Football made classy?

When it comes to football (or soccer, depending on where you live), design can be a tad more tacky than classy. We need to thank (do we?) MAAN design studio for these commemorative World Cup stamps. The Portuguese design team had the idea of this diagonal grid system to evoke the way football players move during the game.

Dada-design with a “Rive gauche” twist: Poltrona Frau x Vincent Darré

Enjoy newfound optimism thanks to dadaism! Tzara, Duchamp, Picabia, Dali, Breton, Blumenfeld and Schiaparelli's ghosts will perhaps come back to haunt a few windows of the Bon Marché's department store in Paris at some point before June 21st. Courtesy Vincent Darré & Poltrona Frau (the French designer has imagined these scenes to stage the story of the most iconic pieces produced by the Italian brand. No doubt Sonia Delaunay will appreciate Darré's new version of the T904 bench.) Retrouvez l'optimisme grâce au dadaïsme ! Les fantômes de Tzara, Picabia, Duchamp, Dali, Breton, Blumenfeld et Schiaparelli viendront peut-être hanter les vitrines du Bon Marché à Paris avant le 21 juin. Remercions pour cela Vincent Darré & Poltrona Frau (le designer a imaginé cette scénographie pour raconter l'histoire de certains designs mythiques de la marque italienne. Aucun doute, Sonia Delaunay appréciera les motifs géométriques dont Darré a paré l'assise du banc T904.) (…)

Design fail: Even designers can get drunk

Yes, design failures happen. This strange attempt at fixing something which wasn't broken, so to speak, originated from Norm architects. The Danish architecture & design studio intended to make beer taste better by whisking up beery foam to pour on top of your glass. Were they drunk when they first had this idea? One can reasonably imagine they must have been, hence unable to pour their beer properly. But, then, it probably took some time developing this gizmo… A winter-long drunken haze? Le monde du design n'est pas à l'abri du ratage. Cette étrange tentative de réparer une chose qui n'était pas cassée est signée Norm architects. Le studio d'architecture et de design danois avait l'intention de conférer un meilleur goût à votre bière, en imaginant un stratagème pour générer plus de mousse, qui viendrait ensuite couronner votre boisson. Etaient-ils saouls quand l'idée a germé ? On peut l'imaginer - ce qui pourrait expliquer (simple hypothèse) leur incapacité à servir une bière convenablement. Mais il a bien fallu quelques mois pour développer ce gadget… Et une certaine quantité de bière pour traverser le long et rude hiver danois.

So French! Beret and other clichés as design icons

Do you need to be French to appreciate this post? Certainly not, the (witty and hilarious) works by 5.5 designers studio being brilliant enough to be enjoyed without captions. But, surely, if you're not familiar with French culture and its most enduring clichés, a few jokes will be lost on you. Skilled artisans, traditional popular items and everyday objects: 5.5 reinterpreted for Renault, the car manufacturer established in 1899, some of "the mythical objects engraved in France’s collective memory". Don't miss the legendary béret and sailor shirt; the timeless game of pétanque; the Charentaise slipper; the Gallic moustache, or national emblems like the rooster and the tricolour flag - among many other things exhibited in Paris at the Atelier Renault on the Champs Elysées until June 15th. Some of them (Cork Car, Carentaise slippers, Mustache Effect, It Beret and Show Glass) are available from the Atelier shop. No rooster, though. I'm French and I'm proud (and feeling slightly homesick)! A word from the designers: "All of these icons, which define France’s identity and symbolise French culture around the world, are being showcased at l’Atelier Renault in an exhibition called SO FRENCH. This encounter between traditional know-how and design has given rise to a collection of fun, elegant, clever and timeless objects. Each in its own way, these creations bear witness to the genius of French craftsmanship while paying tribute to French creativity and to the Renault brand, which is an integral part of the nation’s heritage." (copyright images 5.5 Designers/Colombe Clier, Renault)

Timber turned light: Benjamin Hubert

Benjamin Hubert has a lightweight timber table, exhibited at the Aram Store in London: Ripple is 2.5m long, 1m wide, and weighs just 9kg, and required 70-80% less material than a standard timber table, thanks to a specific production process of corrugating plywood for furniture through pressure lamination (developed by Benjamin Hubert and Canadian manufacturer Corelam).

Studio Lievito: Spaghetti for two?

Spaghetti for two, for four - or dinner on your own? Measuring spaghetti is always tricky. Laura Passalacqua, Francesco Taviani and Jacopo Volpi, the founders of Studio Lievito, imagined the perfect kitchen tool: a Carrara marble "spaghetti meter" that is both accurate and beautiful. Each of the four slots is designed to measure the right amount of pasta, depending on the number of hungry people sitting around your table. Spaghettis pour un, pour quatre, ou dîner en solitaire ? Les designers Laura Passalacqua, Francesco Taviani et Jacopo Volpi, fondateurs de Studio Lievito, ont trouvé le moyen de remédier à la galère du calcul de la portion idéale : leur création, en marbre de Carrare, s'avère un outil à la fois précis et séduisant. Chacune des quatre encoches reçoit le volume idéal de pâtes, en fonction du nombre d'affamés autour de votre table.

The Rijksmuseum, the Queen & a giant key by Studio Job

Pour célébrer en beauté sa retraite, la reine Beatrix des Pays-Bas a inauguré le 13 avril les nouveaux atours du célèbre Rijksmuseum. Après dix ans de travaux, le musée, fleuron de la ville d'Amsterdam, a réouvert ses portes au moyen d'une clef géante, signée Studio Job, que la souveraine a dû faire tourner dans une serrure de bronze démesurée : "The Key Moment" ("Le moment clef") est une oeuvre de bronze, de bois wenge haute d'1,75m. Sur la clef, les deux trublions de Studio Job ont gravé leurs remerciements à la reine. La pièce a aussitôt rejoint la collection du Rijksmuseum. To celebrate her retirement, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands inaugurated on April 13th the extensively renovated Rijksmuseum. After ten years, the iconic Amsterdam museum opened its doors, thanks to a giant key, designed by Studio Job. Her Majesty was handed the oversized object, and had to turn it in a matching giant lock: "The Key Moment" is a 1.75 meters high bronze & wenge wood sculptural piece of art. The key is engraved with a thank you message for the Queen ("Bedankt Majesteit"). "The Key Moment" is now part of the Rijksmuseum's permanent collection.

Vin joyeux

Une marque en propre de la chaîne de supermarchés belges Delhaize, "365" propose des produits quotidiens et abordables. Delhaize a demandé au studio de design espagnol Lavernia & Cienfuegos d'imaginer des étiquettes pour les bouteilles de leur offre de "Vins du monde". Une idée simple et drôle, qui s'est vue récompensée d'un prix Pentaward Gold 2012. Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize brand “365” sells everyday products at affordable prices. They asked Lavernia & Cienfuegos, a Spanish design studio, to imagine playful and efficient labels for their "Wines of the World" range. It resulted in a series of funny labels, awarded a 2012 Pentaward Gold prize.