Less is more?
Isn't that what it's all about? Less words - more pictures.
This issue, that about sums it up.
Clever, yes? I, like c l e v e r . . . . and fact is, clever only really occurs in graphic design. Don't think I've ever heard 'clever' applied to architecture - or interior design.
Kazuyo Sejima has created some of the 21st century’s most captivating spaces, from the distinctive metal facade of the seven-story New Museum tower in New York City to the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion, which features 75,000 feet of curving, transparent walls. Her firm, SANAA, is known for its elegant, idiosyncratic design; Sejima and her partner, Ryue Nishizawa, were awarded the field’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize, in 2010.
But recently, Sejima embarked on a completely new kind of design project: a building that moves. The Japanese architect is the lead designer of a new bullet train created by Seibu Railway, in Japan, called the Seibu 001 series, or Laview. The project, which was announced in 2016, is now complete—and Sejima’s design may make it the most relaxing commuter train ever constructed, even as it exceeds speeds of 200 mph.
Sejima’s brief was to design something “never seen before,” a train that could establish a design language for the broader Seibu fleet and its next 100 years of transit, hence the “001” in the train’s name. As for “Laview,” that’s an acronym: The “L” stands for “luxurious living,” and the “A” is for “speedy like an arrow.” The “View” is just the view, of which there is a lot—to accentuate the train’s path through the Chichibu mountains.
True to its name, the train’s front features a sweeping, five-foot-wide curved glass window—the largest on a train in Japan. Meanwhile, each of the passenger cars is focused around expansive, 23-square-foot windows that begin at your seat bottom and stretch well above your head. To sit next to such a window must feel like you’re not riding inside a train at all. The body of the train itself is coated in paint that isn’t just silvery metallic, as it might first appear. It’s actually a custom aluminum coating picked for its exact reflectivity, which is meant to softly reflect the landscape right on the train’s exterior.
Then there’s the interior, which is really the most enticing part of the ride. Designer Yoko Ando led the textile design behind the train’s 422 velvety, mustard-hued seats. The armrests are compact and hint at necessary efficiencies built into high-speed rail. But the seat design itself harkens to the organic forms of Arne Jacobsen. It’s all topped off with a vaulted ceiling that diffuses soft light into the cabin.
All in all, the 001 series looks like an absolute joy to ride. And it makes us ever-so optimistic about the next 100 years of train travel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design,
technology, and culture for almost 15 years.
is work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech,
PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach
Sit down, why don't you?
Okay - where do you suggest I sit?
Well, I dunno - try that one over there....
You mean this one?
What do you think?
Uhhhh - like I'm gonna be swallowed up....digested, maybe?
But it's surprisingly comfortable.
Okay! So here's a few others to try. . . .
A 'colour coward'....qu'est-ce que c'est? It doesn't show up in internet searches, but it is a rather disparaging term that my designer contemporaries would often use to sum up a client who's, afraid of colo(u)r - in either spellings. You probably know someone - yes? They tend to dress in somber tones - or default to black (can't make a mistake with black)......but don't you just come alive when you spy a woman (generally a woman) who is just a riot of carefully calculated tones, timbres, terrific colours......who CELEBRATES colour? I applaud it - always. And I applaud DACOR for their commitment to colour in their most recent appliance offerings.
The photograph is one of Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy. It is is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail links the villages and offers sweeping sea vistas.
Dacor allowed Cinque Terre to be one of the inspirations for it's new ranges:
Is that not a DOUBLE WOW?
The rolling hills of Italy's Cinque Terre are dotted with bright, warmly-hued village buildings that make it feel like summer all year long. Even if your home isn't perched on the Italian Riviera, you can channel this charming coastal haven with a cheerful orange stovetop.
Design a kitchen that would make Julia Child jealous with a French-influenced stovetop. Inspired by the lavender fields of Provence, it’s feminine and sophisticated all at once.
From the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea to picturesque white buildings with cobalt roofs, Greece is a study in blue. Transform your bright, light-flooded kitchen into a Santorini-inspired vision with a corresponding stovetop.
Morocco is a kaleidoscope of color, from electric desert sunsets to marketplaces filled with fragrant spices and hand-woven rugs. A brilliant pop of fuchsia is the perfect way to reflect its rich, exotic culture.
So, come on - all you colourCowards - step up! C e l e b r at e your special colour.
. . . .a DACOR kitchen
Things - things, sometimes just grab you. I know I'm susceptible to it.....I love tactility - it's the unknown sense - in a way...... how we feel, when we touch - be it skin, steel, glass, granite - a banana - it is a communications channel that we don't usually embrace when we are out looking for, things.
I, like, this t h i n g!
Oh! What is it? Yes, well there's that isn't here......it's a notepad......Made in the heart of Paris in a workshop built by Gustave Eiffel, these writing pads are an elegant step up from your average legal pad or sticky note. The sturdy metal frames hold 200 sheets of 5 1/3" x 8 1/4" paper, micro-perforated for easy removal. Non-slip backing keeps them in place during aggressive note jotting, and the textured brass nuts at the top make swapping in replacement pads a breeze. Available as a desk pad filled with blank paper, and the option to add on refill sheet sets of both blank or graph paper as desired.
Gonna, most definitely, get me one of these.....the desk pad including blank paper is $35.00. Notepad refills, blank or graph paper, are $7.00. Order from here.
So - while we speak of Morocco.....sortof, check this out:
Architects Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty of Studio KO keep offices in Paris and Marrakech—which is probably why they are experts in blending Eastern and Western architecture.
Working on luxury projects for the likes of the Hermes family, their firm Studio KO designed this minimalist mountain lodge in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Blocked prisms, earth tones and exotic textures mark the home, which they’ve dubbed Villa E.
Nowhere is the marriage of cultures more evident than in the use of locally sourced Ouriko stone, with its characteristic reddish color associated with nearby Marrakech or “The Ochre City.” When stacked to form the house’s exterior, its brick-like appearance evokes the Midwest’s prairie architecture.
E C L E C T I C
According to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition of e c l e c t i c is:
Methods, beliefs, ideas, etc. that are eclectic combine whatever seem the best or most useful things from many different areas or systems, rather than following a single system
My dear friend, Monica Parker, is the epitome of e c l e c t i c
. . . not only that but she is truly one of the funniest people there is.
She is an author (Getting Waisted, OMG [How Children See God] - and stay tuned....there's another one soon to be released).
She is my friend - since high school, she is my friend. And although decades went by without us seeing each other we re-connected via social media about 10 years ago, and then had a great lunch at Toronto's Union Station last summer whilst I was en route home to Montreal. Over the last 8 weeks I have been engaged in a special assignment in Toronto - the city of my birth. As a result I literally lived, and worked there up until last week. More about that in the next issue.
But, on one occasion I spent a delightful evening with Monica and her very talented husband Gilles Savard. And with another friend/contemporary of that same time, Nina Keogh - a world-renowned master puppeteer (The Polka Dot Door, The Friendly Giant, ToDAYS SPECIAL and many others) - and is now a highly sought after artist.
All that to say, it was a great evening, spent in Monica and Gille's home, which is, like she is, e c l e c t i c
As can be seen from the following photographs.
Note the antique samovar in the fireplace....the bust to the right of the TV was done by a Parisian sculptress friend
Masterful! A natural affinity for the unusual, the bizarre - perhaps it comes out of her unique sense of humour. And Gilles! What a marvellous talent. Professionally he is a costume designer, working in the world of movies/film. It was he that actually upholstered all the chairs seen here, made the harlequin coffee table......trés spécial!
I worked with Monica last year to re-design her web-site : : www.IamMonicaParker.com. Check it out.....particularly the IKALAALALAL part......
Merçi Monica et Gilles - for being my special friend for over half a century!
Oh! One other thing.....I think I need to run out and buy this chair for Monica - it is the perfect complement to her home:
Heck, it was listed at only $60,000.USD a few years ago. . . . . . what's $60,000 between friends?
While on the topic of Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti here is some interesting background on this pair of most talented furniture designers.
Ponti & Fornasetti
A Historic Collaboration
One of the most historic collaborations of the 20th century was that between Italian designers Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti. Though their styles differ, their creative genius is evident in all of their projects and each designer made vital contributions to the history of art and architecture.
Ponti and Fornasetti first worked together in the 1933 forming an important relationship that would last for decades and over the years they completed many prestigious projects according to an established and well-tested pattern: Ponti designed and Fornasetti decorated. Together the duo completed many notable interiors including those for ships, villas and hotels as well as private commissions for the Italian bourgeoisie. While their collaborative designs were included in the 1951 Triennale they were never mass produced.
Ponti designed, Fornasetti decorated and Pietro Chiesa executed the designs.
There has been, t a l k . There have been questions, there has been talk. There has been questions about the continuity of DRI.....we have attempted to answer them, honestly. In that process, a great deal of soul-searching has occurred. This issue marks 3 years of monthly publications of DesignReview•International.
We set lofty goals - a multi-lingual platform for one.....no ads for another - consistency, continuity and dependability, most importantly.
But, this is important - at least to us here at DRI. There was, for many, many reasons, no issue last month. What is really important is that no one missed it. I got not one query, 'Where is this month's issue?'.
Not one expression of concern, such as, 'Hey - you still alive in there?' Nada - zilch - zero. I am not about to elucidate on the reasons for this gap....they were legitimate and necessary. But before I continue,
I want you to read/review the following insertion.
Like, 'What is this?'
It's a digital magazine - a US publication that has two distinct characteristics - one, it has NO ads......two - it sells for $140.00 US per year - which includes two bound issues. Yikes! That makes it approximately $12.00US per month
B IS AN AD-LESS MONTHLY PUBLICATION THAT INTRODUCES
ONE WELL-BALANCED BRAND UNEARTHED FROM AROUND
THE GLOBE IN EACH ISSUE. BETWEEN ITS COVERS,
B NOT ONLY SHARES UNTOLD STORIES BEHIND THE BRAND
BUT ALSO ITS SENTIMENT AND CULTURE THAT ANY READERS
INTERESTED IN BRAND MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT CAN
LEAF THROUGH WITH EASE.
Magazine B's mission is to focus/feature on one specific manufacturer, each issue. This month is is Danner, based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1932, Portland-based Danner started out by crafting boots for loggers. Based on the strong quality of work boots that the company has become known for, Danner has expanded its product range to outdoor and fashion and has remained dedicated to the ethos of craftsmanship that has underpinned the brand for 85 years.
So - it is a really cool magazine. Some recent focus issues have been on Lululemon, Google, Vitra, Leica, etc.
it brings us to
it brings us to
as of the next issue DesignReview•International
will be available on a pre-paid subscription basis of
$25.00 CAD PER YEAR
This will be for 12 monthly issues and one, end of year retrospective and forecast
This will require you, the readership,
to be pro-active.
An Interac or PayPal payment processing
directed to inbox@DesignReview.International
needs to be received no later than October 31st
in order to maintain a 'live' subscription.
DesignPreview will re-commence in the next week or two......that will remain a free design 'gazette'
It is with great hope that i look forward to continuing our relationship - I have a passion for the platform which we have created, have a passion for finding wonderful design-related information and goodies.
Hopefully you all share that.
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As a professional interior designer (45+ years) and as a Certified Graphic Designer (25 years) I have devoted my life to the pursuit of design excellence. Winner of numerous design awards I have also spent 25+ years teaching Interior Design.....the greatest quote regarding design is: the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance
• Note Regarding Archives •
Weebly provides an archive header by month - such as March 2021 . . . . when you select a month, you will be able to access all issues posted in that month - there is no way, thus far, to provide the reader with archival access via Issue number - were working on it.