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Sunday, 22 June 2014

God's Kitchen by Massimo Castagna


I like to think that one day, after I have been immortalised by having a wing on the Design Museum with my name on it [and possibly a few statues of me looking wise and authoritative], I'll be pretty content louching around the ultimate hotel suite that lies behind those pearly gates.

Like the Delano hotel in Miami, it'll be all white sheer curtains, Barcelona chairs and minimalist chandeliers by Luceplan. I'd drift from bathing in the ethereal light, reclining on Eames La Chaises, to perching, bare footed on Yanagi butterfly stools carelessly tucking in to guilt-free pasta liberally accompanied with veal, truffles and grana padano. And Krug.

Well, God's kitchen had better be prepared, because the only pot suitable for preparing pasta worthy of the heavens is the pictured glass variety designed by Massimo Castagna for Knindustrie. Deus, most certainly, ex disegno. But to be sure, perhaps it's better to give it test down on earth first...

Got Miso? - Tasty Design Essentials


There's an age old stereotype of us Brits going on holiday with suitcases packed full of ketchup, beans, and hobnobs. While I can't say that I've ever tested the ability of a concierge to summon a can of Heinz's finest at a moment's notice, there may be something to be said for the concept of 'Bring Your Own'.

Recently I've discovered the exceptional single serve miso packs from Miso Tasty. Unlike other incarnations of the super-soup that are typically found on the hard-carved organic shelves of moonlit feng-shui'ed health food stores; in packaging that has the appeal of a damp leaf(?) of seaweed, Miso Tasty looks achingly smart with monogrammed origami-like packaging that's made in Italy. Design win.

Something savoury to go with your cashews in the Concorde Room? Post gym pick me up? Secret weapon for a marathon session of back to back meetings? Over the past few months, I've had Miso Tasty by my side from Dusseldorf to Doha. The spicy aka variety is fermented for 12 months and along with the classic shiro miso, features a sachet of seasoning, wakame and spring onions that stay separate from the miso paste. Brilliant flavor, brilliant design and second only to my passport when packing a suitcase.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Design Diet - Part III


Good design helps you stay in shape. We've proved what a delight it is to work off calories with the Waterrower, and also that ceramic pans with bamboo handles are so beautiful that you'll never want to actually use them. But what about the source of those pesky calories?

Opting for larder doors that are glazed, inevitably invites you [and you guests... and your domestics] to take a good look at what you're consuming. Glazed larders not only demand the procurement of the very finest packaged foods, but invariably such foods will weigh heavily on the wallet; discouraging you from actually breaking in to their attractively sealed contents [that, and anyone desperate enough to make an entire meal out of truffle oil, olives and wheatberries probably deserves a few kcal]

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

MamSam Miso Mugs


Ever since visiting the Warsaw museum dedicated to Polish Cold War Neon, I've become rather hooked on graphic typography and enigmatic shiny symbols. Just as well, as there seems to be no shortage of design objects in the city that put the neon vernacular to good use.

These ceramic cups [or miso mugs as I like to call them] from MamSam mix an interesting range of type and logotype with luxurious gold and black lacquer detailing. Far from the austere or nonchalantly hip, they look menacingly luxurious on the carrara worktops of the Ultraloft.
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