Design Bureau Inspiring Dialogue on Design 2014-12-10T17:50:29Z http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/feed/atom/ WordPress dbadmin <![CDATA[Event Recap | The Rug Company]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22597 2014-12-10T17:50:29Z 2014-12-10T17:50:29Z The new collection of rugs from Rodarte was unveiled at a cocktail reception in Chicago on December 4th.

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Photos by Kater Jayne Photography

On December 4, 2014, Design Bureau partnered with The Rug Company on an event in their Chicago showroom to celebrate the launch of their new collection with Rodarte. Kate and Laura Mulleavy founded Rodarte in 2005 and are internationally known for their conceptual and ethereal fashion collections. The designers are respected for their artistic approach to design and their ability to find inspiration in the unusual, mixing high couture, modern femininity, and California influences in their collections. Rodarte's designs for The Rug Company are expressions of their interest in exploring other art forms.

The collection includes Ivy Trellis, Ember, Cobalt and Cobalt Motif. Each design was made with rich colors, intricate details, and exemplifies their signature ethereal aesthetic.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and shook hands with The Rug Company team, and got to view the stunning pieces up close.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Event Recap: 40 Years of Roche Bobois in the USA]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22587 2014-12-03T18:35:09Z 2014-12-03T18:35:09Z Two anniversary parties wrapped up in one! Roche Bobois celebrates year 40 and DB turns 4!

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Photos by RED Weddings Chicago

On November 12, 2014 in Chicago, a special, dual anniversary took place. We celebrated 40 years of the luxury furniture brand, Roche Bobois, in the USA in their Chicago showroom. Design Bureau share the fete, commemorating our fourth year as a contributing voice to the cultural dialogue of interior design and architecture. The evening's subjects were treated warmly by an array of esteemed confreres. Cherished Chicago renegades Revolution Brewery shared a selection of their seasonable malts, while spirited newcomers Crafthouse Cocktails lent guests a touch of mixology with classic palliatives and originals alike. The fruits of Dark Horse Wines' vineyard handiwork provided befitting accompaniment to the backdrop of Roche Bobois luxury furniture, supported by FLOR modular carpeting. Fresh hors d' oeuvres courtesy of J&L Catering were the eats that roused our tastebuds, and our beloved DJ Scend served the beats that courted our earbuds.

 

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Well Played]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22578 2014-11-06T22:37:42Z 2014-11-06T22:37:42Z The DESIGNerd 100+ app schools design aficionados.

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Text by Jessica Barrett Sattell 

What student at the Royal College of Art, London designed the Rolling Stones’ famous tongue logo in 1970? Who founded Penguin Books in 1935? Which two people developed the Helvetica typeface? If you know the answers to any of these questions (or are dying to find out), turn to the DESIGNerd 100+ trivia app.

Developed by Australia-based designer and publisher Kevin Finn for diehard fans of typography, packaging, publishing, branding, and graphics, the first-of-its-kind trivia game series features a collection of timed multiple-choice questions interspersed with factoids ranging from typeface development to Pantone color names. The simple, cheerful interface makes for a fun—and, be forewarned, highly addictive—way to learn graphic design history.

Finn took on the first of three volumes while design powerhouses Steven Heller, Lita Talarico, and Stefan Sagmeister authored the remaining questions. The game engages enthusiasts while also sharing what information respected de- signers think is relevant to a well-rounded understanding of the craft’s history.

The app, which is currently available for the iPhone with plans to launch on Android soon, features two editions: the 100+ Free edition containing Finn’s volume and the 100+ Series, which houses all three volumes. Get ready to pro- claim your design nerdery with a tap of your screen.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Small Monuments]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22574 2014-11-06T21:33:02Z 2014-11-06T21:33:02Z Dowse jewelry nods to architect Louis Kahn.

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Text by Jessica Barrett Sattell 

When The Design Museum London asked Susannah Dowse to create a jewelry collection that would complement their retrospective exhibit Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, the UK-based designer became fascinated with the modernist master’s life and work. Dowse, her established line that is more art-object than adornment, shares the late American architect’s commitment to an elevated use of basic materials.

Dowse found many parallels between her own work and that of Kahn and shaped her collection to pay  homage to the design visionary through a harmonious usage of simple geometric forms and finishes to reflect light—just like his buildings. The assortment of steel and brass necklaces and earrings feature playful combinations of strong shapes, such as circles layered upon triangles or hexagons nestled within grids.

Although the show closed in October, the pieces will be available at the Design Museum London through the holidays, as well as on the museum’s website and through Dowse at dowsedesign.co.uk into 2015.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Bring the Heat]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22570 2014-11-06T20:22:43Z 2014-11-06T20:22:43Z The holidays are here. Sneak peak at Design Bureau's picks.

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Ploom began with a conversation between two design partners—one smoker, one non-smoker—and the San Francisco-based tobacco company has been re-inventing smoking through their modern vaporizers ever since. Pax, the brand’s small-but-mighty model that eliminates smoke but still delivers taste through conduction heat, pairs perfectly with a cozy felt carrying case and tin of Blend X Black Raspberry loose-leaf tobacco.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Tunnel Vision]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22546 2014-11-04T16:30:26Z 2014-11-04T16:29:38Z Chicago's Claremont House leans toward making a more classic statement on home design.

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Photos by Christopher Barrett 

Text by Patrick Sisson 

It’s comparable to finding a hole in the landscape. When locals first encountered the Claremont House—a standout amid rows of classic bungalows in Chicago’s St. Ben’s neighborhood—it was a jolt to see through the home and into the backyard from the sidewalk.

“When the translucent blind is open and you can see the light come in through the back, people slam on their breaks, because that moment is so different,” says architect Brad Lynch of Brininstool + Lynch, who designed the house for his family. “People think it limits privacy, but when the blinds are down, it’s really not noticeable.”

Completed back in 2007, the steel-framed 4,250-square-foot home on the city’s northwest side was designed with a nod toward past trends in urban architecture. It’s relatively straightforward to compare the brick-clad structure to its Modernist precursors. The see-through nature of the 10.5-by-15-foot front and back glass panels actually stare visitors in the face, while the side stairwell leaves the view unobstructed and provides natural light and air circulation.

But Lynch was also thinking about how past Chicago buildings, from mansions on Prairie Avenue to early neighborhood homes, revolved around a front porch that served as a space for community and communication. Since gentrification, many new homes have been oriented towards the backyard, he said; it leaves side windows, normally closed because of privacy concerns, as the go-to source for natural light. Lynch’s solution was to provide a new view toward neighborhood interaction, contrast it with a private second story, and anchor the structure in its environment.

As of this fall, the home was on the market through Robert John Anderson of Baird & Warner Brokerage, a rare chance to move into an award- winning and significant work of architecture.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Welcome to the Concrete Jungle]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22537 2014-11-12T22:15:37Z 2014-11-04T16:10:08Z Rustic details, sleek furniture, and crisp skyline views culminate in this Chicago bachelor pad.

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Photos by Chris Bradley Photography

Text by John Taylor 

Sometimes, all it takes is a sledgehammer. When Project Interiors founder Aimee Wertepny and designer Jennifer Krantz were given the green light from a prolific 28-year-old bachelor seeking “a place for shaking cocktails, shak- ing hands, and shaking all pretense about what his ‘grown up,’ pie-in-the-sky condo should look like,” the two came in swinging, literally. “Knocking down walls, extending walls, cladding walls, dropping in a steel fireplace partition,” she says. “Game changers!” We caught up with the duo to learn more about the decisions behind the sleek and contemporary design.

You dubbed this project “Concrete Jungle.” Which details best represent the overall intended aesthetic?

The leather-wrapped brass chandelier; the gnarly, tangled string-theory chair; the contrast of bright white lacquer against raw steel; the obvious view to the city; and beyond. This place is all architectural glitz with lots of laughs.

Can you tell me about the wall behind the bed?

Our buddy [who] we fondly refer to as “the garbage picker” had us eating our words when he showed us these old factory doors. The chipped paint and rusty hardware make the perfect gritty backdrop against the crisp skyline views and sleek furniture.

What challenges did you two find yourselves up against?

Working with such a long, narrow space presented some challenges—we seamed rugs together to make one large area rug
to cover the long expanse. Also, the lighting was a challenge. The raw concrete ceilings didn’t offer any overhead light, but a custom designed steel contraption mounted to the ceiling makes this hottie glow when the sun goes down.

With so many cool aspects of design at work here, which are you most proud of?

They say you can never be too skinny or too rich, right? Well, this lady needed to put a little meat on her bones...we extended a wall to create a foyer, clad it in ebonized wood, and gave the overall appearance of more mass. Because in architecture, unlike our waistlines, bigger is better.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Grit and Grandeur]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22531 2014-11-12T22:07:56Z 2014-11-04T15:48:22Z A Times Square hotel offers a respite from the city that never sleeps.

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Photos by Michael Kleinberg

Text by Margaret Poe 

Situated as it is, on New York City’s Eighth Avenue in the heart of Times Square, the marquee is all but mandatory. But the high-wattage bulbs welcoming guests to the Row NYC do more than light many a selfie on the sidewalk below. They also animate and beckon visitors to step in the door, says Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates, whose firm was tasked with transforming the hotel’s public spaces. Once they walk inside, guests are immersed in a street-smart aesthetic throughout the newly renovated hotel.

The building has greeted tourists since opening as the Lincoln Hotel in 1928, among the largest in the city at the time. And after a two year, $140 million renovation, the look is contemporary city chic— with a sense of history. From the poured concrete to the jet-mist concrete and blackened steel, the materials are “embedded onto the street character of New York City,” Gabellini says. This sense of “refined grittiness,” as he calls it, pairs well with rich recessed lighting within the slatted wood canopy ceiling to create a warm, inviting ambience.

A nod to the city’s many stages, the two-story, panoramic lobby is crafted as a theatre-in-the-round, with the second story overlooking the lower-level entrance. The common areas serve dual purposes, according to Gabellini: seamlessly moving crowds through the space while simultaneously providing an intimate, hospitable gathering area. He sees the sweeping lobby as “an urban embrace.”

It also lets visitors into District M—European cafe by day, pizza bar and cocktail lounge by night—“to feel cocooned from the motion of Times Square,” he says, “while maintaining the allure and ‘see and be seen’ feeling throughout.”

That camera-ready sensibility is evident in the works by legendary paparazzi photographer Ron Galella featured in District M’s digital art gallery, highlighting the exuberant energy of Manhattan in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. In the reception area, an installation by New York-based artist Yorgo Alexopoulos “is the culmination of a visual tour de force,” Gabellini says.

Even the name reflects a deep sense of place. It’s called Row NYC, explains Kimberly Sheppard, because the hotel offers “a front row view of quintessential New York City.”

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Designing Happiness]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22521 2014-10-31T15:02:53Z 2014-10-31T15:02:53Z Coca-Cola's new Canadian headquarters was planned to resonate with employees.

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Photos by Steve Tsai Photography

Text by Emma Janzen

When The Coca-Cola Company acquired the North American operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises in 2010, Coca-Cola Canada needed to merge operations into one centralized facility. Knowing the existing suburban offices would not accommodate their growing needs, the management team targeted the dynamic energy of downtown Toronto to infuse the organization with a renewed sense of vigor.

The new LEED CI Silver- certified headquarters—a 103,000-square-foot, three- story addition perched on top of the former Toronto Sun offices—reflects the company’s business imperatives of delivering happiness from the façade down to the floor plan.

For the exterior, design firm Figure 3 teamed up with building developers First Gulf and Pellow + Associ- ates Architects to create a wavy glass envelope design to mimic the brand’s iconic “Coca-Cola wave,” and signal to the public that the offices will embody a bold but light-hearted sense of playfulness.

Inside, in order to cultivate a vibrant atmosphere where employees felt engaged and invested in the business’s day-to-day activities, the building is designed into four specific areas or “zones” delineated by the sorts of activities that take place within each. At the core, a central atrium spanning from the ground level to the roof allows buckets of natural daylight to wash through open public spaces, encouraging socialization both in those areas and in the flanking cafeteria and outdoor terrace. Conference areas for meetings and lounges surround the atrium, and portals that lead to quieter office areas of each floor act as transitional “decompression zones” that separate the social activities from workspaces.

A sub-project of the overall design is a building-wide environmental branding scheme that features wall- sized graphics and art installations from the company archives, featuring both current and historic campaigns. Figure 3 principal and strategic partner on the project Caroline Hughes says the goal is to give employees the feeling that they are an immediate part of the company’s global, national, and local initiatives. “By designing a space that focuses on connecting Coke’s people to their workplace, people feel connected to one another, the company, and of course, their work, ” she says.

Hughes also says she believes the overall design succeeds at keeping employees engaged on all intended levels. “The best thing about the design of the new Coca-Cola Canada HQ? Hearing that Coke’s people are happy working there.”

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dbadmin <![CDATA[The Desk Gets A Facelift]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22511 2014-11-12T21:57:25Z 2014-10-30T15:11:56Z Continuity and function unite in the name of office style.

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Images courtesy of Grovemade

Text by Sam Willett

In a nine-to-five job, an office desk can be a second home. When luck has you down, a picture of family or friends can perk a smile. Maybe a cartoon from the last week’s paper can lend a much-needed laugh. Style, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to come by.

When Ken Tomita and Joe Mansfield, the founders of handcrafted goods purveyor Grovemade, visited a college friend—and co-founder of AirBNB—at the apartment-sharing company’s San Francisco headquarters, they were in awe of the “most amazing office ever with the nicest of everything.”

“However, they were all using shoeboxes to elevate their computer monitors,” Tomita says. “We both noticed immediately that we could solve that problem and do it well, appealing to the designer crowd.” Once they settled on the structure for a sleek, all-natural monitor stand, the opportunity for a larger assortment of office accessories became obvious.

And thus the brand’s “Desk Collection” was born. Crafted largely from Eastern Hardrock Maple and Black Oregon Walnut, it includes—in addition to the monitor stand—a keyboard tray, keyboard wrist pad, mouse pad, pen pot, ruler, desk lamp, planter, and paper-clip holder. The result? All of your office materials living in polished, convenient harmony.

“We want the customer to be able to make their workspace both comfortable and beautiful,” Tomita says. “It’s difficult to put together a collection of products from different companies and make them look good together. We solve that problem by providing an entire collection that has great design continuity built in.”

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dbadmin <![CDATA[My View: Magdalena Wosinska]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22503 2014-11-12T21:46:42Z 2014-10-30T14:47:49Z One trip, one photographer, five photos. See the view from Magdalena Wosinska's lens.

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Photos by Magdalena Wosinska

An LA transplant born in Katowice, Poland, photographer Magdalena Wosinska uses her edgy, California-sun-soaked work to explore what it means to be young, vibrant, and free and takes her audience to all of the places- from skate parks to metal shows- that this youthful energy thrives. Here, Wosinska shares five photos from a recent road trip across the Midwest, revealing the spirited sides od America's heartland in states like Kansas and Missouri.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Fill in the Blank: Jose Miguel Mendez]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22493 2014-10-29T19:56:51Z 2014-10-29T19:53:48Z London-based illustrator Jose Miguel Mendez crafts his own illustrative language and fills in the blank in a casual, cool Q&A.

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Images courtesy of Jose Miguel Mendez

Art can be defined as the product of what its creator sees and takes in and how what lies in front of them can bend that artist’s perception. Jose Miguel Mendez, a London-based illustrator, instead looks backward—a direction that has allowed him to craft his own illustrative language.

Mendez started out as a graffiti artist in Madrid, where he was able to create in a still-developing scene. From there, he continued to draw obsessively, worked on growing professionally, and strove to create without concrete boundaries. His imagination has allowed him to erect cartoonized cities for Facebook and Jess3, assign the face for Italy’s Lullaby Fest, and create album artwork for the likes of MF Doom. Here, we discover what else fuels his zany artistic drive.

MY FAVORITE ALBUM TO LISTEN TO WHILE WORKING IS... Z by SZA.

IF I WEREN’T A DESIGNER, I WOULD BE... a musician.

IF I COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANY DESIGNER DEAD OR ALIVE, I WOULD CHOOSE... Victor Moscoso.

IN THREE WORDS, MY OFFICE IS... full of randomness.

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS...a dachshund.

MY BEST IDEAS COME TO ME WHEN... I feel completely relaxed.

MY IDEAL SATURDAY AFTER- NOON CONSISTS OF... hanging out with my friends in a pub around my neighborhood, Dalston.

MY FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE IS... eating fried chicken after a night out.

MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION COMES FROM... stupid situations I have seen or lived.

IF I COULD REDESIGN ANY CLASSIC ALBUM COVER, IT WOULD BE... Check Your Head by Beastie Boys.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[A Modern Mood Ring – Cap Style]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22489 2014-10-29T19:38:44Z 2014-10-29T19:38:44Z The Unseen melds science and fashion on this Swarovski gemstone piece.

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Image courtesy of The Unseen

Text by Amanda Koellner

When Swarovski approached The Unseen—a luxury design house that uses specific materials to mesh biological, chemical, and electronic science into fashion—to take a fresh look at the technological potential behind the iconic brand’s synthetic stones, The Unseen’s Lauren Bowker wasn’t sure what to expect.

She certainly couldn’t have predicted that through this collaboration, she and her team would discover that the gemstone black spinel is so similar to the human bone that it can be “compatible with the human, enabling each stone, when worn, to act as a conduction insulator, absorbing energy loss from the head.”

“It was a happy accident,” she says. “We knew that this stone would be much more sensitive than a regular stone, so we did some research to look into the brain’s activity and how the black spinel reacted. It was a case of sitting and playing with it until every person that wore it result- ed in a different pattern.”

Bowker, who has a chem- istry background and has worked with “every mate- rial under the sun,” says that projects like this de- fine The Unseen’s core mis- sion. “For us, everything has to both have a purpose and look good,” she says. “We rely, 50/50, on the technology being great and the design looking great.” She also says the design house strives to educate people on various wearable technologies (“It doesn’t all have to be wires—it can be more poetic. It doesn’t have to be plastic.”), as well as to create something that inspires people to look at the world differently and take note of what’s around them.

The 4,000-gemstone cap, which “becomes a reflection of the inner human thought,” will remain an exhibition piece with the prime purpose of showcasing The Unseen’s technology and Swarovski’s research—for now. “We’ve had a mass influx of people wanting to buy the piece or wanting us to create something for them,” Bowker says. As a result, The Unseen will soon release a new product line that will allow people the chance to buy into the technology they’ve recently developed— and, we hope, indulge in mood garments of all varieties.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Sharon Van Etten + Goose Island at Pitchfork]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22482 2014-10-29T16:22:24Z 2014-10-29T16:22:24Z A look into the making if last summer's collaborative beer from the singer/songwriter and Chicago-based brewery.

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Photos and text by Amanda Koellner 

Live music and beer have a healthy relationship. The experience of each is easily improved by combining the two—but rarely does the creator of the former take a stab at making the latter. For the past two years, Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery and Pitchfork Music Festival have fused the two, inviting musicians to work with top brewers on a special beer made specifically for the three-day indie music extravaganza in Chicago’s Union Park.

For Pitchfork 2013, hip- hop duo Run the Jewels created an eponymous dry-hopped Belgian wheat ale sold exclusively at the fest; for 2014, the brewery turned to singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten for the collaboration. When senior brewer in the company’s barrel program, Eric Ponce (a huge SVE fan), received a staff email asking if anyone was interested in working with her on the 2014 installment of the Pitchfork-specific beer, he jumped on the chance.

The process began with a phone call about what Van Etten generally looks for in a brew—a tad tricky considering the artist fancies herself a red wine drinker above all. “Initially, I said, ‘Are you sure you want to talk to me about this?’ But they knew my background and that I was into wine, so they knew I’d have some type of vocabulary in talking about beer, which was cool,” she says. “But I definitely called my brothers, who are both really into beer, before I talked to everyone to make sure I didn’t sound like a moron.”

The two settled on kölsch (Van Etten’s favorite)— crisp, clean, and delicate— but took into account the fact that the artist also loves pale ales. “Because she likes both, we made a dry-hop kölsch, which isn’t traditionally how kölschs are made, but we thought we’d give it a shot,” Ponce says. “She wanted it clear, grassy, and spicy, so that helped us decide what hops to use.” He also notes that Van Etten wasn’t looking for a wheat ale (despite the fact that 20% of the malt recipe used for the kölsch is wheat), so the Goose Island team swapped out the ingredient and substituted rye. “It adds a nice, underlying layer,” he says. “It’s a good complexity to drink during a hot summer day—at about 5% alcohol, it has enough flavor where people can still break it down and appreciate it.”

The beer’s airiness paired well with what Van Etten tends to prefer at a music festival if she opts for beer over her usual wine or her band’s celebratory pre-show shot of whiskey (“which is medicinal—it sooths the throat”). “I know that I like a lighter style because if you’re drinking crazy Belgium beers for hours at a time in the summer, you’ll feel pretty gross after a while,” she says.

The light drinkability of the appetizing Sharon Van Etten brew allowed the singer to sip on a glass of her very own beer as she took the stage to perform on a sunny summer day at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[If The Shoe Fits]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22479 2014-11-12T21:38:14Z 2014-10-29T15:28:22Z Three college students highlight humanity's mass overconsumption by designing a show made of rubbish.

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Image courtesy of This Is Rubbish

Text by Amanda Koellner 

“We need to consume less. A lot less. Yet every decade, global consumption continues to increase relentlessly.” These are the words of Stephen Emmott, the author of Ten Billion, whose book predicts what Earth will look like when its population reaches that very number. The words also define the mission of This is Rubbish, a fashionable awareness project by three university students from the UK, who have dressed their website in Emmott’s words.

It was because of those words that the trio of Charles Duffy (who brought the technical input), William Gubbins (who offered experience with plastics), and Billy Turvey (who cut the film on the process) handpicked trash from the Thames, the English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean, drove a hatchback full of rubbish back to London, and then filtered, cleaned, melted, and molded select pieces into brightly colored footwear.

“Our aim in this project wasn’t to manufacture consumer-recycled goods,” Duffy says. “We just wanted to raise awareness of the issues; it was the documentation of the process that, in the end, gained the attention of the people, and we hope that message followed through.”

The message certainly seems to have been heard. Charities and footwear companies (as well as an oil-rigging contracting company) have all reached out to the This is Rubbish guys regarding their own environmental awareness campaigns, leaving Duffy, Gubbins, and Turvey “truly humbled” by the fact that their efforts have extended “as far as the industrial giants that facilitate the problem.”

Still, the team remains wary  of humanity’s mass overconsumption. “Plastic is ubiquitous, and many types will still be breaking down by the time our bodies have long decomposed,” Duffy says. “That’s pretty scary, since we’re letting millions of tons of plastic slip into the ocean every year.”

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Beacon of Knowledge]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22401 2014-10-29T15:14:33Z 2014-10-29T15:14:33Z A children's library center gleams in Queens.

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Photos by Michael Moran

Text by Risa Seidman

At the intersection of Merrick Boulevard and 90th Avenue, the Children’s Library Discovery Center (CLDC) stands out amidst the squat, brick low-rises of Jamaica, Queens in New York City. Its façade, a luminous, Mondrian-like mosaic of rectangular glass tiles, draws the eye, creating an inviting space for locals. “The glowing effect achieved by the façade is a strong visual reminder of the library’s role as a community beacon,” says Juergen Riehm, principal of 1100 Architect, the firm behind the library’s design.

The library’s incandescence isn’t just for looks, however. “High performance glazing on the building’s skin insulates and reduces glare, thus lessening the energy burden on heating and cooling systems,” Riehm explains. “The union of visual innovation and tangible practicality acts as a governing principle in the design of the project.”

Inside, the CLDC is no less vivid. The library’s interior sparkles with gleaming white surfaces, infused with neon- bright signage and details. A colorful floor map of Queens serves as a focal point for the space, as well as an informational graphic about the cultural diversity of the borough.

Such a white-based palette might, in other cases, make the space seem too sterile, but the inclusion of cozy reading nooks and social areas lend the library an inviting warmth. Plus, science-and math- themed exhibits interspersed among the book stacks make the CLDC the only free learning facility of its kind in the area. “The CLDC is visited daily by so many children and their caregivers, as well as public schools using it as a classroom extension for the science and math curriculum,” Riehm says. “The community’s all-out positive response to the project makes us most proud.”

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Design Bureau Turns 4 | Party Photos]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22273 2014-11-12T22:14:59Z 2014-10-28T22:08:31Z DB celebrated its birthday in style at Chez Chicago!

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Here at Design Bureau, we love a good party—especially those that celebrate, well, us! On Wednesday, September 10, Chicago's hottest new event space, Chez Chicago, hosted Design Bureau's four-year anniversary event, featuring one of our best issues of the magazine yet, the September/October Inspiration Issue.

The evening was packed with renowned Chicago designers, Design Bureau readers, contributors and partners, and a who's who of the Chicago social scene. DJ Scend spun tunes all evening as guests mingled, danced, sampled tasty appetizers from Pure Kitchen Catering, and sipped on specialty cocktails and beer provided by Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Burrell Vodka, The Lagunitas Brewing Co., Begyle Brewing, and Virtue Cider. Guests also posed for photos on a custom red carpet provided by FLOR. Lucky for us (and you!), Candace Zynda captured the magic of the night in photos so we can relive the fun now long after the party has ended.

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Special thanks to all our additional sponsors:
Photobooth by Smilebooth, sponsored by Kimball Office
Decor by Event Creative
Step & Repeat Banner by 24hBanner
Gift bags from The Container Store came packed with goodies from BobblePloom, OPITattly, and Pretzel Crisps.

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dbadmin <![CDATA[Murals Made Modern]]> http://www.wearedesignbureau.com/?post_type=projects&p=22397 2014-10-28T15:31:56Z 2014-10-28T14:46:54Z A Minnesota company gives the traditional art form a user-friendly makeover.

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Text by Chloe Stachowiak

Murals have inhabited public and private walls for centuries— but, thanks to Murals Your Way and its customizable line of wall art, the age-old craft has finally joined the 21st Century. Created in 2004, the company specializes in large-scale prints that, with more than 850,000 designs to choose from and seemingly endless personalization optioned, id breathing modernity into the mural.

“Remember the pre-printed Hawaiian sunset murals from the ‘70s? Those murals were produced by Environmental Graphics, which our owner— Ted Yoch—is still a part of,” says Jackie Just, director of marketing for Murals Your Way. “He knows the murals industry well and in 2004 realized that homeowners and businesses were looking for more personal, customized wall art.”

For the past decade, the company has been printing murals on canvas and vibrant vinyl, which are hung like wallpaper or via the DIY-friendly SmartStick, which can be easily adhered and removed. The hardest part? Selecting a mural from so many options. “Choose one that evokes something personal. A photo from the beach where you honeymooned that lets you unwind and rejuvenate. Or a vintage map of your favorite city.”

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