San Francisco Designer Showcase: Dwell Design Lab

An inspiring collection of designers gathered together last weekend for the Dwell Design Lab at the Millennium Towers in San Francisco. The event was a platform for designers to share their processes and ideas with the community. Themes throughout the event included sustainability, innovation in the use of materials, and attention to detail in design. Each firm prepared an installation, which showcased a sample of their innovative ideas.

Ranging from architecture, to interiors, to fabrication, all of the designers are based in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been featured in Dwell magazine. I had the opportunity to chat with a few of them about their work that is shaping the world of residential design. Here's a taste of what was shared:

1. Min | Day: The firm's cutting edge designs were displayed through reworking of basic materials, including backlit CNC-milled panels. Taking the idea of an art wall to the next level, they have used this method to incorporate intricate patterns in walls and casework for many of their projects. The stools are composed of stacked layers of plywood that are adhered together, which exemplifies how an ordinary material can be used to create an extraordinary product.

2. Barbara Scavullo Design: The Paradise ceiling lamp hung over the Scavullo installation creates an intimate sense of serenity in the space. Made of unprocessed silk cocoons, the sculpture is woven together with a hand soldered wire matrix. It's organic form and materiality results in a stunning fixture, with a soft warm glow.

3. The Urban Lab: These designers are modern inventors in the realm of metal working. They have created a multitude of custom fabricated items that include stairs, entry gates and other custom pieces. The Urban Lab combines the disciplines of architecture and industrial design to push the limits of design and fabrication. They are known for using basic materials in an innovative way creating functional and one-of-a kind elements.

4. Sands Studio: The Alcyone light fixtures, designed and manufactured in-house for the exhibition, are a glimpse of the refined work this studio produces. The fixtures were created by combining industrial materials, including borosilicate fabricated glass, machined aluminum mechanical components and stainless steel cable. Sands Studio is a collaboration between architects, industrial designers, machinists and artisans, that combines aesthetics, function and attention to detail in all their work.

5. Martine Paquin: Embedding sustainability into design is a key component of the process at Martine Paquin. Their interior designs embody the spirit of sustainability by utilizing and implementing unique materials and products. The featured elements of their installation were true to this ethos. The Molo Cloud Softlight pictured is made with recycled material and lit with LED's.

Image Credit: Moanalani Jeffrey