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.
…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.
…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.
…what do you do for an encore ? For Italian coffee company Illy, the answer was simple. Design the cup in which the espresso is served and in the process, also make it great art. Painstaking research took place to ensure their cup was the right height and the porcelain the proper thickness. The handle was also redesigned and re-positioned to guarantee comfort and practicality. And then the company brought in world-renowned artists and young talent to adorn the finished product, and in many cases created limited editions which are signed and numbered. Michelangelo Pistoletto, for example, whose From One to Many exhibit was featured prominently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was given creative freedom in his designs, as was artist / writer / director Julian Schnabel and Liu Wei. The sets are not cheap. But then again, sitting down to a fine cup of espresso with a piece of art, an act of passion in the minds of many, is priceless.
…around our homes cease to be objects and instead become increasingly objets d’art ? It may depend upon whom you ask. Pose the question to the Danes, ever the vigilant force in streamlining and minimalism, and they will tell you that everything, regardless of size or use, should be designed with only the most dedicated aesthetic in mind. Ask the Italians and they will inform you everything must be treated with artistic flair. Otherwise, what’s the point ? With that in mind, one can only gaze with admiration at Davide Oppizzi’s new creations for Graff, the 90-year old design company whose commitment to form and function give ordinary items an untapped sleekness and sensuality. The new Atemis shower, for example, forces us to ask a simple question…how could you bathe any other way ?
…is expanding. It’s not uncommon for heads to turn, perhaps out of admiration, perhaps put of envy, when one of their luggage pieces is seen on the jet way. And now, their characteristic grooves and tight construction are available for Apple’s tablet line. To continue reading the Product Design page, click here.