Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Paris, May 1968 in Posters

"Return to Normal."

“The police post themselves at the School of Fine Arts – the Fine Arts’ students poster the streets.”

“Popular power.” The initials of France’s political parties are on the columns of the French parliament.

Street Posters of the Paris Rebellion is the name of a new exhibition opening tomorrow at the Haywood Project Space in Southbank Centre, London. Curated by Johan Kugelberg (who includes 46 posters from his personal collection), the show is a visual record of a moment in French history when frustration over poverty, unemployment, and de Gaulle's conservative rule led to a mass movement for social change. You can view a gallery of selected posters here. Via Creative Review, which has an excellent outline of the rebellion, plus an interview with Kugelberg, here.


The awe-inspiringly talented artists Camilla Engman and Karin Eriksson recently celebrated the grand opening of Manos, their collaborative retail venture. Have a look here at photos of the opening, and here at the online version of their shop where you can order their beautiful work. Congrats to both!

Inspiration 4

It's here! Erin of Design for Mankind has just posted the fourth edition of Inspiration, a free monthly e-zine dedicated to inspiration in its various forms. The theme of this month's issue is Inspiration in the Unexpected, and (as Erin says) "...pays homage to the idea that inspiration is everywhere--- you need only open your eyes." You can download a copy here. Issues 1 to 3 are still available here, too. Highly recommended reading.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Princeton Architectural Press

Photobooth by Babbette Hines

Letters from the Avant-Garde: Modern Graphic Design by Ellen Lupton and Elaine Lustig Cohen

Twentieth Century Pattern Design by Lesley Jackson

Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Modern Design
by Lesley Jackson

Princeton Architectural Press publishes beautiful books on architecture, design, photography, landscape and visual culture. Here's a sampling of what I discovered (and seriously covet).

Say Something. Do Something.

Some worrying news recently -- World Vision has been forced to cut aid for 1.5 million people due to rising food costs. Fortunately other organizations, such as the United Nations World Food Program, continue to work very hard to feed those who are truly hungry. So here's what I'm thinking -- maybe we could do a little bit here towards helping to feed others, through the UN World Food Program's Free Rice website. It's actually a vocabulary game with a twist -- for each word that you get the correct definition, 20 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Program (the rice is paid for by the advertisers on the website). Is it worth it? From the WFP site: "Clicks on the FreeRice vocabulary game have already translated into WFP food rations for over 20,000 refugees from Myanmar who are sheltering in Bangladesh. Pregnant women in Cambodia, schoolchildren in Uganda and Bhutanese refugees in Nepal are also receiving rice thanks to the award-winning site." You can find Free Rice here.

And -- to encourage you even more -- for today only I will happily volunteer to donate 500 grains of rice for each comment left on this post by 12:00 midnight, on top of my regular Free Rice vocabulary workout. I really appreciate the support and comments that I get from you all, and this is one way I can truly say thank you. So say hello (or more, if you like) and help give someone in need a full tummy, too.

Note: The lovely photo above is from the San Lorenzo's Kitchen blog. It's a bowl of delicious baked lemon risotto, and (as Sara notes on the blog) perfect as a dessert or for breakfast. You can find the recipe here.

Update: Two thousand grains of rice were donated today! Big thanks to Marie and Diana for contributing to this worthy cause.


Diana of the beautiful blog diana:muse ran a fun contest last week, which asked for ideas on the origin of the expression "holey moley." I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of a brand new Moleskine, which is awesome (and amazingly generous of Diana, too, considering my cheeky entry). Thanks, Diana! If you're not already a regular visitor of diana:muse, though, do go over and have a look. Diana has a wonderful eye that ranges over contemporary art, photography, interiors, art history, fashion and more -- all accompanied by her thoughtful and well-informed writing. Shown here is a recent post Diana did on Dovima, one of the first supermodels (shown here photographed by Avedon), with some interesting background history to accompany the wonderful photos. A blog with brains as well as beauty.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Archive: Office as Home

The table in Daniel Rozensztroch's office reflects the dual nature of the space, and is used for both meetings and for brunch or dinner gatherings with friends.

Left: Simple galvanized metal industrial shelving runs along a long wall, keeping office clutter to a minimum. Right: The shelves are lit with basic lighting fixtures.

Left: The salon corner has two red plastic chairs, inner springs visible, by Ennemlaghi. The lamps are by Castiglioni. Right: To close the office, Rozensztroch installed a sliding door made of large sheets of galvanized metal.

Left: In the small kitchen, the metal refrigerator by Gorenje contributes to the industrial atmosphere. Right: The trolley by the kitchen sink was originally used in a garage.

Left: Rozensztroch's simple office area looks out onto the entire warehouse space. The desk is by Enzo Mari. Right: The conference/dining table stands in front of filing cabinets from the 1930s.

Left: A mechanic's storage cabinet now holds kitchen utensils. The metal R is part of a collection of old signage. Right: Damaged sections of the original flooring have been repaired with riveted metal panels.

Design magazine editor and consultant Daniel Rozensztroch decided to conceive of his Paris office space, a former rug factory unchanged since 1840, as a second home as well as a work environment. With the help of a friend, architect François Muracciole, Rozensztroch renovated the factory while carefully preserving the antique industrial look, keeping such details as the sloping parquet floors, trompe l'oeil paintings, and the moral maxims on the walls. With a minimum of furniture and plenty of natural light from the large windows, the result is a space that easily moves from work life to private life.

(Photos by Marie-Pierre Morel). Scanned from a late 1990s edition of Marie Claire Maison (sorry to be so vague about the date -- I'm working from a stack of files, the result of years of magazine clippings).

Friday, April 25, 2008


Hope you have a lovely weekend. This striking photograph of a clematis flower is by Janne Peters.

L'Affiche Moderne

I had a lovely email the other day from Mélanie of L'Affiche Moderne, a new French e-shop that specializes in posters (in numbered limited editions of 300) by photographers, graphic designers and children's illustrators. Currently they have mostly French artists, but they're gradually adding on international artists, too. As you can see, they have some stunning work! Have a look at more goodness on the new English version of their site here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I just got back from a long afternoon to discover that lovely Victoria of sfgirlbybay has done a little feature post on automatism! To say that this is awesomely flattering is definitely an understatement. Then, while still floating on happy clouds, I discover that Leslie of Apartment Therapy San Francisco posted here about Victoria's automatism post. More floating on happy clouds. A big thanks to the always generous Victoria and to Apartment Therapy SF -- you've all made my day/week/month! And now I urge you to rush over and visit both sfgirlbybay and AT SF for some great design inspiration! The lady about to ascend into the heavens, incidentally, was done in 1914 by French illustrator Georges Barbier, via thombeau59's wonderful Flickr set.


Happy browsing...

Breakfast Portraits
I've blogged about these before, but photographer Jon Huck's diptychs of people and their breakfasts are well worth a second look. Part still life, part portraiture, and a revealing glimpse into each person, too.

Chip Kidd Interview
Contributing Morning News writer Robert Birnbaum talks to design legend Chip Kidd about his music project, his interest in making movies of his books and whether he likes his job among other things.

Sasha Frere-Jones Blog
Interesting musings by the musician and pop-music critic of The New Yorker.

Lisa Bengtsson Portfolio
Gorgeous illustration and design work by Swedish artist Lisa Bengtsson.

Hotels in the Afterlife
The always wonderful BLDGBLOG has a look at the new photography show by Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche that opens this week at Vienna's Architekturzentrum. Called Sinai Hotels, it documents the concrete skeletons of five-star hotel complexes abandoned on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Saints by Andrea Heimer
The preview show for artist Andrea Heimer's Icon series is now online at the Bluebottle Art Gallery. Icon is a series of portraits of female patron saints, defined as "people who lived extraordinary lives and were chosen as special protectors over areas of life."

Garbage Architecture
Great site featuring objects, interiors, research and workshops based on recovered waste materials. Imaginative green. Via Cindy (thanks)

Food Shopping in Paris
Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn accompanies Clotilde Dusoulier, who writes the wonderful Chocolate & Zucchini food blog, on a tour of her favourite Paris food shops.

Photo by Stellan Herner, via Skarp Agent, via Desire to Inspire.


While browsing things magazine I followed the link to this 1860 iron British Army folding barrack bed on the Canadian Military Heritage site. Looking at it, I was suddenly reminded of the new Ikea PS Havet, a folding chair bed. A good design idea is ageless.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Woodsy Curves

Offi Magazine Stand of molded plywood by Eric Pfeiffer, from HiveModern.

Monsieur Dress Up by Anna Thomas, is a tailored collar, cuff,and pocket wall hanger set. From

Becca Stool by Modern Bamboo, that can be used for seating, storage, as a side table, or stacked to form dramatic shelving. at Relish Design.

The Coffee Cuff, made from reclaimed black walnut veneer. Wear it on your wrist until you get to the coffee shop, when you can use it as a coffee holder. From Veer (I've seen it at a few other e-shops as well).

Happy Storage

Love this cute Mela magazine holder by Anna Buechin, made of textured matte melamine with a high-gloss interior. Available at the Umbra Store.


ICON, or The Illustration Conference, is a non-profit organization of illustrators, established in 1998 to promote the use of illustration in all media. Every two years it brings together illustrators to discuss issues, hear inspiring guest speakers and take part in workshops. ICON5 will be held July 2-5, 2008 in New York City at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Registration for ICON5 is now open and can be done online, by fax, or via mail. More info here.

And 3x3 Magazine, a Gold Sponsor of this year's Illustration Conference, is putting together an illustrated guide for conference goers, with tips on good eats close by as well as near galleries, museums, and other illustrator haunts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

60 Square Metres of Charm

This tiny 60 square metre three room Paris apartment was reorganized by interior designer and set designer Robert Gervais to maximize the use of its limited space. Gervais organized the rooms around a central vestibule and created a wall that encorporates a library as well as providing privacy between areas. The painted Lorraine pine floor was raised to allow ease of access to the balcony window. An office chair by Jean Prouvé stands in front of a small 18th century table. Overhead are six aluminium epoxy lamps created by Gervais. The sculpture is by Eric Lagarde.

In the small living room, the wall niches provide space-saving storage -- the screened large niche by the 1940s leather chair discreetly hides the radiator. A Berber wool pillow sits on the late 18th century daybed, once used in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign.

A subtle palette of halftone shades on the walls and woodwork give the rooms variety without being distracting. In the bedroom, Flemish pine planks were painted in "fleur de sel," then sanded, and serve as both a headboard and to provide privacy from the adjacent small room used as an office.

The walls of the bathroom are lined with wood, a look inspired by the Art & Crafts movement. The polished marble sink from Laos sits on a glazed tile countertop.

From the Marie Claire Maison website -- a tiny apartment that's big on style.

Emma Darwin's Cookbook

This is a page from the 1839 hand-written recipe book of Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife. Besides various recipes for such things as Irish Chocolate ("bake for six hours"), Veal Pie and Creme a la Victoire, it includes instructions for boiling rice in Charles's own handwriting. I'm always fascinated by old cookbooks, and reading this it's nice to imagine the famous naturalist and his wife sitting down to dinner together in the evening, chatting over their Mont Coquins Chicken Pie. You can read the entire manuscript here.

66 Degrees

I had a nice note yesterday from Stephen of, a new Toronto-based e-tail site that operates as a private gallery/club for buyers of unique high-end art and design from all over the world. Membership is automatic with your first purchase, and the ever-changing selection ranges from splurge-worthy limited-edition items such as hand-painted floor rugs by Patricia Baun ($11,000 US) to smaller pieces such as the silver Cracked Ice ring shown here by Niki Kavakonis, which retails for $180. More info can be found on the website, or (for a quick overview) you can read an article about it here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vintage Vogue Covers

Have a look at the amazing collection of vintage Vogue covers on thombeau59's Flickr photoset -- there are so many stunning images that I had a lot of trouble just choosing a few to post here. Seeing these beautiful illustrations makes me (a) sad that illustration is so underused on the covers of mainstream magazines today, and (b) even more aware of how banal these covers have become (with the sterling exception of publications such as The New Yorker, who had a three cover issue this week!). Speaking of The New Yorker, there's a great short article in the April 21st edition's Talk of the Town section about legendary art director George Lois, who talks about his ground breaking cover designs for Esquire in the '60s, and his opinion of cover design today. Check it out. Vogue covers link discovered via Little Hokum Rag.

Update: Sadly the link to this Flickr photoset disappeared a while ago, but good news -- you can purchase exquisite prints of vintage Vogue covers (and more) from the Condé Nast Store. Printed on archival-quality paper with UV-resistant inks, they're available in two sizes (15 x 18 or 17 x 22) and can be ordered with or without a frame.

A Glimpse of Summer

Stacy of La Boudoir blog posted this great photo from Toast's new catalogue the other day, and to me it's the perfect summer look -- easy to toss on, with a nonchalant elegance. It feels a little odd to think so seriously about summer clothes in mid-April, but as today is 24C here, it looks like the warm weather is starting early this year ...

Friday, April 18, 2008


Happy weekend! Hope it's delicious. This lovely photo is part of a series on vanilla, styled by the brilliant Paul Lowe and photographed by Colin Cooke.


What's not to love about Joom Klangsin's wonderful designs? Her Etsy shop is a beautiful world of birds, all fluttering over her pillows, cards, and prints. Joom also has a website, with lots more lovely work -- including some amazing shoe designs that you really have to go and check out.
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