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Thursday 30 August 2012

The Design Guide to Warsaw

An impromptu weekend in Warsaw can only mean one thing (apart from getting familiar with fine Polish Vodkas). Heavyweight architect Daniel Libeskind aside, Poland isn't immediately recognised as a design destination -- while Krakow is well known for it's bohemian cafe culture, Warsaw is the angsty capital fashioned in post-soviet concrete. If there is design to be found in Poland it's going to be here.

Pies Cyz Suka is the main hub for design in the city. It exhibits design items, ceramics, fashion and art from local Polish designers as well as it's own range of quirky resin dogs, sharks and religious lamps. Centred around a courtyard with molecular mixology bar, the gastro-store/cafe Red Onion is steps away and also a strong design player in the capital.

Lody na patyku, a unique minimal ice-cream bar is worth a visit if you're fond of skinny jeans and hipster haircuts. Tratoria Rucola and the famous Charlotte cafe is where successful young things go to see and be seen. Of course if you're Daniel Libeskind, Flaming & Co is the Ralph Lauren styled venue of choice; combining champagne bar, terraced restaurant and furniture store all on the same park square.

If Christian Louboutin Did Cookware

...It'd probably look like this. With a silver turned exterior, sleek black surface and red hot handle, this is about as close as cookware will get to the French shoemaker famed for his red lacquered soles. The red handled pans keep things decidedly 'va va voom' coming from France's family run DeBuyer company.

Available from the Conran Shop priced from £25, I consulted the previously mentioned 'rule book' to see what UnhappyHipsters.com had to say about design in the kitchen: "Follow the golden rule of three: When the chef is standing at the centre island, visitors must be able to see at least three rare and expensive cooking items" Check. "Cookware is best unsullied by organic matter such as food. Keep in mind that cooking doesn't actually need to happen - it's actually advisable that is doesn't - but the design must imply that it could" Double Check.

Free Spirits - Signage by Stout Industries

Manufactured in St. Louis since 1886 by Stout Industries, I picked up this vintage gas station sign on the other end of the world at the Acme store in Meguro, Tokyo. At first glance, the admission that no tax is included seems a little peculiar. Once part of a $ and ¢ price sign, this end leaf has a great typographic quality about it. Now it makes perfect sense, on the face of the 'furniture as metaphor' home bar where drinks cost 0 [Tax Included]
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