A Convex House

Sure, it looks tiny, but Torsten Ottesjo’s latest creation of the Hus-1 is meant to be tiny. It’s also meant to be thoughtfully designed, seemingly unconstructed and utterly nature-inspired. (I’d say mission accomplished.)


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Genius Design: The Curious Vase

Designer Mianne de Vries’ curious vase is as much of a study in human tendencies as it is a sculptural accent for the home. Here’s the gist:

Each vase includes 2-4 vases inside, enveloping each other similar to a Matryoshka doll. Yet to reach each vase, you must break the one surrounding it, revealing a new vase design. The result is a perfectly interactive statement piece that begs the question: Would you dare break the vase?

I love the idea, and would have to admit I’d likely never break the outside vase for fear I wouldn’t like what lies beyond! (And what happens if you only have two vases inside? Would you risk breaking the second and hope there’s a third behind it?)

Eek! I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it. What would you do: break the vase in the name of curiosity? Or would you keep it in its original form forever?

Images via Mianne de Vries

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The Amsterdam Armoire

It takes quite a bit for me to fall in love with a piece of furniture. After all, I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s not what you own, it’s how you own it. Naturally, I’m a fan of taking average, everyday pieces and putting them together in ways that are unexpectedly charming. Yet this piece of stand-out storage designed by Scholten & Baijings is forcing me to re-think that very concept. Surely sometimes we have to bend our own rules, yes?

Created to reflect a modern interpretation of a 17th century cabinet, The Amsterdam Armoire’s exterior alone is stunningly crafted. But on the inside? That’s where the real fun begins…

Printed with still life scenes of what might lie beyond each door, the interior is a true masterpiece. And of course, no work of art is complete without an element of luxury – in this case, pale pink feet made of hand-blown glass.

What do you think? Would you ever splurge (and I mean splurge!) on a piece of furniture you’ve fallen head over heels for? Or do you believe in the beauty of simplicity and creative styling?

Images via Matter

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A Room for 4,000 Hats

Hats off, indeed. Japanese design firm Nendo recently created a design exhibition celebrating 70 years of hat-making skills for internationally-acclaimed milliner Hirata Akio. The result? 4,000 ghost-like hats enveloping a massive room – a cloud of headwear, if you will. Take a look at these photos and tell us you’re not blown away, yes?:

Simply breathtaking. Although I do pity the person who had to set up such an extravagant installation! Well done indeed. (If you’re craving more design inspiration from Nendo, why not take a peek at The Bird Apartment? Equally mesmerizing!)

Images: Daici Ano via Nendo

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Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to experience the Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity exhibit. I admit, I love cities, and I find energy and connection in these towers that reach toward the sky. There were interesting and challenging works on display. I enjoyed the interpretive and expressive nature of the art which often brought a smile to my face, as it explored the many ways we connect to, and are influenced by these powerful structures. Thought provoking and sculptural, the exhibit includes many mediums. One of my favorites below, a series of refrigerators faced with mirrored facets, create a reflective and luminous play on scale.  Two very different interpretations of Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina Towers Buildings in Chicago above, convey the exhibits diverse presentation. This exploration into the power of our built environment is worth the trip. If you aren’t able to visit in person, the following excerpts describe further the themes of the exhibit, which are expressed in each unique work.

‘The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago brings together 50 international 20th and 21st century artists for a show that investigates our enduring fascination with building into the sky. Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity presents a history of these iconic structures and their impact on our understanding of technology, society, and myth. The exhibition is divided into five themed sections. “Verticality” reflects the optimism of building upward and the pursuit of iconic form. “Personification of Architecture” juxtaposes human and architectural form, placing the body in terms of building and vice-versa. “Urban Critique” examines the effects of modern housing on its inhabitants and the dislocation and alienation that can result from architecture’s utopian impulse. “Improvisation” records occupants’ responses to their built environment and the ways they transform and humanize buildings. “Vulnerability of Icons” considers our changing relationship to tall buildings post-9/11.’  The architects newspaper

Skyscraper brings together a wide-ranging group of artists from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to explore this enduring fascination. The exhibition features the work of Fikret Atay, Jennifer Bolande, Roger Brown, Jeff Carter, Roe Ethridge, Jonathan Horowitz, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Jakob Kolding, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Eliza Myrie, Ahmet Ögüt , Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Enoc Perez, Monika Sosnowska, Thomas Struth, Jan Tichy, Andy Warhol, Peter Wegner, H. C. Westermann, Wesley Willis, Catherine Yass, and Shizuka Yokomizo, among others.

Images and excerpts sourced at MCA Chicago

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