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February 01, 2006

Design Spots Charm and Harm


The world's in turmoil with the greatest conflicts of all time. We're knee deep in man vs. man, man vs. nature, man v self. And product designers funnel this as inspiration toward two emerging trends: items that soothe; and items that don't.

In the soothing section, we have the familiar warmth of felt. A homespun material for the crafty set that's warmed its way into the heart of modern design. Notable felt products of recent, troubled times include the beautiful felt cut rug from Danish school buds at Grøn Dør, Michael Young's gorgeous felt covered Writing Desk for Established & Sons, and the felt sling chair from Lamf.

And for the goods that say, "yes it's design but we're at war," look, among others, to Philippe Starck. He launched a line of gold dipped lamps cast from AK-47s and Beretta's for high-end lighting company Flos. The UK firm MosleyMeetsWilcox offers War Bowls, plastic bowls created from melted toy soldiers. And, not be left out of the loop, fellow Brit firm Suck UK invented gun vases, available singly or in a lovely three gun grouping.

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