Design Branded Interiors With Ease

Since it was established in 1963, Pantone's standardized color system has been used by graphic designers to produce accurate color matching for printed media.  Since then, Pantone has expanded it's color system to include textiles, interior products, plastics, architectural products and and paint making it easier for interior designers and architects to incorporate brand identity into a three dimensional environment.

Pantone's provides a wealth of knowledge and
is a great resource for interior designers and architects who want to stay ahead of the color curve.  PANTONE VIEW Colour Planner is a bi-annual color trend forecast for fashion and interiors published 24 months in advance! Pantone's website also features great articles, inspiration, color advice, quantity calculators for paint and an online mood palette tool.   If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, download the myPANTONE application (for $9.99) and you will always have the Pantone color system libraries at your fingertips.  The myPANTONE software allows you to snap a photo and match it to the closest Pantone color, automatically generates color combinations and allows you to email or share your color palette with others.

For more information about Pantone, Inc. and PANTONE® Products, visit

Commence Countdown with Kinzo's Air202

Kinzo Air elevates the office to a new level of cool.  Their slogan is "Work Like NASA" and there is no denying the futuristic space age influence in their designs.  The Air202 is an asymmetrical 2-person workstation appears to float above the floor.  A drawer and a hidden wire management system is integrated into the unit.  The Air Board bookcase (far left) and the Air Lite can be seen in this photo.  A mobile pedstal, the Air Cont (not pictured), is also available.

Visit to see the full product line.

Architectural Shoes

The "it" color of the season marches down the runway and next month it's Sherwin Williams' best selling color. The newest wallcovering and carpet patterns recall the bohemian Ikat print dress that sashayed it's way into your closet last spring.   It is no secret that interior design follows fashion but have you heard of fashion, footwear in particular, following architecture?  

We've heard impossibly high heels referred to as skyscraper heels.  But rather than discuss the engineering feats of the shoe designer, we are more likely to marvel at the skill and agility of the wearer of said skyscraper heels (or giggle if they are not so graceful).If you think challenging our notion of impossible heights is as architectural as a shoe could be, check out these beauties...
Left to Right: John Galliano Spring 09 Collection, Photo of Burnham Pavilion, UN Studio by Christian Richters

The sculptural organic shape and iridescent colors of John Galliano's shoe could have been inspired by  Burnham Pavilion in Chicago's Millinieum Park designed by UN Studio.

 Left to Right: Working Ludens Shoe by SDesignUnit, OrganiCube by Chris Precht

If I was a woman who lived in a shoe, I would want it to be the Working Ludens Shoe by SDesignUnit. I imagine the interior would be sleek and white like the OrganicCube by Chris Precht.

Left to Right: Rotational Moulded Shoe by  Marloes Couture Shoes, Diagram of Burnham Pavilion by UN Studio  

Marloes Couture Shoes has architectural beauties galore (cantilevered shoes- what?!).  I had a hard time deciding which shoe to post. The crazy geometry and the "flyaway" spikes of this shoe also reminded me of the Burnham Pavilion by UN Studio. Hey, it's an inspirational design!

There were many more architectural shoes and inspirational buildings but sometimes I was given permission to use one image but not the other. Regardless, these links are definitely worth the click as the shoes and the architecture are truly inspiring.

The Conceptual Collection by Gil Carvalho call images of suspension bridges to mind. The V1 shoes reminds me of this Majori Sports Hall by Substance.  The heel of United Nude's Mobius Shoe was inspired by the frame of a Barcelona Chair but it could also have been influenced by the Harley Davidson Headquarters in Lane Cove by Tony Owens Partners.
Also, worth the click is Walking on Air by Eleanor Glover.

Feeling Moody? Try Mood Space

I'm a big believer in environmental psychology, which is why I love Mood Space's product.  Mood Space uses a patented technique to combine light with art allowing  you to "design" moods.  Artwork is printed on acrylic panels and backlit with LEDs. The programmable color changing LEDs adds a sense of movement to the design. Create your own image or select a design from Mood Space's existing catalog (current categories include Sublime, Rapture, Shakti, Elemental, Euphoric or Elation).  I'm picturing a workout class with an image from the Shakti collection.  The lighting program would start out with cool colors as the class warms up, the colors would gradually change to warm tones as the workout intensifies and returns back to cool colors for the cool down. Where do you envision using this product?

Innovative Materials Delivered To Your Mailbox

A few years ago, I unearthed a treasure trove of innovative materials while writing a research paper about Litracon

Transmaterial is the companion site for Blaine Brownell's book Transmaterial: : A Catalog of Materials That Redefine Our Physical Environment (buy it here). Judge this book by its cover (and title), it delivers exactly what it promises.  And the website is even better.

Transmaterial's writer Blaine Brownell curates a collection of cutting edge products. According to the website, "Transmaterial online is intended to be a clear, concise, accessible, and carefully edited resource that provides information about the latest and most intriguing materials commercially available." Their mission is to bridge the gap between the fast paced progression of technology and architect's & designers knowledge of materials.

Add Graphic Style To Precast Concrete Panels

Graphic Concrete is cast in a special membrane to create patterned, smooth, or exposed concrete slabs. Choose from Graphic Concrete's existing patterns or design a unique pattern for your project.  Check out the installation photos below.  Looks sharp, eh?

Left to Right: Nokia Parking House Säterinportti, Espoo, Architecture by Larkas & Laine, 2007. 
As Oy Sinikallio, Rörstrandinkatu, Helsinki, Architecture by MSVOY Architects, 
Artwork by Päivi Kiuru & Saamuli Naamanka, 2003.
Products line includes:
  • GC Collection- Patterned and textured surfaces.
  • GC Pro - Repetitive patterns and textured surfaces.
  • GC Art & Design- Images created by designers and then applied to concrete surfaces.
  • GC Smooth- A matte-like and nearly pore-free surface.
  • GC Expose -  Smooth and shallow exposed fine aggregate finish.
 Here's the link for requirements, instructions and brochures.

Free CAD Blocks

The CAD Block Exchange Network was a big time saver while I was in school.  It is proclaimed to be " the largest, most comprehensive 100% community built .dwg CAD block library on the Web."  The creators request you upload a block if you download one - but it's not required.  You will find hundreds (maybe even thousands) of FREE 2D & 3D CAD BLOCKS here.

CBEN's blocks come from the users, so you may find a block you already have as part of your standard block library, a 3d model of a Barcelona chair and occasionally a line drawing of a Pam Anderson (why??).  When I first discovered this resource, the search tool was not working and you had to search page by page.  But I checked before I posted and the search tool is up and running.  

There are 2 main drawbacks: 1) Some drawings do not have a thumbnail, so you have to download and open the file to see what it looks like and 2) Remember this is a user contributed site and some users may unknowingly (or knowingly) upload a file with a virus - so scan before you download!!!

Temperature Sensitive Color Changing Tiles

If you enjoyed last week's post "Liquid Floor Tiles by B.Lab", here's another fun (but not new) interactive tile for you to check out.  Moving Color has produced temperature sensitive glass tiles that change color. Moving Color's handmade glass tiles have been rated for floors, walls and countertop applications. Tiles are handmade. Standard size is 4"x4", custom sizes and trim pieces are also available. Decorative tiles and liners are available, to add a fun punch to your project (or if your project is a victim of value engineering).