Have Design Elixir Delivered To Your Inbox

I am new to the blog-o-sphere/ css/ html world.  As I have been moving along with my blog, I have learned a few tricks and read a lot of web tutorials.  Because all the tutorials I've read said you should activate an RSS feed for your blog, I did.  Now that I have a nice little following and some RSS subscribers, I decided I should sign up to my own feed to see exactly what it was.

And it was UGLY.  I'm a designer, I can't live with that and neither should my readers. So this weekend I did some research,  read even more tutorials, and set up a beautiful email subscription for you, my Elixir Addicts.  So here it is, a beautiful HTML rich email that will be sent directly to your Inbox when new posts are published. 

Sign up @ this link or join the mailing list by entering your email address in the form  found in the top right corner of Design Elixir's home page.

Light Emitting Textile: Delight Cloth

Remember when fiber optic lamps, like the one pictured below, were all the rage in the 80's?  The first time I saw one, I was visiting my mother's family in the Philippines.  I was fascinated by it and when reached out to touch it and and received a pretty strong electrical shock. 
Despite the traumatic childhood experience, I remain ever fascinated by Fiber Optic technology.   And it has come a LONG way.  If you read my post Innovative Materials Delivered To Your Inbox, you know I wrote a college research paper about Litracon (a light transmitting, fiber optic embedded concrete).  You also know I wait with baited breath to receive Transmaterial's weekly email featuring their latest find.

As usual, last week's email blast featured an inspirational new product, the Delight Cloth, developed by Tsuya Textile and sold by LumenInstead of yarns, this textile is woven with thousands of fiber optic strands, which emit light. 

Delight Cloth can be hung horizontally, vertically, used for wall or ceiling treatments, even used for clothing.  Graphic and logos can also be embedded into the fabric.  Available in an array of colors, the only limiting factor is your imagination.

Think it. Design it. Make it real.

My sketchbook is full of ideas for furniture pieces, jewelry and other miscellany.  I don't have the tools (or the space) necessary to create most of my ideas and if I did have access to the tools, I would probably chop a finger off. So, my ideas often stay on paper.  Until now....

I discovered this wonderful website, Ponoko, where you can have practically anything you design made! Design your own product or use one of the existing product plans on their website (some are free, others you purchase).  You can even edit or combine existing product plans to create a custom piece. 

How does it work? 
Open a free "My Ponoko" account. 
Upload your plan (.eps or .svg file)
Choose your materials
Choose your shipping location.

How much does it cost?
It depends on what materials you select, where/ how it is manufactured and shipping location. Once you have made your selections, Ponoko will provide a free instant online quote. You can even sell your products or plans on Ponoko's website.

Here are some great plans and items other people have made using Ponoko:

Ponoko Shelf by Steve Watson, $10.00 for the plan

Metaverse Table by Labeling Theory, $75.00 for the plan. Worth the click: Labeling Theory's design blog.

Acrylic Wing Earrings by Mizu,  $12.00

Digits Calendar- Mini by Digits, $35.00

 Obrut Light by Virtual Territory, $145.00, See other colors @ Virtual Territory's blog.

Your Number laser cut leather watch by Colin Francis, $75.00.  Check out other designs by Colin @ his Etsy store!

Visit this link for more information on making your products design a reality. 

Vote for my carpet design!

Please vote for my carpet designs on Mannington Commercial's Tx:Style
Carpet Challenge! I have 2 designs up: Bridge & Tunnel. If I win,
Sallie Mae, the barefoot and backwoods hillbilly that funded my
education, will thank you personally!

VOTE HERE: http://www.txstyle-mannington.com

Bridge & Tunnel collection was inspired by the engineering marvels that connect people and places by crossing over or under obstacles. Caught up in the daily grind, we often fail to see the beauty and pattern found in the structures that allow us to move from one place to another. The Bridge  & Tunnel the backdrop of the daily commute and turns it into a work of art.

Bridge & Tunnel will be constructed with cut and loop yarns of varying pile heights to add dimension and depth. The color palettes were inspired by objects and places seen in Manhattan or one of the surrounding boroughs. The colorways range from subtle monochromatic tone-on-tones to energizing brights allowing it to be used in a variety of spaces.

Please visit Mannington's website and view my Inspiration Boards for suggested installation methods and additional colorways.

Mannington's Tx:Style Design Challenge February 16th Deadline!

Enter Mannington Commercial's Tx:Style Design Challenge by designing a carpet you would like to see added to their product line!  Top five finalists win $3,000, an all-expense-paid trip to Mannington’s product design HQ (to transform entries into product samples!), and a  trip to NeoCon2010 (all 5 designs will be featured in Mannington's showroom!).  1st place will be announced at NeoCon and win  a total of $7,500! (and bragging rights)

  1. No more than seven (7) years of work experience as a designer or architect.
  2. A Maximum of 5 concepts can be submitted. 
Submission Checklist:
  1. Complete all questions on the online Entry Form. 
  2. Include accompanying visuals and descriptive text to assist in evaluating the entrant's talent, ingenuity and pragmatism. 
  3. Submit a Digital file of a sketch or graphic design illustrating your carpet entry.
  4. Submit a Digital file of an "Inspiration Board" or other type of graphic illustration(s) that serves as your creative stimulus for the proposed carpet design. 
For additional terms and conditions visit this link.

The Deadline:
Submissions must be uploaded to the Tx:Style website by 11:59 p.m. EST, February 16, 2010.  (Their website says Feb 16, 2009- but I am positive that's a typo since Mannington announced this contest November 2009!)
You can view current entries & vote but you must register with their website first! 
Good Luck & Happy Designing!

Punk Interiors

Fashion moves at a lighting fast pace and other areas of design tend to trail behind.  To stay on top of interior trends, I read a LOT of fashion magazines and blogs.  In the past, it would take several seasons or even years for the newest trend to trickle down to interior products. Today, fashion trends are being translated to interior trends at a much faster pace than in the past.

When punk influenced fashion re-emerged last fall and sashayed down the runway,  I was immediately inspired. Instead of waiting for the punk trend to find it's way into interior design and new products to be released, I began the hunt for materials, buildings, and furniture that are decidedly punk and available NOW.   

Fall 2009's punk influenced runway looks

Let's kick this post off with a mini punk fashion history lesson.  In the mid-1970s, the punk subculture first emerged in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.  Punk culture was considered an anarchic, aggressive, anti-fashion, anti-authoritarian, young urban movement closely aligned with the punk music movement.  Many people credit the popularization of punk fashion to Vivienne Westwood and  Malcolm McLaren, who were responsible for designing the clothing worn by The Sex Pistols.(McLaren was The Sex Pistols' manager).  

Here is a break down of the key parts and pieces of punk fashion and products we can use to integrate punk into interiors and architecture:

Zippers & Straps
Loop's Zipper Textile (Photo, far left: Courtesy of Loop) gives a fashionable nod to the Tartan Plaid Bondage trousers (Photo, 2nd from left) that were a staple of punk fashion & comes in the perfect punk rock shade of red.  The zig-zagging form of the Ribbon staircase by HSH Architects reminds me of a zipper's teeth (Photo, 3rd from left) and is the perfect staircase for a punk rock home.  Brentano's  Intersection Drapery Fabric calls images of Vivienne Westwood's bondage trousers (Photo, far right) to mind. 

Safety Pins & Chains
Safety pins were used everywhere, to hold tattered clothing together, to embellish a jacket, shoes, or even as a crude piercing (Photo, far left: God Save the Queen). For a punk influenced interior, upholster a lounge chair with Loop's Safety Pin textile (Photo, 2nd from left: Courtesy of Loop- check out Loop's blog too!) from their Everyday Objects Collection. Chains, padlocks and razor blades were fashioned into necklaces (Photo, 3rd from left: Sid Vicious' padlock necklace). Instead of an typical cloth curtain, why not use metal chains for curtains? (Photo, far right)
In addition to embellishing their clothing and their bodies with safety pins, punks also used studs (Photo, far left: Vivian from The Young Ones- a punk culture parody).  Instead of embellishing yourself or your clothing, bedazzle your interiors with these great products: Use Crossville's Questech Nickel Silver Pyramid Tile to punk up a tiled backsplash (Photo, 2nd from left: Provided by Crossville Inc). Or cover an accent wall with Fry Reglet's Graph Architectural Wall Surface and incorporate some moody down lighting (Photo, 3rd from left).  How cool is this Rivet Wall at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee? (Photo, far right: Copyright Glenn Roberts, Motorcycle Mojo Magazine)Take inspiration from this idea and design a bold entry door or bar front. 

Controversial Images
Offensive clothing featuring controversial anti-establishment and overtly sexual images were popular with punks.  Two of the most common punk motifs were images of Queen Elizabeth II and the Union Jack (Photo, far left: Vivienne Westwood punk couture)Furniture designer Jimmy Martin's vast collection has many punk inspired pieces (Photo, center: Jimmy Martin Union Jack & Pointing Finger Armchairs)I love Flavor Paper's Fishnet wall covering (Photo, far right: Fishnet in Licorice photo and copyright: Flavor Paper).  While it may be too feminine for punk, the images of garter and thigh-high fishnet clad legs and girly skivvies definitely make this product fall into the "overtly sexual" category.  I could easily picture this gorgeous wallcovering used in a bar, a lingerie shop or Dita Von Teese's closet (I imagine she has a huge dressing room style closet).

Not only was graffiti applied to both the interior and exterior of buildings (Photo, far left: Graffiti covered wall in a punk bar), punks would also write the name of their favorite band or controversial slogans on their clothing with markers. Why not apply graffiti to your furniture or home? Furniture designer Jimmy Martin scores punk points with his graffiti'd love seat (Photo, far left: Jimmy Martin Imperfection Loveseat).  And how cool is this home? The architects incorporated bands of spray painted graffiti to add a splash of color to this modern corrugated steel residence. (Photo, far left: Graffiti covered home, torn out of a magazine (?ID Magazine?)

If the idea of graffiti on your furniture or on your home's exterior is too extreme for you, here are some less permanent DIY ideas: Add an urban element to your living room by adding graffiti inspired art (Photo, left: found on Jeremy & Kathleen's blog).  Paint it directly on your wall or for a less permanent (and reusable) graffiti installation, do it on canvas. Brooklyn based shop Re-surface has great graffiti inspired lamps and candles (Photo, right). Make your own using translucent vellum paper, vellum adhesive, and a hurricane vase.

Johnny Rotten did sport bright orange hair in the late 70's- but  brightly colored shellacked, PVA glued, sugared, gelled and hair-sprayed liberty spikes and mo-hawks we often associate with punk didn't emerge until the early 80's (Photos, far left and far right).  The Mikado Pendant by LZF is a gorgeous blend of the mo-hawk and the liberty spike (Photo, Center: Courtesy of Global Lighting).  But not only does it look punk, the story behind it is punk.  Each piece of is hand cut (think about how punks hand "re-made" their clothing) and assembled in Spain and the wood veneer colors come from vegetable dyes (the pendant is available in a drop dead red color). And the icing on the cake: LZF is owned and operated by married couple: the husband is a former punk rock musician from Australia and the wife is a Spanish conceptual artist.

Punk fashion never would have existed without punk music. Therefore, no punk interior would be complete without some reference to the music that inspired the fashion genre.  Why not included a grown-up version of a rock poster in your space.  A black and white poster of The Ramones, who are often credited as the first punk band (Photo, left), would look sharp in with a sleek silver frame and a mat.  Forget Mp3s and CD's, records were released on VINYL albums and cassette tapes. Include a reference to the format punk music was originally delivered: Cover your floor with Graniti Fiandre's Luminar Tile in Opto Black  porcelain tile that looks like record albums (Photo, center). Upholster your sofa with  post DesignTex's Sonic - 49% of this shimmery fabric is made with reclaimed audio tapes (Photo, right).

After sharing all these amazing products, I have one more thing to say: Hey, ho!  Let's go!