Design | A Continuous Lean.

Less, But Better | Principles of Good Design.

Sep 4th, 2014 | Categories: Art, Design, History, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Dieter Rams never needed his own company.

Throughout his career, Rams brought Braun and Vitsoe to the forefront of modern design, becoming a household name in his own right along the way. And he did this without ever having to step out on his own. The German born industrial designer was larger than any one company, and in fact Rams’ legacy is really larger than any single product that he designed throughout his forty year career. Rams’ minimal and practical products were a vital part of post mid-century design, but he saw the tides changing around him during the late seventies. Design was becoming too busy, too muddled, and too overwrought for Rams’ taste, and so he decided to articulate his design philosophy in an attempt to right the ship. Rams began with the question: “is my design good design,” and the “Ten Principles of Good Design” that followed were as straightforward and useful as his inventions. To this day Rams’ ten commandments are a valuable reminder that less is always better.





Boerum House & Home | The Shoppable Showroom

Jul 31st, 2014 | Categories: Brooklyn, Design, Jake Gallagher, Men's Stores, New York City, Shopping | by Jake Gallagher

Boerum-BFerry-HiRes1_new copy

Boerum‘s address reads 314 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, but this is not the Brooklyn we’ve all come to expect. In fact the space doesn’t really feel like anywhere else in this city, but what it does feel like is a quintessential Partners & Spade production. The progressive downtown design firm, which is responsible for everything from Target ads to Sleepy Jones, was tapped by Flank, a boutique Manhattan-based architecture firm to create Boerum House & Home, so named for its Boerum Hill neighborhood.

Boerum-BFerry-HiRes2 copy





Journeying to Space with Tom Sachs.

Jul 18th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, Art, Design, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Helmet, 2007.

The visor looked like it had been coated in gold tin foil bought from a suburban supermarket. The helmet itself was oddly shaped and each crack was writ large upon the surface. The hardware was exposed. A red band adorned the bottom, one of the few actual references to a true NASA item.

This was Tom Sachs’ vision of a space helmet, a brilliant bricolage work that prioritized artistry rather than function. The scientists at NASA had their flight paths, but Sachs was on his own, navigating through visions of space that existed more in his own mind than in our physical galaxy. And Sachs was just getting started.

Helmet was part of a larger Tom Sachs exhibition titled “Space Program,” which made its debut at New York’s Gagosian Gallery back in the late summer of 2007. The press release that accompanied this show explained that Sachs, like many children of the sixties, was fascinated by the Apollo Space Program. Throughout his life, this interest blossomed into an obsession and in the late nineties Sachs began creating space inspired artworks using his recognizable bricolage technique.

ApolloLEM

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Muji | The Modern General Store

May 27th, 2014 | Categories: Design, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher

The Muji House in Tokyo

The modern general store can’t be found in Brooklyn, or Portland, or any other quirked-out city where the general store label is now affixed to at least a quarter of all vintage stores. No, the true contemporary general store is actually located in Tokyo, or to be more specific right online at Muji.us. Few, if any, current stores are guided by the same catchall attitude of the classic general store, but Muji is a true one stop shop, peddling affordable housewares, kitchen tools, office supplies, furniture, travel gear, healthcare products, various nicknacks, and even a complete clothing collection.

The Muji House

The Muji House





Long Watch | Design by Peter Buchanan-Smith

May 24th, 2014 | Categories: Design, Video | by Michael Williams

There are few companies that do a better job with design than Best Made Co. From the packaging to the product to the company’s TriBeCa shop, everything is beautifully arranged. Much of the reason everything is so aesthetically on-point draws back to the company’s founder and chief creative Peter Buchanan-Smith. If you consider his work across the varied projects and organizations which he has contributed, you start to get a glimpse into the simplicity and beauty of his approach. I’ve met Peter on a few occasions before, and I’ve known him to be both extremely smart and exceedingly kind man. It seems that everything he does is appealing to me in one way or another. Even if it is a subject matter that I am not inherently interested in, Peter’s enthusiasm and his approach always seem to lure me in.





Woodwarding the Internets

May 31st, 2012 | Categories: Automobiles, Design | by Michael Williams

The site Chromeography is the best use of Tumblr that I have seen in a very long time. (Thanks are due to Zach T. in Chicagoland for the heads up.) The collection of imagery (with an emphasis on the beautiful auto badges) rolls ever so perfectly across a screen it proves that the true magic of the internets is rooted in the simplest things. The page isn’t all car parts — espresso makers, padlocks, Leicas and even a Walther PPK all make appearances — but it definitely scratches the automobile itch with the perfect mixture of chrome dipped font nerdery. Not to mention an extra helping of Americana. [Chromeography]





Rimowa | German Luggage for the Ages

Mar 31st, 2011 | Categories: Design, Germany, History, Travel | by Michael Williams

When most Americans think luggage, they picture soft sided wheelie bags made from ballistic nylon. Nothing challenges an American’s preference for soft nylon bags more than a trip through customs at NRT. It happens quickly, only takes one trip to Japan to make a yank jealous of the ubiquitous Rimowa hard-sided cases that are the travel norm in Japan and the symbol of enduring German design.

Founded in 1898, Rimowa transformed itself from classic trunk maker into a modern metal case company that has stood the test of time. In our normal fashion, we reached out to the people at Rimowa and asked to see exactly what hasn’t changed and we were delighted with all of the historical reference material the company sent back. Light and strong have been the order of the day at Rimowa since the beginning, a philosophy that has continued to this day. It started with wood, eventually became aluminum and when technologies were pushed the company introduced a polycarbonate case to the world.