Thursday, October 15, 2009

Droog and the Cooper Hewitt

So to begin with, I decied to go to Droog's website. I have to say they have a lot of unique (and pricey!) designs. A lot of them to me were very decorative and unnecessary which was kind of upsetting after hearing so much about them. But, once I got over that, I discovered their "Straps". Okay, thats clearly awesome! They are these simple, giant rubber bands that you can use to hold things against a wall. It is so simple and clean and takes away those giant, clunky, hard or particle board shelving units you get from IKEA (and you could definantly make them yourself out of old bungie cords). There was also the tree bench ( by Jurgen Bey. That is something I would personally want in my house. I have always loved going camping and sitting on logs around a campfire. It seems like a wonderful (and sustainable if the trees have already fallen) idea.

From there, I went to the Cooper Hewitt site which sent me to the Design for a Living World main page ( The stuff there is just awesome. They have this Bamboo furniture that seems pretty sustainable. Basically, it uses steel rods (for the heavy load bearing furniture) and cut circles of bamboo as the main coverage instead of cloth. They even have a t.v. stand made out of a thick bamboo pole. I like the larger upper supports, but the chair I think could have been designed completely out of bamboo so that the wood did not look like just an addition to the rest of the design. Cloth is sustainable too they could have made a cotton and bamboo chair to the same effect as the other steel and bamboo and if the bamboo is thick enough like that one the cut to make the rings of the chair it would be very sturdy.

I also really like the cocoa maker. It is a metal shaft that you take this huge chunk on natural cocoa out this burlap case and scrap some of the cocoa into a cup with hot water. It then turns into a stirrer for the cocoa. It seems like its pretty well design and the graphic on the pouch and handle of the stirrer are very clean, neat graphics. I like how this site goes into the details and tells you all about how it was made and the cultural motives surrounding every piece. Everything was made to be sustainable and to carry a social message about the area it was designed for.

The Pioneers of Change/Dutch Design was very interesting too. There was so much there it is hard to list so I will quote NY400 here:

"Repairing instead of recycling, knitting a carpet with six foot long needles using wool from three kinds of Dutch sheep, elderly people slowly but attentively serving meals with smaller portions of foods from far away places and larger portions of those from nearby gardens, Dutch fashion designers collaborating with New York masters specialized in beads and lace together with students from Parsons The New School for Design, designers digging in local grounds to reveal differences in color and texture, movies about urban farming focused on New York, and left-over building materials collected over a month in New York available for creative re-use."

Everything was about living life and taking it slow, making life sustainable for the future. It seemed like a great event and I am sad to have missed that opportunity. The Slow Lab seemed the most interesting ( of the Pioneers of Change. I loved how it was about patience. That is something I don't see much in people anymore. I like the idea of being able to sit down and eat and being able to take your time and talk. It just seems like a nice change of the busy pace of day to day activities.

Nazi Gnomes

I don't know whether to find this funny or to take offense to it. In the New Zealand Herold ( ran a story about 1250 Nazi satire gnomes running in a display in German. One thing I didn't know was you are not allowed to display Nazi symbols in German. I am sure this is to keep the peace, but nevertheless it's an interesting fact.

The goverment of German is allowing the Army of Nazi Gnomes to be displayed because it is clearly a satire. I think its funny that you can't display nazi images but you can make fun of them. Isn't someone who is going to display nazi images gonna see the wrong message in these gnomes? I don't think there is a totally clear message in them. Plus, 20 are painted gold of the 1250 and the rest are black. I wonder if the 20 have any significance. The article wasnt very specific.

I guess this is just very odd to me. I have never been one for installations. They are neat and all but, I just lack a point in them I guess.