districts of Paris," took a turn when the Paris City Hall decided to wrap its walls with his faces. Funny enough, his resume consists of a mix of controversial (and occasionally still illegal) exhibitions and government-funded projects. Collectively, all of JR's work that spurred from the TEDPrize is titled INSIDE OUT. This specific display goes by the name of Au Panthéon!.


Posted by erika rae  |  13 Jun 2014  |  Comments (0)


Editor's Note: Although this exhibition was originally scheduled to run through June 18, it has been exhtended to July 31—don't miss it!.

I wasn't a typography person until I paid a visit to the Century: 100 Years of Type Design exhibition, presented by AIGA and Monotype. Sure, I shared my peers' disdain for Comic Sans and admired a nice headline style from time to time, but for the most part I simply didn't appreciate the details. I guarantee that you, too, will walk out of the AIGA National Design Center with at least a few font facts on your mind, if not a full-fledged fixation. Presented on the occasion of the organization's centennial, Century presents the history and conception of typeface from the very first fonts to the ones we use today through a well-curated selection of artifacts, including typeface production drawings, packaging, advertisements and publications by prominent designers of the last 100 years, among other ephemera.

Check out the exhibit trailer for a look at the space and a few details on the work on display:

I made my way to the exhibit on a night that was hosted by the AIGA Women Leadership Initiative—a new project working to bring women in the design industry together through networking events, exhibits and salons—that included a guided tour highlighting women designers. Monotype's Dan Rhatigan did an excellent job leading the tour, highlighting the importance women played in the typeface evolution, introducing lesser-known gems and walking us through how some of the artifacts came to be in Monotype and AIGA's collection. One look at his typeface-tattooed arms and you know he's the perfect guy for the job.



Posted by erika rae  |   6 Jun 2014  |  Comments (0)


Here on Core, we've dedicated a fair amount of space to wood as a material in the context of furniture and product design: our ten-part series on wood species, lumber processing and movement ain't going out of style any time soon. Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira offers a very different approach to the versatile material, which he salvages and repurposes in the form of ligneous large-scale installations. Most recently, he's worked something up for the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo called "Transarquitetônica." This type of plywood is used on "fancy construction sites" (as described by the designer) to hide unsightly hardhat areas.



His work is a little bit Alice in Wonderland with a few decor notes from The Hobbit—devoid of visitors, it would make for a great mid-day stroll the shake the workday off a bit. This video, by, offers a closer look at "Transarquitetônica," including Oliveira elaborating on the making of the piece: "When I broke this piece [of wood], it was like a brush stroke for me."


Posted by Ray  |   5 Jun 2014  |  Comments (1)


I'd declared it in so many words in the Editor's Note to the inaugural issue of the C77 Design Daily, but I must admit I was expressly thinking of the Kara Walker installation at the Domino Sugar Factory when I wrote the first sentences of that short text:

We live in an age of spectacle, and so too does it seem like reality is more spectacular than ever before. Between the endless airspace of social media and the inconceivably powerful devices we carry along with our pocket change, we are all but expected to express ourselves at every turn—who can fault us for indulging in the collective narcissism? Instagrammability is an unspoken criteria for the barrage of phenomena that surround us, and product, furniture and exhibition design are among the many things that will be captured, filtered and liked by thousands of eyeballs and fingertips... most of which will never come in contact with the actual things or places.

Cheeky not only for its title—"A Subtlety" is ostensibly ironic but is actually an allusion to a medieval confection—Walker's highly photogenic (albeit often blown-out) room-sized sphinx has high cheekbones and a prodigious posterior, among other unsubtle traits. That, and the fact that the massive, 35ft-high, 75ft-long mammy lords over her adoring public, her exaggerated mammaries and genitalia more cartoonish than obscene. Reportedly sculpted from some 40 tons of sugar (it's not solid), non-profit arts organization Creative Time commissioned the piece from Walker, which is accompanied by attendants scattered throughout the turbine hall-like space of the former sugar refinery; it also happens to be the first three-dimensional work for the New York-based artist, who is best known for her silhouetted cut-outs.



In the interest of providing context (both for those of you who are planning on visiting and those of you who will vicariously consume it via the Internet), some recommended reading: Hrag Vartanian's take includes with a brief history of the site (partly adapted from an October 2013 Times article) alongside his photo essay; Audie Cornish's helpfully descriptive NPR story; and Hilton Als' erudite yet accessible blogpost for The New Yorker.

Much has been made of the subtitular wall text, printed in foot-high letters on the exterior of the building (and reproduced in the video and all of the articles above), but loaded rhetoric aside, there is indeed a certain subtlety to the craftsmanship behind the piece. It's hard to tell from the time lapse video above, but the Art21 segment below nicely captures both Walker's myriad reference points and the actual fabrication of the work, which was assembled and hand-finished in situ. Self-styled scholars can read up at their leisure; the makers among you might be more interested in the middle section of the video:


Posted by Kat Bauman  |  30 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


Ladies & Gentlemen Studio knows how to play with their shapes. Tucked into a dim upper corner of Sight Unseen OFFSITE, their booth was a highlight of the bright show. Their booth was cosy and inviting, dotted with beautiful glowing glass forms and nonsensical toys. Founders Dylan Davis and Jean Lee met while studying industrial design at the University of Washington, and after some travels, they're still based in Seattle, applying a materials-heavy approach to thing-design.


L&G has previously garnered attention for their sculptural pieces and jewelry, and their new "Shape-Up" collection of lights is a clear outgrowth. As they noted in a pre-show interview with Sight Unseen, their emphasis on strong geometry and multi-discipline dabbling sometimes results in surprising cross-breeding. Almost all of the pieces on display featured glass elements made in collaboration with the glass artist John Hogan. In the same interview, Lee discussed tinkering with the shapes, imagining the bold "noodle" shape as a candleholder or wall-hanging planter. Fortunately for us, it wound up as one of the most striking elements in the four part Shape-Up ceiling light. Intended to be modular, the four lights can be arranged at different heights and clustered in any array your heart desires (within corded reason). The result is a very careful jumble of shapes with simple lines; glowing jewelry for your ceiling.


Posted by Kat Bauman  |  29 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


It's always a treat when older design houses launch specialty lines. Half the time; they produce things only the most dedicated Skymall shopper could love and we get to gloat, and the other half, they hit pay dirt. Umbra Shift is dirty in the good way. Umbra may be known for cheap plastics, but it turns out that working with elite designers, limiting your number of products, and giving your team a lot of free reign is a decent recipe for good stuff. The housewares heavy-hitter let Design Director Matt Carr take the helm, and he dreamed up a line realized by 8 great designers and the folks at Umbra Studio.


As seen at ICFF, the line is home oriented and form-conscious; straight lines all over with a heavy focus on natural material and traditional production. Matte textures, soft colors, big leafed plants, and all very Table of Contents feeling. It's still a little silly though. My favorite piece, the Coiled Stool, is a lighthearted butt-friendly design spearheaded by Harry Allen. It feels almost like a visual gag, playing on rope as a nonstructural material. With a steel undercarriage it's plenty strong, and not nearly as squishy as I'd have guessed. But its shape is familiar, like a cousin to both metal tractor seats and wooden farm stools of the ages, brought together with traditional Vietnamese basket-weaving. One of its designers admitted that rendering the shape for production involved a lot of bumming around with cardboard clutched to their butts. Serious stuff.

UmbraShift-CoiledStool.gifUmbraShift-CoiledStool.jpgGenesis of a stool


Posted by core jr  |  23 May 2014  |  Comments (3)


By Ali Morris

It was during a trip to independent furniture show BKLYN Designs last year that New Yorkers John Neamonitis and Charlie Miner came up with the concept for their new website, WorkOf. Launched in January of this year, WorkOf is an online platform that is helping New York's thriving designer-maker community to reach consumers while providing consumers with a new way of discovering hard-to-find design. "I was walking around [BKLYN Designs] and there was all of this really amazing work," says Miner. "I was asking people, 'Where would I go to buy this stuff? Is there a somewhere where I can find it all in one place?' and everyone told me it didn't exist." Surprised and frustrated by the response they were getting, Neamonitis and Miner set about creating a solution.

WorkOf functions like a collective online storefront for its community, directing traffic to the designers' websites and online stores. "We launched with 20 makers but have nearly 40 now," says Miner, reflecting on a very busy five months. While every designer brings his or her own unique style to the table, the pieces are united by a raw, industrial aesthetic that identifies them as handmade in Brooklyn. Industrial brass lighting fixtures come courtesy of Workstead and Allied Maker, while Stefan Rurak's heavy, reclaimed wood furniture and the blackened steel frames of Vidi Vixi's pieces are softened by Calico's ombre wallpapers and Fort Makers' painterly fabrics.


Although membership of WorkOf is free, applications are carefully considered. Miner explains, "Although we're certainly open to people approaching us—I mean, that's what we want to do, to support the community—we also want to be sure that the artists we represent are commercially viable; that they can scale to meet demand and that they can handle customers in a professional way because it reflects on everybody. It's not a hobbyist platform, it's not for amateurs."


Posted by Ray  |  22 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


A shorter version of this article was originally published in the C77 Design Daily, Vol. 1, Issue 2, on May 17, 2014.

There was a kind of carnival atmosphere at the opening party of Reclaim 3: Carte Blanche—the inaugural exhibition at the new Colony co-op / showroom space—which was Jean Lin and Jennifer Krichels' goal, perhaps, when they commissioned the three wildly disparate interactive installations from Brooklyn's Fort Makers, The Principals and UM Project by Françoise Chambard. The sheer spectacle of the work belies the fact that proceeds from sales (of related objects and accessories) goes towards charities of the designers' choice, and, if nothing else, it's a refreshing change of pace from the more commercial shows.

The Principals' "Space Trash," pictured at top, was a personal favorite, although you really have to see (and try) it in person to get what it's about. More on each project below.


- UM Project presents "Maypole," an ensemble of 16 new LED lamps based on the acclaimed Craft System series, connected around a center pole by colorful cords and synchronized together. All proceeds from UM Project's fundraising will be donated to the High School of Art and Design in New York City. UM Project's installation is made possible with the generous support of Acces I/O, BAGGU, Color Cord Company, Dolan & Traynor, Lenovo, Nooka, and Parallel Development.



Posted by Ray  |  21 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


This article was first published in the C77 Design Daily, Vol. 1, Issue1, on May 16, 2014.

Having been to an event at the cavernous Skylight at Moynihan Station before, I wasn't sure what to expect when I learned that the cavernous garage space—the historic James A. Farley Post Office, next to Penn Station—would be hosting the second annual Collective Design Fair. Then again, last year's inaugural event was at Pier 57, a floating extension of West 15th Street just south of Chelsea Piers, so perhaps the choice of warts-and-all raw spaces is intended to mark a sharp contrast with the exquisite vintage and contemporary design objects on view.

In any case, Collective 2 looked good... precisely because it looked a lot like money. This is not so much a critique but a fact: Frequently likened to DesignMiami/, Steven Learner's Collective effort is aimed squarely at a subset of the discerning audience of the concurrent Frieze New York art fair and is generally on point. Between the high production value of the show itself and a critical mass of dealers and galleries at the upper extremity of the market—it's a small world after all—the fair offers a nice survey of what is an admittedly narrow niche.



As these things go, the ambiance is a pastiche of understatement and opulence, punctuated by contemporary 'statement' pieces that come across more as interjections than proper sentences (i.e. Humans Since 1982's clocks at Victor Hunt). So too do these objects—from classic pieces by Wendell Castle and George Nakashima to contemporary ones by Cheryl Ekstrom and Joseph Walsh—bear price tags that are typically multiples of Manhattan zip codes.

For the most part, I didn't bother to ask; rather, I found myself musing on the paradox of treating design as art. I've always been a little bit put off by "Do Not Sit" signs sitting atop chairs, whether it's at a heavily-trafficked tradeshow or in a Soho showroom—prototypes aside, I'd been led to believe that these things are meant to be used, and my personal favorites followed suit.



Posted by erika rae  |  20 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


I bet you never thought you'd be comparing dated Nintendo cartridge games to beautifully screen-printed wall art. But that's exactly what you'll be doing once you get a glimpse at the eye candy on hand at this year's "My Famicase Exhibition," put on by METEOR, a Tokyo-based game culture shop. Every year (this being the 10th anniversary) artists submit custom NES cartridge art to be displayed in the showcase—this year, attendees will have the chance to check out 113 video game designs.


Aside from the jazzing up passed-due tech, artists are also responsible for coming up with a imaginative creative concept that goes along with the "video game" they're designing. The designs are printed on labels, which are then affixed to the cartridges.


Posted by erika rae  |  12 May 2014  |  Comments (0)

SurfacetoStructure-Mask.jpg"Shakti" by Joel Cooper

With NYCxDesign underway and ICFF and WantedDesign just around the corner, some of our readers are probably dealing with the delicate matter of transporting products and prototypes this week. Transferring the artwork/installation/exhibition from Point A to Point B is one thing, but making sure that nothing is damaged in the process is perhaps the concern. When it comes to a showcase featuring 120 works of origami, you've got yourself a whole new meaning for "precious cargo." Beginning on June 19, the Cooper Union will host Surface to Structure: Folded Forms—an exhibition featuring 120 pieces of origami from 80 contemporary origami artists that's looking to get a little crowdsourced love to help offset travel expenses.

SurfacetoStructure-Wings.jpg"St. Michael – The Archangel" by Tran Trung Hieu

SurfacetoStructure-Sculpture2.jpg"Dreamer" by Giang Dinh

The exhibition's organizers are working on an Indiegogo campaign to raise the necessary roundtrip transportation funds to get the work safely from and back to the artists—who are located in 16 different countries worldwide—post-show. (This campaign brought me back to Sipho Mabona's successful attempt at Kickstarting a life-size origami elephant fold with one piece of giant paper.) The last time the Cooper Union housed an exhibit of this kind was back in 1959 for the Plane Geometry and Fancy Figures showcase—which turned out to be the first origami show in the United States.

Check out the campaign video:


Posted by erika rae  |  23 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


Swiss artist Zimoun has put thousands of packing peanuts (or, "chips," as he refers to them) to work in a mesmerizing installation that's sure to put you in a trance. His newest installation, "36 Ventilators, 4.7m3 Packing Chips," lives inside of the Museo d'Arte di Lugano in Switzerland and depends on 36 fans (which are, of course, continuously blowing) to keep the cycle going.


Even though you may not have the time (or funds) to make it over to Switzerland to see this one for yourself, an excerpt from the exhibition's catalog does a pretty good job of putting you in the moment:

Even though the swirling of the polystyrene in the depth of each of the windows is actually limited to that space, we have the impression that the movement is propagating to the whole length of the Limonaia. To the visual effect adds the ticking of chips on the window panes, which could remind a thin but insistent rain. If, instead, we cross the threshold and get inside the space, the perception produced by the ebb and flow of the chips changes radically becoming more abstract; the movement appears mechanical rather than natural, the buzzing of the ventilators covers up the ticking of the polystyrene on the windows and thus reveals the artificial origin of the motion.

Check out this video of the installation at work:


Posted by erika rae  |  10 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


I can't count the number of times I've nearly had a heart attack because of some loose grate on the sidewalk—you know, the only thing standing between me and the smelly, rushing subway tunnel below. I'd imagine that if you unexpectedly walked upon Jeroen Bisscheroux's "POOL, Loss of Color," you'd have a similar feeling.

The floor painting is a 3D depiction of an empty pool. And as you can see from the photos below, visitors have been having a ball using the design to its full photo-op potential. While the actual art itself is memorable in its own bemusing way, like any other important work, the real enduring sentiment comes in the inspiration behind the project. The exhibit brings two disasters to viewers' attention in one image: the Sendai tsunami and the Fukishima disaster.



Posted by erika rae  |   2 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


By now, you may have seen some of the giant, designer eggs that have popped up around New York City. While the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt may be a well-known event in London, it's only now making its first appearance in NYC this spring. Beginning on April 1st, more than 200 giant eggs—designed by names like Ralph Lauren, Jeff Koons, Zaha Hadid, Diana Von Furstenberg and Marchesa (among many others)—are taking over the city.


While all of the eggs are outstanding in their own right, or friends at Brooklyn-based furniture studio Hellman-Chang shared a behind-the-scenes look at their egg, whichthat—in true furniture design fashion—uses every inch of space for good use.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  28 Mar 2014  |  Comments (4)


Hey folks, your correspondent is on the ground at Holz-Handwerk, a massive trade show in Germany covering everything under the sun related to woodworking and furniture building. Here they've got machines, tools, jigs, inventions, contrapations, guys named Hans, and all manner of cool stuff that you can use to make other cool stuff. The exhibitors seem to be primarily German, though there are pockets of companies from all over the world here.


Unsurprisingly the Italian machines (like this planer from SCM Group for when you need to work boards that are a freaking half-meter wide) have a little flair

With thousands of exhibitors spread over six-and-a-half massive exhibition halls laid out like a sprawling college campus, I realize that I could not possibly see half the stuff in here if I had twice the time, and that makes me want to cry. Plus the flowing crush of 100,000 attendees makes shooting video demonstrations of anything just about impossible. Still, the intrepid Core77 editor soldiers on, bolstered by discoveries like the following:


Deep down inside, I always suspected this is what bored craftsman raised in rustic settings did with wood cut-offs


Posted by core jr  |  28 Mar 2014  |  Comments (1)

Photos by Isaac Schell unless otherwise noted

On the occasion of the Red Hook Criterium this weekend, the Rapha Cycle Club here in Lower Manhattan is pleased to present Gangs of New York, an exhibition of exquisitely preserved vintage bicycles from the collection of Edward Albert. If Jamie Swan is a "Keeper of the Flame," so too is Albert a dedicated chronicler/collector amongst the current generation of cycling enthusiasts in the Tri-state Area.

What do these bicycles, mostly from the interwar period, have to do with an unsanctioned nighttime race in a Brooklyn shipping terminal? As Albert notes in this brief history of his personal story and the bicycles currently on view at the Cycle Club, all bicycles in New York were fixed-gears until the middle of the last century, when derailleurs finally caught on in the States. So while we look forward to footage of this year's race—Red Bull will be capturing it this year—we are very pleased to have a folk historian share a bit of context for NYC cycling culture.

Albert will be present at the opening reception of Gangs of New York, tomorrow afternoon from 2–4pm at the Rapha Cycle Club at 64 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014 (the Red Hook Criterium will take place later that evening).

As a Ph.D. in Sociology, I taught for 25 years at Hofstra university and retired in 2005 as an Emeritus Professor of Sociology. Many of those years were spent studying the sport of bicycle racing, about which I have published quite a bit in professional journals and edited collections.

I have always been interested in bikes—like most people, I've been riding since I was a kid. But the 60s being what they were, even though I wanted to race, smoking etc. got in the way. In 1974, I was in Toronto working on my doctorate and got involved with a local bike store and club. By the following year, at the age of 26, I was all in. Bike racing became the most important thing in my life. I quit smoking and started racing seriously as I worked on my dissertation. I moved up relatively quickly (to Cat. 2) and continued to race until around 2000. Sometimes I think I stayed in academia because it allowed me the time to train and race—I became a cyclist and continue to define myself as such.1

I started collecting when I stopped racing. Before I stopped, all I wanted was a bike that would help me do well in races. After collecting for a bit, I got talked into bringing two bikes to the Cirque du Ciclisme vintage bike show in Greensboro, NC. They were a restored pair of Dick Power bikes I had gotten from a guy who knew him, whom I had met while out training. The bikes—one track and one road—won Best in Show. I was hooked. That also started me on the path of not only looking at the bikes but (as a sociologist and social historian) looking at the stories behind them. That ended up with me interviewing countless riders from the day and my as-yet-unpublished book A Dark Day in Sunnyside about the builder and coach Dick Power.

EddieAlbert-DickPower-COMP.jpgImages courtesy of Edward Albert

I have about 38 bikes, give or take a few, at the moment. Many of the New York track bikes and memorabilia came from the people I interviewed. After interviewing a good ex-rider and member of the German Club, Eddie Troll, I asked if he had any stuff left he would be willing to sell. He took me into the garage and showed me his bike, lots of parts, etc. He said sure, my kids are just going to throw this stuff in the dumpster. This was not an uncommon theme—I got the Drysdale that is in the show (more on that below) from a nonagenarian who had retired to Las Vegas. Same sentiment.


Posted by Ray  |  19 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)


While much of the Northern Hemisphere clenched its collective teeth through yet another week of bitter cold, the end of February was a rather multifaceted celebration of art and design in South Africa when Design Indaba, World Design Capital 2014 events, the Cape Town Art Fair, and the Guild Design Fair converged in Cape Town (surely not by coincidence, as 2014 also marks the 20th anniversary of the nation's independence). The latter event was organized by the same folks behind Southern Guild, who made a strong showing at the very first Collective Design Fair last May, and like the NYC event, Guild skewed toward the Design Miami crowd. Not that there's anything wrong with that—I wish I'd had more time to explore the eclectic offerings on view (not that the multi-building venue was that big anyhow).

Guild-NachoCarbonell.jpgNacho Carbonell exhibition in the courtyard

Instead, I chanced upon an exhibitor whose mission is precisely to engage the Cape Town design community and public at large in a meaningful way. I recognized Daniel Charny immediately—I posted a video of his talk from Design Indaba 2013 just a few days prior—and he proudly gave me a tour of the Maker Library at Guild.

As its name suggests, it's a variation on a makerspace, a community hub that serves as a library-like resource for designers even as it transcends the scope of a mere repository of information. Rather, the Maker Library is designed to be a workshop and studio as much as it is a gallery, and the 'Librarian in Residence'—Heath Nash, in the case of Guild—is not only a knowledgeable administrator but a well-connected member of the local design community.


The Maker Library initiative finds its origins in the British Council, an organization is tasked with "educational opportunities and cultural relations" around the world. This year sees a focus on South Africa: As 2014 sees the nation enter its second decade of independence, so too is the first generation of "born-frees" on the cusp of adulthood, and an arts program called Connect ZA (sometimes styled as "Connect/ZA"; pronounced "Connect Zed-A," per the local flavor) is intended to meet them halfway.

Although the exhibition closed on March 9 along with the rest of the Guild Design Fair, the British Council / ConnectZA have posted an open call for other Maker Libraries in South Africa; applications are due on April 4. Here is a selection of the work from the Maker Library at Guild, which Charny organized with V&A curator Jana Scholze:



Posted by core jr  |  12 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)


About three months ago, we were interested to learn that Kiel Mead, co-founder of American Design Club and friend of Core, had taken a leadership role at As the Executive Vice President of Design, Mead is looking to spearhead new initiatives to support designers through Fab as a global online platform. Here he presents his first project, "First Things First," a call for entries for NYCxDesign, in his own words.

Fab Submit is a new initiative at Fab that stems from our longstanding goal of discovering and promoting the work of designers at all stages of their careers. Fab Submit is an open door for designers to present their designs to us, with the very real potential to have Fab produce and sell their work. The intent of our first call is to inspire new design with an intentionally broad brief. "First Things First: Finding Inspiration In A Fresh Start" is a prompt that we think will get the wheels turning for designers to take pen, pencil or indigo blue Prismacolor to paper.

My career before Fab was all about supporting designers and finding new and interesting ways to show, share and sell their work. For the past several years I have helped to foster an ever growing community of designers through my work with the American Design Club. Now I can pair those resources and that camaraderie with the expansive reach and established platform of Fab. One of the best things about Fab is how much this company wants to discover new and exciting work from designers at any level of their careers. Through programs like Fab Submit, we will discover great new designs and amazing new talents.


The deadline to submit is March 21, so check out the call for submissions and enter today!