Karim Rashid - Industrial Designer Changing The World

Famed Industrial Designer Karim Rashid was recently highlighted by New York Magazine as "One Of Five New Yorkers Who Wear Only One Color Everyday".
I am a big enthusiast of Karim Rashid and it is fun to see the industrial designer being showcased, but his distinct color-wardrobe style is not the reason for his fame, it's just an idiosyncracy. Rashid is important because of his uniquely-superb talent, unequaled in a field of superb design talent.

At 40, he's been called the most prolific designer of his generation. In only fifteen years he has designed over 800 products, 42 of which are included in the permanent collections of the world's best-known museums.

An excellent example of a Rashid 'product' is the Morimoto Japanese Restaurant, an internationally reknown trendy spot offering one unconventional surprise after another. Home to master chef Masaharu Morimoto, Rashid created a restaurant showplace production truely worthy of Morimoto, known as the creator of elaborate Japanese fusion cuisine creations and series Iron Chef star, where cooks face off like samurai in culinary duels. The designer reinvented the traditional Japanese model of patrons eating together at long tables, with a succession of tables for four to six people, with a row of tables for two along each of the side walls. The tables have matt glass dividers illuminated by gradually changing color/intensity LEDs flooding the glass tables and custom designed white leather seats. The sushi bar with yellow light at the end of the restaurant highlights Masaharu Morimoto while he creates the famous dishes that delight the eye and the palate. (To read more on the architectural detail of the fabulous restaurant, go to architecture journal, FloorNature Re Morimoto Restaurant. )

Rashid was born in Cairo, is half Egyptian, half English, was raised in Canada and is now practicing in New York. His clients are an impressive array from Alessi to Dirt Devil, Umbra to Prada, Miyake to Method, he has published books and computer programs.

Karim Rashid is known for radically changing the aesthetics of product design and the very nature of the consumer culture.

Below are two photo slideshows, one with more photos of the Morimoto Restaurant, the other, a vignette I assembled of some of Rashid's products. His shop is The Karim Rashid Shop and his design website is http://www.karimrashid.com/. Check his stuff out - to me, anyone who says he wants to change the world - and can back it up - well, he's worth investing a moment or two of my time in what he has to say or show us. As a designer / artist, I am a lifetime student of seeing, and when Rashid's name comes to my mind, I personally use the moment as a seeing tool. I look around at my everyday environment / surroundings including trying to look around at the day, seeing that day itself as a quantity. In these ways I allow my eyes to see the very nature of my own everyday things .

Scarlett Johansson & Vioski - The Substance Is In The Background & The Detail

As she goes about furnishing her new Hollywood home, Native New Yorker Scarlett Johansson continues to show her cool sleek style that in addition to her beauty and acting skills, she has become famous for. This gives me an opportunity to tell you about Vioski Furniture, as Johansson recently purchased a collection from architect Jeff Vioski's company, known for its elegant-modernism style. Handmade in Southern California each Vioski Furniture piece displays an architectural themed background - clean and well balanced proportions. Vioski's products also provide the comfort necessary for today's relaxed urban lifestyle, one that specifically someone as smart and hardworking as Johannson would appreciate.

The actress has been praised for her committment to maintaining historical accuracy on the set of 'The Other Boleyn Girl, by the book's author. Brit Philippa Gregory who authored this and other Tudor novels, was employed on the movie set to help maintain factual historical accuracy and regarding Johannson, Gregory said it was an interesting experience, noting that, "Scarlett's copy of the book is broken-backed and it's marked on every page."

The beautiful, street-saavy star has also been known for blasting Hollywood saying some celebrities are using charity campaigns primarily to boost their careers, see article. Johansson worked on behalf of global Aids Campaign Red, raising money for women and children in Africa and was noted for insisting that her support to the movement has “nothing to do with (her) career”. Recently the new Southern California resident spent two weeks in India and Sri Lanka as an Oxfam Ambassador working with the relief charity to increase awareness about global poverty and suffering.

Speaking about leaving her glitzy lifestyle behind, Scarlett, 22, said: "It was nice to feel part of the community. Certainly your own vanity is the last thing on your mind when you're travelling in a place like this." The blonde star feels privileged to use her status for good causes, saying: "It's amazing to come home when you see people living in poverty. On one hand you're thinking, my celebrity life is so surreal, but it's my work and helps me bring awareness to Oxfam."

I believe the more we travel around the world, exposing ourselves to architecture, design and beauty as well as sorrow and suffering, we develop character depth. These eye-opening adventures can give depth to our everyday practices and environments.

Developing an understanding of companies we choose to associate with, celebrities as people with individual backgrounds, and finally impoverished communities is important in creating meaning and purpose in our lives. Checking out the VIOSKI FURNITURE site will better allow you to appreciate the fine detail Vioski, the architect - through his company - incorporates in each furniture piece.

132 South La Brea Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90036-323 937 7741 tel
323 843 9938 fax

If you're in need of an interior designer,take a look at our Interior Design Guide listing professional design firms in your area, listed by state. Working with a professional designer helps assure you get the look you desire while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Going Green And Sitting Pretty - Outdoors

Tidelli Cube line
Outdoor Furniture - Don't You Love It!

Going green is easy when you're sitting pretty and with this phenomenal style Tidelli outdoor furniture we've got you covered.

The woven chair and ottoman (shown here in red) from the Agua line look like they're straight out of a ’60s Italian flick. The Agua set comes in white wicker, other colors available by special order are: Black, Beige, Chocolate, Orange, Green.

And the Tidelli Chaise Lounge....grrrrrrr! Meow!!!! It's wild! Tidelli is a Brazilian family-run business that appreciates the need for less waste, so they use 50 percent post-industrial recycled PVC for their furniture. The outdoor furniture line is available through your interior designer or online through CurranOnline so, now the only thing you’ll have to plant is your sweet and royal behind.

If you're in need of an interior designer,take a look at our Interior Design Guide listing professional design firms in your area, listed by state. Working with a professional designer helps assure you get the look you desire while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Use Scale & Proportion To More Assuredly Create Beauty

If you want to learn the hows and whys of creating beauty, it takes training, training to look at all things and to see things well. We learn and can apply design concepts and teach our mind and our eyes to discern through practice to really see.

Designers (and homeowners) are often faced with good things we like about a room, or space, but often we also have things we don't like. The room is oddly shaped; it may resemble a bowling alley (long and narrow) or the ceilings may seem too high (your furniture and items look like they are Barbie doll size) or too low (now you feel King Kong-like.) Unless you are blessed with an unlimited budget and structural changes are an option because your spouse is a general contractor, working with the space you have is the plan du jour.

Design concepts including proportion and scale will serve as handy tools in designing a functioning as well as beautiful and pleasing room.

Proportion: In design, proportion is the relationship of one part of an object to other parts or to the whole, and of one object to another. Example: if tiny, spindly legs are used to support a massive table top, we'd say that one is improperly proportioned to the other.

Scale: Scale refers to an object's size in relationship to some constant with that constant usually being but not always the human being (the primary scale relationship is to people). Scale and proportion work hand in hand. and really understanding the difference may take some thought. An example of poor scale would be a large, two story home with narrow hallways, low doorways and countertops and fixtures placed squatty. The scale here is a large house, but suitable for a child.

In learning proportion of objects and proper proportion among different objects we need to understand how they relate to each other. Are they compatible? Are the proportions linked, one to another? How are they different? By seeing the likeness of two objects, you can see what gives each its individuality. A lime is fatter, rounder, and smaller than a lemon. You can use such comparisons when you example the proportions of arms on chairs or of legs on chairs and tables. Go on a practical treasure hunt around your house, exploring the proportions of your objects and their relationship to one another. Is the saucer of a coffee cup in proportion to the cup, not too big, not too small? After some time and practice, this treasure hunt of evaluating the proportions of things can be done outdoors as well as in your friends' houses. Become a student of seeing. What you observe well will train your eye. Observe a tiny garden that is so overgrown with trees and foliage and flowers, you have no room to sit and have a cup of tea. A garden's reason for existence is a person's pleasure. No matter how beautiful something may be, if it gets out of hand and loses its human-scaled proportions, the entire purpose of its existence is defeated.

When I first visited New Mexico my eyes had an adjustment period in finding beauty in the home style - adobe construction and flat roofs with no overhang. In short time I grew to love them, especially when I realized that their form followed function, it kept the home cool in the summer, and warm in the winter, utmost importance in the desert.

However I noticed that the simplicity of the style (in the hands perhaps of non-indigenous, newcomers to the area) could easily cause attempts to add beauty - not - it often caused a beautiful form to now have bad form, or bad proportion. Architectural additions or design elements that work perfectly with other homes overpower these lovely homes. Proportion is an important element in creating, and keeping, beauty.

Proportion and scale do work hand in hand and are perhaps two sides of the same coin - and really understanding the difference may take some thought. I wish you a good 'seeing' treasure hunt.

This article is one in a series of Design Concepts, to go to the entire list, click here.