HBL Retail: Homeplus virtual subway stores

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tesco's Homeplus virtual subway stores mixes QR technology and retail with public spaces. Time-poor commuters in South Korea can ‘shop’ the billboard-style advertisements that simulate traditional store shelves. Every item in the virtual store has a QR code beneath it and items can be added to the shopping basket, by scanning the code with a phone. When finished, the shopper sends the list to Tesco’s on-line delivery service, for home delivery.

WGSN-HBL subscribers can read more about retail apps below.
Digital DIY & decor: interiors retail analysis

HBL Book of the Week:
Design*Sponge at Home

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Design Sponge at Home (Official Book Trailer) from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

This week's choice is much-awaited, and has just become available to pre-order. Written by Design*Sponge editor Grace Bonney with a foreword by Jonathan Adler, Design*Sponge at Home will be published in September 2011, bringing together a vast array of home tours, DIY projects, before-and-after stories, and resource guides.

HBL loves: the blog, which is a team favourite - and so we're sure to enjoy the book just as much. More information on Amazon here.

Peter Zumthor's 2011 Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 © Peter Zumthor; photograph: Walter Herfst

Renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor unveiled his new Serpentine Pavilion this week, in an annual tradition that sees the London gallery select a different architect to design the structure each summer.

Curious Ways of the Olden Days by Saadiqah Rahman

Root Brush & Tooth Powder by Saadiqah Rahman
One of the stand-out designers at Camberwell College of Arts' 2011 degree show was Saadiqah Rahman, a graduate of the 3D Design programme whose collection, Curious Ways of the Olden Days, pays homage to traditional Bengali social customs through a range of intricate and unusual jewellery.

HBL Retail: Barbecues

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Astor Wohnideen GmbH

As the weather warms up in the northern hemisphere, consumers look forward to al fresco dining and traditional outdoor barbecues: the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) reports that 70% of American adults prefer cooking outdoors, as it is "more fun and relaxing than dining out".

This has led to retailers offering different products to fit an array of spaces for outdoors as well as indoors, and sees a range of barbecue types providing a variety of grilling and cooking options. Here, WGSN-homebuildlife profiles a key trand within the product offer.

HBL Blog of the Week: Supertacular

Edited by Pascal Panagiotidis, Supertacular is a stylish blog which reports on the worlds of architecture, art, fashion, graphics, interiors and photography. Stories are carefully selected; it's worth reading today for this project alone - a Homebuildlife favourite.

HBL loves: the top banner, used to highlight particularly beautiful or interesting projects, and effectively elevating them to the status of magazine features.

HBL Retail: Lombok & Earthborn paints

Lombok's Tottenham Court Road store

Lombok’s stores and website now offer Earthborn paint’s full range of eco-friendly Claypaints and Eggshell wood finishes. Lombok customers can view all 36 colours and take home paint colour charts or a mini Earthborn sample pot.

HBL Analysis: Playful lighting

Monday, 27 June 2011

With awareness of sustainability now common and LEDs no longer a novelty, consumers want something else from their lighting products. Playful themes are highly appealing to our emotions; with this in mind, designers are finding interesting and sometimes quirky ways to interpret this concept.


Friday, 24 June 2011

Slovenian accessory brand Calypso Crystal have launched a luxury iPhone dock crafted entirely from crystal. Called CrystalDock, the product is available in four designs and is compatible with all models of iPhone and most types of iPod.

HBL Retail: Habitat stores outside London set to shut as Home Retail closes in on deal

All UK Habitat stores except three in central London are set to enter administration as part of a deal to sell the indebted designer furnishings and homewares chain, putting 900 jobs at risk.

UK home furnishing retailer Habitat has been bought by Home Retail Group, the owner of Homebase and Argos, for £24.5m. The sale includes three London stores, its brand designs, UK website, and intellectual property which means the future of 30 other Habitat UK stores remains uncertain as the remainder of the firm enters administration. The Home Retail Group will now stock Habitat goods in concessions in Homebase stores.

Subscribers can read the full news story here.

HBL Retail: Wallace Sewell A/W 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

London-based textile studio Wallace Sewell have sent us photos of their new A/W 2011 collection. The range comprises colourful scarves and tactile woven cushions, and continues the studio's interest in vibrant colour and tapered geometric pattern.

HBL Book of the Week: The Art of Not Making by Michael Petry

Unique Mono-Block Resin Chairs xxx by Sam Durant

The Art of Not Making: The new artist/artisan relationship by Michael Petry (Thames & Hudson, 2011) is a weighty new coffee-table book which explores the relationship between successful artists and the artisans and craftspeople who realise their work for them. Featuring interviews with over a hundred contemporary artists, none of whom fabricate their own pieces, the book considers issues of authorship and creative originality.

Alma table by Roberta Rampazzo

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Alma table by Roberta Rampazzo

Brazilian designer Roberta Rampazzo has launched a new table, made from wood scraps with an acrylic frame. The idea is to show how noble wood can be even in its most unused form.

Maison & Objet preview: Tamawa

USB key by Alain Berteau for Tamawa

Tamawa have sent us images of the collection they will be launching at Maison et Objet this September. The Belgian design brand is dedicated to finding creative new uses for Bakelite beads, and this autumn will see the plastic spheres used as USB sticks, a watch, a light and a salt and pepper grinder.

Solo Houses

Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects for Solo Houses

Solo Houses is a new architectural project which aims to give up-and-coming architects a chance to make their mark, affording them free rein to create as they choose. Close-knit collections of up to a dozen buildings are planned, designed to function as second homes - the architectural equivalent of haute couture.

HBL Retail News: Dell targets new demographic

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Dell Inspiron IM5030/S2800
Planet Retail reports that Dell is targeting the Hispanic community with the launch of a new Spanish laptop computer. The operating system and keyboard are in Spanish and has been introduced in the US in efforts to meet the increasing demand from the Hispanic community.

The Dell Inspiron IM5030/S2800 will be sold exclusively in department store La Curacao's eight branches in California and in Phoenix, Arizona, where a large percentage of the population is Hispanic.

HBL Blog of the Week: COMBI on board

Brazilian blog COMBI on board is run by graphic designers Laressa Quaglia and Naia Ceschin, and is updated daily with interesting news and images from the fashion, print, graphics and design industries. There's a focus on colour, and on fun - nothing is taken too seriously.

HBL loves: its lively tone of voice. An energetic way to keep up with the latest events.

Bless at Arnhem Mode Biennale

The Arnhem Mode Biennale in the Netherlands is fast becoming one of the must-see events on the design calendar. Running for one month at the AkzoNobel building in the city of Arnhem, the show adopts music, scent, film and photography as vehicles for designers to express their visions in conceptual vignettes and innovative installations. The displays offer inspiration for a range of disciplines, from interiors to VM and retail.

Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, founders of fashion label Bless, tapped into the concept of Faux Real at Arnhem Mode with a leather-cloaked car installation. Bless subject matter is often surreal in nature, and by ensuring it retains some level of functionality, this deceptive accessories exhibition begins to reference a Radical Neutrality viewpoint.

Jill Shaddock at the MMU degree show 2011

Monday, 20 June 2011

Bowls and cups by Jill Shaddock

Ceramic artist Jill Shaddock's beautiful range of tableware is one of the stand-out exhibits at Manchester Metropolitan University's 2011 degree show.

Slim Taste, Hong Kong

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Image Credit: David Woo, Flickr
All the furniture and décor of Hong Kong restaurant Slim Taste is made from, or clad entirely in, brown cardboard. From tables, chairs, crockery, trays and light shades to wallpaper, cabinets and even curtains.

Dragon Boat Furniture Collection

Dragon Boat Collection by TREE, Hong Kong
Last year, TREE, Hong Kong’s eco-chic furniture boutique rescued an old traditional teak dragon boat from being disposed of, and skilfully created a limited edition collection of one-of-a-kind shelves, coffee tables and consoles.

HBL Designer Profile: A Bespoke Journey by Andre Fu

A Bespoke Journey by Andre Fu
Proclaimed a “designer master” by Monocle, “Hong Kong’s design stalwart” by Wallpaper, and an “Asian design sensation” by Conde Nast Traveler US, Hong Kong-born and UK-educated interior architect Andre Fu of AFSO has released his first ever coffee table book, 'A Bespoke Journey'.

HBL Student and Graduate: Outdoor Furniture

'Sprout' by design students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong outdoor furniture specialists, Everything Under the Sun, has briefed design students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University to create a new contemporary collection.

HBL Materials: Shanghai's Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass, Shanghai
Launched at the end of May, Shanghai’s Museum of Glass is part of the city’s campaign to become a globally recognised cultural and creative centre by launching 100 museums in a decade.

HBL Retail: Mini-Chair Exhibition at ECOLS

ECOLS, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s eco-lifestyle store ECOLS celebrates its relocation – to The One shopping mall – with a Mini-Chair exhibition debuting in its new art space.

The Rug Company X Giles Deacon

The Rug Company at Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
For the unveiling of a new collaboration between purveyor of contemporary handmade rugs, The Rug Company and British fashion designer Giles Deacon, Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford home store set up a VM display that was reminiscent of an art exhibition.

Life in the year 2050, by GOOD

Friday, 17 June 2011

This infographic, commissioned by GOOD magazine and created by Column Five Media, visualises the results of a poll by Pew Research and Smithsonian magazine which asked the American public what they thought life would be like in 2050.

66% of those polled think that artificial limbs would by this time be able to perform better than natural ones; 53% expect space travel to become normalized; and 74% predict that our energy will comes from sources other than coal, oil or gas. More information on the findings here.

Collier Campbell Textile Design at the National Theatre

Patch, 2011

Currently showing at the National Theatre in London is a retrospective of the work of British textile designers and sisters Sarah Campbell and the late Susan Collier. The Collier Campbell designs provide nostalgic, visual memories and a special relevance for those who grew up with their iconic fabrics.

HBL Profile: Omhu, designing for an ageing population

Rie Nørregaard, Susan Towers and Susy Korb of Omhu

Meaning "with great care" in Danish, New York-based Omhu is a design studio and online retail store aimed at supporting people's abilities as they change throughout life. WGSN-homebuildlife met with co-founders Susan Towers and Rie Nørregaard during New York Design Week to discuss their growing business.

HBL News: Crafts Council June briefing

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council

The Crafts Council have released their policy briefing for June 2011, a document which details recent measures taken by the British government which will affect the craft industry.

HBL Retail News: Starbucks Android mobile payment app

Starbucks intends to expand its mobile payment application to the Android platform, reports Planet Retail. The move was spurred by the successful US launch of the app for the Blackberry and iPhone.

HBL Events: Venice Biennale

Karla Black, Scottish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

The 54th edition of the Venice Biennale has already been dissected by the throng of international press and buyers who descended on the Arsenale and Giardini for the opening days in early June - but with the event running until November, there's plenty of time to plan your trip.

WGSN-homebuildlife highlights three of the must-see national pavilions to add to your itinerary; subscribers can click here to see our full top ten.

Victoria Delany at Origin 2011

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

CandleStacks by Victoria Delany

Craft selling fair Origin is held each September as part of the London Design Festival, and is a consistently reliable destination for finding talented, emerging designer-makers. This year will see a number of first-time exhibitors, including Victoria Delany, whose colourful tableware aims to “provoke a joyful dining experience".

HBL Tradeshows: Live from Neocon 2011

Momentum at Neocon 2011

WGSN-homebuildlife reports live from NeoCon 2011 in Chicago, Illinois, with three emerging trends from the influential trade fair.

Multi-level seating: A focus on redefining the collaborative workplace has inspired multi-level seating, which creates a dynamic environment where an arm rest turns into seating space, and people have adequate distance between each other to comfortably talk.

Modular geometry: Bringing modularity to the next level is a puzzle of shapes that create an endless array of geometric, aesthetic and functional possibilities.

Moss: Moss green is an important accent colour, seen on textiles, furniture and carpeting.

Subscribers can read our full live report here.

Patrick Norguet for Lea Ceramiche

French designer Patrick Norguet has created a range of ceramic room dividers for Lea Ceramiche, which use the company's latest innovation, Lea Slimtech - a laminated porcelain tile which is just 3mm thick.

HBL Book of the Week: Cement Eclipse

Urban artist Isaac Cordal's book 'Cement Eclipse' (Carpet Bombing Culture, 2011) documents a series of small-scale interventions he has made in his local area of East London, transforming grey and mundane urban landscapes into humorous and thoughtful dioramas.

The Sidebar Project by Teroforma and urbancase

Presented at the ICFF in New York last month, The Sidebar Project was a collaboration between two American design studios: modernist tableware manufacturers Teroforma and furniture brand urbancase. The studios, who are based on opposite coasts of the US, share a passion for well-crafted furniture and this cocktail bar and collection of barware is the first in a planned series of collaborations called Crafted.

HBL Tradeshows: DMY Berlin 2011

UDK Berlin at DMY Berlin 2011

The DMY International Design Festival is a five-day exhibition featuring both emerging and established designers and their latest products, prototypes and projects.

HBL Analysis: Hong Kong Art Fair 2011

Huang Yong Ping, ART HK11

With over 260 galleries from 38 countries represented, the fourth edition of the Hong Kong Art Fair continued to build on its reputation as Asia's foremost contemporary art fair. This year, one of the key themes to emerge at the fair was that of beautiful decay.

Fuzz by Study O Portable

London-based design practice Study O Portable created the Fuzz series of bowls by building up layers of coloured ceramic resin over a wax mould. WGSN-homebuildlife spoke to Bernadette Deddens, one of the practice's founders, to find out more about the project.

Yi-Cong Lu at DMY Berlin 2011

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Leipzig-based designer Yi-Cong Lu showed a collection of adaptable furniture at DMY Berlin this week which enables the user to "individually adjust living spaces".

The designer's minimal, problem-solving approach mirrors our autumn/winter 12/13 macrotrend Radical Neutrality, which sees the design industry "balancing extremes, dissolving dissonance, and creating with moderation and reason. Radical neutrality is the design version of fashion's new modesty. This serene revolution focuses on intelligence, function and subtle decoration."

HBL Analysis:
Young Israeli designers find a voice

Talila Abraham at PromiseDesign

Israeli design was impossible to overlook at this year’s Milan Design Week. Two poignant exhibitions - Thinking Hands by Bezalel Academy and PromiseDesign, a government-supported show highlighting Israeli designers - left many visitors in Milan pondering not Italy, but Israel, a country that seems to be bursting at the seams with young design talent.

In a major new report, WGSN-homebuildlife looks at the impact of up-and-coming Israeli designers on the international design scene.

HBL Blog of the Week: Etymologie


US lifestyle store Anthropologie's blog, Etymologie, takes an unusual approach to blogging: one word is chosen, and posts are then made which represent or reflect that word. The current choice is "legacy", with posts on the topic ranging from family tartan to a series of photographs of abandoned buildings in the Yugoslavian landscape.

HBL loves: that everything, from theme to layout to colour palette, fits so precisely with the image Anthropologie has engineered for its brand - and yet feels fresh.

HBL Retail News: Kingfisher sets to double store count in Poland

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ian Cheshire Chief Executive Officer of Kingfisher (eastern European nation)

Bloomberg reports that Home improvement retailer Kingfisher plans to double the number of Castorama stores in Poland. Kingfisher which also owns the B&Q chain in the U.K, intends to increase store numbers from 60 to around 120 and convert its Brico Dépôt stores to the Castorama banner.

“We will continue to build stores because there’s a lot of unoccupied market space [and] there’s evidence of a more sophisticated, decorative and aspirational customer, so we can see top-line growth in that.” said Ian Cheshire Chief Executive Officer of the eastern European nation, Kingfisher’s third-largest market.

HBL News: Winners announced for
Hands on Door Handles

Twitts by Tomo Kimura

The four winners of designboom competition Hands on Door Handles, run in collaboration with Colombo Design, have been announced. Fighting off more than 6,000 other entrants to claim the prize, the winners are Alexander Hoffart, Mattia Albicini, Kliment Ivanov and Tomo Kimura - whose Twitts design was "the free-style winning entry".

HBL Retail: DB in Station, Tokyo

DB in Station, Tokyo

Japanese product label D-Bros has opened its very first shop, inside JR East’s Ecute Shinagawa station in Tokyo.

HBL Retail News: Ikea plans for its largest store in Oslo

Ikea plans for largest store in Oslo
 Market.se reports, Ikea is considering the expansion of its Oslo store from 21,500 square metres to 59,000 square metres. The extension would make it the largest Ikea store and also house Norway's largest restaurant with 890 seats.

The Oslo branch located in Furuset, currently has one of the highest sales turnovers of any Ikea store worldwide. Håvard Løkke, a Spokesperson for Ikea in Norway, said: “The point is that we want to offer customers in Oslo a full Ikea catalogue. We cannot today. The matter is up for discussion in the Oslo municipality.”

HBL Events: Gardens by Nuala Goodman

London hotel Andaz Liverpool Street is hosting Gardens, an installation by artist Nuala Goodman, for the duration of this month. Goodman has worked with Italian design brand Moroso to upholster a selection of its pieces, adorned with floral and nature-inspired motifs, which are arranged through the Andaz's main lobby area.

HBL Technology: 3M Noise-Cancelling Headphones

3M - Wave Sound from Grey Digital on Vimeo.

3M's arresting new ad campaign, by Brazilian brand Grey Digital, uses the skylines of iconic cities to demonstrate the benefits of their newly-launched, noise-cancelling headphones.

HBL Analysis: Window treatments

Friday, 10 June 2011

Lara Meissen and Lara Cixi by Jakob Schlaepfer

The development of digital printing and high-res photography has produced a wealth of macro-scale imagery, and window treatments are a great way to bring larger-than-life photography into home interiors. Smaller-scale digital designs include symmetrical pattern, juxtaposed flowers, butterflies and other details that create a hyperreal explosion of form and vivid colour.

The making of 19 by Bocci

Thursday, 9 June 2011

19.0 from Bocci on Vimeo.

This video by Vancouver-based design studio Bocci shows how each of their '19' bowls is creating, using the process of sandcasting. Bocci explains: "19's are made of recycled brass at the oldest foundry on the West Coast of Canada. The overspill oxidizes instantly during the pour, producing a highly textured surface which stands in contrast to the interior of the bowl surface, which is polished to a near mirror finish."

Gaetano Pesce at the Venice Biennale

L'Italia in croce by Gaetano Pesce; photo by Marilia Pederbelli

The Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale welcomes visitors with this sculpture by Gaetano Pesce, shown in collaboration with Italian design brand Cassina. Entitled L’Italia in croce, or The Crucified Italy, the 7.5 metre high sculpture depicts a blood-red Italy nailed to a black cross; Pesce hopes it will prove "able to shake up feelings”.

The Venice Biennale runs until 27 November 2011.

Qubique, Berlin's new furniture fair

Booth preview, Qubique 2011. Image by A. Bröckel

This October will see the launch of Berlin's newest furniture fair, Qubique, which will be held in a decommisioned airport, and promises to take a "holistic approach" to the tradefair experience.

Senior Design Factory

Senior Design Factory

Zurich-based association the Senior Design Factory teams up groups of people, young and old, to take part in creative projects together. The first branch of the project, comprising a studio, workshop and retail space, opened in March, while the second branch is set to include a small restaurant and is scheduled to open this summer.