We’re Joining Forces with ASID to Celebrate LA Design

The LA Design Festival kicked off in full force last week; over the next several days Los Angeles will be teeming with design happenings and events to celebrate the industry and many people and places that make Los Angeles such a creative and inspiring hub within the design world.

To get in on the event action, we’re pleased to partner with the American Society of Interior Designers (and our WestEdge media partner Angeleno Magazine) to sponsor California Dreaming this Friday, June 20. This party will welcome over 500 ASID members, along with hundreds of other design industry leaders.

The REEF (the cool creative habitat for the culturally diverse, artisanal designers and creators unique to Los Angeles) will be transformed into a retro California beach party, offering a chance to step back into the Los Angeles AM-radio beach scene from the mid-sixties, with a DJ and music from that era. For details about the event, please see below. If you can join us, please RSVP to asidoffice@asidla.org. We’re sponsoring the wine bars so come stop by and see us for a glass of vino; we’ll be sure to keep your glass topped-off!

California Dreaming

Neal Feay Raises the Bar (literally) for the WestEdge DJ Booth

Photo by Alex Blair

Photo by Alex Blair

We could not be more pleased to announce that the “EXO”, an exquisite structure designed by Doris Sung of DOSU Studio Architecture, engineered by ARUP Engineering and fabricated by Neal Feay Company, will be featured at this year’s edition of WestEdge serving as the official DJ tower.

About Neal Feay:
Neal Feay Studio is the global leader in creative aluminum with over 60 years experience in cutting edge manufacturing technology and design. The third generation, Santa Barbara-based company has collaborated with an expansive list of top-tier artists, architects, designers and manufacturers over the years.

About the EXO:
The materials used to build this 8’ high structure include thermobimetal, aluminum and steel. Thermobimetal is a lamination of two alloys of metals with different coefficients of expansion. When heated, the “smart” material curls. This natural behavior is beneficial during construction because it enables a person to assemble the project with minimal effort and danger. With no mechanical force required, a single person can assemble the surface with a single hand. Each individual piece is heated in a conventional oven to about 350 degrees Farenheit, the point with optimal geometric curl, then simply held into position until it cools. As the piece cools and returns to its flattened state, it is prematurely locked into place, forming a tensioned bow-beam (imagine an archer’s bow). When distributed in a field of bows on a cylindrical type of surface, the result is an extremely strong and lightweight shell, much like the exo-skeleton of a lobster or crustacean. The surface is held in tension with no connection hardware.

About DOSU Studio Architecture:
Doris Sung, principal at DOSU in Los Angeles, finds inspiration in biology to improve the performance of building skins. She applies “smart” geometries to “smart” materials, such as thermobimetals, to make “smart” building skins. Her TED talk is nearing one million views.

The music from our resident DJ Matthew Rubino will sound even better emanating from the top of this extraordinary sculpture located prominently on the show floor. See the brilliantly designed EXO in person at this year’s edition of WestEdge!

We’re Gearing Up for a Week of Great Design in NYC with WantedDesign

We’re excited to be a partner of this year’s WantedDesign! If you’re in NYC next week for the design celebration that is NYCxDESIGN, The City’s 11-day festival that showcases New York as a dynamic and unique design destination, please make sure to add WantedDesign to your must-attend event schedule.

Our friends Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat launched WantedDesign in 2011. Since its launch, the event has established itself as a premier creative destination for the international design community and will again bring together national and international participants for a vibrant four day experience. The show will offer innovative installations, memorable products, a pop-up store, interactive experiences, convivial lounges, thought-provoking student workshops, engaging discourse and more.

This year adds a fresh direction with programs that follow the daily themes of Design Around the World, Designing, Making, Transforming, and What’s Next in the U.S.A.?, with each day featuring supporting conversations. In addition to the “Conversation Series” co-presented by Metropolis Magazine, the show features nearly 60+ exhibitors, including several of our favorites such as DWR, Egg Collective, David Trubridge, and Blackbody. For the full list of exhibitors, click here.

Located in the exceptional landmark Terminal Stores building on 11th Avenue, WantedDesign promises to be a highlight of our week back in NYC. The event, which runs May 16-19, is free to the trade (registration required); general public tickets are $20 online or  $25 at the door.

For more information, please visit: www.wanteddesignnyc.com

Floral Design with #AislingFlowers and BlogTour NYC

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hosting #BlogTourNYC and helping to kick off their NYC itinerary with a flower district tour and floral arranging workshop, presented in partnership with the lovely and talented Tess Casey from Aisling Flowers.

Troy and I have been on the BlogTour bandwagon since the very first one launched 3 years ago this month in NYC. So when Veronika Miller, the visionary behind BlogTour and Modenus, told us she was using this BlogTour to put a focus on “learning”, we thought flowers+design would be a fun and interactive addition to the agenda.

Tess has been a friend of mine since I attended one of her workshops a few years ago so we were thrilled when she agreed to share her expertise with the BlogTour group. Our morning began with a brisk tour to several of Tess’ favorite flower district sources where we learned the ins and outs of flower buying. Some vendors open as early as 3 AM, within hours of the day’s imports arriving to the City, and most industry insiders are there by 6 or 7 AM to get the best of the lot. After Associated, Dutch Flower Line and VaseSource, it was back to Aisling Flowers for a light breakfast of pastries and mimosas (what’s a BlogTour without bubbly after all?!).

From flower prep, mechanics, and “out-of-the-box” accessories (think colored straws, cranberries and rubber bands to add color, fill a vase and hide stems), Tess shared tips to create the perfect centerpiece.  Tess has handled the floral design for some of the most well-known films and TV shows. Her clients have included Sex and the City, Twilight, The Nanny Diaries, The Devil Wares Prada, Night at the Museum, Kinsey, All About Love, Maid of Honor and many others. Chances are Tess has been the “behind the scenes” florist on at least a few films or shows you watch! Hearing her talk about the 50 bridal bouquets she prepped for the infamous Sex & the City scene where Carrie Bradshaw crushes her bouquet against Big after being stood up at the altar was just one of her many entertaining stories.

At the end of the morning, we had 16 beautiful arrangements to show off—each and every one unique, yet united by the gorgeous purples throughout. Now that’s something nice to add a bit of personalization and decor to our guests’ “homes away from home” over the next few days!

A BIG THANK YOU to Tess, Miles and Maria at Aisling Flowers for making our visit such a treat! To learn more about Aisling Flowers, click here.

To follow BlogTour in NYC this week, click here.

Neutra at the A+D Museum

Last Thursday, we had the pleasure to attending the opening reception for the Neutra exhibit presented by VS at Los Angeles’ A+D Museum. The exhibit is on view through the end of March and is a must-see for those interested in modernism.

Richard Neutra emigrated from Austria to America more than 90 years ago, and established a reputation as a master of modernist architecture and design (many of his treasures can be found in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles).

VS America Inc., the subsidiary of VS Germany, acquired exclusive rights to the Neutra furniture designs in 2012, and is re-issuing a select series of furniture pieces as an exclusive edition, in cooperation with architect Dion Neutra, Richard’s son and architectural partner.  The pieces on display represent designs created from the late 1920s to the early 1940s.

The diversity of Neutra’s work in furniture required great care, as each individual piece possessed a different character and therefore different craft and manufacturing requirements. VS began its work with meticulous archival research and careful documentation of every detail for each member of the Collection. Prototyping, testing, and selection of genuine materials and the selection of a wide variety of luxe fabrics followed. The result is an elite collection of lounge chairs, cantilevered chairs, and side tables, included the iconic Boomerang Chair. Check it out at the A+D Museum (6032 Wilshire Blvd.) in Los Angeles now through March 31.

Modernism Week Highlights

Last weekend, we headed to Palm Springs to take in Modernism Week. The festival is now in its 8th year and continues to get bigger and better with a jam packed 11 days of design events, tours, talks, films, parties—all celebrating the glories of midcentury modern design and architecture. They say that the population swells from 40,000 to double that during the annual Modernism Week and we could definitely feel that infusion of energy and people!

Our visit last week kicked off on Thursday evening at the Palm Springs Convention Center for the gala preview of the Modernism Show & Sale.  The fair included 80+ exhibitors, including L.A. mainstays Reform Gallery, Inner Gardens and Fat Chance,  as well as galleries from further afar like Paris’s Alexandre Huygevelde.

Saturday evening found us at the Christopher Kennedy Compound for cocktails with old friends and new. The Show House was spearheaded by Christopher Kennedy, and was named the #1 Must-Experience Modernism Week event by The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to read story. Kennedy called upon the nation’s top designers including Jiun Ho, Celerie Kemble, Woodson & Rummerfield, Tamara-Kaye Honey, Thomas Lavin and Lori Dennis to reimagine the John Caranci-built home for the way we live in Palm Springs today. The finished result is nothing short of spectacular! Read more

First “MODENUS Talks” a Hit in Vegas

Last month, we were invited to participate in the first ever MODENUS TALKS, a series of round table discussions and fun challenges around subjects like business of design, design trends, technology in design and design that makes a difference. MODENUS TALKS is the brainchild of Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus, who describes the concept as ““speed dating for knowledge”.

The invitation-only event took place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas and was a perfect way to kick off our week in town for the KBIS/IBS Shows. We were surrounded by 45 influencers, including designers, showroom managers, manufacturers and members of the #BlogTourVegas group– all there to learn from each other and develop/strengthen relationships. Title sponsors for the first-ever Modenus Talks included  20-20 Technologies, Blanco, Mr. Steam and Walker Zanger.

Modenus Talks is a result of three years of design-centered conversations; of hearing about business related issues, concerns and challenges and helping Modenus partners and community members find solutions via highly visible events, online and in person. “It struck me after the last series of BlogTours that we hosted in London and Los Angeles, that when you bring talented people together, the answers to most business and design related questions are already in the room, you just have to know to ask the right questions,” states Veronika Miller. “It was through casual conversations that meaningful bits of knowledge were shared, making the groups walk away with a thought, an idea, a new way of doing something. That’s the premise for Modenus Talks.”

We’re excited to see how #ModenusTalks develops in other markets and hope to see it in L.A. in October!

Stay tuned for details at http://www.modenus.com/blog/businessofdesign/not-in-vegas-no-problem-join-modenus-talks-via-twitter