New and Notable 2009

See a slideshow of the year’s best products in the categories of
Live, Work, Shine, Play, Rest, Move,  Eat, Wear, Exit, Make,  and Buy.

Q+A: Frank Lantz

Earlier this decade, Frank Lantz helped pioneer the idea of “big games”—tech-driven multiplayer games that unfold in public space, like PacManhattan, an urban version of the classic arcade game invented by his students at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Area/code, the company he founded in 2005 with Kevin Slavin, has developed these kinds of games for clients ranging from Qwest Wireless to CBS, as well as online social games like the wildly popular Facebook game the company introduced last year to promote A&E’s reality series Parking Wars. Lantz just launched NYU’s Game Center, a game-focused program that will eventually become a degree-granting department.

Recess, Rethought

A host of designers is building interactive landscapes
for kids to learn by having fun.

Toy Stories

TOY STORIES The brief was simple and open-ended: Offer an emotional design critique of an iconic toy. Most of the designers, creative directors, authors, educators, curators, and entrepreneurs we enlisted chose objects from their childhood, articulating the smart design thinking behind these timeless playthings while also recalling what their treasured toys meant to them personally. The result is a survey of approaches to designing for play that provides insights into how childhood fun informs adult design practice.

2009 Annual Design Review Exhibition

Just as it starts to hit the newsstands, the 2009 Annual Design Review exhibit has gone up at the Material ConneXion showroom in New York. Check out the panoramic video above for a peek at the space (sorry about the blurriness—we’re still getting the hang of our new iPhone). If you’re in town this summer, stop by to see the winners and judge them for yourself.

Annual Design Review Exhibit

June 25 – August 21
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Material ConneXion
60 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10010
(212) 842-2050

The Waste Is the Best

Skateboarders are pros at repurposing urban detritus for their own ends. Left alone too long, empty pools, empty dumpsters, even empty movie theatres will get lip-slid into a skater’s playground. Skate Study House, a collaboration between designers Pierre Andre Senizergues and Gil Le Bon De LaPointe, (kick)flipped that script, turning the byproducts of skateboard manufacturing into furniture. In a new line called The Waste Is the Best, which debuted this month at Colette, wood scraps—like leftover dough after the cookies have been cut out—become bookshelves, a chair, and a coffee table. A bit chunky, sure, but what can you expect from the folks that brought us Jncos and Airwalks?

Nice Weave

Developed 50 years ago for rockets and fighter jets, carbon fiber lives a double life half the time it’s nobly protecting NASA space shuttles, the other half it’s jacking up the price of your boss’s golf clubs.

Extremely Hungary

Extremely Hungary Presents:
Soft Is The New Cool: Emerging Hungarian Design
Curated by WAMP Budapest

May 16 – 19, 2009

Opening Party presented by I.D. Magazine
Saturday, May 16, 7 – 10 pm