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The West Hollywood Design District Presents Decades of Design 1948–2014
November 19, 2014–February 2015
The first-ever retrospective exhibition uncovering, examining and celebrating six decades of rich design history in West Hollywood. The curated ­­gallery will showcase design pioneers and present tastemakers through bold graphics, photographs and original product.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio
February 20–May 24, 2015
This February, the Hammer Museum will present the West Coast debut of Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, featuring the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, such as a handbag for Longchamp, to large-scale structures like the new distillery for Bombay Sapphire Gin.

 

 

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Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

Deadline: January 16
Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015
Ceramics of Italy 

Deadline: February 23
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Wednesday
Aug212013

Showroom: Sleek Forms Made in Nicaragua

 

Furniture designed by Aaron Poritz is crafted of wood felled in a 2007 hurricane in Nicaragua. Image courtesy Aaron Poritz.

“I approach every design—a building or piece of furniture—as a problem that needs to be solved,” says designer Aaron Poritz. A B.Arch graduate of California College of the Arts, Poritz recently launched a new furniture line. Here’s the twist. The collection is made in Nicaragua from wood sourced from the country’s North Atlantic Autonomous Region, where a 2007 hurricane had felled thousands of hardwood trees.

Connections hooked him up with the mill and its singular materials, and the rest is history. “It was a great opportunity to use wood that I'd never want to or would support cutting down,” he says. “I saw it as a chance to do a line and spent six months prototyping the collection.”

The tropical hardwoods have allowed him to experiment with shapes and forms. “I like to express the capacity of materials," says Poritz. "The wood in Nicaragua is dense and allows me a certain degree of thinness that I couldn’t achieve with American woods. Since it’s so strong, I can make a chair that’s thin with non-standard angles.”

The Balcones dining chair, which started life as a commission for a friend, was the first piece Poritz designed. As with the rest of the pieces in the collection, the look is contemporary, warmed up by the rich wood. He keeps the ornament to a minimum—a touch of darker wood here and there. The real interest is in the form itself. “I took classic joinery and applied it in a more modern feel,” he says.

Practical considerations drive his formal decisions to some extent. “They don’t have fancy machinery. Most of the work is done by hand by skilled carpenters, so there aren’t a lot of curvilinear forms,” he says. “Most of the pieces are angular straight. It’s partly my aesthetic but also being realistic about what they can do at the mill—and if it can be repeated.”

 

 

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