Sleeping at Bauhaus

By Tom Ran

Published: September 27, 2013 under Design

Accommodation inside the Studio Building at Bauhaus

Photo: Bauhaus Dessau

Big things have small beginnings. The incredibly influential design school in Dessau, Germany that is Bauhaus, gave birth to design giants like Josef and Anni Albers, Herbert Bayer, Max Bill, Marcel Breuer, and Paul Klee. Founded by Walter Gropius, the school’s 14 year existence was cut short before World War II, but it’s impact was felt around the world, crossing disciplines in architecture, furniture and graphic design. Today the building stands as a museum and a tribute to the movement. You can walk the halls where Mies van der Rohe once walked and feel the ghosts of design past. The dormitories where Bayer, Breuer and Albers once lived have been converted into a hotel for accommodations. The modest rooms are minimal in design and dressed with Bauhuas furnishings. And because this was a dormitory, shared bathrooms are down the hall. Design aficionado can now make the experience complete and hope that standing and sleeping on the Bauhaus grounds will make their visit that much more transcendent.

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Moss Bureau For The Glass House

By Tom Ran

Published: September 25, 2013 under Design

Design store at The Glass House

Photo: Moss Bureau

Gift shops for the most part are tourist traps. Whether they be attached to museums or hotels, they’re usually crammed with thoughtless mementoes. But in recent years hotels in New York have rethought their retail game and made them more as destinations, offering products that travelers and locals would appreciate. Museums are recognizing this as well. Philip Johnson’s Glass House recently approached Murray Moss to redesign and curate their shop. The outcome is reminiscent of Moss’s own shop in Soho from years back and provides a catalog of products that reflects the Glass House’s aesthetic and period. Products for the home like Alvar Aalto vases and Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda Line to furnishings that are part of the House like the Barcelona Chair and Table from Mies van der Rohe. If taking the drive up to New Canaan isn’t part of your plan anytime soon, there’s also an option to shop online.

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House for The New Yorker

By Tom Ran

Published: September 23, 2013 under Design

House Industries for The New Yorker

Photo: House Industries

When The New Yorker decided to refresh the pages of its magazine, they looked to Delaware type factory, House Industries and entrusted the studio to update its iconic Irvin typeface. What House created wasn’t a disruptive departure, but rather, they sharpened the familiar font that is synonymous with the publication and added a new typeface to The New Yorker’s elegant arsenal. They worked closely with creative director, Wyatt Mitchell to design a custom version of Neutraface and redrew the Irvin typeface. As House explained it, they worked on two versions of the typeface “treading lightly but firmly on nine decades of design heritage.” The playfulness that Ray Irvin had intended for the font was kept intact. After 80 + years, Ray Irvin would have probably been proud of its longevity and progression of his work.

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Jony and Marc’s (RED) Auction

By Tom Ran

Published: September 11, 2013 under Design

Left: Steinway & Sons unique “Red Pops For (Red)” Parlor Grand Model, Right: Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni “Snoopy” Lamp produced by FLOS

Photo: Sotheby's

After teaming up with artists in 2008 for Sotheby’s (RED) auction, Bono has enlisted a couple of designers to help with the next one. Jony and Marc, that’s Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson, have curated a collection that “celebrates the very best of design and innovation.” Both men spent the last year and a half selecting items for the catalog that spans various disciplines, from space travel and rare automobiles to ever day functional objects that excel in design. And as expected, all items will be distinguishable through its signature red. The auction takes place in New York on November 23rd and will be on view beginning November 18th. Proceeds from the auction will benefit The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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Saul Bass Movie Posters

By Tom Ran

Published: September 4, 2013 under Design

Saul Bass stands in front of a wall plastered with his film posters.

Photo: Laurence King Publishers

There’s no denying Saul Bass’s impact on graphic design. Not only was he a skilled artist and designer but his work existed in a time when media wasn’t so saturated. This meant that the logo he created or the poster he designed would be seen by millions. It also helped that he worked on some of the highest profiled projects. His movie posters in particular were a work of art. They didn’t rely on the actors to be plastered all over them. Instead, they were cleverly illustrated, minimally colored, and beautifully executed. Their simplicity and playfulness are distinctively his and of an era but time and again, they are continuously referenced. has compiled every one of Saul Bass’s movie posters into a gallery–all 43, spanning six decades.

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By Tom Ran

Published: August 16, 2013 under Design

Built NYC

Photo: Built NYC

New York City’s administration is exposing local designers more than ever with Built NYC. In partnership with NYCxDESIGN, the pilot program will furnish interiors to public buildings and spaces in the five boroughs featuring local designs. This includes furniture, lighting and textile designs for parks, museums, and municipal offices. The initiative is to offset indiscriminate purchases made that may benefit manufactures outside of the city in favor of regional designers. So it’s possible that we may see a lamp from Lindsey Adelman or shelving from Fort Standard at the Sculpture Center in Queens. Or maybe it’s a design of your own. Built NYC is now taking submissions on their site. (via UnBeige)

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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