We oftentimes find the best inspiration in the oddest places. A song inspired by the name of a woman, a building that takes it shape from a sea creature. Martín Azúa found the inspiration for his Shoemaker Chair in footwear.
Objects are usually true to some schemes and they find their identity in some pre-established premises. This chair claims its personality as a shoe and requires the care of a shoe. Often objects, as people, have problems to be what they really are.
This chair is all about subtle beauty. The laces on the back of the chair that joins the leather with the wood is charming and effective. You can also tie down each arm to provide a more structured arm rest. I also love that the leather is paired with glossy copper legs that provide for a perfect accent color. I can imagine that this chair would age beautifully over time.
You can view more of Martín’s projects by clicking here.
When you think of the locations of fancy ramen bars, Eastern Russia may not be the first place you think of. That’s the location of Mary Wong, a noodle bar located in Rostov-on-Don that was designed by the team at Fork, a studio based in Moscow. They did an incredible job with the branding and the build out, opting to do stay away from the tropes of “Asian” design and instead focus on the materials to evoke a certain feeling.
I feel like the vibe of the space is contemporary with a touch of cyberpunk, thanks to all the concrete and neon. It doesn’t lean too far into the sci-fi aesthetic though thanks to the copious amounts of wood in the floors, stools, and main table. Overall it’s a really fun space that would be welcomed in any city.
Last weekend I stumbled upon (not physically) these alphabet blocks by Brooklyn based designer Pat Kim. A collaboration with Areaware, these mahogany and pine letters are beautifully abstracted in form which makes them great for something other than spelling: building.
The description on Areawares site sums up my thoughts perfectly, writing, “A meditation in wood of our twenty six-letter alphabet. Build your own letterscape. Great for stacking. Perfect for the font enthusiast.” If I kept these on my desk I know my team would definitely spell out phrases (for better or worse) and make buildings and towers from them. The perfect present for the kid in all of us.
The Slash Lamp is a brilliant idea by Dragos Motica Studio which gives the purchaser a choice: leave the lamp as is or use a rock, provided with the lamp, to carefully break it, making the piece a one-of-kind design. This sort of project is always so interesting as it brings conceptual design into the home. If you leave the lamp as is you’re probably not going to get many comments about it. If you choose to break it though you’d have a conversation for years to come.
It also questions the idea of worth in an object. Does breaking the lamp make it worth any less than when it was whole? If someone famous like Damien Hirst broke one would it be worth more in it’s damaged state? I love seeing projects like this that really make you think and question the objects around you.
You know Eric Roinestad’s work but you might not know he was the man behind it. He’s worked at Capitol Records creating album covers and packaging for bands like The Beatles and Fiona Apple. Still, he had an itch to create things by hand again, eventually getting into ceramics. I came across his work at an exhibit he had at Mohawk General Store in Los Angeles. The show featured a number of beautiful desert inspired pieces that are some of the best I’ve seen in a long while. Thus I thought it would be interesting to ask Eric about his thoughts on his inspirations and future.
What spurred this collection? It makes me think of Palm Springs and the desert, which I love.
The desert and California landscape was the big inspiration on this collection of pieces; I’m glad that came across.
What’s your process for making the pieces? Do you sculpt all the pieces or are they cast?
Everything is either hand built, or thrown on the wheel with hand applied elements. The cans, however, are press molded. Most of what I do is pretty labor intensive, casting is very tempting but I would hate to lose the one of a kind quality my pieces have. I like seeing a creator’s hand in their work.
I’m a huge fan of ceramics and one day I’d love to start my own line. What started you down this path?
When I started out as a graphic designer computers were still new and I was doing most of my work by hand, pasting up layouts and hand drawing logos, I loved it. Then computers took over and I would sit in front of my screen all day, really missing working with my hands. Ceramics started out as an after work activity when I was at Capitol Records. A friend of mine and I would drive out to Monrovia Community Adult School for ceramics class one night a week, and it never stopped. About a year and a half ago I converted my studio space and devoted most of my time to ceramics; in November, Lawson Fenning asked to sell my stuff in their store.
Where are you drawing your inspirations from lately?
I’m always looking at nature for a lot of my inspiration. We have a large California native garden, so most of my inspiration is right outside my studio door. I’ve also been inspired by the shapes in Jean-Michel Frank’s work, as well as the bronze and plaster work that Diego and Alberto Giacometti did for him in the 1930′s. I’d love to interpret that 30′s French modernism in a California sort of way.
Anything coming up you’d like to talk about?
Since my show opened at Mohawk General Store some interesting new opportunities have appeared. I am excited about collaborations with other companies and designers. One project that I am eager to show are mirrors with ceramic tiles and tile tables I have been working on with a good friend, Christos Prevezanos, at Studio Preveza.
I love a good re-use project and the Terminal Restaurant & Bar is a prime example. Designed by István Nyir and built in 1949, The Mávaut Station was one of the largest and busiest bus stations in downtown Budapest. The simple, well-proportioned building was built for long-distance transport requirements with a spacious, bright waiting hall. Thankfully it was preserved as a monument in the 80s, and then in 2004 refurbished as the Design Terminal, the first design center of Budapest.
The interiors design was conceived by the 81font architecture in a tight cooperation with the graphic identity. We were eager to preserve, recall and highlight the original features of the building. This attitude resulted in the emblematic logo, the minimalist copper clock which has served the building from the very beginning. This sign appears on the furnitures as well: the linoleum coatings wear the same clock as a copper marquetry. The iconic Hungarian Ikarus bus is a leading element in the graphic identity as well: the technical drawings of the famous vehicle are part of the menu card. We used a rubber stamp to indicate the subtle changes around the opening period and put a test drive caption (“Próbajárat”) on the paper cards.
The rich history of the space mixed with the subtle design elements is well-considered. The use of the copper clock as a mark was created by Eszter Laki, graphic designer on the project. The warm copper mixed with the whites and navy blues is an attractive, timeless combination. If you find yourself in Budapest be sure to stop by.
It’s a matter of fact that my favorite meal is the hamburger. There’s something so perfect about the combination of beef, cheese, and produce all wrapped up in a pair of fresh buns. Thankfully the folks at Fat & Furious Burger feels the same way, turning hamburgers into these fantastic works of food art. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many different kinds of burgers ever, and you’ve probably seen nothing quite like these. These burgers are themed around all sorts of pop culture topics like soccer, outer space, birthdays, James Bond, all sorts of crazy stuff.
A lot of the time they even include the ingredients to their burgers, like the Burger Blanc sur Fond Blanc below, which includes a chicken breast filet, roasted camembert, honey, white onions marinated in vinegar, endive, and mushrooms. It might be a little intimidating looking but I’d certainly be up for the challenge.
The world of bluetooth music accessories continues to expand, with stand-outs like Jambox and Nixon to up-and-comers like Lowdi. Entering from a design minded angle is the Copenhagen speaker from Vifa, pairing high-tech know-how with classic Nordic design.
The speaker was designed by Henrik Mathiassen in cooperation with Vifa to those who “values exclusive design just as much as authentic sound.” Each Copenhagen also features a special-woven textile by Kvadrat that lines the front which makes them feel warmer and more human. The combination of fabric and aluminum definitely sets it apart from other speakers like it.
No word on a release date yet but hopefully we see them out in the wild soon.