Studio Visit: Italy’s Crea Concrete Design + Foscarini Lighting

Shining a light on the process of the skilled artisans who produce the Aplomb lamp for the major design firm

Foscarini is the third largest Italian lighting company and yet they do not own a factory. Their entire production relies on collaboration with skilled artisans, each of whom is specialized in a particular material or craft, from glass to carbon fiber. The company is now lifting the veil on this with Maestrie (Master Skills), a narrative photographic and video project by the artist Gianluca Vassallo. …

Why 2,000-Year-Old Roman Concrete Still Stands

How is it that 2000 years later, certain Roman ruins still stand in harbors? Geologists have determined that it pertains to one of the components—aluminum tobermorite, a rare mineral found in volcanic ash. When struck with seawater (another component of Roman concrete, along with lime and rock), a possolanic reaction occurs where the tobermorite crystallizes and spreads—adding further strength. Thus, longterm seawater exposure only reinforces …

CitizenM Times Square Hotel

The brand's first American outpost for the mobile citizen continues to shake up the outdated hotel industry

When citizenM announced they were opening their first American outpost in Times Square, we were a bit skeptical. After a stay, however, we were happily proven wrong—they’ve created an oasis in the middle of one of the most chaotic places in the world. From the futuristic-looking rooms to the Google Earth-printed carpet, the free Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel to the artwork-covered living room (their …

Chrome and Concrete Candle Sets

Two Icelandic designers explore a similar silhouette in different mediums

Much like Ólöf Jakobína’s Marmo table, So by Sonja is similarly inspired by Iceland’s imposing lanscape and brightly colored architecture. Created by Sonja Björk Ragnarsdóttir, the range’s first product, Candlestick 5, take its name from its form. The pentagonal shape makes for non-linear arrangements, a subtly purposeful detail which hints at the designer’s playful approach to industrial design. Made entirely in Iceland the solid aluminum …

Xiral Watertower

Bring a French countryside landmark into your living room

As part of this year’s Maison et Objet design tradeshow during Paris Design Week, the exhibition “Now: Le Off!” served to showcase young, up-and-coming designers. We were drawn to the smartly conceived multipurpose pieces throughout the show. One particularly French item we spotted were Xiral‘s Watertower Tables. Made from heavy-duty concrete—the designer’s preferred material—the accent tables are meant to look like the traditional gray water …