Sunday, September 30, 2007

100% Design (Part 1)

It's long overdue, I know. But I am finally going to post about some of the wonderful and inspiring things I saw at 100% Design last weekend.

First of all, it was a fantastic show. The displays were grouped according to industry, and covered: materials (new, reusable, recycled, etc), lighting, furniture/interiors, and new designers. In addition to the displays, there were talks, discussions and workshops with industry folk. It was all a bit overwhelming, and I wish I had been able to go back to see the things I had missed.

My 2 favorite areas were 100% Design (which was home furnishings, fabrics, wallpaper, and decor) and 100% Materials. They were both really enlightening.

One of the first stops I made was to a company called Modulor, in the Materials section. They had the wonderful samples boxes for sale, and I just had to scoop one up. Each box contains 199 samples of some of their more popular products. I love all the different textures, colors, and finishes. It's a great little box of inspiration. Modulor can deliver the material of your choice in quantities large and small, and they can ship worldwide. They also have specialty services available such as custom cut sizes and reworking of materials (drilling, edging, etc). They are a great resource if you're looking to make a statement on your next project.

Click here for more information on Modulor.

Below are pictures from the show including the wall of inspiration that guests were encouraged to graffiti, and a shot of the fabulous Modulor sample box.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cool link

This is pretty interesting. (which hosts this blog) has launched a new application that shows all the images being uploaded to Blogger, in real time. Some silly pix, some interesting pix, some really bad pix. But a fun link to check out. The great thing is that if you do see something that peaks your interest, you can get more information and be redirected to the site it was posted on. Fun fun.

Click here to see what's going on.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007


These past 4 days, an annual show called 100% Design has been going on at Earl's Court in London. From the website: 100% Design is the UK's premier contemporary interiors event for the contract market. There is no other show that connects the worlds of architecture and design with innovative, contemporary interior products, creativity and an exciting mix of new and established talent.

I was lucky enough to visit yesterday as a member of the trade, and all I can say is WOW! I have so much to go through, and tons write about, but it will take a little time. In the meantime, I will entertain you with one last find on our Scandinavian trip... this time from Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki has a lovely little market down by their marina. Stands are set up by local artists and crafters. In the midst of the craziness, we we lucky enough to find the stand of artist Maarit Kontiainen. She creates beautiful hand-painted etchings of wildlife and nature. She was also a pleasure to talk to. Unfortunately, her website is still under construction, but I've posted the few pieces that I could find. The deer is a piece that we actually bought, and I just adore it. There's something whimsical, and sweet about her work.

You can visit her current web page here, but it's more of a CV than anything else. Here are the pix...

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Thursday, September 20, 2007


We first saw this work on the side of a ferry linking Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland. I was drawn to the appeal of the cartoon-type characters painted on the ferry. But on further look I noticed the surreal quality of the art, such as the six legged cow, and the giraffe with his head literally in the clouds. It was cute and entertaining, and not something you usually see on a commercial ship.

Then, we unsuspectingly stumbled upon the artist's gallery as we were wandering the streets of Helsinki! There is apparently another Navitrolla Gallery in Tallinn as well. Anyhow, the art of Navitrolla was so much fun, and I just had to share some pieces.

All work is the property of Navitrolla Gallery.
Click here to visit the artists site.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well, yes, we also managed to do a little shopping on our tour of Scandinavia. Mostly we bought some beautiful pieces for the home, that will remind us of where we have been. But I was also keen to snap up a few design pieces. My first victim was a set of greeting cards. They're so beautiful, that I plan on framing them.

The company is called 1973. And while they're located in the UK, I actually found the cards in Copenhagen. Go figure. The series is called Paper Nature and was designed by the talented Emma Emerson. They are printed on an earthy brown card stock, and stamped with striking foil figures. I've posted some eye candy below.

And, in line with my love of all things green (environmentally speaking), I was happy to read that 1973 has gone green with cards printed on recycled materials, and vegetable based inks.

For more info on 1973, visit their website here.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


So, we were in Copenhagen, on our way to visit the Tivoli Gardens (a beautiful amusement park opened in 1843) when the skies let loose a deluge. Well, the prospect of an amusement park in the rain is less than ideal, so we began looking around the area for a cafe to duck into to wait out the storm. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? The Dansk Design Center. Art AND a cafe to warm up in. What could be better?

The Design Center was a small place, but full of wonderful exhibits, design icons, and a pretty cool shop. The 4 main exhibits consisted of fashion, innovative bicycles developed by design students, design icons from the 20th century, and the danish design awards for both new designs and lasting designs. Below are some pix of the exhibits.

To read more about each exhibit, click here.
And if you have an interest in Tivoli Gardens, you can visit their website here.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Index: Design to Improve Life

The second of several open-air exhibits that we found was in Copenhagen, Denmark. As we were walking through the center of the city we noticed these plastic bubbles (pods?) throughout the square. Within each pod was an example of design that was created to improve the way we live. Some were functional, some were environmental, all were innovative and inspirational.

Here's what the website says:
"INDEX: AWARD EXHIBITION, which runs from August 17 to September 23, displays the designs top nominated for INDEX: AWARD in a large-scale outdoor exhibition in central Copenhagen. Since its opening, the exhibition has been drawing crowds, and no wonder: 106 large transparent acrylic spheres adorn the beautiful 17th century square Kongens Nytorv in central Copenhagen, creating one of the most spectacular exhibition spaces ever seen. The spheres act as innovative display cases, exhibiting the top-nominated designs 24 hours a day, and in the information center on the square, you can see video footage of the designs and get more information about INDEX:

The exhibition offers an exciting, amazing and visionary insight into the solutions created by designers to improve life for people around the world. Divided into the five award categories BODY, HOME, WORK, PLAY and COMMUNITY, the exhibition will present designs relevant to all areas of human life and be equally inspiring for laymen and professionals, young and old.

The designs on display represent all seven continents. In the spirit of the INDEX: theme “Design to Improve Life”, they address such diverse problems as water shortage, CO2 emissions, environmental sustainability as well as health and safety at work.

As in 2005, a team of about 70 volunteer seniors, in INDEX: terms referred to as “design grannies”, act as tour guides at the exhibition, and admission is free of charge."

For full information, check out the site here.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Let's spend one more post in Oslo, Norway, shall we? There you will find the stunning "Vigeland Sculpture Park." It's a site to see. The park is 80 acres, and contains 212 life-sized models of human figures in bronze and granite, sculpted by Gustav Vigeland. Most of the sculptures are placed a long the main pathway, leading to the central monolith. The sculptures portray human life cycles and emotions. They're fascinating.

Here are some pictures below, including a statue to the artist.
For more information, click here.