Category: designers

Pencil Sharpener

Tuesday 02.05.13




I really really like this little critter. Put him to work sharpening your pencils. Designed by Rodrigo Torres Kastor for Alessi. Not available yet. But soon. Soon. Makes a nice companion to his other design: a bird in the form of a paper clip holder. Oops…via designboom!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email


Monday 02.04.13





My friend Nancy is an accomplished surface designer who, over the years, has created a range of hand-painted dinnerware for various clients here and far. I asked her if she would send me the rough swatches of stripes and marks that are a product of her pattern development . She happily complied. This is only the smallest selection from her archive. Again, it’s the process that catches my eye. Sometimes I feel as though we are losing out to technology when it comes to the incremental stages of creativity. Maybe. Maybe not.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email


Friday 12.14.12

Chalkboard paint started it all. I think Martha Stewart popularized it. And then Dana Tanamachi took it to new and exciting heights. I speak of chalkboard lettering. An earlier post about Dana here. The nicely packaged Chalk is available here.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

The Chair

Friday 08.31.12

I wonder how Sergio Mian feels about having his Baba Barstool co-opted by Clint Eastwood, theĀ  RNC and Invisible Obama.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

The Modern Skateboard

Tuesday 03.27.12

I read the obituaries in the NYT every day. And I know I’m not alone. I take heart when those, to whom tribute is paid, were at least over 90 when they died. And I find even deeper inspiration from those who were still working away at something they loved. One of the best obituaries I ever read was for a blacksmith by the name of Francis Whitaker. He worked almost right up to the end and, miraculously, grasped a hammer on his deathbed. Today’s obits required two full pages. Never good. Some names held meaning for me in a distant way. Others I had never heard of. Larry Stevenson is one of the latter. I learned that in the Southern California of the early 1960s, he went from lifeguard to successful and innovative skateboard designer in the most linear of careers. He began building surfboard-like skateboards, but by 1969 he introduced a new design that incorporated a “kicktail”: that singular modification to the standard surfboard shape that allowed skateboarders to embark on those crazy airborne tricks that demarcate the skateboarding style that we see today. To his credit, he patented both the single and double kicktail. RIP Mr. Stevenson. Photos courtesy of Lion City Skaters.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Masahiro Mori

Wednesday 01.11.12

It’s a little thing, I know. But it’s near to perfect. This soy sauce dispenser was designed by Masahiro Mori back in 1958. It’s won untold numbers of awards, is still in production and nearly ubiquitous. If you’ve ever used one of these pieces you would have noticed that there is nary a drip from the spout. The lines are elegant and the piece itself fits the hand with no distraction. To me, it’s a kind of benchmark for the design world. I’d like it if the realm of mass production accorded the same amount of respect commanded by this little soy sauce bottle (shoyusashi) to the rest of its mighty output. Imagine. To purchase one for yourself, click here.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email

Au Revoir Kim Jong-Il

Wednesday 12.21.11

So, we can probably agree on the fact that Kim Jong Il was bad news for North Korea and pretty much the rest of the world. And I doubt that I need to go into a litany of reasons why. All that aside, I still keep this water bottle under protective custody. In a moment of inspiration, Elizabeth Beer and Brian Janusiak (of Project No. 8 / Various Projects) made these years ago and gave me one as a gift. Don’t even ask if you can have it.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email