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Friday, 30 September 2011

The House of Montecristo


What would happen if I were to suddenly and inexplicably turn in to a cigar? It's a question that daunts many of us. Where would I live? How would I occupy the hours before my slow and smoky demise? Ever the public service, Design Trawler provides some reassurance that life as a cigar isn't all bad.

First and foremost you'd need to find a nice humidor to live in. The Viscount David Linley could help you out with burr walnut veneer boxes ranging from £1,450 through to £25,000 for the colonial Partagas edition for you and 99 of your friends. Pad acquired, British manufacturer Billiard Room Ltd will happily supply you with the minimalist 'curve' pool table (pictured at Decorex 2011). Throw in some 1920's props (literally), the knowledge that some cigars age for 80+ years, and it's Lagavulins all round.

Need for [Noble] Steed

Trawling around town between openings and appointments this week got me thinking about transport. After our homes, for most men at least, cars tend to be de facto objects of desire. While man’s best friend may have evolved from ‘four legs and a tail’ to ‘four wheels and a gear box’ the similarities between Fido and Fiat are still very present.

Supporting Design Week, Aston Martin rolled out its sport saloon, the Rapide, and new city concept, the Cygnet. Fantastic for thrashing around town, the Cygnet is definitely the excitable terrier to the Rapide’s racing greyhound. Trumping them both however was Addison Lee’s chauffeured motorcycle service. In city congestion, two legs wheels are definitely better than four; making the Honda Pan-European the  fast and nimble Kangaroo of the group.

So there you have it; a terrier, a greyhound and a kangaroo; modern-day man’s new best friends.

Design Ninja @ London Design Week

With 280 events held in the space of a week, the London Design Festival turns the Capital in to a veritable candy store for fanciful design enthusiasts. In much the same way that candy stores seem to attract a fat kids with little more than pocket money, it wouldn’t be Design Week without Hoxton sorts wielding skinny jeans and NUS cards.

This year, a new breed of guest infiltrated the openings, launches and previews. Design Ninja arrives without a bright pattern shirt and without green jeans. Unsuspecting, in a sombre suit, Design Ninja bypasses the air-kisses, the canapés and complimentary drinks [well, in most cases]. Identifying and shooting the best of the show with a view to serious acquisition - before silently slipping out, unnoticed, fully informed and only moments after arriving.

Highlights of 2011 included the brass Jackson floor light (pictured) by Portuguese manufacturer Delightful, and SCP’s masculine Timberly Hall Rack by design studio Rich Brilliant Willing.

Coffee on a Podium - Democratising Design

The other week I hopped along to a TED style talk organised by Creative Morning. Billed as a 'monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types', the initiative currently runs free sessions in 15 international locations. On the podium was super-designer Chris Bangle, former Chief of Design for BMW and widely acknowledged as one of the most important auto designers around today.

Bangle made an impression with the observation that designers and the design world seem to exist on a podium; dictating design to the masses on the basis of their wise and worldly judgement. While our tribal instincts make being part of a respected group desirable, it's our wider contribution to society that drives our evolution from caves to man caves. Watch the full video here. Sketchnotes by Eva-Lotta Lamm.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Metroland Modernist - 97 Park Avenue Ruislip

Kicking off the London Design Festival this year, Open House London flung open the doors of over 700 of the capital's best buildings to the public. Many private homes, flagship offices and civic spaces welcomed journalists, nosey neighbours and Saab driving architects with goatees and/or elbow patches for guided tours.

Representing DesignTraweler's stomping ground and brave new world of Metroland was 97 Park Avenue in Ruislip. A modernist beauty built in 1936 complete with roof terraces and lashings of Bauhaus goodness. Just add hot tub and attractive young things for instant Man-Villa [Saab and/or elbow patches optional]
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