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August 31, 2005

Modern Teapots Bewitch Salem


The Peabody Essex Museum, East India Sq., Salem MA 01970 will host The Artful Teapot: 20th–Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection, Nov. 25, 2005 – March 5, 2006

The Artful Teapot: 20th–Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection explores the teapot—a nearly universal domestic item—as a vehicle for artistic expression. This comprehensive and highly original exhibition features 250 teapots by over 100 internationally known artists, including Michael Graves, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, George E. Ohr, Cindy Sherman, and Beatrice Wood. The exhibition opens Nov. 25, 2005 and runs through March 5, 2006 at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Artful Teapot demonstrates how the teapot can be provocative, playful, and profound as well as conventional. Addressing aesthetic, social, and political issues, the exhibition examines the teapot's ability to be more than just a device to serve tea.

The exhibition provides a comprehensive view of the contemporary teapot to date, featuring works in a multitude of forms, including human, animal, vegetable, and even architectural. The teapots on view are made from a wide range of materials from fine porcelain to bottle caps. Highlights include Zoe Morrow’s Five on the Line teapot, which features dozens of US $5 bills shredded and woven into the shape of a teapot; David Gignac’s Celestial Teapot, in which a white, hand- blown glass orb sits atop forged steel branches simulating a moonlit night; and, David Gilhooly’s Oreo and Frog Teapot, which is a basic black earthenware teapot that has life-like frogs crawling up through cookies to escape the teapot’s lid. Also included is Resurrection of a Broken Teapot, a striking sculpture by Laszlo Fekete that depicts distressed stoneware hands holding up a pristine porcelain teapot.

All of the works in the exhibition have been selected from the celebrated collection of Sonny and Gloria Kamm’s personal trove of more than 7,500 teapots. Visiting art galleries and art fairs and commissioning artists to create their own interpretations of the object, the Kamms have together amassed the largest collection of teapots in the United States, possibly the world.

Curator Garth Clark, scholar and author of numerous books on ceramic art, has chosen teapots from the Kamm’s collection that both illustrate the beauty and power of the form and stand independently as works of art. Clark is the founder and current director of the Ceramic Arts Foundation (NYC). The exhibition features drawings, photographs, and a video that documents the history of the teapot and the arrival of tea in the West. While many of the teapots featured in The Artful Teapot have been created within the last few decades, a selection of historical pieces representing the teapot’s 400-year history are also on display, giving a contextual basis to the contemporary works.

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August 30, 2005

Things to Do in Houston While it's Modern

Both showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Artth1113Caroline Weiss Law Building, the exhibits Recent Accessions in Modern and Contemporary Design, and Acquisitions of the Last Five Years: Selections of Modern and Contemporary Art, through March 5 and October 9 respectively, show the MFAH's modern edge.


Acquisitions of the Last Five Years: Selections of Modern and Contemporary Art features nearly 200 paintings, works on paper, photographs, and sculptures. Diane Arbus, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Pablo Picasso, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the renowned artists whose works have recently joined the MFAH collections. Also on display are selections from the 2004 bequest of Caroline Wiess Law.


Recent Accessions in Modern and Contemporary Design presents some of the most innovative objects created throughout the 20th century and into the new millennium, from Josef Hoffmann´s c. 1905 Sitzmaschine to Philippe Starck´s 2003 polycarbonate Louis Ghost Chair. Each of the objects, all recent additions to the MFAH collection, demonstrate significant aesthetic and technical virtuosity.


Among the works on view are furniture, ceramics, metalwork, glass, lighting, and textiles. In addition to Hoffmann and Starck, designers represented in the show include Andrea Branzi, Tord Boontje, Cesare Casati and Emanuele Ponzio, Kay Fiskar, Gaetano Pesce, Maarten van Severen, and Ettore Sottsass. Materials used by the artists range from aluminum (Branzi´s Amnesie Vases) to resin and metal (Pesce´s Door) to PVC and acrylic (Casati and Ponzio´s lamps, Pillola Series Complet). The exhibition also includes a selection of exquisite French perfume bottles from the 1930s.

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The Growth of Good Design

Wharton School Executive Education Program Offers Insights into Design as Growth Strategy

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 30, 2005 -- The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced that its executive education program, Wharton Fellows: Mastering the Future, will start its four-day, multi-city Master Class on Sept. 22. The program will bring together some of the most creative minds in the world to discuss the meaning and implications of "good design" from multiple perspectives.

The Master Class, "Design, Innovation, and Strategy," will be held Sept. 22-27, 2005 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the design capital of northern Europe, and several locations in northern Italy. The executive education program comprises plenary sessions, visits to several organization headquarters, panel discussions with top executives from such companies as Alessi, Bang & Olufsen, BasicNet, Georg Jensen, Giugiaro, Lego and Novozymes, and attendance at the prestigious Index 2005 design awards dinner as VIP guests.

"The great modernist designers of the last century pronounced ‘form should follow function,’" said Wharton School Marketing Professor Yoram (Jerry) Wind, who also is the founding academic director of the Wharton Fellows program. "But in today’s environment," he continued, "functionality is a commodity. Advances – in technology, the speed of imitation, and the empowered consumers' ability to use search engines to compare competing products on all their features, functionality and price – have forced companies to focus on smart design as a major differentiator and creator of value."

Fellows who attend “Design, Innovation, and Strategy” will learn from senior executives from various industries how incorporating design as a growth strategy has enabled their organizations not only to survive, but to flourish.

Beginning in Copenhagen, Fellows will: meet with senior leaders from consumer electronics legend Bang & Olufsen, renowned jeweler Georg Jensen, materials innovator Novozymes (part of NovoNordisk) and global toymaker Lego; tour and learn about the development of Europe’s newest and most striking opera house, Danske Operanen; and participate as VIP guests in the prestigious Index 2005 design awards dinner.

Following a weekend during which Fellows are free to explore the design sensibilities of the host cities, the group will move to the beautiful town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore (north of Milan) to explore design in the uniquely Italian style. This portion of the executive education program includes visits to prominent design house Giugiaro (designers of bottles for Sanpelligrino and Martini & Rossi, cameras for Nikon, and scooters for Peugot), global housewares giant Alessi, and Europe’s most innovative global fashion network, BasicNet (whose brand lines include Robe di Kappa, Superga, and K-Way).

Fellows will learn from some of the most creative minds working in global organizations how to:

- change the way they look at their own products and strategies;
- cultivate a sharper eye for product and organizational design;
- assess the ROI of good design in gaining market share and increasing brand recognition and value; and
- apply the lessons learned to bring strategic innovation to their own organizations.

"To be competitive, you must be creative and innovative in the way you create value – not only through product and service design, but also through the creative design of your strategy and your organization," said Wind. "This program will allow Wharton Fellows to hear first-hand how some of the top design houses and corporations have integrated design as a growth strategy, and incorporate those lessons at their own firms."

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August 28, 2005

You are the Ultimate Brand--Live the Lux Life


Design is worldwide and all the time--and certain brands equate to certain ideas of lifestyle. People who buy Chanel are not perceived as being the same people who buy Vivienne Westwood. Same goes for furniture.

Take it from Tom Ford, the man credited for reviving Gucci:

"For me fashion doesn't stop at clothes," says Ford. "Fashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look -- all those things go together to make a moment in time, and that's what excites me."

A 2005 study by Euro RSCG Worldwide explains how Ford's observation fits into the big business of lifestyle:

Design now influences all areas of our lives, from where we live to how we travel, where we work, what we wear, and how we socialize. Where design was once deemed a luxury and sold as a point of differentiation, we’re now seeing it in all areas of consumption, including such everyday items as Smeg refrigerators, Dyson vacuum cleaners, Apple iPods, even a Tom Dixon–designed vibrator. This abundance of smart objects makes it increasingly possible—and affordable—for everyday people to create a “look” and “message” that extend beyond their bodies to their lives. People are now able to adorn themselves, their homes, their cars, and even their offices with fashions, tools, and toys that fit into their personal style, whatever that style may be. It allows one to create and “sell” the ultimate brand, “me.”

Find out more about buying into the Lux Life with PURE CONTEMPORARY's latest feature: Couture Club.

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August 25, 2005

Sofas That Fit in Elevators

The irrepressible Vladimir Kagan is one who does tinker with success. Over the years his serpentine sofas have morphed into a variety of curvy sectionals with various backs. His latest effort is "Zoe." The shape is very familiar. The original, which was made for a dean who lived in the former home of Walter Gropius, was a 20' long landscape that undulated through the living room. Kagan recalled the process for getting that monumental sofa into the house. "We built it in one piece, and could hoist it through a window, or up a generous staircase. In those days it wasn't too expensive to hoist -- a couple hundred dollars. Now it would be thousands of dollars, and insurance forms and so on."

Zoe_sofa_hiSo on to Zoe -- which for all practical purposes was designed to be practical. After all, if one can't hoist through windows, than the sofa better fit into an apartment building elevator! In talking to him, it seems elevators and narrow stairwells have been the wet blanket on Kagan's vast imagination. But taking a 20' long curvy couch and smushing it down to a teeny footprint, all the while keeping the "Wow!" took some doing. "I played with the curves and the result is much more sculptural," he told us. The sofa will comfortably fit four -- or five "friendly" people.

I asked if he had a favorite upholstery that he would want to see it in. Of course, for color he chose his trademark red. And for fabric he suggested a more "stretchy" fabric like a micro-fiber or boucle, which is more conducive to the curves and tight seat and back.

Another re-edition is the "Vanessa" -- which is a re-do of the 1947 barrel chair. With Vanessa, the seat is actually bigger -- to handle today's bigger bottoms.

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August 24, 2005

Prada Gets Kool

The Rodeo drive Prada store 36427052_62fcbe4d70_m got a new treatment from of Rem Koolhaus. He plunges into the depths of design with his windowless display--buried mannequins looking up through glass at people staring down at them.

Is this the new face of underground design?

Thanks fashion designer and style expert Mary Jo Matsumoto for the image and info.!

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Modern Safety

Stay_alive_life_jacket_vest8Fishermen are ahead of the curve in water safety, sure, but modern design? They caught the trend with the Stay Alive Life Jacket. It's a standard red life jacket on the outside, a pedestrian cover hiding all manner of life saving tools for any occasion--flares, signaling device (also known as a whistle), bailer, signaling mirror and light sticks many more items.

The Jacket's been chosen to appear in the upcoming NY MoMA exhibit, "SAFE: Design Takes on Risk," running October 16 through January 2, 2006.

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FedEx Furniture Frenzy

FedexWhen Palliser launched its Cinema Seating in a Box program (pieces shipped complete in one box) it had no idea what the possibilities of furniture in a box were. Jose Vila, strapped for cash but with access to hundreds of FedEx boxes, took the furniture in a box idea to new levels. He used the boxes to build a bed, desk, shelves, table and chairs––and FedEx is furious.

These pieces are useful, sturdy, and environmentally responsible. But, Vila says, they do have their drawbacks. One he points out––it's not great for impressing dates. FedEx furniture could impress future FedEx customers, though––if these boxes are strong enough to sleep on, they're probably great for shipping, too!

Our friends at Apartment Therapy have a great string with many insightful comments. Add your two cents!

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August 23, 2005

Imagine the Home 2020

If you consider the evolutionary leaps we have made in household appliances in just the last 15 years (about 6 people might have had a flat screen back then), one can only imagine what the next 15 years might bring.

In fact, if you can conjure it, then submit your entry to Electrolux Design Laboratory's quest for Imagine the Home 2020. Think about relevant product ideas for cleaning clothes, cleaning dishes, cleaning floors, storing drinks, storing food and cooking.


This year's competition will be run jointly with and is open to all students of design from all nations.

The jury will select 12 finalists to participate in a six-day design event in Stockholm, including workshops, model building and a competition for cash-awards, appliances and more. But don't ponder too long, entries need to be in by September 22, 2005.

Last year's winner was University of New South Wales' waterless dishwasher "Rockpool."

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Robert Smithson and a Changing New York

Spiral_jetty_bigMost well-known for Spiral Jetty [1970], a swirling landmass circling into Utah's Great Salt Lake, artist Robert Smithson [1938-1973] had plans for many more Earthworks that never saw completion after his death in plane crash. Now though, a collaboration between the Whitney Museum of American Art (hosting a retrospective of Smithson's photographs, drawings, sculptures, films, earthworks and paintings; June 23-October 23) and the New York based art group Minetta Brook brings to the New York archipeligo a Smithson conceived nomadic landmass. The piece will be an artificial island, actually a barge planted with trees and plants to be towed around Manhattan from September 17 to 23.

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