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Dudes Factory – Berlin

8 Mar

Arnaud Loix van Hooff and Heribert Willmerdinger, both from the advertising world, have opened Dudes Factory, at Torstrasse 138 in Berlin’s Mitte. This is as much a storefront for consuming and buying art, as it is a workshop, collaborative space and exhibition venue. Cooperation, experimentation and co-creation are the driving forces resulting in a constantly changing selection of one-of-a-kind products and art pieces.

The two owner “dudes” invite a new artist or designer in each month, and nurture, challenge and direct the artists to create new, experimental works for the store. They also created the Dudes LAB software, the creative platform that lets users change the artwork or combine it with the work of other artists.



Bank of Moscow’s Offices

10 Feb

The interior design of Bank of Moscow’s offices in central Moscow’s Kuznetsky Most area (Kuznetsky Most street 13) retains the building’s great historical bones and matches customized adornments to them.

The office — one of the Bank’s many offices — occupies 7,000 square metres on the third floor and in the previously unused mansard (attic) space. Moscow-based designer, Alexey Kuzmin, retained by architectural office Sretenka for this assignment, used the space’s key feature, the large, hexagon-shaped central hall, as the defining point. He placed the client services functions in this grand, open area to evoke and retain the elegant feel of the entire building.

 It is windowless, so Kuzmin created a stained-glass ceiling, that echoes the forms and style of the building. Everything in the client zone was customized, including the tall wooden doors with glass, stained-glass windows, chandeliers, oak paneling for walls and ceilings and the marble floors.
Kuzmin located the staff offices on the wings or balconies surrounding the client zone. The dividers in the office area are made of glass with wooden arches around them.

The attic had no historically significant features and it was designed as a typical, effective office. Glass dividers allow light into the space from the small narrow roof-top windows. The ceiling is made of fire resistant panels, covered with birch veneer. The white office furniture is by Vitra.
The storied building has housed the Tretyakov Trading House (same Tretyakovs that are behind the Tretjakov Art Gallery) and the expansive shop of the famous Russian photographer, J. Daziaro. Over time, the Kuznetsky Most area has changed from an upper-class shopping district (early 1800s) to financial district (mid 1800s), to Bolshevik and KGB offices, and back to elegant shopping (since 1980s).


A Gentlemen’s Club Office

28 Jan

Pool tables, free beer and “casual everyday” dress code may have become the desired and appropriate work environment in many companies, but for some, a gentlemen’s club atmosphere works better.

London-based architecture and design firm SHH created this elegant office in London for an international investment company. The offices are located in a five-storey Georgian townhouse connected to a two-storey mews by a partially covered walkway. Several marble-inlaid fireplaces, marble mosaic floor tiles and beautiful ceiling cornices were kept from the previous occupants but the rest underwent a thorough modernization.

The resulting milieu is imposing and somewhat intimidating. Its dark, black-and-white photography vibe harkens back to some secret storied past, yet the contemporary treatments, especially the dramatic lighting pieces return the thoughts back to today.

Some of the light fixtures are by Modular and Foscarini and the statement chandeliers were custom-designed by Michael Anastassiades.

Custom-work, limited-edition pieces and classic furnishings such as Eames chairs accent each space, giving stunning jolts among the calm opulence.

Showing up in dated jeans or worn-out sneakers (unless you are Steve Jobs or Richard Branson) in this space would not seem appropriate, and should cue sports be allowed, they would most likely be the English Billiards variety.

Founded in 1992 by David Spence, Graham Harris and Neil Hogan (the S, H and H) of architecture and design firm SHH is now a practice of more than 50 people working globally on architecture, design and branding projects.

Many of SHH’s retail, hospitality, nightclub and office clients are in the luxury category, but their client list includes also names such as Sheraton, Adidas, Pizza Hut, Aphostrophe and McDonald’s.


Grace E Bikes

24 Jan

E-bike sales are increasing every year: they bridge the gap between bicycles and motorcycles as personal urban transport. Most e-bikes lack a design sensibility or structural integrity, but Grace e-bikes look set to change that.

The Grace Pro Race is powered by a pedal-assisted engine, which can attain speeds of up to 45km/h and pump out 500 to 1300 watts. A handlebar-mounted computer houses two headlights in a CNC-machined block of aluminium, and provides information including the level of charge in the lithium ion cells. The motor is encased within the rear ‘hub’ and is virtually maintenance free—meaning no oil changes. And with an axle-mounted motor, there’s no loss of power through a transmission, either. Requiring a one-hour charge, the motor is capable of around 30-50 silent, emission-free kilometres. For those of us who require precise colour co-ordination, the frame is available in 64 colours, with variations available for the computer and waterproof battery case.

The Pro Race is one of three models in the Grace family but will only be produced to order: the production series consists of the more approachable ‘City’ model, and the short-inseam-friendly ‘Universal’ model. This Teutonic behemoth may be viewed as intimidating by some; but it’s interesting to note the Grace moniker is a reference to Grace Kelly.


Design = Music

14 Jan

iDsgn have a very interesting piece about how important design is to music. Bringing up Justice, Kanye West & Gorillaz as three examples, they go through how design has had a vital input on music. Of course, this is nothing new, especially as many musicians claim to see music in forms of colours and whatnot, but it’s always an interesting topic to read about. Read the piece over at iDsgn.

Via Selectism

Ceramic Speakers by Joeh Roth

30 Dec

I remember when Ido was showing off these ceramic speakers, in his very own subtle way, at 290 square meters. Once again he found a product way before it hit the innanets.

While I just set up my wireless Sonos system back home, I was amazed by the minimalistic design of Joey Roth.
My reaction made Ido smile. “If you want, we can sell this online via The Foundation?” he replied. I was like; “Nah, although I’d love to, Joey is already shipping worldwide himself and I can’t blame him!” #brandnew

Via Nalden

1930 Art Deco Henderson

29 Dec

The motorcycling world loves a ‘barn find’—an old, obscure machine wheeled out of the woodwork for the first time. And this is one of the biggest revelations of recent months. It’s a 1930 Henderson that was customized before WW2 by a fellow called O. Ray Courtney and fitted with ‘streamliner’ bodywork.

The art deco influence is obvious; legendary automotive designer Harley Earl could have drawn those curves. It’s all the more unusual because the mechanicals are hidden: even at the height of the Art Deco movement, most motorcycles were a triumph of form over function, with exposed cooling fins, brake drums and suspension springs.

The bike is owned by collector Frank Westfall of Syracuse. It caused a stir in June 2010 when it appeared at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet, a motorcycle show held a couple of hours drive north of NYC. Grail Mortillaro (of the chopper blogKnucklebusterinc) had a camera to hand, so we have him to thank for these images.

Henderson was a Chicago brand and one of the American ‘Big Three’ (with Harley-Davidson and Indian) until the onset of the Great Depression. It went bust in 1931. But you can see the influence of the ‘streamliner’ style on another contemporary North American brand—Victory. If there’s a spiritual successor to this Henderson custom, it’s the Victory Vision Tour, a gargantuan cruiser with completely enclosed bodywork and not a leather tassle or saddlebag in sight.