Best of CH 2020: Most Popular

Tech reviews, spirit stories, photo essays, sustainability surveys and more

Every day, we publish stories that cover a breadth of topics. In doing so we aim to appease and inspire our audience. From travel pieces and technology reviews to artist profiles and design features, our site’s subject matter mirrors many of our own interests and reflects our mission of discovering ideas and products at the intersection of art, design, style, culture and technology. Clearly, as these were our most visited articles of this year, they resonated with you, our readers, too. Whether you visit the site daily and have seen these articles before or you’re reading these features for the first time, we hope you find one (or several) worth diving into.

by Josh Rubin

Inside New Canaan, Connecticut’s Enveloping “At The Noyes House” Exhibition

Harvard Five architect and IBM industrial designer Eliot Noyes’ mid-century modernist home currently hosts an enveloping exhibition, At the Noyes House: Blum & Poe, Mendes Wood DM, and Object & Thing, that transports guests out of time and place. In the same Connecticut town that draws architectural tourists to the Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, the Noyes House exhibit sees the work of 34 international artists and designers playing off its unique glass surroundings—and is open to the public for the first time ever. Remarkably, Noyes was the head of the industrial design division of MoMA at the same time Johnson was the head of architecture there—and Johnson (with a handful of their other peers under Walter Gropius) came to the town at the behest of Noyes. Thus, a movement was born… Read more.

by Carlos Von Der Heyde

Carlos Von Der Heyde’s International Portraiture Project from Quarantine

NYC-based, Argentine photographer Carlos Von Der Heyde travels the world, capturing images of friends and family, from the safety of his apartment. His series, which the artist plans to transform into a book, shines a light upon the socio-psychological impact of isolation around the world and encourages hope for artists eager to find new approaches to their craft. Von Der Heyde took more than 100 portraits, with subjects in some 25 countries… Read more.

by Evan Malachosky

The Natural Beauty of Posada by The Joshua Tree House

Rich and Sara Combs—the husband and wife design duo behind Posada by The Joshua Tree House (Tucson, AZ) and the aptly named The Joshua Tree House (Joshua Tree, CA)—have been together since high school, but their passion for the rich landscape of the rural western parts of the US didn’t surface until a road trip across the country (from San Francisco to NYC) after leaving jobs in web design in 2013. The Connecticut-raised pair have an unforced, gentle essence and it translates into their interior and hospitality design projects. It’s also mirrored in their properties and the land upon which they sit… Read more.

by Josh Rubin

“Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics” at NYC’s Japan Society

Designed by NYC-based architecture firm SO-IL, the Japan Society‘s Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics exhibition introduces audiences to folklorist and cultural anthropologist Chuzaburo Tanaka’s personal collection of vintage Japanese pieces along with contemporary garments by pioneers of Japanese fashion like Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The presentation bridges the gap between new and old, dually representing anonymous individuals who forged this medium and those who wish to push it forward… Read more.

Image courtesy of MycoWorks

MycoWorks Debuts Their Plastic-Free, Non-Animal Premium Leather Alternative, Reishi

Amidst the tidal change rippling through the luxury sector—one that involves reduction of carbon footprint, protection of animal rights and dismissal of plastics—only one leather alternative adheres to such standards and still feels premium. That product, Reishi, launches this week. A fungi-based “fine mycelium” grown in labs under proprietary circumstances, Reishi emulates many sensory aspects of genuine leather and eschews the plastic soul of synthetics. Founder Philip Ross, an artist who’s exhibited at MoMA and the Venice Biennale, spent 20 years developing the biomaterial. In the past few months—with the aid of CEO Matt Scullin, a materials scientist—breakthroughs were so substantial that it became time to unveil Reishi… Read more.

by John Paradiso

Brooklyn’s Faccia Brutto Makes Delicious Old World Italian Spirits

Italian spirits have undergone a renaissance in the US. Though many Italian distillers have sought a Denominazione di origine controllata (D.O.C.) for numerous amaro styles, which would restrict the official category to Italy (like Champagne in France), many spirits producers across the US try their hand at making bitter botanical spirits. There are several distilleries in Brooklyn alone making high-quality fernet, aperitivi and amari. Faccia Brutto, which opened in Williamsburg in March this year, is the latest to enter the scene… Read more.

Image courtesy of Nike, Inc.

Nike’s “Move to Zero” Sustainability Mission

Commitments to sustainability, especially from multi-billion dollar brands, rarely include top-down assessments of supply chains or altering the final make-up of said brand’s most popular products. Some commit to a broader goal set by another governing organization, while others devote a portion of their profits to offsetting their emissions. For Nike, reimagining their processes and products are just some of the steps in a much larger process they’ve titled Move to Zero, a commitment to zero waste and zero carbon production. With five key initiatives, and a collection of data to support their decisions, Nike not only presented a viable way forward but also provided a path for similarly scaled companies to follow… Read more.

Image courtesy of Terra Kaffe

Terra Kaffe’s Design-Forward, Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, the TK-01

Brooklyn-based company Terra Kaffe aims to make the ritual of home-brewing coffee more accessible and sustainable. The brand’s 23-pound debut machine, the TK-01, is capable of grinding, tamping, extracting, crafting and even cleaning up after itself. Existing between the high-end manual espresso machine and the most entry-level pod-pouring product, the TK-01 costs $775—more expensive than the latter but far more affordable than the former. Designed by Terra Kaffe founder and CEO Sahand Dilmaghani, but brought to life with the help of friends across industries, it’s an appealing appliance to look at and one that’s a delight to use… Read more.

by Josh Rubin

CH Japan: Indigo Dyeing Leather + Cotton

Many people don’t know where natural indigo comes from or realize how few indigo farms are left in Japan—only five in Tokushima, the country’s traditional indigo farming region. Indigo is a green plant that has a higher percentage of blue than other green plants (though most have some). Traditional indigo dye in Japan is made from sukumo, which is what the harvested and fermented indigo plant turns into; it’s a crumbly, blueish dried substance that is then mixed with lye and other ingredients to create the beloved Awa-Ai indigo dye that items eventually get dipped in… Read more.

Image courtesy of Logitech + Herman Miller

Logitech + Herman Miller’s Performance-Enhancing Embody Gaming Chair

Gone are the days when gaming was considered a basement hobby; now it’s a professional sport with multi-million-dollar prizes, sprawling endorsement deals, and dedicated technology, apparel and accessories. From sneakers to displays and plenty of mouses, keyboards and controllers, the race to outfit this ever-growing category is gaining momentum. As such, Herman Miller—the 110-year-old producer of home and office furniture and equipment—partnered with Logitech to produce a suite of elevated gaming-focused furniture. The launch begins with the tech-forward Embody Gaming Chair, an evolution of Herman Miller’s beloved office chair that’s made from 42% recycled materials and is 95% recyclable when discarded… Read more.

Hero image by Josh Rubin