While many architects have worked outside the confines of traditional building, few have worked with the productivity and visibility of Greg Lynn. In fact, Lynn has finished just a few buildings, and instead has used his skill as an architect to realize of a plethora of everyday objects. Chairs? check. Teapots? check. Flatware? check. He’s even taken the large plastic toys we used as kids (the same kind he and his wife bought for their kids) and turned them into a kind of building material for delightful tables and twofountains. Now, Lynn has partnered with Swarovski to bring us a line of somewhat wonky, but surprisingly elegant jewelry for Atelier Swarovski. In an interview with the New York Times, Lynn remarked that this line of jewelry is related to his love of the water, saying, “you aren’t sure if the piece is a contemporary design object or something very old, eroded and polished like driftwood, river stones or sea glass.” Lynn is an avid SoCal sailor on his boat, the Kraken, and his collaboration with Swarovski started with an installation for Design Miami in 2009 where he suspended giant crystal-encrusted sails from the ceiling.
Sometimes, I suspect that Lynn’s is able to make all of these small scaled objects because his buildings are novel in a way that can make people nervous about larger scales. They can be constructed, sure, and they can be structurally sound but it’s less clear how they can be inhabited or used. Still, who wouldn’t want to live in the world he has created in the meantime? Where the toys we loved to play with become elaborate and dynamic fountains and where jewels can cling to our bodies like barnacles.
Over the last couple months I’ve been enamored with the work of Simon Walker. He’s an Austin, Texas based designer/typographer who does some of the most consistently great branding work I’ve ever seen. He’s been working on a project with Austin Eastciders for a while now to brand their newly released Gold Top Cider. I found it interesting because I would see different designs pop up on Flickr, slowly progressing to the final packaging which you can see up there on the left.
Simon had created some designs with stickers and labels, but I have to say that this version, with the simple white silkscreening, is my personal favorite. I think the goldness of the cider is so strong and intense, it only serves to make his beautiful design work look even better. You can see a couple of the earlier versions below.
This one’s for the ladies who want something a bit different. byAMT is the studio name of Alissia Melka-Teichroew, a New York based designer who’s got quite a knack for turning product design on it’s head. One of my favorites of her pieces is the Diamond 14K Gold Ring.
We value diamonds because they’re even more rare, shinier, and durable (and often fraught with human rights concerns). No wonder they are so expensive. Do we really need one to prove our love? byAMT rings are precious for their creativity, ingenuity, style, and wit–not their glittery bits.The metal rings include a “too-thin-to-be an engagement ring” (2mm), “perfect diamond ring size” (4mm), a square 9mm size. The thinnest rings hint at the fragility of marriage and commitment. The largest is a sly commentary on our culture’s competitive nature when it comes to conspicuous consumption: “my diamond is bigger than yours.” The Diamond Rings invite us to step back, get some perspective, and even laugh at ourselves.
Hunter & Fox, a multimedia production company here in L.A., recently paid a visit to Vanessa Hernandez, who goes by the name The Vaguely. They captured Vanessa creating one of her Gilded posters, a series of freehand typography pieces which she embellishes with gold leaf on vinyl. Vanessa has some crazy skills, creating this poster with what looks like grace and ease. It’s always so fantastic to see the process of talented people, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this before. You can see the rest of Vanessa’s work by clicking here.
It isn’t exactly gold and it isn’t exactly a house: it’s a rental property just outside of Joshua Tree covered with gold paint. But don’t let the description fool you, the effect created by a space enveloped in monochromatic gold is more substantial than the veneer of paint that enables this effect. This project is called Acido Dorado (spanish for Golden Acid) and was designed by Robert Stone. The house has a nearby sibling that is monochromatic black; both are available to rent and both have been extensively featured in magazines. The house is more real than a mirage of El Dorado, but like a mirage, the house has a few optic tricks going on thanks to a reflective ceiling and planes of overlapping, gilded grids. I imagine that the Acido part of the name comes from these optic tricks.