Gone Mod.

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Go. Designed by Ross Lovegrove for Bernhardt Design

June 10-12 at the Merchandise Mart Chicago, Neocon kicks off with more than 700 showrooms and exhibitors. It’s an exciting time for the design industry to see new resources and product introductions. While perusing the vendor list online, I couldn’t help but notice the new designer series at Bernhardt Design. These pieces are distinctly modern, and what I love most is that they bridge the gap between residential and commercial design. These beautiful pieces would be at home in any private office or reception area, as well as a residential living room. With the work place often functioning much like a collaborative living room, this seems the perfect fit. Sculptural and dynamic and oh so lovely.

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B2. Designed by Fabian Baron for Bernhardt Design
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Remy. Designed by Jeffrey Bernett for Bernhardt Design

Images sourced at http://www.bernhardtdesign.com/seating.html

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Food Oasis

Urban Farming is on the rise, providing the resource to reimagine city blocks, and bring productive use to vacant properties. Community focused farming is a powerful tool to nourish communities, both with locally grown food as well as neighborhood focus. There is a feeling of connection to our food when working in the garden, an opportunity to feel the result of hard work and commitment and to connect with fellow members of our community in a meaningful way.

My own personal experience with my plots in our local community garden have been like nothing I could have imagined. The multigenerational friendships, and mentorships I have enjoyed have enriched my life, above and beyond the gifts of heirloom seeds, and coveted family bread recipes from my neighboring gardeners. I was pleased to learn that  ’Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood could become the backbone of the nation’s largest urban agriculture district: The city’s planning commission is moving to approve an ambitious land-use plan that would reclaim some of the area’s 11,000 vacant lots, spanning 13 square miles.’ The urban planning opportunities to benefit the community more broadly include ‘a 2.5-mile abandoned rail line which could be the district’s spine, with open lots and parks around its periphery serving as a marketplace for local produce and artisanal products. Locals have taken to calling it the “New Era Trail.”

For Englewood, as well as areas like it, this strong design platform has set the stage to ‘encourage a budding grassroots movement around urban agriculture by consolidating data, promoting education, and even encouraging light manufacturing.’ A big idea, not without challenge and opposition, but providing a platform for revitalization and community growth.

To learn more about the project visit The Burnham Plan Centennial.
Image and excerpts sourced at The Architects Newspaper, http://archpaper.com.

 

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Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Dale Chihuly is well known for his gravity defying works in glass. Both colorful and sculptural, he has paved the way leading the avant-garde movement, and the development of glass as a fine art. In May 2012, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum opened in Seattle Washington. The centerpiece of this permanent exhibit is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. I have had the pleasure of seeing his work first hand, at the  Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. It is a celebration of color, texture and patterning provided by the transparency of his medium. I personally find it to be ‘cathedral like’ in experience, as the scale of the architecture and the work within, inspires in this modern installation, as stained glass would in a more traditional setting. The form and immensity of his work is achieved through a ‘team technique’ to glass blowing which he developed. A talent and undeniable influence on the arts. I am grateful that this work has been encapsulated for experience and enjoyment for generations to come.

Image 1 : blog.seattlepi.com, Image 2-4 Chihuly Garden and Glass
Excerpts sourced at archpaper and Chihuly Garden and Glass

 

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Robert Segal & Alicia Rosauer

Please RSVP here.

Unison was started in 2006 after husband and wife team, Robert & Alicia, returned to the US after a four year design stint at Marimekko in Finland.  Together they design and manufacture a collection of household goods ranging from printed bedding, children’s bedding, blankets, throw pillows and table linens.  Their collection aims to bring modern design into the practical world of daily life.  Unison graphic motifs are minimal, yet substantial, lending themselves to be mixed and matched to create either a streamlined look or something more colorful and playful.

Certainly modern and minimal could be used to describe their bedding; however, the collection manages to give off a warm and inviting feel.  Robert & Alicia are dedicated to using high quality materials and to manufacturing their products to meet or exceed textile standards.  In addition, they proud to participate in local production, their signature hand-printed pillows and table linens are cut and sewn at small factories around Chicago.

Robert & Alicia recently opened up their studio for retail three days a week.  In addition to being able to interact with customers about their goods directly, they are introducing accessories and household items from designers whom they admire – items that pair quite nicely with the Unison asethetic I might add.

We loved the architectural style of these candle columns designed by 2nd Shift, a design studio in Cleveland, Ohio.  Constructed from steel and concrete, they have a solid feel and their hexagonal shape encourages trying out all sorts of configurations.

They clearly have a knack for merchandising and I always think it’s a brilliant idea when product manufacturers decide to open up their doors to retail.  It is always such an educational and rewarding experience to be able to interact directly with your audience.  We’re thrilled that their shop is just a short hike from the FLOR offices.  Honestly, it’s a little self-serving – there are lots of new little ones being added to the FLOR family these days and I think we now have a go-to gift – Check out these adorable booties – an exclusive offering from Unison created by their sales manager, Michelle Vondiziano.

Stop by FLOR’s Chicago location in Lincoln Park this August 30th and you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the Unison team.  I’m interested to hear about their experiences opening up their studio space as a shop, aren’t you?

Please RSVP here.

Unison website
Unison blog 

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Color Jam

It’s that time again. Art is going to take over the Chicago Loop. For 2012, the theme is “Color Jam”, and Jam it will. A three dimensional installation of vibrant color. Quoted as the largest public artwork in Chicago’s history, it is composed of more that 76,000 square feet of colored vinyl.

‘From June to September of 2012, a prominent intersection in the Chicago Loop will be transformed into an artist’s canvas as part of the annual Art Loop: an award-winning series that introduces Chicagoans to the best in contemporary public art. Commissioned by Chicago Loop Alliance, renowned artist Jessica Stockholder will create a site specific, three-dimensional work of art titled “Color Jam.” “Color Jam” will saturate streets, sidewalks and building facades with a bold and resonant palette, creating a sensation of “walking through an animated film.”

Massive in scale and playful in its use of public space, “Color Jam” will place viewers in the middle of a work of art. What I love most about this concept is that the physicality of the space engages people. If you enter the exhibit you will experience art. “Color Jam” public programming will be themed around a series of “Jams,” or events. Drawing upon the rich landscape of arts-based, educational, and civic organizations in Chicago, Jams will facilitate surprising and serendipitous interactions among arts disciplines and their audiences. Jams are intentionally open-ended: they will take the form of concerts, talks, happenings, and virtual interactions.’ This installation screams summertime.

Excerpts and images sourced at  Artloop.chicago loop alliance

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