Design Within Reach Gets an iPad App.

I’m a fan of Design Within Reach. I know that the name of the company is deceiving since their product line is not within the reach of many. I know DWR has also had it’s share of controversy in the past, and that many times you can find products they cary elsewhere. I’m a fan because they have championed high quality modern design, and exposed modern design to so many people over the last 15 years.

Today DWR introduced their new iPad app. While the app is primarily a shopping tool for DWR’s inventory of products, it is much more. The app is a rich interactive tool that features designer profiles, timelines, videos, interviews, a room designer and more. In many ways this app reminds me of an interactive book, similar to Phaidon’s Design Classics which was introduced for the iPad a few years ago.

DWR’s app is a nice example of the changing face of interactive content, and how the iPad and other tablets are forever changing the way we absorb and interact with digital content. While this app could be ported to a website, the result wouldn’t be the same. Like so many applications designed specifically for touch screen devices DWR’s app encourages  the user to do more. It creates an experience that goes beyond online shopping, educating and inspiring. Even if you are unable to purchase the products that DWR sells, this app is a great resource for those interested modern design. By making the inspire and learn sections equal to the shopping section DWR has created an experience that is open to all and reinforces their brand. I hope we see more of this kind of thing in the future. Companies like IKEA have already jumped on this band wagon, and frankly I’d rather experience something like this over Amazon.com any day.




Put the Hammer Down. Help Is On The Way.

Recently I purchased a new bed frame from DWR that arrived at my house flat packed and ready for assembly. Like most pieces of build it yourself furniture, the instructions left allot to be desired. I understand the need to reduce instructions to bare bones visuals that can be read by anyone, in any country speaking any language, but at the end of the day they kind of suck. That is why I love this series of print ads for IKEA from Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, Germany.

IKEA instructions can be tasking at their best, and having assembled enough of the stuff over the years, these print ads ring true on so many levels. I have to admit I have never had left over parts, or furniture that didn’t end up looking like it was supposed to, but there were times that I sat and stared at the graphic scratching my head desperately trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do with part A, and Slot B. (Get your minds out of the gutter people.)

This series of ads brings a level of humor to the reality that not all IKEA projects are as simple as you would like them to be, and that IKEA now offers an assembly service so you don’t have to stress. All three images are wonderfully shot and illustrate the frustration that many people feel when trying to build IKEA furniture.

Agency: Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, Germany
Creative Directors: Dirk Siebenhaar, Tom Hauser
Copywriter: Heiko Notter
Art director/Designer: Oliver Brkitsch
Photographer: Patrice Lange

Why I like to buy direct.

I need to get a new mailbox for the house. The current one is a standard arch top mailbox like you get at Home Depot for 20 bucks and it just doesn’t go with the house at all. So I started looking for contemporary mailboxes and a google search sent me to Design Within Reach. Now I want to say this up front, I have bought many things from DWR, but they can be a complete rip off on many items. Especially things that are not price controlled like Herman Miller and Knoll furniture. Here is a prime example.

The mailbox they carry is 400 bucks. http://www.dwr.com/product/premier-mailbox.do?keyword=mailbox&sortby=ourPicks Pretty nice looking don’t you think? I do but I’m saying to myself 400 bucks for a mailbox? Something smells here. So I go back to Google and see what other results come up. Low and behold, look what I found. http://www.letterboxes.co.nz/18-Comparto.100.0.html?no_cache=1&change_zone=2 So how much is this?  Lets see. USD $174.85 plus 80 bucks shipping. That means that DWR has a 146 dollar mar up on this item.This is why I always look a little more and see what I can find.

Now after looking through the site of Kiwi made mailboxes I actually decided on this one. http://www.letterboxes.co.nz/12-Contempo.100.0.html?no_cache=1 I like the red zincalum front on it. Nice contrast and such with the house. Red-Box