Before attending London’s Royal College of Art (RCA), Anton Alvarez spent two years at a craft school in Sweden, mastering the techniques of traditional cabinetmaking. Yet it was only after the London- and Stockholm-based designer set aside those time-honored skills that he was able to start his career in earnest, inventing a new joinery method he calls “thread wrapping” for his RCA thesis—a project that made him a breakout design-world star and got his sculptural pieces into a London Design Museum show last fall, alongside works by Arik Levy and Maarten Baas. Continue reading
After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art’s graphics program in 2006, Anna Karlin took a position at a prominent design firm in her native London. Two days later she quit. “People are not put on earth to work within such a confined, one-dimensional expression of their creativity,” she says. It’s a bold statement, reflecting her refusal to allow her talent — or ambition — to be hemmed in. Continue reading
Dined at a stylish restaurant in 2012? Then you’ve no doubt pulled up to the table in one of these retro beauties. Here’s how to bring them home. Continue reading
The designer Lindsey Adelman is embracing her dark side. Who knew she even had one? Since opening her New York studio in 2006, she’s become known primarily for her Bubble Series chandelier, an industrially-inspired brass armature blooming with charmingly lumpy blown glass globes. It consistently tops the shopping lists of architects and designers like Peter Marino and Kelly Wearstler; a sheik in Kuwait has one, and Ivanka Trump has two in her new Park Avenue apartment. “It’s almost like hanging a tree branch from your ceiling,” Adelman says, who, as a design student at the Rhode Island School of Design, also dabbled in sculpture.
While anyone would be grateful to receive Design Miami’s annual Designer of the Year Award and join the ranks of recipients like Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson, and Zaha Hadid, for David Adjaye the honor also represents a particularly uncanny moment of professional synergy. Having spent the better part of his career designing in and around the art world—traversing the same borders that Design Miami purports to blur—the Tanzania-born, London-based architect is now gearing up to produce his own series of limited-edition furniture. Adjaye has never been one to limit himself to a single creative role, whether it’s masterminding a 10-year documentary photo-research project on urban Africa’s built landscape—released this month as a book, African Metropolitan Architecture (Rizzoli)—or designing the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., scheduled for completion in 2015. He calls his practice “holistic.” A more apt description may be superhuman. Continue reading
To design lovers, Philippe Stuebi’s O House, 40 miles outside Zurich, is a breakthrough in residential architecture, a sophisticated mash-up of references to Venetian palazzi and tropical modernism. To locals who share the view of Lake Lucerne, it’s an anomaly that evokes a Connect Four board or the country’s signature cheese. “Swiss people prefer something discreet and calm—the houses here are so understated,” Stuebi explains. “My architecture is more expressive, a little exotic.” Continue reading
As cultural movements go, postmodernism enjoys a fairly dubious distinction: Despite its pivotal role in defining the playfully garish aesthetic of the late Seventies and Eighties, it remains a despised and convoluted term, seemingly slapped on any creative work that either rejected convention and commercialism or flagrantly embraced them. But if you’re among those who never quite understood what, say, Philip Johnson’s AT&T building has to do with Jean-Paul Goude’s photos of Grace Jones (left), or Peter Saville’s album art for New Order—all considered postmodernist landmarks—London’s Victoria and Albert Museum may clarify matters with the September 24 opening of “Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990,” a sweeping survey that pays particular attention to the genre’s roots in design and architecture. Continue reading