All posts filed under: Things for Relaxing

Little Free Library Design Competition

A competition to design a new version of the Little Free Library touches on two of my favorite things in the world — product design and books. If you aren’t familiar with Little Free Libraries, they are small containers that are installed in front yards, community centers, and public spaces all over to world to help people exchange books for free. There are nearly 40,000 of these structures worldwide, and Chronicle Books. Little Free Library, and AIA SF are inviting architects and designers to rethink the structure and solve some problems cited by users in the field. Challenges that the new design should try to overcome include keeping the doors shut, making it accessible at night, keeping it water-tight and heatproof, and perhaps my favorite, serving small children and tall adults alike. The jury includes architects, editors, and designers, and the prizes include an architecture library from Chronicle Books and other goodies. If I designed one, I’d love a little solar panel on top that lights it up at night when the door opens and …

Two Brazilian Shoe Brands Collaborate with Iconic Designers

Move over Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. The shoe world is drawing more big-name designers to the footwear industry, starting with a collaboration between the famous Brazilian shoe brand Ipanema and the world-renowned designer Philippe Starck. Called Ipanema with STARCK, the Spring/Summer 2016 collection is a re-envisioning of the modern sandal. Offered in four distinct designs in 12 colors each, the collection is both modern, yet comfortable, qualities that do not always go hand-in-hand (or foot-in-foot?) when it comes to shoes. The sandals are made of 30% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. To achieve Starck’s designs, Ipanema adapted its industrial process to be more manual and artisanal, resulting in a production process employing a proprietary plastique injection technique. Available worldwide, the shoes range from $30-$40. Perhaps not to be outdone by their countrymen, another Brazilian footwear brand, Melissa Shoes, has collaborated with the furniture design duo the Campana Brothers. Inspired by their Baroque furniture collection, the Melissa Barroca x Campana collection are plastic flats that “lend a playful interpretation of Italian Baroque infused with the vibrancy of everyday Brazilian culture,” according to the brand. In celebration of the latest designs, the Campana Brothers have launched an installation Barroca: The Harmony …

Triangle Roomshoes by Nendo

Leave it to Nendo to come up with an entirely new look for the slipper. While this new cone-shaped footwear concept looks triangular from the side, a natural crease forms in its in-step portion. Only available in Japan, the gnomish shoes can stand on their own without taking too much space, and several can be stacked up in the foyer with no need for slipper racks — ideal for typically small Japanese residential spaces. Made of polyester and synthetic leather, the shoes come in two sizes and four colors. Photos by Akihiro Yoshida.  

Travel Dice by Walnut Studiolo

Walnut Studiolo‘s line of handmade accessories and games are produced in the company’s Portland, Oregon workshop. The latest addition to their growing line of travel games is a lightweight, portable set of dice ideal for players of any game using six or less die. The dice are secured inside the brass tube with a brass-beaded chain that can be worn as a necklace or carried as a keychain. The solid brass square tube perfectly houses six (6x) 7mm travel dice. A chain secures the dice in the tube at one end, and inlaid walnut wood closes the other end. Over time, the brass will develop a patina from hands and scratches. The die are available in either white or black and the chain comes in two lengths. $25. All images courtesy Walnut Studiolo.

Pup & Kit Pet Furniture

The Toronto-based modern pet furniture company Pup & Kit broke some barriers for animal-kind last March when they became the first pet-related company to exhibit at the Architectural Digest Home show in New York City. The company, founded in 2013 by Leslie Hemming, was invited to exhibit within the shows MADE section featuring bespoke products from across North America.   Pup & Kit offers several kinds of pet beds for both cats and dogs of all sizes, all handmade-to-order by local craftspeople in Toronto. The solid wood pieces are made of oak, walnut, or maple with an all-natural soy-based foam insert, and can be customized with a variety of fabric options made of outdoor Sunbrella fabrics. The Missy Cave, above, can even double as an modern end table, that is, if its tenant doesn’t mind.       All images courtesy Pup & Kit.

Spectrum Candles

Founded by architects Jean and Oliver Pelle, PELLE is a Brooklyn-based design practice that produces sculptural lighting fixtures, furnishings, and accessories that merge architectural practice with craftwork. The Spectrum Candles are a set of 12 lightly scented, soy wax candles that are individually hand-cast in PELLE’s cone-shaped Sugarloaf candle molds. The set comes in either dark red to cream (Red Currant) or black to white (Dark Rose) spectrums, with each candle producing a stronger scent as the color darkens. As the candles burn (up to 25 hours), the scents can combine and pools of colored wax interweave to create an new color experience. The makers highly recommend using a liner or candle dish to collect wax runoff and to protect your tabletop. $336, set of 12 or $28 per candle. All images courtesy of PELLE.