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  • theaptPORTFOLIO

    theaptSHOWS

    October 12, 2010

    sdfentrance101210

    still reeling after his expulsion from the shanghai expo,
    we roused divad q. nead from a deep autumnal eames
    coma to cover the seoul design fair 2010. heavy doses of bayer,
    ethiopian sidamo, a nova scotian blonde got him through
    two weekends of crack reporting and serious photojourno.

    *

    design for all

    designforall101210

    good morning. my two-day walkabout into all corners of design at the seoul design fair [9.17 to 10.7] had me neck deep in an overwhelming world of physical objects along with a bevy of real time inspirations fleshing-out in rapid succession. despite my brown belt in film festivals and conventional museum shows, this fair was a first for my eyes, as I’d never gone beyond the alessi or kartell showrooms in greater seoul. much of what i covered for the apartment were firsts, breaking an eggshell sense of the design world. it’s been over a year since i began to mull wallpaper* over lunch breaks, eating back issues that i found on sale in the subway stations. imagine a porn lover’s virgin foray into the avn awards and you get an idea of what i went through while swimming my salmon way through the crowds under the concrete corridors of the venue. there was something to be seen in 360 degrees, on both the x and y axis. it was a dizzying, sublime, and educational affair.

    360 degree video of the venue

    while operating under the guise of an educator for more than two years, life here on the korean peninsula is an odd arrangement of both homogenous apartment architecture and socket fucking gem discoveries like alvaro siza’s anyang pavilion. despite the impressive leaps in public and private design greatness here in korea in the last 10 years, life here still operates under the rapidity of industrialization and therefore, little consideration for nuance and detail. few notice the undercurrent of brilliant design that is growing in the wings while samsung designs their iphone killer or hyundai pours another denture of high rises. as a grade school teacher and daily witness to the nature of toy design, pencil utility, and anything on a micro scale, i have come to see the absolute necessity for design to reach into the mediocrity of our spaces, to touch the common consumer. during the fair, i spent more time in the seoul design market, where young korean students and some accomplished small business owners sold their wares, than at any other venue. the crowds would agree that there more eye-time was being spent on a single felt brooch or clever cup holding device than on any chair by poltrona frau. the truth is always in the traffic. i followed the deer paths.

    not to disparage the mighty italians or the other leagues of high-design characters, but once i hit the grassy pitch splayed out between venues and saw people, average citizens of the city, thumbing through a fantastic new notebook, trying out new pens, or just holding a simple rubber coaster, admiring the work that went into it’s manufacture, that is where i saw the fair’s motto, design for all, come into being. granted there were luxurious industrial and house ware pieces from taiwan to oslo that had me gawking, it was the congregation of citizens, coming and going, taking what they could, that represented the best of what the fair had to offer. without a price for admission, and an organizational model that allowed for fluid, discovery-based wandering, the fair [which actually spanned several city locations] was a chance for the laypeople to get a high on the best and a touch of the ordinary. nothing at the fair, for me, was lost in translation, that is, except for my subtle korean flirting at behest of some blissfully bored exhibit attendants. i just had to bother somebody.

    i milled and caroused, shot admiring smiles at the craftspeople lining the halls, collected business cards, and together enjoyed the rare opportunity to lie on cool grass amidst a congested city, sifting through our pictures, sharing the reflections on this chair and that table. the field of design may be daunting, but it can also be extraordinarily meditative. we are constantly and unknowingly evaluating the pieces of physical material that compose our domesticated existence. here are my considered reflections from my time within the corridors of the event. click through the links for further information, video, and links to more discovery.

    *

    freshly pressed and packing new muji tools, i arrived under the auspicious eaves
    of kim swoo geun’s olympic stadium with sugarplum fairy dreams of injection
    molded plastics and norwegian furniture haunting my temporal lobes. the venue,
    modeled after a joseon dynasty porcelain vase stands as an imposing, yet elegant
    stage for a design symposium. guides were offered for the mission minded, but i chose
    to let my intuition do the walking, landing first on the stadium’s open playing field
    holding some of the best grass seoul has to offer with no drug pun intended.

    sdfmouth101210

    operating under the motto design for all, it appeared that there were as many curious citizens strolling
    with family as there were design enthusiasts hunting for inspiration. as one who considers design
    to be considerably social at its core, the stadium offered one a chance to approach and
    retreat from the exhibits, taking intermittent respite on one of the many lounging areas
    throughout the complex. the first piece to strike my fancy was a piece by byung-hoon choi in the korea-china-japan exhibition.

    bhchoi101210

    a composition of wood and stone, the piece reflected the numerous totems i have seen scattered throughout the mountains, stones placed carefully on top of one another as a testament to balance, a welcome departure
    from scandinavian linear aesthetic that i have found myself digesting over the past year. dining ware by masahiro mori of japan, was a standout in this venue, namely a fine collection of rice bowls

    mmoritwo101210

    and tabletop sets meant to fit together in a larger geometric pattern. the joining of the plates was a touch that struck a novel nerve as i have never considered the arrangement of plates on a table as a matter of geometry.

    mmori101210

    furthering my penchant for all things both organic and japanese, the suki by masayuki kurokawa
    represented the best example, along with products from karimokujp, of any traditional chair i saw during the fair.

    suki101210

    the 2010 living collection, featuring some of korea’s furniture potential caught a long look from yours truly, namely kim kyung lae’s couple bench and accompanying table. check out his outstanding lighting for a wow.

    kklae101210

    moving on through the other venues, i spotted alessandro & francesco mendini’s “tronspired”
    ramun chandelier rocking 11,000 rgb led inside the seoul brands design exhibiton,
    along with lg hausys and their cutting-edge acrylic hi-macs materials, a future look at your thermoformed world. continuing into the cycle design festival, my pedal fetish had its attention gripped on the two italian wheels of an abici cycle, noting a leather saddle I couldn’t resist touching. abici also makes wooden handles for their models, which I find to cut right along with my resurgent organic interests in all things handheld.

    abici101210

    the world design industry exhibit contained a fine showing of a personal favorite, swiss poster typography, notably pieces by david carson, jiri oplatek, and armin hofmann.

    carson101210

    norway got the merit badge for hospitality with its fantastic collection of lumbar friendly furniture in their please take a seat exhibit, featuring the best chairs in the kingdom.

    plstkseat101210

    such as classic pieces as the falcon by sigurd resell & fredrik a. kayser’s 711 had me more than once offering a longer-than-necessary pause, while the 2010 nor by steinar hindenes and petter knudsen was a contemporary favorite more for it’s mod classroom charm than it’s clean lines. germany made a nice showing at the dmy berlin showcase, featuring lighting by pluma cubic, makers of fine feathered shades for the swan fetishist in his parlor-come-aviary.

    pluma101210

    abutting the industry exhibit was the world design collection, in which the lighting from foscarini, the wagashi wall lamp designed by massimo gardone and luca nichetto was an eye-level standout, affixed to the wall like floral lampshade eyes.

    wagashi101210

    marc sadler’s twiggy floor lamp, arching over francesco binfaré’s flap adjustable white leather lounge was a fine combination of two long curving lines intersecting on different axes. cube or pebble illuminated floor lighting was also very present in the exhibit, namely arik levy’s meteor pieces for straight out of superman’s fortress of solitude and michele de lucci’s dioscuri tavolo 350 for artemide.

    before departing the corridors of design’s best, i took one last gander at daddy eames and then made for the market for one more shop stop. we breezed past a flurry of industrial design plans for seoul. this year our fine city was named world design capital 2010 and it seems that there are major plans in the works to bring some much needed flair to the non-stop rock and roll of concrete and rebar that dots the skyline from any vantage point. back on the field before sundown, a calm had come over the last of the revelers and a light rain fell. cutting out, back into the parking lot, my company and i mused over our heavy bags of handmades, microdesigns, and flyers. the best score of the day was a comprehensive catalog from the best stop in the seoul design market

    designmarket101210

    bound in card stock with a manila envelope styled string closure, the book contains scores of small design products from design tag, a collection of some of my favorite artisans and it is already bent at the binding. if there’s one good lesson learned from this year’s seoul design fair it’s that good design on a small scale is always within reach, could be the cup holding your charcoal pencils or the binder enclosing your travel journal. either way, take the time to consider the objects that form the outlines of your material life, be a frequent patron to the budding designers who build your favorites, and buy their work while it’s hot. it’s good to be first.

    dqnsig101210

    dqn

    February 24, 2010

    miele-hybrid-vacuum-cleanerhow could this possibly be the first lithium-ion battery-operated vacuum? are we thick or something? apparently so. because before seeing this post on miele’s unimaginatively-named hybrid cleaner, i have going around my house plugging/unplugging, plugging/unplugging in an infernal and seemingly never-ending cycle of slavery without as much as a single thought about whether there might be a force in the universe capable of powering machines without the need of a cord, hmmmm…

    January 29, 2010

    image-not-availablegot some extra cash when you returned this? then go ahead and fearlessly dive into the sensical world of goldenfiddle who has made available a collection of posters and tshirts that absolutely do not ask the cinematic question, what would you do? but instead challenge you to test your friend’s image-based error message knowledge, an equally demanding quest that surely will be the best gift at that bris you’re reluctantly attending this weekend. quick, to your paypal!

    January 22, 2010

    gw_008i never touch the stuff now but there was a time when i was addicted to video games. specifically, game and watch handheld consoles. sure, there was none of that multi-touch, accelerometer or facial recognition the kids are so fond of today but they hand games and could tell the time. multitasking! and they’re coming out again! you can go to hell productivity!

    January 15, 2010

    iphone-sugruanytime i play with my kids’ play-doh, which is never because i never play with my kids, let alone with toxic paste that is bound to ruin my chinchilla rugs, i think to myself, couldn’t this disgusting yet undeniably olfactorily hypnotizing product be of use in other segments of human activity? the answer is yes. that’s all. now figure out what to do with slinkies…

    because crystal chandeliers don’t exactly pay the bills, theaptFRIEND yves béhar is tackling the automation of cosette with the mint cleaner, a new and so far best-looking entry in to the robot vacuum market. except that what what we have here is a robot swiffer that will polish clean the floors around you while you’re obviously busy snorting coke off of that dead tranny’s tits. good work industrial design complex!

    December 9, 2009

    moco_the_drivel_list_2009every year, it is usually my pleasure to slave over my list to santa for the benefit of you people. no, not you jews, the general you. but this year, i felt a bit overwhelmed by the compiling and analysis of the data produced by the large hadron collider to really have time to care about graphic socks and handy demagnetizers. that said, since i thankfully bookmark objects of interest all year long, i had folders full of, well, drivel that i needed to let out somehow so that i may start the year clean. that would require finally finding a herpes medicine that worked as well as a blog crazy enough to host a list that would make josh spear barf. i only know one man with cold enough balls for the job, harry wakefield from mocoloco who proposed not just a single entry as my pea brain originally conceived but a series of post from the beginning of december till xmas! titled the drivel list, it is now an ongoing conversational experiment that begs the question “what you would you do?” you know, like in indecent proposal. not really. at all. it took me a long, long time to get used to this graphic produced by the MoCoMagicFactory up there in canada but i finally came around and i am as proud of the list as my first born. which isn’t that hard. the list is absolute good, the list is life…

    monstermilesdavis-lgafter the doctor, monster is settings its sights on the teacher without as much as a mention of the new earphones being able to render gil evans’ strings into butta’ or the smooth backup stylings of chick corea, wayne shorter and tony williams into a neuron-creating experience. no, just a logo on the side, that’s all. and bad form.

    October 30, 2009

    jabrastone-lg1no offense to our good friends at fuseproject but the jabra makes a lot of sense, design-wise, for an inherently ugly product that no one wants to be seen wearing. this truly looks liKe ear-adornment and not technology. sure, the decoration of the piece could use some work but the form factor is really functional. does it always have to be one or the other, can’t we have both design and decoration?!…