written by:
August 7, 2009

From Dwell's editorial, photo, and design teams, this week's round-up of blog sightings includes several stellar photographic finds, some upcycled housewares, the invention of sentimental value for near-valueless objects, and musings on the swan song of handwritten documents. Read on...

HR Rehberger3 Photo Wolfgang Guenzel

Sam: Artek

Venerable Finnish furniture manufacturer Artek (Art + Technology), founded by architect Alvar Aalto, his wife Aino Aalto, art-historian Nils-Gustav Hahl, and art world mover and shaker Maire Gullichsen, recently relaunched their website. As far as furniture labels go the site is beautifully designed, easy to navigate (Italians please take note), and contains not only the latest Artek news, but also interesting tidbits, such as the original Artek manifest, a document that has served as the core driver of company policy for over 7 decades, and their product development strategy.  While Artek represents a certain historical niche (something like a commercial equivalent to Germany's Bauhaus), in recent years the company has debuted a highly progressive agenda, pushing recycled pieces, and a series of designs made from a paper-wood composite. More recent collaborations such as Tobias Rehberger's cafe for La Biennale di Venezia, for which he was awarded a Golden Lion, are not only visually stunning (in a Beetlejuice kind of way), but demonstrate the versatility of truly timeless design.


Aaron: Amanda Levete Architects

Easily the nicest architectural photography I've seen all week comes from Amanda Levete Architects. The Spencer Dock Bridge isn't set to open until 2010, but this extension of the Dublin, Ireland, light rail system looks amazing already. It spans some 130 feet across the Royal Canal. This is the first major project done under the Amanda Levete name--her firm used to be called Future Systems--and was shortlisted in the LEAF Awards 2009 in the Best Structural Design category. The black and white photos have a wonderfully abstract feeling, and the undulating concrete of the bridge gives the material an almost supple feeling. Lovely stuff.

d cow

Sarah: Significant Objects

A relatively new project from writer/editor Joshua Glenn (author of Taking Things Seriously) and consumer culture cognoscente Rob Walker (author of Buying In), Significant Objects is a site that makes you look twice. It's a concept so genius that it could only have been conceived (the way I imagine it) during some kind of late-night hilarity/debauchery between Glenn and Walker, during which they deconstructed the random ways in which humans become attached to seemingly valueless objects, and decided to stretch backstory-based sentimentality to its limit. At Significant Objects, low-cost artifacts procured from thrift stores are infused with a fictional backstory by some of our greatest and funniest contemporary writers, then auctioned to bidders who are [presumably] after the tale as much as the trinket. There are toasters, coasters, and the sort of strange ceramic animals that are only found in tandem with artificial flowers in peeling baskets. But when you add the imaginations of Nicholson Baker, Jenny Davidson, Glen David Gold, Bruce Sterling and many others to the mix, you might just call these curios priceless.

d frederic chaubin07

Alexis: Frederic Chaubin photography

I was immediately struck by the architectural photographs of old Soviet buildings by Frederic Chaubin, a photographer and editor at Citizen K magazine.  The designs are amazingly unique and like something out of a sci-fi film, that I want to be in!  I love seeing a bit of preserved history from behind the Iron Curtain.

Jordan: Onlab's Intersection for Domus

I missed the March issue of Italian architecture and design magazine Domus, which dealt with the imminence of Web 3.0, but just stumbled upon this very cool feature from the monthly Intersection portion of the mag. Through a series of guided folds masterminded by design firm onlab, the faces of Mister and Miss Web 2.0—drawn by German illustrator Tobias Krafczyk—emerge from the pages and prove the power of (oft-maligned of late) print media to keep things interesting and engaging. If you can get your hands on an issue and need a little help making it happen, head back online to check out the YouTube videos detailing the correct creasing process. (via What Alice Found)

d epson

Ashley: Epson Ink Cartridge Lights by BoxLightBox on Etsy

BoxLightBox, a print manager for a small photography shop says he “couldn’t bear to keep throwing out these awesome ink cartridges anymore.” Realizing their translucent properties, he took them home and with a little wiring magic, transformed them into lamps.

Miyoko: Mourning the Death of Handwriting

There are few things I like more than an ink pen and set of stationary, preferably of the Japanese variety. Letter-writing is a pastime I picked up from my mother, who picked it up from her grandmother. I still have two pen pals, believe it or not, with whom I keep in touch on a regular basis. But I am definitely the exception. This week, Time.com published a great article titled "Mourning the Death of Handwriting" about the lost art of cursive, and penmanship in general. One grade-school teacher laments: "What if 50 years from now, kids can't read the Declaration of Independence?" The extra bonuses of reading this story: Links to a slideshow of dormitories through the ages and an article first published in Time in 1942 (talk about archiving!) about judging a person's character on the way he crossed his t's and dotted his i's.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016