The Netherlands based industrial designer, Merel Karhof has created Windworks, a collection of upholstered furniture pieces, of which the wood, upholstery, dyeing and knitting of the yarn are all made with a free and inexhaustible energy source; the wind.
In 2010 Karhof made a ‘Wind Knitting Factory’, which is a wind-powered knitting machine. The blades embrace more than a meter in diameter, and the wind caught by them powers the ‘mill’. In this way it is possible to knit a long scarf. When it is windy the machine knits fast and with less wind, the machine knits slowly. Occasionally the knitwear gets ‘harvested’ and transformed into, amongst other things, scarves. Every scarf gets a label that tells the time and date on which the wind knitted the scarf. This mobile wind factory illustrates a production process and it visualizes what you can produce with the present urban wind.
Ever since she made her first knitting factory Karhof had the wish to use the harvest of her factory to upholster chairs and stools. And what better place to do this than in the world famous windmill area, the Zaanse Schans in The Netherlands. To create a collection of furniture, ‘Wind Knitting factory’ designer Merel Karhof initiated a collaboration between three millers: a saw miller, a colour miller and a knitting miller (Karhof herself). The Zaanse Schans is an area located on the river ‘Zaan’ in the province of Noord Holland and is home to a collection of well-preserved historic windmills. Each one of these produces a different kind of raw material. There is a colour mill called ‘De Kat’ (the Cat), which has been fitted out to grind colouring materials, as well as a sawmill called ‘Het Jonge Schaap’ (the Young Sheep), that saws planks from trees to old Dutch measurements.
For the occasion of this collaboration, Karhof designed a series of furniture pieces. The wood will be sawn by the wind and assembled at the sawmill; from there it will be transported by water to the pigment mill. Here yarn will be dyed with natural dyes, grounded by the colour mill. After the dyeing process, the ‘Wind Knitting Factory’ knits the yarns, and with each harvest, the wood structures will be upholstered.
Finally, the upholstery will be constructed from little pillows, each representing the amount of time needed by the wind to make it. The result will thus give an insight into how much time is needed to produce the upholstery.
For this special event, Karhof built a new ‘Wind Knitting Factory’ that incorporates a new feature; a pennon, that gives the machine the facility to turn away from the wind when the speed gets too high, therefore allowing it to operate independently.
The machine and the furniture will be on show at colour mill ‘De Kat’ for one week during National Windmill Day in the Netherlands. A small wooden house will be constructed to display the furniture and other wind-made products.
Windworks shows a production triptych between three windmills and it makes visible what can be produced with wind power. It shows how windmills working together can become a complete and holistic industry.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 15 May, 2013
The Burnaby Residence in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Vancouver recently underwent a drastic redesign by Tanya Schoenroth. A bit uncharacteristic of the designer’s past work, the family had a precise vision of the modern dream home they desired and that wish was more than fulfilled with the stunning renovation.
The two-story contemporary dwelling possesses a facade of multi-leveled cubes with medium wood, concrete and white geometric paneling. A front gate provides both privacy and a linear aesthetic to the entryway.
The home is washed in shades of grey, pure white and light beige with plentiful accents of glass, steel and wood attributing to its airy vibe. Engineered white oak flooring throughout immediately provides a neutral impact, thus a soothing backdrop to the minimalist spaces.
The all-white kitchen is open to the dining area and shines with lacquered cabinetry and glass tiles. The farmhouse-style sink, double ovens, hood, dishwasher and refrigerators are clad in brushed stainless steel. A center island houses the industrial gas stove top and seats four at the elegant white and chrome stools. A set of triple glass pendants with chrome finish hang gracefully over the dining table which is a slab of grey and fitted with chairs of the same silhouette as the kitchen bar stools.
The masterpiece of this home is its double-sided natural gas fireplace open to both the kitchen and adjacent living room. This structure was cast of raw concrete and glass bolted with steel riveting creating visual splendor. Flat-screen televisions perched above the fireplace on both sides detract from the organic beauty of this design but this is, afterall, a family home so certain sacrifices must be made. Deep charcoal sofas are contemporary and plush providing comfort as well as contrast to the light floors.
An oenophile’s dream, the wine room is a fully-glazed, walk-in structure just off the main living area. Dramatic in effect, much of the bottles are stored front-to-back on horizontal shelving versus side-by-side in a typical rack.
Up the white-washed oak and glazed staircase, another outstanding focal point awaits. An elongated suspension chandelier with a rectangular canopy features glass globes floating at mixed levels within the double-height space of the stairwell. The effect is breathtaking from both the first floor as well as second story.
The master bedroom and bath feature another open fireplace, this one comprised of concrete tiles which provide a more uniform finish than the natural concrete used in the living area. Sliding glass doors open to an outdoor terrace, while fully-white, floating cabinetry and soaking tub nestled underneath a vast window add a spacious feel. Plentiful custom built-ins provide streamlined storage options.
The Burnaby Residence by Tanya Schoenroth Design is a modern family dream home with uncompromised form plus function.
Posted by Suzanne at 14 May, 2013
Fashion-forward footwear retailer Marcha Ballerina hired Israeli design firm Bilgoray + Pozner to create a kiosk-type storefront for their specialty shoe brand. Located within malls, these modern “stores” were inspired by the outdoor markets of Paris, evoking a unique and somewhat whimsical shopping experience for the customer.
Known for their iconic ballerina flat, Marcha’s shoes are displayed in painted wooden crates as one may see in vegetable and fruit stands. One main shelf showcases the slippers in a colored spectrum. The footwear inventory of 24 different hues is neatly arranged and labeled among two-tiers of white crates, allowing for ease when selecting style and size. A lighted lamppost reminiscent of those seen along Parisian streets marks the retailer’s spot within the mall and also features the brand’s signage.
Within the stall, customers can sit on a built-in, cushioned bench while trying on shoes. The booth design features its own flooring in grey and white, which mimics a street aesthetic and meshes well with both the modern lines of the store and the rustic simplicity of the logo-adorned wooden crates. Mirrors framed in street posts reside on both sides of the display unit, as well as along the crate bases upon the floor.
Despite being situated in large shopping malls, the March Ballerina kiosks by Bilgory + Pozner possess an urban vibe and fresh approach to modern retail design.
Photography by Amit Gosher
Posted by Suzanne at 14 May, 2013
We have visited and subsequently reported back to our readership on NYC Design Week many times in the past. This year is different, however, with a new name and a good deal of excitement and buzz to boot. For the first time, New York City officially launches a week in honor of design (it’s more than seven days, but do remember everything is bigger in New York City!). The twelve-day long festival (May 10-21) has been re-branded as NYCxDesign and features city-wide events on everything from fashion and graphic design, to interior design and architecture.
We made a beeline this past weekend to Bklyn Designs, which is being promoted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and showcases a jury-selected group of Brooklyn-based designers. This gave us the perfect opportunity to say hello to some old faces and welcome some of the new ones fortunate, and talented, enough to be representing Brooklyn – one of the country’s creative strongholds.
We hope you enjoy this snapshot of images from our visit to Bklyn Designs. Stay tuned for more details on this and other events we’ll be taking in during NYCxDesign.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 14 May, 2013
The Navy Chair (1944), first built for use on submarines and has been in continuous production ever since. Emeco’s 77-step patented construction process was invented to satisfy a military need for lightweight, corrosion-resistant equipment. In the late 1990s, the Navy Chair’s iconic design began catching the attention of architects and designers, initiating a new era for Emeco. Beginning with soft, recycled aluminum, 1006 Navy seating goes through a series of hand-crafted processes, including heat treatment and anodizing, to render the chair diamond-hard and virtually indestructible. Though imitations of the 1006 exist far and wide, Emeco’s Navy Chair is the only one to go through this rigorous production process. Three small welds on the back of the slats are left exposed to indicate that this often-copied seating is the real thing. Specially made stainless steel foot caps are covered with a clear plastic glide to prevent scratching floors or snagging carpets.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 13 May, 2013
Designed for a discerning bachelor, the Rox Residence in Toronto is a bright modern dream home designed by Shirley Meisels of MHouse Inc.
Perhaps the most enviable and well-planned space of this home is the master closet. The client travels frequently for work and needed a sizable space to pack clothing, as well as store laundry. This room is really an integrated lounge and closet, replete with a large coffee table, flat-screen television, smooth-paneled walnut cabinetry and vivid yellow molded chair with ottoman. Glass doors allow natural light to fill this area, while an Ingo Maurer white paper chandelier adds whimsy.
The home’s entry opens directly onto the dining room which features an innovative steel bench to visually and literally divide the space. The custom-made modern farmtable is offset by six mid-century white and chrome chairs. Smoked oak floors provide a rustic contrast and help define the interior. An intentionally off-centered globe chandelier bursts with mini lights.
The connecting kitchen is striking with walnut and white cabinetry stacked into the recessed backsplash wall which is sheathed in Calacatta marble. A massive island features the same color scheme and is flanked by three contemporary white and chrome bar stools. The palette of greys and whites effectively softens the modern edges.
A casual, second floor den possesses a windowed wall which frames the exterior views and sheds light on the space. Mounted rock posters collected by the owner are displayed above the sectional sofa. Colors here are muted creating a relaxed environment.
The living room wall is a stand-out with a five-foot, horizontal fireplace. To mimic the look of poured concrete (which proved to be too expensive and time intensive), 24 x 48 inch porcelain tiles were used. Furnishings are contemporary with a clear square glass coffee table centering the space and an Eames lounge chair adding iconic modern appeal. The handwoven rug from Nepal pops with neon florals, picking up on the punch of yellow fabric chairs surrounding it. Plentiful windows feature mechanized blinds to help diffuse the sunlight when desired.
The master bedroom is rich with dark grey patterned wallpaper, a solid walnut bed and plush rug. A softly curved side chair offsets the geometric-framed windows. The adjoining bathroom is a small space that was expanded by a mirrored medicine cabinet, suspended custom white-oak vanity and glazed wall. The walk-in, Calacatta marble shower features lights and rainhead on the ceiling, as well as an extraordinary freestanding tub.
With inventive design elements, art collections and beautiful, high-end furnishings, the Rox Residence is a most desirable modern dream home.
Posted by Suzanne at 13 May, 2013