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August 20, 2005

Glass caddy in Porcelain

James_plateSome things are such an obvious good idea that you wonder why it took so long for someone to come up with it. The young design team of Andrea Grossfuss and Olaf Kiessling has burst on the international scene with a portfolio of lifestyle products that are head-shakingly sensible -- and well, fun. Take the James. This glazed porcelain plate has a  notch -- perfect for holding a wine stem. No more fumbling with wine and plate while you figure out how to shake hands or eat. While we have seen something similar in novelty magazines out of plastic, this butler plate has a wide unglazed brim so you can get a good grip. Kiessling tells us that the plate is being manufactured by German firm Rastal and be available world wide for around US$5.

The James was designed by German firm Sternform Produktgestaltung.

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August 19, 2005

The Future of Modern Homes

Modern interiors are becoming a necessity, required by the world's changing climate, population, and amounts of natural resources, rather than a lifestyle or design choice, according to the BBC. A project underway in Sheffield, England monitors a family living in a modern home with Jetsons-like accoutrements to see how the family will react to and use the many gadgets of the future home. Experts at The Future Laboratory and the Royal Institute of British Architects say that climate extremes will necessitate breakthroughs in pedestrian items like blinds and curtains, overcrowding will mean outfitting small rooms for many uses, and dwindling water supplies will be less strained as water used for cleaning is replaced with use of sound waves.

Sounds extreme, especially when they posit that maybe someday soon our showerheads will pour sound waves rather than water, but then, we have seen some of these predictions as products already on the market. From self tinting glass, to modular, space saving, multi-use furniture and central computer hubs that control sprinklers, coffee machines, lighting and music, modern style means less catching up when the future comes and taste is second to necessity.

To catch up and even get ahead of the curve, read the BBC article Imagining homes of the future and find out about the modern homes, gadgets and dwellers of contemporary times in the feature story, Smart Homes, Smarter Living in PURE CONTEMPORARY.

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August 18, 2005

Knoll, Inc Announces Stock Repurchase

EAST GREENVILLE, Pa., Aug. 18 Sapper1979_2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Knoll, Inc., today announced that its Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program whereby it authorized the Company to purchase shares of its common stock in the open market from the cash proceeds received by the Company upon the exercise by holders of options to purchase shares of the Company's common stock.

The Company has retained Banc of America Securities LLC to effect such purchases and has authorized Banc of America to commence repurchases on August 19, 2005.

Headquartered in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, Knoll, a leading designer and manufacturer of branded office furniture products and textiles, serves clients worldwide. Our commitment to innovation and modern design has yielded a comprehensive portfolio of products designed to provide enduring value and help clients shape their workplaces with imagination and vision. The Knoll commitment to high environmental standards is mandated by a comprehensive Environmental, Health & Safety Management Plan.

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August 17, 2005

Bright Lights, Small Lighting

1374bledlenserlilymarleLily Marleen created the LED-LENSER to be a minimal, lightweight, practical lamp for a living room. It looks great, is extremely bright, even impact resistant, and environmentally friendly. It promises 60,000-100,000 operating hours, which is about 1,000 times longer than electric bulbs, and beats them on energy consumption, using only about 1.5 watts. The LED-LENSER won the Silver in the IDEA 2005 awards.

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History, Theory and Practice of Product Design

Written in 1991, Professor Bernhard E. Bürdek's book quickly became a standard read for design students, designers, and fellow academics. It's been translated into Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Chinese. Now, a third much expanded and updated edition is available.

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August 16, 2005

Gaggenau Honors Art In General at a Benefit Evening in the Hamptons

(Huntington Beach, CA – August 16, 2005) – Gaggenau, the world’s preeminent brand of high-performance, restaurant-grade cooking technology for the modern home, is sponsoring a benefit evening for Art in General at the HC&G Idea House in Bridgehampton, NY on Saturday, August 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Encompassing the same passion for modern design, Gaggenau has chosen to honor Art in General at an evening dedicated to the love of fine art and exquisite food. The HC&G idea house, located in the heart of the Hamptons, is the perfect location for this celebration. The idea house is a groundbreaking re-conceptualization of a historic 18th century Mulford barn, set on almost four private acres. It incorporates the latest in 21st century design options, using an environmentally correct approach in room design, contemporary décor, and home appliances. Gaggenau appliances were selected to represent the “kitchen of the future” by Hampton Cottages & Gardens Editor in Chief Newell Turner due to their cutting-edge form, energy efficiency and restaurant-grade functionality. “Our goal with the Hamptons Cottages & Gardens Idea House was to illustrate the equal balance between form and function. We chose to use Gaggenau appliances because they offer the perfect marriage of innovative design and new technology,” stated Newell.

Founded in 1981 in Lower Manhattan, Art in General is a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in response to the needs of artists, and informs the public about their work. In 25 years, the organization has emerged as one of New York City’s leading nonprofits and has exhibited the work of nearly 5,000 artists working across a wide range of media.

Throughout the evening notable artists, art patrons, critics and curators will taste and experience a live cooking demonstration of Gourmet Spa Cuisine by Executive Chef Chris Siversen of the Glazier Group’s premiere venues Twenty Four Fifth and Bridgewaters, on the Gaggenau exclusive VP 421 Teppan Yaki grill, VI 411 induction cooktop, GV 411 wok burner, ED 290/220 convection and combination steam & convection oven, and EB 295 double oven. Guests will also view the AI 530 ventilation hood and the GI 240 dishwasher.

In addition to the demonstrations, guests will be eligible to win an exclusive “cocktail style” cooking class for ten at the renowned Twenty Four Fifth cooking school. “Entertaining with Style,” as it is known, allow attendees to experience the wonderment of Gaggenau appliances while learning how to entertain effortlessly with style.

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Sifi Sound, the Orb Speaker

Imageview1UK company Sifi launched the Orb speaker collection with the idea that something as simple as a speaker, with advanced sound and outrageous style, has the power to totally change a room and influence its occupants. Made of ceramic in a variety of high gloss colors, the Orb is also available in other finishes such as matte, and new, seasonal colors will be released twice annually. Limited editions are also available and Sifi has a professional service to custom design products for residential and commercial customers.

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August 15, 2005

Summertime & the Livin is Easy

Images_3It's hard to stay inside working when the sun's out shining through trees and casting dancing shadows on lush green lawns. Combat your yen for the bright colors and warmth of outdoor weather by recreating that feeling in your workspace. Here are some great items that make staying inside fun.

1. The Zip Desk by Toshiyuki Yoshimo for Cattelan Italia.

2. The Herman Miller Aeron Chair by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick. Also check out Herman Miller's Cella Chair, winner of this year's Best of NeoCon Award, debuting in September, by Jerome Caruso.

3. Cool and colorful office accessories like Portia Well's Pen and Pencil holders, and Clocky, a desk clock by Daniel Streng.

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August 12, 2005

Green Air Emissions

We often get asked by our readers about how to shop for "green" products. "Green," like the color itself, comes in many shades. There are the 100% made-from-recycled-materials green products, the environmentally safe green, the 100% biodegradable, the environmentally conscious (meaning they use every piece and scrap versus just select cuts) and seemingly countless variations in between. But if you are concerned about air quality and emissions, check out Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI), a non-profit, independent organization.

According to GEI, the 30-year rise in childhood asthma is related to the rising use of VOCs -- or Volatile Organic Compounds found in just about everything we purchase for the home. Combine that with better insulation, airtight windows and you have turned your castle into a potentially toxic bubble.

GEI has analyzed state, federal and international emissions rules and created a certification process for nearly every household product to establish indoor air quality standards. Certification is voluntary and available to all manufacturers and suppliers.

Access to the Greenguard Product Guide, where you can find companies like Knoll, Herman Miller & Steelcase for having low-emitting products and materials for interiors, is free.

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August 11, 2005

Ice Your Phone

Ice_1Pardon the public service announcement, but when I read this incredibly logical tip, we thought we'd pass it on. A UK paramedic frustrated from getting to accident scenes and having to sift through victims' cell phones to figure out whom to notify, has started a campaign to ICE your mobile phone. ICE being the acronym for In Case of Emergency. Enter the name "ICE" and the number of the person you would want notified.

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