Louis Poulsen Celebrates 60 Years of a Modernist Classic

Louis Poulsen Celebrates 60 Years of a Modernist Classic

Few designs have endured with such quiet visibility as Louis Poulsen’s PH 5. Its unmistakable silhouette is often seen in homes modern and traditional, in universities and libraries across the globe, and always seems to find a place within the newest restaurants and most luxe hotels. Movie and television cameos are frequent. In the pantheon of lighting, undoubtedly one or two PH 5s would be found glowing overhead.

In celebration of the design’s 60th anniversary, Louis Poulsen invited Design Milk to tour their factory in Vejen, Jutland, Denmark, affording us the opportunity to learn more about the light’s storied past, relevant present, and the planned future of the company’s most popular lighting design…with even a chance to build one.

The five-shade PH 5’s immutable cultural presence can be attributed to its perfect realization of form serving function, a 100% glare-free light emitting evenly both downward and laterally, with a recognizably agreeable presence whether on or off. Just as diamonds are traditionally associated in celebration of a 60th anniversary – a matrimonial symbol of enduring permanence – beyond a few structural tweaks and the addition of several fashionable updates to colors, Poul Henningsen’s 1958 design has remained mostly unchanged in its six decades of existence.

Stills from “Philosophy of light”, a recording with Poul Henningsen explaining the philosophy behind his lighting designs.

Henningsen’s obsession with glare-free lighting eventually led the architect-turned-designer to adopt a scientific approach to the challenge. A logarithmic spiral became the foundation of his solution to diffuse light evenly while softening the degree of shadows produced within its proximity, with each shade measured in diameter and curvature designed for this purpose. His research also resulted in the addition of small red and blue shades inserted to supplement the color in the part of the spectrum where the eye is least sensitive – the red and blue areas – subduing the light in the most sensitive areas of vision, specifically the middle yellow-green range.

Henningsen’s other iconic light unveiled the same year – the significantly larger PH Artichoke pendant – shares a similarly engineered anti-glare form, but purposely requires 72 adjustable leaves to achieve the same feat succinctly realized with just five shades in the PH 5. In either case, no matter the type of bulb installed, the light diffuses with a uniform and flattering reach, the hallmarks of all PH lights.

Our tour began within the multi-story Louis Poulsen Copenhagen office and showroom, where Poul Henningsen’s influence and profile still glows throughout.

The PH 5 pendant has been refreshed over the years with a contemporary range of colors, alongside the addition of the PH 5 Mini.

Verner Panton’s Panthella Table, another Louis Poulsen classic, emits a similar soft and indirect light to Henningsen’s light, though obviously benefitting from its table bound application.

An earlier predecessor to the PH 5, the PH 3 ½-2 ½ Table lamp (shown here in a contemporary finish) was designed in 1928 with Henningsen’s three-shade system. The design set the groundwork for the development of future PH designs.

An array of original wooden production tools on display at the Louis Poulsen showroom in Copenhagen.

It’s one thing to digest the historical context of a design as a presentation, a wholly different experience to witness the manufacturing process in person. With this in mind, the Louis Poulsen team transferred us from the center of Copenhagen and across to the the bucolic peninsula of Jutland to Vejen to their manufacturing and packaging facilities. There we’d meet the production team responsible for shaping metal, glass, and cord into the iconic profile of the PH 5 light and numerous other lights and lamps.

Spinning aluminum shades of the PH 5 requires precise attention partnered with a great deal of physical strength necessary to wield the large tools factory artisans use to scrape away layers of metal.

Tools are personalized to each individual task, and also by/for its user.

A noticeable deal of care and craftsmanship remains at the heart of the Louis Poulsen manufacturing culture; in contrast to the artisan approach to assembly, the logistical system in place within the factory is mechanized and computerized for optimal production schedules and delivery.

The tour eventually concluded with one of the Louis Poulsen assembly line team showing off their dexterous assembly skills, transforming individual components into a light ready to package and ship in just a few minutes.

We wish the same could be said during our attempt to assemble a PH 5 ourselves. The process requires a great deal of finessing individual parts in coordination of one another, all without scratching or bending parts that tend to move in reaction to a push or pull. Eventually under the guidance of a skilled assembler, we completed a single pendant in the same amount of time 10+ are readied.

We were told Poul Henningsen’s motivation for designing the PH 5 was to create a light adaptable to then still emerging technology of incandescent bulbs, an idea which seems apropos today as lighting migrates toward LEDs. With its soft shadows and glare-free illumination, the PH 5 remains as relevant today as then, prepared to serve a new generation who may consciously or unconsciously appreciate the light’s flattering output while snapping a selfie or a food photo under the lamp’s iconic glow.

via http://design-milk.com/

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Soma Launches Brew Bottle for Coffee and Tea on the Go

Soma Launches Brew Bottle for Coffee and Tea on the Go

Soma, the masters of sustainable water filtration, just introduced their first product for coffee and tea drinkers. Since a lot of people can’t live without a coffee or tea in their hand, Soma designed the 12 oz. all-in-one Brew Bottle as a way for the average person to make expert brews at home or at the office, and then take it on the go with them.

The Brew Bottle is made from BPA-free, double-wall borosilicate glass that helps maintain the temperatures of both hot and cold beverages. The reusable bottle is outfitted with a stainless steel filter that can be positioned in two ways – one for pour over brewing and the other for immersion brewing. The mesh filter prevents coffee and tea sediment from entering your brew while letting natural aromatics through for the perfect taste.

The best part is that it all happens within the same portable bottle, whether you want to brew your favorite pour over, cold brew, or tea. If you want hot coffee or tea, add your favorite coffee grounds or loose leaf tea and fill with hot water. If you’re more of a cold brew person, combine coffee grounds with water in the Brew Bottle and then refrigerate overnight. For iced tea drinkers, brew your tea and then stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to drink.

The Soma Brew Bottle can be purchased here.

via http://design-milk.com/

HODINA x Minimalissimo Unisex Minimalist Watch

HODINA x Minimalissimo Unisex Minimalist Watch

HODINA x Minimalissimo have created a unisex minimalist watch that will have a limited production run of 300 timepieces. HODINA, which means “hour” in Ukranian, was started by a watch repair specialist starting at the age of 18.

Minimalissimo, an established magazine dedicated to minimalism in design, wanted to create a timepiece that reflects both the brand’s minimalism ideology with Minimalissimo’s distinctive design influence. The watch case design is inspired by a smooth rock that you would find at the shore of an ocean.

The brushed dial is inspired by raw industrial steel materials, and feature contrasting white on black hands to highlight was is most important; time and date. The bands are constructed of fine Italian leather, and the case is made of sapphire glass.

via http://design-milk.com/

Hawaiian Hospitality Gets a Neon Makeover at the New Shoreline Hotel in Waikiki

Hawaiian Hospitality Gets a Neon Makeover at the New Shoreline Hotel in Waikiki

Designing for hospitality in Hawaii can often lean very cliché. I bet you’re already thinking of lush green Monstera and palm leaves, pink bulbous hibiscus flowers, cowrey shells and prints reminiscent of kitschy Hawaiian shirts, am I right? Not that those aren’t iconic motifs of Hawaii but hotels that incorporate these elements as the main focal points in their interior design run the risk of looking like every other hotel on the island, aka boring and overdone.

Dan Mazzarini of BHDM Design made sure you would never use those words at their recently completed project, the brand new Shoreline Hotel Waikiki. An explosion of neon and nature, this 56,000-square-foot, 135-room boutique hotel takes the concept of Hawaiian-inspired design and transforms it into a modern day interpretation that still feels authentic.

Guests check in at the open-air lobby and pass through ever-changing backdrops of multi-colored fluorescent hallways and stairwells of tropical wallpaper prints.

Once inside their rooms, guests are greeted with a custom topographic map of Hawaii. Each room is outfitted with custom carpet, bedding, drapery and furniture by BluDot and Missana, done in bright color ways and geometric shapes reminiscent of the Memphis design movement.

Fun fact: Did you know Dan Mazzarini left his own signature on the property? The “You Are Here” is done in his own handwriting.

Throughout the hotel, you’ll see the fun phrase “It’s pau hana somewhere” inscribed on message boards and mini fridges. (Pau hana literally translates to ‘finished work’ and is a Hawaiian spin on the popular phrase “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” It’s time to relax.)

Back on the first floor, a double ceiling lounge area features a custom white styrene “jungle wall” that’s activated by color change lights, a hanging installation of rattan cage light fixtures housing paper sculptures of birds native to Hawaii, and geometric-shaped furnishings including custom Acacia wood cocktail tables, a 14-foot-long sofa, modern yellow wingback chairs and blue metal end tables.

The lounge area gets a neon light treatment at night that looks like a glowing sunset.

A tropical mural of Hawaii’s landscape painted by California-based artist DJ Neff flanks the rooftop pool and provides a neon backdrop for morning swim.

What: The Shoreline Hotel Waikiki
Where: 342 Seaside Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
How much? Rooms start at approximately a grand opening special rate of $179 per night.
Highlights: Say Aloha! to your new favorite hotel on Oahu. The Shoreline Hotel Waikiki stands out from its neighbors for its “nature meets neon” experience and its design is inspired by the idea of a never-ending sunset.
Design draw: BHDM Design took traditional Hawaiian elements and gave them a neon facelift. Tropical greenery are all-white in this hotel. The usual color palette of lush green and acacia wood brown are replaced by bold, punchy colors of teal, pink, and yellow. All the while, the Hawaiian hospitality experience still feels authentic.
Book it: Visit the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

Photos by Adam Kane Macchia.

via http://design-milk.com/

4 Stellar Artworks in NYC This Summer

4 Stellar Artworks in NYC This Summer

Summer is the “off season” for the contemporary art world in New York – a time when galleries close on weekends and organize exhibitions that tend to be smaller (no laser-rooms), but more experimental. Here are our top four picks for this summer that are 100% worth visiting on your lunch break.

Grant Worth, Season’s Premier 2018

Grant Worth, Season’s Premier 2018

Grant Worth, Season’s Premier 2018

Grant Worth’s sculptures at the Feature Hudson Foundation in the Lower East Side are technicolor rainbows of an element called Bismuth, in the form of a modified Oscar. If you’re unfamiliar with the material, check out YouTube for a demonstration on how to melt and crystalize this brittle, low melting-point metal. This is the first time I’ve seen it used in fine art, and it excels far beyond a “material gimmick”, with mysterious complexity: playing off the body, celebrity culture, and display itself, all with alien rainbow crystals that are each unique.

Mario Navarro, Future Islands, 2016, Photo by Ricardo Guzman

“Almost Solid Light” at Paul Kasmin Gallery, 2018

Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico” is an intriguing and appropriately-timed group exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery, featuring several contemporary Mexican artists, many of which have never before exhibited in the USA. The entire show is flawless, but Mario Navarro’s “Future Islands” is my favorite: An unbroken chair and a simple white column create a curious impossibility that viewers can’t stop circling.

Yoshiaki Mochizuki, untitled 2/5, 2018

Yoshiaki Mochizuki, untitled 2/5 (detail)

Yoshiaki Mochizuki, untitled 3/21, 2018

Yoshiaki Mochizuki installation at Marlborough Contemporary, 2018

Artist Yoshiaki Mochizuki presents “Palenville” at Marlborough Contemporary in Chelsea. The geometric abstractions appear to change as you move around the room as thin metallic lines in each painting glow or disappear, catching the light from different angles. Made from gesso, clay and gold or palladium leaf, the lines are incised into the layered surfaces with an agate burnishing tool. Each abstraction is hung at the “artist’s height” of 5 feet 9 inches tall, higher than usual for a painting, lending to their collective unity and celestial vibe.

James Turrell – Wedgework V, 1974 © James Turrell, Photo: Tom Powel

James Turrell – Wedgework V, 1974 © James Turrell, Photo: Tom Powel

A mysterious 1974 light work titled “Wedgework V” by James Turrell is the hidden gem of the summer, located on the second floor of Lévy Gorvy Gallery uptown. A guard will kindly guide you through the pitch-black hallway to access the room-sized sculpture of red light and explain the rules, which include NOT stepping into the artwork and not using flash/flashlight. Your eyes will be rewarded while your brain will wonder what, or if, you’re actually seeing. It’s a mesmerizing mystery, and a space you’ll find difficult to leave.

Full information for visiting the four exhibitions is below:

What: Grant Worth: Seasons Premire
Where: Feature Hudson Foundation, 87 Rivington St, New York NY
When: May 11 – August 4, 2018 (summer hours: Wed-Sat 12-6)
Photos by David Behringer

What: Mario Navarro featured in “Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico
Where: Paul Kasmin Gallery, 515 W 27th St, New York NY
When: June 21 – August 10, 2018 (summer hours: Mon-Fri 10-6)
Photos by Ricardo Guzman, courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

What: Yoshiaki Mochizuki: Palenville
Where: Marlborough Contemporary,  545 West 25th St (take internal stairs to 2nd floor)
When: June 21 – August 3, 2018 (summer hours: Mon-Fri 10-6)
Photos courtesy Marlborough Contemporary

What: James Turrell: Depth Perception
Where: Lévy Gorvy, 909 Madison Ave (take internal stairs to 2nd floor), New York NY
When: June 28 – August 18, 2018 (summer hours: Mon-Fri 10-6)
Photos © James Turrell, Photos: Tom Powel

via http://design-milk.com/

Yves Behar and Amir Mortazavi Launch 2nd CANOPY Shared Workspace Location

Yves Behar and Amir Mortazavi Launch 2nd CANOPY Shared Workspace Location

Shared workspaces have been popping up all over the world as more people work remotely and they’ve become incredibly appealing making joining one a no-brainer. One such establishment is CANOPY Jackson Square, a serene coworking space in San Francisco designed by Yves Behar and Amir Mortazavi of M-PROJECTS. Spanning 13,000-square-feet, the interior offers a modern, ergonomically designed environment that incorporates glass-enclosed private offices, open workstations, conference rooms, a lounge, a cafe, phone booths, a Mother’s Room, and an outdoor work terrace.

The soothing color palette pays homage to the surrounding neighborhoods of North Beach, Jackson Square, the Financial District, and Chinatown. They merged textured black and concrete surfaces with soft pinks and greens through layers of contemporary office furnishings from Herman Miller, including Behar’s own Sayl Chairs and Public Office Landscape Tables, Charles and Ray Eames Chairs, as well as Chadwick Modular Seating and Renew Sit-to-Stand Tables from Brian Alexander. CANOPY will also be using Herman Miller’s LiveOS system to raise and lower desks automatically to the correct height of the current user.

Along with the previously mentioned furnishings, they also brought in tables and planters by Eric Trine, Kettal outdoor furniture, Raw Edges for Mutina tiles, Concrete Cat mirrors, floating copper shelves by the co-founders, and custom conference tables designed by M-PROJECTS.

The copper-green building across the street, which is Francis Ford Coppola’s Sentinel Building, was the inspiration for the green color seen throughout.

The outdoor terrace houses 1,500-square-feet of space that’s partially covered and heated so it can be used year-round.

Photos by Joe Fletcher.

via http://design-milk.com/

Hannabi’s Box Hyperactive System Helps You Build Your Perfect Sofa or Bed

Hannabi’s Box Hyperactive System Helps You Build Your Perfect Sofa or Bed

Remember in grade school when you would make colorful creations using tangram blocks? Hannabi’s Box Hyperactive collection is kind of like that, only with furniture! The Budapest-based company designed a modular furniture collection that allows you to fully customize every element of your sofa: height, backrest, armrest, accessories, positions and compositions, seat surface, cushions, fabric, and metal accessories. If you’re at a loss on where to start, Hannabi created various models to get your design thinking started.

The collection can also be used to create your ideal bed as well.

To get started on your next sofa or bed, visit Hannabi.

via http://design-milk.com/