Modern Architecture Gone Red

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

In my recent online (webbing) escapades, I came across a “little” trend of colossal proportions.  The color red – yes, the same juicy red associated with a tomato, delicious apple, fire, lipstick and traffic light is being taken out of its conventional application (clothes, shoes, lingerie, cars, furniture, etc) and applied to architectural landmarks, modern skyscrapers and cityscape altering structures.  And while every single one of these structures would have been exceptionally magnificent regardless of its facade, the red color pushes the limits of modern-day architecture with the same audacity that, decades ago, revolutionized the fashion world, automotive industry and industrial design in general.  Encapsulated in these structures is a glimpse into the future of metropolitan topography and culture that will be forever altered through these ground-breaking pinnacles.

Red Apple waterfront residential complex in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Red Apple waterfront residential complex in Rotterdam Netherlands

Red Apple waterfront residential complex in Rotterdam Netherlands

Porta Fira Towers by Toyo Ito in Plaza Europa in Barcelona, Spain

Porta Fira Towers by Toyo Ito in Plaza Europa in Barcelona, Spain

Porta Fira Towers by Toyo Ito in Plaza Europa in Barcelona, Spain

Read More

Koja – a Modern and Playful Twist on Easy Chair Design

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The Koja high back easy chair by Fredrik Mattson for Blasatation, is fun, modern and definitely one that stands out.  Manufactured in Sweden with a nonchalant approach to contemporary furniture design that possesses space-transformative qualities, Koja, which in Swedish means “hut” is appropriately reclusive, with a high, protective facade yet simultaneously inviting with its down-filled cushions and cozy ambience.  Koja’s placement is straightforward too, besides it being a “statement-making” piece; its practical nature makes it a useful element just about anywhere in the house.

The frame is made of a sustained or naturally lacquered ash wood while the vast upholstery options include both leathers and fabrics.  Koja Easy Chair is part of the Koja Seating Collection that also includes an easy chair with a lower back, and a sofa with high or low back.




Oscar Worthy Modern Hammock – Wave at the 82nd Academy Awards

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Since it was first introduced at the Maison&Object Designer Furniture Fair in September of 2008, Wave Hammock has been catching the world’s attention and making its mark through coveted design awards (like the 2009 Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year Award), honorary industry recognitions in major publications (like Marie Claire Maison and Made in Design) and through a one-of-a-kind US tour aptly titled “Catch the WAVE”. Wave’s #2 stop (after a month-long sojourn at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach Florida) is at the none other than the 2010 Academy Awards Celebrity Gift Lounge. Yes, Wave will get to cozy up to the crème de la crème of show business and serve as a backdrop to the other perk of attending the Oscars (other than winning one of course).


So why exactly did the Wave Hammock so quickly and so profoundly became an undeniable symbol of outdoor extravagance.  Simply and mainly because it is one of a kind, a hybrid between a lounger, a hammock and a parasol, a piece of functional art, and sculptural seating solution that serves its intended purpose while centering its surroundings with outmost design aesthetics, comfort, convenience and ergonomics.


Read More

Accolade to Modern Design – Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver are a spectacle of international unity, competitive sportsmanship and…modern design.  Yes, modern design, although not as prominently noticeable, is a part of key Olympic elements.  Perhaps, symbolic of a new decade, 2010 Winter Olympics introduced a lot of “firsts” – new competing countries, new Olympic sports and innovative, “never been done” contemporary designs for medal, torch and podium.

Medals – For the first time, the Olympic medals, created by Canadian industrial designer Omer Arbel are not flat, although still round in shape, this year’s medals featured a rippled surface evoking West Coast landscape of mountains, waves and drifting snow.  The imagery on the metal incorporates West Coast native designs of an orca (Olympic) and a raven (Paralympic) interpreted in a very modern way of cropped illustrations by Corrine Hunt depicting the curve of orca’s dorsal fin or contouring raven’s wing.  The silk scarf is also original, epitomizing the Olympic spirit of totality – each Olympian or Paralympian with the medal, will see how their medal tied with those awarded to other athletes.


Torch – collaboration between Bombardier and VANOC resulted in an utterly unique Olympic torch design concisely encapsulated as futuristically organic. Inspired by the sleek, crisp and modern lines that are left behind in the snow and ice from winter sports, the sinuous shape of the torch is suggestive of change and enthusiasm while its size is embodies Canada as a generous country in geography, potential and heart.  Adding to the Canadian pride and spirit is the incorporation of the maple leaf which also functions as an air intake to ensure the Olympic Flame burns brightly as the torchbearer carries it.


Podium – Designed by James Lee and Leo Obstbaum, the modernist sculptural design of the Olympic podium is reminiscent of the Vancouver Island – both in structure, and topology.  While the metaphorical representation of the podium, just like climbing a mountain, is a tribute to the Olympic journey and dream.  The 23 podiums, where world’s best athletes will celebrate their glorious achievements are made of Western red cedar and Douglas fir donated by communities, businesses, individuals and First Nations from across British Columbia.


IMM Cologne 2010 Furniture Design Trends – What Else Stays?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

In addition to the clearly evident contemporary furniture design trends that were spotted in Cologne last month, IMM 2010 was also the launching pad for various trends that may or may not catch up with time, yet they were certainly tremendous enough to catch our attention and the increasing attention of thousands of US customers who have caught up with these evolving new inclinations.

European wardrobes have been around in Europe for decades and have evolved in terms of design and functionality.  Their increasing utilization and popularity among the Europeans have created quite a stir among our fellow Americans despite the (almost) standardized presence of walk-in-closets in our bedrooms. Part of the Luxor designer bedroom collection, Tokyo modern bedroom collection and the popular Selex bedroom collection by Milmueble, these wardrobes will match the bedrooms while providing plenty of functionality and space saving solutions.


Similar can be said about modern wall units, which have been used by the Europeans to maximize their “verizons” (vertical horizons) in a stylish, compact, and utterly distinctive way.  Their versatility and high levels of customization make that much more appealing and practical, especially when used in media rooms, family rooms, and even bedrooms.  See Gallery, Boss and Joly modern wall unit collections by Milmueble or the Lula contemporary wall unit collection by ST Muebles.

Gallery 02 wall unit by Milmueble

Gallery 02 wall unit by Milmueble

Read More