Design: ABYU Lighting

The Latest Feathered Fixtures from Steven Wine

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We’ve all heard the axiom ‘there’s nothing new in design, it’s all just elements arranged and viewed differently.’  I would say I’m inclined to agree 98% of the time.

But every now and then you come across an alchemist who squarely fits into the 2% category of designers who truly create something utterly and completely new.

When I met Steven Wine, the creative genius behind ABYU Lighting, 20 odd years ago while he was working at the Heller Gallery I knew he would become one of those characters – his completely irreverent and quintessentially zany world perspective positioned him for uniqueness.  From his first recycled detergent bottle lamps to his latest plumed light fixtures his witty personality is omnipresently evident.

I visited his atelier last week with our design editor Carl Lana, and had a first hand look at 3 of his latest creations.

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Point Of View: Sister Parish

on the importance of personal memories

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“When someone asks me to help create a room my first reaction, if I do not already know the person, is to try to feel out what he or she really wants the room to be and to understand, if possible, what “memory,” old or new, has brought this idea about.”

Sister Parish

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Design: An Evolution of Style Continued

Joe D'Urso's design philosophy over nearly 50 years

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What can be said about the evolution of one man’s design style in a few words?  Joe D’Urso has been designing for nearly 50 years.  He began his career assisting one of the design masters of the 20th century, Ward Bennett with whom he championed the “total design approach” philosophy for which they are both famous.

Joe began his own journey as an interior designer in 1967 and in no uncertain terms established – and brought to the forefront – a new minimal movement almost singlehandedly.  Though there were others like him (before and after) who espoused the vernacular of the “High Tech” vocabulary, he was it’s captain.  He has said that it was not a movement but a response to seeking out products of good design that did not pander to sentimentality.

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Master Class: Iain Halliday

Australian based BKH opens an outpost in New York

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“I had always believed that our work could stand up in a world market, and there seemed to be no better time to try.”

-Iain Halliday

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Several months ago I was introduced to a handsome Australian gentleman named Hamish Adamson, who heads up the newly established New York offices of BKH (Burley Katon Halliday) on 5th avenue.

Now I freely admit that I’d not heard of the firm before meeting Hamish, but once I had the opportunity to see their magnificent work we here on the blog decided to profile the firm’s principle Iain Halliday in a Master Class post.

Via Skype Halliday explained that BKH has evolved over it’s 30 year history from a design house with a very strict modernist based style to something much broader.

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Point Of View: Mario Buatta

on furniture arrangement

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“I like all the chairs to talk to one another and to the sofas and not those parlor-car arrangements that create two Siberias.”

-Mario Buatta

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Business & Design: New York Design Week 2013

Craftsmanship, Social Media, & Accepting Instability

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If you live in or were visiting New York City during Mayor Bloomberg’s first NYC Design Week last week you were likely barraged with visual stimulus in much the same way I was.  I saw new collections at countless showrooms and furnishing galleries, I attended the D&D Building‘s Spring Market event (a freshman effort deftly organized by the building’s new Director of Marketing Kate Jerde) and spent an afternoon at the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair.  And while I am always interested in the product, I like to comb through the philosophy of the weeks offerings to get a pulse on the business of the design industry.

I’ve made three observations I’d like to share.

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Fornasetti: An Italian Legacy Continues

Reinventions of original designs for modern wallpapers

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Fornasetti the man, the artist, and the atelier are all pervasively synonymous with the legacy of Piero Fornasetti.  A Milanese painter, sculptor, interior decorator, engraver of books, and creator of more than 11,000 products, he was yet another great impresario of Italian design and wit.  Fornasetti’s production of objects and furniture was one of the largest of the 20th century.  Even today, under the leadership of his son Barnaba, the firm is thriving and ever-growing with the introduction of many re-inventions all referenced through the vast archives available to him.

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Fashion: Does Size Really Matter?

Thought on Abercrombie & Fitch's latest PR debacle

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This week Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Mike Jefferies was quoted in the press with some truly idiotic statements about his company’s sizing parameters for women.  Couple that news with the June issue of Vogue (which just dropped) featuring the voluptuous Kate Upton on the cover and I decided to write this post about how the real American woman feels about her size.

I have worked in retail, wholesale, and as a fashion buyer – and have always encouraged the companies I have worked for to purchase on a higher sizing arc due to the fact that 80% of the population of woman are above a size 8 – with an average at a size 14.

I have met thousands of very extremely fashionable woman in my life of all shapes and sizes, and unless health is an issue I would never conceive of criticizing any of them.  So with that being said I asked a few of my good friends and family members to chime-in on Jefferies’s statements, and to tell me about the retailers who they feel support the average sized woman.

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