Where: TOUCH New York
L.A.-based design company TOUCH transformed a raw warehouse space into an exhibit of sustainable and socially-designed products and installations, like Rodrigo Almeida's discarded trash bin sculptures and Claudia Araujo's rugs hand-woven from recycled bottle fibers. Even the space was eco-designed?some displays were built from shipping pallets found in dumpsters and the event's carbon footprint was offset.
Made from the billboards famously banned in Sao Paulo?these bags mean out-of-home still haunts the streets, only this time, on citizens' shoulders. TOUCH and Sao Paulo design group StraaT repurposed ad banners into water-proof exteriors for graphic totes lined with "chita," traditional Brazilian fabrics.
Capturing the spectrum of modern (at times bizarre) Finnish design, the showcase featured items like urban-inspired textiles (think: silhouette industrial cranes) from Fokus Fabrik and DIY cutlery that punches out of aluminum sheets from Helsinki- based Arihiro Miyake. Strangest Find went to Pentagon Design for life-size painted farm animal statues that intended to show how paint provides a tactile experience. Visitors were, of course, encouraged to pet.
What: Future Mobile
Provoke Design, who works with companies like Nokia, presented three future phone concepts. "Express" is the 21st-century mood ring: a cell that changes color with the user's mindset. "Feel" simulates human touch, so couples can feel a loved one via phone, a bit like a radio-controlled vibrator. For counterculture kids, "Share" enables social networking: Subgroup members tag content to locations, creating virtual community in actual space.
Brooklyn design gallery and store, spring design&art, launched a show that plays on the table as a place for discussion. The exhibit consists of an actual dinner table, where featured artists were given a "place setting" for their work, which include twisty straw toxic drinks from Rich Greco and sugar creations from Natasha Chetiyawardana.
Designer Brett Snyder's placemat chart brings the locavore's argument to the table. On a world map, Snyder shows how ingredients in a typical home-cooked dinner are part of global production and consumption. Illustrating the great distance food travels, Snyder links food and global impact, going beyond cost and calories.