Around this time of the year, a design-hungry hog would be salivating about the thought of going to Salone internazionale del mobile where designers, manufacturers and consumers congregate to see what is in store in the very near future. The thought of being in the same room as the jewels of some of our time’s brilliant minds could induce short bursts of euphoria akin to Beatle-mania, if only those hyperventilating were full-grown adults, with refined tastes that are only be appeased by limited edition Eames chairs made from recycled bamboo chopsticks. I must confess I took the liberty in inventing this particular collector’s piece.
Not even an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano could keep the design-obsessed away. Last year, patrons and enthusiasts risked being grounded in Europe just to behold innovative products in design. What heaven does one live in where being stuck in Europe is the worst thing that could happen? Sign me up. Please.
The previous weeks have left me with a lot to juggle and my baby, Urban Peanut, has been left with nothing to feed on.
I am currently in New York and it is definitely a city like no other. With so many exhibits at the MoMa, and Brooklyn as a new place of urban exploration, one is left with close to no energy when one needs it the most: on a Friday night.
Muji is easily one of my favourite design stores with affordable offerings, without sacrificing quality of taste. My life in Paris involved coffee, food and Muji. There is nothing with a logo in the store. Subtlety and minimalism are keywords during the conception process of all of Muji items. I am packing up on their refillable pens and stationery. When are you coming to Canada, dear Muji? Good design is for the people!
My holiday is going very well with a trip to a Warhol exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum and a whole day of picnicking in Park Slope. I will let you know how it goes with photos. Brrrrup!!
In Millenium Park
A sculpture by Henry Moore
Pylon installation by the Merchandise Mart
An untitled sculpture by Picasso, a gift to the city
My delayed update is totally unreasonable. In internet years, the two weeks that I have not etched a mark on cyberspace would call for fireworks reminiscent of the Fourth of July during America’s bicentennial. Speaking of America, I was away for a couple of days, partaking in NeoCon, the interior design and architecture trade show, in Chicago.
Chicago is the urban planner’s wet dream, knowing that the city was built with the people in mind. Unlike Toronto, Chicago’s development was based on the nature of its surroundings; with a river running through its core, the L train system zigzags across the city on an elevated rail system, connecting both north and south Chicago areas.
Civic conversations with Chicagoans always involve the word of ‘architecture.’ With landmark structures always at a stone’s throw, residents are always keen to impart little known facts about the history of a given intersection. Newly transplanted Chicagoans from other parts of the US are eager to help because finding healthier food choices is difficult, if not defeating at times.
Design enthusiasts should make the pilgrimage to the birth place of modern architecture. Artists like Van Der Rohe, Gehry and Lloyd Wright have influenced the way people live in ways that can easily be overlooked. Going unnoticed is a good indication of smart design. Judging by the way people get around the city, either by bike, bus or foot, Chicago is a city built for living. If life is a performance art, one should be honoured to have Chicago as a stage, even for three days. Bravo. Encore.
(from the top: Karl Lagerfeld with his bear, Nouvelle chaise longue, a slab of granite, and Sam Mogelonsky’s The Archipelago. Visit her site here.)
Environmental awareness has everyone thinking: ‘What can I contribute to the cause?’
The green movement is revolutionizing the way we conceive and realize things especially structures. In architecture and environmental design, black is the colour of the new eco-awareness.
If used properly, a black interior in a southfacing room (or unit for condos) can keep down one’s heating costs. Why? Any black surface absorbs the heat during daylight hours and then, depending on the material, heat is released slowly for the rest of the night.
Why do you think you get hot when you are wearing that black t-shirt in July? Black pigment absorbs all rays of the light spectrum whereas white absorbs none! The light just bounces off! This is physics in action and my high school teacher would be very proud. I might not be able to explain quantum mechanics but I know that black is the new green. And it goes with everything.
Running amuck with all of my belongings in a bag has become the norm. The hardest part of the lifestyle is not carrying heavy books and cameras everywhere but picking and packing what I would need for the day. Being on the move is facilitated by having a trusty bag. I am sure that I am not alone.
A good relationship with a bag can be compared to having a good friend. My friend structure my life or at least, my day. I have been forced to rethink what I should carry at the beginning of un-caffeinated mornings; my black doctor’s bag does not allow objects that are not flat, or rectangular i.e. fruits. My bag welcomes documents, bags, cameras (for which I find small nooks in my friend’s interior) and a computer.
My workspace is portable and can be set up wherever there is Wi-Fi and coffee. Save for my iPhone, my computer is how people get in touch with me. I have an office on the move.
My ideal office is made of fine grain dark brown leather with a healthy amount of space. It does not have to be at the corner o have a million dollar view. It has to withstand a good beating during rush hour and unpredictable weather. I emphasize the importance of good maintenance, though.
There is nothing better than having a space of one’s own. Come to think of it, I might need to upgrade. The room is becoming smaller by the second as the clutter would indicate. I need to write a note down in my agenda. Now, please excuse me. Miuccia Prada is on line 2.