Core77 2014 Year in Review: Top 15 Posts · Year in Photos · Drones · Transportation Design · Food & Drink · Wearable Technology · Power Tools and Hand Tools · Tool Storage · Organizational Solutions · Material News · Design Thinking · Architecture and Design GIFs
In 2014 the Core77 team reported from the best design festivals, exhibitions, conferences, design studios and manufacturers around the globe bringing you a firsthand look at the designs and processes that made us look twice. Our photographers, many who are practicing designers, captured the beauty and the spectacle of the landscape of contemporary design.
From Swiss skis to party cups, precision vehicles to kinetic sculptures in the desert, here's a look back on some of our favorite photo galleries and photo essays from the last year.
Click on each image to see the full galleries / photo essays!
This year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) didn't disappoint, with a solid lineup of production cars including the Ford Mustang, Ford F-150 pick up, Lexus RC, Cadillac ATS Coupe, BMW M4 Coupe, Corvette Z06 and Audi RS7. As the car reveals get more and more sensational sophisticated with massive choreographed video projections, music and live stage antics, it's fair to say Ford won most ambitious booth design with nearly 38-ton section of assembly line on their stand to demonstrate the robotic production process of the F-150.
One of the biggest trends was the resurgence in performance cars, possibly to attract the Millennial market who's lack of interest in car ownership has been widely reported. Or more simply, the industry has grown stagnant and senses it's time to inject some new excitement to appease the car enthusiasts like Toyota's FT-1 and Kia's GT4 Stinger concept cars.
> >View Gallery
New York Design Week: The Best of ICFF
Has the ICFF has found it's mojo again? This year saw a number of new designers exhibiting for the first time, delivering a higher standard of work from both established manufacturers and emerging design studios.
Bernhardt design, who have helped launch numerous emerging designers with their ICFF Studio partnership, celebrated their 125th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, designer Frederick McSwain created a series of family tree wall sculptures inspired by the growth rings found in the cross section of a tree trunk. Chicago-based designer Felicia Ferrone launched her debut furniture collection bravely opting for white carpet in the booth, London-based Cycloc returned after a brief hiatus with some brand new wall mounting fixtures and accessories for bicycles, and Artek picked up an ICFF Editors Award with their multifunctional task chair 'Rival' designed by Konstantin Grcic.
> >View Gallery A Brave New Modernism: Dubai, by Shaun Fynn
Dubai symbolizes the megacity with the megaprojects like no other. Rarely have our talents as builders been so effectively combined with our talents as storytellers. Dubai tells the story of unprecedented and rapid economic expansion spurred by oil wealth and the city's desire to be the hub of commerce for the region. The enactment of carefully crafted policies has created an international center for finance, tourism, trade and manufacture.The fictional nature of Dubai has been the subject of much debate but interpreting the elements that contribute to the increasingly blurred lines between fact and fiction, myth and realty are a challenge for our era. Our abilities as architects and designers to understand the power of a brand now bridges every aspect of what we create. From handbags to high-rises, the entire built world becomes ever more sophisticated as we evolve our practices to better cater for the motivations and desires of both business and the individual.
> >View Photo Essay
Every January, IMM Cologne and the off-site exhibitions and events of Passagen kick off the design year as the first international shows on the calendar, hosting nearly 1500 exhibitions in all. We have bundled up in our winter gear to wander the fair and city to bring you the highlights of 2014 in our gallery. The shows are focused on (but not limited to) furniture and interior design, and increasingly flirt with other disciplines with each new year.
> >View Gallery
Bike Cult Show
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.
> >View Gallery
London Design Festival
The London Design Festival, now in it's 12th year was back bigger than ever with festivities spreading even further into the metropolis. The usual suspects; designjunction, Designersblock, Tent, and Superbrands were out in full force with more design eye-candy than you can wave a well crafted candlestick at. There was a lot of unexpected treasures to be discovered in peripheries, and once again the organizers did an amazing job with producing and branding the design festival.
> >View GalleryOutdoor Retailer Summer Market
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 GalleryZai Ski Factory Tour
Inhabitants of the small town of Disentis, in the Swiss canton of Grisons, still mainly communicate in the Romansh language—a Roman dialect that has survived here over centuries. This is mainly because this part of Switzerland had remained rather untouched, due to being a little cut off from the rest of the world (even for Swiss standards). In fact, the name Desentis derives from Desertinas (deserted), but yet it's the birth place of the most innovative skis that the world has seen for many decades: the ZAI skis.
They're the brain child of passionate skier and "son of the mountains" Simon Jacomet, whose main objective for designing these skis was to "create a tool which enables people to ski easier and have more fun—to forget about the skis and just be creative themselves in the snow." Educated in the local Disentis ministry by abbots, he developed this rather Zen design approach of "constructing a ski that is doing the skiing itself."
> >View Gallery
International Home + Housewares Show
With some 60,000 exhibitors from all over the world, four days is not nearly enough time to see every thing in the three massive exhibition halls of McCormick Place, and the products and booths you see here represent just a tiny fraction of the goods on view.
In any case, we were excited to see the Design Debut section, where ten independent designers and makers—including our friends and some time Core-tributors Craighton Berman & Bruce Tharp—had the opportunity to present their work. Similarly, first-time exhibitors like Crucial Detail, Finell and Mollaspace made a strong showing in the Dine + Design section, while we also checked out new products from OXO, Kikkerland and a few of our other faves.
> >View GalleryBurning Man Festival
Burning Man is a bombastic playground for all participants, but it's paradise for the enthusiastic designer! On the Playa, it's time for co-creation and non-intentional design at its very best. The whole event is based on participation, so if you help to build a sculpture, engineer the best way to evaporate your gray water, or choreograph a new dance-based typography, you'll find creativity is oozing from all corners in Black Rock City. And the radical inclusion principle is both enjoyable and surprisingly productive.
Alongside all the productivity and involvement, don't forget to take lots of time to explore the art on the playa, and visit the many theme camps around you. There are some brilliant examples of experience design out there, and a lot of fun to be had. Imagine all your favorite classes in university thrown into the middle of the desert. Remove all requirements and grades, add some unnecessary decoration, stick an LED on it and always have a chilled drink at hand. Enjoy!
> >View Gallery