May 15th, 2013 – It’s about time. The past fifty years have been dominated by large clunky headphones that don’t cater to female form. Somebody needed to solve this acoustical travesty, and that somebody is Sweden-based industrial designer Maria von Euler, founder of the female-friendly headphone company Molami. Von Euler combined quality audio with avant-garde design, incorporating a function meets fashion ideal with their latest Twine Headpiece – headphones truly designed with the contemporary individual in mind.
Twine is a soft headpiece made of silk-satin and chiffon blends that comfortably wraps around your head with 18K gold accent pieces – giving you a unique listening experience. The headphones are designed from a fashion standpoint, worn as a selected accessory and tailored for the style savvy individual. Von Euler has meticulous attention to detail that can be seen in each pair of Molami headphones – from the tailored silhouette of each model down to the braided textile-wrapped cords and discreet accents plated in gold and silver.
Photography By Molami
May 3rd, 2013 – In 2012, heavy-weight industrial designer Tom Dixon launched a range of home accessories called Eclectic by Tom Dixon. The acclaimed collection burst onto the design scene with unique giftware and design objects formed from honest, resilient and heavyweight materials including copper, marble, cast iron.
Eager to continue the success of the new collection, Dixon has proudly unveiled his latest addition to the Eclectic family, Block Watch. A timepiece made from the most minimal components.
There are three different material variations of the Block Watch. The square case is stamped from a block of brass, stainless steel, or rose gold with a Swiss movement.
The dial is deeply etched with the numerals that point precisely at the time makers, encased in a crystal face for protection. Each watch is then laser etched with its own unique number. No more no less.
March 25th, 2013 – When Alberta College of Art & Design asked their design students to create something that generates social or economic value, students Sarah Jensen, Janet Molchanko, Amy Pon, and Morgan Smith immediately thought of one thing – number 2. An adventure in the great outdoors comes at a steep compromise of comfort, and when nature calls, leaves don’t always do the trick. In response to the discomfort of forests-sans-toilets, Jensen, Molchanko, and Smith created a waterproof toilet paper capsule made from a 2L plastic soda bottle, a resealable bag, reflective tape, silicone, twine, and recycled paper. The capsule is designed be hung and has an optional light attachment, for those late night rumbles. Now, at one point or another, every camper has made some sort of make-shift toilet paper holder, but kudos to this crew for refining it, packaging it, and giving it a clever name, When Nature Calls.
March 21st, 2013 – About a decade ago, somebody hit the fast forward button on the world and forgot to press play again. Our constant state of overdrive has borderline turned old world artistry into an endangered medium, leaving generations of arts and crafts lost. Adding a positive to that depressing intro, Jameson Irish Whiskey is one spirit maker who has placed a high value on their traditions since 1780. To parallel Jameson’s true-to-your-roots philosophy, the master blenders commissioned acclaimed glass engraver Dave Smith to dream up their limited edition 2013 St. Patrick’s Day bottle.
Keen to celebrate the pairing of their traditional Irish whiskey with Smith’s old world technique, Jameson invited KNSTRCT to hop on over to Dublin for a weekend of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, a tour of their original distillery, and to experience Smith’s work first hand. While there, the chilly weather made warming up in Dublin’s beloved Stag’s Head pub quite comforting, posing a perfect spot to watch Smith’s gold leafing demonstration. The artist was easily able to silence the room of spectators with his humble and collective demeanor, a manner well suited with his craft of choice.
The design of Jameson’s bottle was inspired by the intricate glass etching and ornate gilding synonymous with the décor of great Dublin pubs where Jameson has been enjoyed for generations. Smith began his process at the drawing board where he enjoys the freedom of using a pencil, this start ensures that the final product will avoid the appearance of coming from a production line. Pencil sketches soon manifest into an emerald etched bottle that consists of festive gold trumpets, green streamers, tiny little whiskey makers carrying barrels on their backs, and of course the classic Jameson lettering.
To achieve the desired black bar mirror look, which is frequently used in traditional pubs in Ireland, Smith explained that he used a reverse glass technique. This is a technique where gold and silver are hand painted onto the back of the glass. “Gold leaf is light, delicate, and very fragile. If you touch it, it will tear,” his connection with this material is undeniable, “nothing conveys as much impacts as gold leaf itself, especially applied in reverse. It has that dignity and richness, providing something that no other material can.”
Because of its fragile consistency, applying the gold is a very tedious process. This led Smith to design and develop a new handmade tool to lay the gold onto the glass, making it easier to apply. With a few tests, the artist noticed that with this new tool, even kids as young as five are able to apply the gold leaf. The joyous discovery opened up new doors for continuing the trade, as Smith is now able better to teach his three young daughters Hannah, Lauren, and Millie the old craft in his quest to pass on a dying art.
With Jameson’s Irish hospitality, you’re always in for a good time – but I didn’t know how good. The weekend itinerary included exotic cocktails at the Vintage Cocktail Club, A whiskey and cheese tasting at L Mulligan Grocer, checking out the Bombay Bicycle Club at the Jameson St. Patrick’s Day Live concert, and a proper whiskey tasting with Jameson’s 17-year distiller and chemist, Liam Donegan. Not on the weekend itinerary was a few awkward attempts at river dancing, learning how to strategically maneuver in and out of the smallest bar in Dublin, discovering that “mushy peas” is not guacamole, losing a passport, and thankfully, avoiding a naked sleepwalker – but we’ll leave those stories for a travel feature on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin coming next week – hook. line. sinker.
March 19th, 2013 – At the moment, technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting are sort of a delicacy. Experimenting with these tools requires designers to get past the steep equipment and software prices, but these hurdles didn’t stop the Savannah-based crew from Magnetic Kitchen. Designers Wes Batts, Dan Dittmar, and Kayla Colaizzi, co-founders of Magnetic Kitchen, started tinkering around with laser engraving as an artistic medium while they were studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The trio quickly became frustrated with the limited time they were allowed to use the tool at school, so they banded together and started a Kickstarter page to fund a new laser cutting machine.
After funding kicked in, Batts, Dittmar, and Colaizzi began to kick it in the workshop until the wee hours of the morning experimenting with the machine. Out of those after-hour sessions came an intricate new series of laser engraved skateboard decks with names like Grandma’s Sofa, Death Grip, and Hangover Cure. The 7-layer ply hard rock maple boards are sourced from a craftsman in Pennsylvania, the team then “creates the design in Adobe Illustrator, refines it in Rhino, before bringing it into the laser cutter,” Colaizzi noted while explaining their process. Each deck is an artistic piece that can be visually preserved for something along the lines of wall decor, but the designers made sure that the laser cutting went through less than half of a layer, allowing the deck to keep its ride-able integrity. The team is keen on forging clean design and homemade goods in order to create a one of a kind experience for the user – all at a competitive price of $95.00 to $125.00 per deck. If you’re in the market for a stellar new board, check out the rest of the collection at Magnetic Kitchen’s Shop.
Photography By Magnetic Kitchen
March 14th, 2013 - Dublin is lucky to have designers Ahmad Fakhry and Cian Corcoran, who together make up Designgoat. The duo are passionate about two things – design and Dublin. As an active part of Dublin’s growing creative scene, you can typically find Fakhry and Corcoran cooking up some conceptually-driven meals at Dublin’s Science Gallery’s EDIBLE Exhibition or sipping a coffee at Brother Hubbard, a cafe they designed on Capel Street.
The two are bringing an experimental element to the experiences they’re creating for the locals. Most recently, Fakhry and Corcoran went on an exploration of food, molecular gastronomy and eating experiences with their Eating Objects tableware set.
“Using food as a material we created a series of food ‘products’ that would be constructed by the diner in a restaurant.” The designers explained. “By using the processes and techniques of molecular gastronomy to form the food in new ways we could control different tastes, colors and textures to have food look and feel like something else thus challenging peoples per-conceptions towards food and the habits they have grown up with. As the most exciting element of molecular gastronomy is the processes and science behind it, we wanted to show these techniques and processes and engage each user with them.”
Fakhry and Corcoran created a series of tools for the users to interact with when constructing each food product. These tools let the user experience the food in an entirely different way and it gives them an insight into the usually so secret techniques and it allows them to see the transformation of the food.
To continue the exploration and create a more in depth, challenging eating experience, the two have also designed a table to enhance the multi-sensory aspect of the experience. By using animations projected from underneath which are triggered by using recognition technology, with tags on the base of each tool, a selection of tools will equal a dish and hence, play the intended animation. The user is guided through each dish and they are encouraged to interact with each other and their food in new ways.
Photography By Designgoat
Ketel One Vodka is the product of the Nolet family and over 300 years of family expertise and one individual’s innovative vision. The Nolet family believes that this hard graft mentality and creative ingenuity are qualities worth celebrating. To cultivate modern craft, the vodka makers have teamed up with Wallpaper* magazine to present the Modern Craft Project. Up for grabs is the chance to be featured in a unique Modern Craft Directory – plus coverage in Wallpaper*, and the extraordinary levels of international exposure that comes along with it. Ketel One Vodka will also be helping selected craftspeople to take their work to the next level and to an even wider audience by giving them the chance to win a share of the Ketel One Legacy prize fund. You don’t have to be a Jack of all trades, but if you are a Jack of your trade then you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Come on then, show us what you got. Start crafting your journey. Enter now.
Last month Ketel One Vodka held the Modern Craft Workshop in New York City to kick off the Modern Craft Project. Six highly skilled craftspeople were hand selected to showcase their original work, chosen for their ability to combine expert technique with modern sensibility to create beautiful, functional products. Ketel One explained that “each craftsperson in attendance has dedicated their professional life to mastering a time-honored discipline.” Inspiring.
At the workshop, Paul Cunningham’s table was covered in a variety of handsome American footballs. Cunningham was previously a Photo Editor for Major League Baseball, when he started honing his skills as a passionate leather craftsman. His love for sports and passion for crafts lead him to create the LEMON BALL™ baseballs and LEATHER HEAD™ footballs. With old world craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, he has carved out a niche in distinctive, finely crafted American leather goods.
Former carpenter Aaron Ruff was in attendance showcasing a collection of jewelry from his Brooklyn-based company Digby & Iona. As a young boy growing up in Maine, Ruff was fascinated with the idea of stumbling upon hidden treasures and unearthing ancient relics. fast forward a few decades and Aaron is pursuing his inner passion by masterfully crafting playful pieces that are inspired by history, literature, nature and the tools of his trade.
Ernest Alexander New York began with simple idea – create the perfect men’s bag using heritage materials, fine craftsmanship and thoughtful attention to design aesthetic. “I’m a big believer that the finer details in life matter” Alexander explained “I launched Ernest Alexander with a simple vision in mind – create handcrafted accessories in the old tradition.” It’s this sort of mentality that caught the attention of Ketel One and is surely the beginning of a legacy.
When beetles kill Rocky Mountain pine trees, Corbin Clay, founder of Azure Furniture Company makes good use of the wood. Corbin was at the workshop showcasing his affordable heirloom-quality furniture. The skilled woodsmith uses traditional techniques with a contemporary aesthetic to create coffee tables, desks, storage units, and dining room tables.
The story of Terrapin Stationers is beyond heartwarming. Husband-and-wife team Lloyd and Cathy Harrington have been running Terrapin for over a century. Now, their son Ted is stepping into the note-making business and adding some modern spice to their traditional printing techniques — think engraved “WTF?” monograms sitting comfortably next to classic hunting club crests.
Morris Kitchen’s syrups are produced and bottled in Brooklyn and their labels are letter pressed and hand stamped with a bottled on date. The company was founded in 2009 by brother and sister Tyler Morris and Kari Morris with the intention to concoct organic, ready-to-use syrups , with genuine care, by hand. Some of the high quality syrups are Ginger, Rhubarb, and Preserved Lemon — that mix well with everything from spirits to ice cream. The duo works directly with an apple orchard in Upstate New York to create their signature boiled apple cider syrup!
February 18th, 2013 – As 3D printing technologies are becoming more available, designers are jumping at the chance to tinker around with the innovative tool. Prague-based creators Markéta Richterová and Zbynek Krulich are using 3D software to create Blueberries, a unique collection of intricate jewelry. The artists´ inspiration for Blueberries comes from natural structures, both organic and inorganic. In their work, they play with light, matter, composition, scale, and geometry to create expressive pieces that resemble abstract trees and deep sea worms. The exciting collection is comprised of chunky bracelets, geometric earings, and unique necklaces constructed of strong & flexible nylon plastic with velvet matting. Creativity and imagination are essential to the jewelry craft, Richterová and Krulich are embracing 3D printing technologies to produce finely detailed and complex jewelry pieces.
photographed by Adéla Havelková
February 15th, 2013 – A tsunami of black rats on a hibiscus pink background. A sea of staring eyes. Everywhere! Those wild eyes with their crazed look. Those intermingled tails. A freakish, tangled skein, teeming with crawling creatures inching towards an unknown destination. A purpose it is up to us to determine, or perhaps invent. Pupsam is Parisian creative studio led by David Puel & Thomas Libé, both researchers and inventors who, lucky for all of us, found their way into the design to create this amazing, repulsing, and fascinating rodent rug. The Rat King Rug is a hand-knotted carpet constructed of wool & viscose, because of it’s intricacy, only eight carpets were made.
This post is sponsored by DROID RAZR MAXX HD by Motorola. Check out everything you can do with the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone.
February 12th, 2013 – Living and working on the tip of New York City means we were belted with Hurricane Sandy’s wrath last November. Once the storm hit, it was transparently clear that nobody was really prepared for the six long days of no power or water in an abandoned lower Manhattan. Whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, or zombie takeover, the warnings will be sudden, and the local supplies will quickly be ravaged. One can never be 100% prepared, but here are some quality disaster relief gadgets that can make or break your fate.
* DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies.
* Based on an average user profile that includes both usage and standby. Actual battery performance may vary.
February 4th, 2013 – Any architect, designer, or photographer will tell you that light is integral part of a space. The concept of artificial light in a space has rapidly evolved, and with this evolution, lighting designers are exploring new ways to integrate lighting into spaces. Romania-based industrial designer Diana Dumitrescu has been examining the shapes and surfaces of the bulbs and fixtures in her new Black Light collection. “By using free-form curves, surfaces and volumes I wanted to represent the concept of a basic shape transformed in a complex structure,” the designer noted. “Having a black bulb instead of a regular one adds a detail that makes a big difference in the interpretation of the the final product.” Dumitrescu is using both black tinted incandescent bulbs and black light bulbs in the three fixtures.
A black lamp connected to a black cord drop into a molecular styled “lamp shade” in Dumitrescu’s first fixture. The bulb emits an ultraviolet radiation, which is invisible to the human eye. By having the shape around the bulb fluorescent, the observable light will be the actual glow of the structure. Her second and third fixtures use a collection of the black tinted bulbs to collectively form a floor lamp and a ceiling fixture. The third fixture is poetic, one dark standing pole with one black light. Such a contrast happens when the light bulb is on and off – the lamp can be both black as the night and bright as day. The dark bulb camouflages what’s inside – while the LEDs provide a bright indicator signal, they are hidden behind the tinted glass when not in use. Once the bulb is turned on, it appears as white, and creates ambient light as it should.
February 1st, 2012 – The new Wally iPhone Wallet makes being a millennial that much better. Our everyday gadgets need protection, the Wally, designed by Distil Union, offers protection for your phone and it doubles as a compact wallet – a treat for those of you who like to travel light (aka 90% of the male population). The Wally has a slim, stick-on leather pocket that secretly and securely carries your must-haves on the back of your iPhone 4 or 5. We’ve seen iPhone wallet cases before, but not like this – the Wally is a handsome grab-and-go solution. So how does it work? The Wally clings to the back of your iPhone, utilizing micro-suction instead of a glue or magnets, Wally has a grip like a gentleman: strong and secure, without leaving behind any tackiness. Pull the small red strap away from the wallet and it pushes out your cards, after you get the card you need, push the cards in to secure them back into the wallet. The Wally is not on the market just yet, but you can help get it into stores faster by heading over to Distil Union’s Kickstarter page to learn more.
The Wally is the second iPhone accessory from the creative team at Distil Union. KNSTRCT previously featured their first product, the Snooze alarm, a cool bedside stand with a big, functioning snooze bar.
January 28th, 2012 – The industrial designers over at Canadian-based workshop The Federal have been exploring an alternative emotion to standard kitchen knives. Founding designers Ian Murchison and Rohan Thakar meticulously carved a set of knives out of maple wood showcasing the smooth grains of the wood juxtaposed against the high polished blade. The maple knives are designed to encompass the idea of balance, a quality that is necessity in the culinary world. The knives might not be visually balanced, but they are carefully balanced in weight. But is the Maple Knife Set able to match competing knife sets currently on the market? Murchison and Thakar made sure that the knives are smooth, structural, sealed, and food safe.
(Photography Courtesy of The Federal)
January 21st, 2013 – Bastian Preussge’s drippy hatchings are usually carefully carved out from coffee ashes, tea, gouache, or Indian ink. But the Hamburg-based artist is now pairing his daring doodles with a little bit of urban flair. Preussge has created a series of story telling skateboards with illustrations of a powerful bird kingdom, biblical tales, and a graffiti-esque black and white depiction of a life gone to waste. Preussge says that the skateboards are currently designated to no one. This was a passion project, done for no money, or attention. So if you’re a million dollar skate house looking for some creative new decks to sell, please do not bother Preussge…. unless you’re a multi-million dollar skate house, because these cool decks are aching to ravage some concrete, and are sure to sell.
January 10th 2013 – The Netherlands is known to get cold. Very cold. Dutch designer Joost van Veldhuizen, founder of VanJoost, created a portable standing fireplace to help beat the freeze. Calling the little heater Brazier ‘Mikado’, Veldhuizen’s cool arrangement of bent steel is able to maintain its sturdiness, even amongst the very spastic set of legs. Because the Mikado is light weight and compact, it can easily be moved from spot to spot depending on where the outdoor gathering is happening.
Joost van Veldhuizen at work in his Voorthuizen workshop for VanJoost.
December 21st, 2012 – Our modern culture may have a shortage on a lot of things, but there is one item in particular that there we are not lacking. The iPhone case. Filtering through case after case to find the right one that fits your phone, your needs, and your personality can be overwhelming in a market so saturated with the little protectors. Straight out of Saint Petersburg comes the Stealth iPhone Case by industrial designer Svyatoslav Boyarincev. The Stealth adds an angular mulch-faceted feel to your iPhone, and is constructed out of tough plastic and metal. Besides the cool looking design, the thing that separates this case from the others is that you can flick out one, or two of the angles and it becomes a kickstand for your phone!
December 18th 2012 – “Due to a lack of space, the fear of theft, and simply for the love of their bikes, more people than ever are taking their bikes with them into their home or office,” Leopold Brötzmann and Sebastian Backhaus, founders of Berlin-based design firm MIKILI, explained. Because most urban cyclist habitat in smaller spaces, clever storage solutions have become a high demand. The two designers and avid cyclists put their heads together and created The TÎAN – an fine oak drawer that securely fastens to the wall, with a slight groove carved into the top to hang a bicycle from its frame. The minimalistic looking TÎAN is stark white on the outside and solid oak inside, with a grey piece of felt that covers the groove on top to prevent wear and tear.
Even when a bike is not being hung from the TÎAN, it appears as nothing more than a quality piece of furniture. Making MIKILI’s creation a happy combination of necessary function and and great design! ($433.00)
December 14th, 2012 - When designer Loïc Bard isn’t sitting through his final courses at Ébénisterie Art of Montreal, he’s running a full time design studio where he is perfecting his woodworking skills, creating clocks, and designing his own collection of jewelery. Bard unveiled his latest creation, The Capside Lamp, last week at Montreal’s Souk@sat design event – which stood out amongst the work of veteran designers. The Capside Lamps are sculpted into an abstract geometric form with a wooden exterior, coated with vibrant colors on the inside. The lamps double as a floor lamp, and a ceiling pendant, giving users the ability to get creative with the playful little lights.
(Photography: Loïc Bard)
December 11th, 2012 – Polka dots, why not? Atelier Ruby’s signature helmet, The Pavillon, just got a little bit cooler as buyers now have the option to customize their helmets. The French company is pairing the carbon fiber helmets with a stunning selection of soft Nappa Lamb leather, with a finishing trim of chrome, brass, or gunmetal. Users have the option of customizing the finish of the shell with a pattern such as stripes, checks, or even polka dots – making these helmets high on the gift list this season!
December 11th, 2012 – German graphic-designer-turned-product-designer Christoffer Martens has simplified and re-worked everything we know about bookends. The clever designer decided to liberate books from bookshelves everywhere as his new raw oak and elastic combo, Book Binder, allows any collection of books to become freestanding. The kit consists of two end pieces of lacquered wood or raw oak that are fastened with an elastic band, stack the books between the ends – and voila – your books can stand freely on the floor, kitchen table – or wherever is most practical. Buy here: $70.00
(Photography: Christoffer Martens)
December 6th, 2012 – Coming to you all the way from the North Pole, well, not quite, but close. Acne JR is a Swedish toy company based in Stockholm and they have just created their new Kranium Skull Bowl. The bowl is hand carved out of pine wood to mimic an abstract version of a skull. Open the cute little guy’s skull and you’ll find a small compartment to store your keepsakes. ($72.00)
November 20th, 2012 – Straight out of Melbourne, industrial designer Luke Woodard has upcycled a set of old 50mm slide film into a slide lamp – hence, where the name SLDLMP came from. “The initial concept came from the idea of transferring some aspect of creativity to the user, achieved by presenting the lamp as a flat-pack puzzle inspired cardboard cut-out,” Woodard explained. The product is as raw and paper-like as the square bits of film themselves! The lamp isn’t only unique in construction, but also in the fact that each fixture tells its own story; maybe one of family holidays at the beach house, or giving lectures on the cardiovascular system in med school.
The lamp is laser-cut from a single sheet of 2mm thick 900x600mm box-board. All the components that go into the lamp are cut from one single sheet, and are nested in between one another to make the most of the available offcuts. The process also enabled scoring of the card, which is required along the edges that were to be folded. The rest of the components are glued in place, using frosted polypropylene backings on the slide brackets to diffuse the light from behind them, drastically reducing the intensity of the brightness filtering through the images.
The user then selects the slide film they wish to display (either from their own sourced collection, or the supplied film), slides them into the holsters, and folds the lamp into shape – using the teeth on the sides of the tabs to lock the structure in place, much like a 3D puzzle.
The final product complemented the raw and analogue nature of slide film, specifically by using recycled materials and amplified by the fibrous texture of the box-board. The lamp created a fun and practical solution for displaying your long lost dusty memories in a contemporary setting, without needing an overhead projector.
November 5th 2012 – For the urban rider living in a populated city it’s tricky finding a good spot for your bicycle at home, especially in tight spaces. Latvia based industrial designer Reinis Salins has come up with a clever and decorative way to easily mount your bike onto your wall. The Elk Bike Hanger is a “clean product with a natural concept; handmade quality and smooth design,” explained Salins. The Elk is carved at angles out of solid Oak wood, and is designed to let the user mount the bike in an easy three step process; lift the bike, shift the rear of the bike upwards and into the Elk, then let the bike rest securely into the wooden device! ($294)