Tag Archives: Design

ARMAMENTARIO – Pensieri fatti a mano

19 Jul

Armamentario is a container of ideas. It ’a space in which you can choose and purchase objects self-produced by artists from every field of creativity. A showcase for all those who are struggling to find the right channels to present their ideas on the market. On the site you will find all the information to join the project, the catalog and the calendar of upcoming events.


More here.

How Social Shopping Is Changing Fashion Production

28 Jun

fashion imageFashion editors and department store buyers have long had the biggest say in what parts of designer collections make it to market. This pattern is changing, however, thanks to a more social web culture and better tools to facilitate online voting, purchasing and even customization.

In an effort to drive deeper engagement between designers and those who purchase their clothes and accessories, a mix of established and lesser-known brands are now giving consumers opportunities to choose what gets produced and, in some cases, even what gets designed.

The result is both a more engaged shopper and less waste as manufacturers and retailers are better able to estimate demand before garments are produced.

Be the Buyer

“Fashion is morphing into a two-way dialogue,” says Vivian Weng, who launched fashion ecommerce venture FashionStake with fellow Harvard Business School alum Daniel Gulati last fall.

Although FashionStake has since evolved into a somewhat more traditional ecommerce site, the two recognized that consumers “were craving an opportunity to somehow be a part of the creative process.”

Weng and Gulati also wanted to discover new talent in the fashion industry. They created a platform where designers and shoppers could collaborate to fund the creation of new work through pre-orders. Clothes were only manufactured after enough orders were placed.

Older dot-com companies such as eBay are likewise capitalizing on the shift. At New York Fashion Week in February, designer Derek Lam unveiled a series of 16 original designs, which eBay shoppers were then invited to vote on. More than 120,000 votes were cast to determine the five dresses (plus a surprise sixth) shown above.

In both cases, consumers — not buyers — were given the final say (collectively, at least) on what items became mass-manufactured. The most popular items were produced in quantities to match demand.

Be the Designer

Some brands are going a step further by inviting shoppers directly into the design process. Burberry is following the lead of startups such as Blank Label (pictured above) and Gemvara, which allow customers to choose patterns, materials and other details in step-by-step web apps to create “one of a kind” apparel and accessories. Later this year, Burberry will let customers design their own trench coats.

Using a web application, consumers will be able to choose the style, color and details of their own Burberry-branded “Bespoke” trenches. With more than 12 million possible combinations, it’s possible to create something unique.

It’s an efficient model because garments are only produced after an order is placed, thus negating any possibility of excess inventory.

Accessories designer Rebecca Minkoff has allowed consumers even more freedom. She turned to online fashion styling community Polyvore to help design her next “morning-after clutch” earlier this year. She supplied users with images of signature materials, including leather, hooks, tassels, studs, zippers and straps, and asked them to get creative.

Nearly 4,000 users submitted more than 6,000 different designs in the course of a week. The winning clutch debuted during Minkoff’s first runway show during New York Fashion Week in February and went on sale this spring under the Minkoff label.

Minkoff believes that collaborations between consumers and designers are “a great way for all designers to truly understand what their customer wants from their brand,” she says. “Having my customers be a part of this collaboration has truly shown that they understand my aesthetic and design theory.” Minkoff says that she would consider participating in similar projects in the future.

Is the Notion of “The Designer” Becoming Obsolete?

Although there are new opportunities for engagement between designers and consumers, Polyvore co-founder Jess Lee is aware that some people think these collaborations compromise the artistic integrity of the design process.

“Some people people feel that crowdsourced design takes away from the specialness of artistic creativity,” she says. What’s important, she adds, is to preserve the vision of the designer which, ultimately, all of the projects cited above do.

Lam agrees, noting in an earlier interview with Mashable, “At no point [during my collaboration with eBay] was my vision compromised — that’s why crowdsourcing in this way was such a great concept. I was able to maintain my creative vision and still execute the design process as I normally do.”

Although Lam, Minkoff and Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey have invited consumers to become part of the design process, they retain control, ensuring that the products express their style and choice, while engaging the consumer in a new way.

“Customers need to be part of a personal experience,” Weng says. “More and more websites will try to build direct connections with their customers to directly engage them.”


Interview: Adding Color to Ikea Furniture with Mykea

22 Jun

Mykea is a company which redesigns Ikea furniture by adding fun and vivid decals. We challenged the team to a short interview about their line of work and we were surprised to see how promptly they responded. Enjoy these fun Ikea furniture conversions as well as the answers from Mykea below:

Mykea Expedit Lack AmphilierWeb Interview: Adding Color to Ikea Furniture with Mykea

  • Freshome: How did you come up with the idea for a company that customizes Ikea furniture?
  • Mykea: How we came up with the idea is probably how it usually goes, by experiencing something and not finding the answer (or in our case, the product). Most of the people we know have been to an Ikea store and have had the pleasure of assembling their furniture. So did we when we were furnishing our new office. After a long day of shopping and putting the furniture pieces together we looked around our new office and found out we only had two colours; white and black. Someone said, there is something missing. Its like we are in an Ikea store. Can we not get some cool graphics and apply them onto our interior and make it a bit more ‘us’. This is how our idea started. We got online to see if we could find a website for Ikea decals, we couldn’t find anything like it. We sat down to discussed if we should start a website ourselves to customize Ikea furniture with graphic decals. Looking at the online possibilities and supply of customized products we came across a lot of websites who work together with artist that create designs for Iphones, laptops or t-shirts. Designs made for well known and well sold products to let you, as a consumer, stand out from the crowd. We thought everybody knows Ikea, and a lot of people have Ikea furniture in their interior. But don’t we just love and hate Ikea at the same time. We like the well-designed and affordable aspect of Ikea but we don’t like the fact that we see the same interior everywhere around us. Maybe we can, with our designs and website, make people proud again about their Ikea furniture!

Mykea Expedit MachineWeb Interview: Adding Color to Ikea Furniture with Mykea

  • Freshome: When did you start your business and where do you see yourselves 5 years from now?
  • Mykea: Around 6 months ago we launched a test site to get a first reaction and impression on what visitors thought of our concept. The reactions came form all over the world and where very positive. 5 weeks ago we launched our new site. We’ve added more furniture pieces and everyday there are new designs coming in. We developed a new graphic vinyl, together with Avery Denison, witch is very easy to apply a can be removed without leaving marks. At the moment we’re having our first skype calls with a very cool US company to cooperate on design and to manufacture the Mykea products in the USA. So where we are within 5 years we don’t know yet! Who knows, we may work together with Ikea…
  • How would you characterize your work in thee words?
  • Mykea: No Naked Furniture!

Mykea Malm dresser LouLouTummieWeb Interview: Adding Color to Ikea Furniture with Mykea

  • Freshome: Please describe the process of converting an Ikea furniture piece from the moment you buy it (how do you choose what furniture to purchase?) until the moment you sell it forward.
  • Mykea: We have selected the most sold and well-known Ikea furniture pieces. Ikea self calls these pieces their most important furniture (source ikea.com 2010). We measured these furniture pieces and created a special designers kit. Artist and designers can download the kit from our website to create designs that will fit Ikea furniture to the millimetre. On Mykea you can select the furniture piece you have at home or office and explore the designs created by our artist to redesign your Ikea interior.  Mykea designs are printed on demand and will be shipped to your home address in 5 till 7 working days.
  • Freshome: How does your target respond to your designs?
  • Mykea: We’ve had great responses to our designs. We are constantly working on a good mix of easygoing and more high-end designs. We are getting questions from visitors who like our design but don’t have Ikea if we can make the design available as a wall graphic. So we will shortly add designs witch are also available as a wall decal.
  • Freshome: How many members does your team have? Please describe the work atmosphere at your office in a few words.
  • Mykea: The work we do at our office is great. All the wall are decorated with designs and if you enter the front door be aware not the trip over any Ikea furniture. Working together with a creative team of designers, web developers, project managers and of course our international artists is great. The best thing is that we work locally with our close team and very international with our developers and artist. This gives an extra global fibe to our office and work.

Mykea WallDesign SoThere Interview: Adding Color to Ikea Furniture with Mykea

  • Freshome: What is your favorite Ikea customized design so far?
  • Mykea: The amplifier design by LouLou & Tummie! Giving some retro DJ feel to your standard Expedit bookcase and turn it into a more of a design object. For us it’s about making fun and unique designs available for the crowd. We’ll have the Amplifier soon available as a unique Wall Designs as well.
  • Freshome: Anything else you would like the world to know about Mykea ?
  • Do tell us witch Ikea furniture you’d like to see customized! And if you’re interested in Mykea please send us an email at info@thisismykea.com


Mykea – Pimp your IKEA furniture!

22 Jun

To walk through an IKEA store means browsing the mass quantities of furniture, rugs, lamps and every other household item imaginable with one hand holding their $1 frozen yogurt cone and the other, a plate of Swedish meatballs. Since it gets a good and bad rap for being both affordable and yet incredibly plain, a small creative company that goes by the name Mykea has come up with an Ikea-inspired idea.

An Inexpensive Way to Customize IKEA Furniture

The way it works is this: First, you choose your favorite piece of Ikea furniture. Some of the most popular items are listed on their website (but other requests can be fulfilled) and they include: Malm bed, Billy bookcase, Expedit bookcase, Expedit coffee table, Malm dresser, Lack coffee table, and Pax wardrobe.

Next, choose your favorite design of dozens and dozens that people just like you, who appreciate spicing their home up with more than a scented candle, have created for Mykea. When I checked out the page last, you have your choice of up to 53 different patterns and illustrations, as well as solid colors. So in other words, you tell them which standard piece you’ve chosen from the IKEA furniture superstore, and they’ll equip you with the custom-cut design that will make it stand out from the pack.
To apply the designs, all you need are household items. It will be shipped to you in a cylindrical container. All you have to do is apply soapy water to the surface of your bookshelf backing, wardrobe doors, coffee table surface, dresser drawers or bed frame and carefully stick on the appropriate design. Smoothing with a spatula of any kind, it’s a no-frills way to achieving beautiful furniture. The cost of a Mykea design depends on the design itself. Some are larger, and more detailed, others are smaller and appear to be a black and illustration, not to mention the abstract, colorful designs in between.
Celebrate to the tune of the Mykea motto and just say NO to NAKED furniture!

Für alle die mit IKEA Möbeln nie so wirklich was anfangen konnten, weil’s Massenware ist oder weil es sie immer nur in den gleichen Farben gibt, denen wird jetzt geholfen.
Mykea ist eine Website die, die Möglichkeit bietet bestimmte IKEA Stücke mit Hilfe von Designfolien, so genannten Decals auf zu hübschen. Also verpasst eurem ‘Hemnes’, ‘Pax’ oder ‘Billy’ einen neuen Look!

Here some Mykea products:

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  • Mykea Online Shop
  • Ikea Hackers: “We just can’t leave IKEA alone, can we? We hack, personalise, repurpose IKEA products into the very thing we want. And we love sharing our creation with others. If you have an IKEA hack, we would love to see it. “

To have an idea of what the ikea worldwide hackers can do, take a look at The Best Hack of 2010. Here are some awesome furniture modifications that I found there:

Meddling with Melodi
Materials: Melodi pendant lamp
Hydrangea Girl, Ireland

Bedroom dress boys
Materials: Two Bertil chairs, cleat, glue, screws, drill, circular saw, paint.
G.V.M., The Netherlands

Spring Back Banker’s Chair
Materials: 4 laminate bent Ikea legs and two seats from antique banker’s chairs
Andrew Riiska, Los Angeles

Lack bench/lounger
Materials: Lack coffee tables
Charles Crawford, San Diego

Fantastic Design Works – Alice in Wonderland Restaurant (Tokyo)

21 Jun

Japanese design studio Fantastic Design Works gives us a look into the fourth installment in a series of Alice in Wonderland restaurants opened by Diamond Dining. Situated in a town fascinated with conceptual eateries, this latest Tokyo establishment features an imaginative combination of psychedelic decorations, dramatic designs and waitresses dressed in Alice costumes. Located in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, the restaurant is situated in a 2254-square-foot space that’s divided into various scenes from the 1951 animated film. Shots of the interior are shown below.


First thought: I would love to eat there.

Second one: only in Japan!