Dwell on Design 2011 – What I Saw

On Friday, I spent several fun, if a bit exhausting, hours traipsing through Dwell on Design 2011 in Los Angeles. As always, there was plenty to see, although the big sponsors continue to grab more and more real estate, further pushing the independent innovators to the periphery. But be that as it may, it is still the biggest modern design show on the West Coast, and as such deserves at least a moment of our attention.

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

The Molo Design booth was one of the first things I saw walking into the show, and it was also one of the highlights. The honeycomb paper construction they are known for was used for walls, lighting and seating, to great effect.

This was the view inside their little paper tower. Part of me just wanted to hide out the whole show in that nice, calm space.

The pounding sound of the human heart beat drew me to Japanese artist SASAKI’s rad set up to benefit Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding program in Japan. Of course, I had to participate! I wish I’d thought to have someone take a picture as I sat there with a heartbeat monitor attached to my finger, watching SASAKI airbrush my heart beat onto the canvas. The money I donated as a participant will help rebuilding efforts in Tohoku, Japan.

It was fun getting to see some designs out of Spain that I have been spying in design mags and on blogs.

These pieces were part of an exhibit called BRAVOS. You can tell the designers really got into the picture taking process.

There are few things from the bigger manufacturers I was interested to see, like the increasing selection of colors Kohler is offering for their plumbing fixtures.  Definitely a trend.


Kohler also brought along a fancy trailer with a lineup of their Numi toilets. I seriously want to know how many people can really afford a $6400 toilet. And don’t get me started on why anyone would give a toilet the same name as a brand of organic tea. It boggles the mind.

I did really like the new colors in composite countertops that Cambria came up with. Sorry that the picture isn’t any better, but trust me when I say this American-made quartz composite will definitely give granite countertops a run for their money.

Cork, Cork, Cork…

I was really happy to see all of the cork in use, especially for Portugal’s big display.

I mean, an entire trailer full of ways to use cork in interiors? Be still my heart!

There were the usual bits of quirkiness of course, including Yolo Colorhouse’s wonderful bicycle powered spin art machine.

And what would the urban hipster’s favorite design show be without chicken coops? With real chickens no less.

I was SO tempted to walk off with this sign. Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that.

There was the ubiquitous idea house, which I have to admit I only peered inside. Forgive me. I see so many of these. I’ll be better next time.

Favorite furniture and lighting designer, Brandon Morrison of Whyrhymer, was there. I’m excited to say will be opening his own store soon. More about that later.

Couldn’t help but love David Trubridge’s lighting display. So simple, and so effective.

There is so much more to share.  However, I’m running out of steam, and I bet you are too. But I want to leave you with one of the last things I did.

As I was getting ready to leave, I walked by Architecture for Humanity’s booth. Molo Design had donated some of their honeycombed wall material, so that wishes written on folded paper could be tucked into the wall.

Every person who wrote down a wish and placed it on the wall received a pretty origami crane made by a schoolchild in Japan.  I picked out a bright green one, and then dragged my worn out self back home to a big hug from my own school age child, who happily took off with “my” crane.  Children are beautiful, whatever side of the world they are on…

There were a lot of products and designers that I will tell you more about in individual posts later this week, so stay tuned.

One Response to “Dwell on Design 2011 – What I Saw”

  1. Nicole Longstreath Says:

    Bags made of cork – I love it!

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