Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Likes the ribbons of a bride’s bouquet, the Nakamura Ribbon Chapel is a romantic symbol of the journey two people will travel together in matrimony.


Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Two curving staircases encircle the exterior, meeting at a rooftop platform that overlooks the Hiroshima coastline. The staircases are clad in wood planks that intersect at different points for structural support and come with titanium alloy frame to withstand erosion from the salty air of the Seto Inland Sea. Inside the glazed chapel is a wooden altar that seats 80 guests – all with perfect views of the sea.
“Just as two lives go through twists and turns before uniting as one, the two spirals seamlessly connect at their summit to form a single ribbon,” said Hiroshi Nakamura.


Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel

Nakamura Ribbon Chapel


The Future is here – and it’s in close up

Like a scene out of ‘Minority Report’, you will soon be able to swap your old school contact lenses for solar powered augmented ocular fashion.

solar powered augmented ocular fashion.

semitransparent LEDs embedded onto a thin contact lens

In its nascent stages, the developers at The University of Washington are integrating hundreds of semitransparent LEDs embedded onto a thin lens paired with existing sensor and wireless technology – with a view to potential applications in health monitoring, bionic sight as well as entertainment potential.
Your future –in close up.

solar powered augmented ocular fashion

solar powered augmented ocular fashion

Voice of the Beehive



Wolfgang Buttress is leading a UK team to design the British Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo in Milan, the theme of which is “Feeding the Planet Energy for Life”.


The UK pavilion highlights the plight of the honeybee and ways in which new research and technology are helping to address challenges, such as food security and biodiversity. The UK pavilion draws parallels between human societies and the ecology of bees. Visitors meander through an orchard, discover a meadow of wild flowers and enter ‘The Hive’; which pulses, buzzes and glows according to live-streamed signals from a real beehive.


The hive is a 14cm cuboid aluminum lattice structure, raised-up on columns, with a spherical void hollowed from its interior into which visitors can enter.


The fine aluminum lattice is based on an abstracted-analogue of honeycomb, the effect is visually arresting and striking, yet permeable and delicate lending it an ethereal presence.


Accelerometers (vibration sensors) are used to measure the activity of a real bee colony in the UK, feeding real-time signals to a 1,000 RGBW LED light array.


Algorithms are used to convert the bee colony vibrations into the lighting effects. Each light is individually –addressable allowing for the hive to pulse and glow in response to the signals it receives, so acting as a visual representation of bee activity. Acrylic rods conduct light and from the LESs into hand blown glass bulbs which refract and diffuse the light. This unison of light and sound brings together art and science, through the research methods of Dr Martin Bencsik and the vision of Wolfgang Buttress.

(As seen in Mondo Magazine)


Rock The Casbah (Palm Springs Style!)


It was a glamorous night in the desert as the Palm Springs design community came out to celebrate Soukie Modern’s ‘Moroccan Pop Up’ hosted by Flow Modern Design at their beautiful Palm Canyon Drive showroom. A glittering display of vintage Moroccan treasures drew a fabulous crowd who danced, dined and shopped amidst the splendor…



Nendo – Chocolatexture Lounge at Maison et Objet Paris 2015

NENDO – the diverse and prolific Toronto based design studio was founded by lead designer Oki Sato in 2002 with 15 fellow designers from Wasedo University in Shinjuku, Japan.


Voted Maison et Objet Paris 2015 Designer of the Year, the studio was invited to conceive a special installation during the fair and created a thrilling and luscious display – the Chocolatexture Lounge.


Furnished with chocolate-colored tables, stools, chairs and a beautiful sofa to showcase the lush, luxe quality of chocolate, the furniture settings were surrounded by undulating screens – 2,000 aluminum pipes painted in varying shades of chocolate to create a rippling, molten chocolate wave.


The final detail – 400 limited-edition NENDO chocolate shapes; each piece with a shape and texture inspired by the sound of its Japanese name – the first sugar-based onomatopoeia? – smooth Sube Sube, crunchy Zara Zara… beautiful, inspired and delicious!

REPORT FROM MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2015 Part 1 – Trends and Design Inspiration


Part I: Handmade – Artisanal Impact; Techno; Material and Finishes – Organic meets All That Glitters
In what has become a tradition – and one of our design client favorites – here is Part I of our report on lighting and design trends and inspirations from one of the biggest European design shows.
As always, so much to see and share!


The artisanal movement that has been making its way through the lexicon of design/food/travel was reflected everywhere at M&O; a swing toward a sophisticated use of organic materials and finishes in a contemporary organic style, celebrating both material and craftsmanship – revealing all the details and processes and the artisan’s hand at work through perfect imperfection.


The MAISON&OBJET team presented in interactive lounges devoted to theme of ‘MAKE’ – Nature Made, Human Made, Techno Made – expressing the concept that “these days we don’t want to let things go anymore. Everyone wants to regain control. The home is increasingly attractive. Traditional expertise is restoring value to manufactured goods. The latest luxury can be seen in a return to the essential beauty of craftsmanship and perfecting materials….a contemplation of nature, the genius of the hand and the technological advances mark out the evolution of a world in the process of again.”



All That Glitters…
Brass and gold is a giant trend at the moment – polished brass and bronzes, burnished gold leaf; also mixed metals and solid brass construction – married with the organic – natural edged stone and wood, rock crystal and mouth blown glass.



Techno Innovation
Everyone across the industry has realized that LEDs are here to stay; first heralded as the solution to all lighting needs, manufacturers and designers are now working to refine and combine this new technology into every type of working environment.
The integration was perfectly demonstrated by marriages of traditional styles and modern tech – classic Murano glass and Austrian crystal with LED (lamping) and displays of OLEDs  (organic light-emitting diodes) in inspired formation.



Tokyo based Teamlab – a fascinating team of self-professed ‘ultra technologists’ including programmers, artists and architects –  thrilled with their fantastical immersive environment; a digital journey of light and movement.


COMING SOON – Report From Paris Part II
Stay tuned for M&O Designer of the Year, Trends – Color and Motif and a selection of design inspirations that have to fall under the ‘Just Plain Cool’ category!

Swimming Pool K – Grimbergen, Belgium


Swimming Pool K by Brussels based DMVA  Architecten was a work of serendipity and an example of the designers’ “Minimal Maximilism” aesthetic – design with a strong viewpoint executed with a minimalist sensibility.



In the midst of a renovation of a 17th century historic villa in the historic Flemish town of Grimbergen, a modern uninhabited schoolhouse became available next door – allowing the client to realize his dream of an additional guesthouse and a modern swimming pool and the designers to realize a breathtaking mix of old and new.



To support the weight of a rooftop swimming pool, the studio designed a system of fortified concrete beams and columns. They left the concrete exposed as a design element which completed the pristine, minimalistic white walls of the swimming pool it supported. The rest of the building became a mixed-use living space with an open kitchen.



The result – a hyper-modern rooftop swimming pool overlooking centuries-old cobblestone streets,  streets and churches. Minimal maximilism indeed.


Curator Cabinets – A Uniquely Whimsical Piece of Art


What could be more surreal than that which lives inside the fragile confines of a bubble? Using the confines of that bubble to curate mass conspicuous consumption.


Iris van Daalen and Ruben Thier founded their studio Thier & van Daalen in 2011, the year after they both graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Their unique fixation with structure, color, design and technology, all come together in their series of Curator Cabinets, which made their debut at the 2012 Dutch Design Week. Studio Thier & van Daalen developed a proprietary process to create the organically-shaped plexiglass bubbles that are essentially movable curio cabinets. “It all started with the idea to emphasize the current trend of mass consumption. To regain what we already have, instead of buying new products every time.” Within the context of these shapes, any existing item – a ship, a human hair, a taxidermied cheetah or insect – becomes fresh, avant-garde-


A uniquely whimsical piece of art.


Gettys Group and Luxe at DIFFA Chicago Dining By Design



Congratulations to all the designers who created inspirational tablescapes for the DIFFA Chicago 2014 Dining By Design ‘Beauty and the Feast’ fundraiser.


We were very pleased to support a cause near and dear to our hearts and donate a fabulous ‘Sorbonne’ fixture to The Gettys Group table.


Thank you DIFFA for all the amazing work you do.

Heath Ceramics – San Francisco

We recently had the privilege of visiting the San Francisco factory of Heath Ceramics, a pottery company dedicated to creating beautiful and functional pieces in a variety of colors, themes and styles. Founded by Edith Heath in 1948, Heath Ceramics has a passion for mid-century, durable, thoughtfully-designed pottery, which can be found in households, restaurants and museums worldwide. The San Francisco factory employs roughly sixty craftsmen who create pieces that blur the line between tableware and artwork; their mission is to enhance the relationship between the maker of an object, the object itself, and the purchaser of the item. Many factory-produced items are devoid of personality or spirit, whereas the pieces created by Heath Ceramics are infused with the soul and passion of those who shaped and fired them, and it shows in the quality of their work.