January 2005 / Design for the Future

Entering a new year we tend to think more seriously about our future. There is a call for action to design and buy more responsibly. In this issue we take a look at a sustainable tomorrow with new products and thoughts. Learn about how extreme environments affect the lifestyle markets and opportunities for product development, see new materials, textiles, furniture, lighting, tabletop, apparel and accessories, interiors and exteriors here.

Look good and feel good with the January edition,

Jennifer Castoldi,
Creative Director

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Features and Articles

Experimental garden shelter tubing made of bio-degradable plastic and straw

Jennifer's January Jots '05

Paris — Many people joke that I spend more time in airplanes and at trade shows and conferences than in my own apartment. But the glory of that is that I acquire a hands-on look into what is really going on out there. Designing for the future is now. The words I hear everywhere I go are ‘sustainable’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘ethic’, and more and more I see products that fall into this vocabulary. Stylish products are made from bamboo, old TV screens, toothbrush seconds, mobile phone cases, CDs, the list is endless; let our thoughts and creativity be just as rich.

A Sparkling New Year

Worldwide — Today crystals are used in fashion apparel accessories as well as home accessories. Many designers, product developers, and manufacturers are optimizing the “Bling Bling” trend using Swarovski products. Be it with fashion or home accessories, collectible figurines, lighting or home and fashion accessories, “Bling Bling” is part of the sparkling New Year. Let this gallery bedazzle.

The bright aisle

Classy Eclecticism

Paris — There is something for everybody in the world’s fashion capital. And as it always happens with abundance, the satisfactory scouting for the critical audience becomes a tad more difficult. A hidden treasure, the Maria Calderara store assembles ‘classy eclectic’ styles gratifying this niche market.

Felt wall covering panels in Rotterdam

Felt with Heart

Amsterdam — Claudy Jongstra, Dutch designer of the felt costumes worn in Star Wars, raises her own sheep transforming their heavy wool to inspiring textiles. The results are creations that exude a sense of raw elegance. Working with both apparel and interiors, Jongstra’s designs are not to be missed.

The Arctic Circle in detail

Lighting Tomorrow Starts Today

New York — Julian Lwin is a British designer who works with furniture, lighting, and environmental design. His client list includes Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole, Samsung, Ford, and Sprint. With a goal to develop sustainable products that will enhance our environment as opposed to depleting it, Julian's products featured in this gallery are a step in the right direction.

Fruit bowl

Everyday Items with a Twist

Lisbon — João Sabino does not recycle, he reuses. In recent talks about designing responsibly, processes differentiate recycling from reusing. Whereas recycling takes a product that has met the end of its lifecycle, treats it, and puts it back into a new cycle, reusing takes a product at its end, adds creativity, and the item becomes a completely new product. See João's creativity here.

Plastic sheets made from 100% mobile phone covers

You Can Smile at These Plastics

London — In this feature see where one company through recycling discarded well worn items, non-marketable production items, and even those ever present plastic grocery bags, has created functional unique plastic sheets that can be seen domestically or commercially, in a bathroom as a shower curtain or on a conference table as a water tray for that long winded CEO. Recycling recycled recyclables is here.

Ocean-colored tile of medium cullet

Bottles Reincarnated

London — “The art of recycled glass” is to manufacture original 100% recycled glass products like wine, beer, water, shampoo glasses, windows and pre-waste production glass and even TV screens to be used for interior and exterior design and decoration. The waste glass is transformed into functional, visually stunning and durable surfaces, used by the design and construction industries.

Is this the future of living?

Umbilical Design

Stockholm — Mankind has paved the way for extreme conditions, some claim that we are on the brink of a new Ice Age, whereas others denounce these fears as over exaggerated. Whatever the reality, designers are entering a new realm of possibilities where the opportunity to be truly innovative has arrived. In this article learn the new buzzwords like ‘weightless thinking’ and ‘volume management’.

Not going to recycle? Then reuse!

Awearness & Apparel

Multiple European Cities — Fashion industries need to be aware and consider topics such as sustainability, the environment, and ethics. This gallery takes a look at some of the projects, companies, and designers focusing on these very efforts. Learn about "Eco Balls"instead of enzymes, the benefits of Merino wool vs. synthetics, view shots from some ethical fashion shows, along with many other interesting tidbits.

Have a seat.

Eco-Friendly Designs

Multiple European Cities — Based in Finland, this company creates 100 % design bathroom and kitchen furniture out of recycled plastic, which are entirely recyclable in and of themselves. It utilizes a solid polyester material which offers designers almost infinite opportunities to create various surfaces. Visit this gallery to see the latest product line.

USB memory sticks with style

Building a Better Future through Design

Cape Town — After decades of social, economic and creative repression, a new and empowered South Africa is slowly rising, like a phoenix from the ashes. In this surge of activity, Design Indaba, a design institution incorporating events, media, education and business, is aiming to ‘build a better future through design’. Read on to see how they plan to put themselves on the map and view some of their latest works.

Interior Gardens

Multiple European Cities — Mother nature is one of the world’s most influential design inspirations. The colors, textures, and forms are ever-present in our creations. Magazine tears, antique documents, and strolls in the park are some ways to gather information. Some designers, like Nadia La Valle of Spaghetti, even go as far to take live flowers to the fabric markets to match colors. Take a stroll through this gallery of interior gardens.

The Trendease Indicator - Bedding

Worldwide — Using data from eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace, in combination with our ongoing market analysis, we bring you this pertinent consumer market information on the bedding category, including top queries, sales and images. Sleep on this.

Double sink bathroom vanity with marble top sold for $1,499

The Trendease Indicator - Bath

Worldwide — Using data from eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace, in combination with our ongoing market analysis, we bring you this pertinent consumer market information on the bath category, including top queries, sales and images. See what products consumers are using to wash up.

The Trendease Indicator - Home Decor

Worldwide — Using data from eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace, in combination with our ongoing market analysis, we bring you this pertinent consumer market information on the home decor category, including top queries, sales and images. See furocious roar!

The Trendease Indicator - Dining & Bar

Worldwide — Using data from eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace, in combination with our ongoing market analysis, we bring you this pertinent consumer market information on the dining and bar category, including top queries, sales and images. See what caught consumers' attention in December.

Wall panels made from a mixture of flax and hemp


Multiple European Cities — This week we bring you a gallery of “happy textiles” to go along with the theme of this month’s trends. Check out wall panels made from a mixture of flax and hemp, an ecological textile collection created using silk, pineapple gauze, and abaca, and the world's first commercially viable synthetic fiber produced entirely from renewable resources. Also read this week's tidbits.

State of the art candleholders


Weyarn — Computer design and nature come together in this week’s gallery featuring a talented architect/designer from Munich. These elaborate lights, looking simple when switched off, that disperse technical designs when lit, were honored with the 2004 Design Plus Award. Other intricate pieces shown include candleholders, napkin rings, and bowls.

A closer look


Frankfurt — It is that time of year, that time when our calendars are jam-packed with trade shows. Just since last week’s newsletter we have attended Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Salon du Meuble in Paris, DOMOTEX in Hanover, and imm cologne in Cologne. This week we bring you two galleries; one is a review of Heimtextil, and the second the key trends noted at DOMOTEX.

Lifestyle merchandising

DOMOTEX in a Nutshell

Hannover — DOMOTEX is a huge international trade fair devoted to floor coverings. In this piece we have reviewed the entire 17 halls of exhibition space and bring to you what you need to know about the world of floor covering.


Paris — This week we bring you a gallery with products from Salon de Meuble, the furniture fair recently held in Paris. Here we saw two extremes-natural and synthetic. From resin tables, LEDs, case goods accented with baseballs, to leather, stone, and wicker furniture and accessories, the products were there. Also check out our list of buzz words from recent trade shows.