Category Archives: Design

The Jury is Back. The 21st Century is About Design. Here are the coolest so far

In the 20th century, we saw some very cool design concepts. And this was just the start. It is more widely understood that design is not something that we just receive. It is something that creates a framework for interaction — and we can participate in assessing what makes “great design”.

Here are a few candidates from Robb.

Think of it as brain food!


Celebrating designer Charlotte Perriand!

She is an icon of design in the 20th century, but …

When (she) applied for a studio job in 1927, she was rejected outright, told only: “We don’t embroider cushions here.”


That was a long time ago.

Not one to be discouraged, she landed the role only a month later with her breakout piece, Bar Sous le Toit, a design of a bar setup that’s an homage to the aesthetic potential of chromed, tubular steel. A 60-year career followed, spawning many a now-classic piece: a modular bookshelf, sling-back chair, chaise longue and kitchen-bar concept among them. But while her contributions to contemporary design were undoubtedly numerous, today only a select few know and attribute them to Perriand.

What a story!

And now

Fondation Louis Vuitton will present an exhibition of the late revolutionary’s work, opening on October 2. In the main show for the fall season, the program will spread Perriand’s designs across all four of the Paris museum’s floors and celebrate not only her individual furnishings but also her larger art de vivre philosophy, which draws together the worlds of architecture, art and design to create a sense of personal harmony and well-being. “It was intimately connected to her life, her vision of the world and modern society, and her relationship to the body and its movement in a given space,” says curator Jacques Barsac. “It’s absolutely contemporary.”

Just a peek at one of her designs

Image result for Charlotte Perriand

Check out the article for more! I love it!


When You Are in Florence, Think Leather!

You might ask, “Why think leather?” Is this some sort of “leather bar” concept? Not at all.

I am thinking of leather craftsmanship. And I am thinking of

Daniele Caselli who owns a small shop “Cuor di Pelle” translated as “Heart of Leather”, located in the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood on the quiet street of Via Pilastri.

Image result for “Cuor di Pelle” Florence

Why? Because who doesn’t want to own a hand crafted leather item, whether that is a wallet or a bag or something else. The pleasure of owning it is made more intense from knowing who made it and where.

Italy Magazine has a lot more on Daniele. Or just check this out

Image result for “Cuor di Pelle” Florence

Go for it!

A Reality Check about Plastic and the future

Here it is

Plastic has been much demonised recently, thanks to its impact on wildlife and the environment, which is starkly illustrated by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and pictures of seahorses clutching Q-tips or dead albatrosses with stomachs full of plastic.

Despite the increasing concern about the issue, there is little sign that plastic use is falling. Half of all the plastic ever made was produced in the last 13 years, says investment house Hermes, while output is set to increase by 40% in the next decade.

We might think of this as a paradigm for our modern “linear economy”. The line goes from resource to product to consumption to waste. And so we are overloaded with waste while we wonder about resource scarcity.

The answer? A circular model. Designing products that are meant to be used and the materials in them to be re-used.

A Bridge You Could Love

Here it is

Related image

It is called the Lucky Knot Bridge, designed by Next Architects  and it can be found in Changsha, China.

…the whimsical pedestrian bridge actually has three bridges woven into one structure. Next Architects was awarded the project after their design proposal won an international competition in 2013, Michel Schreimachers, a partner at the firm, tells Business Insider. The steel bridge in Changsha’s newly redeveloped city center was completed in late 2016.

Very cool!


Thinking about Systemic Innovation and a “Light Touch”

It is a bit odd, I think, that we usually think of innovation as something produced on a micro, or individual, basis. The conventional wisdom is that some very smart person comes up with a great idea, starts up a company, and off he or she goes!

We think less, unfortunately, about the ecology that supports individuals and the role that ecology play in promoting or retarding innovation.  That is changing, to be sure. Awareness of how innovation has surged in certain places got people shaking their heads and asking “why there=” And “Could that be copied?”

On the surface, it seems easy enough. Put together “clusters” of people who seek out new knowledge, financing agents, and entrepreneurs and you have all the ingredients you need, right?

Well, it  is not that simple. The above ingredients are important — even critical — but arraying them side by side in a cluster does not mean that they will create a dynamic process, a self- replicating process of building value added from new ideas.

Recent research suggests one of the reasons why.  Folks who may want to develop better ways of doing things are easily daunted by systemic barriers, like shortages.

as New Scientist points out, (trying to accelerate innovation too quickly) often fails because supply chains—whether they be for power, labor, raw materials, or something else—in poorer countries can be too chaotic to support jumps in technological complexity. Power outages happen. Workers don’t show up. Parts get stolen.

And the big new thing that was supposed to provide jobs and prosperity for all starts to turn into a beached whale.

And this idea pops out

The finding …  helps explain “why ‘big push’ policies can fail and … underscores the importance of reliability and gradual increases in technological complexity.” To that point, this MIT Technology Review interview does a wonderful job of explaining how light-touch technological interventions can often have some of the biggest impacts on poorer countries

And I think there is a social dimension to this approach. If more folks “buy into” the process, it becomes easier to identify where the potential disruptions will occur and develop strategies to deal with them.