Thursday, March 17, 2005


By Studio DE MAKERS VAN, a dutch design firm, this extruded wood table, titled "Industrialized Wood" is as intriguing as it is beautiful. The familiar is given a new twist and yet, it would sit well with the most conservative of us all. Texture comes in the form of swirly wood grains, perfectly complimenting the form of the table. It is a piece of architecture in itself, pregnant with depth and space. Rarely has a piece of furniture come this close to being successful in seamlessly blending industrial design and architecture.

The Pail has done it all. Wastepaper basket, newspaper stand, laundry bag, shopping bag and yes, Christmas stocking. It looks unassuming, but is oh so deceptive in creating a disparity between the memory of the touch of a metal pail and the soft malleable feel of felt. The human mind is too easily duped.

You'd think you were stepping on marshmellows. The Circulation Rug is made of 100% wool felt pellets set in a honey-comb structure. Simple without being boring. Playful without being overdone. This rug is for the executive who needs just that bit of fun to loosen him up at the end of the day.

This is what design should be about. A perfectly choreographed dance between art and technology: Enter the petal lamp. It uses a memory metal spring to open and close the petals. When the bulb is off/cold, the metal contracts and the petals close. When the bulb is on, the metal warms up and expands and slowly opens the petals. It's a concept any kid in school would be familiar with. Heck, I learnt about expansion and contraction during one of my first few Chinese lessons in primary school! I guess it goes to show that it's the really simple ideas that give birth to brilliant designs. Absolutely brilliant.

You've heard of cup-a-soup. Now introducing cup-a-muffin. The Japanese have the instant noodle generation wrapped around their little finger. They've managed to pack grandma's muffins into sachets! Oishii desu! Perfect for those late nights at the office when the hunger pangs strike. Just empty the ingredients into a cup, stick it into the microwave and voila! A taste of homemade heaven wherever you are.

It's all in the details. Nothing spruces up a crisp white shirt like a dapper pair of cufflinks. In this case, an adorable glass rabbit set from Happy Owl Glassworks. Tres cute! It takes a real man to carry these off. So add these to your purchasing future and put your man to the test. Alternatively, cufflinks aren't only for men.

Chanel has gone down under. The good people at Chanel badly needed something other than couture to play with and have thus gone on to designing overpriced toys. Boomerangs to be exact. For the lady of leisure who is tired of the confines of her yoga mat and is not afraid of breaking a nail or for showing off alongside her Miro and Klee. Either way, it's for the superfluous in all of us.