Month: July, 2011

Good Design (In A Nutshell)…

This week The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture, Art & Design this week awarded some of the world’s leading corporations and design firms in the prestigious GOOD DESIGN™AWARDS for visionary product design.

Of note was Martí Guixe‘s Green Good Design Award Winner: “Seed Safe” for Alessi.

The ceramic vessel is designed as a safe for the storing of seeds and nuts that may otherwise be discarded in the kitchen in the process of cooking.  The intention is that their collection and subsequent planting in stead of disposal encourages dialogue about sustenance and preservation of natural assets for future generations.

in our era, money is losing its value, and a good way to change the perception of values, was to put it into seeds

Far fetched?   At very least it makes for a funky vase…

The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture, Art & Design this week awarded some of the world’s leading corporations and design firms in the prestigious GOOD DESIGN™AWARDS for visionary product design.

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Up The Walls…

Pierre-Andre Senizergues, the Frenchman behind skateboarding empire Etnies has turned his hand and imagination to home design – teaming up with LA’s Air Architecture to create a home for those who are more likely to roll to bed than walk!

an architectural project mixing a modern single family home with a skateboard ramp structure – all from an environmentally-driven perspective.

To be built in Malibu, only part of the house has been realised so far in a full scale mock-up seen in the video above.  With every surface designed to be “skatable” including the kitchen, we’d be making sure the stove top was off at all times!

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Visualise with Artifort…

This exciting new concept from Artifort puts YOU in control.

The free, nifty, CAD-like software allows you to upload an image of your own space and lets you place, experiment and play with furniture arrangements in 3D!

Try before you buy in the truest sense!  With Artiforts classic twentieth century designs (as well as their brilliant contemporary pieces) at your fingertips, you are afforded ultimate flexibility in planning your furniture layout.  Change colours, upholstery or timber types, save your images, learn more about the particular pieces of furniture and share the designs once complete!

Click here to take a look.

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INSTALLED: The Clift Hotel, San Francisco

San Francisco’s Clift Hotel and Redwood Room are iconic destinations in their own right, not least for some pivotal pieces of design history that they play host to.

First opened in 1915,  the smart 17 storey building underwent a complete $80m overhaul  in 2001 under the guidance of one Mr Philippe Starck and celebrity hotelier Ian Schrager.  A moody-melange of classical elegance and edgy surrealism, the evocatively-dim lobby is riddled with quirky furnishings: from Salvador Dali‘s rare bronze-and-marble Leda Table for BD Barcelona, a  loveseat fashioned out of buffalo horns and hide to a brilliant Jean Nouvel designed reception desk.   Renè Magritte too is present in Roberto Matta‘s Magritta Chair, essentially an oversized apple in an upturned bowler hat.  Part foyer – part 20th Century industrial design gallery, it wouldn’t surprise us if half the refurbishment costs went on the foyer alone!

Upon entry all eyes of course gravitate to the 12 foot high upholstered armchair that sits proudly in the lobby, backed by an equally imposing 18 foot high bronze fireplace.  Lighting too is given a surrealist touch with inclusion of Salvador Dali’s Muletas, Bracelli and Cajones lamps dotted throughout public areas.  Jean Baptiste Mondino‘s portraits of toy animals in the “Living Room” lobby bar are another quirky addition.  Almost fantasy, completely luxe and with a healthy dose of homour: to say the space is dramatic wouldn’t do The Clift justice. When in San Francisco, if not staying there then popping in for a drink is a must!

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Now Now Now…

The 6th newsletter from the team at SANCAL is now available.  Click here or the image above to download as a PDF.

Of special note is the recent Diageo Sydney office fit-out by Hamilton Thomson where the wonderful Boomerang Chill Lounge Chair by Quim Larrea is used to great effect in the firms waiting area.

Check it out… Now!

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3 Of The Best…

Andreu World continues to win praise right around the world with its 2011 collections.

At the recent NeoCon 2011 Awards in Chicago the Sail, Sit and Nub collections were awarded top of their catagories for contract furnishings – completely scooping the pool!

It was no surprise to us that Patricia Urquiola‘s Nub collection took home the People’s Choice Award.

The Gold Award for Best Stacking Chair was given to Sail, the sleek stackable injection molded piece from Piergiorgio & Michele Cazzaniga.

Best Guest Chair Gold Award was won by Lievore, Altherr & Molina‘s Sit Collection.  A charming, versatile family of chairs offered in timber, upholstered or myriad colour options in polyprop with sled or four legs.

Be sure to catch the Australian launch of Nub, Sit and Sail at KE-ZU’s showroom during this years Saturday Indesign in August.

See them for yourself and you too will be won over!

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Liveable or Likeable?…

Monocle last month declared the Finnish city of Helsinki, to be the Most Liveable City in the World.  Granted, a subjective awarding of this kind is always going to meet with varying degrees of controversy, but what is it about this Northern Capital that won over this publication?

An unorthodox but well-deserving champion, the Finnish capital stands out for its fundamental courage to rethink its urban ambitions, and for possessing the talent, ideas and guts to pull it off.

We, having visited Helsinki, agree with much of the justification for celebrating their independent and forward thinking progress in recent years – design thrives in its public spaces, for such a small Nation many of it’s global exports: Marimekko and Nokia are very much design focussed and its traditional through to contemporary architecture exude a distinctly Finnish aesthetic, that said, it seems that the liveability measures didn’t really touch too heavily on the importance of climate and seasonal changes on quality of life.

Whilst the embracement of design (“Embedding Design in Life”), a healthy push in responsible urban development and the sheer scope of big picture public works afford Helsinki admirably strong culture and design cards in Monocle’s review, we’d have thought aspects such as recreation and climate are surely imperative in awarding a location “Most Liveable” — be it from a European perspective or otherwise!

World Design Capital 2012 is all well and good but with winter days averaging -5’C  through to -20’C we’d probably say the following of Helsinki:

Likeable:  Yes. Loveable: Definitely. Most Liveable? Hmmm…

But perhaps that’s just us…Helsinki is a truly beautiful city, click here to watch the Monocle short film and decide for yourself.  Click here to view Helsinki’s “Embedding Design in Life” film that helped secure them the title of Design Capital 2012.

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Meet Alex & Andria…

Saturday Indesign 2011 is almost upon us!

This year we throw the doors open on our new playground in Alexandria – Sydney’s emerging design precinct.

On August 19 and 20, Alexandria will play home to KE-ZU, Interstudio, Coco Republic, Tsar, Smeg, Cosh Living, Cadry’s, Gelosa International, Abet Laminati and many moreAlexAndria, the biggest precinct in SID 2011, will be hosting a comprehensive collection of exhibitors across flooring, lighting, finishes as well as furniture for commercial, hospitality, high-end residential and contract environments – truly living up to its title as ‘The Design Destination with Character”!

For pre-registration click here, a handbook for the big day will be sent out prior to the event affording you the best chance to plan your day around all the fantastic designer/supplier collaborations, product launches and giveaways.

SID is always high energy and go-go-go so plan ahead and make the most of the ocassion.  SID is South East Asia and Australia’s premier design event and only hits Sydney bi-annually, you’d be mad to miss it!

To keep in touch with AlexAndria befriend them on facebook.  They’ll keep you up to speed with all the developments from all the exhibitors in the precinct as the day draws near!

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Sydney’s CBD fringe plays host to myriad lanes and back streets that are seeing a rebirth as the area explodes with creative businesses and an increase in residential developments where there were once commercial operations or derelict sites.

Some months ago we wrote about a small Sydney City run gallery on Alberta St to the city’s Southern boundary, it’s a blink and you’ll miss it location and quite hard to stumble upon – but where this rotating public gallery once stood now stands Creasion – a slick addition to this gritty urban landscape.

Opened by Yu Sasaki, (having trained under Christine Manfield of Universal fame), the space is sparse but instantly inviting in what is ostensibly a back lane that rarely – if ever – sees sun!

Their speciality is Macarons and sweet things but we just can’t go past the single origin coffee which is genuinely fantastic.  Worth a visit… for those who know their secret Sydney eateries, it’s right next door to Berta at 21 Alberta St, Sydney.

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Cutting Edge…

As our many well groomed gentleman readers will attest: Baxter of California is where it’s at for haircare, skincare and manly-manesque man-type manscaping niceties for men (no cash for comment here!) Sadly they’re not too easy to come by in Australia, so you can imagine our excitement when making the rounds in Los Angeles’ La Cienega Design Quarter, West Hollywood, and we stumble on the cooler-than-cool Baxter Finley Barber Shop!

Redefining “traditional” mens grooming, these guys do basic but what they do – they do in style.  No spa treatments, no head massages, it’s scissorcuts and cut-throat shaves… oh and scented candles (but they are assuredly manly and masculine!) Only a year old, the La Cienega Blvd space is high-design that presents sparingly but immaculately.  Early 20th Century ceramic barber chairs, crisply tiled white walls, rough-and-ready reclaimed fir tree flooring, cow hide, bare brick, marble and mirrors… and a lone deers head peering down from the rear wall.  This is an old school chop-shop for the boys – but it’s damn pretty.   J.P. Mastey, the CEO of the Baxter brand and the man primarily responsible for the design of the fit-out:

We see guys trending to tradition. Whether we are talking fashion, or choice of barber, guys are looking for simple and traditional surroundings…

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