Happy Campers, Interior Design, January 2011

Yank a youngster away from his parents, and you’re asking for trouble. But lure him into a pint-size make-believe world, where every detail is attuned to the experience of childhood, and he’ll almost always go willingly-a particularly useful strategy if said parents are paying good money to be tempo­rarily divested of him. For Navarino Dunes, Costa Navarino, a Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide property on the south­western coast of Greece, Polyanna Paraskeva + Associates was commissioned to design two children’s camps that could promise guests both happy offspring and coveted alone-time. Continue reading

My Favorite Room: Daniel Arsham, W Magazine December 2010

Artist Daniel Arsham’s 2,500-square-foot studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, affords him plenty of space to sculpt, paint, build set models for dance performances, and run an architecture firm, Snarkitecture, with Alex Mustonen. But when he opted to live as well as work there, he confined himself to a 90-square-foot “tree house” above the shop floor. Monica Khemsurov gets the grand tour. Continue reading

They Must Be Giants, T Travel Winter 2010

‘If you think big,’’ says the tag line for the 1,000-acre Baha Mar resort about to break ground in the Bahamas, ‘‘think bigger.’’ Sound ridiculous in a recession? It’s more of a harbinger than you’d imagine, at least in the travel world: led by Las Vegas’s CityCenter and the Marina Bay Sands Singapore, a new wave of mega-scale complexes that were conceived during the boom have recently opened their doors, with several more in development, from the Alps to Abu Dhabi. ‘‘I think it’s the future,’’ says Andy Cohen, executive director of the architecture firm Gensler, which worked on CityCenter and has a similar mixed-use project brewing in Shanghai. ‘‘Whether it’s sports, entertainment or retail, the ability to have all that variety in one place is key. People want choice.’’ Continue reading

The Home Team’s Hot New Talent, Cover Story, T Design Winter 2010

If they can make it here…… Monica Khemsurov profiles six up-and-coming New York City designers.

When Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alex Williams, three baby-faced graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, first appeared in 2007 with a floor lamp inspired by graphs and pick-up sticks, they were filled with energy and youthful folly: they called themselves Rich Brilliant Willing. Exhaustive self-promoters and occasional party crashers, they seemed ready to storm the offices of Cappellini or Moroso, demanding a shot at the big time. But if the big time has finally arrived for these 20-somethings, who introduced four products with four different companies in the past year, it’s because they’ve earned it. Continue reading

Maker’s Marks, T Design Winter 2010

‘‘Hella Jongerius — Misfit,’’ the title of the Dutch designer’s retrospective that opens Nov. 13 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, refers not so much to her status in the design world but to the imperfect objects she has long championed. As the exhibition demonstrates, Jongerius has never had trouble finding sympathy for her ideas in the design industry, where companies like Vitra, Ikea and Maharam hired her to introduce beautiful inconsistencies into their sofas, vases and upholstery fabrics. As it turns out, the only people who ever took convincing were the craftspeople themselves. Continue reading

Eye-Popping, T Design Winter 2010

The artist Tauba Auerbach deals with perception and illusion, finding moments of ambiguity between two dimensions and three. (Think of her trompe l’oeil ‘‘folded’’ canvases, at this year’s Whitney Biennial.) Which is why, presumably, she fell so hard for pop-up books. ‘‘When a page closes, you see an object kind of smush, and in that moment, it’s in a liminal state not unlike the Fold paintings,’’ she says. Continue reading

Berlin Insider’s Guide, Wall Street Journal October 2010

Berlin is electric. Two decades after the fall of the Wall, its aftershocks still reverberate through every avant-garde gallery and underground club. While the ghosts of Hitler and Stalin linger in the city’s architectural bones, Berlin’s young generation has chosen to transform the past into something liberating. Everywhere, particularly in the fashionable Mitte district, former fortresses to fascism now shelter art galleries, museums and bars. Continue reading

Oh, Canada!, W Magazine October 2010

It used to be that Canada’s main style exports were Roots sweatshirts and mukluks. But the country has been cultivating a first-class stable of talented young designers, and their work has quietly migrated south to such high-end furniture stores as the Future Perfect and Matter. Judging by these six design companies, there’s a lot to be said for neighborly love.
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The Young Americans, Wallpaper April 2010

Chicago may be a huge city, but when it comes to design, it’s an incredibly small town. Which is why word spread so quickly when Volume—a new roving limited-edition furniture gallery devoted to young American talent—temporarily set up shop in March inside an existing art space two blocks away from Oprah’s headquarters. Up a flight of stairs in a building occupied by three other modern art galleries and surrounded by 20 more, the long, narrow room was emptied for a week of its typical fare and filled instead with spare white furniture in aluminum and concrete, fabricated in a nearby metal shop by up-and-coming local designer Jonathan Nesci. Despite the somewhat obscure location, anyone who was anyone in the Chicago scene flocked to see Volume’s sophisticated debut, including museum curator Zoe Ryan, auction-house visionary Richard Wright, and the handful of high-end design collectors that call the Midwestern capital home. Continue reading

Eastern Promises, T Travel Fall 2010

When David Lynch and Frank Gehry made headlines last year for their involvement in two multimillion-dollar cultural centers in the economically downtrodden city of Lodz, Poland, confusion ran high. What could they possibly see in the so-called Manchester of Poland? In fact, Lodz is undergoing something of a creative rebirth. The city has begun turning its 19th-century textile buildings into new-economy hubs — a case in point is the Manufaktura complex (Ogrodowa Street), home to a museum and the city’s first upscale design hotel, Andel’s. Lodz is also financing cultural festivals and programs aimed at retaining local art school grads, and once a planned high-speed rail slashes the Warsaw commute to 35 minutes, they’ll have one more reason to stay put.
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