This weekend, the LA Convention Center hosted Dwell Magazine's Dwell on Design conference. This year's conference featured furniture and accessories, kitchen and bath products, outdoor items, building materials, and modern family products, all with a focus on sustainability. If I included every product or idea that made me spend time at a booth, this blog post would go on forever. Instead, I have focused on products and ideas that have the potential to change the way that people see them.
A toilet that requires a remote control to operate should have its own customized environment and Kohler's Numi gets just that. Numi is housed in a super slick Marmol Radziner prefabricated structure, which looks more like an environment designed for high end apparel than a toilet. On second thought, Numi retails for around $6000 so the upscale trappings make sense.
One of my least favorite parts of home interiors are the unfinished look of outlets, light switches and a/c registers. Trufig has finally solved this issue by delivering a completely flush receptacle for almost anything you want to embed in your wall. The system requires much more attention to detail (level five finish) than your standard outlet, but the results are worth it, even if they run about $400 a pop.
Harman Kardon has developed a new high end audio system designed to be next to invisible. The amp and glass touchscreen (wipeable) slot neatly into cabinetry. Here, it is seen slotted just above a Meile espresso machine in Poggen Pohl cabinets. Two cabinet door faces become speakers thanks to a tiny diaphragm mounted to a shallow impression routed into the back of the cabinet door. The system doesn't deliver audiophile sound quality, but it's better than most counter top speaker systems without having to lose the valuable counter space. This product is not yet for sale, nor is it featured on HK's site. If you read dutch, enjoy this short description by the designers, D'Andrea and Evers.
Dwell has focused on home gardens and sustainable practices since the beginning, but they have cemented the trend of urban farming by featuring contemporary chicken coops for 2011. This kind of highly polished product seems antithetical to the get-your-hands-dirty attitude required for keeping chickens. Maybe keeping chickens is easier than it seems. Chickens cluck. You get eggs. Clean pen with high pressure washer. Repeat.
"From our point of view, the Arctic has no favorable qualities, unless its severity be counted as such." In the exhibit brochure, this is how Edmund Carpenter introduces the Arctic. Severity as a quality? What a great concept for an exhibit design strategy.
Upside Down uses severity in ways that transport a visitor to the barren arctic, where, as Carpenter puts it "there is no line dividing earth from sky." Visitors must wear little white booties over their shoes to preserve the virginal snowy floors (painted white). The spiraling acrylic casework floats along the horizon line. Glowing ice caves exalt worship masks. Inuit tales and sounds of the arctic hang in the air like snow flakes.
Read art daily's review of "Upside Down" here.
On April 25th, at the AAM conference in Houston, Age of Mammals won the 23rd Annal Excellence in Exhibition Competition award for Special Achievement in Clarity of Message. In attendence to accept the award were Karen Wise, VP of Exhibitions and Education and Simon Adlam, Project Manager.
The small Age of Mammals contingent present at the award ceremonies hardly represented the massive team required to pull off this project.