New Perspectives on Design | Dwell on Design 2013 Highlights

Dwell on Design is a modern design trade show.  It took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year, June 21-23.  The show room floor was filled with designers and products made and produced by our neighbors across the US and around the globe.  Several of the products ingeniously stood out among the rest, giving us a new perspective on design, helping us see design from a new angle… are you following?  I am going to share with you what was up, and up-side-down, this year at Dwell.

The Good Flock click through to visit

The Good Flock   Mission Statement  Click through to visit

These lightbulbs by The Good Flock aren’t hard to look at. I mean that in the most flattering sense, also literally because they have a custom made reflective cap that goes over the light to protect our eyes and still illuminate in a very natural and organic way. I love this simple approach to lighting a room, ideal for small spaces in need of clever solutions. They make lampshades unnecessary and can be mounted to any surface in a home to be both functional and aesthetic.  Their mission statement (right) also expresses the values they hold to quality of sustainable and organic service.  If you are in need of a handmade all-American light, the Aurora lamp is for you.

The Rypen booth displayed a very creative approach to shelving.  This whimsical Equilibrium Bookcase balances your books and knick-knacks in a free standing modular unit with color and poise. A great accessory for any living room or office to show off your creative side, while still keeping your collectibles organized and admirable from all 360 degrees.Dwell on Design AirplantmanIf you thought succulents were the latest trend, think again because they have just been one-up’d by an even greater plant, the airplant! This plant can survive without soil and lives off water and air. It’s blossoms and slim leaves extend in whimsy, as if riding the breeze around them. These plants defy gravity and present a new uncomplicated approach to the love and care of plant life.  One man has decided to become the master of this new element: The Airplantman.  He has chosen this particular plant genus as his obsession because of its intrigue and has made it his goal to craft simplistic holders for these small bouquets to enhance their loftiness and show off their ethereal beauty in these very appropriate handmade AirplantVessels and AirplantFrames.

Each of these new designs express a novel approach to form and function.  The unexpected takes place here with the transformation of lights, the balancing act of shelves, and the surreal gardens that will soon decorate our homes.
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Now Trending: Folding Furniture! Dwell on Design 2013

Viva Los Angeles! I was up and ready with the sun, it was another gorgeous day in downtown LA and I knew the Dwell on Design trade show was as anxious as I was to see the latest trends in modern design this year!  DSCN9365

Though unexpected, Foldable furniture was trending this year. Furniture that folds. I am not used to “foldable” being a modern luxury selling point.  Perhaps a terrific idea, as it makes shipping and storage more convenient, but the luxury factor perplexes me.  However, I will admit they were cool, and cool is an important selling point.

The Spooning Armchair is a magnificent origami feat, or as I should say “ori-polypropylene.”

Spooning Armchair

Even the small Rhino Horn Ottomans are designed to withstand up to 300 pounds. The Paper Bird Armchair (left) and Alcove A la Coque (right) are all a part of the latest collection designed by the talented Roy Kesrouani.  I totally dig this dynamic cardboard aesthetic, but what I’m also ogling is the typeface that Roy designed.  See the alien-esque script in the background?  That reads “Spooning Chair” A close up: Spooning Armchair textI love the play with the fixed angles and triangles, it speaks to the complex design and unique geometry that went into making these pieces.  I’m no graphic artist so I should stop talking before my foot ends up in my mouth, but as a designer and experienced paper-folder I was impressed by his skill.

The other folding furniture, rightfully named “Folditure” was even more quirky, being Luxury folding furniture with a duo function as art. Yes, art.


I asked the woman at the booth “so if you had this in your home, how would you use it?” She said “I would hang it on my wall” Ladies and gentleman, I give you art furniture! Don’t let the pieces make a statement in your room, let them make a statement ON YOUR WALL!!!  Yes I am being sarcastic, but I do not completely disagree.


If I lived in a luxury studio apartment the idea of having extra furniture on display as a conversation starter is enticing. It lives to the minimalist standard.  However I don’t think I am at that level yet. Interior Designers are aware of the furniture riddle “What to do with folding furniture when it is not used,” and “hang it on my wall” is not the expected answer, but I am accepting. Imagine the amazement when my dinner guests realize the chair they are perched on was indeed hanging on my wall earlier that day!  The pieces do look incredible, this image from their website (right) does the design more justice.

I saved the best for last.  Clei’s exhibit spoke perfectly to a studio apartment, or any apartment whose aim is to maximize space and function.

Resource FurnitureI liked these folding furniture pieces the most because of their practical application.  The people at Resource Furniture | Space. Reinvented. have truly reinvented space. Each piece has more than one purpose, and aims to help all types of families and lifestyles in their function.  This video below (7 million+ views!) explains the idea.


Perhaps the folding furniture is most ideal for people who function in small spaces, but luckily for everyone else, these pieces also have aesthetic value and represent a whole new market that beckons to both our wants and needs!

For more on Dwell on Design 2013, keep in touch through my twitter @itsa_Lisa, and see the articles below.

Best of Dwell on Design 2013 Day 1

Dwell sign

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent my weekend at Dwell on Design! A venue for me to do my favorite things: Talk to strangers and talk about design.  Above you see my lonesome self posing like a dork.  More importantly, please notice the free tote bag dangling from my arm and overflowing with free things!

What is Dwell on Design? Here, I copy/pasted this from their site for you:  “Dwell on Design, America’s largest modern design event, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 21-23, 2013. Curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, the three-day celebration brings together the best and brightest products, services, and thought leaders in modern design today for a series of conversations,demonstrations, tours, and more. ” –

Enough with the introductions,  I will now share personal highlights from the first day with you.  Friday June 21, 2013.
As soon as I stepped through the door inspiration filled me, The first exhibit that caught my eye was a fireplace, as you can see from my first tweet of the day.
Some people might argue that modern homes are “too cold” if this is an issue, you obviously do not have a Spark Modern Fire.  Built directly into a wall, these fireplaces serve a dual function of looking awesome and warming your home.
Speaking of warming…  The women working the Spark exhibit pointed at a bench across the way and casually demanded I sit in it.   Obediently, I soon discovered the Helios Lounge, by Galanter & Jones, has a surprise inside.
Helios Lounge Dwell on Design 2013
Heat!  The bench instantly warms you, all of  you. Like that relaxing feeling of sitting in a jacuzzi -but without ruining your hair and makeup!  Or that satisfying sip of hot cocoa -but without burning your tongue! Or that intimate touch of a warm message after a long day -but you don’t have to unrobe and pay lots of money!
I could go on, but you get the point. The chair is warm, and it warms you in the most comforting way.  Do not be mislead by its appearance of an old bathtub, it does come in other colors. The comfort factor is also a given, you could ask why there are no seat cushions, but then again you would never ask why a Jacuzzis does not have seat cushions.  If you are still not sold, remember Holly Go Lightly had a bathtub sofa and she is more fabulous than any of us combined.
Holly Golightly Bathtub Sofa
My next stop was at the fountain of faucets, by BRIZO.
Brizon Dwell on Design 2013 Chandelier
This exhibit drew me in with their magnificent chandelier, but I lingered because I was so impressed with the new Touch Clean Technology.  You might recognize this TV commercial by Delta Faucets, a sister company to Brizo.
The touch technology truly works, making cooking for the fab at heart all the more sensational.  Speaking of fab, is this booth not screaming it? Bravo Brizo, if I were an exhibit judge (which there should have been) you would have placed.
Brizo Dwell on Design 2013
The last part of my day consisted of several seminars for designers of all trades and places in life.  I chose to sit through the Business of Design, where guest speakers like the talented interior designer Kerrie Kelly  discussed how new technology has led to changes in the industry.
Kerrie’s 30 minute seminar was very amusing.  I loved it because I’m on board with this new technology. However, many of the designers who are not as familiar with these changes seemed uneasy and nervous.  It is true, social media platforms can be time-consuming and very intimidating!  The common question being “who has time to update all of these platforms all of the time AND get their own business done!”
Social Networking Pillows
I will spell out a few helpful points for you now (for more tips look forward to How to Keep Up To Date Online, coming soon)
Quick Tips for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, …
  • It is better to NOT have an account than an account that is NOT up to date
  • Start with 1 or 2 accounts, add more when you are ready
  • A post only takes a few seconds once you learn how
  • Post throughout the day, as you work.  A 2 minute posting-break every hour or so is worth the trouble
  • Your audience loves to hear from you behind the scenes.  This is why they choose to follow you!
  • The wider your audience – the more exposure you have – the more business you will get.
Kerrie Kelly mentioned a few of the pointers listed above, she also reminded us that another great way to grow business is to promote each other virtually!  I have hyper-linked to the companies mentioned above for your convenience, and because I admired their work and want them to benefit from my interest.  Links and mentions are a free form of advertising.  Just like “retweeting” on Twitter, “sharing” on Facebook, or “repinning” on Pinterest.  All of these actions help you express your thoughts, as well as promote the thoughts of the original source. Sharing is caring.
La Skyline
This concludes Day 1 for me, you probably have no interest in my amazing 3 course dinner at the ROCK’n Fish Restaurant consisting of jambalaya, creme brûlée, and Raspberry Martinis with friends I ran into from the Oregon ASID Chapter… or how my car died while I was driving into LA the day before and I never made it to a special private gathering but instead my best friend who lives in Westwood saved me and we spent the evening in Little Tokyo exploring a miniature clay village brought to you by Urs Fischer at the MOCA. Or How I drove my Mother’s car back into Compton to sell my recent-piece of junk for $300. No, I don’t want to trouble you with these inconveniences that speckle my life. But I will add that without downs we couldn’t have ups.  I’ve been through a lot of misfortunate events this past year, but I remind myself that these mishaps are only temporarily slowing me down.  In the grand scheme of things I am thankful for my health, supporting friends and family, and the ability to see light at the end of tunnels.  I wouldn’t have traded this weekend for anything else, although having a car would be nice…. But that is why I aim to stay positive, the little things will solve themselves.
If you would prefer play-by-plays of my chaotic life (built in with blasts of inspiration), I recommend you follow me on Twitter @itsa_Lisa. I guarantee not to bore.

Networking Season

Summer in LA means trade shows and events!  I am attending the Dwell on Design Trade Show and GO PRO LA for Emerging Professionals event today through Sunday for a chance to see what is new and green in Interior Design -and a hope to network with talented designers as we inspire one another!

In preparation, I have finally made business cards! These colorful card are in 5 styles, each card transitioning to the next; a subtle reminder that even though we are small, we are a part of something greater. Also observe the back: a QR link directly to my resume page on this blog. So convenient, am I right?

See you there!  If you can’t make it, look forward to more posts when I sum up the occasion.

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