It’s fairly common to complain about modern air travel, that the days of glamour and luxury have been replaced by the mundane and tedious tasks of simply transporting passengers from point A to point B. Recently, however, there have been significant changes–transformative in nature if not downright revolutionary. Boeing’s groundbreaking Dreamliner, for example, is intended to define travel with sensuous curves and subdued lighting; Airbus’ A380, aka The Double Decker,” is a technological marvel with bravado to match. It then leads to the proverbial question : what is the next step in aviation ? The latter company may have answered when it introduced its new Airspace, a revolutionary redesign of passenger cabins. This is no mere paint job. Airbus has completely reimagined the flying experience from the passengers’ point of view with contemporary lavatories; customizable ambient lighting; interiors defined by clean and sleek lines; larger and more accessible overhead storage bins; wider seats; and, unobstructed under-seat foot space. Airbus has clearly realized the journey is as important as the destination.
Celebrated author Victor Hugo once said, “There is nothing more interesting than a wall behind which something is happening.” We sometimes perceive architecture, art, and design as a collection of intangible ideas, behind a wall, and inaccessible. Welcome to the newly redesigned Concept Republik, intended to chip away at that proverbial wall and in doing so, show how design surrounds and influences us.
In a relatively short time, G-Star Raw grew from a local, Dutch-based clothing company to a global fashion icon and powerhouse among those who love and wear military-style clothing, impeccably constructed, well designed and with a fine attention to details and cut. What does one do then when such a company needs a new headquarters, designed and built with the same aesthetic ? You hire OMA, or Office for Metropolitan Architecture, a company based in Rotterdam, and founded by none other than Rem Koolhaas himself. In other words, cool was introduced to uber-cool, and the results are impressive.
The firm had its work cut out for itself but ultimately succeeded in the creation of a building as fascinating as the products within it.
…Jawbone does for Bluetooth-enabled speakers. Not satisfied with the standard, lifeless black boxes which more often than not characterize the product lines of other companies, Jawbone has created something portable, capable of recreating beautiful sound and, just as important, very cool to look at. Their new wireless speakers will illicit wows and are so small and portable they can slip into your pockets. Your iTunes account will be proud.
…the way we listen to our favorite artists. Its portability and ease of use is surpassed only by the cool design aesthetic of the iPod and the now ubiquitous white ear buds which are more prevalent on our streets than the green siren of Starbucks’ logo. To audio purists, however, there is still only one way to listen to and appreciate music and that is via vinyl, a format long considered dead, but which has experienced noticeable growth the past five years (CD sales on the other hand have been heading in the opposite direction.) The sound produced by the 12″ albums is fuller, richer, and void of the lifeless and tinny quality evident in its digital counterparts. What then to play them on ? Affordable turntables are easily obtained these days and their sales are increasing, too, but you may want to dig in your heels and go high-end. Clearaudio’s latest entry should do the trick but it comes at a steep price. A piece of art in and of itself the new Innovation Compact Turntable is clearly designed for those who refuse to compromise and want to listen to Abbey Road, Sticky Fingers or So in all their glory.
…has somehow managed to top themselves with the introduction of their Blue Square Line. Although designed for the business person, particularly those who travel frequently, their latest products will appeal to any and all design enthusiasts. Pictured below, for example, is their leather shopping bag. Of course, this being an Italian company, it’s no mere bag. It contains pockets for laptops, iPads, an umbrella and is convertible to a backpack.
…Apple proved consumers can–and should–be seduced by form as much as by function. The fact virtually every consumer product company in the world has mimicked their philosophy is further proof. But, for every wow the iPad can illicit, for example, there is no doubt the tablet can become, let’s face it, gross with fingerprints and myriad stains. Jacob Moesgaard’s AM, a company his father launched more than 40 years ago, is on the rise with a brand new series of cleaning products for the electronic gadgets in our lives. He has brought his Danish design philosophy to the proverbial table and created a series of very hip products which are as cool as the iPods, laptops and tablets they’re designed to clean.