Soft Light

I have a soft spot for handmade lighting, especially those sculpted from eco-friendly materials. Austrian designer, Rainer Mutsch created a series of pendants from recycled fiber cement for Molto Luce using water and cellulose fibers. Natural cellulose fibers are minimally processed. Recycled fiber cement is highly durable and non-flammable. soft_lights2

Each individual luminaire shade is molded by hand. The shades get stability from their slightly rippled geometry .

Beautiful, wouldn't you agree?

Photos: via: Contemporist

Stunning Stained Glass

“Every project uncovers a new secret. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle," says Doris Cultraro, the stained glass artist that restored this Tiffany window panel that stood for years in a local Hudson Valley residence.

On assignment for Chronogram, I visited Doris' DC Studio a few weeks ago and was unexpectedly enamored by the kaleidoscopic magic of stained glass. With an exploration of color, texture, and opacity, along with a unique understanding and respect of the ancient glass art form, Doris has perfected the decorative art of fitting together the stained glass puzzle.

The walls of the DC Studio are lined with a gradated rainbow of colored glass and an assortment of recycled glass scraps that Doris mines from old windows and other broken glass sources.

While all of the pieces I saw were beautiful, the above window panel totally captivated me. The densely diverse colors that surround the woman create what Doris describes as a "marble cake" effect. The rippled, wavy lines of the dress evoke the textured drape of a fine fabric. From the face to the toes, the skin tone color is ethereal. You can really feel the movement of this piece as it catches the deep Hudson River light with a sparkle. It is truly a magnificent feast for the senses.

After experiencing Doris Cultraro's original stained glass art and restoration work, I will never look at a piece of broken glass in the same way.

Read the full article here.

Credit: DC Studio

Can Green Design Save The World?

Inhabitat is one of the top environmental blogs in the world. Their mission is simple, “Green Design is Good Design ~ Good Design is Green Design.” Inhabitat also believes, “Green Design Will Save The World.” I follow Inhabitat daily, and want to thank them for choosing an idea from an econesting post. Their post titled: Time Flies With the Recycled Aluminum Epigram Clock via econesting displays on Inhabitat's front page today.

Inhabitat is a top notch “green” blog that continues to provide innovative ideas, while provoking the cautionary green vs. sustainable issue. They share a frustration that I also have about considering “green design” as a new category in the field. Is “green design” separate from good design? Inhabitat doesn’t think so:

“We believe that all design should be inherently “Green”. Good design is not about color, style or trends – but instead about thoughtfully considering the user, the experience, the social context and the impact of an object on the surrounding environment. No design can be considered good design unless it at least attempts to address some of these concerns.”

I am pleased Inhabitat picked up A Clock With a Conscience (and a mother's gush), for the same reasons I chose the witty Epigram Clock. It encompasses all that is good about design: It is thoughtful and cleverly designed, with a nod towards environmental impact (the clock contains up to 70% recycled content), and it was created within the social context of giving back (a percentage of the proceeds goes directly to the International Rescue Committee, an organization that responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives). The clock also represents what all design should – form, function and style.

What do you believe constitutes good design? Are you in agreement that green design can save the world?

Rock, Paper…Table

Brazilian designer Domingos Tótora's table appears to be balanced on large stones. Right? On closer inspection, the Agua Table is easy to move, eco-friendly, and no stones were harmed in the making of it. The table is created from recycled cardboard. Check out these amazing photos of the artisan's process behind making the Agua Table via Contemporist: