Lactona M-Series: Dutch-American + First Toothbrush on the Moon

May 31, 2011 by

Lactona M31 + M39

Ever since electric toothbrushes became the norm beside upscale sinks in the US, I thought there had to be a manual version that worked as well. I’ve been known to spend entire days touring pharmacies, studying products, ingredients, and packaging. During many of my lengthy visits to CVS and Duane Reade, I began to notice that the rows of toothbrushes in these aisles not only looked more like sneakers than toothbrushes, but very few, if any, were accepted by the ADA. So began my quest for manual toothbrushes accepted by the ADA.

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Old Tricks in the Design Capital: The Sidewalk-Catwalk

July 16, 2010 by

Donna Karan's Mannequin sans hat and backpack

There’s a new tribe marching down Broadway in the Fashion District, and no, it’s not Lady Gaga and her dance troupe. It’s a line of Ralph Pucci-designed mannequins strutting their weatherproof wares (wears) between Times and Herald Squares. What is the reason for this stoic entourage? Well, like the fiberglass pigs, horses, and cows that cropped up around the US in previous decades, these hard-bodied silhouettes have been installed to build awareness and support for the fashion industry in New York City.

So, are they doing this job well?

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3x3x3 Purity in Pre-fab

November 28, 2009 by

Paco Cube in the Forest

Paco cube marries the benefits of modular housing with the less-is-more lifestyle. Schmata Architecture Office’s perfect white box is adaptable to any environment and, with its included kitchen, toilet, shower, and built-in desk, it is a kit ready for most any activity. The white epoxy interior is ideal for a mini art exhibition in the forest and the propped-open hinged roof provides an excellent setting for an afternoon snooze in the hammock.

Check out what Cool Hunting had to say about the Paco Vacation Home.

H+…A House with Benefits

September 23, 2009 by
Bioscleave House

Bioscleave House

Want to live longer, maybe even forever? Artists, poets, and architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins along with their Transhumanist colleagues believe a rough and challenging terrain inside the home is key to making this possible. According to their philosophy, living in a colorful and mountainous home like the Bioscleave House (aka Lifespan Expanding Villa) in East Hampton, NY, disturbs inhabitants’ equilibriums enough to power their immune systems and fight the effects of aging (aka death).

Hybrid Life

August 3, 2009 by

A couple weeks ago my boyfriend’s Land Rover limped its way back to Cincinnati, casting serious solemnity over his car-driving soul. It was time to buy a new car, but what could possibly replace the English-made manliness of a hunter green 2001 Land Rover Discovery II? A BMW or Lexus SUV? A Saab station wagon?

What’s this? Cash for Clunkers? Okay – maybe it’s time to consider an American automobile. So, we’re off to the Ford dealership to check out the models! With an average of 14 miles to the gallon, the Land Rover definitely qualifies for the highest rebate.

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George Washington: Designer

June 23, 2009 by
Sixteen-Sided Barn @ Mount Vernon

Sixteen-Sided Barn @ Mount Vernon, replica completed in 1996

We all know General George Washington as the first President of the United States and the first Commander-in-Chief. Some might even know of his interests in agriculture. But who knew he was a designer?

Last Sunday afternoon I visited the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens along the Potomac, outside of Washington, DC and it was more impressive from a design standpoint than I expected. And for me the mansion wasn’t the high point; rather it was the Sixteen-Sided barn.
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Recession Aesthetics

June 20, 2009 by

DishSoapCompositeThanks to the tanking world economy, this year I suddenly found myself confronted by a perfect storm right in my very own kitchen: I needed to obtain the vast quantities of calories required by a ravenous teenager and his younger brother without having to declare bankruptcy. The blissful era of strolling around the local food co-op with a petite handheld basket containing a single grass-fed steak at $26 and a recycled-paperboard pint of $5.99 organic raspberries was over. And so it came to pass that in January I bravely pushed a doublewide chrome shopping cart into the land of excess that is Costco. I quickly realized that shopping there isn’t just about food, the experience is an education in the subtleties of how the graphic design of brands sells products to their intended audiences.

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Separated at Birth?

May 18, 2009 by

Jerry Lewis (left) made an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday to announce his role in the coming film “Max Rose.” In other news, a retrospective of painter Francis Bacon’s work will be opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 20. Does his canvas Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, (detail, right) remind you of anyone? I thought so. But what does it mean?

Lewis photo copyright Joel Ryan/Associated Press via New York Times.


May 11, 2009 by

I attended BKLYNDesigns this past weekend, a show of design homegrown in our very own borough of Kings, with every expectation of seeing amazing new ideas and products. What did I find? Lots of eager but forgettable projects proudly advertising their sustainability, the buzzword of unimaginative designers who should just assume that sustainability is now a given and find something else to talk about, and a ton of wallpaper. The wallpapers, especially the selections from Grow House Grow (shown, Captain Smith) were very cool for the most part, but I dunno how long I’d be interested in living with a sea of giant squid and jellyfish. They work better as art. Maybe that’s the point?

OBJECTS IN COLOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Bleu, Bialy, + Rouge

May 6, 2009 by


Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy is not only his cinematographic tour de force, but is also a collection of well-choreographed objects. The mélange of objects that star in the film build bridges of memory through color and shape and place. Because of the blur of blue, white, and red that appear throughout, this essay employs a series of circular charts derived from the cataloguing of all of the objects that appear in the films.

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