Highlights From Dwell on Design

Dwell on Design 2011

This past weekend's Dwell on Design Conference brought together heavy hitters from the design world, design up-and-comers and lovers of all things modern for a great show. It was inspiring and also totally overwhelming (in a good way) so if you missed it, here are some of our highlights.

Of course, I'm leaving tons and tons out, but I have to start somewhere. Walking around the floor, these are the highlights still buzzing around in my head. What stuck for you?

Chickens: This year the outdoor section incorporated live chickens (baby ones too). They were housed in various modern coops — my favorite was The Chicken Tractor, designed to house the chickens and have the structure be moved around a yard so that the chickens fertilize the lawn and mow it all at once. Even our own Abby Stone got a chance to hold one of the babies.

David Trubridge Lights: A combination of sculpture and light, David's booth was beautiful and simple and made me drool. I love that he uses simple shapes and a great color palette to create statement pieces that are totally functional.

Mid Century LA and their kid-sized chairs: Just standing with David in his booth for a couple of minutes I saw scores of people (and kids) stop to check out his reproductions of miniature Danish Modern armchairs fit for a kid. Plus we love that they're local!

Sasaki Heartbeat Drawing Project: Japanese artist Sasaki hooked up visitors to DoDto, a heart rate monitor which amplified the sound of their heartbeat to the convention floor and then, using the beat as his guide, he painted his interpretation. It was an arresting performance that did a great job of engaging visitors and creating beauty out of the mundane.

Molo and their soft walls have been favorites around Apartment Therapy for years and their booth at Dwell really made me stop. It was a whole environment made out of their soft walls and lit by Softlight Cloud – soft hanging lights made of Tyvek and lit with LED's.

The Outdoor Section: This area is always my favorite (maybe because I worked in it last year) because the designers at Shades of Green really work to create an environment that visitors can walk into and experience. This year the section was chock full of inspiration: living olive trees, terrariums by Terri Planty, modern fireplaces by ModFire, modern moroccan tile by Kismet Tile, smart freestanding hammocks by Plywood Office, plus great pots by Gainey and Green-Form.

EcoFabulous Prefab House: It's one of the best prefabs I've seen plus it's completely committed to sustainable practices. Check out their website to get the full scoop. This year it was decked out in green furnishings, had fresh chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven, and was totally packed and full of curious people.

Design World Awards: This year Dwell started the Design World Awards where they whittle down the amazing design they see all year to a select number of finalists and winners that got a special section at the convention. Taken directly from the pages of Dwell, five finalists in five different categories are chosen who best encompass innovation, clever use of materials, sustainable design, and that je ne sais quois that makes us say, "I gotta get one of those."

What were your highlights from Dwell on Design?

Images: laure joliet