Form and Function

The Value of Good Design

If I only had a few extra days of vacation and a few extra dollars to spend I know what I’d be visiting in the next couple of weeks. MoMa’s “The Value of Good Design” exhibit that is currently up through June 15th. The video below is a fun two-minute look at some of the design and designers featured and some of the more iconic pieces in the show. If you’re in New York or headed there soon, this would be well worth a visit.

Featuring objects from domestic furnishings and appliances to ceramics, glass, electronics, transport design, sporting goods, toys, and graphics, The Value of Good Design explores the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. The concept of Good Design also took hold well beyond the Museum, with governments on both sides of the Cold War divide embracing it as a vital tool of social and economic reconstruction and technological advancement in the years following World War II. This global scope is reflected in many of the items on view, from a mass-market Italian Fiat Cinquecento automobile and a Soviet-era East German Werra camera to a Japanese poster for a Mitsubishi sewing machine and a Brazilian bowl chair. These works join both iconic and unexpected items made in the US, such as the Eames La Chaise, a Chemex Coffee Maker, and Irwin Gershen’s Shrimp Cleaner.

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More Design DNA+

When I was digging around for the DNA+ towel holder I came across another irresistible piece of design from these guys.

Iseelite is a modern reading lamp/flashlight constructed of brushed aluminum and features an integrated digital LED clock. The lamp uses rare earth magnets to create a cord free aesthetic without giving up functionality by allowing the light to snap back into position. I really like the idea of having the light as a detachable unit that can be used as a flashlight as well. I have a thing for secondary uses and functionality in design, and this is a simple elegant way to extend the function of this product.

Iseelite is turned on and off with a simple swipe of the hand, and it is available with an optional dimmer switch so you can customize your lighting level. Once again you can find out more at the DNA+ website.

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Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Humidifier

This morning I woke up with a  bloody nose, due to the extra dry air in my house. This leads me to today’s post, and violation of the 11th un-written commandment… “Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Humidifier”!

So, last night we were at a Super Bowl party at our friends Kanon and Rachel’s house, and Kanon, showed me thier new humidifier. ( I know at this point you are saying something “Are you kidding you get excited about a humidifier? You need to get a life Wade.” ) Here is the thing though, humidifiers pretty much suck. They look bad, they are noisy, they are a mess to fill, they have to be de-calified, they are in general an ugly noisy pain in the butt. They aren’t the kind of thing you would leave out in a room, or for that matter leave in a place where everyone could see it. This humidifier, trumps all of those conventions, and I now want one.

Here we have “Oskar“, The Econmomist! humidifier from Stadler Form. Brother to the Viktor air purifier, Oskar is a simple clean cube about 12 inches square that is elevated on a thin silver base, creating the illusion that the box is hovering gently above the surface it sits on. Last night when I saw this in operation I was amazed, not only could you not hear it going, there was no visible vapor mist or condensation on any surrounding surface. More importantly,  I didn’t know it was a humidifier at all. The clean design, helps hide the function of the device.

Oskar is available through Amazon for $159.00

Specifications for Oskar.
• Power: 6 to 18 Watt
• Perfume dispenser
• 2 output levels
• Output: max. 10.5 OZ/H
• Tank capacity: 1.0 Gallon
• Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.0 x 8.0 inches
• Night mode
• Automatic shut-off
• Integrated hygrostat
• Weight: 6.0 pounds
• Room Size: 1575 sq ft