These days people bandy the term "space-saving" about in hopes it will make their product more attractive to us city dwellers, particularly since there are now more of us than there are rural dwellers. But much of the supposedly space-saving furniture I've seen merely transforms from one thing to another, often in a very clumsy way; to me those objects do two things poorly rather than one thing well, and their novelty outweighs their functionality.
One company I've found that truly "gets" space-saving is New-York-based Resource Furniture, which distributes Italian brand Clei and other European furniture manufacturers. (You probably recognize the name Clei from their much-blogged orange couch that transforms into bunk beds.) The products Resource Furniture offers have a high level of design and engineering, with no compromises; there are no lumpy futon mattresses or "Grab lever A while holding switch B, then pull lever C" complications. The engineering is completely invisible, as it ought to be, the transformations do not require science backgrounds to execute, and each piece serves each of its dual functions as well as if it were a standalone. On top of that, they look good.
As seen above, Ron Barth, President of Resource Furniture (along with Trade Account Manager Challie Stillman) took some time out to give Core77 a personal showroom demo. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite out of all the stuff they showed us, but that hydraulic desk at 3:07 and the mind-blowing cabinet at 5:38 would probably make top of the list!
Transversale 2009 offers a full program on the interface between art and design. Contributions of no less than ten organizations in Dortmund results in a wide range of objects and installations by artists, designers, craftsmen, and students exploring the boundaries where art meets design and design meets art.
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Omid Sadri's multi-functional businesscards:There are three different cards within the set. One which suggests to use portion a of the card as a dental floss, one for cleaning under nails, and one for chewing gum. The objective was for the user to tear away the piece to use and keep...
Mathematician Andrew Hicks uses math to design mirrors. Not just any mirrors: His panoramic mirror reflects 360 degrees without any distortion; his perspective-rectifying mirror gives a wide-angle view without distortion, and was designed to help a stair-climbing robot navigate steps; and his "true mirror" reflects images without flipping them around....
A bite-sized list of what's happenin' now:
Ron Arad Leaving Royal College of Art
Should you buy an Amazon Kindle e-reader? The answer, in one easy formula
MoMA Exhibition: Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Bauhaus
Purdue student designs a ladder that could save lives
Design and the Mediterranean: International Design Contest