Hang your chair like a piece of art

I just love these chairs by Dror Benshetrit, a multi-disciplinary group from New York. They are called Pick Chair and are manufactured in Italy by BBB.

The Pick Chair easily transforms from wall art into a chair with the "flick of the wrist". Basically turning from a 2D piece of art to a 3D piece of art. This is perfect in a small room for someone looking to save space, or in a large room for someone who prefers a minimalist style but still wants the room to be functional.

The chair currently retails for $1680.00 to $1800.00 at theDror Shop online

Pick Chair by Dror Benshetrit
Pick Chair by Dror Benshetrit
Pick Chair by Dror Benshetrit
Pick Chair by Dror Benshetrit
Pick Chair by Dror Benshetrit

Photo: Mini Casa Maxi Design, Yanko Design & neu black


Agave inspired lights by Jeremy Cole

I love these light fixtures by self-taught designer Jeremy Cole. Inspired by the agave plant and named Aloe, they are composed of handmade porcelain leaves arranged around the light source to act as a diffuser and create a really nice effect. These pieces of art come in three forms : the Bud, the Blossom and the Shoot.

The bud represents the birth of the plant...
Jeremy Cole Aloe Bud
Jeremy Cole Aloe Bud Multi
photo: inform interiors

The blossom represents the mid-life of the plant...
Jeremy Cole Aloe Blossom
photo: velvet gothic

Jeremy Cole Aloe Blossom Jeremy Cole Aloe Blossom
Jeremy Cole Aloe Blossom
photo: inform interiors

The Shoot represents the withering death of the plant ...
Jeremy Cole Aloe Blossom
photo: roadside scholar


Warm tropical bedroom

Your environment influences your well being and your mood. So it's important to make sure that the space you live in is as comfortable and organized as possible. It should reflect who you are, what you like and what inspires you. As a designer I help clients become more comfortable and happier in their own space on virtually any budget.

In this case, I was asked to come up with design solutions for a small bedroom in a shared apartment. Most of the time, in a shared apartment, your room is your only personal space so it should be your sanctuary. This client wanted a space with warm colors, natural materials and space to do work, relax and store various items. My color inspiration for this space came, in part, from the following picture, as well as various items she owned.

I proposed placing her existing bed in the corner of the room in order to maximize the available space. There was then enough space to add a desk on the other side, a wardrobe and a lounge chair. With pillows placed on both walls, the bed would also serve as a large sofa. Although she liked the color orange, I proposed to use it as an accent rather on the walls.

Design is all about function. In a small room, using furniture for more than one purpose is key. On one wall I proposed to put a desk and install a mirror on the wall above it. That way the desk could be used to do homework and as a dressing table. A dresser and a wardrobe next to it provides much needed storage. I also proposed to add a floating shelf above the mirror and install lights under it to save space on the work surface.

The area under the bed is a very good place to add large floor baskets and increase the amount of storage in the room. A bamboo ladder would be used as a magazine rack. A series of custom boxes (almost like shadow boxes) would hold various jewelry. This way she would have a space to store her jewelry but also use it as art on the wall.

I reserved a space for her to be able to read next to the window with a little side table to put various things on it.

On the angled wall, the idea was to reuse an existing bookcase and use modified baskets as wall sconces.


ECO PRO : McDonald's recycling station

I've been talking about this for a while now, and I'm happy to see it come to life. Finally! Fast food restaurants are starting to recycle... Well at least the McDonald in Casselman, ON. Hopefully, it's not the only one.

I used to complain (and still am) about the fact that many fast food restaurants have recyclable food containers but have no place to recycle them. What's the point of using these containers if there are no places in the restaurant to recycle them? Most people won't bring them home. So they end up in a landfill anyway.

It would be great to see recycling stations in all fast food restaurants. Better yet, it would be nice to see them use biodegradable containers like the ones from Verterra among others. There are so many choices nowadays.

source: Veterra

The next thing would be to have composters along side (even instead of) trash cans. Now that would definitely help reduce landfill problems and help the environment! In fact why not have composters in the kitchen of all restaurants? I wonder what's keeping them from doing this. It seems like it would be rather easy to implement. Can you imagine how much waste would disappear if all fast food restaurants used biodegradable containers and all restaurants were using composters in their restaurants?


Hotel Silken Puerta America

Hotel Silken Puerta America is one of those hotels that really stands out and offers a unique experience to its guests. It has twelve different floors with twelve different design. Here are some of my favorites:

(source: Hotel Puerta America) Level 1 designed by Zaha Hadid

(source: Hotel Puerta America) Level 2 designed by Norman Foster

(source: Hotel Puerta America) Level 4 : Plasma Studio

(source: Hotel Puerta America) Level 7 designed by Ron Arad

(source: Hotel Puerta America) Level 8 : Kathryn Findlay

I wish we had more creative spaces like these in Canada....*sigh*


Light fixture inspired by a plane crash

This is a true piece of art! Flight 815 is a lamp designed by French designer Cedric Ragot and inspired by the path of a fictional plane crash from a TV show. I love the idea of having the light coming from a single source and following a path. I think it would look even better if it was larger, but there might be some weight issues.

source: Cedric Ragot


Buildings of the not-so-distant-future

source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture

I recently came across this incredible building by David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture who created a new way of designing buildings. Unlike traditional architecture, this building will move. As Fisher puts it, the building is "designed by time, shaped by life". Each floor in this 80-story building will rotate independently. Its shape will constantly be changing, as each resident (one per floor) will be able able to rotate his or her entire floor as he or she sees fit. It's almost as if the building becomes alive. I imagine the residents would also be able to create building a choreography. (so you think your building can dance)

source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture

There seems to be a lot of benefits in constructing such a building. For example, construction time is considerably reduced and since the building in prefabricated in a factory, there's probably a better control of quality. This building is also eco-frienldly as it is self-powered by wind turbines cleverly fitted between each floor to fulfill all the electrical demands of this luxury tower.

source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture
source: Dynamic Architecture

Of course, only a selected number of very wealthy people will be able to live there. But eventually this technology will probably be used for other buildings and be more accessible to the general public, especially if there are important cost savings associated with it. And I bet the assembly of the building will eventually becomes robotized too! We shall see... In the mean time the first construction of this revolutionary building is expected for 2010 in Dubai.