The Campana Brothers

Humberto Campana (1953), began his “adult life” as a lawyer.  But when his brother, Fernando Campana (1961), completed his architectural degree in the mid-80s, the Campana brothers seemed to say “fuck it, let’s make some badass furniture.”

 

 

“Our designs were born in the street, from the urban kitsch of the popular quarters and contact with nature,” they say. “Whenever we can, we go back to our farm. Nature revitalises our ideas.”   In 1998 they had a show at MoMa (the first Brazilian artists to ever do so, might I add), and the rest is history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stylin’ Kids’ Chairs

There are a few great options out there for children’s furniture, within a sea of overly cutesy yuckiness.   MoMA’s new exhibition, “Century of the Child”, displays some of the best, but if you are looking for a more intimate view of tasty mini furniture, check out Mondo Cane’s collaboration with Partners and Spade, “Kids Chairs!” The show features over 50 examples of the form from the years 1890-1990 and will be on view at Partners and Spade May 17th-June 10th. The big opening is tonight, May 17th, from 6-9 p.m. so stop on by!

Greg Fleishman, 1980s

Horse Rocker, 1950s

Shell Chair a la Eames, 1950s

Alvar Aalto, 1930s

Cut out chair, 1940s

Albrecht Lange and Hans Mitzlaff, 1960′s

Gloria Caranica for Creative Playthings, 1950′s

Knoll White Bertoia Children’s Chair, 1950′s

Gaetano Pesce, 1990’s

Darcel Disappoints at Colette

If you aren’t familiar with him already, Darcel Disappoints is the creation of New York-based artist Craig Redman.  The one-eyed character is constantly evolving from hipster to celebrity to regular dude, and he is always excellent. 

The awesomely disappointing Darcel is going to be having a show at Colette in France.  It opens on May 5th and will feature paintings, prints, scultpure and animation, so it should be a really fun show. Check out the the little video he put together which gives you a little sneak peek.

The Mood Ring

Mood rings.  They were so cool in 1975 before they turned into something so uncool just a short time later. Theoretically it’s a great idea – a piece of jewelry that will reflect your state of mind; but then again, why in the world would you need a piece of jewelry to let you know when you are feeling stressed or calm, imaginative or romantic?  So maybe the ring was supposed to communicate your mood to those around you … when your friends saw your ring was green (normal) they knew it was safe to hang, but when your stone was white (frustrated) everyone could clear out.  But that doesn’t sound so excellent either.  Maybe that’s why the mood ring fad was so short-lived.

In 1975, jewelry designer Marvin Wernick accompanied a physician friend to an emergency and marveled when his friend applied thermotropic (meaning, changed by temperature) tape to a child’s forehead to take her temperature. And so the idea for the mood ring was born.  Wernick took a hollow glass shell, filled it with thermotropic liquid crystals, and attached the glass shell to a ring so that when worn on the finger, the thermotropic material would change temperatures and color.  Voila!

But, Wernick never patented his idea, and Joshua Reynolds (who reportedly invented the Thighmaster, adn was the heir to the Richard Joshua Reynolds tobacco fortune) quickly swooped in, stole the wave, and created the mood ring fad as we remember it today.  Reynolds envisioned the rings as “portable biofeedback aids”, and managed to sell $1 million worth of them in a three month period in 1975. Even so, his company went bankrupt, victim of a flooded market of imitations, all of which are still available today.

The lesson we should all learn from this one – patent, patent, patent!

Kiosk: The Coolest Store You’ve Probably Never Been To

Kiosk is an utterly unassuming shop tucked away on the second floor of a building right in the middle of soho.  Perhaps you’ve seen its neon lights glowing from the sidewalk and wondered, like i did for so long, what in the world is up there? Well, here is your answer … total unique coolness.

The store provides its owners, alisa grifo and her husband marco ter har romeny, the perfect excuse to travel around the world.  They search out the coolest local goods, and then bring them back to new york where they write up detailed witty commentary about each one — describing where it came from, what it is about, and some pithy insights into its use or not.   The charm is not just in the how the things reflect the place where they came from, but also how kiosk stamps its personality on these favorites.  For the Finnish children’s book “Who Will Comfort Toffle?”  part of the description reads, “Tove Jansson’s Moomin characters are popular all over the world but still have not made much headway in the United States. We have the most beautiful edition we could find. Great as a gift for people who are on the verge of divorce.”

From Swedish brass paperclips to to Portuguese donkey playing cards, with about a million random things in between, there is something here to pique anyone’s interest! This is a great place to buy gifts as well as to buy really cool, useful household objects.  And while the shop is lovely, for those who aren’t in NYC, their online shop is also pretty rad!

www.kioskkiosk.com

Gaetano Pesce: The Beauty of Imperfection

Gaetano Pesce is an Italian artist above all, whose form of expression is furniture.  His creations are uniquely beautiful, and often unexpectedly charming in large part because he uses materials in a way that is different than any one of his contemporaries.  Pesce’s focus is on the individuality of the object – the beauty that can be found in the unexpected, the romanticism of hidden forms, and the joy that a piece of furniture, or jewelry, or clothes can bring not only to a home, but to one’s life.  His goal is not perfection, but rather to celebrate the beauty of chance and the uniqueness of imperfections!

Sticky Tiki

White walls can get really boring, but it’s really scary committing to a color; paintings and photographs look great, but keep them on the walls forever and they can start to look old. Enter Sticky Tiki, a creative solution in the form of reusable wall decals, originally hand-painted and printed by a crafty couple in Napier, New Zealand. Made from rip- and wrinkle-proof fabric, the graphics are backed with a low-tack adhesive for easy transfer— either to reconfigure the shape, apply them outdoors or to take them with you if you move.  Genius!

Sticky Tiki wall graphics last three to five years, and have been tested for long-lasting strength after repositioning, which work up to around 140 moves.  Best of all, they leave no marks on the walls when moved, so if you, or a little one in your home, outgrows the design, there is no need to repaint the room.  You’ll just have to re-order and re-stick!

The decals come in a variety of styles and range in price, typically spanning $25-150. Pick them up online from the official website or Etsy shop, where you can also contact the makers about customization.  I’m imagining the infinite possibilities … so rad.

The Barbie Underworld

I think we all know that there are people out there that love Barbie.  I’m not talking about those that played with her when they were little and retain some fond memories, or those that think she is an endearing sort of pop icon.  I’m referring specifically to those people that collect, stalk, design for, and live for Barbie.  They are part of the Barbie underworld, and these are their dolls …

The Diva - Byron Lars Fenella Layla Barbie Doll

The Artist - Barbie Doll Inspired by Gustav Klimt

The Crooner - Sinatra Barbie Doll

The Bombshell - Farrah Fawcett Barbie

The Sci-Fi Fashion Victim - Goddess of the Galaxy Barbie Doll

The Exotic - Japan Barbie Doll

The Spy - Octopussy Barbie Doll

The Rebel - Debbie Harry Barbie

The Trekkie - Barbie Doll as Lt. Uhura

The Warrior - Barbie as Athena

Who knew?!  To check out hundreds more of these incredible creations go to Barbie Collector.  I hope you’ll be as amazed as I was!

Galeria Melissa

Sugar and spice and everything nice literally emanate from the futuristic interior of plastic-injected-shoes emporium and concept flagship of Galeria Melissa in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  While they do sell some excellent pop-colored footwear in varying heights that just happens to be scented like candy (even after feet break into perspiration), all of which are created in cooperation with everyone from Vivienne Westwood to Zaha Hadid, my fascination is with what happens on the outside of the shop.  That’s because every three months the store’s façade is reinvented.

The most recent facade was created over the course of five months with the help of 25 animators, 350,000 Post-It notes, and more than 30,000 messages of love from local visitors.  It is called the “Melissa Power of Love” project, and it is pretty spectacular!

Woouf!

Woouf is a Spanish company that has taken a new approach to comfy.  While pillows are soft and sweet, they are often beyond bland; and though bean bag chairs are a super comfy staple, they often look like formless, ugly blobs on your floor.  Enter Woouf, whose goal is to make your life both more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, and a bit more goofy at the same time.