Whether it’s to save money or to simplify a lifestyle, more and more people are going small. Luckily there’s been a rise in tiny home design to meet the demand for it, which has resulted in some really cool and compact living situations that might just make you give up some square footage. ESCAPE Homes had a “prairie style” cottage that we liked before and now they’ve unveiled one that’s a little more scaled back than its predecessor but it’s equally exciting. ESCAPE One is a 276-square-foot tiny house on wheels with a rustic yet minimalist interior that can easily sleep four people.
Inside, there’s a simple pine kitchen with an under-the-counter fridge, hidden sink, and stove with shelving above. A large window allows plenty of light to enter the space while giving the interior a more expansive feel. Stairs lead to the sleeping loft and hide a closet and drawers underneath.
High-efficiency insulation and climate control options allow for extreme temperatures. It’s easy to hook up water, power, and utilities in minutes and because it requires no foundation, you can travel with it anywhere.
The bathroom is outfitted with a 36″ tub/shower combo, sink, and toilet.
Above the bathroom is a storage loft.
On the first floor under the loft, the space can be used for a living room, another bedroom, or an office.
Additional ESCAPE One options are queen, king, or twin beds, flatscreen TV with Blu-Ray, stone countertops, USB outlets, cellular shades, and an exterior shower.
Monica Förster Design Studio extended their collaboration with Bosnian furniture manufacturer Zanat with Beyond Black, a sleek, sultry exhibition that merges the art of Bosnian craft with Sami spiritualism. The wood carving gives nod to traditional Bosnian techniques, while Sami-inspired pewter thread embroidery wraps itself around the the wood. Combining the two is unexpected, but leads to an interesting pairing that adds a contemporary twist.
NUR, Standing mirror
STOPME, Door stop / Book stand
NERA STOOL, Stool
NERA BOWL, bowls
UNNA LOUNGE, lounge chair
Wallpaper*Handmade is a must-see part of Milan’s annual Salone del Mobile and this year things took a turn for the sacred. The show that Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Tony Chambers describes as a “revelatory roll-out of fine craftsmanship, creativity and contemporary” was housed in the Mediateca Santa Teresa, a deconsecrated church in the Brera design district and the new location inspired the theme “Holy Handmade! A Temple of Divine Design.” In line with many of this year’s best installations, it certainly provided a moment of calm amidst the chaos, particularly in the case of Marc Ange’s Le Refuge (above).
Outside the entrance, the Volcanic Altar by Sabine Marcelis and Danish-Italian tile manufacturer Made a Mano is made of a glazed lava stone that appears to float on a glass structure. “An altar is a sacred place that brings us closer to the divine,” says NanaKi Bonfils of Made a Mano. “Altars transform actions of everyday life into actions of hope, despair and love.”
American-born, London-based jeweler Jacqueline Rabun designed the Trinity of Boxes, three egg-shaped containers cast in solid brass, as an “introverted response” to current world affairs – the idea came from a conversation on the day of the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. The boxes were handcrafted by fourth-generation Viennese metal workshop Werkstätte Carl Auböck.
The Rising Sun Tea Cart is the result of a collaboration between architect Isabelle Stanislas and copper cookware brand Mauviel. The piece combines the ancient ritual of Japanese tea ceremonies with the 1970s must-have hostess trolley. Mauviel brought one of their master craftsmen out of retirement to mold the copper and mirrored stainless steel form.
The Wabi-Sabi Tea kit by Italian designer Pietro Russo comes with its own blend of Ambient Teas – London Sun and High Green – by Tim d’Offray of Postcard Teas, made for pairing with fine foods, and therefore served in glasses handblown from borosilicate glass by Ichendorf’s craftsmen.
Another piece designed to help you seek refuge was less about creating rituals and more about breaking habits. Airplane Mode Vessel, by San Francisco-based creative agency Branch and Californian design and fabrication studio Concrete Works, provides a barrier for your phone’s signal and muffles its sound, while its size, weight and tactile surface add weight to the process of disconnection.
The Worshipful Wardrobe elevates clothes and accessories to the status of museum exhibits and celebrates the ritual of getting dressed each morning. Designed by Paris-based fashion designer Paul Helbers and made by UK fitted furniture brand Smallbone, it was inspired by the unconventional materials used in British brutalist church moldings.
London-based Lebanese furniture and product designer Karen Chekerdjian uses a square, a triangle and a circle in her infinity table, made by Italian terrazzo company Grandinetti to channel the idea of spirituality, inspired by paintings of the universe by Zen monk Sengai.
The Veil by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was made in India by more than ten of Lesage Intérieurs’ craftsmen working simultaneously for over 1,000 hours. “Embroidery is an amazing language full of diverse expression and manner,” say the French brothers. “In a way, it’s like the origin of pixels with each point making a part of the picture while also conveying its own weight and magic.”
And finally, Kronolisk is a primitive clock inspired by the ritualistic objects of early civilizations. Interior architecture and furniture design studio State of Craft worked with automotive engineering firm Ilmor to create the meditative object, which was 3D printed in nylon as a prototype for a high-grade aluminum alloy form.
Earlier this year Pantone bestowed PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery as the color of 2017, prescient of the house plant trend that has culminated in numerous books, Instagrams, and websites dedicated to integrating plants into our everyday lives. But as one wise Muppet once professed, “it ain’t easy being green” – not everyone has the space or green thumb for keeping plants healthy. The LeGrow smart garden kits attempt to turn growing and caring for plants into a simple matter of snapping modular pieces together into self-sustaining indoor gardening ecosystems so everyone can live a little greener.
Similar to LEGO blocks, each element of the LeGrow system serves a purpose in promotion of growing and maintaining healthy plants:
- Pots are the building blocks of the Smart Garden, each outfitted with an internal water reservoir designed to control the amount of water available to each plant.
- LED Lamp blocks feature dual-bulb designed to help promote growth, even in windowless rooms, low-light environments, and the winter season. Rated for a maximum of 50,000 Lux and producing a 3000 K color temperature, this element plays the role of the “sun” for the purpose of photosynthesis.
- 360° Humidifier is designed to replicate mist in a natural environment and provides additional moisture for plants to prevent drying out.
- Power Pot is shaped like the standard pot, but includes a unique base with 4 waterproof USB charging ports, including a Quick Charge 3.0 port for smart phones. One could assume this reflect envisioning keeping a LeGrow system near/around workspaces within a home or office.
Designed by Chinese industrial designer Haobin Lin, the LeGrow was initially conceived to introduce his own daughter to gardening and add an element of nature into her life. It seems ideal he took this idea and converted it into a modular, cubic shaped planter system with identifiable similarities to LEGO or Minecraft, essentially turning home gardening into a game where the chances of “winning” are greatly improved.
“When my daughter was born I decided that if it was impossible for us to leave the city, I must bring the beauty of nature to my daughter. So began a 3-year journey to create the best indoor garden I could design.
One day I noticed my daughter playing with her favorite toys – “building blocks.” In that moment I realized that indoor gardens could be so much more than just a bunch of pots. By allowing you to stack and expand your pots everyone can create a unique garden just like my daughters unique building creations.
The Lego-like design has the added benefit of fitting into smaller spaces like our apartment. However, it also provides flexibility, so that my daughter can move and expand her garden as she grows. Once I began to design the pot I realized that this garden could be so much more.” – Haobin Lin
The LeGrow Smart Garden is currently seeking crowdfunding support, with an entry price of $34 for early bird backers, scaling upwards depending upon the number and complexity of plant growing infrastructure.
At schools, classes and curriculums are all completely different and evolve over time, but the school environment never seems to change. Learning happens in all different ways and with collaboration becoming more mainstream, it seems logical that furniture would be more conducive to that. Architecture firm Mecanoo and furniture manufacturer Gispen joined forces to create an innovative line of modular furniture to help solve exactly that and it’s called HUBB.
HUBB is designed for learning environments that see a variety of activities and types of learning. The modular system’s components can be reconfigured as needs change so that institutions won’t have to reinvest again in a few years when they’ve outgrown the previous incarnation. By using screws and snap connections, the pieces can continues to be reused instead of thrown out as typically done.
Empty spaces can benefit from various HUBB configurations – stand-alone, against walls, or diner-style booths – and can offer quiet study time, brainstorming sessions with a partner, or group studies.
The acoustic canopies made of PET felt help absorb sound, while implemented power and data outlets keep students connected.
As a kid, Long Island native Jon Buscemi soaked up the 80s and 90s street culture that surrounded him, from music to fashion to skateboarding. While biding his time on Wall Street as a stockbroker, he amassed a jaw-dropping collection of rare sneakers (over 600 pairs!), eventually realizing that the design world was where he should be. His jump into design landed him a successful stint at footwear brand DC Shoe Co. in 1999 when the global brand was a few years out of the gate. After that, Buscemi was Creative Director at Italian tennis and soccer brand Lotto USA and Brand Director for eyewear company Oliver Peoples before co-founding GOURMET, his first independent brand. With 20+ years under his design belt, he launched his eponymous line, BUSCEMI in 2013 with a curated selection of handcrafted Italian-made leather sneakers. Just over 600 pairs were made available to high-end retailers, like Colette and Kith, all of which sold out in must a matter of days, thanks to word-of-mouth and Buscemi’s loyal social media following. BUSCEMI continues to drop highly covetable, extremely limited edition kicks, along with other delicious leather goods all handmade in Civitanova, Italy. For his Friday Five, Jon shares a mix of his favorite creatives and culinary experiences. Take a look.
1. Shawn Stussy (brand legend)
The Godfather of modern streetwear. We all have to look to Shawn for what he has accomplished and having started a brand that has been the blue print for all of us.
2. Wes Anderson (filmmaker)
The art of storytelling is something I love to study and no one does it better than Wes. Having the ability in filmmaking to be a designer, musician, photographer and artist all at the same time, to tell someone a visual story is and always has been a huge motivation.
3. Professor Bodo Buschmann (owner of Brabus)
Having such a love for customized cars and to meet a man who has a very similar story to your own and motivates you is why I respect this man so much. He pulled off the impossible over the past 3 decades. Brabus took the idea of customizing cars in the aftermarket, which was at one point frowned upon and still is, and he made it into true luxury.
4. Stone Barns at Blue Hill Farm (restaurant)
Take any culinary experience you have had and amplify it by 100. It is like being on stage at the London Philharmonic for 3 hours but you are eating.
5. Shima (Tokyo restaurant)
The finest steak on the planet and I’ve had them all.
When you’ve got a good thing going, you’re going to want to keep it going. We’re excited to announce that in one month, Design Milk will be back at ICFF 2017 with our Milk Stand popup shop in booth #105!
This year is extra special because we’ve partnered up with Dropbox, a brand we love and rely on daily, to bring the 2017 Milk Stand to life. In fact, Dropbox’s latest collaboration platform Paper has been crucial for us in planning this popup and we’ll share more on that later. Our friends at Civilization and Visual Magnetics are also cooking up an incredible custom interactive booth design that you’ll definitely want to put on your Instagram story. We’ll even take your Boomerang for you. ;)
The Milk Stand will be the only booth at ICFF where you can buy some modern design to take home with you, so come by, shop and say hi to this year’s 12 exhibiting designers:
Don’t miss out on the fun, register for ICFF here. See you at booth #105!
Leggings have been quite the controversial pant these days. There are those who think they’re acceptable for exercise only and completely unacceptable anywhere else, and then there are those (like me) who think, they’re just pants. Wear what you want! One thing you can’t deny though is how comfortable they are and nowadays, there are so many more cooler options than just your standard black pair. If you’re looking to expand your collection like I am, take a look at Society6. The large selection of designs from the site’s collective of artists means you’re sure to find one you love. You can go crazy graphic with a sushi print or subtle with just a wash of ombre. Just remember: life’s short. Wear the leggings. ;) Here are some of my favorite fun ones…
In an ongoing effort to support independent artists from around the world, Design Milk is proud to partner with Society6 to offer The Design Milk Dairy, a special collection of Society6 artists’ work curated by Design Milk and our readers. Proceeds from The Design Milk Dairy help us bring Design Milk to you every day.
Vertical gardens have become much more popular as it seems that horizontal space has been growing smaller and smaller. Living walls can exist both indoors and out making them a great yet unconventional design option for your walls. They not only bring a natural element to a space, but they can easily become works of art in their own right. Plus, they help purify the air we breathe, so it seems like a win-win, right? Take a look at ten walls that have been turned into live vertical gardens for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
Located in Mexico City, Downtown Mexico is a boutique hotel designed by Cherem Serrano Arquitectos with an inner courtyard that features this massive living wall. The paisley-like feature brings a modern twist to one of the original walls.
J.M.Bonfils and Associates designed the mixed use East Village building in Beirut, Lebanon, to include a traditional Lebanese garden but in a modern way – vertical – which happens to be much more space efficient.
Designed by PAUL CREMOUX studio in Mexico City, Casa CorManca hides a series of layered outdoor spaces that all benefit from this gorgeous vertical garden. The wall features over 4,000 plants which help improve the air quality while increasing the humidity.
The Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California, is home to this living wall by Habitat Horticulture. The greenery from the walls cascades down into the regular planters below which create spots for visitors to sit and relax while enjoying the green view.
Meristem Design were tasked with designing this vertical garden surrounding a round window in the Skanska offices. They incorporated a mix of tropical plants, approximately 35 plants per square meter, on the self-watering wall that’s also outfitted with special daylight lighting to keep them growing strong.
This Ukrainian apartment, designed by Ki Design Studio, not only has a slide to take you from the second floor to the main one, it has a double-height green wall that brings a punch of greenery to the modern space.
Paris’s Musée du Quai Branly brings a lush green landscape to the middle of the busy city. Spanning over 800 square meters, the 15,000 plant-design was created by Patrick Blanc and it cover the entire facade minus the windows.
This multi-use building at the University of Ottawa was a join project between KWC Architects and Diamond Schmitt Architects. A six-story living wall, the tallest in North America, becomes an energy-efficient air purifier which led to the building receiving LEED Gold certification.
Smaller than usual, but no less perfectly formed, the 8th edition of Ventura Lambrate saw 128 exhibitors from all over the world flock to this undeveloped corner of Milan to showcase their wares. There was sunshine, there was gelato, and there were new designers – Ventura Lambrate is Milan Design Week at its best. (Above: concrete vases by Studio Amanda Lilholt)
In Progress by Petter Fjellman-Lätt was part of the HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts exhibition entitled Almost Complete – it highlights every stage of the making process within the finished object.
Function… Is In The Eye of the Beholder by Lydia Kumlien was part of the same exhibition, and shone a light on the interface between object and user, where the user defines the function of the piece.
And the final collection from the same show was called Together Stools, in which Helen Johannesson has designed three stools to explore the form and function of seating.
Shipwreck is the latest collection from design brand Tom Pigeon. Inspired by the flotsam and jetsam that washes up on their shores near their studio on the east coast of Scotland, the collection comprises three art prints, a wall hanging, a rug, a mobile, a collection of stationery and a small wooden boat made by local craftsman Edward Smith as part of the brand’s Sourced offering.
The Capa Chair by AtMa inc. is entirely customizable, encouraging users to create the chair that suits their lifestyle. The basic chair is made from wood and powder-coated steel with brass fixings and people can then choose to add lighting, seat covers, a basket, an arm rest, and/or a handy tray for mugs, pens, the remote control, etc. And of course you can specify the color – from a palette inspired by the Japanese kimono.
Form & Seek is a collective of young designers founded by Ruben de la Rive Box, Bilge Nur Saltik and Golnar Roshan, and the show they curate each year for Ventura Lambrate is always a highlight. 2017’s show, entitled Age of Man, was no exception. The simple forms above, inspired by “the elegance of classical antiquity” are by London-based ceramicist Melina Xenaki.
Another Form & Seek pick is Water Tower Pour Over by furniture designer and ceramicist Eny Lee Parker and designer and engineer Levi Brandon Gordy. As well as making very good coffee, the handcrafted Kaolin clay construction is designed to make us pause and consider our all-too-often mindless consumption of water.
And finally, Ara Levon Thorose designed the Tubular Group as “a three dimensional line drawing of a chair.” 7M, the blue chair in the background was created from seven “curving moments,” 3M, the yellow chair from three moments, and 6M the red chair in the foreground from six.
The following post is brought to you by Urbanears. Our partners are hand-picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
Monochromatic, minimalist, and multi-room. Stockholm-based Urbanears established its reputation based upon the first two of the three, known for their candy store catalog of colorful matte headphones that exemplify the era of portable audio as functional fashion. With the launch of their new Connected Speakers multi-room wireless home audio system, the Swedish company is bringing that same Scandinavian philosophy of thoughtful utility paired with an eye for understated (yet playful) design into our living rooms, home offices, bedrooms, and kitchens.
Urbanears put the smaller of their two new wireless audio speakers – the Stammen – into our hands and our home for the last few weeks to experience the Connected Speaker in real world use (there’s an even larger unit, the Baggen, which offers more of the same, but larger in dimension and even more robust in output).
The Stammen makes a positive first impression with a quick and easy setup out of the box aided by the step-by-step instructions of the Urbanears Connected app for iOS; a few taps and swipe later and we were connected to our wi-fi network.
We have to admit even before listening to a single song, we spent an embarrassing amount of time inspecting and admiring our “Plant Green” fabric cover encasing the near entirety of our speaker. Characteristic of Urbanear’s library of headphone colors, the Stammen’s fabric exterior was mesmerizingly rich, a chameleon hue that would change from a plant green to touring green to a near cyan depending upon the ambient light hitting each panel. It looked especially striking against our home office’s matte dark grey-blue walls or sitting on top of our dark glossy blue media cabinet…the acoustically transparent fabric serving both aural and aesthetic purposes.
The other five colors available – vinyl black, indigo blue, concrete grey, goldfish orange, and dirty pink – all exhibit a similar presence, transforming what is basically a simple box into something more decoratively desirable, whether tastefully neutral or brighter and bolder on the spectrum. Connected Speakers will likely prove popular amongst interior designers and other color lovers for this reason.
Urbanears obviously wanted to mitigate traversing the hurdles of getting from silence to enjoying music, editing out unnecessary options and extraneous features. Controls are pared down to just two dials, one dedicated to volume, the other offering a nifty feature allowing users immediate access to 7 of their favorite predetermined favorite albums, internet radio stations, or playlists with a gratifying turn of the dial. It’s a novel and tactile feature giving users quick accessibility without the need to fumble for their phone to launch an app. It also serves to keep the speaker’s minimalist profile intact, communicating simplicity as its core experience.
We listened to the Stammen mostly within the confines of a small home office setting, but also moved the speaker around to other parts of the house to see how it fared in different size rooms and layouts. The sound was right there with better speakers in the same price category, capable of filling up a small-to-medium room with confident loudness and clarity thanks to the speaker’s array of two tweeters, subwoofer, and the muscle of a Class D amplifier (rated for 2X15W+1X40W). I couldn’t imagine turning up the volume much past half-maximum normally; the speaker was capable of sufficiently loud output whether it was to enjoy the headbobbing charm of Passionfruit, the introspective trickle of keys spilling forth during An Empty Space, or while skating past the hazy guitars of Something Here.
Both the Stammen and the Baggen thankfully play nice with Spotify Connect, Airplay, or Chromecast right out of the box; additional streaming options are made available via Bluetooth in both Classic and Low Energy 4.2 AVRCP + A2DP flavors. Those who never cut the cord (or connected it back with the purchase of a turntable) have the option to connect components through an aux cord hook-up. We had no issues switching back from streaming from the desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet whether using the Urbanears app, Airplay or Spotify.
In theory, you could connect up to five Connected Speakers; we only had one unit to play around with, but for smaller rooms one should be more than sufficient. For those with larger spaces and budgets, multi-room playback is also joined by the option to pair two speakers in stereo mode for more accurate and immersive sound.
With its simplified and intuitive user experience, Urbanears has done a commendable job of filtering out the excesses and options that often get in the way of what matters the most: enjoying music. That they’ve done it with a speaker as visually gratifying as the Connected Speakers is a welcome bonus. Because who doesn’t want an audio design that pleases the eye as much as the ears?
Discover more about the Urbanears Connected Speakers at Urbanears.com.
Tokyo-based designer Daisuke Kitagawa, of Design For Industry, unveiled his latest collection at this year’s SaloneSatellite featuring furniture, furnishings, and accessories. With the theme being Scenery, Kitagawa took inspiration from travel and the surrounding cityscapes we encounter along the way. The scenes become memories ingrained in us and we attach feelings to them that we can recall at anytime. The collection aims to evoke those same joyful memories by scaling down some of those cityscapes and making them a part of everyday life.
The Floe coffee table offers plenty of storage space without the visual heaviness a solid table would have. Its stainless steel base reflects the light that filters through the two sheets of moveable glass surfaces. The glass can be arranged in various configurations based on the looks or your storage needs.
The Lattice cabinet goes for a more minimalist look by doing away with handles and instead designing sliding doors like shoji screens. The two sliding doors benefit from the grid-like pattern which allows you to grip anywhere to open them.
Inspired by universally used streetlights, Street is a pair of lamps that casts light down, much like a street lamp would do on a dark road at night. A hinge allows the angle of the light to be changed so the silhouette changes from a narrow line to a circle at the top.
Struct aims to be a thoughtful, comfortable chair that can be used for most any occasion. To add functionality, the design was made stackable so if you need more room, you can easily stack what you don’t need out of the way.
Lighthouse is a trio of tea light candleholders with a bold yet minimalist presence. The porcelain forms are heat and fire resistant and let light radiate through its thin walls. Since the candle itself is raised up higher than the base, you can easily hold it in your hand without burning yourself.
Composed of marble, the sculptural Ridge is a base to hold flowers. Unlike other vases which hold your flowers in a bunch, Ridge holds them in a linear fashion for a modern look.
Trio is a metal coat rack composed of three legs that join together at the top to form three hooks. A contrasting rattan shelf at the bottom can be used to hold hats, a bag, or a pair of shoes.
MA770 is a premium wireless speaker designed by London-based designer David Adjaye for Master & Dynamic. Sir David Adjaye OBE, recognized as a leading architect of his generation, was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.
The speaker is cast in a unique geometric form using proprietary concrete composite that lends itself to both the aesthetic of the speaker as well as its acoustic superiority. The concrete increases dampening, reduces resonance, and creates an overall purer sound. The dampening properties are so high that the speaker can play at full volume without causing a record to skip or the table and floor to vibrate.
The speaker is outfitted with dual 4″ woven Kevlar long throw woofers, a 1.5″ titanium tweeter and diamond-cut anodized aluminum controls. An elegant, magnetically attached steel grille is removable for those that prefer the look of the exposed components and hand-finished concrete. As stated by Adjaye, “This speaker is not about the traditional idea of making boxes, but about a directional form. I became fascinated with the idea of using triangles to break down the mass of the box, and to see if we could dissolve the sense of volume through sculptural detail. We created a new geometry for this speaker. A new geometry of sound.”